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Old 11/04/2007, 07:42 PM   #1
FishTruck
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My Seven Footer

My dream tank is due to arrive on Friday. This is tank number 14 for me over a hobby span of 30 years. My first tank was a stainless steel, slate bottomed 20 long that I found in my basement when I was in the third grade.

Fast forward from 1977 to 2007... and I finally get to set up a tank, with virtually no financial limitations. This is my second reef tank and my fourth saltwater tank. I am coming up from a 60 gallon cube to a planned 300 gallon rectangular tank.

O.K. enough of the boring monologue. Here come the pics and my plea for any advice!


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Old 11/04/2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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The early planning.

Somehow, my dream home didn't come with any great location for a large tank. I finally decided that I could "shoe horn" a seven foot tank into my home office. I wanted an eight foot tank, but, it was not to be.

To maximize space in this room, I gave away my nice desk and file cabinet, replacing them with a computer hutch. The only other piece of furniture is a queen sized sofa sleeper allowing the room to also work as a guest room.

I used sketchup to convince my wife that it could work.





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Old 11/04/2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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Now, down to the basement to see how the support looks. Here, I find a "floating" joist right where the tank will go. This was fixed by sistering this joist with two new ones. Also, sistered the other two joists under the tank and supported each set in the middle with jack posts obtained from Ellis Construction. Thus, there are a total of six, two by eights, each supported in the middle to hold the floor up. Each post is rated at seven thousand pounds. The posts can be quicky removed if I was to sell the home later.





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Old 11/04/2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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My four fish, four clams, and some assorted Coral have been camped in the baby pool since April.




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Old 11/04/2007, 08:42 PM   #5
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Next, we move back up stairs. I intended to vent the tank through the basement to keep noise out of the office. As I read more about big tanks, the implications of evaporating huge amounts of water into the house (mold, warping boards, smell) and some good advice from others prompted me to expand on this. Here, I have run two 4 inch dryer ducts through the wall. One will push air into the canopy, the other will draw it out. The canopy will be nearly air tight. This should leave the fish room quiet and smelling fresh as a daisy.

The equipment will be in the basement.

Also, I wired two 20 amp circuits to put in the stand. Finally, I can make use of the existing ethernet jack for my aquacontroller.






Phew... that took me two months!

So... the office is ready to recieve the tank. I am having the stand built and the tank was ordered by the woodworking company. The tank has arrived there, and the stand is scheduled to be delivered and installed friday. I have a few final touches to put on the wall before it gets here.

Then, I just have to whip up a sump, a little plumbing, aquascaping and HVAC magic, and voila... the fish will have a new home!




Last edited by FishTruck; 11/04/2007 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 11/04/2007, 11:30 PM   #6
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so far i think you have a very solid plan. the ventilation is one key to most larger tanks and i think you have that coverd very well. you might want to have an adjustment for the incomming air so the tank hood is always under a slight negative pressure. this will insure the moisture is removed from the room. it will also give you a means to cool your tank. the 1600 watts of mh light will really benifit the corals but will add some heat to the system. i would worry about that a little bit. you may want to hook up a geo thermal loop or a chiller. the only other thing you didnt get into detail about is the filtration system. that is the single biggest thing with any reef system.
also what is your plans for circulation inthe tank other than the return pump? cant wait to see this one up and running.


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Old 11/05/2007, 07:34 AM   #7
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Thanks Spazz!

I will post my plans for a sump tonight. It will be six by 2.5 by 2 containing a fuge, a coral growout area, and a mixing area for the skimmer. The sump will be sealed and vented like the tank. The skimmer will be externally plumbed. I do plan to run a chiller for backup. A Geothermal setup would be sweet. I will have the winter to contemplate that.

The skimmer is a reeflo orca.

For circulation, I plan to push 2000 gph through the sump with eductors, should be about 4-8000 gph in the tank - just from the returns. In addition, I have four Vortechs which will be strategically hidden along the back and right walls of the tank.

I will post pics of the goodies soon. I have been collecting equipment for months now!


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Old 11/05/2007, 08:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by spazz
so far i think you have a very solid plan. the ventilation is one key to most larger tanks and i think you have that coverd very well. you might want to have an adjustment for the incomming air so the tank hood is always under a slight negative pressure. this will insure the moisture is removed from the room. it will also give you a means to cool your tank.

