Can the necessary equipment for a monster tank fit in the cabinet?

Awesome458

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Hello,

I’m in deep thinking mode on my dream tank and I wanted to ask a cheeky question… I’m looking at a tank somewhere between 500 and 650 gallons and either 12’ or 14’ in length, 30” wide minimum.

Here’s my challenge: I do not have the space in my home to dedicate a separate equipment room for the tank equipment and necessary accoutrements. I will have access to the laundry room and a powder bath piping behind the back wall of the tank. However, there is no way I can dedicate an entire room for any necessary equipment.

This means all of my equipment (or most anyway) will have to fit in the 14’ cabinet under the tank, or I will have to do a 120’ or longer run into the climate controlled car park (where I could dedicate a 7’ x 30’ long separate room for any equipment needs). Obviously, that’s a looooong run for pipes, wires etc.

There is no other option unfortunately, so is this workable (either all under the tank) or all or most in the car park 120’ away? If the equipment is all under the tank, will I need to soundproof the cabinet to help reduce the noise?

I really prefer a 14’ long tank around 600 - 650 gallons. However, I’m not sure if my equipment space will allow this configuration? For those of you with similar size tanks, can you get all of the necessary equipment under the tank?

If not, has anyone ever put the equipment in the attic? I could build a room up there, insulate it and add air/heat as necessary. That is not ideal either for obvious reasons. So monster tank owners, can you reasonably have a monster tank without a separate equipment room ?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer! I realise this is a cheeky question, but I’ve no experience with tanks this size (largest I’ve owned was a 175 gallon), so please accept my apologies in advance.

Cheers!
 

Digitalfirex

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Not sure on the space / dimensions you are working with... but equipment under the tank is possible.

Here is a 10ft long tank build in progress

 

vetteguy53081

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Hello,

I’m in deep thinking mode on my dream tank and I wanted to ask a cheeky question… I’m looking at a tank somewhere between 500 and 650 gallons and either 12’ or 14’ in length, 30” wide minimum.

Here’s my challenge: I do not have the space in my home to dedicate a separate equipment room for the tank equipment and necessary accoutrements. I will have access to the laundry room and a powder bath piping behind the back wall of the tank. However, there is no way I can dedicate an entire room for any necessary equipment.

This means all of my equipment (or most anyway) will have to fit in the 14’ cabinet under the tank, or I will have to do a 120’ or longer run into the climate controlled car park (where I could dedicate a 7’ x 30’ long separate room for any equipment needs). Obviously, that’s a looooong run for pipes, wires etc.

There is no other option unfortunately, so is this workable (either all under the tank) or all or most in the car park 120’ away? If the equipment is all under the tank, will I need to soundproof the cabinet to help reduce the noise?

I really prefer a 14’ long tank around 600 - 650 gallons. However, I’m not sure if my equipment space will allow this configuration? For those of you with similar size tanks, can you get all of the necessary equipment under the tank?

If not, has anyone ever put the equipment in the attic? I could build a room up there, insulate it and add air/heat as necessary. That is not ideal either for obvious reasons. So monster tank owners, can you reasonably have a monster tank without a separate equipment room ?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer! I realise this is a cheeky question, but I’ve no experience with tanks this size (largest I’ve owned was a 175 gallon), so please accept my apologies in advance.

Cheers!
I had no issues

1655950771208.png
600g1.jpg
 

AlexG

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While you can fit everything under the tank stand I would be asking yourself if you are going to have the access you need and the equipment you want. I can understand the apprehension for the fish room being 120' away but that would be an option to consider. Once you get to a system that large I would not have any physical wires running between the fish room and the display. I have hundreds of feet of plumbing in my fish room at the moment and the length of the run itself is not a gating factor in most cases. I would however be concerned with the ability to run plumbing from that fish room location to the display. Do you have a physical path to accommodate plumbing between the display and fish room? Is gravity going to favor a drain line to the fish room or a drain line that leads back to the display? How much vertical height do you need to pump the water up? If you can pump the water to it maximum height as soon as you can on the return then down slope the remaining horizontal run it will give some gravity assist and help the return pump out to get more GPH over such a long run. Here is a diagram of my return line plumbing for my new display to demonstrate the plumbing downslope which also will ensure the lines drain if pumps are shut off.

