The Blue Window - 500 G in wall, never ending build

mrbh22

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just read the whole thread. looks like you have quite the project going on. do you have some sort of engineering background? or just a guy who knows some things lol. do you have any plans of humidity removal ? i dont remember seeing anything about it. i like that you are not afraid to try and make something work but also have the common sense to realize when it just wont work, abort current idea, and figure out another solution. cant wait to see it when you get it wet! good luck with the rest of the build.
 
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Dennis Cartier

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Sorry for the late replies guys.

Your plans and detail orientation are incredible, props! This is looking to be quite the setup!

Thanks.

Wow!!! Nice project!

Why do you use LED and not something like ATI 10 bulb T5?

I would prefer the T5 setup if I was just going SPS and was not bugged by the bulb replacement costs. I figure the LED will give me more flexibility and due to the number of units, get around the shadowing issue. Truth be told, the Philips Coral Care units are what I really wanted to run, but at the time there were no North American versions available. I think that is about to, or has changed, but I plan on running the AI units to at least get something out of them. Heh, they were not cheap.

Dang, Nice tank you got there!

Thanks.

Any new updates?

Ok, so here is any update. I pretty much had a period of reefing disappointment. When I returned from our vacation earlier this year, my frag tank holding all the corals from the previous tank and my fish. had a major die off. Pretty much 99% of colonies and frags crashed. It has been a repeating and annoying pattern. Every time I go on vacation, my frag tank goes for a crap, and then when I return, I get it back headed in the right direction, get it flourishing and the pattern repeats on the next vacation.

This made take a step back and re-evaluate the big tank and how to approach it to prevent the same scenario from occurring. How I plan to approach this is to try to setup the big tank as self sufficient as possible, so that it can run like I am on vacation, even when I am here. This will also help with my OCD as sometimes my tank probably feels like I am on vacation when I am sidetracked with whatever shiny concept has my attention. With that in mind, all the equipment and systems in the big tank will be for compensating for my attention span rather than running the tank on the bleeding edge. So it will be a very simple, high tech tank :p

I will break the frag tank down once I am closer to having the big tank running. I am not certain as to what it's issue is (contamination/pathogens/etc.), but the pests and issues will be dealt with by a restart.

Dennis
 
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Dennis Cartier

Dennis Cartier

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just read the whole thread. looks like you have quite the project going on. do you have some sort of engineering background? or just a guy who knows some things lol. do you have any plans of humidity removal ? i dont remember seeing anything about it. i like that you are not afraid to try and make something work but also have the common sense to realize when it just wont work, abort current idea, and figure out another solution. cant wait to see it when you get it wet! good luck with the rest of the build.

Nope, no engineering background. I approach things from a desire for knowledge. Many people look at a situation and see all the problems. I look at the same situation and see solutions. Sometimes they are even good ;)

My career was largely the same. I worked in the technology field for 30 years but had no formal training in technology. I did not let that stop me though.

I have been toying with the idea of going back to school just to get a degree. It would be ironic that having just retired as a CTO, I would go back to school to get a degree when I have no use for it other than to say I have one. Meh, we will see where that goes.

Dennis
 
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Dennis Cartier

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Late last year, before I went on vacation I attempted to get my sump design underway. I ran into some issues though, a vendor that was not interested in the work and another that could not understand my rudimentary drawings of the sump layout. It seemed as though I had forgot all the CAD tools that I had used a few years back when I was doing a lot of CNC hobbies.

Then I stumbled onto OpenJSCAD. I might have forgotten the unused CAD skills, but I still know how to program.

Here is my first take on a sump for the new tank. The sump will be made out of PVC sheet and be ~ 8' x 28" x 21.5". The tall cylinder in the model is a placeholder for the RK2 X-FLO 3.5 skimmer I plan on using. About 55% of the sump is comprised of a DyMiCo style of filter. The traditional portions of the sump are only 3 compartments (overflow, equipment and return) and from a U at the left of the photo below. The external pipes will be for connecting a 150G frag tub, which will also play a part of extra reservoir space when the return pumps stop. Other notable design features, the pumps in the overflow will be feeding the filter portion directly, bypassing the skimmer, as will the return from the filter, discharging directly into the return chamber. Due to the planned weir levels and pipes, I expect to have a small gravity flow through the filter, even when the feed pumps in the overflow are off. The pumps at the far end of the filter, in the last chamber, keep the water circulating within the filter media using the 2 levels of filter pipes.

