550 Gallon: 120Lx36Wx29H + Fish Room

Blue Tang Clan

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Hi gang, this is my journey toward a new tank build which is part of a new house build. I expect to have keys to the house by May 1, 2019, and I hope to have water in the tank a month later.

Display dimensions: 120x36x29
120" long is because I want to have Tangs that prefer long distance open water, like Hippos and Powder Blues
36" wide so I can easily reach the middle from each side
29” deep allows me reach the bottom without a snorkel. I am 6'4 and have long arms, but my 25" tall 90 gallon is already a challenge to get things in the back/bottom.

Display Style:
The tank will be similar to an in-wall tank, but instead of being flush up against a contiguous wall, the "wall" will be wrapped around the tank. It's a little more work, but if you're starting from scratch... So, in-wall, but with a 36" protrusion into the room. Normally, you would only get the long view from being behind the wall, but I want everyone to be able to look through 10 feet of reef action!

Fish Room:
The Fish Room will be 16'x16' -- this is a true privilege, and I am excited to be able to build a dedicated room with floor drains, plumbing, and all of the necessary support equipment to make this a great display tank.

Both the display tank and the fish room will NOT be "in" my house for "Oh [email protected]%#!!" leak risk reasons -- instead it will be connected but on its own separate slab, next to my garage slab. I haven't seen my design before on these forums, but I'm sure it's been done before.

I view this build as a collaborative effort with everyone here on the site, so don't be shy about posting best practices and lessons learned from your own builds!

_
 
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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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Decisions (updated as the build progresses):

Room Construction
  • Flooring will be epoxy (non-slip finish) on top of concrete
  • Two 10-foot trench drains to help with spills

Tanks
  • Display
  • Frag
  • QT/Hospital

Filtration, Flow, and Plumbing
  • 1-1/2" plumbing on drains and returns

Lighting
  • 48" & 60" (9' total) of T5/LED hybrid fixtures. 5 LED fixtures will be Kessil A360X units.

Automation, Electrical, and Misc.
 
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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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Here is the plan for the tank room, and why it's different than most setups. The room will be positioned OUTSIDE of the foundation of the house, on a separate slab, similar to the garage. But, you'll be able to walk from one to the other as if they were connected and part of the same house. If there are any tank leaks, they will be caught be a trench/channel drain that divides the Fish Room from the Morning Room. So, no damage will come to the house, even if the glass cracks. [Ignore some of my markups, I'm still waiting on final architect drawings.]
  • The display can stay on the main level for maximum viewing, while still having a basement for the house
  • Keeping it separate from the house mitigates damage risk from any potential leaks
  • Concrete slab eliminates weight concerns for display, holding tanks, etc. -- lots of water!

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 10.17.48 PM.png
 
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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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Here is a sketch of how I am going to have the floor drains. The "Flat" area is where the display tank will go, and I plan to have two different trench drains, one right in front of the tank, and then one in the middle of the fish room.

The next consideration is flooring. The base will be poured concrete, and I was considering an epoxy finish, or standard 12" tile. Any thoughts or experience on the flooring? The tank will weigh a lot, but the weight should be distributed evenly across the support feet.

Fish Room Slab layout.png
 

Mebeknob

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Does an epoxy floor hold up well over time? There is going to be a lot of heavy stuff in the fish room, and I'd rather not have to fix chips etc.

Anyone do tile?

I would 100% do epoxy over tile. Pay to have someone to do the epoxy properly or it will chip. Tile grout will get nasty over time and tiles can crack.

But with all that said... I’d do what Mr. saltwater tv did for his Fish room before I spent the money on epoxy
 
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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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I would 100% do epoxy over tile. Pay to have someone to do the epoxy properly or it will chip. Tile grout will get nasty over time and tiles can crack.

But with all that said... I’d do what Mr. saltwater tv did for his Fish room before I spent the money on epoxy

Thanks, I'm definitely leaning that way -- I'm just unfamiliar with its resilience so I'm a little unsure.

I have hardwood flooring in the room next to the display, and likely with a wooden threshold that transitions to some material that goes 2.5 feet into the "new" room toward the tank before it goes concrete under the tank. Maybe I'll just go wood all the way to the display wall, then concrete sealed with epoxy in the actual fish room, maybe throwing some bonus grating on top some places.

Thanks for helping me to think out loud on this!
 
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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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Let's talk Cepex valves!!