Downslopereturn.png
 
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Awesome458

Awesome458

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Not sure on the space / dimensions you are working with... but equipment under the tank is possible.

Here is a 10ft long tank build in progress

Thanks for your reply. I will follow the build as it’s already proving to be an excellent resource!

Cheers!
 
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Awesome458

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With the exception of the RODI set up and mixing station tanks, I would say absolutely ‘yes’.
Thanks so much for your reply. I thought it might work (save the equipment cutouts you mentioned) but I was unsure if there would be enough height under the tank to easily access the area for maintenance. Also, for adding or removing equipment as necessary for repair or replacement.

Cheers!
 
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Awesome458

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While you can fit everything under the tank stand I would be asking yourself if you are going to have the access you need and the equipment you want. I can understand the apprehension for the fish room being 120' away but that would be an option to consider. Once you get to a system that large I would not have any physical wires running between the fish room and the display. I have hundreds of feet of plumbing in my fish room at the moment and the length of the run itself is not a gating factor in most cases. I would however be concerned with the ability to run plumbing from that fish room location to the display. Do you have a physical path to accommodate plumbing between the display and fish room? Is gravity going to favor a drain line to the fish room or a drain line that leads back to the display? How much vertical height do you need to pump the water up? If you can pump the water to it maximum height as soon as you can on the return then down slope the remaining horizontal run it will give some gravity assist and help the return pump out to get more GPH over such a long run. Here is a diagram of my return line plumbing for my new display to demonstrate the plumbing downslope which also will ensure the lines drain if pumps are shut off.

Downslopereturn.png
Thanks for your assistance and your counsel! There is much wisdom in your approach and it may be how I go for this build. Ultimately, I will probably end up with a hybrid of a traditional under tank approach and a remote setup for some of the larger equipment.

I think it makes sense for some of the really bulky things to be put in the car park. Things like a large 250 gallon saltwater reserve tank and a large RO storage tank should be fine in the car park. We are planning a whole house RO water filter system that will be in the car park anyway, so it just needs some dedicated plumbing lines to the dream tank.

We have a Gaggenau steam oven and a Dalla Corte Mina espresso machine and both require only RO/DI water. I just need to make sure that the dream tank will be accommodated with the whole house RO filtration system when it gets installed.

Thanks again bruddah!

Cheers!
 
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Awesome458

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I say yes; but why would you? At that size you should have a remote sump to allow ease of maintenance.
Thanks for your reply. Can you effectively pump the sump water 120’ to a remote sump? Since the pipes would be in the attic, they would need to be very well insulated to prevent overheating in our “Hotter than the surface of the sun” summers…

Seems like they would need to be Sch80 as well. I would also be concerned with a buildup in the pipes over time. Maybe this would not happen, but who knows. Having everything in the car park sounds awesome, but I’m not sure if the distance involved would be a significant problem or not with the operational mechanics of such a setup. This idea has merit however, so I will explore this in more detail.

Cheers!
 

AlexG

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Thanks for your reply. Can you effectively pump the sump water 120’ to a remote sump? Since the pipes would be in the attic, they would need to be very well insulated to prevent overheating in our “Hotter than the surface of the sun” summers…

Seems like they would need to be Sch80 as well. I would also be concerned with a buildup in the pipes over time. Maybe this would not happen, but who knows. Having everything in the car park sounds awesome, but I’m not sure if the distance involved would be a significant problem or not with the operational mechanics of such a setup. This idea has merit however, so I will explore this in more detail.

Cheers!

Unless you just want expensive grey pipes then I would skip schedule 80 for the pipes. Some schedule 80 fittings ball valves, unions, bulkheads make sense more for quality. Most home aquarium pumps don't produce enough pressure to to exceed the PSI ratings for schedule 40 plumbing. For marine buildup in the pipes I would ensure a few clean outs are included to allow maintenance inspections and cleaning. Insulation should be an easy solution to keep the pipes from overheating.
 
