150 In Wall Tank

Forbesy

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Well here I go.

I've been dreaming/debating/planning a reef tank for a while. I'm now finally in a position to start the process and I thought I'd share. I'm nowhere close to some of the absolutely amazing setups I've seen on this forum but the feedback and information attained from build threads I have read has been most valuable.
This is my first saltwater tank and I hope I can gain some insight along the way. My family has just moved and I have a spot ready for the tank. I know of some challenges with my setup but I think I have the proper planning in place to deal with them.

Here is what I'm working with right now,
150 Gal Display Tank 72 x 18 x 27
30 Gal Crystal Sump
Bubble Magus A7 skimmer
Reef Octo VarioS6 return
2 x Tunze 6055 powerheads
2 x ATI Sunpower T5 6 bulb lights

I'm running a marathon so slow and steady it is. I will try to updated weekly with updates/pics.
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Tank will be here, tape is for planning purposes. Couch will be gone.

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The main challenge is space. Specifically height. The system will be in a storage/crawl space.
 
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Tcook

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Nice start. What is the distance between the floor and that duct in the fishroom? Any drain in the floor? What are your ventilation plans?
 
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Forbesy

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Nice start. What is the distance between the floor and that duct in the fishroom? Any drain in the floor? What are your ventilation plans?
It's 65" but the tank will be inside the ducting against the wall once in place. There is a floor drain off on the right side about 7 feet away. Ventilation plans, if any, would be a bathroom type fan vented to an outside window. I'm still on the fence if it's needed.
 

Tcook

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You need the fan. The moisture will ruin those studs and drywall. Consider running the fan off a humidistat. Also, conside tiling in the entire footprint of the tank/sump including the drain. Put a tile curb around the perimeter. That way if a catastrophic flood occurs everything goes down the drain and not into your wall structure or wood floors. Wish I did this for my inwall tank. Peace of mind is nice to have with 150 gallons of saltwater in your home.
 
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Forbesy

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You need the fan. The moisture will ruin those studs and drywall. Consider running the fan off a humidistat. Also, conside tiling in the entire footprint of the tank/sump including the drain. Put a tile curb around the perimeter. That way if a catastrophic flood occurs everything goes down the drain and not into your wall structure or wood floors. Wish I did this for my inwall tank. Peace of mind is nice to have with 150 gallons of saltwater in your home.
My plan is to prime and seal the back of the wall the tank is against. I may still run a small bathroom fan vented outside. The floor is cement so I'm not worried so much about the floor. Thanks for the response.
 
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Forbesy

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So I have made some progress.

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No turning back now. The window is framed and next is primer and sealer on the back of the display wall.
 
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Forbesy

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Got some more accomplished. I've primed and sealed the back of the display wall and I've got a vanity and sink started in the adjacent utility room. I'm also getting my mixing station built as well. The tank is in place and I'm starting to piece together the rockwork.

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I found a used vanity on Kijiji and had some left over countertop from a previous reno.

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Sink is in and the rodi is ready to go. I made the mistake of buying a second hand rodi unit. By the time I paid for the replacement filters, membrane, etc. I realized I was probably better off just getting a new unit.

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Mixing station is coming along. I know the brutes are small for the size of the tank but the plan is to have a larger secondary saltwater holding tank (about 100gal) once I can make the space for it.

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Tank is in place and I'm starting to play around with the aquascape. Maybe I'm OCD but I've been playing around with these rocks for what seems to be an eternity looking for what I want. I'll build some up and place them in the tank to see what it looks like from the display side and take them out and repeat the process with a different arrangement. The 3/8" acrylic rods have been very helpful setting things up.

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Much more rock to go but I'm happy with how the tank looks in the wall. My wife is happy the hole in the wall has something in it now. I'm planning on having a removable backing on the back of the tank so you can't see through.

The plan is to have the rockwork, mixing station and electrical finished in the next week. I've got an Apex Classic that I am planning on setting up as well so some planning for that (mostly me figuring out how to use a controller haha) is next.
 
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Forbesy

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My schedule unexpectedly opened up over the last few days so I've had some free time to keep plugging along. Here are some more pics.

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The mixing station is 95% done. Just figuring out the best way to attach the hose, I'm thinking a cam lock for easy connecting and removal. I built it on a small platform with plastic rails on the bottom. I'm going to attach a handle to the front so I can slide it in and out of place for cleaning as there is not a lot of space above.

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I think I have the rockwork where I want it to be. With the fish I am planning I wanted open space at the top of the tank as well as room for coral growth. Planning on a few rock islands towards the front as well.

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The plan is to have all the electrical mounted on a panel between the tank and mixing station.

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I found thin corrugated plastic panels at Home Depot that I cut to size to hide the crawl space behind.

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Now painted for the back of the tank. I'm attaching them to the tank with velcro.

Leak testing the mixing station shortly and then start making water! With any luck over the next few days I'll have 2 dedicated breakers wired from my panel so I can start plugging stuff in. Qt tank setup is on the horizon as well.
 

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IN THE WALL IT GOES!!!

Looking super good! Love that look, watching the progress from a blank wall to your next tank project is pretty epic. Have always loved the look of these.

Going to be fun to watch this one develop! Keep us all updated!
 
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Forbesy

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IN THE WALL IT GOES!!!

Looking super good! Love that look, watching the progress from a blank wall to your next tank project is pretty epic. Have always loved the look of these.

Going to be fun to watch this one develop! Keep us all updated!
Thanks. Once I cut the hole in the wall my wife was wondering what I had gotten myself into lol. She is fully on board now which helps with the project.
 
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Forbesy

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Managed to get a few more things checked off the to do list. Mixing station is collecting rodi. I got a dedicated 15 amp breaker for everything on the tank except for the lights put in. I've decided to use another 15 amp circuit that's already wired for the lights. I've also got the lights hung as well. I was tight on space but with the ATI mounting kit I'm able to fairly easily move the lights down and out of the way if I need to really get myself on top of the tank in order to place or move things within.
I've built a simple mounting board attached to the wall to have all the controllers and displays mounted on. My issue now is that the cable to connect the return pump to the controller and the float switch wiring for my return pump isn't long enough to reach the controller once on the board. Reef Octopus has an extension for the controller cable but not the float switch...........as much as I don't want to do it I think some creative soldering may be in order for a DIY extension cable.
Here are some more pics.

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Its not very fancy but its clean and accessible.

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I've also started the plumbing......not my favorite task in this so far.

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I think its such a pain just because of how restricted I am with where I can run lines but it's coming along.

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The corrugated plastic backing works well and is easy to place on or remove.

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I put in sand as well. I'm really pleased with how things are looking so far.

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Sorry some pictures are not the best, taking a photography class may be my next side project.

I hope to have the plumbing wrapped up over the next week and get water going in the tank. Quarantine tank will be put together as well. Mostly housekeeping tasks like cleaning up the wiring and getting a better usable working space setup in the back is what I'm hoping for over the next few days, work and kids permitting haha.
 

Would you ever consider setting up a "dropoff" reef aquarium?

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