Jason's Reefer 250: Sump Mod, Clarisea, custom plumbing, aquascape w/E-Marco, dry side with IKEA cabinet (Pics + instructions!)

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Nice! May I know why you chose those dry rocks instead of Caribsea purple live dry rock? I am thinking of using the Caribsea rocks so that I get that purple look right away.

Also, I am thinking of removing the black film on the back of the tank except the overflow right away. How do think we should mount the wave makers and limiting the view of the cables when the back is clear?
So all of that rock that you see is actually live rock that I've had forever. It was all originally live from Tonga and Fiji. There's only 5 separate pieces of rock which will give you an idea on how big they are. I'm using those due to their interesting shapes and perhaps because I'm a little sentimental about the dead rock. I mentioned before that I can see the old colonies of my tank before it wiped out.

If I were to start from scratch I very well may have gone with caribsea, but I've used Marco in the past and they are available from BRS where I bought my tank and the majority of my equipment.

My last two tanks were 6 feet and 4 feet... This is my first 3 foot tank in awhile and I overestimated how much space I had. As it stands I will use very little of the marcorock in my tank, maybe to build some shelves as @thaistalyn suggested or just as filter media in the sump or refugium.
 
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Looking good. I used to have jawfish before and I got frustrated as he kept shifting sands around and he kept making mountain of sands and left one side of the tank with very thin layer of sands and I had to restore the original look many times.

this time I am thinking of going bare bottom or maybe just 1”or less of sands just enough for CUC. Are there any cons of having very thin layer of sands? If I go with bare bottom, do I need egg crate? I would cut the egg crate just enough to follow the shapes of the rock but would not cover the whole tank.
You know, I have been thinking about your comments about the eggcrate. Reading up on some threads I think I might use PVC standoffs under the three or four places that touch the tank rather than a full cut sheet of egg crate.

My main reasons for the eggcrate are to prevent large live rock from slipping but after seeing some of the reviews of the E Marco 400 cement, if I use it properly it should be super strong. This will be my first time using E-Marco.

The other reason I'm thinking pvc stand offs is for better height above the sand bed. A thread that inspires me is this one on floating aquascapes.

Hmm decisions...
 
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canadianeh

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You know, I have been thinking about your comments about the eggcrate. Reading up on some threads I think I might use PVC standoffs under the three or four places that touch the tank rather than a full cut sheet of egg crate.

My main reasons for the eggcrate are to prevent large live rock from slipping but after seeing some of the reviews of the E Marco 400 cement, if I use it properly it should be super strong. This will be my first time using E-Marco.

The other reason I'm thinking pvc stand offs is for better height above the sand bed. A thread that inspires me is this one on floating aquascapes.

Hmm decisions...
Thanks for the link! Now you give me more ideas! I like the minimalist and floating design as well!

That means we should have more Marinepure blocks and balls if we go with less rocks in DT?
 
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Quick update. Pvcfittingsonline.com still hasn't shipped my order because they were out of stock on some of my red PVC fittings. Supposedly they come in today and they upgraded me to complimentary free 2 day shipping due to the delay, which I thought was a nice gesture. I also ordered a 7" Amazon Fire Tablet for $35 today which I will plan to use as the display for my Apex. Those tablets are amazingly cheap.
 

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Quick update. Pvcfittingsonline.com still hasn't shipped my order because they were out of stock on some of my red PVC fittings. Supposedly they come in today and they upgraded me to complimentary free 2 day shipping due to the delay, which I thought was a nice gesture. I also ordered a 7" Amazon Fire Tablet for $35 today which I will plan to use as the display for my Apex. Those tablets are amazingly cheap.
$35?! It is $75 here in Canada :(

I think I am going to use my iPad mini 4 instead of spending $75. Are you going to use Neptune Trident?
 
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So after two weeks, most of my plumbing has arrived just in time for me to go away for the weekend. Sigh.

1/2" 90 degree elbows should be coming in sometime next week, but I might start measuring stuff out and dry fitting before then.

I have 50 percent more fittings and pipe than I need, but the expensive extra gates I can return to BRS and I'll just hang on to the red pvc fittings for future work. Excited to finally get started!

20200124_210448.jpg
 

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So after two weeks, most of my plumbing has arrived just in time for me to go away for the weekend. Sigh.

