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Old 05/29/2012, 10:34 PM   #1
jimmyjames
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280 Gallon Tank Build For My Office

Hi Everyone,

So everything that I love about this hobby has infected all my employees!!! W are closing escrow on our new office building in Southern California and will begin some of the interior remodel right after.

In the new lobby, we are going to build an in the wall tank. In back of the lobby wall where the tank resides, we are building an 8' x 8' "fish room" to house all the equipment and quarantine tank and frag tanks.

As many of you may know, there is definitely not a shortage of LFS around here. I have approached probably 6 different ones, and gotten all kinds of product list and quotes. Total cost ranges from $7000 - $15,000..... Many are just buying direct from Marine Depot..!!!... if that is the case, I would just buy it myself and earn miles and points!!! I thought there may be some kind of discount or something?... oh well... This is why I'm posting on here to get any suggestions.... suggestions on equipment... as I feel I may be building and putting this tank together myself.

I definitely encourage you guys to give me suggestions and comments regarding my list below.

I will also be posting pictures as we go along on this tank build... so ... hope you guys and gals can help me... (makes me feel like this is gonna be a ReefCentral Tank Build....hahaha)

The 280 gallon tank will mostly house SPS corals, some LPS, and smaller fishes.... the fish that I want that might get large later on is a Soho (yes... the same one as the RC mascot...lol)
I was planning also to keep this a bare bottom tank as well....

Tank:
72" wide X 30" tall x 30" deep
Starfire glass in the front pane and the right pane (as that is exposed to the receptionist area)
Left side will be blacked out and the back side will be blacked out.
The overflow will be in the center of the tank but on the exterior back so that it does not intrude on the footprint of the tank (plus I got plenty of space in the back)
Tank will be Eurobraced with a 1/2" recess...
So far, LeeMar is the only one who can make this tank???

Lighting:
This is where I am confused and unsure....I know we are going to go with LED fixtures.... (I may also supplement with some T5's...If necessary)
Do I get 4 Radian fixtures?
Do I get 3 Radian Fixtures?
Do I go with Orphek Fixtures?
(It would be so helpful if someone can give me some of their experiences... especially dealing with a 30" deep and 30" tall tank.)

I'll post this for now so you guys can comment and ponder....I'll be writing the next challenges that I am running into.


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Old 05/29/2012, 11:48 PM   #2
jagr200
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This build is going to be epic.

I would go with 3 Radions. MAYBE 4. But 3 is probably sufficient for coverage. What are you going to do for flow? I'm assuming a sump so the return on that and probably some MP40s? If you do get the Radions for sure as they all talk to each other.


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Old 05/30/2012, 12:16 AM   #3
jimmyjames
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Continuing the list of questions...

Sump:
I am converting my 180 gallon (72" wide X 24" deep X 24" tall) tank that is currently in the office to the sump for this tank.
Since this is a tempered glass tank, they will have to replace one of the panels to have the holes for the return.
Sump sock fittings will be retrofitted in, a compartment for the skimmer to sit in, a refugium (I'm thinking 2'6" - 3' for the refugium), and then the baffles before the return compartment.
I have a 4' wide HO T5 fixture that I'm thinking will work over the refugium area.
The return pump that I will be using is my current Dolphin diamond abrasive 4750...it's currently turned half way down on the current 180 gallon.
My thoughts are that the water turn over rate from tank to sump does not have to be that great... I want the water to sit in the sump longer. I will achieve the water flow rate needed for SPS inside the display tank with the MP's. This is my opinion...suggestions welcome...

Protein Skimmer:
I am currently looking at two Reef Octopus skimmers that I need to pick one... one has two pumps and the other has 3 pumps. I am not sure yet on which one. I may go with the one with 3 pumps as I think the SPS will need "super" clean water. Please let me know your thoughts.
Some LFS suggested the Bubble Magnus brand skimmer?...
Also, should this be a re-circulating skimmer?... I have not come around to researching this yet... any advice would be great.

Display Tank Return:
I am thinking of having only two returns.... one on each side of the overflow.

Display Tank Power Heads:
Since the right side of the tank will be for viewing as well, I am considering putting the MP's on the left side of the tank only. Initially I was thinking having two MP60's on this left side.
After thinking about it, I am considering having 3 MP40's on this left side and possibly 1 more MP40 on the back of the tank but on the right side.
I definitely like the idea that the MP's will communicate with the Radion light fixtures...

