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Synergy's 12gal zen nano


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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    I want to start off by thanking Captive Reefs for holding this contest and nanocustoms for sponsoring. I think this is a really neat idea and will surely result in some amazing nano-tanks.

    Equipment:
    Tank: JBJ 12 gal DX
    Lighting: 2x24w PC (1 50:50 and 1 10k) and 3x3W Blue LEDS (still in the process of building)
    Flow: Maxi jet 900 (might add a koralia nano)
    Heater: Via-aqua 50W submersible
    Rock: Marco dry rock seeded with liverock rubble
    Sand: Play sand from home depot

    I have been in and out of the SW hobby for a few years and am always interested in what new trends develop over the years. One trend that has caught my eye recently that I have wanted to attempt for awhile is that of minimalist aquascaping. The whole less is more concept and using negative space to accentuate the inhabitants. The goal for this tank will be to create a minimalist, zen like nano.

    Hope you all enjoy!
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1397 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano
    Last edited by Synergy; 02-04-2011 at 11:53 PM. Reason: Adding empty tank shot!

  2. #2
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    Glad to see your trying out in the contest man!

    Just dont forget- take a pic of the tank w/ the special sign in front, before adding livestock!

  3. #3
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    The inspiration for this tank came from a few tanks I saw with beautiful arches. (I have a link to one in particular but Im not sure if I can post a link to other forums?) Another source of inspiration came from the freshwater tanks, covered in green plants with a driftwood centerpiece. I tried to build and arch in a previous JBJ 12gal nano tank I set-up but found the space to be a limiting factor. After seeing a few people use acrylic and putty to make beautiful pillars and overhangs I started to build.

    Order of Marco nano rocks (great rock, will order from Marco again for my next tank for sure)

    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1302 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    The tools, black zip ties, 1/4" acrylic rods, JB Waterweld 2 part epoxy.

    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1303 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Also used a hand drill, dremel, heat gun, and pliers to get the zip ties extra tight.

    Side note, I initially built the structure using clear zip ties to hide them better. I then found out that clear zip ties can break down when exposed to UV light so I had to re-do most of the rock with black zip ties to be safe. Left a few clear ones in non critical spots, guess I can test to see if they break over time.

  4. #4
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    can't wait to see it!!

  5. #5
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    Finally have some extra time to load up some more pics of the build!

    I drilled through the rock with a hand drill, just normal bits, and inserted the acyrlic rods.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1304 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    I used three acrylic rods to support this main piece. You can also see some of the clear zip ties.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1305 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Another view.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1306 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Here is a view of the underside. I used a heat gun to bend the acrylic rods to get them to fit the holes I drilled. The curves help ensure that the rock can slide around also. The rods are completely hidden in the final product.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1307 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

  6. #6
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    After I had the base built I added on using the same method. Acrylic rods for the bulk support and zip ties to hold everything tight. The zipties are rated for 40lbs each, the total structure cant weight more than 10lbs.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1308 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Here is the underside of the almost complete structure. This is before the rods and zipties were trimmed. I added way more support than I probably needed but they are pretty much all hidden and I like the extra peace of mind.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1309 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Rock work was done at this point. As you can see my foot is holding it up. I wanted the rock to stand like it was in the pic so had to find a way to support it. I thought about adding more rock to the bas to act as a counterweight, bit the small footprint of the JBJ kept that from being a realistic option. I wanted a half arch so adding a rock to support the structure was also out.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1310 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    My solution. I picked up a $2 polypropylene cutting bord (aka starboard) and drilled some holes.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1300 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

  7. #7
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    The holes on the bottom are in the shape of the base rock. I stuck zipties through pre-drilled and existing holes in the base of the rock and then threaded the zipties through the holes in the cutting board. Drilling numerous holes made threading the zipties through super easy.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1311 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Here's a view from the back of the structure. You can see the zipties going into the rock and then through the cutting board.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1313 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Here you can see the rock structure being suspended from just the zipties. Like I mentioned each can support ~40lbs and I used around 8. Also used the black zipties to help them hold up to the UV exposure from the lights.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1312 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Here is the finished product. I glued some sand to most of the exposed zipties to conceal them better. I also used two-part epoxy to attach pieces of rubble over some exposed acyrlic rod and zipties. I also used epocy between the main pieces for added strength and security. Probably epoxied 7-8 small pieces to the main structure.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1314 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    The cutting board turns the structure into a cantilever of sorts. The rock structure wants to tip, since its attached to the cutting board it pulls the cutting board up at the base which pushes down at the far end. The cutting board presses against the glass preventing it all from tipping over. Maybe this picture will help show how the force is transferred from the structure to the glass
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1315 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

  8. #8
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    That structure looks sweet!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Patrick View Post
    That structure looks sweet!
    Thanks, I really like how it turned out. The rock I got fit together really, I wanted it to look like a single piece which I think I achieved pretty well.

  10. #10
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    Ok time for some more pics!

    The supplies. First time trying the Red Sea salt, it mixed really well and the bucket is convenient. The nano mag cleaner is super small and flexible which helps keeps the corners clean, dont know how long it will last though as it sees kinda flimsy.

    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1402 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Here is the tank and stand. The stand was some cheap IKEA nightstand I found for $20. It's sturdy though, and was the perfect size for the tank.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1403 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Finally water! Excuse the cloudiness, I just added the sand. Almost froze my hands cleaning the sand outside with the garden hose...
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1400 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    Side view of the rock work.
    picturephp?albumid205&amppictureid1401 - Synergy's 12gal zen nano

    More pics coming soon!

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