PDA

View Full Version : New home build = new tank...please help out with advice!


alaskan84
06/06/2017, 08:01 PM
Hello everyone! its been quite some time since I've posted on Reef Central, but I've got big things happening soon. Unfortunately just after the first of the year I lost my entire house to a fire. 6 fish tanks with my largest being the 125 gallon reef as well as one of my pups. It was about the worst thing I could imagine experiencing, and i'm just thankful that I was able to make it out alive.

I am rebuilding my house in the same location, only with a slightly larger footprint. I plan on having roughly a 300 gallon reef tank in my living room. I am working with a semi local reef store that also custom builds tanks to get started on the project. At this point my new house is all framed up with a finished roof. The plumbers are starting now and the electricians will be shortly after. My plan is to have the display tank in my living room which is on one side of the house and then run the plumbing straight down and underneath the house, coming back up in the laundry room which is on the other end of the house. I'm thinking anything between 100-200 gallons for the sump that will live in the laundry room. I plan on having the plumbers add a floor drain in the laundry room so that when it comes time for water changes its as simple as hooking up a hose to the drain and pumping. I think the plumbers were thinking two 1" lines from the laundry room for the circulation loop, but should I actually go with 2" line? If anyone has any ideas or any sort of input it would be greatly appreciated. This house project is moving along so much quicker than I ever expected and i'd like to cover my bases and have things as planned out as I can. Thanks everyone!

dougchambers
06/07/2017, 12:33 PM
Hello everyone! its been quite some time since I've posted on Reef Central, but I've got big things happening soon. Unfortunately just after the first of the year I lost my entire house to a fire. 6 fish tanks with my largest being the 125 gallon reef as well as one of my pups. It was about the worst thing I could imagine experiencing, and i'm just thankful that I was able to make it out alive.

I am rebuilding my house in the same location, only with a slightly larger footprint. I plan on having roughly a 300 gallon reef tank in my living room. I am working with a semi local reef store that also custom builds tanks to get started on the project. At this point my new house is all framed up with a finished roof. The plumbers are starting now and the electricians will be shortly after. My plan is to have the display tank in my living room which is on one side of the house and then run the plumbing straight down and underneath the house, coming back up in the laundry room which is on the other end of the house. I'm thinking anything between 100-200 gallons for the sump that will live in the laundry room. I plan on having the plumbers add a floor drain in the laundry room so that when it comes time for water changes its as simple as hooking up a hose to the drain and pumping. I think the plumbers were thinking two 1" lines from the laundry room for the circulation loop, but should I actually go with 2" line? If anyone has any ideas or any sort of input it would be greatly appreciated. This house project is moving along so much quicker than I ever expected and i'd like to cover my bases and have things as planned out as I can. Thanks everyone!

IMHO, bigger lines are better. Especially on the drain to the sump since it will be gravity fed. You can always throttle down the return from the sump to the display, but the drain could be a weak link. Based on your description, the display and sump will be on the same level which will result in a P-Trap type plumbing configuration draining to your sump?

Since you are doing a scratch build, I'd consider two (2+) separate breakers for the build. Split your life support, pumps, lighting etc, between the lines. We did this on our in-wall and it has saved our butt a couple of times.

alaskan84
06/08/2017, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the response Doug!

At this time i have advised the plumbers to run two 2" lines from the sump room to the display room. You are correct that both the display and sump will be on the same level with the plumbing underneath so i guess that is a P trap design. With it built that way, am i correct in thinking that i shouldn't end up with a large amount of back flow when the power is off since the majority of the water in the circulation line would not be able to flow back into the sump since its physically underneath it?

Thanks for the advice on the breakers, i will definitely have the electrician dedicate at least two breakers to the tank system....in my previous (very old) house the entire tank system was on the same breaker as my refrigerator and other devices so tripping the breaker was a semi frequent experience.

alaskan84
07/18/2017, 10:03 PM
So I have engaged the semi local tank builder for my project and its going to be a 96 x 24 x 30 long tank with low iron glass on 3 sides and two H20 overflows out the back of the tank. There is also going to be a custom stand with an open canopy.

I am reconsidering my sump options as i am just not sure how easy its going to be to accomplish having the sump and the display on the same level but in a remote room. There is about 5 feet of room in the crawlspace underneath the house which would give more than enough space to have a gradual slope to accomplish the drainage over the roughly 60 feet from the living room to the utility room. Getting the water from that low point underneath the utility rom back up the 5 feet of crawlspace depth as well as something more to get through the floor and into the sump....this is seeming to be impossible, or am i overlooking something? I don't think that i want to try and deal with the hassles of getting two matched pumps so what are my other options....

