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Old 12/14/2008, 01:49 PM   #1
EnglishRebel
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Englishrebels 260 Gallon System Build

Part 1
Prologue
Let me start out by stating that this is my first saltwater aquarium. I had a small 10 gallon fresh water tank back in England, which was stocked with a couple of gouramis. So that was my experience but for the last five years I’ve been lurking here on RC and have gathered much information and knowledge (a lot from WaterKeeper who is being true to his sig. "Leading the information hungry reefer down the road to starvation" – thanks WK).

I have been planning this system for about 4 or 5 years. I hadn't done anything about it until now as I was traveling extensively with my consulting job.
Now I am retired and finished with our kitchen and bathroom remodel I have all the time in the world (but less money ).
A couple of years ago I built a sunroom on the back of the house.



When I did I made sure that the floor could support the weight of a 200 gallon tank. Under the area where the tank would sit (parallel to the joists), I installed 12" x 3" gluelam beams which are incredibly strong. For the rest of the room I used engineered wooden I beams. The total span of the joists is around 16'-0". Being the anal retentive engineer that I am, intended to beef up this over-engineered structure with another gluelam beam running perpendicular to the joists, 6'-0" out from the house – but more on that later.
I always intended to have an equipment room in the basement – I did not want to have the smelly and messy equipment in the stand. Plus water changes meant lugging 5 gallon buckets up from the basement and at my age that aint fun.
During the initial planning I was going to have an equipment room here:



As you can see it’s a little cluttered to say the least. The thing on the wall is our tankless water heater which I installed about three years ago (saves a lot of energy – which I’m going to need when I start up my system. ) The more I thought about this and the “need” to beef up the sunroom floor, I had an epiphany. Why not kill four birds with one stone.
Stay tuned for the next episode.


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"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.

Last edited by EnglishRebel; 12/14/2008 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 12/14/2008, 01:51 PM   #2
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Part Two
The Plan

By putting the equipment room here:




This "alcove" is directly under the sunroom and the two windows are in my woodwork workshop.
By locating it here I could kill these four birds (please note that no birds were actually killed during the construction of this room )[list=1][*]A new wall to enclose this space would support the joists 6’-0” out from the house.[*]The resultant space would be “outside” of the house [*]The equipment room would be directly under the tank minimizing piping runs.[*]I would not have to give up room in the basement and it would keep the water heater out of a potentially humid environment. [/list=1]
I guess that’s five birds – but who’s counting (PETA maybe ).
So we had a plan – now onto construction. Stay tuned dear reefers.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/14/2008, 01:58 PM   #3
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I don't see a For Sale sign in front of the house so you are not spending enough on your tank.


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Old 12/14/2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Thanks Tom I just knew you'd be lurking around the newbies. You'll get in trouble one day.
I meant to post this in the large tank forum. I asked Beerguy to move it.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/14/2008, 02:19 PM   #5
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This thread has been moved to the current forum.


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Old 12/14/2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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Thanks Doug


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/14/2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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Well then, don't just stand there, start building!


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Old 12/14/2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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Okay okay a little patience if you please After all you have to let concrete set overnight.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.

Last edited by EnglishRebel; 12/14/2008 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 12/14/2008, 02:32 PM   #9
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EnglishRebels build thread
Part 3
Construction Begins.

First I had to relocate the HVAC unit for the sunroom (it’s a Mini Split).



When my contractor installed it, they sat it on the concrete. However when the HVAC inspector came by he made them remove it, saw cut the slab, install gravel, and reinstall the unit to prevent water from the defrost cycle causing a slip hazard. I asked about the gutter downspouts dumping water on the driveway outside the back door. That didn’t faze him. You can’t argue with a building inspector – they’re next to God.
As it turned out, it helped me in that I didn’t have to cut the concrete to install a sump. I installed forms and rebar for the 6” x 6” concrete curb and mixed up 8 bags of Quickcrete.



That reminds me of the fellow who was telling his friend that the archbishop had been in town to consecrate the local church. To which his friend replied ‘they did that when they built my front path last month and that stuff sets like iron’
Anyway – enough of my Monty Pythonese – back to construction.
After the forms were stripped I relocated the HVAC unit, which allowed me to dig out for the in-floor sump.

Stay tuned for more construction (and concrete and consecration )


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.