ACtC-3dNV7oG3qK2HalxRZyxfth0ZyL5I7b87GfxIJ9eLReOuKpVUpcSB8XGn6yQiM3tzPmiWSXsm9st6fEdw1buGbAk2qH4BGUk03zB_Mv3J4pFY4SfpIwFP2RcIT8gQp2VCsjMsH4nSqxRlgHx6KTiB-_J=w789-h470-no

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Now I just need to firm up a vendor to build it, or at least quote on it.

Dennis
 

mclayj

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Just read through the entire build. The thought put into the entire system is incredible and the scale is unimaginable. I cant wait to see it full of life. I just ordered a 120G tank + stand from Derek at Miracles. Great to see others in the GTA (I live in Oakville). Where do you typically purchase hardware and livestock? Are you still considering live rock from the US? If so, how will you do it as I’ve emailed some vendors and there were issues with customs.
 
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Dennis Cartier

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Just read through the entire build. The thought put into the entire system is incredible and the scale is unimaginable. I cant wait to see it full of life. I just ordered a 120G tank + stand from Derek at Miracles. Great to see others in the GTA (I live in Oakville). Where do you typically purchase hardware and livestock? Are you still considering live rock from the US? If so, how will you do it as I’ve emailed some vendors and there were issues with customs.

Thanks. I can't wait to have it wet as well. I just have the 2 final blocking items, the sump and a facade to enclose the tank into the wall. Ya, Derek is a great guy. I was so happy when I realized they were within driving distance from me.

For live stock, I typically purchase corals from Fragbox, The Reef Shop or Cherry Corals if it is something hard to find (they are quite pricey though). When I get around to rebuilding my coral selection, I expect it to be expensive.

For hardware, I buy online from ReefSupplies.ca or in person from Aquarium Depot, The Reef Shop or Fragbox. I try to support my LFS.

I am still planning on getting live rock and live sand from the US. The last time I talked to TBS, they indicated that they could ship it to the border in Buffalo and I could pick it up at the airport and drive it across using the provided documents. However, that was before the pandemic, and the border is now closed for the foreseeable. I do still want to go the live rock route though, even if I have to wait.

One thing I found living in Canada, is that BRS is not a good deal due to the extra fees they tack on to account for HST and customs. They end up being more than Canadian suppliers. If there was something from them that I had to have, I would have it shipped to a forwarding company in Niagara Falls, NY and drive over and pick it up. Although the border is closed, so no driving over, but they will deliver it to a location in Hamilton for $20 extra, so that still works apparently. Hmm, I wonder if they could do that with TBS LR and sand if the border is still closed during my next expected window (spring 2021)?

When I get it wet and cycled, I will have to see about having you by for a visit.

Dennis
 

mclayj

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Thanks Dennis.

I'm still deciding on the sump as well. Very close to pulling the trigger on an Advanced Acrylics PVC combo with fuge. If you end up ordering live rock when the border finally opens I'd be very interested in joining your order and split shipping. I have 100+ lbs of various varieties of the Caribsea liverock but would prefer live rock if possible. Funny you mention BRS, I spent two hours over the weekend filling my BRS cart with $1,000+ of plumbing given sticker price is way better than Canadian suppliers and I still have a US bank account from when I lived in LA to be shocked at the shipping + customs charges at the end. I did end up ordering some parts from them still but ended up ordering most of it from Aquarium Depot.

Jeff
 

ethridge78

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Sorry for the late replies guys.



Thanks.



I would prefer the T5 setup if I was just going SPS and was not bugged by the bulb replacement costs. I figure the LED will give me more flexibility and due to the number of units, get around the shadowing issue. Truth be told, the Philips Coral Care units are what I really wanted to run, but at the time there were no North American versions available. I think that is about to, or has changed, but I plan on running the AI units to at least get something out of them. Heh, they were not cheap.



Thanks.



Ok, so here is any update. I pretty much had a period of reefing disappointment. When I returned from our vacation earlier this year, my frag tank holding all the corals from the previous tank and my fish. had a major die off. Pretty much 99% of colonies and frags crashed. It has been a repeating and annoying pattern. Every time I go on vacation, my frag tank goes for a crap, and then when I return, I get it back headed in the right direction, get it flourishing and the pattern repeats on the next vacation.

This made take a step back and re-evaluate the big tank and how to approach it to prevent the same scenario from occurring. How I plan to approach this is to try to setup the big tank as self sufficient as possible, so that it can run like I am on vacation, even when I am here. This will also help with my OCD as sometimes my tank probably feels like I am on vacation when I am sidetracked with whatever shiny concept has my attention. With that in mind, all the equipment and systems in the big tank will be for compensating for my attention span rather than running the tank on the bleeding edge. So it will be a very simple, high tech tank :p

I will break the frag tank down once I am closer to having the big tank running. I am not certain as to what it's issue is (contamination/pathogens/etc.), but the pests and issues will be dealt with by a restart.