1. My house is far from finished, but the plywood flooring is finished and all of the framing is complete so far....i'm thinking that at this point there are still lots of options....i thought about cutting a hole in the floor in the utility room and somehow recessing a sump in that hole so that i could still accomplish the drain without having to bring it back up. I'd still have access to the top of the sump in the fish\utility room but i'm not sure how we would finish the floor around this recessed tank thought.

2. My garage is directly in front of the utility room and is on the groundlevel, meaning about 5 feet beneath the floor of the house. Sticking with the original plan, i could dump the drain and return out of the display tank in the main living room, through the floor and then go straight underneath the house, about 60 feet,( with just enough of an angle to drain) and when i got to the utility room i could just make one bend and go through the wall ending up in the garage. Effectively the sump would be 5 feet lower than the tank, but i would be losing a portion of usable space in my garage. Living in Alaska, garage space is a premium and i plan on parking my truck inside so potentially some exhaust fumes and dust/dirt would be floating about at times.

3. I have tons of crawlspace available underneath my house but its just D1 gravel at this point and quite unfinished. Its relatively clean underneath there right now since its a new/inprogress build, but i know from experience that this property has a lot of water running around it and it will get moist down there and eventually I'm sure there will be mold/mildew growing on the gravel. i could just have a massive sump directly underneath the display tank...easy peasy except that my sump is now located in an area that's not as easily accessible, and not "fun" to work with.

My utility room is going to be a sort of catch all type of room with a floor drain placed in the middle which just made sense for the location of the sump as well. Whole house water system would be located in there as well as the washer dryer and dog washing station/utility sink. Am i crazy in trying to do something like this with the sump?

4. I guess i do have a 4th option...work with my contractor and have him finish off a "room" space in the crawlspace directly underneath the display tank. That way the sump could be somewhat isolated from the unfinished crawlspace and the plumbing couldn't be simpler just up and down a few feet.

Thoughts? What would you all try to do?

alaskan84
07/18/2017, 10:08 PM
Here is an image of the location where the tank will be going and how i had initially thought that the plumbing could work.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/7LcMgVQWYTFzDukb2

ReefKeeper64
07/18/2017, 11:05 PM
Two thoughts.

Consider a peninsula tank. If a new home, why not build the very best? A peninsula usually is.

Water will exit from a lower point even if there is no slope. Do yourself a cheap water test and drain 20 gallons from point a to point b. That will confirm for you the result. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Good luck!

alaskan84
07/19/2017, 12:41 AM
I guess i never really considered a peninsula tank, but most of the time they seem to be designed and built into place. At this point i don't think i'd really have a place at least in my mind where a tank this size would fit sticking out peninsula style and look good. I'm sure i can find a spot for a smaller peninsula style tank down the road....i had 6 tanks in my last house :)

I don't believe draining from the tank will be an issue, but is there an easy way to calculate how far the draining water can be pushed back uphill with just the natural drain pressure/force? That's where i think the the failure point would be, basically getting the water back up to the sump once its already been drained underneath the house.

ReefKeeper64
07/19/2017, 05:43 AM
My own system does exactly what you are contemplating but only travels 7 feet into the next room. Water goes straight down, runs along the floor line, then is pushed up about 25", and then drops into the sump.

It is a net downward flow since the drain exits at a height that is lower than where the drain flow starts. Where are you at now? A net 36" drop? Measure that to the inch. test with pvc pipe running the distance and see if you have enough weight to push the water 60'.

For additional gravity fed pressure, design so with wider pipe above that 36" mark. 4" pipe will work as a weight chamber. You will hold more water and weight above the drain waterline that way. Once at the drain line, reduce to the overall size you are planning to use.

dave.m
07/19/2017, 11:43 AM
I don't understand why you think you can't get a pump sufficient to push the water back from the sump to the tank. You need to calculate the head (back-pressure) and select an appropriately powerful pump. People have sumps in basements and send water back up to tanks on the main floor so I'm sure there's something that will meet your needs. Also, you can gang pumps in a chain to increase power. There's a head pressure calculator on the main page of RC.

Dave.M

alaskan84
07/19/2017, 12:03 PM
Hello dave, its not getting the water back to the tank that i believe would be an issue...Its getting the water from the lowest point in the drain back up several feet and into the sump. attached is an extremely crude paint image of how i envision it would work.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/S6EveYh2iFvRqfN63

ReefKeeper64
07/19/2017, 03:42 PM
based on your drawing, you can't use a gravity based system such as I explained.

dave.m
07/19/2017, 09:56 PM
Based on your drawing you'd have to have pumps in both directions. There would not be a "drain" per sť.

