Jeff's 300 Gallon Deep Dimension Reef Build

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Hi everyone. So, I am rejoining the hobby after being out (at the risk of aging myself) for 22 years. The kids are grown and on their own and I'm on my own too. Mostly, just not married again. I started with my first saltwater tank when I was 10, (everyone quit doing the math, I'm 55). It was a 20 gallon tank (believe it or not, frameless, so it has come completely full circle) with two dwarf octopi, air pump, under gravel filter and hanging filter on the back. That didn't do well but it started me down that path. When my first child was born, I had some very beautiful reef tanks and I was importing Tunze equipment from Germany because it was not available here. I had to run 220 circuits for everything. I had metal halides and T5's because there were no LED's (still not convinced on those) There was really no internet as it is today, so no boards to talk to others about the hobby and so all you had were articles in magazines. So, essentially, I guess I am a noobie again. I had been thinking about jumping back in for a while. My girlfriend and I have decided to build a new house. The house has an office that will be mine that shares a wall with the garage. I talked with the builder and with the addition of two walls, two large double doors, drains, electrical, heat and air, the tank room was born. (No charges whatsoever for the modifications) Now I'm not sure what the rules are on build threads, I've never done one. This could take awhile. The house plans are still just on paper. Construction will not begin until February - March as the addition still does not have utilities. We got the first lot in phase 2.

So, at this point, I am buying all of the equipment for the tank before the house starts sucking up all of the money. I was tossing around various ideas on tank shapes and sizes when I was looking on Ebay one day and there was a Marineland 300 DD, still factory wrapped on the pallet straight from the factory for 1000.00 and I bought it on the spur of the moment. So now it sits in the garage waiting for its new home. I have been doing some reading on the boards and have been working on the plumbing for the overflows. More on this tomorrow. There are so many new products that it is mind boggling. What type of stand. Aluminum or wood... Of course lighting... you even have manufactured live rock.... So, I can use all the input and help I can get. Like I said, we didn't have communities like this so, this could be fun. Jump in and talk to me. Help me plan this. May take a year, but once the house is ready, I should have all the equipment and will take a week off work to build the tank. Tank pics are attached.
Thanks,
Jeff
tank2.JPG tank1.JPG
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Good morning all,
So, resuming from where I left off. I was surprised that no one jumped on me about the Marineland corner overflows and what I mistake that I had made. I did buy this without doing my homework. I just thought the price was too good. I found out later that Marineland only drills holes for 1" bulkheads. This was disappointing as my last large reef tank 22 years ago had holes large enough for 3" bulkheads. Definitely no issue on the amount of water those could handle, but now.... So I have done some research on drain flow rates and the different styles of over flow designs that you all have come up with in the time I have been gone and while probably not ideal, I believe that I have overcome a lot of the issues without having to re-drill the tank and voiding the warranty. Which again, I have found out may not matter since there is no way to use their stand since this is going into a wall, which I have been told also voids the warranty, seriously? They really don't want to warranty these. OK, so, for those of you that are experts on this, look at what I have done and give me suggestions.
For those of you unfamiliar, this tank has an overflow in each corner, each with 2 holes for 1" bulkheads. One each for a return and one for a drain. The overflow plumbing that comes with the tank is 1-1/2 inch reduced down to 1" at the bulkhead to provide some head pressure but still limited by the smallest restriction for the drain and a 1" line for the return. After reading for a while all 4 will be used as drains and the returns plumbed over the back wall. The 4 drains will all be 1-1/2 inch clear PVC so that I can monitor the flow. This is the largest that I can use and have two fit in each corner box. There seem to be several different overflow designs that I have read about that basically are built off the others. The design I am following (somewhat) is the "Beanie Animal", but since I have 4 instead of 3 drains, one in each overflow will become a full time siphon, each having a gate valve for fine adjustment, combining into one two inch line before entering the sump, and the extra in the right will become the open channel taking just a trickle of water but able to become another siphon should the water rise and the air intake become plugged and the extra in the left becoming an emergency line each having a dedicated 1-1/2" input into the sump. This still does not overcome the limitations of the 1" bulkhead since you still only really have 2 full time drains even though they are siphons and will pull much more water. Here is what I have done. The hole size drilled in the tank for the fittings is 1-3/4". After looking at hundreds of bulkhead fittings, I finally found one made in Holland that is designed, on both ends with external threads. This bulkhead fitting will fit the 1-3/4" hole and the interior diameter has no restriction straight through and is 1-1/4". Now, the threads on this fitting are BSPP. (British Standard Pipe Parallel, 11 threads per in) which is close to NPS (National Pipe Straight, 11.5 threads per in) in the U.S. Still, most PVC fitting used here will be NPT, National Pipe Taper which is not workable with BSPP. I finally found an adapter in GB that will adapt from the 1-1/4 " BSPP threads to a 1-1/4" Spigot which will then fit any imperial 1-1/4" fitting. To summarize, my drains will all be 1-1/2" clear PVC, reducing now to only a 1-1/4" instead of a 1" and then back to 1-1/2" after the bulkhead and to the sump. It seems like I went thru a lot of work, and I did, but if my calculations are correct, I essentially doubled my drain capacity and should be able to pull 3000 GPH. Criticism? Changes? Ideas? More tomorrow on the sump.
Thanks,
Jeff
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
OK, no one is very talkative. Please jump in.... I did this 30 years ago by myself and I have fallen behind on the technology and the knowledge. I have looked at all the threads and have seen all of your beautiful tanks. I had thought I had some really nice tanks 30 years ago but they do not compare to what you are doing now. I want this tank to be as gorgeous at everyone's here, so talk to me, if you have suggestions, even little ones, tell me, if I am screwing up, tell me. I can take criticism and direction very well. I am spending a lot of money and don't want to waste it going the wrong direction.
So now, the sump....
Apparently the Berlin Method is not really "in" any longer .... Spray bars, bio balls etc. .... so after some on line shopping, and looking at sump after sump, with nothing really grabbing my attention, I finally found something that I kept going back to. The cost was high, but I couldn't stop looking at them. I finally pulled the trigger and three weeks ago tomorrow, I ordered the sump, pumps and skimmer. It is now under construction and should be ready in a few more weeks. He sent me pictures yesterday and I think it is about half way complete. I can't wait to get it in even though it will still be a few months before I will put it into service. That is all I have purchased so far.
Now, I still need lighting.... Metal halide or LED? I love the metal halide look. To me, it is very hard to beat the intensity and shimmer of metal halides. But in saying that, I have looked at the Kessil LED fixtures and really like those and they claim to produced the same shimmer of metal halides.
 

