Day Five - 500 gallon corner in wall build

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
This is my build thread. I was going to wait until I had an actual tank but there’s been so much being done in preparation that I figured I’d document my thoughts through the process.

The current plan is to have an L shaped tank that will sit between my home office and our dining area.

This is what I would see from the office side.
6359E947-C3E3-41F5-B4E3-435AC12D8C35.png

and this is the dining room side.
83B7C4DE-4045-4E77-AC57-CF48AB3BF88B.png
2258B207-3875-48CE-B310-3E8C680D9295.png


Of course I tweak and change things almost daily, but the main essence and configuration stays the same. I’ve hidden the doors so you can see all the equipment and plumbing and such.

The tank is 112” along the front long edge and 54” along the shorter leg with both sections being 30” deep and 24” tall. That works out to 424 gallons. With the sump it should be over 500 gallons for the whole system.

To support all that weight I installed a couple extra steel I beams in the basement ceiling before we finished the basement.
17B77096-CB2E-4841-AF02-BE938C9F848B.jpeg
 
Click to watch best scape method in 5 easy steps!
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
One thing I’m still mulling over is if I’ll have enough flow. I currently have two WAV’s and just got a Hydros WaveEngine to control three XF350 gyres.

I plan to have one WAV and one gyre on the overflow wall. The WAV is represented by a cube and the gyre is oriented vertically above it.
06BAEDC6-8C4D-4C3D-811D-9F128D89E316.png


They will push the water along the back wall and then hopefully be directed into the leg of the L of the tank with another gyre at the corner.
7803D00A-7828-417D-8D0A-617597DFC988.png


Then the return line is positioned near the top of the tank with a WAV below it directing the water to the last corner where another gyre will push the water back across the front of the tank towards the overflow wall.

The two areas I’m a little concerned about is being able to redirect the flow into the short leg of the L efficiently and how well the final gyre will be able to push water 112” along the front of the tank.

Oh, also the return line will be pushing about 3000gph with my Abyzz a200.

Let me know if you think this is a good approach or if you’d change something.
 

rtbell1771

Ummm, yep, it's supposed to look like that...
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
63
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Gettysburg
Love the design! While yes it may be a challenge to get flow in a tank such a this, it looks like you have some real flow "monsters" designed in. I think with some experimentation with what you have, you'll be plenty good. I have WAV's also and they can push some water... with that Abyzz, you're in good shape. Best of luck with the build. I'll follow along!
 
Fritz
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
Love the design! While yes it may be a challenge to get flow in a tank such a this, it looks like you have some real flow "monsters" designed in. I think with some experimentation with what you have, you'll be plenty good. I have WAV's also and they can push some water... with that Abyzz, you're in good shape. Best of luck with the build. I'll follow along!
Thanks for weighing in on this. It builds my confidence that I may have enough flow. I don’t have any experience with the gyres so that’s unfamiliar territory for me.
 
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
Nothing groundbreaking, but I made the realization the other day that I started with a 30 gallon tank and upgraded by a factor of 4 to a 120 gallon tank. Now I’m looking at a tank that is roughly 4 times that size. In theory, that would put the next one at about 2000 gallons. I think my wife may put a stop to something that size.
 
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
So here’s my next dilemma. I want to use the pentair 80w smart UV sterilizer on the system. It’s rated at 2700-3600 gph to kill algae and bacteria and 450-600 gph to kill Protozoa. I was hoping to be able to switch between the two flow rates with the push of a button on the apex but it looks like this might be a pipe dream. So instead I plan to install the UV vertically after the return pump. I plan to run the flow through the sump at about 3000 gph so I’ll typically have the full flow running through the UV but when I want to drop down to the Protozoa flow rate I’ll have the plumbing “T” off before the UV and use gate valves to control the flow to the proper rate.

