Planning a six foot tank (now considering a sump Oct 2012)
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:39 PM   #1
jart
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Planning a six foot tank (now considering a sump Oct 2012)


Hi all,

In my new house (which will not be completed until fall next year) I have permission to have one tank of my choosing.

The foundation has not even been poured yet... nevertheless I am already considering the possibilities. I am seriously looking at a 6 foot 125 gallon tank. I should be able to have this plumbed such that water changes can be achieved by opening and closing a few valves (I've been doing some research on that aspect).

Lighting will probably be moderate, rather than high. I'd like to be able to grow most any plant that I like, but I am not looking to achieve fast growth.

What I'd really like advice on is the hardware.

1) As far as lighting goes, I am open to suggestion. I am leaning towards T5HOs; perhaps two rows of T5HOs should be sufficient (I think this would be a total of four 36" bulbs)? I plan on suspending the lights over the tank... so I should be able to raise and lower the fixture quite easily, if need be.

2) I plan on having the tank drilled. No plans on using a sump. Right now I am thinking of 4 bulkheads serving as inlets and outlets for 2 Eheim 2217s (I have no experience with Eheims so feel free to suggest another model). Each filter would have a Rex type reactor and a 300 watt Hydor heater on the outlet.

I was thinking of using inline diffusers on each return line as well... so many choices!

3) Since I am using bulkheads as opposed to a spray bar, I suppose I may need to consider a couple of powerheads for mild surface agitation.

Anyway, that's all I can think of for now. Thanks in advance for any input!

Last edited by jart; 10-18-2012 at 01:11 AM.. Reason: change title
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:23 AM   #2
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1- I'm a fan of MH lighting myself you could do a set of 3 70 watt MHs hanging over the tank, raise them a bit and you can control the intensity. I'm using the JBJ Viper K2 70 watt versions.

2- Two of the 2217's will provide great filtration for the tank, I only use 2 200 watt Hydor Inline heaters for my 150g. I'm using the Cerges style reactor which works great, the Inline diffusers would probably provide less flow loss though.

3- I would use either a pair of powerheads or in my case I used a pair of Current Subcurrent internal Wet/Dry filters, provides great surfacew movement and also surface skimming.

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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If you going to go that far I strongly suggest a 180. That extra 6 inches wider makes all the difference in the world
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:18 PM   #4
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@BudHop: Thanks. I do have the OK to go ahead with this project, but I'll have to see if I could hope to get away with a monster as big as a 180 .
But I see what you mean. I would rather the tank have less height and more planting space front to back.

@Craigthor: I appreciate the input. After reviewing your thread, I have a few questions/ comments, if you don't mind.

1) Thanks for the suggestion re the JBJs. I hadn't even considered MHs.

2) Yes, in the past I've seen your posts about the Cerges reactor. Now I have to go back and review them more thoroughly .

You say that the Eheims are fine for your set up. I may very well end up with more "hard" plumbing than you, as I intend to incorporate some valves for water changes. So I may have more bends, which arguably could slow down flow somewhat.

I also found it interesting that your intake and outtake are quite close together in the tank. Did you consider crossing them, so that each Eheim draws water from one end and empties into the other?

3) Thanks for the info on the Subcurrents.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jart View Post
@Craigthor: I appreciate the input. After reviewing your thread, I have a few questions/ comments, if you don't mind.

1) Thanks for the suggestion re the JBJs. I hadn't even considered MHs.

2) Yes, in the past I've seen your posts about the Cerges reactor. Now I have to go back and review them more thoroughly .

You say that the Eheims are fine for your set up. I may very well end up with more "hard" plumbing than you, as I intend to incorporate some valves for water changes. So I may have more bends, which arguably could slow down flow somewhat.

I also found it interesting that your intake and outtake are quite close together in the tank. Did you consider crossing them, so that each Eheim draws water from one end and empties into the other?

3) Thanks for the info on the Subcurrents.
1- Yeah, I've also thought about going to LEDs but for a tank this large not sure I want to spend that much and I love the really sleek look the JBJs provide the tank.

2- If you go hard plumbed just up the size to say 3/4" PVC to help with the extra bends from restricting too much flow. As far as crossing the intakes and out takes I don't think it would make a noticeable difference in the flow of the tank as the returns create a good current through the tank.