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Good discussion! I've been thinking through this as well. My tank will only be a fraction of the size of yours at around 225g, but I've decided to keep as much equipment out from under the stand in a separate remote space to hopefully make maintenance easier.
 

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Thanks for your reply. Can you effectively pump the sump water 120’ to a remote sump? Since the pipes would be in the attic, they would need to be very well insulated to prevent overheating in our “Hotter than the surface of the sun” summers…

Seems like they would need to be Sch80 as well. I would also be concerned with a buildup in the pipes over time. Maybe this would not happen, but who knows. Having everything in the car park sounds awesome, but I’m not sure if the distance involved would be a significant problem or not with the operational mechanics of such a setup. This idea has merit however, so I will explore this in more detail.

Cheers!
The distance is not nearly as much of a factor as the overall height difference for calculating head pressure. Yes, you will have some frictional losses that will factor into your total head pressure, but there are plenty of pumps that can handle that long of a run with a decent amount of head. Insulation sounds like it would be a good idea with your situation.
Standard sch40 will me more than adequate for the very low pressures that this would be operating under. I used this flexible pvc product when I did a remote sump so that I did not have any joints or fittings in the walls and ceilings; it would be very easy to pull it through an attic area. I only had mine running for about four years before I moved. I had five lines, and none of them showed anything more than a light biofilm inside when I took it apart.
The only real downside that I experienced was trying to balance the overflow with my valve located on a lower floor and 25 feet away from the tank. There was a lot of back and forth to check and listen to the drain. When I do this again I will add a second ball valve above the gate valve so that I can shut the ball valve when needed without adjusting the setting of the gate valve balancing the drain.
 
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Awesome458

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Good discussion! I've been thinking through this as well. My tank will only be a fraction of the size of yours at around 225g, but I've decided to keep as much equipment out from under the stand in a separate remote space to hopefully make maintenance easier.
Thanks for your reply! A 225 gallon tank is still massive, IMHO… :) My first tank (when I still had hair 42 years ago) was a paltry 29 gallon tank that I bought to keep some fancy Goldfish. At my peak, I had seven tanks with the largest being 175 gallons.

My goal now is a fully automated (as much as possible anyway) all predator saltwater tank. The long 14’ side of the tank will give them plenty of room to swim. I really like the idea of relocating some of the mechanical systems to a remote area.

Not only will it make it easier for maintenance, but it will reduce any associated noise from running equipment. Also, the inevitable/occasional mess or spill will be easier to sort out. As the saying goes: “Happy wife, happy life!”

The planning challenge now is getting everything sorted, so the remote equipment and the piping and wiring is all tickety boo. Luckily, we are in the process of a full remodel of our home, so any associated construction for the dream tank can be worked into the remodel scheduling.

It’s going to be a stack of fun…

Cheers!
 
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Awesome458

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Standard sch40 will me more than adequate for the very low pressures that this would be operating under. I used this flexible pvc product when I did a remote sump so that I did not have any joints or fittings in the walls and ceilings; it would be very easy to pull it through an attic area. I only had mine running for about four years before I moved. I had five lines, and none of them showed anything more than a light biofilm inside when I took it apart.
The only real downside that I experienced was trying to balance the overflow with my valve located on a lower floor and 25 feet away from the tank. There was a lot of back and forth to check and listen to the drain. When I do this again I will add a second ball valve above the gate valve so that I can shut the ball valve when needed without adjusting the setting of the gate valve balancing the drain.
Additional thoughts: The room where the tank will be located has 12’ high ceilings. However, the main house is separated from the car park. There is an overhead breezeway that connects the main house and the car park and all of the electrical and some of the natural gas pipes from the house run to the car park. All of the electrical comes in on the back of the car park.

So, the breezeway can be used for any electrical or water pipes. Our water is all underground and pipes run up through the slab. Here’s the niggle… The roof of the connector breezeway is lower than the house roof. The roof above the tank is an additional 18’ high at the peak in the attic.

