rsumner's 450gal Home Office Reef

rsumner

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It's time for an upgrade! I'm in the process of designing a 400 gallon reef tank to upgrade the 100 gallon Red Sea 525 that I've outgrown. Dimensions will be 130"x30"x24" (11ft x 2.5ft x 2ft) and sitting on a 37" stand. Tank will be Eurobraced, Starphire, and probably wrapped in black on 3 sides. Here's a general overview of the tank:

rsumner-400g-display-overview.png


I'm planning on running dual Synergy Shadow V3 Overflows: one on each short-end of the tank with 4x 1" returns evenly distributed on the back wall. I've masked the location with painter's tape where I plan on putting the tank in my home office:

IMG_3356.jpeg


Filtration design points I'm planning for:
  • 3x turnover to one side of the sump running a 80 gallon fuge, skimmer, and 90K uw/cm UV for protozoa control
  • 5x turnover to the other side of the sump running socks/fleece and a 30K uw/cm UV for algae control
Any comments and suggestions are welcome. More to come soon as I detail things.
 
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rsumner

rsumner

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Multiple overflows have the possibility of headaches. For your size tank, one overflow with 1.5” drains will be more than sufficient
Can you elaborate on the headaches? I don’t mind a plumbing challenge.

My thoughts on the dual overflows was to run one at high-flow (2000-2500 GPH) and the other at lower-flow (1200 GPH) with two return pumps.
 
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314reefer

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It's time for an upgrade! I'm in the process of designing a 400 gallon reef tank to upgrade the 100 gallon Red Sea 525 that I've outgrown. Dimensions will be 130"x30"x24" (11ft x 2.5ft x 2ft) and sitting on a 37" stand. Tank will be Eurobraced, Starphire, and probably wrapped in black on 3 sides. Here's a general overview of the tank:

rsumner-400g-display-overview.png


I'm planning on running dual Synergy Shadow V3 Overflows: one on each short-end of the tank with 4x 1" returns evenly distributed on the back wall. I've masked the location with painter's tape where I plan on putting the tank in my home office:

IMG_3356.jpeg


Filtration design points I'm planning for:
  • 3x turnover to one side of the sump running a 80 gallon fuge, skimmer, and 90K uw/cm UV for protozoa control
  • 5x turnover to the other side of the sump running socks/fleece and a 30K uw/cm UV for algae control
Glass Cages will be doing the display and stand build. Since I'm still designing the sump, I don't have any details there yet. Everything that I use to support the tank will need to sit in the stand because I don't have a fish room.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome. More to come soon as I detail things.
Holy moly can’t wait to see how that turns out
 
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rsumner

rsumner

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Will you have emergency drains for each side? What happens if there is a clog on the high flow side?
Yes, I intended on running 1.5" bean animals in each overflow. Theoretically, the system could support about 5000 GPH if I were at full syphon on both overflows with little risk of flood. Here's the sump design I was originally thinking of.

rsumner-400g-dual-overflow-sump-v1.png


This would equate to 3700GPH through the sump which would be about 9.25x turnover. My initial thoughts were that I wanted two filtration paths through the sump with two different flow rates. The high-flow side would focus on basic mechanical filtration and 30K UV with about a 6.25x turnover per hour. The low-flow side would traverse through the refugium, skimmer, and 92K+ UV with about 3x turnover per hour.

The more I stare at this design, I realize I have a few flaws and recognize some obvious things too:
  • The fuge should be switched to the high-flow side to reduce the amount of UV exposure the pods exiting the fuge experience.
  • I'm worried about the noise that would be generated from 9.25x turnover. Could I do just fine with 2500GPH and single overflow yielding 6.25x turnover?
  • How much ongoing overflow tuning am I potentially signing up for by having two overflows and two pumps?
  • Since my tank is only 30" wide, am I risking too much turbulence pushing out of the returns bouncing off the front walls of the tank causing a sand storm?
Hrmm....more to think about.
 