One last thing on my intakes and returns this tank came with overflows that I removed if you had custom holes drilled oyu could put them anywhere.

3- They are working great, So many uses as they can be stuffed with Purigen, Carbon, or just about any media you may want super easy access too so you don't have to crack open a cannister every time you want to change it out. Also could be stuffed with polyfil for really fine water polishing.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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Old 07-09-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help, Craig. I have been doing lots of research and seem to have a general plan, which I will update.

Tank will be drilled on the bottom (I think this is more practical than having it drilled on the back, for this purpose, anyway) for four 1Ē bulkheads. Each pair of bulkheads will provide intake and outtake for an Eheim 2217. On the outtake of each Eheim, I will connect a Rex-type reactor and a Hydor 300 watt heater using flexible tubing (Iíd like to minimize any 90 degree bends). I like Craigís plumbing arrangement in post 93 of this thread. I think quick disconnects Craig uses will prove to be very useful.


I also plan to have an additional hole drilled for another bulkhead (#5). This will enable me to drain water from the tank (hard plumbed into the wall behind the tank) when doing water changes. At this point Iím not sure how long it would take for 50 gallons of water to drain from the tank (driven merely by gravity) during a water change. It might be worthwhile to have this hole drilled on the back of the tank, about half way up the glass. This would ensure that I donít drain the whole tank if the water change is interrupted by a phone call.

I also thought I could install an arrangement of ball valves and tees such that bulkhead #5 could also be plumbed to receive incoming water (I plan to have access for both hot and cold water plumbed into the wall behind the tank). Iíve been doing some research about this, and am not sure how to proceed. There seems to be some debate about how closely the temperature of water introduced during a water change needs to match that of the water in the tank. After all, cannot fish ascend or descend rapidly in a body of water? The change in water temperature during such a journey must be considerable.

What I am considering is to run the hot and cold water outlets into a shower control valve described by Hoppy (some of you may know him here ) in this thread.

I need to research this further, but my plan is to set the temperature control on the control valve to a few degrees less than that of the tank. That way, every week when I do my water change, the fish get the sensation of a cool rain shower.

Do I need an in-line filter for the incoming water to remove chlorine? This thread seems to suggest this, although I think I might be able to avoid such a filter by merely adding dechlor before refilling the tank on water change day. Less plumbing = less chance of leaks.

I appreciate any and all comments. Happy weekend!
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudHop View Post
If you going to go that far I strongly suggest a 180. That extra 6 inches wider makes all the difference in the world
+1
72"x24"x24" for the win.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:44 PM   #8
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I'd go with a couple red sea ocean clears with some strong pumps, beast filtration if you're willing to plumb it
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Wow, I've been doing some research and there certainly are a lot of opinions out there about if a canister- filtered tank should be drilled, and if so, should the holes be in the bottom or back of the tank.

I can certainly appreciate the potential problem that would be created if the canister were to leak, especially if the tank was drilled on the bottom. But then again, I had a canister with the stock ďover the back setupĒ leak and it still managed to spill about 15 gallons on the floor, likely more if I hadnít caught it.

I found this bit of advice from another thread quite helpful:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Bottom holes: Really easy to do a great cleaning of the tank if it is ever taken down, but does not allow a lot of freedom to move the plumbing around.
Low-on-the-back holes: Can be hidden easily, or a 90* fitting will place the intake or outlet higher in the tank. Still not a lot of room for extra tubing to move the filter around under the stand. Good to set up siphoning systems for sumps.
High-on-the-back holes: Harder to hide, but a 90* fitting will place the intakes and outlets where you want. More room for the tubing to slant left or right to meet up with where you place the filter.
Ends-of-tank (high or low): Also hard to place the filter, and usually the ends of the tank show in the room.
So perhaps Iíll have the tank drilled (x4) in the back, about 2/5 of the way up. Then another hole about Ĺ way up for water changes.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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Great thread - subscribed.

I'm interested in this discussion since I am also planning on drilling my 90G tank. I am still debating whether I should drill the holes in the bottom or on the back. If I plan to have any breeding shrimp in this tank, I suppose I'll be needing a sponge at the intake strainer, right? In that case, it would be hard to hide if the strainer is on the back wall?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:58 PM   #11
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Well, I'm still planning for this tank... although, with planning an upcoming move and an upcoming wedding, the tank has been, shall we say, somewhat relegated to the realm of the "less important". Anyway, I am giving it some thought whenever I can.

