215 Peninsula mixed something, Supernova to Black Hole build

DaddyFish

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It's now January 2021 and I finally have confirmation that my custom build 215 from Planet Aquariums is on the production schedule and due to deliver within a few weeks. And there's enough design and fabrication work completed, along with MORE than enough equipment purchases to consider this one a reality. So here goes yet another build thread...

The Parameters
* 6' long Peninsula tank at least 28" tall because I'm a fish guy! 72x24x30
* Not rimless, trying to learn from others who had gone rimless and said after several years they wish they hadn't (for valid reasons)
* 3/4 glass bottom.
* Low-iron glass on three sides.
* No filter socks, fleece roll system.
* Skimmer-less filtration with refugium and kick-butt algae scrubber (CW Aquatics CW-300).
* UV system.
* ATO system.
* Continuous Water Change system.
* Open Frame Cabinet (no center supports).
* Stand must fit with the look of the house since it will sit as a space divider between Living Room and Dining Area.
* Lighting must support Softies/LFS in all areas, SPS optional in a such a deep tank.
* Lighting must NOT extensively spill out into the adjacent spaces.
* No canopy or hanging of lights from ceiling, must be supported by the tank rim. Sleek, modern, Open-top appearance is a must-have.

Key Challenges
* Everything except RO and Mixing systems must fit underneath the tank.
* Floor is hardwood but web-truss design (not on grade). Addition of jack posts and support beams required.
* Finding the right tank! Lots of Chinese made tanks fit the size criteria, but rimless with both top & bottom euro-bracing is definitely not my thing.
* Designing a cabinet stand with suitable aesthetics, structural strength for no vertical support dividers, hinge-less lift-away panels.
* Designing and building the cabinet without jumping ahead of confirmed tank dimensions, but far enough in advance of tank delivery.
* Automation and how far to take it on the "first pass".

Pictures posted next...
 
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Zoanthids
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DaddyFish

DaddyFish

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Drawings of the cabinet stand...
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Some detail of the stainless steel header inlay...

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Adding extra coats of polyurethane to the area where the peninsula tank will reside...

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The cabinet stand framed-up and partially skinned...

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Painted with interior panels for sump/filtration floor, ATO reservoir tank shelf, electronics cubby and cooling fan...

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DaddyFish

DaddyFish

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More equipment decisions and purchases made...

Trigger Systems Platinum-34 Sump
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Trigger Systems Sapphire ATO 10-gallon
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Sicce SDC 9.0 Return Pump
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Hydros Controller (plus ATO, rope leak sensors, water level detectors, etc.)
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ReefBreeders Photon V2+ (32 x 2) lighting...
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150 lbs of this...
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50 lbs of this...
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120 lbs of this...
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55w one of these...
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Jebao Doser 2.4 for dosing and Continuous Water Change system
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And a whole pile of these, with CA glue, mortar mix, tubing, connectors, paints, it's unfathomable!!!
1611285882430.png
1611286481811.png
 
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DaddyFish

DaddyFish

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Livestock plan is for the puffers to remain in the 90-gal see-through shipwreck tank (shameless link to that build thread).
Most other livestock will eventually migrate to the new 215 (tangs, sweetlips, stoopid clowns, triggers, corals).
Haven't decided where the snowflake eel goes yet, but the end-goal is two, yes TWO tanks!!!, not the four I had around as of December 2020.

*** Edit ***
Forgot to add the need for a GoFundMe page! I did mention the Financial Black Hole component, didn't I ???
 
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DaddyFish

DaddyFish

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Brief update... Peninsula cabinet is mostly complete and in place. Equipment roughed in. But the glass to finish my tank is floating off the coast of LA waiting for Covid clearance. Probably at least another month before tank arrives. :mad:

IMG_20210128_232941272.jpg
 
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Dkmoo

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Following this build after seeing your "no skimmer" post. While I fully agree an effective fuge can replace skimmer, I'm interested in your thought process on the below two pieces:

1) why also an algae scrubber? Is it just to add variety of algae and redundancy? Or is fuge more for microfauna and scrubber more for nutrient export.

2) seems you are going "all in" in biological filtration. Why then the UV? I'd assume the UV would be pretty detrimental to the bottom layer of the food chain (bacteria, protozoans, etc) that is necessary to establishing a healthy microfauna that is crucial to a complete biological filtration system. Here i dont just mean nitrifying bacteria, but all bacteria that help break down waste and feed the upper layers of the food chain.

Thx.
 
