450 Gallon Display Tank and Fish Room

MarkDarnell

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Finally starting this build thread.

Brief history. Purchased my first tank, a 220gallon Marineland with dual corner overflows, back in 2015. I jumped right into the "big tanks" and loved it from the beginning. My wife and I converted a basement bedroom into a fish tank room and put this tank in the wall opening up to a family room. We had your typical reef safe fish, corals, etc. We went thru all the typical first time hobbyists problems (algae, wet floors, overfeeding, ich from non-quarantine, etc) but throughly enjoyed the hobby. Ill have to admit the ich outbreak was the worst and is the one problem that taught me the most.
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Fast forward a few years to November 2020. My wife and I sold our old house and bought a new one. We moved the old tank to the new house as the buyers didnt want it at all. We had planned on this all along, but for the right price, we would have sold it with the house. We had a few things that needed done in the new house, new laundry room, new half bath, etc. Once I completed those projects, we started on the fish tank room. The new house had a very small 2 car garage that wouldnt fit either of our vehicles. In the one corner of the garage, the previous owner had put in an ADA compliant full bathroom complete with wheelchair roll in shower stall. This was part of the reason the garage was so small. So our plan was to tear out that bathroom, extend this new tank room into the garage and put a new larger tank in the wall overlooking the living room.

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MarkDarnell

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Next up was the extension of existing room. I put down two rows of concrete block and extended the room to overall dimensions of 11ft x 13ft.
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After installing the block and the 2x6 treated bottom plate, we started the jackhammer process. This was hard to say the least and I had my 15year old son helping the entire way. We took the tile and the concrete chunks and filled in the new area. The existing shower bathroom had underfloor hot water heat fed from the gas hot water heater. We had to disconnect that before we started the removal of the concrete.
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MarkDarnell

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After all the demo work was complete, we filled the remaining void with gravel.
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Next we started on the new underfloor plumbing. I have been planning this tank room for a few years and reading a ton on this site has influenced most of my decisions on what I wanted to do. There was already the 3" drain line in the floor for the previous bathroom and the garage also had a 3" drain line for a utility sink that went to the basement. We repurposed one line for "non-septic" drain wastewater. We put in 2 - 3" area drains in the floor. We put 1 - 2" in wall drain for saltwater waste (pump out from sump, or with water changes). These drains connect and go to a gravel pit outside about 30" deep and 24" diameter. This is to not kill ground vegetation in the yard. We also put a P-Trap in this run to keep any bugs/snakes out of the room. The other existing drain line is plumbing to a new hookup for a utility sink inside the fishtank room and connects to the septic system.
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MarkDarnell

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Concrete pour day was not fun. My son and his best friend helped me with the pour until they had to leave for baseball practice. It had been awhile since I did concrete work and it ended up not being perfect, but close.
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After floating it twice, I was satisfied with it as tile was going on top.
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However, it was off in a few places and I had to grind down some high spots and also used a concrete self leveling product found at Lowes to make it perfect.
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MarkDarnell

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Now that the room was basically built, I could start on electrical.
I currently have the Kessil A360x and they are wonderful. I plan on sticking with them on the new tank so I wired receptacles in the ceiling for them. All lighting, room and tank, are on one circuit. The room lighting is LED as well. With the additional A360x on the new tank as well as putting the same fixture on a frag build out tank, I am at less than 10amps total. Bonus pic of one of the cats that likes to climb ladders and walked the ceiling joists :)
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I roughed in the plumbing supply lines and waste lines next. I also installed an icemaker box in the wall for the RODI unit to connect to.
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After the plumbing was done, I had to figure out what I was doing with the HVAC. I installed a large 250CFM fan for humidity control and for basic ventilation. It will be wired to a humidity wall sensor switch. I knew I needed that for times when we dont run the heat or AC. We decided to put one return duct in the ceiling and because all wall space was being used, we put the supply duct under the eventual cabinetry with a toe kick grill. I connected the supply and return to the house HVAC system.
 
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MarkDarnell

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For electrical circuitry, I pulled 2 - 20amp circuits in and wired them every other box. I will have 2 return pumps in the sump with each on a seperate circuit. I also have 2 receptacles on both sides of the tank for wavemakers, blowers, heaters, etc. I dont think I will have any electrical issues.
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I had some wiring that I had to relocate for some living room lighting circuits, but othewise it was fairly smooth. I moved the door to the new spot. I insulated and drywalled this week and cut the hole in the wall for where the tank will be.
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MarkDarnell

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Painting done. Tile is down. Electrical outlets, exhaust fan, and HVAC returns all finished. Hope to grout the tile today and then waiting on tank to be ready for pickup. I have a dedicated space 6ft long against the side wall for the sump. I am having troubles deciding on what to buy. My 220gal has the Emerald 39 but I know that will be too small for this new tank. Any suggestions? The tank will have two external overflow boxes with 6 total 1.5" drains. I would like to put two return pumps in for redundancy and will have 4 total loc line returns. Other water flow in tank will be achieved with Gyres.
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DH78

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Looking nice. For the sump, I can't give any specific advice, butin my opinion you are going to need to reach out to a custom sump builder. I have a Synergy Reef CL-60 on order for my 220, but that certainly won't be big enough for your tank. Another option would be to make your own out of Rubbermaid stock tanks because of the volume and number of drains/returns you are going to have.
 
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Do you care whether or not you have wave action in your reef tank?

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