My new 800g+ pentagon FOWLR tank

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srcleary

srcleary

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TANK ARRIVED!

Tank arrived this morning. It was very well packed and the tank was well secured to the stand so that made it easy. We had to carefully maneuver the forks in the stand to pick it up. My son was on the fork lift we borrowed and he had never driven one before so that added to the stress. Although he is a natural!

I was a bit freaked out taking it off the truck and through our warehouse. Others were just video taping on their phones and I was wondering whether they were impressed or just waiting for a calamity so they could post on social media!

But everything went off without a hitch! Miracles made it easy and I can't recommend them enough. If you want a monster tank call Derek!

The tank is huge and tall. Its going to be quite impressive when filled. Its amazing to look at my large fish in the temp tanks and realize how small they are going to look in this tank!

Which begs the question... When will I fill it?

There is lots of plumbing to do. I have to make my list of PVC and valves and such and pick my colors. Have to finish the aquascape. Have to purchase the pumps, UV sterilizer, and some other equipment. Honestly I'll be happy to have my first fish in the tank in 90 days. Don't want to rush any of the plumbing and such. And I have to drill the sumps in a number of locations. Lots of work still ahead.

I think I started this journey last November. So it will be over a year long project.

Here are a few images of unpacking and with the tank in place!

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srcleary

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I started laying out the sumps today. Lots of planning and I want to leave it mostly exposed so has to be super neat.

The plan, which I hope works!, is I have two 60" sumps. They are about 85g each, total 170g.

The first major pice of equipment is the monster SRO8000EXT skimmer. It was a trick to locate this beast and have the plumbing make sense and leave room for the the rest of the equipment.

The pump for the skimmer is connected to both sumps, through 2" bulkheads) in the sock compartment. The skimmer will also exit into both sumps, in the media chamber. Again the idea is to return 1,300 into each sump.

I am obviously nervous about having it work right. In theory I can pull more water out of one sump as long as I return an equal amount to that sump. But my goal is to pull and return equal amounts of water.

I will have two overflows feeding each sump. The overflows are rated at 1,200g each so that should give me 2,400 into each sump. The skimmer pump will pull 2,600 gph and, again, I am hoping it pulls evenly. I can adjust a but with ball valves.

I also placed a return pump for each of the returns. The pumps are rated at 2,600 and with the head pressure it will be less and should pump the projected 2,400 GPH out of each sump efficiently. I can increase the flow of the Reeflo pumps if need be. Which would be nice.

I am diverting some water from the overflows into the sump's refugium area. In one refugium I am planning on creating a bed of de-nitrate (6 - 8") with a low flow and oxygen poor area for anaerobic denitrification.

In the second refugium I am planing on growing Ulva. Again I can control the flow of each refugium straight off the intake lines and with a gate valves. This will give me flexibility if I want to change out the refugiums and/or change the amount of flow into them.

My goal is naturally to control nitrates in a potentially heavy bio load. I currently fight with nitrates in my temp tanks but they are a bit overcrowded and obviously I am eager ot have the new tank set up.

Tomorrow I hope to lay out two more pumps that will serve the closed loop system. I have two intakes and four returns to provide good circulation toward the bottom.

Once I have the plan I will have to bite the bullet and order all the colored PVC, fittings and valves. NOT looking forward to that total!!! :)

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I have two sumps on my system as well. One is a large refugium, and the other is all the mechanical filtration. They are each feed from their own drain lines from the tank, but they are connected to one external return pump. I have had a hard time getting the return pump to pull equal amounts from each sump. I am not a plumber, so I may be wrong, but in my experience, having the pump be at an equal distance from the two tanks seems to be essential. If that is not possible, valves to help regulate and tune in the amount of water flow will work.
 
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I have two sumps on my system as well. One is a large refugium, and the other is all the mechanical filtration. They are each feed from their own drain lines from the tank, but they are connected to one external return pump. I have had a hard time getting the return pump to pull equal amounts from each sump. I am not a plumber, so I may be wrong, but in my experience, having the pump be at an equal distance from the two tanks seems to be essential. If that is not possible, valves to help regulate and tune in the amount of water flow will work.
I am trying to lay it out fairly equal. My plan is to use a valve to help restrict water on the short side. Hopefully, as you mentioned, I can tune the system.

As an aside each sump has it own intakes and own returns. So I won't have to worry too much about that. Its the skimmer that I going to take some figuring out.

Thanks for the feedback!

Steve
 
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This is a heck of a way to utilize a tax write off, especially if you bring clients into your office.