1/2" 90 degree elbows should be coming in sometime next week, but I might start measuring stuff out and dry fitting before then.

I have 50 percent more fittings and pipe than I need, but the expensive extra gates I can return to BRS and I'll just hang on to the red pvc fittings for future work. Excited to finally get started!

20200124_210448.jpg
Can name those parts on the picture?:)

I was looking at the pvcfittingonline and they have different types and confusing. For an example, for the gate spear valves, they have threaded, slip, socket??? I have no idea what’s the different lol
 
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Can name those parts on the picture?:)

I was looking at the pvcfittingonline and they have different types and confusing. For an example, for the gate spear valves, they have threaded, slip, socket??? I have no idea what’s the different lol
Yes I will be naming all the parts once I dry fit the plumbing together. I could name everything now, but then you'd have all kinds of extras because I haven't finalized a couple decisions still, like whether my reactors will be 90 degree separated along the side and back wall or online on back, how I want to exactly plumb return and Clarisea, etc. Once I get the dry fit done, I'll take extensive photos so you can see and then make a complete parts list for others!
 

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Is your aquarium on the ground floor? Do you have a basement? If you do, did you have to consult with a pro to have your house inspected to make sure the floor can support the tank weight?
 
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Is your aquarium on the ground floor? Do you have a basement? If you do, did you have to consult with a pro to have your house inspected to make sure the floor can support the tank weight?
Ground floor, no basement. Reefer 250 isn't a very big tank. I don't think most people really need to worry about structural support at this size. How big are you planning on going?
 

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Ground floor, no basement. Reefer 250 isn't a very big tank. I don't think most people really need to worry about structural support at this size. How big are you planning on going?
The same as you. Just Reefer 250. Mine is on the ground floor and I have basement. According to Red Sea, the total weight with water in is about a bit over 800 lbs. Rocks and equipments are extra I guess.
 

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The most over the top thing though isn't the speakers or the TV, it's the networking closet which is comprised of two full floor to ceiling network racks packed with commercial grade networking and enough audio power to rattle the walls. I'm a pretty handy guy with electronics, but I am reluctant to mess with anything in here as long as it continues to work!

20190326_110611.jpg


Awesome location to integrate your aquarium controller!
 
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So I started working on the plumbing tonight. Although I was taking a lot of inspiration from @sithrico and @Butuz 's tank builds, I've realized that the v3 sump makes things a good deal more complicated to plumb vs. the older models. The reason is the location of the return lines on the far, front left of the stand. In the older sumps, you could just plumb both the main drain and the emergency drain straight down. (In fact, you could just leave it stock if you wanted to.) This meant most of your work was just hard plumbing the return line.

In the v3 sump, you can go straight down with the emergency drain, but with the main drain, you need to bring it forward and left... and in my case, I have to connect it to the Clarisea. This presents challenges with getting the main drain line up high, towards the top of the stand, so you don't have a big PVC pipe running horizontally across the main stand area. To do this, you need to use a lot of 90 degree elbows. While I don't love all the turns, it should be fine since I'm using 1" PVC for everything other than the connections to the media reactors.

I decided to start with the main drain first and have been using standard white PVC just to dry fit it out. When I am comfortable with the layout, I will replace the white PVC with the cool red stuff. My goal was to get the main drain line as "out of the way" as possible to leave more room for my manifold. Here's where I am at the moment. You'll notice that the part that connects to the Redsea bulkhead twists to the right. This gives me more space for the emergency drain and the manifold. It also opens up the space above the skimmer. To give you an idea of how high the main drain line is, when looking at the stand straight on, you can't see that top run of PVC.

20200127_205524.jpg


Here's another photo from a lower angle.

20200127_211035.jpg


Gonna let this layout 'simmer' for a night or so before breaking out the cement. :)
 
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So I started working on the plumbing tonight. Although I was taking a lot of inspiration from @sithrico and @Butuz 's tank builds, I've realized that the v3 sump makes things a good deal more complicated to plumb vs. the older models. The reason is the location of the return lines on the far, front left of the stand. In the older sumps, you could just plumb both the main drain and the emergency drain straight down. (In fact, you could just leave it stock if you wanted to.) This meant most of your work was just hard plumbing the return line.

