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Hello and welcome to my do it yoursef page. Don't you just hate paying retail for your aquarium hardware.  I know I sure do.  I am always thinking of ways that I can save money on harware, water additives, inhabitants, etc.  This has led me to attempting to build some of my own hardware.  This pages contains the projects that i've attempted on my own after alot of planning and have successfully executed.  All of the projects listed below I have done myself and can attest to. 

If you have any question regarding one of my do it yourself projects, please do not hesitate to e-mail me your question and I will be happy to respond.  These projects represent my own ideas.  Take this information for what it's worth.  If you have attempted and successfully executed your own do it yourself project, please e-mail me your plans (if you have one) along with a written description.  I will attempt the project and if I am successful, I will post your project on this page and give you the credit for it.

This is a picture of the do it yourself home made protein skimmer that I built myself.  As you can see, it is a venturi type skimmer and it works great.  I am running this skimmer with a Rio 2500 powerhead. The skimmer that I built myself

I bought the acrylic at a local plastics dealer.  They cut just about all of the pieces for me prior to starting the project.  The acrylic was very inexpensive.   It cost me around $40.00.  The pvc pipe and ball valve together ran around $4.00  You can use this skimmer either inside or outside your sump.  What I like best about this skimmer is that I designed it in a way to prevent tiny air bubbles from being returned into the aquarium. 

This is a very easy project to attempt on your own.  A protein skimmer such as this would normally cost around $180.00 in an aquarium store and can be built on your own for around $45.00.  A huge savings!

If you would like detailed information on how to build this protein skimmer, please refer to my DIY Protein Skimmer page.

This is a picture of my power compact light set up that I am currently using on my 37 gallon reef aquarium.  I purchased a dual 55 watt retro-fit light set up for $165.00 + shipping over the internet.  After realizing that two lights were not enough  to keep my S.P.S. corals happy, I decided to upgrade to 4  55 watt power compact lights.  My Current Power Compact Light Setup

Instead of paying the $165.00 + shipping for another set, I decided to do some of my own research to see if I could buy the parts separately for less.  What I found out is that I could buy all of the parts separately for less than $100.00 (including reflector).  I did so and saved myself over $70.00. 

It took me around 1 hour to assemble the parts and mount the lights within my canopy.  The bulbs are Hamilton It is hard to tell from this picture but I currently am using 2 daylight and 2 attinic 03 bulbs.

Power compact bulbs are less expensive than metal halide bulbs, last longer than metal halide and flourscent bulbs, and use up very little electricity.

If you would like to learn how to build your own dual 55 watt power compact retro fit kit (including reflector) for under $100.00 please refer to my Do it Yourself, Power Compact page.

This is a picture of the Adhesive and Sealant called Goop Marine that I use to seal such things as the overflows that I built for my aquariums, any plumbing that I use, etc. This stuff is extremely durable. It works very well with plastic, glass, and even wood. Believe it or not, I even used this stuff to reglue a leg on my coffee table. That leg would have to be sawed off if I wanted to remove it.This adhesive works very well in an aquarium.

I purchased Goop Marine at my local Home Depot. It cost around $5.00. It is extremely thick and can be spread very sparingly. I can see this glue eventually becoming a standard in the aquarium industry.

This is a picture of a tube of Weld On 16, the glue that I use to join pieces of acrylic and plastic together. I purchased this tube at a local plastics dealer. It works extremely well. I have not seen this glue in any hardware store (including home depot). This adhesive works very well in an aquarium.

This glue cures in around two hours. I use this glue rather sparingly and it serves its purpose. It dries clear which is really nice because it is very inconspicuous and helps to make your home projects look professional.

Please e-mail me your comments/feedback on this site

joesreef@yahoo.com