Display tank stand:
The stand will be a custom stand because it will be higher than most on the market. The stand is also behind a wall so it will not be visible anyways.
It will be constructed of tube steel and welded together.

Currently I am working on a Google Sketchup model of the entire setup, including the plumbing. I'll post it when it is done for further advice.

My next post will be about the equipment in the fish room and it's setup as I need a lot of advice on this.

Thanks for the advice and comments and hopefully you will come back to see my progress and help guide me.


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Old 05/30/2012, 12:28 AM   #4
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their are a bunch of us in Southern California, if you need help just ask. our local reef club forum is located here:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumd...ysprune=1&f=50

1 radion will only cover a 18"x18" area and are not recommended for deeper tanks (>24"), so you are looking at a minimum of 6 for that size tank. Might want to look at the AI Sols as a cheaper alternative.

good luck, keep us posted!


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Old 05/30/2012, 10:34 AM   #5
jimmyjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagr200 View Post
This build is going to be epic.

I would go with 3 Radions. MAYBE 4. But 3 is probably sufficient for coverage. What are you going to do for flow? I'm assuming a sump so the return on that and probably some MP40s? If you do get the Radions for sure as they all talk to each other.
Yea... It may be 4... possibly more now.. depending on how the lights are going to lay out.... and YES... it would be a plus for the lights and MP's to talk to one another....


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Old 05/30/2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gveng View Post
their are a bunch of us in Southern California, if you need help just ask. our local reef club forum is located here:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumd...ysprune=1&f=50

1 radion will only cover a 18"x18" area and are not recommended for deeper tanks (>24"), so you are looking at a minimum of 6 for that size tank. Might want to look at the AI Sols as a cheaper alternative.

good luck, keep us posted!
Not sure I agree with the need for six Radions. Agreed that the depth could present a challenge but frankly, I run two over a 4' 110 and can grow colorful SPS down at the sandbed. It's 10" shallower than the OP tank but I'd say you won't have any problem growing whatever you want with four. Of course, I'd make sure I built a sufficiently flexible lamp hanger to allow for additions since I'm wrong every single time I say something incorrect.


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Old 05/30/2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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great start!

i have a similar build 60x36x30, 280; imo 4 radions for sps are not going to cut it. a lfs, that build my tank, had 3 radions on your exact tank and it could not even support soft corals very well...i suggest you look at Pacific Sun, mine are great. also look at vertex alpha skimmers and calcium reactors, i have both and they work great. powerheads, i have a mp40 and mp60 best i have ever used.

good luck!


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Old 05/31/2012, 11:50 AM   #8
jimmyjames
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The fish room...

So, now I am posting my plans for the fish room behind the tank. As always, your comments and suggestions are valid and I look forward to seeing them in case I missed something (and I am sure I have)...

Fish Room:

Room is 8' X 8'....
This room will give access to the back and left side of the display tank...
The sump below the the display tank will be accessible as well.
The stand will have the display tank sitting at 48" so the top of the tank will be at 6'-6".... In my opinion... it might be a very interesting concept to be able to see the water ripples on the surface while viewing the corals in one focal point.
This will also give me plenty of space underneath to work on the sump and plumbing and cleaning of the skimmer.
On an adjacent wall will be two 200 gallon water containers. One will be for RO/DI water.... and the other will be for the salt water mix.
Opposite to the water containers, will be an area for a 4' wide X 12" deep X 12 high frag tank that will be connected to the sump as well. (is this a good idea or should it be a separate filtration system?)
Above this tank will be a strong shelf that will hold three 10 gallon tanks, each with its own filter system, serving as quarantine tanks.

So far this is what is in the plan. I still have a week before I start to finalize the build and start ordering all the parts and components.


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Old 05/31/2012, 12:24 PM   #9
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are you going to put a drain into the floor and waterproof it? Might save you some hassle if water gets on the floor.


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Old 05/31/2012, 01:20 PM   #10
jimmyjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gveng View Post
their are a bunch of us in Southern California, if you need help just ask. our local reef club forum is located here:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumd...ysprune=1&f=50

1 radion will only cover a 18"x18" area and are not recommended for deeper tanks (>24"), so you are looking at a minimum of 6 for that size tank. Might want to look at the AI Sols as a cheaper alternative.

good luck, keep us posted!
gveng... Thanks for the info... for some reason, I had thought that the coverage was a 24" x 24" footprint... I like the Radions because of its ability to connect with the MP's....
You might be right... I might need 6 of them... but I will try the four first and see how well it is going to light the tank.... if not enough... I guess I will have to add more.
I tested AI's out before on my current 180 gallon and I thought they were very very weak... not bright enough and no coverage... trust me, if it worked, I would of cuz it would save me a bunch of $$$$..... Will keep you all posted as the build begins and progresses.


