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Unread 05/11/2013, 01:06 PM   #1
Bilk
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Initial planning stages for tank and fish room

I've come to realize that having a tank below open riser spiral stairs isn't the best place for it to be. (build thread - here and here) It's difficult to service, extra care is needed to protect the floor and surrounding area and dust in an open top tank in that location is an issue. The tank itself is doing fine and there's already some nice growth, but I guess I knew when I revived this setup that I would be using it as a springboard of sorts - finding what works, such as lighting and husbandry methods I can work with. However I also knew I wanted to automate the system and it really isn't possible where the tank is currently located.

I will soon be replacing the hardwood flooring with travertine tile so this is the best opportunity to build what I've been missing since my first reef tank back in the 80s and 90s - a working fish room where everything happens behind the scenes. There I'll also be able to maintain a quarantine system and reservoirs for the ATO and water changes. The new location will also provide for better viewing and become more of a feature on the lower level of our brownstone. It will be a true man cave

What Ive sketched out so far for the general plan.





I came up with an initial plan for the tank circulation and would like some feedback. I thought two c - c overflows located at each end would help with flow and particulate removal, having the powerheads push the flow toward each end. I'm also looking for some feedback on the Sea Sweeps or Sea Swirls. I've read some things on them that were pretty positive, but this isn't yet set in stone. Other recommendations for water movement would be great. I'd also like to hear more on the benefits of low tank in-tank returns and if they're worth it and or present problems.



I'm open to suggestions and what ever can be offered in terms of build experience. Not sure what the source for the tank will be or even the material. I'm looking at acrylic and would like some input regarding issues such as scratching and or discoloration if that is indeed an issue. A good source for the tank build is appreciated as well. I plan on using the Genesis Pro for ATO and changes and an AEtech downdraft skimmer and sump. I had a downdraft skimmer on my 110 and loved the performance as well as the set and forget aspect of the operation. I also plan on using two of these 55g tanks for the water replacement system.

Link

Well the stone gets delivered next week and construction commences immediately on the fish room



Last edited by Bilk; 05/11/2013 at 01:33 PM.
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Unread 05/11/2013, 02:03 PM   #2
dave.m
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Everyone has their own tastes, of course, but why is your proposed tank site away in a virtual corner? There is no proposed seating where anyone could just sit and watch the tank. It seems as though it makes the big impression when someone comes down the steps and first enters the downstairs but then they turn their backs on it and head into the sitting area. Shouldn't it be the focal point for the whole room?

Or am I being obsessive again?

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Unread 05/11/2013, 02:13 PM   #3
Bilk
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Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
Everyone has their own tastes, of course, but why is your proposed tank site away in a virtual corner? There is no proposed seating where anyone could just sit and watch the tank. It seems as though it makes the big impression when someone comes down the steps and first enters the downstairs but then they turn their backs on it and head into the sitting area. Shouldn't it be the focal point for the whole room?

Or am I being obsessive again?

Dave.M
LOL not obsessive - I don't think. Actually anyone sitting on the couch or in the armchair will have a pretty good view of the tank. The home theater is probably better served by the seating though

We have quite a few parties during the year and people often sit or gather on the steps so stair seating for viewing is permitted LOL


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Unread 05/11/2013, 06:38 PM   #4
owenspackman
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this looks like it could be epic, tagging along!


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Unread 05/11/2013, 08:23 PM   #5
Bilk
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Originally Posted by owenspackman View Post
this looks like it could be epic, tagging along!
LOL Thanks. Epic? Well hopefully at least well done

I've been tagging along on your build thread. It's really coming along but what type of herbs might be growing in the sump?

Guess those sniffer dogs need a refresher course LOL


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Unread 05/11/2013, 08:29 PM   #6
owenspackman
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Originally Posted by Bilk View Post
LOL Thanks. Epic? Well hopefully at least well done

I've been tagging along on your build thread. It's really coming along but what type of herbs might be growing in the sump?

Guess those sniffer dogs need a refresher course LOL
why thank you!

so i'm interested in your 'control panel', will it consist of anything exciting?


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Unread 05/11/2013, 09:01 PM   #7
Bilk
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Originally Posted by owenspackman View Post
why thank you!

so i'm interested in your 'control panel', will it consist of anything exciting?
Really nothing super special LOL Only the Apex controller and associated components, the Genesis controls, lighting switches and things like that. Just would like to have them all mounted neatly in the same location and accessible when entering the room. However like all things, that could be subject to change


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Unread 05/18/2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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The project is underway! Took the better part of a day to remove almost 1000sq.ft. of engineered wood flooring even though it was installed as a floatijng floor system. The wheels I installed on the cabinet/stand, in order to enable me to move the current 50G system, worked very well. Had to drain about 5g of water to prevent the water from sloshing over the edge, but myself and a friend had no issues rolling the +600lb system. We used pieces of the engineered wood flooring that we removed in front of the tank as a path and to keep it at elevation. The travertine is 1/2" and the engineered wood flooring is 5/8". Once the tiles are set in the area where the new tank is going, I'll roll it onto the new floor until the breakdown occurs.