WetWhistle

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
741
Reaction score
474
A lot of people today that are new to the hobby would not understand what the Berlin Method is because it is more hybrid systems now with less reliance on the styles and methods. For some reason people are in a rush to get the system up and running and they don't take the time to learn the pro\con of the basics and the different methods or what is going on in their reef. It is all about the quick temporary fixes for them or the next best thing. They google or jump on the forum and copy what others are doing instead of thinking about the situation, doing research or experimenting to see how to fix it long term. Not that there is anything wrong with that approach but to us long term reefers who learning the basics, experimenting and research is the foundation of how to build your experience and knowledge base and relying on this approach and not the high tech gadgets, quick temp fixes with chemicals or google to solve your issues. The styles like Lee Chin Eng, Berlin Method ect are around they are just more a hybrid between the different styles. So they are not called that anymore for the most part.

As for lighting both MH and LED work great. I have used MH for over 25 years and till LED came along I was of the mindset that nothing beat MH. I now run AI HYDRA 52 LED and have never had better colored corals and growth. Don't get me wrong MH is tried and true and you get amazing results, in most situations LED gives you more flexibility with just as good of results for growth and color. In some cases depending on the species better. Nothing makes coral color pop like LED. If you get the right LED you get the shimmer of the MH but if you get the wrong LED you get a disco ball effect. Not all LED are equal so do some reading on them.

