Robs 90g Tank Build - Ressurection

13yrs ago I got married. This meant taking down my 90g Saltwater FOWLR tank at my parents house. Fast forward to now, and I have that same tank/wet dry/skimmer ect… and its time to get it going again.

We’re finishing our basement and putting in an office as I have a “work from home” job now. The tank will be maintained from within my office, and look like a motion picture frame on the outside wall that faces the living area. Due to this, it needs to be as quiet as possible. This will be a fun journey, and my hope it to progress from the old FOWLR to a Reef tank in time as I get aclimated to the hobby again.

Here we are as of Dec. 20, 2011

The stand is being built. The one large beam that you see under the tank will get additional support, but the nostalgic part of this beam is that its from my parents house, that is a “Post and Beam” construction home.

The exterior wall of the office facing the living area.

Thats it for now, but I wanted to get this build thread started. Oh yeah, and I’m a new guy :smiley: I’m in Elkton MD and will probably get most of my fishies from Premium Aquatics in DE, and I hope to eventually get some stuff from you guys.

Im in the research stage on Sump/Refugium, GFO/Carbon reactors, Power management, bla bla…Maybe I’ll convert the wet/dry to a sump/fuge, or by an aquarium to convert. The skimmer is OLD SCHOOL compared to todays standards so that’ll have to get upgraded as well.

----- April 2012 Update -----

Man, its been almost 4 months! We’re finishing the basement DIY so its taken awhile. Hopefully it won’t be long until I can start resurrecting the tank…I still have to finish re-sealing the tank. Anywho, here we are as of April 12/12

Stand is 90% complete, the front panel is removable, held in place by 6 magnets.

The tank, lying in wait.


The best advice I can give you is to do a lot of research before you put water in your tank. Research now will save you $$ later.

I don’t see any bulkheads in the tank, so one of the first things I’d do is to drill the tank and install an overflow. Probably one of these:

Here’s how:

Great start ::thumbsup::

:Welcome) to DRC

Thanks guys! Lets talk glass and drilling. This is an “All Glass Aquarium” made in 1995. I called Aqueon, and they dont have records that go back that far on wheather or not the glass is tempered or not.

I’ve done the polarized lens / glare screen test and i do not see any black lines/squares/circles. My best guess is that its NOT tempered, so I can drill. I would like to do a Herme / BeanAnimal overflow setup for sure, as their silence is highly praised.

I have discovered a small nick on one of the corers of the tank. The glass is 3/8" thick, and I am not at all concerned regarding the size of this nick affecting the strength of the tank, and its already been leak tested. I am however curious on your opinions. My guess, is if this glass WAS tempered, this nick would have shattered the whole pane? Thoughts? I’m 90% sure the glass is NOT tempered, but the other 10% is a 300$ tank replacement.

Regarding the silicone in the corners, the tank will be re-sealed, so I wasn’t too worried about cutting any of the existing old silicone when I was cleaning.

If unsure of the glass test, perform the test on a car window… they’re def tempered and you’ll see the diff in the test… hope it helps

If anything is tempered on that tank, it’s probably just the bottom. This chart might be of some help:

As far as the chip is concerned, if it were me, I wouldn’t trust it.

Welcome to the site. :Welcome)

As far as the tank I’m not sure but looks like alot of work going into your basement, and for what a 90 gallon tank reef ready costs I would not chance it either.

Good luck and keep up the pics ::thumbsup::

Updated the main post with update! Getting there…

Heyya Rob,
we’re neighbors. Don’t worry these folks have been good to me even if I am in Elkton. I have only been set up since after turkey day so i’m not too far ahead of you. Try and make the monthly mtg so I don’t have to be the FNG anymore. :Welcome) If you need a hand, let me know i can likely stop by.

getting close GolfC

Any pics?

Reef, I put updated pics of the tank stand build up in the main post. Today it was stripping the silicone for a reseal. I want to play it safe since the tank is about 15yrs old. Once she’s resealed and leak tested I can finally start setting it up!

Tank is up on the stand and had held water for 24hrs w/o any leaks. Nice! I’m going to setup the wet/dry (converting to sump refugium) and hopefully start cycling the tank soon.

Question…the wet/dry…Just over half way full it’ll hold 12gallons. I probably shouldn’t fill it any higher as after adding equipment/sand/rock it’ll raise. So, 90gal w/ a 12gallon sump…not the best, but good enough?

Thanks all!


you want to set your sump height to be able to handle a power outage.

I would consider the depth of the water, i.e. is it deep enough to run your skimmer at its optimal level, other equipment? Is there enough room for the water that runs/drains, down/back once you shut off your returns?

I converted the wet/dry to a refugium today…i used silicone instead of trying to be exact w/ my cuts and bonding acrylic to acrylic, so it doesn’t look pretty, but i think it will work. I left the height of the new walls at 10" with the idea that I can drill some 1" holes in them if I need to lower the water level to make room for power off volume. We’ll see tomorrow, should be able to start cycling tomorrow, even though its really just 20lbs of live sand vs. 40lbs of regular aragonite. I plan on adding Nitrifying bacteria (Dr. Tims or similar) and 1 or 2 blue chromis’.

Adding some pictures of the stand (what you can see of it now at least) since some members have asked to see pics of it. I didn’t use it, but its very similar to how I built mine, search for “Garf Stand Calculator”. Laterally my tank is supported by the rear 2x4’s in the back corners and the bottom of the stand frame that is nailed to the basement floor.

Outside of the pictures, the wet/dry is converted and ready to go. (I hope!) I’ll be adding sand and starting the cycle today.

Looks good! And fun!

I might have missed this but what kind of skimmer are you using? I take it it will be plumbed in or hang on? not much room to fit it in the sump, right?