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rbarn 09-03-2011 03:08 AM

New 300 gallon high tech high light planted Discus tank - Build Journal
So, bought a new house and always wanted a massive multi-100 gallon tank.
Plan is a 300 gallon 96" long X 24" deep X 31" high tank done up with all the bells and whistles.

I am doing lots of remodeling so I had the contractor run a cold water line to under the tank and a drain will go out an exterior wall next to the tank and drain into the back yard. Water changes will be constant and automatic. Trying to make the tank as hands off and self supporting as possible. All I should have to do is vac out the fish poop a couple of times a week, replace filter media once a month and change out Co2 tanks.

(2x) 48" Corrallife Aqualight Pro hybrid lights each with twin 150W MH lamps, twin 96W PC fluorescent lamps and 3 1watt lunar lights

Reef Keeper Elite NET - full PH control and Co2 injection. Heaters, Chiller, UV light - the works

Custom homemade acrylic sump with constant drip water exchange system

Tank scape:
Sand bottom with mineralized top soil sub base, with wood and some nice swords for plants.
Wont quite be a biotope, but wont be a crazy super planted tank either.
Shooting for a look similar to the award winning ADG discus tank.

Couple of months of build time. So watch for a slew of updates and build pics.

Stand is framed - Will be finished out to look like nice built book case eventually.
Ultra strong with 2x6 supports and a doubled up 2X10 header running over the front opening.

VadimShevchuk 09-03-2011 03:21 AM

Wow this is going to be nice! I am wondering why did you go with the top two light choices that produce Alot of heat when you already live in Texas?

zachary908 09-03-2011 03:26 AM

This is going to be amazing.

The tank is going to be 31" tall, that's probably part of the reason the OP went with MH lighting.

rbarn 09-03-2011 03:41 AM

It's going to be a high light setup so I need the MH's. They wont be on all the time. Nice thing about those particular lights is each kind of lamp has its own switch, so you can set up timers to run the 96W fluorescents all the time with the MH's kicking on mid-day for a "noon" daylight spike.

Chiller will take care of any heat issues.

Water comes out of the tap at like 95* down here in the summer, so tank cooling and temperature stabilization takes some planning.

150EH 09-03-2011 04:08 AM

Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet Dude, whats under that floor???? This going to be a good one, I almost bought some of the reef kepper stuff and it's really cool, but deceided not to go so high tech, I think one review suggested it wasn't good for high wattage lighting but everything else was fine. Nice light, what about a reactor for C02, CarbonDoser EXT5000, I got one they work good.

Now the big question, that's a $1400 light, tank $ 3k, can I borrow some cash???

Good luck and keep the pics coming.

rbarn 09-03-2011 04:14 AM

It's sitting directly on the slab foundation. So no worries on the weight.

The lights run about $900 a pop at MarineDepot, but I already have one that I'm pulling off my 110 gallon that just got decommissioned.

Co2 reactor will be incorporated into the sump so that Co2 gets sucked up at pump pick-up and shot into the tank. I've found this works awesome and doesnt require an additional reactor chamber taking up precious space.

Havent gotten the bid back for the Starfire tank yet, but its going to be one of the cheaper things..... All the contractor work running drains, water lines, extra electrical circuits and building a custom bookshelf stand is by far the most expensive part of the project. Whole project is going to top out somewhere around $20k when its all added up

The reef keeper elite is definitely overkill. I've actually run very successful high tech tank with just the simple Aqua Jr. controller.

150EH 09-03-2011 04:46 AM

Hey, there was no photo with that reply!

Very cool tank!

jkan0228 09-03-2011 05:19 AM


hydrophyte 09-03-2011 06:50 AM

This will be a Texas-sized tank.

IWANNAGOFAST 09-03-2011 06:55 AM

wow...900 each for those lights and they run PC lighting? Why not LEDs? Or at least t5ho's?

For 1800 you could build the ultimate fixture, or buy one of the prebuilt fixtures out on the market.

For like 200 bucks less you could have this

3 fixtures, full controllability, sunrise/sunset, cloud cover.

Sure that's a reef fixture with a lot of blue but that's just an example. For the kind of money you plan to spend you could have an LED fixture that'll blow the MH/PC fixture out of the water.

They draw so much less power than MH/PC, you'll be running almost 1000 watts of lighting over your tank w/ the fixture you're planning to use, each module in that fixture I linked pulls 60w.
And since they don't put off so much heat, you won't have to run your chiller as much, meaning your electricity bill will be even lower.

I know it's your decision to make in the end but I hope I provided you with a little bit of info on what else is out there!

rbarn 09-03-2011 01:34 PM

I already have one of these lights and I like it. So I am sticking with what I know works. I dont think LED lights would give me the bottom tank light intensity I need anyway.

This is the lamp I'm using

And my power bill is going to be insane anyway. Another 1,000 watts here or there isnt going to matter. ..... I see some solar panels and maybe a wind turbine in my future.

150EH 09-04-2011 03:27 AM

I've been using PC lighting for so long it would be hard for me to use anything else, I still use the wpg rule. Those are nice fixtures are you running 2 of them on the tank?

Deep tanks need a little more juice in the lighting department so the MH will come in handy for a hour or 2 each day, if you need a boost for growth or to keep the Discus warm. I have always had good luck trying to copy natures lighting with a sunrise, to full power, back to half like cloud cover, then lights out at lunch for an hour, then back thru the routine til night. Some might think it's nuts, but it allows you to have light in the morning for feeding etc, the break in the middle of the day is what the plants seem to really do well with, and then you have extra viewing into the evening when it's time to relax, then don't forget the lunar cycle, I love to see the loaches feeding at night and I think it may help with breeding as well.

I would like to learn about the LED lights, less heat, less power consumption, and longer lasting is the big thing, maybe on the next build.

rbarn 09-12-2011 03:03 AM

Decided to do just one of the of 48" CFL / MH combo fixture in the center and then run banks of T5's on either side of it.

Sump design is finished. I have a limited amount of vertical room but gobs of horizontal space so this one is set-up for lots of cross flow. This set-up is whisper quiet when dialed in just right with flow rates on the two feeds from the the overflow boxes. The up flow design ensures good and full flow thru the filter and bio media with minimum amount of water agitation to help maintain Co2 levels for the Ph and plant health. It will also have a sealed top to trap and concentrate any Co2 that does out gas in the sump.

jkan0228 09-12-2011 03:13 AM

Dang, that is a pretty good looking sump. How do you plan to construct it?

rbarn 09-12-2011 04:01 AM


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