Atomic's 800g plywood In-Wall with fish room.

atomic081

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Hi Everyone,


Ive been a long time member of other forums, but recently have focused most of my time on the Reef2Reef forums. So I thought it was about time to add a build thread here also.


My wife, 2 kids (3yr and 1 yr) and just moved into our new home. During the design of the house, I planned the build of a monster reef tank. I own my own construction company building custom homes and because of my construction background, I did a lot of the work myself. Now after 16 months of working on the house, I am finally able to start working on the tank. I hope you all enjoy the ride as much as I will.



Overview:


The Tank is 120” long x 48” deep x 32” tall plywood tank (798 gallons). The total system volume should be somewhere around 1200 gallons. The display tank is in the wall facing the family room of our walkout basement. The basement family room is going to be used as a mancave/theater room/playroom. I hope this is the most used room in the house. A 240 square foot fish room (10x24) is behind the wall and will house the tank and all of its filtration. The tank will be a mixed reef with a rock wall on the back and two sides of the tank. The family room has wainscoting paneling 3 ft. up the wall. My goal was to incorporate the wainscoting into the exterior wall of the tank and make it feel like a part of the room. This was the main concern of my wife. She does not want the room to be overtaken by a fish tank. I think it turned out very well.




Basement Floorplan
Basement-layout.jpg






I am not one to get caught up spending money on unnecessary things in this hobby. I always try to get my best value in the equipment I buy. Because of this I built the plywood tank. As I stated above, my construction background helps me with being comfortable with this endeavor. I also won’t be spending tons of money on the newest latest and greatest things also. I try to buy things used if I cannot build them myself.




Google sketch image of Fish room
NEW-FISH-TANK-RII.png










Plywood Tank Build

Tank is 120"x48"x32"


Step by step plans for building the tank.


1. My plan was to use 4'x10' 3/4" plywood to make an open box 32" tall. I will be making the tank in the family room outside the hole because of the space I have in this room to move and install the glass


2. Cut out a hole on one end leaving 4" on each side and 2" on the top and bottom for the Glass
20180505-150201.jpg

3. Once the box was made, I Fiberglassed the inside of the box. Special attention to the corners was made. also added Black paint to the fiberglass.
20180618-164716.jpg

4. After this I coated the fiberglass with 3 coats of Epoxy to make it waterproof. In some places I actually created a form and poured the epoxy to make it almost 1/4" thick.
20181021-154336.jpg
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5. Put Tank on its front edge leaving the hole for the glass down

6. Install a (rough measurements) 120"x30"x3/4 Low iron Glass over the hole facing down. Place 1/8 spacers in caulk to insure good bead. Have a powered caulk gun for this already.
20181030-152008.jpg
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7. At this point the tank is made and I will slide it into the hole from the outside. (Stand will already be made inside the hole)

8. I will then be building a 2x4 walls around the side of the tank tank and 2x6 wall on the back of the tank. These walls are level with the height of the tank and securing the wall to the structural wall of the house.
20181102-184921.jpg


9. I set the tank back 2" into the 2x6 wall the hole is already in. I used this 2" to put structural trim on the front side of the tank with the glass panel. This was done all the way around the hole to help support the front edges.

10. I do want to use the 2x4 wall to hide plumbing for overflows and Electrical for the powerheads

11. Lastly, I cut 2 18x18 inch holes in one side and the back. I wanted to be able to see the backside of the islands and since the tank is “Inwall” I now can see it from the fish room. I want to put a piece of foam in the openings when they are not in use.
20190103-165707.jpg





Stand

The stand is made with 2 rows of 2x6s 16” OC on the front and back of the tank and 2x8s spanning for support in the middle of the tank. I also made a raised 12” walkway around the tank. I used collapsible hinges so this walkway can fold down and give more walking space in the fish room.
E3-AA900-B-276-C-4-F1-E-9-EEE-8-FA088-A227-A8.jpg



Fish Room!!


I have added 6ft of countertop space to work on and a utility sink. So far this has been the best use of my money over my last fish room. I have so much more storage and it looks so clean. I have a laptop setup and fragging supplies for down the road.
20181211-183200.jpg



Sump

I will be using a 100 Gallon Rubbermaid stock tank.

4 Filter socks coming from the display tank to help with sediments and one from the frag/refugium.

Tunze 3155 ATO

2 Eheim Jagger 250w Heaters

2 Finnex 500w Heaters
20190125-110406.jpg




Controller

NONE!!!! Sorta…..

