In-wall/Behind-wall, 180g peninsula, with a basement fish closet

New&no clue

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New Year, New Tank!

My current tank is a Red Sea Reefer 350. And while it’s a good tank, a 6ft tank is even better. I’ve wanted to go bigger for some time but holding off because I wasn’t sure where to put it. Until one day, it hit me, do an in-wall/behind-wall, 180 peninsula, with a basement fish closet.

I had already started updating my old build thread with the process, but I think it’s time to start a new thread for this tank. I’m going to move over all my other posts to here.

November
I put a couple cheap SPS in the tank, and they all are doing terribly. Not surprising as my lights are not great. I looked at lights but decided I should figure out where I want this tank to go in the future. As all good reefers do, I concluded that I really want a bigger tank, like 6 feet. But where oh where to put this tank. Initially, I was thinking of the basement family room. However, that is the kid's playroom right now, and with two rough and tumble boys, I don't really want a fish tank anywhere near their wrestling ring. My current tank is in the dining room, and I love it there. Thinking of maybe doing an in-wall tank. I started to look at the WaterBox 7225 but found a local company that installs custom tanks and reached out to them for their opinions. They will be out next week to take some measurements and give me a quote. Now that my mind is set on this tank, I started search Black Friday sales, and boy, did I get some good stuff. The UPS guy was not too impressed with me today.
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You can see the current tank here and the new tank would go on the other side of the red wall. Then I would cut a window to see it.

Dining room.jpg
 
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New&no clue

New&no clue

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January
I had my contractor come over on Monday. Typically he comes, gives me a quote, says he will try to squeeze me in between other jobs, and then I don't see him again for six months. However, this time he told me he would be over on Friday to do the work. I was skeptically, but he showed up and got it all done... amazing.

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I plan to put a 6-foot peninsula tank in my office against the dining room's shared wall. Cut a window in the wall so the tank can be viewed from the dining room as well. I was told I didn't need to do any extra support to the floor... but that gave me anxiety, so I had him add a couple of support posts below the tank. I'll sleep better at night with those there. Initially, I was going to have the sump in the stand. However, right below the dining room is a small closet. Well, in true Bigger is Better style, I thought, why not just put the sump in the basement. I had him add a couple outlets and thought I could even move my mixing station in there, which will make water changes much easier.
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February

The water storage/mixing station is finally all set up. I had to redo it several times as I kept changing my mind on how I wanted it to work. I'm still not totally sold on the design, but I was getting frustrated and impatient, so I just picked something and went with it. I looked up a lot of other people's set up to get some ideas. One reoccurring theme seemed to be adding lots of unions. I did put in a bunch, and I'm sure they will make cleaning and maintenance more manageable, but man, do they make it easier to lines up the pipe. If your elbow is a little cocked to the side, simply fix it with the union.

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Now that I have that setup, I started to look for a table or workbench to put in there. I'm finding it very difficult to find something that is the right size. The problem I'm having is the room this narrow, and most workbenches are 24-25". That is a bit too wide for that room. I would prefer something around 20". I have looked at Home Depot, and Lowe's with no luck. Amazon didn't seem to have anything either. I have found a couple of stainless steel ones made for kitchen work. However, their maximum weight allowance is pushing it with a sump. Plus, metal and salt water doesn't seem like the best mix.


I started to fill my FW barrel last night, and got it about a third full. I then turned on the pump to makes sure everything was working. I started by making the water circulate out, up, and back in. All worked fine. I turned off the pump, open and closed new valves to test it going from FW to SW. I turn the pump back on... and nothing, dead pump. :mad:

I guess that’s a risk when you buy used. I’m mostly thankful I didn’t wait to test it until it was all the way full. I already had to hang from my waist down inside to reach it and unscrew it. If the barrel had been full I would have needed a snorkel.

Good news, bad news on the mixing station. The good news is I got the pump to work. YAY! I happened to be cleaning all my powerheads and decided what the heck. I pulled the pump apart and let it soak in a bucket of hot water and citric acid with all the others. Then I got my brush and scrubbed all the pieces. Nothing looked terrible on it. It seemed relatively clean. I put it back together, and it turned right on. I've had no issue with it since. I will have to add to my maintenance schedule to clean mixing station pumps.