Thanks for the filter suggestion, shrimpNewbie, but for the moment I am still leaning towards dual 2217s.

I plan to have one of the 2217s serving one side of the tank, with a Hydor heater and Rex type reactor on the outflow. The plumbing on the other side will be a little more complicated. With my limited Sketchup abilities, I seem to have come up with a plan for semi-automating my weekly water changes with the turn of a few valves.



(The tastefully colored circles in the pic represent ball valves/ unions.)

Water will enter the manifold (outflow from the Eheim) on the left of the diagram. I'll try to minimize 90 degree bends in the plumbing, but I think that the complexity of the plumbing may necessitate the inclusion of an inline pump, which should improve the flow from the 2217. I'm open to ideas as to which pump would suffice.

I'll have access to hot and cold water outlets which will be hard-plumbed under the tank stand. I am still thinking of using Hoppy's idea from this thread to mix the hot and cold water (I'll be looking to minimize the amount of hot water that enters the tank straight from the hot water heater).

I would like some input as to whether I would need to move the inline pump to the right, so that it comes after the addition of the water that will be entering the tank on water change day.

Finally, by opening up the "drain" valve, I should be able to drain the tank quite easily (I suppose it would drain faster if I included a valve next to the Hydor and shut it off when changing water).

I'm relatively new to planning loops and such so I am open to any and all criticisms/ comments
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:01 AM   #12
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Well, the floor plans are for the most part finalized, and the good news is that the bathroom vanity is on the other side of the wall that the new tank will be (hopefully) against. So if need be, I could house the shower control valve (discussed in post #6) inside the vanity, if need be, and just run two pipes (inlet and outlet) through the wall.

The bad news is, I'm realizing what the shipping is going to be on enough Eco-Complete for a 72 x 18 footprint . I know, I know, MTS, or just soil in general is far cheaper, and I definitely would consider it if only I didn't have to cap it. And, I really like to move plants around. So I've decided (for the moment) on Eco-Complete supplemented with RootMedic substrate fertilizers.

I have read the Cerges reactor thread and wow, it really looks like these are easy to make, and not many folks have had issues with them. So I think I'll go with a pair of them (each powered by a 2217). I am still open to suggestions regarding an inline pump, as per the above post.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:56 AM   #13
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In another time, with another much bigger system, I used to have a "water treatment" room in the basement. It held a 90 gallon polypropylene carboy (Tractor Supply - for insecticide storage). I used Little Giant and Iwaki pumps to automate all of the water change, RO/DI, and dosing operations. To make a water change was a simple ball valve and wall switch. If you think this through and realize what technology is out there, you can really do it right. I would highly recommend you research the reef guys for tips on water handling. The Dutch have some fantastic methods and info online if you're interested. Good luck - I live in a little apartment now, but when I had my house I had a grand time with projects like this!

http://www.tractorsupply.com/pco-tank-100-gal--2125822
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:46 AM   #14
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After plumbing the tank and using inline heaters and with a co2 reactor you will get less then 400gph on the tank. Why not go with a fx5 as ur heavy filter then use a 2217 as filter but have the heater and co2 go on the output of the 2217
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Old 08-03-2011, 11:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
I should be able to have this plumbed such that water changes can be achieved by opening and closing a few valves (I've been doing some research on that aspect)
Nice! That is the way to go. We are doing the same thing and have changed our design a few times now...

I'm wondering you will use the 2217 to fill and drain the tank...but I see you also have an inline pump. Why are you doing that? We ended up keeping our canister separate from the plumbing because It slowed the flow. Now we're planning to use an inline pump to drive the water changes reactor and run through the inline heaters. So the filter is hooked up alone. But if you have two filters then I think you'll be ok.

I'm interested to see how you end up doing yours since we are still in the progress of ours. Make sure to post pics !

I would considered beefing up your second filter that wont be hooked up to the plumbing to something like:
2078 Eheim Pro 3E up to 185 gallons 490 gph
or Ehiem 2260 500gph
To up your flow.
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