I would suggest do some research into T5, MH and LED for the features, pro and con of each of the types of lighting and make your decision based on being informed. When it comes down to it today all three of those light options can grow corals. It is not like back in the day were not all of them could. It comes down to personal preference really and what suits your needs best and what fits your budget.
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Thanks for responding. I definitely appreciate the feedback. Even though I have over 25 years of experience, I am definitely now new to the hobby. I guess no surprise with the internet how technology and information has spread by leaps and bounds. Back then, we read every article you could get your hands on. Not surprising are the things we knew back then are still standard practice or at lease should be such as quarantine. I have been stalking the boards for a while before jumping in. I have an idea of where I want to go with this and tried to glean as much info as possible. I think I want this to be mainly an SPS tank with a moderate fish load. (and clams, Tridacna Sp. ) I would actually like the center piece of the tank to be a nicely colored Gigas or Squamosa surrounded by beautifully colored branching corals. So, naturally lighting is critical. Have you ever done a combination of metal halide and LED, giving some high intensity areas and some lower intensity areas? I have been looking at the Reef Brite Hybrid Metal Halides. Any opinion on those? Maybe 400 w, 20k? As for the budget, I kind of blew the budget with the sump. Got way too carried away... I am not rich, but I do try to afford the best that I can and I will do without something else. My problem is, when I see something and I want it, I set my sights on figuring out how I can make that happen. My priorities are the high dollar items that will be impossible to pull off once they start work on the house. I would love to have an APEX but, until the basics are in place, tank, stand, filtration, lighting, live rock, sand and water, then that has to wait.
Now, see, when we just had magazines you didn't see ads for equipment jump out and talk to you. Did you see that ad up there for ATB Skimmers above me? Literally just jumped up and spoke to me. :p But seriously, that is a really nice looking skimmer but I already bit the bullet on the skimmer.
 

Rsaalman

Dysfunctional Veteran
View Badges
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
1,052
Reaction score
339
this is going to be a great build.

Sorry lots of words in single paragraphs mess me up but can you drill the holes bigger?

Who did yo uno with for the sump?

My tank is a lot smaller at 130g but I am really liking the T5/LED combo
 

WetWhistle

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
741
Reaction score
474
I am a fan of combo lighting as I find it has the best influence on corals. Especially SPS. If you broke the bank on the sump and getting the budget back under control is important I would stick with MH/LED combo. You can even just get the 400 watt MH for now and down the road add some supplemental LED to get that extra pop. The MH will have a cheaper start up cost then starting up with LED as your main source of lighting. For the LED you can look at the many of the DIY options for supplemental lighting to help keep the cost down. The Radium 400W 20k MH has a great look and is popular.

The Apex is great but get the tank up and running first. That is not needed right now.
http://www.reefsupplies.ca/online-store/Radium-400W-20-000K-Metal-Halide-MOGUL-Bulb.html
 

Rsaalman

Dysfunctional Veteran
View Badges
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
1,052
Reaction score
339
I personally totally disagree with getting everything running and then installing an Apex. What if you need to move something to run a wire? My apex runs everything from lighting, dosing, return, fans, shuts down the skimmer when the skim mate container is full, controls pumps, notifies me of temps, salinity, power failure, everything. Hell it will even feed the fish for me if I wasn't strictly using LRS Fish Frenzy.

I would not want to get a tank of this size set up and then try to figure out how to run cables and placement of components. Sorry. I know people are successful with out an apex but man it just makes life so much easier.
 

WetWhistle

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
741
Reaction score
474
See I disagree with that. An apex is not needed to run a tank it is a want. You can have a completely successful tank without one. You can't however have one without lights as an example, now that is a need. Big difference between need and want. You want all those features but you don't need them.
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Rsaalman - sorry, yea, I am somewhat wordy. I apologize and will do better. When I start talking its kind of like, "help, I'm talking and I can't shut up" :rolleyes:
OK, so the sump is Royal Exclusiv. I started out with the Set 5C and then the upgrades started. Still staying with the basic design of the 5C but....
Larger box...149 cm x 60 cm x 35 cm (280 L) about 75 gallons
2 return pumps instead of 1. added another Red Dragon RD3 80 W (this also is what caused the need for the bigger box as the two were going to be a tight fit)
10 volt connection for both pumps
Extra outlet for second pump- CNC had to be reprogrammed for this
Extra controller bracket for second pump
Modified input for sump - two 1-1/2 inputs - CNC had to be reprogrammed for this
Pre plumbed for another media chamber to be added later
Larger water top off box to match the new wider sump
LED lighting on the water top off box
Sock silencers for the filter socks
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
I am looking forward to making additions in the future easy, so panels will be removable, electrical circuits run, so yes, eventually the APEX but, I agree, its not a necessity right off the bat and personally, remote monitoring is cool, but there is no replacing daily hands on monitoring of your tank every day. Plus that is a lot of the enjoyment for me.
You can drill the holes bigger but you are limited as the holes are just not that far apart. They just really could have put more thought into making this "Reef Ready" when they built them. But, I am a project manager so I am trained to look at a problem and come up with a solution. This in my opinion was the easiest although not the cheapest solution and I am actually pretty happy with the result. It remains to be seen in the real world once we start this up if I was successful. I calculate 3000 gallons per hour thru the over flows. Both pumps with 5 ft of head are rated at about 1500 GPH and so, I hope that I have matched the pumps to the output. That is 10 times my tank volume in turnover per hour. I like that.
 
