OINK! I'm a Pig. 200g Reef Savvy, Bashsea, Royal Exclusiv -Direct sunlight- In wall w/ IKEA fishroom basement sump build

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drtechno

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Ok. So as typical, we got less accomplished on Sunday than what we hoped. But the important thing is that we started cycling the rock!

So we bought two 75 gallon tubs at Home Depot because they were the only containers both wide and deep enough to hold the two larger formations.

So to cycle, we have one 600 gph powerhead per tub, with an Eheim heater. The rock we used was Caribsea Liferock, but we are still planning to go ahead with Brightwell Aquatics cycling stuff.
The salt water water mixing station still has a slow leak from the bottom pump connection and I can’t tell if it’s from the union or if I need to use even more Teflon tape and the threaded pump connections :(

so cycling plan is as follow - I think pretty standard stuff (?).
Fill the tubs with water, add microbacteur start and ammonia, then let it cycle. Once ammonia drops I can start feeding fish food to the tubs to keep the cycle going for the next ~3-4 months before the tank arrives. I think that’s right?

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drtechno

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Another weekend, another mini update. (Thank goodness the tank isn’t coming for months, still don’t have an ETA btw)
The rocks been cycling since Thursday and still no significant drop in ammonia (still ~2ppm). But that’s fine. I have time.

In the meantime, my BubbleKing 250 Deluxe arrived. What a behemoth. Even having designed the skimmer compartment to fit it, it’s a tight squeeze.
Surprisingly the instructions don’t have assembly??? If anyone has a link to its assembly let me know. I’m going to hit YouTube this week to see if there is anything. I’m sure it’s self explanatory but I don’t want to screw anything up.

Also we mounted the Neat Aquatics UV brackets for the Pentair UVs. They work awesome :). Those Pentairs are a tight fit too. They pretty much have to go there but I think the plumbing will work out.

Nothing more to report. Working next weekend so probably won’t have another update for 2 weeks.

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t5Nitro

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Any particular reason for the pentair over the lifegard Promax sterilizers. Only asking due to a big thread comparing the two with the winner leaning towards lifegard. I need to replace my green machine and its a decision between these 2 companies. I want to mount it outside the stand like you've got here.
 
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drtechno

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Any particular reason for the pentair over the lifegard Promax sterilizers. Only asking due to a big thread comparing the two with the winner leaning towards lifegard. I need to replace my green machine and its a decision between these 2 companies. I want to mount it outside the stand like you've got here.

You know. Good question. To be honest, it’s the one piece of equipment I didn’t research heavily and just went with what bulk reef supply had. So no good reason :)
 
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CMMorgan

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So first part is to address one challenge with this build, one which has conflicting information out there: Direct sunlight.

Unfortunately, due to the way the house is built, orientation, and a ton of other factors, the in-wall tank hole had to go where it is now. No way around it. But I also didn't really think too hard about things during the design stage. The result is that the tank will be hit with up to 3 hours of direct sunlight during the late afternoons during some parts of the year, and no sunlight at other parts of the year. No, there is nothing I can do about it. No, I cannot put in window shades. The living room is "loft style" with ridiculously high ceilings. Here is a picture of the issue, and all the "walls" of the living room look like this so there is no avoiding the sunlight.

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So in a way, I am about to do a small experiment on whether direct sunlight, in and of itself, has a detrimental effect on the tank (outside of heat gain and photospectrum for potential algae growth)
Incredible place... the tank issues can be managed. Beautiful view. I know this thread is a few months old but I'll throw my interior designer hat on here... Levelor, Hunter Douglas and a few others made automatic shades... including tinted and solar shades. You can mount above the tank and have it programmed to open and close. (not Apex ready - sorry - LOL) Of course, that is only if you find that the solar impact warrants it. I hope you are able to just leave the wall clean. So pretty.
 
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drtechno

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Incredible place... the tank issues can be managed. Beautiful view. I know this thread is a few months old but I'll throw my interior designer hat on here... Levelor, Hunter Douglas and a few others made automatic shades... including tinted and solar shades. You can mount above the tank and have it programmed to open and close. (not Apex ready - sorry - LOL) Of course, that is only if you find that the solar impact warrants it. I hope you are able to just leave the wall clean. So pretty.
Thanks so much for the kind words. Yes we are hoping to be able to keep the wall clean. But you are right, if solar issues arise then looking into automated blinds in front of the tank may be the way to go. Let’s see what happens when the tank gets delivered in March.
 