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rsumner

rsumner

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I changed the layout of the sump. I created two chambers for the two different return pumps to try and keep the flow from a given overflow consistent with that filtration path within the sump and staying consistent with a single return for that filtration path. I added some protections in the return chamber to allow for sharing of the section should there be a pump failure. I have 3" trap sections to catch bubbles from the skimmer path and I can add a coarse sponge to the fuge path to catch any stray chaeto. I show the different filtration paths with red and green arrows below:

rsumner-400g-dual-overflow-sump-v2.png


I also created a top-down view of the return section to show the height differences of the baffles:

rsumner-400g-dual-overflow-sump-v2-return.png


I am definitely overcomplicating this :)
 

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The "sides" are still throwing me off. The return pumps together are what matters as that will push X amount of water over the weir teeth in your overflow boxes. You are suggesting that you will valve down one side to attain a lower flow rate, but the water volume doesn't care about your flow desires -- it just wants to get out of your tank as efficiently as possible.

If both pumps together are pushing 3700GPH of water into the tank, it will evenly/equally go into the two overflows. Your 1200GPH Bean Animal will be overwhelmed, as you plan to have the main drain on that side valved down to 1200GPH, but you won't be able to get a trickle out of the second drain -- it will be getting 1850GPH (half of 3700PGH) whether you like it or not.

Said differently, if 3700GPH are being pumped into the tank and you have two overflows, 1850GPH will flow back down through each one. The water will go wherever it's easiest, and a Bean Animal drain relies on full siphon, plus a little extra for the trickle drain (plus emergency drain). I haven't seen any ways of doing separate water flow volumes through each side.

The only way I can see around this is to have the one lower flow side have ONLY a siphon drain (with the others closed on that side) so that you have two full siphons, plus one trickle, plus emergency. I suppose you could probably have a much taller emergency drain on the 1200GPH side too.

There are other ways of diverting water when it gets to your sump to have a lower flow chamber section, but I wouldn't mess with the drains themselves
 
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Blue Tang Clan

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Search Reef2Reef for dual or two Bean Animal drains and others may explain it better than me.
In general, if you’re pumping that much water through, you want it dead simple - any imbalance isn’t worth the risk.

there are lots of sump designs out there that have a side channel from the compartment where the drains come in that has a gentler flow for a refugium. If you’re designing the sump, that’s where you can get creative on flow patterns
 

Blue Tang Clan

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Also, double check your expectations of what a 1.5” full siphon will pull. You are unlikely to get 3000GPH. People may think that because their pump is rated for X000GPH but unless you are using a reliable flow meter to double check, you’re probably only going to pull 1800-1900GPH full siphon. I run most of the way open and have 1100 gallons going in (two flow meters show me what the pumps are putting out) and then a separate flow meter shows me what is flowing into the sump. They match and I don’t think I could pull more than 1600-1700 on a full siphon. YMMV.
 
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I have two (2) Glass Cages 150s (basically to fit into the room with some ease). That meant two of everything, pump & plumbing wise. If I had one large tank like you will be doing, I would have Glass Cages build one (1) overflow to pretty much run the length of the tank.

Following your project! :)
 
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rsumner

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Also, double check your expectations of what a 1.5” full siphon will pull. You are unlikely to get 3000GPH. People may think that because their pump is rated for X000GPH but unless you are using a reliable flow meter to double check, you’re probably only going to pull 1800-1900GPH full siphon. I run most of the way open and have 1100 gallons going in (two flow meters show me what the pumps are putting out) and then a separate flow meter shows me what is flowing into the sump. They match and I don’t think I could pull more than 1600-1700 on a full siphon. YMMV.
I checked your build thread (beautiful setup, btw) and definitely won't have the horizontal runs that you have, so hope to be closer to 2K per drain. In my situation, I would have near-zero friction loss from the display to to the sump (only accounting for two 45's and the union). This may change if I change the design of the flow in the sump.

Thanks for the search term suggestions. You have a super valid point that I feel stupid for not catching in the beginning: two drains running at the same height in perfectly level tank will try to drain equally. The moral of the story: I can't change physics by simply closing a valve :)

Considering I want my minimum turnover to be 3X what you're achieving, I think I should account for at least two 1.5" full siphons (however I achieve that).

Back to the drawing board. I want to make sure I have a firm idea of how I'm going to handle flow and turnover before I give the builder the green light.