Last edited:

revhtree

Owner Administrator
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
39,984
Reaction score
46,895
Cool looking forward to this!
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Here are some pics so far.
The tank you have seen. Firstly, here are the clear drains. The stand pipes are also clear but I am leaving that boxed for now so it doesn't get scratched up. I am going to experiment with plain white until I get the lengths correct and then cut the clear. Right now, I bought Schedule 80 gray caps. They do not make threaded clear caps at least not that I have found yet and I am pretty thorough. I will probably make a set but I can do that later. The grey looks cool anyway. Also shown are my very hard to find double threaded bulkhead fittings. Notice both top and bottom of these fittings have external (male threads) thus leaving the internal dimension of the fitting unobstructed.

image1.JPG


image2.JPG


image3.JPG
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Secondly, here are the first construction pics of my dream box. It is un-welded at this point. I requested version 1 with the totally clear front. I like to see all the workings but the protective contact paper is still intact so the window is not scratched. you can see thru it if you look. The only mods visible in these pics are the second return port for the second Red Dragon RD3 80 W and the modified input port. No plumbing or equipment is installed yet. These are a week old. I have emailed Torsten to see if there were new updates for this week. I will post them today if he sends any.

Construction Pic 01.jpg


Construction Pic 02.jpg


Construction Pic 04.jpg


Construction Pic 05.jpg


Constructon Pic 03.jpg
 

WetWhistle

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
741
Reaction score
474
That will look fantastic on your tank. Love the white color. You are going to have to go to NASA school just to learn how to use that. lol
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
I cannot wait to see it with everything complete, however that will also mean it's time to pay up. She doesn't know what the total came to when I was done with upgrades. She choked a little on just the price for the Set 5C. I didn't choke until I saw the final total. lol I wish I could have afforded to go up to the Bubble King 250 but I had to stay with the 200. I just kept telling myself, oh, its just 100 euros more or its just 45 euros more but when it came down to it, that added up. Euros suck by the way, because right now, and usually, they are worth more then USD. When you realize that you owe 500.00 more USD just for the euro to dollar conversion, that fries my butt. :mad: Sorry, I digress.:p It should be a monster of filter for this tank with the two RD3's. I would love to find a Vertex RX-C 6D at a reasonable price. I can't see 499.95. Would match everything perfectly and good quality. I did decide to copy some of the tanks I have seen with these sumps. I was going to do clear PVC under as well, again, outrageously priced, but have decided to go with the red PVC and white fittings. I like that look.
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Naturally. :D And then I had them added to the water top off tank. That's embarrassing. lol. ( they can be added to all components as an upgrade ) The dosing canisters even have them. Thankfully, I did run out of money for the moment. I was forced to stop.
 
OP
Shredded

Shredded

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
253
Reaction score
282
Location
Yukon
Hi Everyone!
So, here are this weeks pics of the sump from Torsten. It doesn't look like it is near completion yet. That's ok, because I need a couple more weeks for the funds to come together. The Euro is at 1.10, so 10 USD extra for every 100 Euros. :-( Maybe it will drop a little before then. @ATB-USA, in a couple of the pics there is a clear acrylic tube lying in front of the sump on the table. If you look across the top back of the sump there is a series of holes. I believe that is where that tube slides in and holds that LED lighting for the sump with the wiring exiting on the right. Interesting to look at the surroundings in the pics of the work area. All the skimmer, skimmer parts and equipment.
Mr. Jansen, CEO of the company will weld my box this week and they will send more pictures.

10.jpg


11.jpg


12.jpg


13.jpg


14.jpg


15.jpg


16.jpg
 
Last edited:

Do we test our water too much and for too many things nowadays?

  • Yes

    Votes: 155 32.4%
  • No

    Votes: 235 49.1%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 83 17.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 1.3%

Online statistics

Members online
1,915
Guests online
4,158
Total visitors
6,073
Bulk Reef Supply
Top