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drtechno

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Just a brief update (I posted it also in another thread). The HDX 70 gallon tubs I was using to cycle continued to bow. This past weekend when removing one of the lids that was helping hold things together, the sides popped out without the support of the top, and began to tear/crack the plastic. Thankfully we noticed the crack immediately and I made an emergency run to Home Depot to get a new one. This one I will support with a rachet belt. I’m watching the 2nd tub closely and will transfer the contents to a new tub with belt support this weekend.
Man. This could have gone very bad.
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drtechno

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I also made progress this weekend with the plumbing, and I finished the returns as well as the emergency drain line. I ended up directing the emergency drain into my return section as it was a straighter shot and would be more out of the way than the increasingly crowded fuge and skimmer sections.
There are more 90 degree elbows than I anticipated. Far far more. Lol. I will see what kind of flow I am getting and can always redo them if needed. Both UVs are now plumbed as well as the check valves and the Apex flow meters. I left 8” of straight pipe on either side of them for more accurate measurements. I also used painters tape to mock up the Apex control boards and the drain lines so I have a basic idea of where things are going.
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The pipe in between the two returns is the emergency drain line.

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Also, in order to use the BRS pvc clamps, and still have enough room for unions and ball valves, you need to use some standoffs. I ended up going to Home Depot and buying a 1.5”x0.75” PVC molding strip and chopping it to size.


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In any case. I can wait to move on from plumbing. While this is fun, there’s just SO much other stuff left to do ! :/
 

mmw64

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I also made progress this weekend with the plumbing, and I finished the returns as well as the emergency drain line. I ended up directing the emergency drain into my return section as it was a straighter shot and would be more out of the way than the increasingly crowded fuge and skimmer sections.
There are more 90 degree elbows than I anticipated. Far far more. Lol. I will see what kind of flow I am getting and can always redo them if needed. Both UVs are now plumbed as well as the check valves and the Apex flow meters. I left 8” of straight pipe on either side of them for more accurate measurements. I also used painters tape to mock up the Apex control boards and the drain lines so I have a basic idea of where things are going.
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The pipe in between the two returns is the emergency drain line.

6D0DA2A9-E875-45D6-8CD8-1C556764D139.jpeg


Also, in order to use the BRS pvc clamps, and still have enough room for unions and ball valves, you need to use some standoffs. I ended up going to Home Depot and buying a 1.5”x0.75” PVC molding strip and chopping it to size.


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In any case. I can wait to move on from plumbing. While this is fun, there’s just SO much other stuff left to do ! :/
Really enjoyed reading about this build. Please keep it going.
 
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drtechno

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Really enjoyed reading about this build. Please keep it going.
Thanks all :)

definitely will keep posting updates as they occur. But my life is a bit of a zoo ;) So I don’t get to spend as much time on this as I would like. Most people could crank out the plumbing in a weekend but it’s taking me weeks so far. I suppose I will have more time to spend on this in the coming weeks since it looks like ski season is a wash so far.
This coming weekend I’ll finish the 2 remaining drain lines, mount the Apex boards and start mounting electrical equipment and controllers (I hope). Yay! Upstairs, I’ll probably be able to start making the finish edges of the opening a little nicer in case you can see them when the tank goes in.
 

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This has been a great read thank you very much for posting all the updates it looks great!
 
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drtechno

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So we finished up the drain lines into the sump. Nothing earth shattering, all standard plumbing principles so nothing for people to learn from this part of my journey. We did have to throw out some PVC as we had to redo the last 6 feet a couple times as my measurements kept being off by like 1/2 inch, and then we couldn’t get the angles to work. Finally we got it tho. A couple pics just to show what I did
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drtechno

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This weekend we are doing some odds and ends around the tank

Started measuring out the controller board locations and planning out how we want things mounted on them. One controller board in done, but just waiting on the flat extension cords before I finish the mounting. The 2nd controller board is only laid out right now, and components just sitting on it. I got the DOS rodi adapter pieces so I will have to screw those on.
First controller board will have 2 Red Dragon 3 return pump controllers, (but each pump will take its power from a separate energy bar/circuit so they are on independent circuits), the Red Dragon skimmer pump, both UV power supplies (mounted to the back of the board), and a FMM for the flow sensors.
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The second controller board will contain the Apex, power bar (which will be on a second circuit), FMM for water levels, and we managed to fit 3 DOS pumps (I’ll explain these in the future)

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Finally, I figured out how to mount the Kessil refugium light on the wall. Turns out the A series arm can be screwed directly to a wall, which I haven’t seen discussed before. But it works great. Got the Kessil mounted and working !