Dennis
Sorry about the loss on the livestock.
 
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Dennis Cartier

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Sorry about the loss on the livestock.

Thanks. I have to keep reminding myself that the corals we keep are not certain to live forever (at least not in my care), but for as long as we can provide them the environment that they require.

Sadly, I have noticed similar occurrences in the ocean where I have returned to the same lagoon 3 times over the past 5 years and found noticeable declines in the health and variety of the corals.

Dennis
 
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Dennis Cartier

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do you have any plans of humidity removal ? i dont remember seeing anything about it.

Ah, I just noticed that I did not respond to the humidity question.

I had a Panasonic Whisper Sense ventilation fan installed in the ceiling of the fish room. The model I used has motion and humidity sensors. I just looked for it on Panasonic's site, but now they are selling DC models with ECM motors and selectable speeds along with the humidity and motion sensing.

If the ventilation fan proves to be too limited, then I will install a dehumidifier that has a drain hookup. I had a drain line installed along one wall of the fish room for water changes and waste removal for testers, etc. Dehumidifiers fill up so fast, but if I can arrange to have it drain to waste, than they become pretty much set and forget.

Dennis
 
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Dennis Cartier

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I just thought of a project to include in this. Just documenting it here so that I remember to do it. I have an existing outside air line in the fishroom. It is a 3/4" CPVC CTS fed that runs to the skimmer on my frag tank. The line runs through a small vertical panel installed in the end of a sliding window with foam board insulation.

I was looking at the pile of clic pipe hangers I scored off eBay and was thinking how they could be useful. My plan is to make a new insert with a 1 /12" PVC outside air intake and a 1 1/2" exhaust to the outside. These lines would run along the fish room perimeter and with branches for different systems. Like a branch that runs under the 500G stand for equipment to deal with low PH (skimmers/strippers/etc.). I will have to see if I end up with condensation issues in the winter.

The exhaust will be for returning outside air from things like an aeration tower for stripping CO2.

Dennis
 
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Update: My sump is partially complete, or so I am told. I am still waiting to see photos of it with the panels taped into place before being cemented. I am hoping that it can get completed and get shipped out before the end of the month. It is 8 feet long and constructed out of 1/2" PVC so it is quite heavy apparently. I am going to need help to move it into place under the stand.

I have a list of equipment that I am waiting to see if there are any Black Friday deals on them.

While I wait on the sump, I am going to start on getting a water change station built. I am pressed for space, so it will be built in the cold room under my front porch. I will need to construct a temperature controlled enclosure for the water change station to deal with sub freezing weather.

The tanks for the water change station have just arrived. There are (3) 260G vertical tanks (28" x 30" x 78"), 1 for RODI and 2 for NSW. I made sure to measure all the doors they would have to go through to get into place, to make sure they will fit. ;)

ACtC-3e7kJN1_NJc62myxqI2oCQH9REGqjdvvHJQCIDKV3u7aV0LCz6yGIhuWB3nxOxhmxcJRQJIowQS6M5zHm6OS-Tb5jpAmDDcSAGUmOjLcPNIdqEw63MD5CyyyGEbD8-jYD003Ruxtdtbqiz6aG_Kj5vX=w717-h956-no

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The bulkhead they came with is 3/4", so I will probably just stick with that as the flow does not need to be that high. While washing them out, I discovered they have screws holding the top bulkhead for the lid penetrating into the tank area. They don't seem to be magnetic, so most likely aluminum or stainless, but I am going to look for a way to cover them. The water level should be below them, but I a sure they will get splashed at some points.

Dennis
 

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Update: My sump is partially complete, or so I am told. I am still waiting to see photos of it with the panels taped into place before being cemented. I am hoping that it can get completed and get shipped out before the end of the month. It is 8 feet long and constructed out of 1/2" PVC so it is quite heavy apparently. I am going to need help to move it into place under the stand.

I have a list of equipment that I am waiting to see if there are any Black Friday deals on them.

While I wait on the sump, I am going to start on getting a water change station built. I am pressed for space, so it will be built in the cold room under my front porch. I will need to construct a temperature controlled enclosure for the water change station to deal with sub freezing weather.