Regarding the negative pressure, I was actually thinking about putting the vent fan on the outflow end, thus venting the tank with negative pressure. The only concern would be negative pressure in the basement - which should not occur if the canopies are relatively air tight and fed with large enough passive vents from outside.

I could always put fans on both the intake and exhaust.


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Old 11/05/2007, 09:30 AM   #9
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if you were to use a 100 cfm fan on the intake blowing fresh air in and 120 cfm on the output it would still have negative air pressure on the canopy but it would push the air along better with less restriction in the tubes. the longer the tube the more air movment you loose due to friction.


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Old 11/05/2007, 10:34 AM   #10
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You don't need a fan on the intake side just one on the exhaust to do what you want. If your worried about having enough fresh air just increase the size of the intake duct. I would be more concerned about venting the hood in the winter. I would put a damper on the intake duct and draw air from the basement in winter rather than from directly outside.


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Old 11/05/2007, 11:17 AM   #11
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Nice setup cant wait to see it up and going


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Old 11/05/2007, 07:53 PM   #12
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Here is my sump plan. The basic idea is a single, large, acyrlic sump with an external skimmer. The goal is to keep it sealed and vented with the same system (or one similar to) the one the display tank uses.

This way, I don't have to build a fish room.

The top of the tank is segregated into a front and back half. The front half is covered with a canopy and lights for the fuge and coral farm. The back is primarily for plumbing to go in and out. I will situate this so I can walk all the way around it.

It will be pretty easy to add other tanks if I wanted to.

The shelves on the sides would be adjustable to allow me to upgrade peripherals (like phosban reactors, UV sterilizers) without much hassel.

Also, there are two return pumps to allow easier pump swaps and protect against pump failure.

Finally, there is a 50 gallon bucket with ciculating water. I can take this off line and dump it. Fill it, make new s.w. and re-introduce it to the system. This should make water changes pretty easy.





Last edited by FishTruck; 11/05/2007 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 11/06/2007, 07:01 AM   #13
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very nice! I have a 300g display (500g total vol) with 1000w MH and 900w Actinics in a well vented hood. The top lid is extensively drilled out with 2" holes to allow air to escape and there are two 4" fans on each end blowing cooler air in. But the Halides really put out heat! Especially with an acrylic tank it's difficult to keep cool without running the chiller a lot. So, I would be a little concerned about temperature control with your sealed canopy.


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Old 11/06/2007, 07:39 AM   #14
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Hi Elliot. Thanks for your reply.

Yes. I am worried about the heat. This will be my first MH experience. I am thinking that I should have the 120 cfm fan exclusively ventilating the tank canopy, with another one for the sump. Each would be thermostat controlled to keep a cool canopy temp with a chiller (not shown) somewhere to kick in when needed. I am hoping that the outside air will be cool enough 8 or 9 months out of the year. Summer will be the challenge.

Wait until you see my lighting plan. This will possibly allow the tank to run on 800 watts most of the day, with a 1600 watt noon time blast.

Ryan.


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Old 11/06/2007, 08:54 AM   #15
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Ryan,

I very much like your idea, I'm myself in a possition now of completing our new House here in Europe, where I'm going to deal with huge evaporation problems and currently I'm looking or the ideal fans that would shut when the outside temparature drops below certain temperature. Don't know about your lcation but we get here temperatures -30 degrees Celsia (-20F) below zero. How cold does it gets over at yours? And how are you planing on dealing with low temperatures?


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Old 11/06/2007, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by laomedon
Ryan,

I very much like your idea, I'm myself in a possition now of completing our new House here in Europe, where I'm going to deal with huge evaporation problems and currently I'm looking or the ideal fans that would shut when the outside temparature drops below certain temperature. Don't know about your lcation but we get here temperatures -30 degrees Celsia (-20F) below zero. How cold does it gets over at yours? And how are you planing on dealing with low temperatures?
Currently, I plan to control the fan with an aquacontroller to keep the canopy temp between 75 and 85 degrees. In the winter mode, it will kick on when the canopy temp hits 85, and turn off at 75. The air will be cold and dry, so I think it will remove the humidity efficiently and I can tweak the temp setting up and down to minimize chiller use.

I have the skimmer fed with household air to keep some aeration going on in the situation where the vent system is barely running (perhaps due to extremes of cold outside). We can see 20 below here too.