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DaddyFish

DaddyFish

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Following this build after seeing your "no skimmer" post. While I fully agree an effective fuge can replace skimmer, I'm interested in your thought process on the below two pieces:

1) why also an algae scrubber? Is it just to add variety of algae and redundancy? Or is fuge more for microfauna and scrubber more for nutrient export.

2) seems you are going "all in" in biological filtration. Why then the UV? I'd assume the UV would be pretty detrimental to the bottom layer of the food chain (bacteria, protozoans, etc) that is necessary to establishing a healthy microfauna that is crucial to a complete biological filtration system. Here i dont just mean nitrifying bacteria, but all bacteria that help break down waste and feed the upper layers of the food chain.

Thx.
Most excellent questions and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to discuss.

First, I'm having space issues with such a large algae scrubber. And while it does fit, it barely fits with enough space to just slip out the "rack" as it rubs against the tank bottom (tested the mockup this week). So I may be robbing some of the refugium space for a DIY semi-submerged algae scrubber.

The purpose of the added algae scrubber is primarily for nutrient export. I plan this tank to be heavy on fish and light on corals, so nutrient export is a big concern.

UV is for parasite management. I'm one of those people who long ago gave up on having a parasite-free system. I don't consider myself an "ich management" person either. I prefer to quarantine all incoming fish, dip corals and rinse inverts, but that doesn't give me 100% infestation management. It only, but greatly, improves my odds of success.
UV has so many times bought me extra time to properly identify livestock problems, capture and QT the fish, that I cannot imagine life without it. Plus I frequently travel for work and may be away from my tanks (yes plural, tanks!) for days at a time. UV allows me to manage problems when I get home.
 

Dkmoo

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makes sense.

my whole guiding principle for reef keeping is to "emulate nature" and keep the reef in a stable equilibrium state as close to nature as possible. Granted, physical limitations in terms of water volume prevents true emulation so external controls are necessary to a degree. Where one stands on that spectrum is one of personal belief. for me, in deciding if an equipment is necessary, i ask myself "does this bring me closer to a natural condition", if the answer is yes, i add it, if its "i'm not sure" i dont.

fuge/scrubber - totally agree. our tanks just don't have the volume or critical mass for anerobic bacteria to fully process all waste back to N2. Many of the DSP philosophies of yester-decade is resulting in a mixed bag of true N cycle system vs "massive diaper systems" that took 10+ years to fill up. i think based on some of your other posts, you have a good understanding of the whole nutrient cycle in terms of the different types of food we put into the tank and what organisms uptake what nutrients in each stage of the nutrient cycle so it's good that you are allowing natural processes to fully run thru this entire nutrient chain and only target the control of the final waste - no3/po4. And since we generally have a target no3/po4 level to maintain, the fuge/scrubber imo is an easy "yes"

only consideration for a lack of skimmer is ph control, or i should say the lack of options for ph control. Since you are running a heavy fish light coral system, co2 is going to be an issue, and high co2 is number 1 cause of low PH. There are other factors here but it'll basically boil down to a numbers game between how many fish you have vs how much co2 processing power your corals/algaes have, vs ur ambient room co2 concentration. Maybe the sheer size of your algae army make it OK, or maybe it wont matter since you don't plan to keep too many corals (stonies are more sensitive to having optimal ph level). no skimmer basically removes the option of controlling Co2 via air exchange and recirculating co2 scrubber set up. There are alternatives such as air stone linked to outside air or open circuit co2 scrubbers but IMO both have down sides that can be avoided by a recirculating skimmer co2 scrubber set up. Again this goes back to - does it bring my system closer to nature - and in this case its a resounding "yes" bc i simply do not have the volume of water to dilute co2 back to natural levels.

UV is where i think our opinions would differ - simply because if i ask myself "will UV make my tank closer to nature" - the answer is "i don't know". I don't know what the actual level of bacteria/protozoan/planton/parasite levels are my tank in terms of both diversity or density, so i don't know if UV is turning my tank from a "cesspool's of disease and toxin" into a more nature environment, or is it turning my nature environment into a "sterile barren wasteland". If I have to guess, I would lean its somewhere closer to the latter of the spectrum because