My whole house is a Samsung “smart things” house. This allows me to hook up timers, cameras, water leak sensors, and ive found I can even hook up a temperature probe to the tank. Im not 100% sold on reliability because its untested on fish tanks, so some of the major items will wait for a while before they are setup on this system. The room is wired so that every outlet is prewired with a switch. All the switches are in the same area for ease of use. I plan on putting the lights and maybe automatic feeder on this system to start. Then if my kids want to watch a movie in the family room, all they say is “google, turn off the fish tank light”. The lights turn off for up to 3 hours, but stay on a normal schedule other than that time. Same thing with the feeder (still working on this). Kids can feed the tank using voice control and I can make it so the tank will only feed so many times a day no matter how many times the kids try. I want the kids to interact with the tank, but stay out of my fish room when I’m not there…. Door is locked with a keypad to get in!!!

Someday I’m sure I will add a controller when the technology is better for testing Calc, Mag, and Alk. Until they become more affordable, this will work.





Pump

Reeflo Hammerhead/Barracuda

6000 GPH




Lights

I plan to make a lighting rack to over the display rack. My goal is to hook up a winch to this to raise and lower the rack as needed when working in the tank.


Display tank will have 4 250w Metal halides.


Lumenmax Elite Reflectors



Luxcore/Icecap 250/400w Electronic Ballasts



Additional Blue supplemental lighting will be added later. Nothing fancy, just some blue LED strip lights.




Skimmer:

This thing is a beast. Ive looked at other Skimmers rated for a tank this size and most are not near this size. Im hoping it will exceed my expectations. I bought it used, so its worth a try!
Skimmer-new.jpg

MTC HAS-1000

• 6" Diameter reaction tube

• 5.25" Diameter neck

• 8" Diameter head

• Total height 48"

• Base footprint 10" x 10"

• Easy clean air injector

• Precision needle valve for air adjustment

• Ozone injection port included

• 1" Water input

• 1.5" Output with schedule 80 gate valve included

• 1/4" Cell cast acrylic tube

• 1/2" And 3/8" cell cast acrylic base

• Suitable for systems up to 750 gallons

• Baffle plate to help increase contact time

• Automatic waste collector included




Dual Carbon Reactor:




GFO Reactor:




Calcium Reactor:

Geo 618

Ive had this for my 220 gallon tank for 3 years and never set it up. Its too small for this tanks water volume, but I was told I will just be replacing the media more often. If this is a problem then ill upgrade later.




Refugium:

Size: 48”x24”x12”

This tank is my current frag tank. I plan on putting Mangroves and Macro algae and having it be somewhat of a display refugium.




Frag tank:

Tank: 72”x24”x12”

The frag tank will have 2 metal halides exactly the same as the display tank.

I have a few old Tunze powerheads for the frag tank.

I also bought used custom made frag racks
20181211-183257.jpg




Powerheads:

To start, I will have two Tunze 6255 powerheads on each end of the tank. These have a extremely wide output compared to most powerheads, Im throwing around the idea of a Gyre xf 280 in the middle of the tank on the back wall, but this can come later if needed.


Tunze (2) 6255

• for tanks up to 1,050 gallons.

• Flow performance: approximately 1,300 to 4,800 gph






QT Tank

40 Breeder w/ hang on back filter, some old 3” PVC laying for hiding




Water Storage


2 55g for saltwater:

1 55g for Freshwater:




Humidity Control


I bought a 130cfm Exhaust fan. Being in Indiana it I also had to hook up a dehumidifier that runs into the sump pump. The fish room is connected to my furnace room, so this was easy.





Fish Breeding

I want to dabble into fish breeding, so im getting this setup used from a buddy. Pretty sweet setup i think.
20181021-154403.jpg






Aquascaping


I was able to acquire almost 1200lbs of liverock and 600Lbs of sand for this project. I used a combination of E-Marco 400 and Black Pond foam for the back wall. The pond foam worked the best and im keeping my fingers crossed about the longevity it will have in the tank.

I made special emphasis on 2 things.

  1. I wanted to have one large sand bed area. Most tanks ive had never have open swimming room for schooling fish, but because I have so much space on the rock wall for coral. I can spare some space for more sand. I hope to have 25 Anthias and 10 chromis. I know they wont “school” but hopefully they will shoal a bit.

  2. I wanted to hide the Glass viewing holes in the back of the tank. I mortared rock around them to hide them as much as possible and the peninsula is placed so that it will hide the glass in a FTS.
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atomic081

atomic081

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As of today the tank is cycling. It holds water without any structural issues. I have my first order of fish coming in next week. I'm am going to QT everything for at least a month.

My fish list.

Yellow Tang 5
Blue Tang 3
Naso Tang 1
Sailfin Tang 1
Purple Tang 1
Orange Should Tang 1
Yellow Watchman Goby 1
Diamond Goby 1
Flame Angel 1
Coral Beauty 1
Lyretail Anthias 15 (waiting for 10 more)
Royal Grama Basslet 1
Midas Blenny 1
Bangi Cardinal 3
Purple Firefish 2
Matted Filefish 3
Sixline Wrasse 1
Cleaner Shrimp 2

20190116_071900.jpeg


Also wanted to add a few other pictures during the build so far. 20181222-203350.jpg
IMG-7810.jpg
 
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garbled

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Beautiful. Only thing that caught my eye as a potential issue was the power outlet on the side of the tank near one of the viewing holes. I have huge euro braces on mine, and I still get water running down the outside from time to time, even just from little splashes as I do maintenance.