Now that my pump is working, I turned on my RODI and let it fill the rest of the way. Then I pumped all the water from my freshwater barrel into the saltwater barrel... and can you guess what happened next?

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The bulkhead was leaking (not that dramatically). I pumped all the water back into the FW tank and took the SW barrel out, which all I can say to that is thank god for all the unions. I unscrewed the bulkhead to make sure the seal was good, then screwed it on again. I tried to fill it again, but still leaking. I took it back apart and bought some silicone to put along the edge and hopefully seal it. It says to let dry 24 hours, so I'll check again, and if it is still leaking, I'll have to take out the bulkhead, cut the pipe, and redo that section.

I wouldn't mind so much, except I took apart my old mixing station, which means I can't do a water change until this is fixed. Luckily I have plenty of fresh water for the ATO, but still, I already missed my usually scheduled one of Sunday, so hopefully, this can be up and running before the weekend.
 
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Awesome! What lights did you decide on?

I'm going with the two ATI T5/LED combo.

 
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At first I thought this was a normal toilet at the end of a very long room :p
Looks like its off to a nice start!
Lol, when our first son was potty training, my mother-in-law thought that the kid pottys were weird, and it would be better to have a tiny version of the toilet in each bathroom, so he could be like his dad.
 
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Love it. Seeing the tape on the wall takes me back a few months to my 180 in-wall build. Love the dogfish photo too :)
I just read through your build, looks like we are going down similar paths. I'll be following along on yours to get some ideas.
 
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Nice work. This is going to great. You are going to really like the sump room.

Yes, It was always a goal when I started this hobby. I wish the room was a foot wider, it would make it easier to find premade items.
 

TampaMark

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I just read through your build, looks like we are going down similar paths. I'll be following along on yours to get some ideas.
Yes, I did a double take with the tape on the wall. Very similar. I have had water in the tank for 2 months, have added six fish and am getting bored with keeping the lights off. I am following the BRS suggestion of four months with no lights to try and avoid the "uglies," but am seriously wanting to add some corals to the mix.

I am in Florida, so no basement here. I have serious basement sump/fish room envy. Good luck with the build.
 
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Yes, I did a double take with the tape on the wall. Very similar. I have had water in the tank for 2 months, have added six fish and am getting bored with keeping the lights off. I am following the BRS suggestion of four months with no lights to try and avoid the "uglies," but am seriously wanting to add some corals to the mix.

I am in Florida, so no basement here. I have serious basement sump/fish room envy. Good luck with the build.

What fish have you added so far? I'll be adding the seven from my 75g and then trying to decide on what else to put in. I will definitely have a couple tangs now that I have a 6ft tank and the tang police will be satisfied.

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TampaMark

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What fish have you added so far? I'll be adding the seven from my 75g and then trying to decide on what else to put in. I will definitely have a couple tangs now that I have a 6ft tank and the tang police will be satisfied.

1612473928944.png
Two gladiator clowns, a yellow tang, a melanaurus wrasse, a lawnmower blenny, and a kole tang so far. Not sure what's next. Beat the price increases on my tangs. Paid $60 for the yellow tang. Three weeks later I can't find one under $100 in town.
 
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I found a workbench/table that was narrow enough to fit into the fish closet. However, I was planning to have two sumps—one for all my equipment and one dedicated refugium for macroalgae and pod growth. I have a mandrian right now who is doing well, but I'd like to add another wrasse to the new tank and want to make sure I have ample pods for both of them. I can't fit the two sumps on the table with a shared return pump between them. So I'm planning to get a second table to make an "L" shape and have the two sumps be perpendicular to each other. The only fear here is having a sump on two different tables. I am assuming the most crucial thing is to make sure they are the same height. I was also going to put a protective mat across both.

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My silicone patch worked on the water barrel. It holds water just fine. Now that that was done, I moved all the freshwater over to start making salt and... dead pump. AT THE BOTTOM OF A 55 GALLON BARREL FULL OF WATER! Time to put my snorkel on. I bought a new pump.
 
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