1) In any ecosystem, population of every tier in the food chain is controlled by a) total available nutrient and b) the apex predictor. In our tanks - both of these are controlled by us. So, any final population density of our bottom tier of the food chain that is reached has to be a level that promotes the long-term stability and health of the full ecosystem.
2) external parasite/pathogens introduced to the closed system and run amok due to lack of natural checks is a real concern. This happens in nature too with invasive species that in short term destroys a local habitat and long term re-establishes a new balance - this can take centuries or millennia and require massive volume - both are impossible in home reef systems. so then again two divergent treatment paths - either a) scorch earth the bottom layer food chain and artificially re-stabilize the layer above it, or b) increase biodiversity as it is a proven scientific fact that greater biodiversity reduces the risk of invasive species upsetting the balance of local biome. Where one decide between a) and b) is again a matter of personal belief and i don't pretend to know which one has a higher chance of long term success, but I do know that one depends on external control, one doesn't.

for my tank, I try to minimize the risk of deadly pathogens killing everything in my tank by
1) making sure i have a good source of vendor - the fish has to at least look healthy, is living in a stress free LFS community tank, or a display tank that at least has some semblance of a habitat, instead of a bare 5g water box with 100 juveniles of the same species crammed in there.
2) most fish die from stress induced lowering of immune system from initial environment change, so my focus is not to make their environment germ free, but to make sure they are stress free by not over crowding, having the right habitat features, and feeding a variety of healthy and live foods. Then trust that their immune systems can prevail.

I'm not some hippie who believes that nature fixes everything. (quite the opposite I'm very science driven). I think if you followed some of my other posts you'll see that i believe in the right tool for the right job - we just need to know what the right job is - UV for a QT or HT? Absolutely - b/c the job there is to keep things sterile. UV for the DT? i'm not so sure..

Interesting somewhat related food for thought - a local thai eating street food and is perfectly fine, I eat thai street food and i spend the next three days in the hotel bathroom floor. is the "cleaner" US environment better than the "dirtier" thai environment? Will living in the US make me live longer? one thing is for sure - In the US, i'm definitely taking probiotic supplements to lead a healthier life style and rely on antibiotics only for serious illnesses where i cannot recover naturally.

P.S.: - avg life expectancy US vs Thailand is not too different... esp after factoring in avg GDP and avg access to health care.
 

Bleigh

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Brief update... Peninsula cabinet is mostly complete and in place. Equipment roughed in. But the glass to finish my tank is floating off the coast of LA waiting for Covid clearance. Probably at least another month before tank arrives. :mad:

IMG_20210128_232941272.jpg
This is looking soooo good!
 
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DaddyFish

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Oh happy day (Oh happy day)
Oh happy day (Oh happy day)...

The BIG box finally arrived this week! Woot! Woot!

Unfortunately the little box with bulkheads and internal plumbing was apparently left Home Alone. So there will be no midnight fumes of PVC cement just yet.

Workmanship on the Planet Aquariums tank is Good, but I can't give it a Great. Some irregularites in the lower silicone corners, and the drain holes were drilled by hand from one side only, meaning they have noticeable chips around the edges. The explanation offered was "it's a custom tank with custom holes, we didn't have a machine setup that would drill it."
I find that very disappointing because Yes, it's a custom tank. It was ordered custom and Planet Aquarium's website boasts about their ability to produce custom tanks. What I wanted "custom" was two 1.5" drains and two 3/4" returns. Not too much to ask in my opinion.

The tank has 1/2" low-iron sides and end, 5/8" regular glass bottom.

We'll see how the bulkheads look and seat when they arrive. Keeping my fingers crossed. In the meantime, here's some photos of the beast's arrival and placement...

FedEx Unloading video

Here's a look at the drain holes Planet Aquariums said they "hand drilled"...

IMG_20210419_163117476.jpg


LFS's crew uncrating the beast and preparing to move it inside...

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Attaching suction cups and preparing to do the final positioning...

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My well-deserved smile after nearly six months of waiting for this tank...

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Added dry rock sculptures and a few fakies from a previous tank, then dusted a little sand in the bottom to make it look presentable while I hang lights and wait on the plumbing parts to arrive.

IMG_20210420_164425869_HDR.jpg
 
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Oberst Hajj

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Looking good! I had about the same delivery time on my Planet 270g tank, it showed up two weeks ago after ordering in Jan. Mine was a standard build with the addition of "custom" drain holes to use their 20" external overflow instead of their 16" version.

You are much further along on the stand build then I am, but I've built a fish room behind the wall where the tank will placed. I will have no equipment under my stand.
 
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DaddyFish

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Looking good! I had about the same delivery time on my Planet 270g tank, it showed up two weeks ago after ordering in Jan. Mine was a standard build with the addition of "custom" drain holes to use their 20" external overflow instead of their 16" version.