Then I wanted to see the relative size of the footprint of the new tank, so I taped it out on the floor. The framed wall behind the location of the new tank has about 14" of additional space behind it, as the house main waste line runs from right to left and approximately 20" above the subfloor. This will allow even more room behind the tank via a recess I plan on building in the fish room to provide space for the cabinets, counter, sink and RO/DI station.







The tank dimensions are now set at 66"L x 24"H and 28" front to back. It will have a 24" external scupper box utilizing a beananimal plumbing design, two returns fed by an Iwaki MD 70 and two Tunze 6105s fixed to Sea-Sweeps. Skimmer is an ETSS 800XR.

The 50G is doing pretty nicely now, so hopefully the transfer over to the larger tank won't be a stressful event for the inhabitants. I plan on ordering rock soon so I can place it in a container and link it to the established system for the month or so it will take me to get everything else done.

Just some pics of the state of the current tank.












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Unread 05/20/2013, 09:24 PM   #9
Bilk
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Well unfortunately the delivery of the stone for the floor has been delayed, but there is progress. The tank has been ordered. It's going to be 3/4" acrylic. I'm comfortable with that since only one side of the tank will be exposed for public viewing, and heck, I've scratched glass tanks so the benefits of glass is kind of moot for me. Additionally this tank will weigh about half of what a glass tank would weigh so that helps as well - not for floor loading - subfloor is concrete - for the benefits of my back and those that help move it into place The systems net operating volume will be about 200G - if I utilize my existing 50 and tie it into the system as a frag tank, that will push it to over 240. I picked up a used sump that's 48x20x20. I think this is enough sump since the skimmer is external.

Here's a sketch of the tank showing the lighting and flow.



Return pump is an Iwaki MD70 RLT. I plan to run the overflow as a beananimal. The skimmer is an ETSS 800RX fed by a Blueline 55HD. However, does anyone know if I could feed the tank and the skimmer with just the Iwaki? Even if it would work, I will probably still use the BL, but would like to know if that would work.

The only items I need to pick up are the Genesis systems and the supplemental LEDs . The Cannons are on the way here. Everything else will be transferred over from the 50.

I think I'm going to pick up the additional rock I'll need for the structure and get started with that while I wait. Tank is supposed to be delivered before the end of June

Thanks for looking.


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Unread 05/20/2013, 11:02 PM   #10
Reefocd
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Exciting! Will be following along for sure. Obviously, not your first rodeo. That pick with all the SPS growth showing says to me that you'll have an awesome upgrade. Please share your husbandry/reef chemistry techniques with us wanna bee's when appropriate

Congrats!


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Unread 06/21/2013, 05:40 PM   #11
Bilk
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Just a bit more progress on the build - Hmmm? Maybe I should start a new thread as this one says planning stages Well anyway a bit of an update here. I'm just getting to the fish room construction as some other projects took precedence over the new tank build.

Tank is scheduled to be delivered next week from Acrylic Creations, as per my sketch above. Stand is being fabricated and should be here about the same time.

Here is my plumber Jeff installing a T into the main waste line and supply lines for the sink and RO/DI - plumber's crack and all



I also started framing out the room. The recess I'm created in the wall is for cabinets and storage. The room is shy of 6' in depth, so the recess will provide a bit more room for me, behind the scenes.



Once I get the room rocked and taped, I'll start installing the travertine floor in the room the tank will be viewed from. The fish room may not get anything more than sealant and an epoxy paint on the floor. I haven't decided on the best option for it yet.

With the tank and the stand coming next week sometime, I'm getting excited and hope it all comes together quickly. I already have two Ecoxotic 100w cannons I plan on trying and I purchased aluminum tubes fro EZ Tube to fabricate a light rack to mount them to. Ed from Sea Swirls delivered the Sea Sweeps I ordered for the two Tunze 6105s and I have the ETSS skimmer ready to go. I can't wait to finish. Seems like it's been a long time since making the decision to upgrade


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Unread 06/21/2013, 05:47 PM   #12
dave.m
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Is that a fieldstone foundation in behind? How will you deal with humidity?

Dave.M


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Unread 06/21/2013, 07:18 PM   #13
Bilk
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Hey Dave. Yes it is. The townhouse was built in 1898. The foundation is "rock solid" I actually underpinned this building to provide full height ceilings on the lower level. My crew didn't particularly enjoy removing the rear foundation wall to provide access to the yard and lower patio. It took the better part of two days.

I don't think I'll have an issue with humidity. The recess will be fully enclosed with sheetrock and 3/4" plywood, to provide a mounting surface for cabinets and equipment. This level is also climate controlled and has French doors and a large window that open out to the yard. So air exchange is pretty good. I may install a fan in a transom over the door to the room, if it becomes a problem. But I think it will be fine.


