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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

My Woodson Arrives!

Ok this post is slightly belated and it did actually arrive last Wednesday, but finally my fabulous new marine/reef aquarium, specially build by Woodson Aquaria has landed!

I am still waiting on the hood as that needs a little more work, but also waiting on the Radion light fixtures, so no rush at all to be honest. But the bulk of it has arrived and now sat in my living room!

I cannot express how superb the quality and finish of the aquarium and is cabinet is, and the amazing customer service i have received from Billy and Jools at Woodson Aquaria has been like flying first class. If you need a custom built tank… or an extremely good quality regular sized one, i cannot recommend these people enough!

My Riffsystem back plates and “cake stand” structures also arrived.

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With the furniture moved, the TV in a safe place and the sofa dismantled, myself and Billy manhandled the cabinet through the garage, out the side door then through the French windows finally letting it down at its temporary resting place...

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The cabinet was quite heavy, and a slightly awkward shape, but manageable...

Next we broke every rule in the Health and Safety book as the glass work is a bit of a monster! We took a guess and put this beauty in at around 150kg! So 75kg each... three times over the legal limit... whoops!

Good job I'm a strong, fit and athletic human of herculean proportions, and not some speccy, wimpy, nerdy, type bloke that's never seen the inside of a gym... *ahem*

Anyway, we contemplated... we had a brew... we had a chat... turns out Billy used to maintain the machines i now program! Small world!

Back to work...

We devised a route with a series of checkpoints using my kitchen table and some polystyrene blocks, the worst part being a 90degree turn through the garage side door that is approximately 27inches wide... with a 24inch tank... do the math... not much finger room!

Check Point 1) Out the back of the van, i held the weight, Billy did a well rehearsed "slide" under the end still on the back of the van, thankfully were both roughly the same height so there was no awkward offset balancing act... we shuffled graciously into the confines of the garage and set the tank down on the poly blocks... i split my underpants... no joke!

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Next Checkpoint was the ready and waiting kitchen table...

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Of course as the tank exited the garage it was horizontal, and we needed to go in at 90degrees...

So the tank was transferred to the table for a moments rest, slid up to the house and then Billy took the strain and walked his end first, followed by myself, so the tank sort of skewed in through the door.

At this point we put it straight back down on the poly blocks again, and slid it across the laminate floor.
Arriving at the cabinet, one final push as we had to lift it slightly higher than the locked arm position and at a slight angle so it didn't trap the fingers...

Back straight, knees bent, on the count of 3 the tank majestically rose and perched on the rear edge of the cab, followed by some precision "to me to you" adjustments to bring it on home to the front edge...

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It was in position and not in a million pieces on the deck!

Billy then constructed all the pipework for scratch, i didn't take any pics I'm afraid i was getting over the shock of having to lift heavy stuff and made a brew instead...

But with that in place, it was slid to its final resting position in the alcove...

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It fits beautifully and looks absolutely fabulous!

One thing i had slightly overlooked is the end pane of glass, assuming it would be mostly obscured by the chimney breast, but no, it shows just enough to give a great "end on" view of the whole tank when viewed from the other end of the room, a nice little bonus!

A random weir and return pipe picture…

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Drain and return pipes…

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Sump… Millie inspected the silicone… all passed…

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Here's a few Riffsystem pictures, they are being installed at a slightly later date. One thing i didn't realise is that the the left hand pane will be covered. I originally assumed just the back wall and weir would be done. But the weir covers do include that one side. Its a good job i did pick that side (as it didn't really matter to me) as you will not be able to see the wall paper through the tank, massive result!

Only drawback i noted was the fact that i want to use a brace of MP40's, one on each side. With a Riff plate now there, that isn't going to happen.

However, Billy has a circular cutter so a round "hole" can be made in the plate and allow the MP40 to reside there as required, comfortably nestled out of site... this was getting better and better.

I laid them out for a better view, the left hand one will be slightly offset of course, but you get the idea...

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The corner details!

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With Billy done for the day and due to return in a few weeks time i eagerly unwrapped the cake stands…

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Ceramics are not some peoples cup of tea, but i think they look amazing as they are. Give them a couple of years when they are clad in corals and they will look superb!

Sat on the sofa... when loafing about, i have the most epic view peering over the back!

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TV ones side, this the other, brilliant!

Again, I'm still completely overwhelmed with the product and customer service I've had from the Woodson guys. So far guys, thank you so much!

I keep just sitting and admiring a hoodless, dark empty tank at the moment... Christ knows what ill be like when it gets all up and running!

Thanks for reading!

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