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New House and New 300 Gallon reef tank build w/ fish room

scott11106

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I used to be a member about 12 years ago with a 120g reef tank and had to move and was not able to have a tank..

But now I am building a new house and i am setting up a 300 gal reef tank built into wall with a dedicated room for equipment ect..

I had multiple tanks for 4-5 years but have been out of the hobby for 6 years so i need alot of advice of how to put this project together and specifically the size and setup of the room as i am in the process of building the home now (having it built) in NC.

I have attached a cad sketch i put together of what i think the room should look like but i am trying to learn as much as possible as alot has changed since i was in the hobby, matter of fact the only automation that i had was a standard dial timer and the cutting edge tunze auto top off and a float valve.....i was cutting edge..lol

well here is the cad floor plan and some renderings of what i am planning for the fish room, there are all working drawings so things are changing but the room was just sheetrocked so we are getting close to adding water, about 45 days or so

the tank is a 300 gallon display (84x36x24 h)tank with a 20" ghost overflow, 72" tideline sump that is on order and should arrive in a week or 3...

Screen Shot 2018-01-19 at 8.50.30 PM.png


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Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 9.57.38 AM.png
 
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scott11106

scott11106

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I think a floor drain would be beneficial.
thanks for that, i actually have a floor drain installed with an additional raised drain next to tank to plumb drain lines in and for syphoning or whatever comes up but i did not know how to add the drain to the renderings...

also the floor in the fish room is lowered 1.5" and will be tiled up 3" on the walls just in case.
 

MarineMalecki

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Looks like a great setup - I did something similar when I built my house, similar size tank and system.

A couple thoughts/questions/recommendations based on lessons I learned building my setup:

In your plumbing diagram, it looks like your ATO is higher than where the water is pumped into the sump. I'd be concerned about it forming a siphon and overflowing. [EDIT] - just saw a different version of your plans and noticed the float switch - I think you should be good.

I'd also recommend having 3 dedicated, 15amp electrical circuits for your setup - lighting, pumps, and everything else. They should be completely separate from anything else in the room. I requested that when i built my house, but the electricians didn't wire it that way. I had to run some extra cords to balance my electrical demand - not a huge deal, but not how I planned it.

Are you planning to have a pump to continually circulate your salt water? How are you planning to maintain salinity in the salt water reservoir? Based on the diagram, it looks like RO/DI water will be added regularly with the float switch. If that is the case, I'd be concerned that the salinity in the salt reservoir would be dropping - or you'd need to be regularly adding salt (daily?) to maintain the desired salinity.

Since this is a new house, I'd anticipate your CO2 levels will be higher, which may impact your ability to keep pH at desired levels. Without CO2 absorption media, I struggle keeping a pH above 7.7, even with a 65G refugium. If you're in a climate where you can get fresh air in the fish room, that will certainly help. If not, you may consider options for pulling fresh air either 1) into the fish room through a fan/vent; or 2) extending the air intake line for your skimmer to the outside of your house.

Looking forward to seeing this come together!
 
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scott11106

scott11106

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Looks like a great setup - I did something similar when I built my house, similar size tank and system.

A couple thoughts/questions/recommendations based on lessons I learned building my setup:

In your plumbing diagram, it looks like your ATO is higher than where the water is pumped into the sump. I'd be concerned about it forming a siphon and overflowing. [EDIT] - just saw a different version of your plans and noticed the float switch - I think you should be good.

I'd also recommend having 3 dedicated, 15amp electrical circuits for your setup - lighting, pumps, and everything else. They should be completely separate from anything else in the room. I requested that when i built my house, but the electricians didn't wire it that way. I had to run some extra cords to balance my electrical demand - not a huge deal, but not how I planned it.

Are you planning to have a pump to continually circulate your salt water? How are you planning to maintain salinity in the salt water reservoir? Based on the diagram, it looks like RO/DI water will be added regularly with the float switch. If that is the case, I'd be concerned that the salinity in the salt reservoir would be dropping - or you'd need to be regularly adding salt (daily?) to maintain the desired salinity.