The breezeway roof is probably 12’ high from the ground, so I could get some elevation on the pipes from the tank and then drop them some for the gravity assistance. Whether it’s enough I’m not sure. The run from the equipment room in the car park back to the tank presents a different challenge.

It has a peaked roof that’s about 16’ max in the attic. With a street curve fitting I could get up in the highest part of the attic and then drop back down to the breezeway area. Maybe it’s enough to make it work. I need to get some accurate measurements and see if the tail will be wagging the dog, or the other way around.

Either way, I’m going to need some strong pumps and a good layout with street curves instead of 45s or 90s to optimise the water flow. 120’ is a hike for sure, but it should work with correctly sized pumps and good pipe layout.

The other advantage of the remote equipment room is I could have my quarantine tanks, frag tanks etc and other equipment in the same room. The car park is kept at 74degrees F with a huge oversized HVAC unit sized to accommodate the heat load from two high performance cars when they come in and are parked.

Humm… Deep thought mode again, I’ve a lot to think about. We are having a foundation engineering company check our slab to ensure it will support the tank. Better safe than sorry! I keep upping the size as well, but my space will only allow a 17’ long tank max. If I want it bigger, I’ll have to go higher than 30” and deeper than 30” width. :)

Cheers!
 
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SPR1968

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Yes you can fit pretty much all equipment in your sump and cabinet area although you will be surprised how quick that apparent vast space fills up!

I have an outside shed for some large RODI/Salltwater containers thats about it everything else is under the tank
 

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I’m sure you can do it. In the same way that tasks expand to fill the time allotted, it seems like reef equipment expands to fill the fish room allotted. As someone else mentioned, RODI and mixing water containers are the only thing that stand out as problematic as it’s a simple volume issue.

Lots of fish rooms are full of non vital equipment, frag tanks, poorly used space etc. You can do it.
 
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Not quite your size, I have a 8ft 210G and I got everything under including a large chiller with no problems. Given a larger foot print I think it would be even easier. Just build your stand tall enough to accommodate an appropriate size skimmer. I'm going to be moving up to an approximately 10ft 500G and I got a Reef Octopus 300 external skimmer and it's a beast.
 

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Hello,

I’m in deep thinking mode on my dream tank and I wanted to ask a cheeky question… I’m looking at a tank somewhere between 500 and 650 gallons and either 12’ or 14’ in length, 30” wide minimum.

Here’s my challenge: I do not have the space in my home to dedicate a separate equipment room for the tank equipment and necessary accoutrements. I will have access to the laundry room and a powder bath piping behind the back wall of the tank. However, there is no way I can dedicate an entire room for any necessary equipment.

This means all of my equipment (or most anyway) will have to fit in the 14’ cabinet under the tank, or I will have to do a 120’ or longer run into the climate controlled car park (where I could dedicate a 7’ x 30’ long separate room for any equipment needs). Obviously, that’s a looooong run for pipes, wires etc.

There is no other option unfortunately, so is this workable (either all under the tank) or all or most in the car park 120’ away? If the equipment is all under the tank, will I need to soundproof the cabinet to help reduce the noise?

I really prefer a 14’ long tank around 600 - 650 gallons. However, I’m not sure if my equipment space will allow this configuration? For those of you with similar size tanks, can you get all of the necessary equipment under the tank?

If not, has anyone ever put the equipment in the attic? I could build a room up there, insulate it and add air/heat as necessary. That is not ideal either for obvious reasons. So monster tank owners, can you reasonably have a monster tank without a separate equipment room ?

Thanks for any guidance you can offer! I realise this is a cheeky question, but I’ve no experience with tanks this size (largest I’ve owned was a 175 gallon), so please accept my apologies in advance.

Cheers!
I upgraded to my dream tank last year. 600 gallons. 8ft×4ft wide by 30" high. I was lucky to have enough room and place everything behind my tank. To answer your question. It would be VERY tough to fit everything underneath. I would not have had the room.

 

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