New Tank - Planning Stage

AquaCave

Mike Marsh

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fort Smith
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
So I've been out for 7 years. Always loved the ocean ... grew up a little in Oahu, sailed, scuba, etc. Got the aquarium bug after my daughters won goldfish at a church festival which "escalated" to beta-fish in a bottle, then a small tank, nano tank for sea horses, then a 350 G reef tank in my old office waiting room. Moved to a new office (single floor) 7 years ago, but left the old tank to others.
Ladies in the office suggested I put a new tank reef tank in the waiting room. Luckily, I had the new office plumbed for a water supply for RODI, a drain in the wall, and 8 electrical sockets (electrician thinks it will be enough).
Biggest fears are lack of drain for possible office flood (had one tank nearly flood kitchen in the past), no battery back up to building (had massive die off in old office after electricity was lost for a 4 day holiday), and no room for water change mixing (easily)
A lot of the design thoughts come from Tidal Gardens
So the big plan is to have a L 120" x W 48" x x 26" 3/4" low-lead glass, eurobraced, with open and closed loop , peninsula tank near abutting my electrical and plumbing wall. Stand will be metal L 150" (extra 30" for "tower') x w 48" x 40".

1. Tank - sizing chosen because I wanted to go big :). Stupid in way, given I've been out so long, but I found the past more water is more stable once dialed in and I can't stop myself. I chose a peninsula mainly because of room geometry. Also wanted to see both sides of long axis. 48" wide because I can but a live rock spine or whatever down the middle. Plan for 1-2" of sand (like the look) bottom; hence functional depth 24" height for easier maintenance. Also like sand critters.
Over flow yet to be decided .... internal vs external. Tidal Gardens shows an internal with 4x 1 1/2" bulkheads (3 for Bean Animal drains with 1 for return). Also consider 48"coast to coast external like from Modular Marine
Plan for closed loop also with 3x 1 1/2" bulkheads - 1x suction with 2x returns with one pump for the closed loop. Sort of like seen on TidalGardens. No pump chosen yet ? EcoMarine, Red Dragon, or Abyzz. Probably go Red Dragon.
2. Plumbing - all must be essentially housed beneath tank in the stand/tower. I don't know how much difference different bulkheads mean, but Tidal Gardens seem particular to Hayward. Valves will be Capex or Spears see BRS ..... also PVC will be grey schedule 80 or the fancy colors from BRS .... hey got to be pretty.
3. Sump - heavily leaning toward Royal Exclusiv DreamBoxen ... unless aquarium builder convinces me otherwise. Just like the clean design and well thought out organization. White bottom for seeing detritus better. Undecided re: socks or fleece roller systems. My last sump included a refugium for macroalgae and copepod zone. Kind of uncertain if necessary. Plan 2x reactors - 1 x carbon and 1x GFO.
4. Water changes - some sort automatic system with 100 G tank in sump area.
5. Monitoring and chemistry - Neptune or GHL ??? Used to have the first generation GHL. Lots has changed .... this decision is months away. Need to heavily read Randy Holmes Farley again and again and again :) I plan to keep salinity at SG 25-26 so parameters are more easily followed and adjusted. Also plan for a calcium reactor .... made life easier in past. Possibly add dosing pump. Plan to use ozone .... Tidal Gardens thought it great on there peninsula tank.
6. Biologic filtration - rock (live or dry ) , sand, macro algae ??? Probably not do Zeomix or KZ Zeovit other than supplements .... probably lots of spare Vodka from retreating Russians in Ukraine to use :) Wondering about Ceramic Biomedia Plate - MarinePure .
7. Aquascaping - who knows tonight :)
8. Stand - stainless or aluminum. Leaning towards extruded aluminum as seen on Tidal Gardens. Still getting bids and deciding. I like the idea of leveling casters on the Tidal Garden stands. I can have either stainless or aluminum covered with wood fascia,
9. Canopy - must rest on aquarium .... may change but I think my office room demands it
10. Lighting - LED's

Anyway, these are my thoughts for now. Happy to hear advice, opinions (especially don't do's).
 
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com

Fish_Fry

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 2, 2022
Messages
63
Reaction score
94
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Denver
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Giving you a bump. This is going to be an impressive build. It seems well thought out.

To address a couple of your concerns. I would definitely opt for a roller mat instead of having to constantly change filter socks. I have filter socks and redoing my plumbing & modifying my sump to accommodate a roller mat well be a pain.

For water mixing do you have a spare closet you could devote to it? You might be able to do the water change remotely, or have a mobile cart. How are you going to get water to & from your sump to do the water change?

Also make sure to get leak sensors so you'll at least be notified quickly if something goes wrong.
 
OP
M

Mike Marsh

New Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
7
Reaction score
36
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fort Smith
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Right now the build is in my head :) Getting quotes , etc.

The roller mat is a bit more expensive, but given what you say as well as some video I watched on BRS, it seems I might be too lazy for socks. My last tank didn't have either.

As for water, I have a faucet at the end of the tank area which will feed a RODI and auto top off..... I suppose this will also fill the salt mixing tank. I have a fellow here in Arkansas who will help maintain the tank, who mentioned this idea of a mixing tank beneath the display (? 100 gallons) that he proposes will do some auto water changes. I've yet to see the details, but guess it is a continuous change system using a Neptune-like controller and dosing pumps .... ? limited to 30 gallons per day. But presuming a 10% / week continuous exchange would be ~ 60 gallons a week. Anyway, details need to be decided. This idea of continuous change is new to me. My recollection of the past was I had a spare room that I'd mix and warm new water in a 55-gallon rubber trash can on rollers that I'd wheel to the tank. Also the fellow during service calls had a large amount of pre-mixed water that he'd pump up to the aquarium on the 2nd floor of the office. This whole issue needs some planning :)

For the leak sensors, I think that is a must. One plan I have for containment of a potential leak is in the sump area is to have someone fabricate a PVC or acrylic 3" low-walled "bathtub" for the sump area. Perhaps, also create a second "bathtub" for the entire stand to sit in ... also with leak sensors. The last tanks I had did have a big seam leak in my breakfast nook at home , which lead to the wifey telling me the aquarium had to be moved to my office :) I don't recall a leak at the office, but did have a near total die off over a long weekend when the electricity went off in the building. Very odiferous :)

Thank You
 
World Wide Corals
AquaCave

How difficult is it REALLY to keep Acropora corals?

  • 1 - easy to keep

    Votes: 20 3.5%
  • 2

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • 3

    Votes: 14 2.5%
  • 4

    Votes: 14 2.5%
  • 5 - average

    Votes: 155 27.4%
  • 6

    Votes: 48 8.5%
  • 7

    Votes: 145 25.7%
  • 8

    Votes: 87 15.4%
  • 9

    Votes: 20 3.5%
  • 10 - difficult to keep

    Votes: 56 9.9%
Corals.com
Top