My dilemma is what size to use for the plumbing. The Abyzz pump uses a 1-1/2” pipe coming off of it and the UV uses 2” unions. Obviously I can reduce each of these to 1” but if I can avoid it it would be preferable. Other considerations are that the apex flow rate monitors only come in 1” and 2” options (no 1-1/2”). Also, I want to come off the pump with silicone tubing to reduce vibration noise. I can source 1-1/2” tubing but it’s much more expensive than 1”.

If I reduce the size of the plumbing to 1” right off the pump then it is much cheaper and the parts are more available and obviously physically smaller to be more likely to fit in the space available. I don’t think I’ll be able to use 1” though since the flow meter is only rated up to 1500 gph.

I think what is more likely is to come off the pump with the 1-1/2” silicone tubing (I can’t find 2”) I may have to go with spa flex so I can go up to 2”. From there it would go to a “T” fitting with a gate valve on either side. One side will go up to the DT. The other side will go to a 2” flow meter, then to the UV, and then connect back up with the other line and into the DT.

This is what I’ve got so far. It’s not complete yet but the kind of general idea.
3BD46F10-C9F3-4B0D-A621-17FC75618681.png
 
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
Wow, so the UV just jumped up from $779 to now $909. That’s too bad.

 
AS

rtbell1771

Ummm, yep, it's supposed to look like that...
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 5, 2020
Messages
35
Reaction score
63
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Gettysburg
Wow, so the UV just jumped up from $779 to now $909. That’s too bad.

That sucks. You can keep an eye out in the selling forums. I found a large UV in the For Sale Forum once but the seller wanted so much to ship it, it wasn't worth buying used. You're going to need that big UV, might just have to bite the bullet unfortunately
 
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
Ok, I got some things worked out and it presented new problems. For reference, the two grey boxes over the sump are gate valves and the grey cylinder along the lower plumbing is the 2” flow meter. The UV is the large cylinder on the right.

05620868-7752-4BA2-B471-7972AC761B49.png


The first problem is that the hard plumbing is partially running through the steel support leg and it doesn’t lie over the sump. It’s off to the side.

ECEADBE0-DA7E-455B-AF65-278045F6966B.png


The second problem is that it enters the tank with a 2” bulkhead. I don’t know what to do to direct the flow so it’s not just 3000 gph gushing into the tank.

7D28B54D-0E98-4DB1-8083-CF0730DD70B0.png


In the past I’ve used 3/4” locline but this is way bigger. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

Blue Tang Clan

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
374
Reaction score
770
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
I've used that UV before and it's awesome. Wait until Black Friday and BRS (and others) will have it for 10-15% off.

You CAN switch it with a flick of a button on the APEX if you have a pump that uses 0-10V. The ReefOctopus Varios pumps and many others can do this. Or, just adjust the speed on the pump controller manually.

Go with the 2" APEX flow meter. Here's why: All of their flow meters actually have a portion that is significantly smaller than the fitting. A 1" meter probably slims down to 3/4" and the 2" slims down to 1.5" or 1-3/4". The 2" is a beast, but it's worth it.

Both the UV and the Flow meter have 2" slip fittings, so glue in 2" reducing bushing with 1.5" female threads -- then either use 1.5" pipe (recommended) or you can reduce further to 1". Just don't glue in a slip-slip fitting or you're stuck with that size forever. On the UV, put a traditional union right afterward so you can adjust the placement in the future.

IMG_6853.JPG IMG_6854.JPG
 
Last edited:
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
I've used that UV before and it's awesome. Wait until Black Friday and BRS (and others) will have it for 10-15% off.

You CAN switch it with a flick of a button on the APEX if you have a pump that uses 0-10V. The ReefOctopus Varios pumps and many others can do this. Or, just adjust the speed on the pump controller manually.

Go with the 2" APEX flow meter. Here's why: All of their flow meters actually have a portion that is significantly smaller than the fitting. A 1" meter probably slims down to 3/4" and the 2" slims down to 1.5" or 1-3/4". The 2" is a beast, but it's worth it.

