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New 120g 48"x24" planning, corner-alcove/fireplace/basement sump

Magoo

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Hoping to get some advice on an ever cascading list of questions on aquarium/sump placement.
For background anticipating 120gal 48x24 reef tank, LED lighting, sump in basement below tank (40-75 Gal?).

I'll try to summarize issues as cleanly as possible:


Aquarium Placement
In the corner of my den I have a 58"x24" alcove. Would like to center a tank in this as the front would then be flush with adjacent wall. Items of note:
  • The adjacent wall has a natural fireplace (~4' from edge of alcove). Testing shows minimal temperature change in the alcove during a fire Concerns?
  • A header is directly over what would be the front of the tank (flush with the fireplace wall) and drywalled. Effectively this makes a 58"x20"x14(height)" cavity directly over where the tank would be. Concern is moisture buildup. Thought is to place the sump in the basement and cover the aquarium to minimize evaporation in this area. Right to be concerned on moisture buildup?
  • Size of tank and space would allow 5" on either side for cleaning. Space concerns?
  • Light switch would be within 5" of the tank no plans to get it wet but we all know... I'd have minimal room to repair if it breaks given 5" clearance. Salt creep issues?
The back wall of the tank is the garage, I'd run the drain/return through a access panel into the garage and down into the basement. This alleviates some access concerns if I ever need to maintain these lines.

Sump Placement
Basement is great for a fishroom, problem is the HVAC equipment is a few feet in front of where the footprint of the alcove would be. And now the questions:
  • I assume I'd want some space away from any HVAC equipment for salt creep, so I'd build a room 1' away from HVAC system to enclose a fishroom. Concerns on HVAC proximity?
  • Headloss would be about 10-15' depending on how high I mount the return pump, would run everything with 1" or 1.5" flexible PVC tubing. 10-15' height and another 20' of horizontal runs would be ~30' run, any concerns on length of supply/return?
  • Finally - since I'm proposing to cover the tank I'd ensure the sump is uncovered & lots of surface area. Since the fish room (15'x10') will be enclosed I'd imagine an exhaust fan would be prudent. Will add a frag tank, QT, RODI system, ATO, and water tanks eventually. Just making sure the fan would be required?
Talk about a cascade effect - concerns of moisture (and ease of maintenance) lead sump to basement, lead to proximity of HVAC, lead to fish room being built, lead to exhaust fan being needed... Let me know if I'm off base on anything here. (I'll save the details of the fish room build for another time)

Lots of cost, work and effort I'm excited to start but still in planning phases. Thx.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

scott11106

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There is alot of things to think about here, in the interest of getting started i will talk about moisture and corrosion. At the tank you may be able to vent to the garage and even add a fan to pull out heat or moisture. i would not be too worried about the light switch unless you cannot get to it easily and if the tank is going to have a canopy that will help.

for the basement my first concerns are for the increase in humidity and corrosion for your HVAC? i think putting a wall or building a room would fix this problem but be sure to use the proper materials to not allow moisture to pass
 

Factory909racer2

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I also have a 120 and am doing the exact same thing in my house, hvac about 3 feet away from the proposed fish room, i started cleaning the basement today to frame out the wall, then do all the sheetrock with greenboard, the mositure/mold resistant bathroom sheetrock, For mositure/humidity the plan is to run a large bathroom vent fan out a basement window set on a humidistat. Return pump is either a reeflow gold i have or a jeabo dcp-20000 that suposedly has a 35ft head rating which i also have. Sump/fuge will be a 55g refugium then feeding a frag tank probly 40breeder, or a 50g low boy, feeding a 40 breeder for skimmer, apex probes, and return pump. I would also like to have a phytoplankton culture and brine shrimp hatchery at some point. Its all a big snowball effect.

How far are you now since this post is a few months old???
 
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Magoo

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Made some real good progress. Dual 65 gallon holding tanks for RO and saltwater. 40 gal quarantine, ~40 gal frag tank, 45 gal fuge, ~4o gal sump. Using panworld 150 for return. ATO for both frag and sump. Neptune system. (Took me 3 tries to get the pump right. I’m at 700 gph so I’m happy)

Also got 3 graybeard pumps to do automatic water changes (saltwater holding tank to fuge, fuge to frag, frag to drain.

Love the entire setup. Wish I could get the quarantine farther away from fuge but I’ll gake my chances on airborne transmission.

Changes
So I did move farther from HVAC out of concern for spray, feel good where it is.
Did not put in exhaust fan or air exchange. For the exhaust fan I was worried about negative pressure with the gas furnace and water heater (I’d strongly caution against an exhaust fan in the basement w/o getting a professional involved).

You can see the dehumidifier which will work just fine.

(I did take time to prime all the walls, ceiling, and epoxy the floor. New lighting and dedicated 20 amp outlets with GFCI. Makes my lab look a lot cooler too. Figured go big for my first saltwater reef tank)

Picked up my first 4 corals today and have first batch of fish in the quarantine.

. Its all a big snowball effect.
.

Holy smokes you’re right on the snowball effect.
68CAD962-3947-4726-88DF-7D83780144B3.jpeg

DF2B9323-2113-4E2D-AF67-339906C238C1.jpeg
 

Factory909racer2

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I like it! That looks great. Looks very clean and organized, do you have an apex? And are all of the tanks plumbed together with 1 pump and gravity drains? Multiple pumps between tanks is risky business.

As for the vent fan i have a bunch of general contractor friends who i involve in most of my projects since 1 is big into reef tanks as well so hes always up to play fish haha. Im sealing off an area in the basement for the fish room directly under the tank. Its about a 10x12 room that will be all greenboard and epoxy floor.
 

scott11106

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very nice, looking good and will be following along. i also have a couple first fish in the QT and will be going in the MD this week. very exciting..
Boy its alot of work though, isn't it ? every time you think you made some progress you uncover 12 new things that need to be done. You are doing a great job and i really like all the space. I built my fish room in house and made it 13'x9' and thought it was plenty big but i am only a month in to the build and space is at a premium already...
 

Reefer Deez

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Hi and welcome to R2R! Keep up the good work it looks great so far:)
 

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