Since this is a new house, I'd anticipate your CO2 levels will be higher, which may impact your ability to keep pH at desired levels. Without CO2 absorption media, I struggle keeping a pH above 7.7, even with a 65G refugium. If you're in a climate where you can get fresh air in the fish room, that will certainly help. If not, you may consider options for pulling fresh air either 1) into the fish room through a fan/vent; or 2) extending the air intake line for your skimmer to the outside of your house.

Looking forward to seeing this come together!
Wow, this is some great information...
i am already sheetrocked in but i did nave them run one dedicated circuit to the fish room, i will ask the electrician if i can split that or something but i am not sure i can. i will report back when i get an answer on this.

on the salt water i am going to add a recirculating pump to keep things moving plus then i can use the pump if i need it anywhere else in emergency ect..i am not sure about the salinity in the reservoir dropping...i do not have a solution for this but my plan was to make salt water once a week or so and have the apex dose the salt into the sump while dosing out and disposing water. why would the salinity drop in the reservoir? i only thought the salinity would rise if there was evaporation?

CO2-- i did not even think of this problem...i need to think about this but worst case i can drill a hole in the floor and run a tube under the house and through the exterior block and pull fresh air from outside (about 20' away) to the skimmer. I do have a exhaust fan that will be on a humidity sensor but not sure that will help with CO2?
 

MarineMalecki

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Wow, this is some great information...
i am already sheetrocked in but i did nave them run one dedicated circuit to the fish room, i will ask the electrician if i can split that or something but i am not sure i can. i will report back when i get an answer on this.

on the salt water i am going to add a recirculating pump to keep things moving plus then i can use the pump if i need it anywhere else in emergency ect..i am not sure about the salinity in the reservoir dropping...i do not have a solution for this but my plan was to make salt water once a week or so and have the apex dose the salt into the sump while dosing out and disposing water. why would the salinity drop in the reservoir? i only thought the salinity would rise if there was evaporation?

CO2-- i did not even think of this problem...i need to think about this but worst case i can drill a hole in the floor and run a tube under the house and through the exterior block and pull fresh air from outside (about 20' away) to the skimmer. I do have a exhaust fan that will be on a humidity sensor but not sure that will help with CO2?
As a point of reference on the wiring, the circuit that is dedicated for the fish room, runs my return pump (Hammerhead barracuda), and 5 lights (4 Hydra 52HD and 1 RadionG3 Pro), and a few other small things - it pulls ~8amps at the most. I tried to keep that circuit no more than 75% utilized to avoid tripping the breaker accidentally if there were any peaks/spikes. Your mileage may vary, but I wanted to eliminate as much risk as possible with the electrical.

For the salt water setup, it looks like the float switch in the salt water will open during the AWC, since the salt water will be pumped into the tank. Once that happens, will it trigger the RO/DI to start filling the salt water container back up (and thereby reducing the salinity)? Maybe I'm reading the diagram incorrectly....

You're right, the exhaust fan won't help the CO2 situation much since it pushes out, and doesn't draw air in.

A quick word of caution on an external airline to combat CO2.....if you're in an area that sprays pesticides, or uses fertilizers, or anything else airborne, you'll need to ensure there is a really good filter on the external end (the one outside the house) to eliminate anything in the air. There are multiple schools of thought on whether this is a good idea or not (lots of resources available with a quick Google search). I personally haven't done it, since the area I live in sprays for bugs and our lawn service sprays the fertilizer on our lawn. I'm just using the CO2 absorption media and get to ~7.9-8.0 pH at night, with about 7.7-7.8 during the day. I've considered dripping kalk to help increase it further, but everything is happy right now, so I'm reluctant to change anything (if it ain't broke......)
 
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scott11106

scott11106

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Nice setup! Congratulations on your house and tank build.
thank you, I am ready to get the actual process of putting it together and getting water into as i have been planning for a while and i think i am real close to being ready. Honestly it is driving me nuts waiting for the house to be finished but the plan it to move in the first week of march...not long now
 

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