I like the rockwork.. that was how I envisioned mine originally, was never able to pull it off.
 
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atomic081

atomic081

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what a build man
Thank you!

::drools::
*hands you a towel*

TYVM

Beautiful. Only thing that caught my eye as a potential issue was the power outlet on the side of the tank near one of the viewing holes. I have huge euro braces on mine, and I still get water running down the outside from time to time, even just from little splashes as I do maintenance.

I like the rockwork.. that was how I envisioned mine originally, was never able to pull it off.
I have the 3 outlets on a GFCI breaker separate from everything else in the fish room. It still is a concern to me, but i dont know of a better option. Usually ill be turning them off during maintenance anyway.
 

Muttley000

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Incredible, I am planning a 48 by 132 in a home addition to be built in 2020 so I am sticking with this thread! I have an MTC HSA1000 and love it, you will too! Did you measure any deflection? Off topic but did you do your own drawings and if so what program did you use, I am ready to get the ideas to paper and start getting the budget side taken care of!
 

garbled

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I have the 3 outlets on a GFCI breaker separate from everything else in the fish room. It still is a concern to me, but i dont know of a better option. Usually ill be turning them off during maintenance anyway.
I had outlets in a similar location. I also had a small fire. :)
 
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atomic081

atomic081

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Incredible, I am planning a 48 by 132 in a home addition to be built in 2020 so I am sticking with this thread! I have an MTC HSA1000 and love it, you will too! Did you measure any deflection? Off topic but did you do your own drawings and if so what program did you use, I am ready to get the ideas to paper and start getting the budget side taken care of!
Its hard to measure the deflection, I took before and after pictures and cannot see anything when i compare the two. I thought the front glass might have deflected a 1/32 of a inch, but after i drained the frestwater leak test, the deflection in the wall was still there. So i assume the studs on the wall are just out a tiny bit, nothing out of the normal.

I did my own drawing using "home designer essentials" it took a while to get the hang of it though.
 
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atomic081

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Sweet build!!
Thank you!!

Nice build. Someday I hope to be able to have a fish room set up like that.
Thanks, I really love the Fish room so far. My last tank had a fish.....lets call it a cellar. More of a late 1800s crawlspace/basement. Spider webs everywhere, water always was running on the ground, horrible lighting and low ceilings. You could only get to the room by going outside. So I never would go down there and sometimes the tank would suffer because of this. I hope this new setup will make me want to go into the fish room and "nerd out".
 

ShadowR55

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Nice Build!! This is almost exactly what I will be doing in my next house.

Here’s a thought, you said you would be covering the fish room glass when not viewing. You could take a picture of your rockwork on the inside and print a copy and glue it to the foam board your going to put over the holes. That way the square glass panel disappears a little more.

Also, I would possibly get 2 100gal or 2 200 gal saltwater holding tanks, I’m using a 100 gal for auto water changes on my 140 gallon tank. You can get the big tanks at farm feed stores pretty cheap. With 1200 gallons, an emergency water change could be time consuming if your only working with 2 55 gallon tanks.
 

ShadowR55

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I would be very very cautious with what fish you put in there since your keeping coral, it would be time consuming trying to take it out after the fact.

Personally I would not put the Flame Angel or Filefish.
 
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atomic081

atomic081

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Can’t wait to see it full of coral and fish.
Thanks Adam, Lets get that water in yours!!

:eek: WWOOOOOOOWWW......
that's all i got......
awesome job
TYVM!

I would be very very cautious with what fish you put in there since your keeping coral, it would be time consuming trying to take it out after the fact.

Personally I would not put the Flame Angel or Filefish.
Ive never had a problem with a Flame Angel. Had one in almost every tank ive ever had over the last 13 years. The file fish are easy to catch if i need them out, they are basically my maintenance fish. They seem to eat everything. Ill put them in my sump if i need to.

Amazing build, Ross. Congratulations on the new house and new monster tank!
Thanks Tim! Look forward to seeing you in Indy. hopefully this thing will be ready for corals. If not i might need to make a trip to see you!!!







I had a odd thing happen last night. Water was on the sill in front of my tank. A small drip was coming out of the side of the glass. The tank has had water of some sort (fresh or salt) for almost 2 months now and this happens. I woke up this morning and no sign of water. Im going to seal the small hole this week and hopefully this is the last time i see this issue. *cross fingers*
 
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