150 gallon island reef tank

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by Bruce60, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Bruce60

    Bruce60 New Member

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    This is both a new type of tank for me, and my first time posting my build on a forum, so wish me luck leading us on this journey.

    A bit about me. I have had tanks of various types, sizes and shapes for almost 50 years. I've had a 400 gallon marine predator tank ... a 3 gallon iMac fresh tank...A 12 gallon nano reef...A pie-shaped tank. I also have two dogs and a job that keeps me busy.
    iMac Fish.jpg New tank spot.jpg
    I moved into this house last spring. I thought this spot between the support pillars separating the living room from the kitchen area would be perfect for an island tank viewable from all sides. The distance between the inside of both pillars is 68". Had a structural engineer check the structure underneath while inspecting the house and got a green light to proceed.

    By the time I was settled into the house it was the end of the summer. I had been thinking about the unique needs of an island tank. How do you move water in and out of the tank? How do you provide power? I realized that I would need the overflow to be in the center of the tank but was concerned about its footprint. I knew the tank was going to be 60" long - it was not worth the cost of customizing for a few additional inches. I had tanks that were 36" tall in the past, and was not going over 24" this time. Given the space the tank could be either 24" or 30" deep.

    In doing research on tank builders I came across Custom Aquariums (had purchased Glass Cages before with positive results). What intrigued me about CA besides they built tanks like, well...tanks, is their unique H2Overflow and concealment column. They can run a 1-1/2" overflow and two, 3/4" returns through a single 3" sleeve, taking up much less precious tank real estate. I was skeptical of their H2Overflow and if it would really work as advertised. There were not many reviews but the few I were able to track down were positive. I've always been a bit of an early adopter, so I went and placed the order in the fall of 2018.

    With the holidays it was not until January that the tank arrived. I had gone and ordered not only the tank with their concealment column, but also a 36" tall stand and their modular HDPE sump system.
    It was packed amazingly well, and with a little help got it in place.
    Tank arrives 1.jpg Tank arrives 2.jpg
    Tank in place 1.jpg Tank in place 2.jpg

    Next, the slow process of getting the plumbing and electrical systems set up...please be patient.
     

  2. hdsoftail1065

    hdsoftail1065 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Wow, that's going to look very nice!
     
  3. MSB123

    MSB123 Someone out there put something smart here. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Santa Barbara Reef Co-Op R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

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    Awesome! following!
     
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  4. SeaJay

    SeaJay Active Member

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    I want one.
     
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  5. Pntbll687

    Pntbll687 Well-Known Member

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    Nice!

    Love the look.
     
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  6. Bruce60

    Bruce60 New Member

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    Equipment: I spent a lot of time thinking about the equipment I wanted to use. There are many more good choices than in the past. I also needed everything to fit under the stand. I spent quite a bit of time planning out various layouts with different equipment before making my final choices. My last large tank setup was about a decade ago, and I include what I did then for reference.

    Circulation: Last time around I used Eheim for the returns and Tunze Streams for circulation. This time for the main return pump I decided to try the Maxspect Duo 9K. I have two 3/4" returns from the sump and was intrigued by the double impeller. I also like the control over flow you can get with DC motors. For the circulation in the tank I got a pair of Maxspect Gyre 230's with a controller. I also have a small pump I am using for flow into a refugium.

    Skimmer: I tend to prefer external skimmers to the in-sump ones. Last time I used Deltec skimmers with the self cleaning head and everything. This time around I decided to go back to basics and got a Lifereef skimmer. Since I got a 36" tall stand I had a bit more room to work with and decided on the 30" tall VS3-30 with a Blueline 30HDX pump to feed it. Love that I only need one pump for the skimmer.

    Lighting: Last time around it was MH for lighting. This time I got a 48" hybrid T5 and LED fixture. For the T5's I am using two Coral Plus bulbs and two True Actinic bulbs. For the LED I got two Radion XR15 G4s.

    Controller: Last time I programmed my own stuff. This time I decided to give Apex a try.

    Putting it all together: Here is an image from the dry test of putting everything together to see how it fits. The blue arrows show the main sump water flow. Green arrows flow through the refugium and red arrows through the skimmer. There is a strainer for the intake to the skimmer and a 45 degree elbow for the skimmer outflow back into the pre-baffle section. The refugium is fed through one of the 3/4" green hoses in the back and flows back through the large connector in front. Looks like it is all going to fit!
    Equipment test labeled.jpg
    There was electricity in the support pillars, so I had an electrician isolate the outlets into a dedicated 20 amp circuit with GFCI. Fortunately, there's a gap between the floors that allowed me to run wires in and out.I drilled through the floor of the stand to get the wires in and out. Power.jpg Wiring floor.jpg Here is the final look of the electrical panel. I organized and put wires in the tracks as much as possible. I labelled each wire with what it powers and the appropriate outlet on the energy bar. Wiring panel.jpg

    Finally, here is an image of the tank being filled. I first filled the system and tested it with fresh water before adding salt to the system directly. You can see the concealment column installed in the center of the tank. You can also see the lights hanging from the ceiling. Filling tank.jpg

    ...more to come...

    Power.jpg

    image.png
     
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