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Old 05/31/2012, 01:28 PM   #11
jimmyjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stolireef View Post
Not sure I agree with the need for six Radions. Agreed that the depth could present a challenge but frankly, I run two over a 4' 110 and can grow colorful SPS down at the sandbed. It's 10" shallower than the OP tank but I'd say you won't have any problem growing whatever you want with four. Of course, I'd make sure I built a sufficiently flexible lamp hanger to allow for additions since I'm wrong every single time I say something incorrect.
Thanks for the advice Stolireef...

I been thinking a lot with having the lights hang on some kind of a platform where I can raise the light system for when I need to clean the tank... work in progress... lol


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Old 05/31/2012, 01:35 PM   #12
jimmyjames
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Originally Posted by CHSUB View Post
great start!

i have a similar build 60x36x30, 280; imo 4 radions for sps are not going to cut it. a lfs, that build my tank, had 3 radions on your exact tank and it could not even support soft corals very well...i suggest you look at Pacific Sun, mine are great. also look at vertex alpha skimmers and calcium reactors, i have both and they work great. powerheads, i have a mp40 and mp60 best i have ever used.

good luck!
Thanks for the input CHSUB....!!!
I'll check out the Pac Suns.... so far it sounds like if I stay with the Radions... I might need to get more. I'll also check out the Vertex Alpha Skimmer... I'm actually considering going with the AquaMaXX Cone 3 now... seems like a lot of people have a lot of good things to say about it.


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Old 05/31/2012, 01:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rogermccray View Post
are you going to put a drain into the floor and waterproof it? Might save you some hassle if water gets on the floor.
rogermccray.... I thought about a drain and even a sink in the room... but it would be too cost to cut a drain line from the fish room to the nearest waste connection... and cutting concrete basically across the office space would turn out to be a huge construction job....
The floor in the room is sealed concrete... easy cleaning... most of the 1st floor of the office is concrete flooring as well...


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Old 05/31/2012, 01:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jimmyjames View Post
rogermccray.... I thought about a drain and even a sink in the room... but it would be too cost to cut a drain line from the fish room to the nearest waste connection... and cutting concrete basically across the office space would turn out to be a huge construction job....
The floor in the room is sealed concrete... easy cleaning... most of the 1st floor of the office is concrete flooring as well...
I wouldn't worry about it if it is sealed concrete...that's where all my spilled water goes since mine is in the basement i leave it there and it magically goes away....


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Old 05/31/2012, 02:05 PM   #15
jimmyjames
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This is a great show from Mr. Saltwater that illustrates the strength of the Radions:

http://www.mrsaltwatertank.com/?p=4207


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Old 05/31/2012, 08:38 PM   #16
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I'm actually building almost the same tank this fall just 2 feet longer (96 by 30 by 30), I reached out to EcoTech and they said 5 or 6 running perpendicular to the back wall (like this | | | | | ) with a tank that's two feet shorter you'd probably be looking at 4, maybe 5. I hadn't heard that a radion isn't good over 24 inches anyone have any support for that? I haven't decided what way I'm going yet but I'm interested to see if you do them and how you like them as you are a few months ahead.


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Old 05/31/2012, 09:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jimmyjames View Post
This is a great show from Mr. Saltwater that illustrates the strength of the Radions:

http://www.mrsaltwatertank.com/?p=4207
Woww 11 radions


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Old 05/31/2012, 09:25 PM   #18
jimmyjames
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I'm actually building almost the same tank this fall just 2 feet longer (96 by 30 by 30), I reached out to EcoTech and they said 5 or 6 running perpendicular to the back wall (like this | | | | | ) with a tank that's two feet shorter you'd probably be looking at 4, maybe 5. I hadn't heard that a radion isn't good over 24 inches anyone have any support for that? I haven't decided what way I'm going yet but I'm interested to see if you do them and how you like them as you are a few months ahead.
milonedp or Doug....
I think I am going to go with the Radion...... between 4 or 5... I don't know yet.
I am getting a GREAT deal on these Radions since I have been shopping at my LFS for years. I will probably start with 4 first... and see if I need a 5th.