You are much further along on the stand build then I am, but I've built a fish room behind the wall where the tank will placed. I will have no equipment under my stand.
This tank sits against an exterior (brick) wall on the south end of my house, so there is no space nearby to have a fish room. Putting everything under the tank is going to be a big challenge for sure. I have given thought to building a side cabinet for the algae scrubber. I still have some design considerations that have been just too close to call without having the tank itself in place with the primary drain/return plumbing in place.

It would have been nice to have worked out all those details in advance but for whatever reason(s), no one would ever provide me with an actual production drawing of the tank in advance of its arrival. That relegated much of this install to design-as-you-go.
 
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DaddyFish

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Hung the ReefBreeders Photon 32-V2+ lights last night. I bought the rails to join the lights and originally intended to use the tank mounts. But after much indecisive deliberation, I finally settled on adding a hardwood support strip screwed into the rafters and hanging the lights from the ceiling. It's a tall tank so unobstructed access to the tank under the lights has already become clearly crucial.

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IMG_20210424_203155726.jpg
 
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Oberst Hajj

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This tank sits against an exterior (brick) wall on the south end of my house, so there is no space nearby to have a fish room. Putting everything under the tank is going to be a big challenge for sure. I have given thought to building a side cabinet for the algae scrubber. I still have some design considerations that have been just too close to call without having the tank itself in place with the primary drain/return plumbing in place.

It would have been nice to have worked out all those details in advance but for whatever reason(s), no one would ever provide me with an actual production drawing of the tank in advance of its arrival. That relegated much of this install to design-as-you-go.
The lack of any kind of drawing is why I waited to build my stand until after the tank showed up. When I asked Planet about the actual size, they said plus or minus 1/2". That's quite a bit on a standard tank build. In the end mine was 84.5 x30.5 just as their site says it is.
 
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Settled on several plumbing changes, including downsizing the 1.5" main drain to 1" Sch-80. Without room underneath to install a 1.5" gate valve on the main drain, I opted for installing the gate valve on the standpipe inside the overflow box.

The system is now well-balanced and dead silent at 48-52% power on the Sicce SDC 9 return pump. I estimate the cumulative head pressure to be roughly 10-feet/3-meters, which means I'm moving just under 1,000 gph. That's a very respectable volume for a 245 total gallons system. It's also the absolute maximum flow sustainable by the available weir slot area.

I am running a high water level in the Trigger Platinum Sump, and TS is working with me on the sensor setups. Seems I received an "updated" sensor bracket that is longer than the older model. That is restricting how high I can set the fleece chamber sensors and causing me some problems.

At this time the tank has saltwater at 1.021 sg, pH 7.85, ammonia 5.6 mg/L and Seachem Stability flowing.

There remains a TON of electrical to complete with the Hydros-4 and Hydros-XS controllers, ATO system, lots of sensors for pH, temp, water levels, leak roping and more to install. Under cabinet lighting, Tank-to-Tank transfer for continual water changing... the list goes on and on and... but there's progress!!!

YouTube video link





YouTube video link



I will be relocating the heaters to the overflow box.
 
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DaddyFish

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Lots accomplished this weekend...
Re-routed all the electrical cables, suspended them along the stand upper interior. No 120 VAC remains on floor level.
Made a mount for the electrical distribution panel. Mounted it and the Sicce pump controller.
Made the acrylic and screen tank lids and installed the feeder hatch.
Finished the magnetic latches and handles for the panel doors and hung all the cover panels.
Installed the interior stand lighting LED strips.

IMG_20210519_210441131 (1).jpg
IMG_20210523_205742299.jpg
IMG_20210523_204710321.jpg
IMG_20210523_204320871.jpg
 
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You did get a lot done, nice work. Got any more details or photos of your acrylic and screen lids? Any concerns about the acrylic warping?
I keep making the mistake of saying acrylic when they're actually polycarbonate. I use this material from Home Depot and it has performed extremely well on several other tanks.
1621967404639.png


The screen lid is the clear mesh screen kit from BRS. I give it a "B" grade rating. The screen frame material is extremely thin and soft aluminum. It warps significantly across the 24" span when you pull the mesh tight. I'm probably going to wind up re-making that section and not pulling as much tension.
 
AS

Do you think the color of your aquarium stand is important?

  • YES

    Votes: 129 78.7%
  • NO

    Votes: 21 12.8%
  • Maybe

    Votes: 13 7.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 1 0.6%
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