The tanks for the water change station have just arrived. There are (3) 260G vertical tanks (28" x 30" x 78"), 1 for RODI and 2 for NSW. I made sure to measure all the doors they would have to go through to get into place, to make sure they will fit. ;)

ACtC-3e7kJN1_NJc62myxqI2oCQH9REGqjdvvHJQCIDKV3u7aV0LCz6yGIhuWB3nxOxhmxcJRQJIowQS6M5zHm6OS-Tb5jpAmDDcSAGUmOjLcPNIdqEw63MD5CyyyGEbD8-jYD003Ruxtdtbqiz6aG_Kj5vX=w717-h956-no

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The bulkhead they came with is 3/4", so I will probably just stick with that as the flow does not need to be that high. While washing them out, I discovered they have screws holding the top bulkhead for the lid penetrating into the tank area. They don't seem to be magnetic, so most likely aluminum or stainless, but I am going to look for a way to cover them. The water level should be below them, but I a sure they will get splashed at some points.

Dennis

You will be the only person I've ever known to have enough water on hand for a 110% water change. Awesome!
 
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kput

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Late last year, before I went on vacation I attempted to get my sump design underway. I ran into some issues though, a vendor that was not interested in the work and another that could not understand my rudimentary drawings of the sump layout. It seemed as though I had forgot all the CAD tools that I had used a few years back when I was doing a lot of CNC hobbies.

Then I stumbled onto OpenJSCAD. I might have forgotten the unused CAD skills, but I still know how to program.

Here is my first take on a sump for the new tank. The sump will be made out of PVC sheet and be ~ 8' x 28" x 21.5". The tall cylinder in the model is a placeholder for the RK2 X-FLO 3.5 skimmer I plan on using. About 55% of the sump is comprised of a DyMiCo style of filter. The traditional portions of the sump are only 3 compartments (overflow, equipment and return) and from a U at the left of the photo below. The external pipes will be for connecting a 150G frag tub, which will also play a part of extra reservoir space when the return pumps stop. Other notable design features, the pumps in the overflow will be feeding the filter portion directly, bypassing the skimmer, as will the return from the filter, discharging directly into the return chamber. Due to the planned weir levels and pipes, I expect to have a small gravity flow through the filter, even when the feed pumps in the overflow are off. The pumps at the far end of the filter, in the last chamber, keep the water circulating within the filter media using the 2 levels of filter pipes.

ACtC-3dNV7oG3qK2HalxRZyxfth0ZyL5I7b87GfxIJ9eLReOuKpVUpcSB8XGn6yQiM3tzPmiWSXsm9st6fEdw1buGbAk2qH4BGUk03zB_Mv3J4pFY4SfpIwFP2RcIT8gQp2VCsjMsH4nSqxRlgHx6KTiB-_J=w789-h470-no

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Now I just need to firm up a vendor to build it, or at least quote on it.

Dennis


Hit up Acrylic Habitats on Facebook. I went looking for a sump builder a few months back and they were one of few I could find willing to work with a custom design. (Advanced Acrylics being the other).

I plan on going with AH once I get back to my build, as they were priced a little better, offer a warranty on their work, and overall I just had a better feeling from them and their work.



Edit, read further in the post and it looks like you found someone. Disregard!
 
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I had a re-think of my plans and ran the different ways of situating the new storage tanks in the cold room or cantina under my porch. I have decided to just insulate the whole room with foam board on the walls and fiberglass bats in the rafters that hold up the porch. So that part of my house that was previously 'outside', will now become inside once I have it fully insulated and I close the vent hole that was cast into the wall.

This will give me a much cleaner installation and make it more pleasant for working with the station in the colder months. I was expecting to have to wear a coat before as only the tank area would be kept warm. The only complication with doing this is that the installers who put my HRV in a few years ago ran the air exchange ducts through this room and they did a rather sloppy job that would make working around them difficult. I will have to detach them and route them a lot neater.

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Dennis
 
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Time for an update. I have not made much progress myself. Due to the pandemic, we are in a lock down locally, and my butt seems to have taken the order literally and it has been firmly planted in a recliner.

However, I have made some progress on re-routing the ducting in the cantina. I was feeling I had a pretty good handle on what needed to be done, then water started dripping out of the door frame above this room for our new mahogany front door we just had put in. I was in the process of spray foaming the gap around the jam in preparation for caulking, when the leak started. I have narrowed it down to condensation forming on the metal lintel in the bricks above the door and dripping down onto the frame. The old french doors had no such issue, so I have been investigating ways of correcting it, and the issue caused me to re-think how I wanted to approach the insulation of the cantina. Messing it up would be hugely difficult to correct. So progress has stopped on the cantina.