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Unread 07/06/2013, 09:05 AM   #14
Bilk
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Slow and steady A small update. The tank was delivered on time from Acrylic Creations. Dave did a really nice job. So cudos to them for meeting the schedule and making a really nice tank according to my specs.

Here it is after being delivered on a rainy day. I had to wait for one of my carpenters to arrive, so we could get it downstairs.




Now it's in the staging area until I can finish the floor. LOL




The stand was delivered on time too. I have a local guy that does wrought iron work for me. He did a nice job.



The inwall plumbing and electric is complete. Everything is taped, spackled and painted. These were taken with my iPhone and are a bit dark. They were also taken just prior to the finishes.





Maybe this afternoon I'll work on the light rack - or maybe I'll just relax. Reefing shouldn't be stressful


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Unread 07/06/2013, 11:56 PM   #15
worm5406
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Nice progress.

I can not wait to see that fish room and how it will be laid out.


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Unread 07/06/2013, 11:59 PM   #16
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Looking great. Looking forward to the thread.


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Unread 07/08/2013, 07:52 PM   #17
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wow, you have really made some progress. great work. keep the updates coming!


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Unread 07/09/2013, 01:15 PM   #18
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I like your idea and your posts. I am currently in the planning stages to do something similar as we build a new house and I will look to your thread for ideas.


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Unread 09/05/2013, 11:34 PM   #19
Bilk
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A minor update on my fish room and tank build. It's been a long two months or so. Work on this progressed slow due to some family matters, material delivery delays and well it was just a lot of work. I pretty much rebuilt this level, from wiring to lighting to finishes. I ran a dedicated 20amp line for the fish room and another for the home theater, which didn't have one prior. I'm happy to say the dust has settled and it's been vacuumed up - many times LOL

But here goes. The obligatory level shot of course followed by the mostly finished fish room and cabinetry. The recess that surrounds the tank opening will receive a frame - not sure of materials or finishes yet, but it will have a 2.5" revel around it with recessed chromatic led lights surrounding it. The front will have a top section that will lift so I can also access the tank from the front side.

Well I'm taking some R&R and will continue to post as things proceed.









I'm looking forward to again having a well lit fish room with plumbing and plenty of storage.

Here's most of the rest of the space. I'm happy the way it turned out. Happy the dust is gone and looking forward to the fun part




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Unread 09/06/2013, 07:06 AM   #20
worm5406
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I do, too, like how it turned out.

Can you do video? How about a simple walk through?


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Unread 09/06/2013, 08:15 AM   #21
Bilk
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I do, too, like how it turned out.

Can you do video? How about a simple walk through?
Thanks Will do when I get started with plumbing and controls.


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Unread 09/13/2013, 01:07 PM   #22
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Moving right along Hopefully I'll complete the cosmetic aspects of this renovation/fish room/tank build over the weekend. Presently applying the finish to the tank surround - using wood and applying a Venetian finish, so hope it works out well. I was thinking I wanted a metal surround of some sort, but I like working with materials I'm comfortable with. I know wood and paint LOL

I also installed the chromatic LEDs. I'm really diggin' it They change colors, dim and run crazy patterns. Should be fun

Here's where I was a few hours ago. Just applied primer to the wood and will start the faux finish process later. The front lifts for some access, but not exactly happy with the range the hinges provide. Because of the overlap at the top, the range is limited with the present hinges. Guess I'll look for something else, but in the meantime these will suffice. If anyone out there has some other suggestions for this, please offer them up.

Oh the side panels are not installed. They will get mounted after the finish is applied so each panel has it's own pattern.














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Unread 09/20/2013, 09:56 AM   #23
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Man am I happy to say all the cosmetic and ancillary work for this project is now complete and I can start on the fun, nut's and bolts part - building the system and getting it up and running

The final product. I think the pics really don't do it justice. The three dimensional aspects of the faux finish aren't captured well in the pics, but I'm happy with the results. Man I'll never do that again LOL I couldn't have imagined how much physical work a faux finish like this would entail. I certainly didn't expect it to take the amount of time it did







Next up is constructing the lighting support structure from EZ tubes. Guess that's the project for this weekend


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Unread 09/20/2013, 10:25 AM   #24
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This is gonna look awesome.


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Unread 09/20/2013, 10:33 AM   #25
Bilk
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This is gonna look awesome.
Thanks. Now to build a reef system worthy of it.

I've really miss having a large anemone hosted by clown fish, as I had in my 110. This tank is large enough to enable me to keep that and sps. One side will be a bit more open with the anemone and some gorgonians and the other more of a ledge with sps. Well that's the initial vision anyway. We know how things and intents change in this hobby

I have all of the equipment save the Genesis systems. I'll get them ordered soon. I'll post a complete list of equipment and how things will flow and operate, soon.


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