The summer time, when we have 90% humidity at 100 degrees will be another challenge!

I do have my vents set up so I can vent the system with household air if the outside gets too nasty. I have figured out how to automate this, but, some servos and temp controls based on outisde temp / humidity would to the trick.

Ryan.


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Old 11/07/2007, 10:07 PM   #17
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I bought a little vent fan for my build but think I will take it back and get something bigger. It is a little 3.0 some 70cfm for $50 from Home depot.

My ac return is only a few feet away from my sump. which I am a little worried about salt getting to my home compressor. I just wanted to put something up top the lights to help with the heat. It gets really hot here in FL.

I have also heard alot about the thermo loop witha dn with out tanks. I just also want ot keep a good lookout for running up my electric.

Looking good so far keep the pics and plans coming..


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Old 11/08/2007, 09:38 PM   #18
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I just checked your post Eric. Get to work on your tank

My two year old did not want to go to sleep. Once he heard the electric tools going in the basement, my wife told me he immediately stopped crying.

Anyway, I think a geothermal loop is a great idea. Have you seen plans to build one anywhere?

Also, I found a huge selection of fans online. I have been disappointed by Home Depot stuff lately. Seems like everything I buy there, (tools, faucets, pumps, etc...) breaks in two months. Is it my bad luck, or, is that place a big KMART in disguise?

Tank arrives tomorrow a.m. 650 lbs., empty. Will post pics. Wish me luck.

Ryan.


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Old 11/10/2007, 07:12 AM   #19
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Well, the tank is here! The company who build my stand and canopy, Walsh woodworking (right down the street in Lemont, IL), also ordered the tank for me. They also installed the cabinets and delivered the tank. The cabinet is the "sheraton" model with custom grommets on the sides to allow wires from Vortechs to reach the center cabinet. The stand is build in six pieces. A subfloor piece which was shimmed and leveled first. Then, three cabinets. Then, a slab of corian which was again microshimmed to be flush against the bottom of the tank around the perimeter. Finally, the canpy wich has two four inch ducts in the back for ventillation. Also, a four foot door with hands free operation. The equipment is all going in the basement, so I only need the center cabinet for the plumbing, some power, and an aquacontroller. This leaves four cabinets open for storage (a good selling point for my wife). The over all look of the stand is that of an overbuilt kitchen cabinet, with some very interesting architectural details. I love it. We are so impressed with the work they did, we immediately hired them to do some built-ins in other parts of the house.

It was installed three inches from the wall to allow Vortechs along the back of the tank.

The tank is from Tenecor, 84 x 30 x 28. 1.25 thick acrylic with Eurobracing. Center overflow with two 1.5 inch drains, two 1.0 inch returns, and a PVC dry run to allow wires to reach the canopy from the base.

The tank, empty, with the lids off was about 500 lbs. We moved it with four guys from Walsh woodworking, me, and my good pal Greg. No equipment. There were a couple of tense moments, but, we got in installed with no visible scratches. Phew! I would probably recommend at least Eight Guys if possible. Six was the bare minimum!

The room is an office / play room / guest room / sitting room visible right off the kitchen. From the kitchen with the door open, I have a nice view of the tank.

I am a very happy boy.

IMG]http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e314/rmanecke/IMG_4107.jpg[/IMG]







Last edited by FishTruck; 11/10/2007 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 11/10/2007, 07:42 AM   #20
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Are all those hinges/screws quality stainless steel? I use a panasonic fan to vent my sealed hood, and it is VERY quite. I highly recommend their whisper line.

Nice setup, BTW.


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Old 11/10/2007, 07:55 AM   #21
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looking good


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Old 11/10/2007, 10:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by matt & pam
Are all those hinges/screws quality stainless steel? I use a panasonic fan to vent my sealed hood, and it is VERY quite. I highly recommend their whisper line.

Nice setup, BTW.
Thanks!

I did buy a panasonic fan. Glad you endorse them, I have not fired it up yet. I sure hope all the hardware is stainless. It appears to be plastic and stainless and largely sealed up. Looks like it is boat stuff.


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Old 11/10/2007, 06:39 PM   #23
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That cabinet work looks outstanding!


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Old 11/10/2007, 07:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
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That cabinet work looks outstanding!
I agree, its going to look really good once its up and running!


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Old 11/10/2007, 07:57 PM   #25
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wow the cabinet does look awesome!!!


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