Last edited by EnglishRebel; 12/14/2008 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 12/14/2008, 02:56 PM   #10
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EnglishRebels build thread
Part 4
Construction (well demolition really)
Now let me tell you about North Carolina red clay – it’s almost as hard as concrete. I had to dig down about two feet and it took a good three hours of sweating and swearing. I finally broke out my bulldog SRS hammer drill to break up the clay.
Anyway I finally got it dug out and the USPlastics 18”x12”x24” plastic tank installed.



The next project to tackle was removing one of the windows and cutting out the brick and block wall below to allow for a door to be installed. This is the window looking from my shop. The 4” ductwork is for my dust collection system and that would have to be relocated over the top.



I started to remove the brick with a hammer and chisel after saw cutting with a diamond blade.



After about an hour and a half I was this far. Now we have a saying in England when things were not turning out as we expected. It goes: ‘Bugger this for a game of soldiers’ which loosely translates to ‘scr*w this’. It’s as understandable to most Americans as ‘Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs’ which we would say in place of ‘no kidding’.
Which reminds me of Cockney rhyming slang:
Trouble (as in trouble and strife) – wife.
Whistle (as in whistle and flute) – suit.
Apples (as in apples and pears) – stairs.
Anyway, I digress from the job in hand which is to cut out for the door. I finally gave up and make a trip to Lowes to rent an electric hammer. It took about 30 minutes to get to this:



Stay tuned dear reefers. Demolition is over, on to construction.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/14/2008, 05:25 PM   #11
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Excellent! I wanted to add that I am tagging along.

ps. I am considering building a kitchen in our basement, which would require moving my 125-gallon inwall.... so I will join you for inspiration and ideas.


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Old 12/15/2008, 05:39 AM   #12
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Thanks for tagging along nmbeg


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 05:44 AM   #13
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EnglishRebels build thread
Part 5
Construction (yes really)
Here’s the door installed in the opening.



Next I started on the 6” stud wall (there’s my anal retentive side again – 4” would have been just fine) by shooting a pressure treated 2x6 into the concrete curb.
The wall is 9’-6” high (yes that’s the height of my basement ceiling) and sheathed on the inside with ½” plywood and on the outside with T101 siding to match the rest of the house. The window is the same one I removed to form the opening for the door.



Vapor barrier installed.



½” plywood sheathing on the inside.



T100 siding.



Don’t touch that dial. Stay tuned for more updates.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 05:50 AM   #14
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EnglishRebels build thread
Part 6
Construction (continues)
On the inside I built another 2x6 wall under the ends of the joists where they attach to the house rim joist. Now my anal retentiveness has really taken over here. After this wall is up the 4x12 gluelam beams that are designed to carry a very large load over a 16’-0” span now span – wait for it – wait for it, a huge 5’-6” . Will it carry the load of my tank – I think so.

THE WALL Isn’t that a Pink Floyd album??



I decided to use FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) to provide a good water barrier as most of the “wet” equipment will be against this wall. Now for all of you dear reefers who are not acquainted with FRP, next time you venture into a Waffle House take a quick trip to the toilet (whether you need to or not ) and you will see FRP in action. The whole toilet is lined with the stuff.
Here’s the finished wall. The ducts you see are for the Fantech HRC (Heat Recovery Unit) that will be controlled by a humidistat.



Next, on to the electrical stuff (which will no doubt have PaulB drooling as he’s a retired licensed electrician – no code violations here I hope Paul )





Okay, enough for now. Wait on the next episode with baited breath (whatever that means – how on earth do you bait ones breath. Do you stick a barbed hook replete with a wiggling worm through your tongue )
Stay tuned.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 06:20 AM   #15
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This is gonna be a great build! I'm really looking forward to it, Alan. Seems you have it all thought out. Congratulations on breaking ground. My subscription has been bought and paid for.


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Old 12/15/2008, 06:38 AM   #16
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Lookin good Alan, let me know if you need any help !


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Old 12/15/2008, 08:35 AM   #17
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You are working pretty fast.... keep up the pace!


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Old 12/15/2008, 09:12 AM   #18
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Very nice, Alan! I'm already impatient for the next installment....

BTW, congratulations on your retirement!