On the UV, glue in a 2" reducing bushing with 1.5" female threads -- then either use 1.5" pipe (recommended) or you can reduce further to 1". Just don't glue in a slip-slip fitting to the UV or you're stuck with that size forever.

You’re right, I can control the pump at the push of a button but what I’m looking for is to keep 3000 gph flowing through the system at all times and be able to change the flow through the UV up or down. So if I want 3000 gph total flow through the system and then want the UV to treat algae (which I think it will do primarily) then I’ll have the full amount of flow go through the UV. If I want to drop it down to say 500 gph to treat Protozoa, I don’t want the flow through the whole system to drop down that far. I want 500 gph to go through the UV and the rest to bypass the UV and continue through the system.
 

revhtree

Owner Administrator
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
44,180
Reaction score
70,915
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
This is going to be a killer build! Thanks for sharing!
 

Blue Tang Clan

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
374
Reaction score
770
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Maryland
You’re right, I can control the pump at the push of a button but what I’m looking for is to keep 3000 gph flowing through the system at all times and be able to change the flow through the UV up or down. So if I want 3000 gph total flow through the system and then want the UV to treat algae (which I think it will do primarily) then I’ll have the full amount of flow go through the UV. If I want to drop it down to say 500 gph to treat Protozoa, I don’t want the flow through the whole system to drop down that far. I want 500 gph to go through the UV and the rest to bypass the UV and continue through the system.

A couple of things:

1. 3000GPH is way overkill (IMHO) for a 500G display. Anywhere between 1-3x is totally fine.
2. If you're going to keep tangs, you'll want to have a lower flow through the UV at all times to zap Ich, etc.

3. Consider running two returns (and UVs) so that you can do 1000GPH total, but only 500GPH through each line. That way you get low flow and every drop goes through a UV *AND* the overall tank turnover is 2x as high, which slows the ability of algae to grow. This is the only way to go after protozoa and algae at the same time -- multiple return channels.

I did a detailed writeup in my thread about Flow vs. Turnover with UV sterilizers:
 
Last edited:
OP
flagg37

flagg37

Custom stair builder - TreeofLifeStairs.com
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
502
Reaction score
559
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver area
A couple of things:

1. 3000GPH is way overkill (IMHO) for a 500G display. Anywhere between 1-3x is totally fine.
2. If you're going to keep tangs, you'll want to have a lower flow through the UV at all times to zap Ich, etc.

3. Consider running two returns (and UVs) so that you can do 1000GPH total, but only 500GPH through each line. That way you get low flow and every drop goes through a UV *AND* the overall tank turnover is 2x as high, which slows the ability of algae to grow. This is the only way to go after protozoa and algae at the same time -- multiple return channels.

I did a detailed writeup in my thread about Flow vs. Turnover with UV sterilizers:
Coming from someone with a build that is about the same size, I find your input very valuable. I’ve never been one to push 10x turnover rate through the sump. I’ve typically thought a range of 2x to 5x is a good range to shoot for (a little more than your 1x to 3x recommendation but still pretty close). I came to the 3000 gph rate (6x turnover) since the recommendation from the UV manufacturer was between 2700-3600 gph for algae control. My original plan was to use two return pumps and two UV sterilizers, like you recommend, but decided I’ll have to be fine with one of each based on cost and available space (those UV units are huge).

I do plan on having tangs; I’ve had them in the past and never run UV before without issue.

Now to go read your whole build thread. ;)
 
Fritz

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

  • Yes! I have. (Tell us about what issue you faced in the thread.)

    Votes: 150 24.3%
  • No. Thankfully, I haven't.

    Votes: 319 51.6%
  • Nope, but it almost happened. (Share your experience in the thread.)

    Votes: 45 7.3%
  • Not yet, but I'm almost there. (Tell us what you're dealing with.)

    Votes: 52 8.4%
  • If you reef long enough, this will eventually happen to you.

    Votes: 41 6.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 11 1.8%
UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF YOUR REEF
Top