BRS and others sell the high-end Cepex valves with the red handle, that get to be expensive quickly;Greedy In reality, there are three Cepex valve tiers that can be used for aquariums. 4 units of the 1-1/2” size is the baseline for pricing:

  1. $13 e-QUA series: These valves have an "Antiblock" system that avoids ball blockage and they are ideally suited for swimming pool applications.
  2. $24 ST-series: These valves have an "Antiblock" system that avoids ball blockage and a threaded seal-carrier for upstream maintenance without emptying the system.
  3. $38 Expensive-series: These industrial series PVC and Corzan® CPVC Schedule 80 valves are suited for heavy process and chemical plants, mining, water treatment, food and beverage plants or anywhere where quality and affordability are demanded

Does anyone have experience with the first two series? They are rated for pool systems etc. - pressure is okay, temp is okay. The expensive series (my term) is rated for super industrial work so I don't think any of us actually NEED that, especially at 3x the price. Thoughts? Experience?

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revhtree

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Let's talk Cepex valves!!

BRS and others sell the high-end Cepex valves with the red handle, that get to be expensive quickly;Greedy In reality, there are three Cepex valve tiers that can be used for aquariums. 4 units of the 1-1/2” size is the baseline for pricing:

  1. $13 e-QUA series:
  2. $24 ST-series:
  3. $38 Expensive-series:

Does anyone have experience with the first two series? They are rated for pool systems etc. - pressure is okay, temp is okay. The expensive series (my term) is rated for super industrial work so I don't think any of us actually NEED that, especially at 3x the price. Thoughts? Experience?

20558p.jpg


20528p.jpg


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Can't wait to see this build progress!

I haven't check the pricing difference but I used this site to save a lot of money! http://www.pvcfittingsonline.com/
 
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Blue Tang Clan

Blue Tang Clan

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Can't wait to see this build progress!

I haven't check the pricing difference but I used this site to save a lot of money! http://www.pvcfittingsonline.com/

Thanks! It looks like the lowest Cepex line is still a little cheaper, but the mid- and higher-end models of the Flue-Pro brand are comparable.

I've done a little research on the two different types of seals, in case anyone else was wondering:

EPDM Seals
EPDM is a complex yet inexpensive rubber that has a wide range of uses. It is commonly used in roofing for waterproofing, as EPDM seals nicely. It is also a common material for freezer room seals, as it is an insulator and has excellent low temperature tolerance. Typical applications for EPDM include electrical insulation, pond liners, tubing, solar panel heat collectors, O-rings, and more.

In addition to a large temperature tolerance, EPDM also has a wide range of chemical resistances. These include hot water, steam, detergents, caustic potash solutions, sodium hydroxide solutions, silicone oils/greases, and many other diluted acids and chemicals. It is unsuitable for use with mineral oil products, such as lubricants, oils, or fuels.

Viton Seals
Viton is a synthetic rubber and fluoropolymer elastomer. "Fluoropolymer" means this material has high resistance to solvents, acids, and bases. "Elastomer" is a word that is basically interchangeable with "rubber." Viton is significantly more dense than most types of rubber, which makes Viton seals some of the strongest. Viton is often used in O-rings, chemical-resistant gloves, and other molded or extruded goods. O-rings made of Viton are perfect for scuba diving (because of undersea pressure), automobile engines, and valves of all kinds.

When it comes to chemical resistance, Viton can't be beat. It resists corrosion from a greater variety of fluids and chemicals than any non-fluorinated elastomer. Unlike EPDM, Viton is compatible with oils, fuels, lubricants, and most mineral acids. It is also extremely resistant to compression, atmospheric oxidation, sun, weathering, oxygenated automotive fuels, aromatic hydrocarbons, fungus, mold, and more. It is also inherently more resistant to burning than most other rubbers.

For best bang for the buck, I think I'll be going with the e-QUA series. Anything higher seems to be suited for heavy chemicals. A 1/3 the price, I can afford a few extra, just in case!
 
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twf0369

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The tank isn't ordered yet, but I am set on the specs -- as I'm building a house around it :D

I am considering AGE, Custom Aquariums, Coast to Coast, and I've heard a little bit about TankMeUSA.
Great...keep us posted on what you decide. I am going with Glass Cages. I’ve read the reviews and since it’s going to be an in-wall I’m not too concerned about the silicone job.
 
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Blue Tang Clan

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this should be sweet

Thanks! I'm really excited, and will be buying much of the new equipment over the course of the next year to spread out the hurt. I actually have 2/3 of what I need already on my 90 gallon build. I've finally gotten my water parameters stable enough to do some nice corals so I'm building that out now.

The goal is to do a video blog with progress on the plans, equipment, installation, and then going forward too. My wife laughed at me and said that she'd buy my new sump if I got 250 subscribers by the end of the year! CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!! ;Woot
 
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