My plan now is to glue 2" Durospan GPS R10 to the walls, and between the rafters, then I will apply a vapor barrier across the ceiling and down the walls to the floor. Because the vent will be closed off, I really do not want moist house air getting into contact with the chipboard that has the concrete slab of my porch above it, condensing and rotting out the supports.

I plan on running a couple of 12/3 circuits in. One for each side of the room. The current tap and toggle fixture/box will get removed at that point.

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Now for the exciting news. Even though I have been slacking off, my sump builder in Florida is hard at it. He has been nice enough to provide photos of it being mocked up with the cut pieces. It is being constructed out of 3/4" expanded PVC. In the photos, the bulkheads are in the right order, but the spacing is not accurate to the model when the photo was taken. The sump will be 8' x 26" x 22" when complete.

ACtC-3c6hEMxP7UXamWYIKSDvsxYomT_yw00Hgg1Ekpy5tdmPL2jxAaVWmmP9e1KSarWjDlvZKntHYskQUYTrAc2z-0XWbu-TYcfDjoPYEAuTf-baD_WT9Yp9AM420kNhiLQbQOxiMkGiMdykE5J6x6QbfKgNA=w1275-h957-no


ACtC-3emh4a0dGH_fH4asSwYA2x4A8LKVJqBsypy4P6ODoCJ-BH6P-dk-jSmbPUTtKn3HkD8aYNiY-26zj2VaNK7mEjHgx3vjhSfmzYovpXnD5HBIp2vHbHht4RMBcSS_oOe8K2b9c6XhpJ6MohGtShE3zIb1g=w1275-h957-no


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I will post more photos of the sump as they become available.

Dennis
 

ethridge78

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Time for an update. I have not made much progress myself. Due to the pandemic, we are in a lock down locally, and my butt seems to have taken the order literally and it has been firmly planted in a recliner.

However, I have made some progress on re-routing the ducting in the cantina. I was feeling I had a pretty good handle on what needed to be done, then water started dripping out of the door frame above this room for our new mahogany front door we just had put in. I was in the process of spray foaming the gap around the jam in preparation for caulking, when the leak started. I have narrowed it down to condensation forming on the metal lintel in the bricks above the door and dripping down onto the frame. The old french doors had no such issue, so I have been investigating ways of correcting it, and the issue caused me to re-think how I wanted to approach the insulation of the cantina. Messing it up would be hugely difficult to correct. So progress has stopped on the cantina.

My plan now is to glue 2" Durospan GPS R10 to the walls, and between the rafters, then I will apply a vapor barrier across the ceiling and down the walls to the floor. Because the vent will be closed off, I really do not want moist house air getting into contact with the chipboard that has the concrete slab of my porch above it, condensing and rotting out the supports.

I plan on running a couple of 12/3 circuits in. One for each side of the room. The current tap and toggle fixture/box will get removed at that point.

ACtC-3fJXSwQQyRKNQ16jVkxrQnlElAjQOw_v3Z1Nc2WnWzMkwdms3QYBFJuZVykd5mI3fXzob_hPI9_bCzz8kPErxjNqNof5P1SaDaWmrUjjn0UUd0h3EoSgtqwr0_4U7M3QccxtEOvhKfZ1JF9Hu81L03O5A=w1275-h957-no


Now for the exciting news. Even though I have been slacking off, my sump builder in Florida is hard at it. He has been nice enough to provide photos of it being mocked up with the cut pieces. It is being constructed out of 3/4" expanded PVC. In the photos, the bulkheads are in the right order, but the spacing is not accurate to the model when the photo was taken. The sump will be 8' x 26" x 22" when complete.

ACtC-3c6hEMxP7UXamWYIKSDvsxYomT_yw00Hgg1Ekpy5tdmPL2jxAaVWmmP9e1KSarWjDlvZKntHYskQUYTrAc2z-0XWbu-TYcfDjoPYEAuTf-baD_WT9Yp9AM420kNhiLQbQOxiMkGiMdykE5J6x6QbfKgNA=w1275-h957-no


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ACtC-3dr-1-OVWUBYtAsRt6cL2s12ZEKzUNXBg5cCqD8Mtr0UBNv10YycGT9xeaBMN6EouLbxaIFbUxjkiptad7QefgroaUwQa83loTHQ2YZld-TP4NpkOJA_0KOrhutl-gXOs2nJf2O_QpVKtVMQTUr137xAA=w717-h956-no


I will post more photos of the sump as they become available.

Dennis
Who is your builder for the sump in Florida? I might need one pretty soon.
 
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