The 1+ ton tank: 320 gallons
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
akpoly
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The 1+ ton tank: 320 gallons


Any and all help is appreciated!

So the boss found out I have some aquariums at home (a meager 17 gallon and 6 gallon) and he thought it would be fun for me to do a huge 320 gallon tank we have installed.

And I am asking for everyone's guidance on this since this is definitely not my home tanks.

Acrylic tank: 72" x 36" x 30" with built in overflow
Lighting: LED?
Filtration: Sump or Fluval FX5 or Eheim Pro 3?
Hardscape: ADA horn wood, rocks and gravel (unknown type)
Substrate: Decorative white sand
Flora: Unknown
Fuana: 7x Angelfish or Discus (center piece), 100x smaller schooling fish for background (2 or 3 different species)
Budget: $2,500 for everything (except the tank)

We will have walnut millwork around it to hide the edges. What the big guy looks like:




The area I have for equipment:




OVERFLOW!




Inside of the overflow...




So my first task is, how do I filter this thing?

This tank already has 2 holes drilled in the middle of the tank and 4 in the overflow. SUMP? I honestly do not know why there are 2 holes in the middle of the tank and 4 in the overflow. Can someone tell me what each of those holes were meant for? I can understand 2 holes in the tank, but not 6.

But if I went for a canister, I could just plumb the holes for the canister and plug the unused ones.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
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That's a weird drilling. The 2 in the center of the tank would be for returns, and one of the two smaller holes would be for return as the hole drilled in the side of the overflow has to be a return line or else there is no use drilling a big hole in a tooth overflow.

I would say it's almost designed for 2 sumps, 2 drains to go to two sump and 4 returns. I don't know a lot about reef tanks and if it's worth it having 2 different sump or a sump a filter going to a calcium reactor or a refugium or something instead, only thing I can think of.

Guess you could plumb one of the big returns directly out for water changes too. Turn a ball valve and drain water right from the tank but that would only work for the amount of water in the overflow, so I dunno. lol.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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Definitely go with a sump on that. What size are the holes in the overflow? I would think it would suit a Herbie style piping or two in the overflow and then use the two in the tank as short outlets with check valves
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:46 AM   #4
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Not a weird drilling at all. Do you know where your boss got the tank? My bet would be a salt water place. To get more flow, salties often have more holes drilled where the live rock piles will be so that they can hook up extra pumps to increase flow for the corals. One hole for intake and one hole for output with no filter just a pump.
Also regarding the four holes in the over flow, it's safer to have four small over flows than one large one in case an anemone moves into the overflow and blocks one of the pipes.

I'd go for the sump if the office can stand some noise (which can be minimized with a herbie standpipe.)

If the office is a real quiet place with people bothered by noise, I'd go with a large canister.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:14 AM   #5
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If you plumb those bottom holes in the middle of the tank as a closed loop there is no need for check valves. I would think the holes in the bottom of the tank would be useful for a closed loop going to a CO2 reactor if you are planting the tank. Or just put a closed loop for circulation or cap them - if you don't need them you don't need them. That does sound like it could work for water changes too, with a valve and a T attached to a hose between the pump powering the closed loop and the tank you can fill and empty the tank rapidly. Perhaps that is the main reason the holes are there. I haven't done this, emptying sounds fine but filling seems like it wouldn't work through the bottom holes.

The small ones in the overflow would be for sump returns and the large ones for drains. I wonder if the drains are large enough to run as a Herbie? Probably so as planted tanks don't need as much water flow as reef tanks. I ran a single drain for a decade with no clogging issues. I covered and continue to cover it with a prefilter sponge.

Is it going to be a planted tank?
Who gets to go scuba diving to maintain this monster?
What about a big school of corys or hatchetfish as well as discus and smaller schooling fish? Tank is going to be covered, right?
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeSoda View Post
Not a weird drilling at all. Do you know where your boss got the tank? My bet would be a salt water place. To get more flow, salties often have more holes drilled where the live rock piles will be so that they can hook up extra pumps to increase flow for the corals. One hole for intake and one hole for output with no filter just a pump.
Also regarding the four holes in the over flow, it's safer to have four small over flows than one large one in case an anemone moves into the overflow and blocks one of the pipes.

I'd go for the sump if the office can stand some noise (which can be minimized with a herbie standpipe.)

If the office is a real quiet place with people bothered by noise, I'd go with a large canister.
Cool, don't know much about salties but makes sense the way you described it. Knew they had to be a reason, no one builds a 320gal acrylic tank and drills it without knowing what they are doing. lol.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:16 AM   #7
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Sump all the way! On such a large tank it'd be silly not too.

My advice, take it what it's worth.

Plug the 4 small holes in the actual overflow. Use 2 of the remaining for large holes as intakes ( probably the back 2) and then the other 2 as the return (you have a return line bulkhead already setup. (That's the hole below the slots or weir).

In the middle of the tank you could either plug those with bulkheads and a plug or do an additional center overflow and return. (That one is more risky because if power goes out... all the water goes into it)

Big tanks are awesome!