If I had one large tank like you will be doing, I would have Glass Cages build one (1) overflow to pretty much run the length of the tank.
I wouldn't mind a coast-to-coast overflow going into a really single external box to help with gas exchange, however I don't like the idea of a built-in weir that cannot be replaced. I plan on this tank lasting me 10+ years and if I needed to completely replace an overflow, I'd like that flexibility.
 

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Physics tends to be fairly constant!!

What is the reason you want such high turnover? The hobby has sobered up to much more reasonable numbers these days, whereas 10 years ago we all thought we needed 10x turnover. 2-3x is Plenty, and I’ve seen 1x on many gorgeous tanks.

If you plan on running a UV or two, you won’t be able to run those flow rates without separate plumbing - and still go after Ich.
 
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rsumner

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Physics tends to be fairly constant!!

What is the reason you want such high turnover? The hobby has sobered up to much more reasonable numbers these days, whereas 10 years ago we all thought we needed 10x turnover. 2-3x is Plenty, and I’ve seen 1x on many gorgeous tanks.

If you plan on running a UV or two, you won’t be able to run those flow rates without separate plumbing - and still go after Ich.

TBH, I would be completely happy with 3 to 3.5x sump turnover. I was originally going to run a closed loop for high-flow 30K UV for algae control and got too nervous about the closed loop springing a leak and not having any pre-filter for the pump. To mitigate this fear, I decided to try and just push it all through the overflows and have two return paths/pumps going through two different UVs. I'm going to stop trying to over-engineer this. If I want to run two UVs, I'll have one or two of the return lines running one UV and the rest running off the other UV.

I also talked to the boss over the weekend (my wife) about the overflows exiting from the side of the tank and she's declined that design due to the visible plumbing and the asymmetrical approaches I would have to follow to hide it. So, the overflow(s) must move to the back wall with the returns.

I'll post new pics and explanations of the display and sump when I'm done.
 

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I run two different UVs, each through a separate return channel. The recommended flow for protozoa zapping is <600GPH so I keep each one at that rate. Algae prevention is more about turnover rate than flow rate (they are different when you have multiple returns) so you can actually do both if you want to get fancy with your sump.

As an example, if you had 4 returns (or 2 return pumps that each split into a Y), and each going through a UV (mine are 120W) - then you would zap protozoa (600GPH max) in each channel because each one is slow enough, but the aggregate amount of water flowing in and out of the tank is 2400GPH, which will certainly slow down algae too. Most people don't want to run that many UVs, but it is technically possible to zap protozoa and slow down algae if you want to.

No one asked my opinion, but I would plumb UVs to zap the nasties, and then increase as needed to fight algae. Once your fish are stable after a few months and you don't add more, there is less of a risk of infection and you can just concentrate on algae flow rates.
 
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rsumner

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Well, I'm getting much closer to finalizing everything. I made the decision I would be going with Advanced Acrylics for the sump and Framing Tech for the stand.

Framing Tech's engineering department is doing a review and weight distribution profile on my stand design (that had to be adjusted based upon feedback from my wife). Once they finish, I'll submit the order for the stand and will have detailed drawings that will help me finalize the refugium dimensions. Here's a rough drawing of the stand profile:

rsumner-stand-design.png


John at Advanced Acrylics was absolutely awesome to work with during the design process of the sump, so I bit the bullet and ordered a custom sump, external refugium, dosing containers, a perforated acrylic basket to hold a ton of Seachem Matrix, and a 25gallon ATO container from him yesterday. Everything is white PVC with red welds and polycarb lids. Sump will be 72x30x20 and fuge will probably be 24x24x30 but may need to be slightly smaller depending on the final stand dimensions. John is going to build the refugium last because the overflow drains on the refugium are going to line-up perfectly with the sump so it will be a simple 90-degree bend to dump water from the fuge overflow into the sump. I'm going to split the main drain between the sump and the fuge. Here's a drawing that John over at Advanced Acrylics did for me.

sump-fuge.jpg


And then here's the drawing I did for him to start with:

rsumner-sump-extfuge.png


I hope to finalize the display today with the vendor I've been working with at which time I'll provide details of that.
 
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