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drtechno

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Hope everyone is having a great holiday! So over the break, I had some more time to put into the tank room. So it looks like the last update I was monkeying around with the controller boards. Well I got everything mounted then used a ton of zip ties to secure all the cable and make an attempt to organize everything. It still looks like a zoo in the back of the boards. Good enough tho. It’s not going to be seen.
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So I finally just mounted them on the wall. I have to say, they are only there to look nice. They certainly make things more of a pain in the butt than I thought. They only are useful for cable management. Routing the cables, zip tying them, etc into the small space behind the board was frustrating.
Anyway. They are up.

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drtechno

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I still have to figure out how to make the small cables (for the sensors) route nicely and not look like spider webs all over the place.

Some on the reef 2 reef forum had the idea of using flat 1 foot extension cables for the powerbar so you can print on them. It’s an awesome idea and works great. You just make the connection behind the controller board and it makes everything look organized.
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They are cheap and readily available on Amazon. Just one caution tho, there are two different cable types where the angles of the power cord are different. One of the cord types has the angle in such a way that they will not stack on the power bar. So don’t buy all your cords until you have tested the fit.
These are the cords that I used. These will stack side by side on the powerbar

FIRMERST 1875W Low Profile 1Ft

 
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drtechno

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So some brief equipment notes.
I’m going with 2 JBJ temp controllers running 2 750watt finnex titanium heaters. I’m using two heaters that each will do 75% of the tank for redundancy. Each heater is on a separate electrical circuit, and each circuit has a different GFCI mechanism (one is at the breaker box, GFCI breaker, the other is a normal GFCI outlet). Again, for redundancy and reliability since GFCI outlets die after about 10 years in my experience.
I went with JBJ controllers because there aren’t any reliable ones it seems. I definitely do not want the hassle of the Wi-Fi inkbird controllers since I don’t need Wi-Fi control over them

You can see the temp controllers mount beside the boards in the pics, one on each side. They are beside the boards because we ran out of room on the boards.

in terms of the two boards, each mounting board takes its power from a separate circuit in the basement. So the right hand board is powered separately than the left hand board. You remember that I am running two return pumps also. However, I have the return pump controllers both mounted on the right hand board (above the return pumps). So what I did (behind the mounting boards) is run an extension cord from the right hand board, down, along the floor and back up to the left hand board, and plug in one of the return pumps to it. So that’s how the two return pumps are on different circuits but mounted on the same board.

The next thing I am struggling with is trying to get the bubble magus filter roller to adapt to the sump bulkheads. We were able to get it to fit through the sump opening by changing the mounting arms to the inside of the brackets—

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Also assembling the inlet hose inside the sump, while the roller is mounted (thanks to my wife’s smaller hands, lol). However, the hose from the bulkhead to the roller has too tight of a turn to make, so we can’t use the hose that came with it, or any vinyl hose for that matter. It torques the inlet too much and makes the screw holes not line up

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So not quite sure on my options here. But I’m going to look into silicone 1.25” tubing that should be more flexible. ?? Either that or I will have to start jury rigging things ..

FYI. Still no word from ReefSavvy on a tank date. It’s been 6 months (maybe 7?) but I guess I’m not ready yet anyway. I’ll give them a call after January.
 

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Nice setup and documentation of the build. I have a Reef Savvy 125 that I ordered in 2015 and it is still not running. Well, it was for several months before a hurricane left us without power for 21 days. Good call on the Generac before even starting your build. I have a generator, but they don't do much good when you have to evacuate the area for several weeks.

Are those Adaptive Reef control boards?

I hope Felix can get the tank built for you soon. He is a pleasure to work with and when you get the tank you will see that it was worth the wait. Looking forward to following your build.
 
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