Dave.M

alaskan84
08/11/2017, 10:04 AM
So i was hoping to get some input on the drains and return bulkhead sizing. I am going to just place the sump directly underneath the tank in the crawlspace to make the whole setup easier. I am about to put half down to start the build of the tank and they are suggesting that the overflows be placed towards the left and right side of the tank on the back wall and the returns would be more centered in the middle of the back wall. They are suggesting 1.5" for the overflow bulkheads and .75 on the returns.

Would those sizes be good, or should i have them put different size bulkheads in?

Vinny Kreyling
08/11/2017, 05:02 PM
Nothing less than 1" on the returns, you can always make the outlet smaller but never bigger. IMHO anyway.

alaskan84
08/13/2017, 10:21 PM
Would you think it would make sense to ask the tank builder to go with 1.5" on all of the bulk heads for both return and overflow or is there a reason to have one smaller than the other?


-sam

crimsonblue
08/14/2017, 05:18 AM
The bigger the better on returns. 1.5" should be fine -- do three of them so you have flexibility for BeanAnimal or Herbie overflow options. It is pennies to do that now, and nearly impossible to do later.

Same on the returns. Plumb 1.5" -- you may end up teeing off some of those return lines for a manifold.

And thumbs up on the other suggestion to have two (or more) separate breakers. Divide up the critical systems and you'll lessen the chance of catastrophe.

crimsonblue
08/14/2017, 05:23 AM
Also, what's up with the ceiling joists? Are those OSB? How thick are they? I've never seen that for structural purposes.

alaskan84
08/14/2017, 11:07 AM
Thanks, ill make sure the go with 1.5 on all of the returns/overflows.

As far as the ceiling joists go, that is OSB but i'm not entirely sure on the thickness. I do know that the house is professionally engineered and i have seen multiple homes around the area built in this manner.

dave.m
08/14/2017, 02:39 PM
Make sure everything OSB is painted and sealed. You are going to be generating a lot of humidity in an enclosed space and nothing falls apart faster under those conditions than OSB or its relatives, like MDF.

Dave.M

alaskan84
08/16/2017, 10:14 AM
So after speaking with the tank builder they are advising against making the returns 1.5" and say the biggest they would go with would be 1" on the returns. Of course they will build it however i would like though...The plan is to have two H20 Overflows on the back of the tank and they said regarding drilling a third hole for a different style overflow later could be done but that i should look real hard at the overflows and pick out the style i want now as it would be really hard to change from the h20 overflow to another style later.


So, should i stay firm on the (2) 1.5" drains and (2) 1.5" returns? or step down to 1" on the returns as they advise? Is the general concensus to also have a third drain hole drilled and then cap that for potential future use?

Sorry for reasking questions....I'm on an island in alaska and am only going to have one opportunity to get this tank done right. There are no local resources for fish tanks or service so i will be entirely on my own when it comes to doing the final plumb job on this bad boy.

Thanks!

dave.m
08/16/2017, 01:49 PM
Smaller pipes require stronger pumps the longer the run is which means more money and higher operating costs. Have you chosen your pumps yet? What size pipes are they fitted for? How easy is it for you to get 1" versus 1.5" pipes and fittings? Just some things to consider.

Dave.M

alaskan84
08/16/2017, 03:00 PM
Thanks for the reply Dave. I have yet to determine which pump i will be getting, but there are plenty of local plumbing shops & resources for PVC pipes in all sizes since we are a fishing community. There will just be one pump since i am now going to place the sump directly underneath the tank in the crawlspace. For my previous 120 gallon i just placed an order online for a bunch of bulk pvc fittings in the right size and the specific bulkheads i wanted but the bulkheads will come with the tank this time. I'm thinking there shouldn't be much more than a 10-15 foot rise from the sump to the display tank.

I guess my main concern would be if i went against their recommendation and had both the returns and drain at 1.5" bulkheads and then ran into problems with flow or the drain not flowing as much as the return... Unless you can convince me that i'd be better off matching the drains/returns i'll probably stick with their recomendation of 1.5" drains and 1" returns.....then if i run into issues i can go back to them and be like ***?


Thanks for the insight....its making me think that i got pretty lucky with picking out a pump and plumbing my 120 gallon from the seat of my pants as i had no issues with drainage nor flow and i really have no plumbing experience.

dave.m
08/16/2017, 08:05 PM
Draw out your set-up and figure your plumbing out now. From the top page of RC you will see that they have some calculators. One of them is for measuring head, i.e. gravity and surface resistance against which your return pump will have to push. Do the calculations for both 1" and 1.5". There are similar calculators on many aquarium sites. Just Google.

Start comparing costs for return pumps that can handle that amount of head, both 1" and 1.5". Consider things like in-sump or out for heat exchange. Consider noise (DC is quieter but not all models are as strong or as durable).

There's lots of options and things to consider. Take your time. Review other threads here on RC to see what choices others have made with similar sized tanks to yours and what, if any, problems they have run into.

Dave.M