I am definitely open to hearing what you are planning for your tank. I actually will have a local guy help me on some of the stuff in regards to final design and plumbing. I'm actually going to go down to his shop with what I have and we are gonna spend a few hours bouncing off design ideas and also equipment ideas. His shop is Amazing Aquariums and Reefs in Orange, CA....
(www.amazingaquariumsandreefs.com)... I got to tell you that his showroom with his tanks are the best looking tanks that I have ever seen... hands down. All the local lfs know how awesome his tanks are and the local hobbyist around southern cali also know as well. So, I am very fortunate and excited to be able to sit down with him and work out details.

Love to further chat about your ideas... just let me know.

Jimmy


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Old 05/31/2012, 09:30 PM   #19
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This build is going to be epic.
I hope so.... it is gonna be epic on the wallet too... lol

I am in the solar business... so we are actually putting of a 10kW solar electric system on top of the building... the system is going to help power the fish tank and the office power usage....
asides from that, we have a lot of cool eco-friendly ideas (such as a gray water system for our toilets, dyson air hand dryers, etc...) that will be incorporated into the building....
So this fish tank will remind all my employees and clients and guest some of the things that we are saving in our world by becoming more conscious of our environment!!



Last edited by Dino; 06/05/2012 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 05/31/2012, 09:38 PM   #20
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Woww 11 radions
And that is only HALF of the tank!!!...

I'm gonna drive up to Vivid this weekend to check it out!!!


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Old 05/31/2012, 10:12 PM   #21
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If you're planning on a controller, apex can control the AI's and give you the weather treatement you want.
The apex can also communicate with the pumps so you can program various flows at different times. It may not be automated like the radion + vortech combination, but you can program a weather pattern to act with the lights + mp40's


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Old 05/31/2012, 10:25 PM   #22
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If you're planning on a controller, apex can control the AI's and give you the weather treatement you want.
The apex can also communicate with the pumps so you can program various flows at different times. It may not be automated like the radion + vortech combination, but you can program a weather pattern to act with the lights + mp40's
Dazed1...

Thank you for the recommendation.... I have been trying to read up on the differences between the apex neptune and the reefkeeper NET.....
many have told me that the apex is programmable as in programming language? (which i know nothing about).... Is the apex pretty easy to use and set up?.... I'm basically looking for a controller that i would spend some time setting up but wouldn't need a professional to guide me..and I would be checking the controller every other day to just make sure some of the parameters are within what is acceptable or optimal... the web features/alerts i think would be a great bonus... especially on the weekends which I don't plan on being in the office too often


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Old 05/31/2012, 10:35 PM   #23
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too bad u couldnt get solar light to the tank....solar tubes? maybe? a solar company...lighting their tank with solar light! how novel is that?


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Old 05/31/2012, 10:55 PM   #24
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I know they're not a popular option because they lack programming, dimming, and overall controllability, but have you considered the kessil A350's to light the tank? It will be able to punch through 30" of water easily.


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Old 05/31/2012, 11:09 PM   #25
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Dazed1...

Thank you for the recommendation.... I have been trying to read up on the differences between the apex neptune and the reefkeeper NET.....
many have told me that the apex is programmable as in programming language? (which i know nothing about).... Is the apex pretty easy to use and set up?.... I'm basically looking for a controller that i would spend some time setting up but wouldn't need a professional to guide me..and I would be checking the controller every other day to just make sure some of the parameters are within what is acceptable or optimal... the web features/alerts i think would be a great bonus... especially on the weekends which I don't plan on being in the office too often
I have the apex, so I would recommend that. But, there are plenty of threads which explain the difference.

Programming language, yes, but its extremely simple. It is made up of IF and THEN statements.

So, say, you have a plug which controls the lights, and you want them on at 10am, off at 6pm, then this would be the programming code you would put in (aside from being able to select simple stuff from a drop down ui menu)
Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Time 14:30 to 22:30 Then ON
If Temp > 84.0 Then OFF

You can get into more complicated items, but it will require time and patience. And i'm sure, if you're purchasing a setup worth thousands from a shop, someone will program it for you. Heck, being in SoCal, i'm sure you can pay a few folks a couple hundred and have that pretty complicatedly setup. You can do as much as automate water changes!

I like that having a unit, i can view the stats ofmy tank from my iPhone, start/stop outlets, get SMS alerts for if something goes wrong.
Here's a screenshot of my pH + temp over last 48 hours (gives you an idea of what you can see / do):




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