In the v3 sump, you can go straight down with the emergency drain, but with the main drain, you need to bring it forward and left... and in my case, I have to connect it to the Clarisea. This presents challenges with getting the main drain line up high, towards the top of the stand, so you don't have a big PVC pipe running horizontally across the main stand area. To do this, you need to use a lot of 90 degree elbows. While I don't love all the turns, it should be fine since I'm using 1" PVC for everything other than the connections to the media reactors.

I decided to start with the main drain first and have been using standard white PVC just to dry fit it out. When I am comfortable with the layout, I will replace the white PVC with the cool red stuff. My goal was to get the main drain line as "out of the way" as possible to leave more room for my manifold. Here's where I am at the moment. You'll notice that the part that connects to the Redsea bulkhead twists to the right. This gives me more space for the emergency drain and the manifold. It also opens up the space above the skimmer. To give you an idea of how high the main drain line is, when looking at the stand straight on, you can't see that top run of PVC.

20200127_205524.jpg


Here's another photo from a lower angle.

20200127_211035.jpg


Gonna let this layout 'simmer' for a night or so before breaking out the cement. :)
looks great. Btw, when I was shopping for RSR250, v3 just came out. I actually had to shop around to get v2 for the reason you mentioned.
 
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A few more pieces and I'm about 75% of the way done. I have three possible outlet positions off of the return pump. 2 for the media reactors and 1 spare. I can use the spare for an algae reactor or something in the future. There's lots of clearance for each of the Aquamaxx reactors in all of three of the manifold outlets. I also like that this plumbing preserves the built in refugium chamber on the Redsea. The ATO container actually fits if I use the left side outlets for the reactors, but I'm feeling like this may be pushing it too far in terms of space. That little stub pvc on the emergency drain in the middle will just go straight down behind the skimmer.

Still waiting on pvcfittingsonline.com! for my 90 degree red 1/2" elbows (sigh)! This turned out to be a lot easier than I expected, although I am very glad I bought the white PVC to practice on. It really let me play with the lengths to get everything just right.

Remaining things to do:

- Get a couple unions in for easy disassembly
- Convert the return line 1" PVC to a nipple fitting so I can isolate vibration from the return pump.
- Reduce the outlets to 1/2", install the gates and hang the reactors.
- Outlet the reactors down into the sump
- Use PVC hangers to secure the whole thing to the top of the stand
- Extend the emergency drain straight down

20200128_060958.jpg
 

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A few more pieces and I'm about 75% of the way done. I have three possible outlet positions off of the return pump. 2 for the media reactors and 1 spare. I can use the spare for an algae reactor or something in the future. There's lots of clearance for each of the Aquamaxx reactors in all of three of the manifold outlets. I also like that this plumbing preserves the built in refugium chamber on the Redsea. The ATO container actually fits if I use the left side outlets for the reactors, but I'm feeling like this may be pushing it too far in terms of space. That little stub pvc on the emergency drain in the middle will just go straight down behind the skimmer.

Still waiting on pvcfittingsonline.com! for my 90 degree red 1/2" elbows (sigh)! This turned out to be a lot easier than I expected, although I am very glad I bought the white PVC to practice on. It really let me play with the lengths to get everything just right.

Remaining things to do:

- Get a couple unions in for easy disassembly
- Convert the return line 1" PVC to a nipple fitting so I can isolate vibration from the return pump.
- Reduce the outlets to 1/2", install the gates and hang the reactors.
- Outlet the reactors down into the sump
- Use PVC hangers to secure the whole thing to the top of the stand
- Extend the emergency drain straight down

20200128_060958.jpg
looking great.
 

Butuz

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Thanks @Butuz ! Question for you, with all the complex plumbing, did you have issues with flow variability (like from the media reactors) and water noise? Do you need to fiddle with the main drain gate valve regularly to maintain a silent overflow?
nope, no issues with reactor flow. The main drain flow is solid. The only issue I had is with pump noise from Varios. I have two reactors on the “dead end” side of the manifold. After I went through 2 pump replacements, they told me its probably due to back pressure building up from those two reactors. eventually, after a few months, the pump humming noise miraculously disappeared. In your case, you only have 1 reactor on the dead end side and two downstream, so shouldnt be a problem at all.
 
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