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Old 12/15/2008, 09:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by JRF
Lookin good Alan, let me know if you need any help !
Thanks Jeff will do. I know I’ll need help with aquascaping and you have lots of experience given the number of tanks you’ve set up.
Quote:
Originally posted by nmbeg
You are working pretty fast.... keep up the pace!
nmbeg
I have to admit that my cutting and pasting goes much quicker than the actual work (I’m further along than you think).
Quote:
Originally posted by GlassReef
This is gonna be a great build! I'm really looking forward to it, Alan. Seems you have it all thought out. Congratulations on breaking ground. My subscription has been bought and paid for.
Thanks Tom. Mine will be nowhere near to perfection as yours is.
Quote:
Originally posted by "Umm, fish?"
Very nice, Alan! I'm already impatient for the next installment....
BTW, congratulations on your retirement!
Thanks Andy. Stay tuned as it won’t be long (about ten minutes – I work fast.)


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 10:06 AM   #20
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EnglishRebels build thread
Part 7
Lighting and Plumbing (and they say water and electricity don’t mix )
Things are moving right along. The enclosed space measures 15’-0” long by 5’-6” wide, which will be just fine for what I am going to install. Here is the lighting going in.





I used three 48” T5 fixtures. My friend said it was bright enough for an operating room.
Next on the agenda (now I could see what I was doing) was to install and pipe up the sump pump.



The pump is a Wayne PTU50 thermoplastic pedestal unit that will pump 4200 GPH @ 5’ head. The 1½” PVC line with a check valve goes into the basement (through the hole conveniently left where the water heater air intake used to be) and over to the main 4” sewer line. This hole was also useful for the hot and cold water lines and the 3/4" conduit for the main electrical feed.





In the next episode we will be doing more plumbing.
Stay tuned.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 10:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by EnglishRebel
The 1½” PVC line with a check valve goes into the basement (through the hole conveniently left where the water heater air intake used to be) and over to the main 4” sewer line.
Does it plumb into the 4" sewer or just run alongside it?


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Old 12/15/2008, 02:00 PM   #22
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Part 8
Plumbing & Ventilation
I used to work in an engineering office back in England as part of what was called Mechanical Services Group. We were responsible for all of the projects that involved piping and HVAC. The other group was responsible for the Electrical side of things and they were a stuck up bunch of guys (I guess they thought that dealing with electricity was more complex and required a great deal more education and training).
They referred to us lowly mechanical engineers as the P**s and Wind bunch.
Anyway – back to the project. I ordered a Fantech heat recovery unit to control the humidity in the room. It will be hooked up to a humidistat. Here is the unit before it was installed.



Here’s a peek at the inside.



I purchased a laundry sink from Lowes (boy do those guys love me )



I was going to purchase some of these plastic floor panels that are used for hog room and milking room floors Plastic Flooring, but after getting a quote for $650 I decided that $100 on paint was more in line. I purchased some two-part epoxy paint and after acid etching the floor I gave it two good heavy coats and let it dry for 24 hours.



After making another donation to the Lowes group I picked up a few of these rubber mats.



Next time were back making donations to Lowes to pick up 2x4s, 2x6s, and plywood.
Don’t touch that dial.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 02:11 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by nmbeg
Does it plumb into the 4" sewer or just run alongside it?
I cut out a section of the 4" line and added a swept tee so the 1-1/2" line from the pump discharges into the 4". The two black sleeves are called no hub fittings and are the only way you can tie into an existing line as you cannot move the ends of the 4" away enough to get a standard tee in. The tee I installed is a 4x4x1-1/2 and I glued a couple of short sections of 4" pipe into the ends which allows the rubber boot to connect to the existing 4" pipe. Hope that makes sense.
I've seen some people here on RC use those no hub fittings as a flexible connections to their pumps but I'm not sure that they're rated for pressure as they are designed to be used on drain lines only.


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Alan

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. "
Sir Winston Churchill praising those young RAF pilots.
August 20th 1940
Click on my name for drop down list and select "Visit EnglishRebels Home Page" for my build thread.

Current Tank Info: 60x30x24 200G AO custom glass tank, basement equipment room, 30G and 55G Fuges, LifeReef sump & 30" skimmer.
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Old 12/15/2008, 02:35 PM   #24
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Darn, this is going fast. You getting help from this bunch of guys?






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Old 12/15/2008, 03:24 PM   #25
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ok I get how you did it, but why connect your sump return to your sewer???


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