Kathy, That's not always true. If one of those lines comes loose or the pump needs maintenance you need a more sure-fire way of preventing leaks ie. a ball valve.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:23 AM   #8
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With a tank that tall I would use all low light plants, with CO2 and high light, a big sump with a high flow rate pump. I would use wood so you can put java trident etc, between splintered areas.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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Too tall to regularly prune/arrange plants, so I agree you should plan on slower growers. Avoid stem plants... Take some hints from Tom Barrs (plantbrain) large tanks, he posted some good threads.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:01 PM   #10
akpoly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjp2 View Post
Definitely go with a sump on that. What size are the holes in the overflow? I would think it would suit a Herbie style piping or two in the overflow and then use the two in the tank as short outlets with check valves
The 2 holes in the middle of the tank are 1-3/4" dia. The 2 small ones in the overflow are 1-3/4" dia and the big ones are 2-1/4" dia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeSoda View Post
Not a weird drilling at all. Do you know where your boss got the tank? My bet would be a salt water place. To get more flow, salties often have more holes drilled where the live rock piles will be so that they can hook up extra pumps to increase flow for the corals. One hole for intake and one hole for output with no filter just a pump.
Also regarding the four holes in the over flow, it's safer to have four small over flows than one large one in case an anemone moves into the overflow and blocks one of the pipes.

I'd go for the sump if the office can stand some noise (which can be minimized with a herbie standpipe.)

If the office is a real quiet place with people bothered by noise, I'd go with a large canister.
Thanks for the explanation there! We like our quietness but I'll look into the herbie standpipe. I just found out there was 2 Oceanic Systems Overflow Accessory Kits hiding somewhere. And it looks like it was made for a herbie style overflow! Which would explain the 2 return and 2 drain holes in the overflow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
If you plumb those bottom holes in the middle of the tank as a closed loop there is no need for check valves. I would think the holes in the bottom of the tank would be useful for a closed loop going to a CO2 reactor if you are planting the tank. Or just put a closed loop for circulation or cap them - if you don't need them you don't need them. That does sound like it could work for water changes too, with a valve and a T attached to a hose between the pump powering the closed loop and the tank you can fill and empty the tank rapidly. Perhaps that is the main reason the holes are there. I haven't done this, emptying sounds fine but filling seems like it wouldn't work through the bottom holes.

Is it going to be a planted tank?
Who gets to go scuba diving to maintain this monster?
What about a big school of corys or hatchetfish as well as discus and smaller schooling fish? Tank is going to be covered, right?
Sounds like a plan to use to 2 middle ones connected to a shut off valve for quick tank draining.

Planted? Hopefully if I can get plants that are easy to maintain. Probably NLJF and the likes. Boss still needs to be sold on this though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishykid1 View Post
Plug the 4 small holes in the actual overflow. Use 2 of the remaining for large holes as intakes ( probably the back 2) and then the other 2 as the return (you have a return line bulkhead already setup. (That's the hole below the slots or weir).
Sounds like a plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 150EH View Post
With a tank that tall I would use all low light plants, with CO2 and high light, a big sump with a high flow rate pump. I would use wood so you can put java trident etc, between splintered areas.
Agreed!


Now I get to plan this out with all this information. Work is more fun when all I do is plan for an aquarium for a week.

Thanks for all the insight everyone! I'm going to draw up some schematic plumbing plans and see how they work.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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The 2 3/4 inch will fit a 1.5 inch bulk head and the 1 3/4 fit a 1 inch bulk head (sch 40). That is a lot of flow.

I would still use the holes in the tank. This will allow you to distribute CO2 and flow through the entire tank. If you don't, it will be tough getting an even CO2 distribution with all the opposite end of the tank. I'd even think of plugging one of the 1 3/4 in the bulk head and the middle, and drill another at the far end to allow for better distribution.

I have a 180 gallon which is a peninsula. It has 6 holes (1-3/4 inch) drilled down its middle in pairs. I have 2 standpipes, 3 returns, run a sump and use a mag 18 with a needlewheel for CO2. Yes the standpipes are noticable but not too bad. The 3 returns allow for CO2 to disburse evenly. I control the return flow with valves to turn it. I only run 160 Watts of T5HO on the tank. I did try the 320 Watts I have and it was too much. Too much growth and green spot algae.


I agree that CO2 and low light is the way to go with lots of wood. It is a perfect tank for its location and will look great being able to be seen from both sides.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
akpoly
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Based on what everyone has suggested, here is my current plan for the tank. 2 drain lines to the sump. 2 return lines from the sump. 2 drain lines to empty the tank...



(4) 1" union ball valves. (2) at the drain. (2) from the sump to the pump.
(4) 3/4" union ball valves. (2) at the return. (2) for draining the tank.
Trigger Systems Ruby Sump 36x15x16
(2) Eheim 1262 pumps
(2) Eheim 300W heaters

All of the equipment will sit on a sheet metal pan with 3-4" walls just in case water spills. The pan will also have an opening for the floor drain.

We want to keep things quiet, and I've used eheim pumps on my computer. So I know they are quiet and last quite a long time.

What do you think? Are there a suggestion to improve?
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:48 AM   #13
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dang this tank is gonna be massive.. heavily planted?
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:07 AM   #14
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Why two drains for simply draining the tank? Sure, go for it, but I would plug one unless you need to drain that sucker really fast.

Put a gate valve on one of the overflow drains and run it at full syphon. Use the other as an emergency and have just a trickle running down it. It will keep things quiet and there's no way you'll max the single drain with two Eheims if the drain is running full syphon. I'd guess you'll have to dial it back about 1/3-1/2 regardless. Those Eheims will be pumping out close to 1500gph and a single 1.5" should handle around 3000 at full syphon.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:13 PM   #15
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akoly, I would switch the pump side to the other side. You'll put less stress on the pump by doing a straight vertical piping rather than having 2 extra elbows and 3' extra feet of return line.
That is of course, if you can. I see you had the drain line on the other side, which may block that. (I'm sure you have thought about that.)


nevermind, i see that they have installed a drain there in the pics. That was not a very good design move IMO because it puts more head pressure on the pumps.
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