This is really cool and unique!
LOL. We are a not-for-profit so I don't have to pay tax either. I do pay for everything out of my for-profit company so yes, huge tax deductions. No tax and write off, really helps. Saves over 40%. :cool:
 
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Majestic! Beautiful! Cant say anymore :) Seriously though just finished binge reading the entire thread and I'm super geeked for you!
THANKS! I nearly have my plumbing list finished and hope to order this week. UV Sterilizer and two more pumps are on order. Need to order the heaters. I have my Apex unit at the LFS. We also ran water lines from the mixing station and back to the drain for auto water changes. This may come together faster than I thought! - Steve
 
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We finished two of the column sections that will go int the back corner of the tank. We will have three of these column "trios". The idea was to create a safe place for the fish and some interest for them. In my other tanks I have stacked live rocks for the fish. They naturally swim through them, have their favorite spots and pick on the algae. With the "Ruins of Palmyra" theme I wanted to create a similar area but hold to the design.

At first I was just going to place nine columns in the back. Of course this is interesting for me, but NOT very interesting for the fish. Then I glued in some ledge pieces to give some diversity for the fish.

Eventually I decided to take it one step further and incorporate a NSA design into the columns. As with our other sections we used Marco rock, sand and superglue. We finished the second section today and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I am not sure what it weights but its NOT lightweight. Maybe 70+lbs.

As this is dry reef rock, my goal is to naturally have it evolve into "live" rock with copepods, bacteria and coralline algae.

In the first image you can see another section pretty much complete in the background. One more section to go!


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Lowell Lemon

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If you have not done it join the two sums via some bulkheads and pipe to help balance the flow between the two pumps and you will not have to resort to trying to balance via valves. In my experience it never seems to work out without tying the two sumps together.
 
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If you have not done it join the two sums via some bulkheads and pipe to help balance the flow between the two pumps and you will not have to resort to trying to balance via valves. In my experience it never seems to work out without tying the two sumps together.
Yes. My plan is to join the two sumps together via a 2" line. Then I pull from the middle of this line to feed the external skimmer. So I am hoping the connection serves two purposes. I have gate valves planned just in case. Then for the return from the skimmer (gravity feed) I am also returning via a 2" line split to each sump.

In theory it should work, but I also know my "theories" don't always work out. :)
 
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PVC is here!

PVC arrived today. Waiting on all the fitting, valves & unions (200+). Early on someone mentioned on this threat if I had counted the cost of everything I needed to properly set up a tank. My simple answer was "No" and that I had no intent to because if I did I would NOT be doing this project! :)

And of course I could have cut corners and ordered white PVC or ordered a dozen cans of paint. But what fun would that be?

I think I am at least two weeks for starting to glue... but progress none-the-less.

Steve

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Hello R2R members. This is my first post. And my first question is "Who should build my tank?" But first a little background...

I am looking to get back into the hobby with a 800g+ tank for my new office. It will be 84" x 24.5" x 36" and viewable on all five sides. It will divide my lobby, conference room and fulfillment center. It will be a FOWLR tank but a bit different in that I am using Marco rock to aquascape a replica of the Palmyra ruins. I have attached an image of where the tank is going. (The inner blue line being the tank.)

Thus far I have worked with Custom Aquariums for the build. However when they looked at my final plans for drilling the bottom of the tank they declined the build. They actually were not willing to drill ANY holes in the bottom of that size pentagon. However it is important for me NOT to have any plumbing on the sides because, as I mentioned, it is fully viewable from all five sides.

I realized the best bet might be to go with a PVC bottom. I worked through my LFS (great crew at Dallas North Aquarium) and got a quote from Planet Aquarium. Although it was quite a bit higher than CA I knew Planet has a great reputation and I was okay with the quote. However, when I learned they were not quoting low iron glass I sent back the quote. And it came back considerably higher. Like $5k higher just for the front panel!

I contacted Glass Cages (although I was a little worried about their reviews) and they stated that they did not build pentagon shaped tanks.

I currently have a call into Coast 2 Coast. I have heard good things about them and eager to see what they have to say. I also sent an email to Reef Savvy but worried about the build time. I'm willing to wait a few months, but not a year, as some have suggested. And I have a call into AGE Custom Aquariums.

So that is where I am currently at. I look forward to sharing more of my vision and sharing the build if there is interest. I am a creative type and look forward to stepping outside the box (or rectangle) in building a tank that is unique, functional and of course a great home for my fish wish list!

Your comments and suggestions on the builder is much appreciated.

Steve

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