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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
I have been lurking around here for a while and I’ve decided to create this thread hoping to avoid mistakes… This tank is my former reef which I just shut down due to a faulty brace in the display tank. I had to shut it down in order to fix the braces and redo a couple of things I didn’t like. I also wanted to change isotopes (and reduce overall costs…).

The display tank is a cube aquarium which is built into a corner wall (visible on 2 sides) with a tank room behind (total foot print with tank of about 4' X 8')

Here’s a list of what I have already:
· Display tank 200 gal cube aquarium (40” X 40” X30”) with internal overflow box (2 X 1,5” Dursos)
· Sump 60 gal (39” X 19” X 19”) baffles containing polyester and ceramics (will make a glass cover to seal it)
· 16 gal quarantine tank
· Media reactor for Rowaphos
· Media reactor for Charcoal (when needed)
· Mag 18 pump which will supply water to reactors, quarantine tank, water change and Aquaponic wall (after tank is built…)
· Mag 12 pump which will supply water to display
· GHL 4 head dosing pump for ferts
· RODI system with level adjuster for sump
· 4 X 36” T5’s
· 4 double moonlight LED’S
· Rancor heater / cooling fan controller
· A couple of large pieces of wood

Here’s what I have on order:

· 12 bags of regular Flourite (3 inches deep)
· Milwaukee solenoid
· Milwaukee ph controller
· 4 X 36” T5’s
· 400-500 pounds of black lava rock

I’m presently redoing the tank room (I have to figure out how to post pics :help:) The tank room is already equipped with:

· 3 dedicated circuits going through various switches to control all of my outlets (over 20 receptacles in tank room).
· Sound proofed with 3 inches of soundproofing wool
· Interior of room is capped with vinyl (same as labs)
· RODI unit
· Air exchanger outlet, sucks out humidity by creating a sort of negative zone.
· A platform to access the tank from 2 sides

I still have things to figure out:

· What fertilizers do I use?
· Is my substrate adequate?
· What bulb combination do I use (lights are paired up for timers)?
· Do I need a UV?
· Can I diffuse my CO2 through a venturi on my MAG pump? Will it be adequate?

I want a heavily stocked and planted tank so please feel free and make comments and please tell me if I’m missing something.
 

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I think it looks like a good plan and should be a cool setup, there is one thing I might change and that would be the Milwaukee solenoid, I'd send that bag and order something from the solenoid guru's here, it will be trouble free and work forever.

1. I would use GLA's dry ferts and mix your own, you can get more info later but on that size tank I would double up on KN03, then get KH2P04, Plantex CSM+B, Iron Chelate, and Ultimate gH Booster to start.

2. Yes, but you might save some cash with Aquarium Plants. com substrate.

3. I don't use T5 bulb but I know Catalina Aquariums has some good deals and if you call him for a recommendation it will be good lighting.

4. I used to have a UV setup but after the bulb and transformer died the tank has been fine for several years without, just remember the best way is to take things slow and add livestock in small amounts.

5. It should be with a needle wheel impeller, but if you are powering several things you may need a separate small pump for CO2, but Tom Barr/Plantbrain would be best to ask on that type of setup

6. Welcome to the forum, and I forgot that you folks from the great white north can't just order from anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi all,

Sorry for the lack of updates... we've been having nice weather up here and the missus wants to have our garden scape redone, again... I feel that this is going to be a slow build due to the to do list the wife set up for me...

A happy wife is a wife which does not ask too many questions on the "specials" i pick up :smile:.

I would of have liked to go with another brand of selenoids but my lfs gave me a great deal and I don't like loosing time for support issues. Is there something I have to keep an eye on with this unit?

I am planning on running 8 X T5'S, will this be enough? I was also thinking of going the MH route.

Here are some present pictures (I don't have a good cam yet so please bare with me) of the work in progress:

Front of the aquarium, this is what you see as you come down the stairs, the walls are made of Birchwood and I am planning to paint it white (I am redoing my "man cave" as well :icon_roll).



This is the side view with panel removed (I had a sump there before, removed for storage place).



This is my control panel which splits out 3 circuits to the room going through GFCI's. Each receptacle in the tank room is controled from here (timer and/or switch). I believe in redundancy and am scared of controllers due to the fact that if your unit is defective your whole tank can crap out (this happened to me with my reef once, mucho dinero...).



This is the tank which I will use as a sump. I'm still debating on how I'm going to split the sections still...



This is the scaffolding which I'm adding, this will make trimming easier (the stand is 34" before styrofoam and 30" tank). I'm a big boy (6'4") but this will make maintenance easier (should of done it years ago). You can also see different electrical boxes which are being relocated (lighting and sump).



Here is a shot of the vinyled walls and ceiling. This is where I am going to put the lighting (obviously :confused1:). The wall to the right swings upwards for access and feeding from outside the room.



Finally this is the space under the aquarium which will be used to store by aqarium stuff and ferts for dosing machine. That is also a water drain you see there which came in handy on many occasions :icon_eek:.



I'm debating on the overflows for this tank. I'm wondering if I should drill 2 holes on the back of the tank to build an external overflow with 2 dursos (1,5" plunbing each) or if I go with internal. I already have 2 holes in the bottom from the previous setup that I can either reuse or block up...

So many things going on in my mind...

I'm entertaining also a theme for my decor... Avatar, I saw a couple of tanks and I really like the floating mountain idea and those huge trees...

Still too early in the build to go on about that for now.

Cheers for now (it is raining out right now :)).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Progress has been slow on my tank build due to too much nice weather... I did however find time to start to frame the tank room, pass tubing through the studs and relocated my electrical outlets for the tank.

I scored some sweet manifolds and connectors when I was in the gardening section on my local home supply store (RONA). I was going to make myself some manifolds out of PVC fittings but this was cheaper and sleaker lookin. I hooked up a manifold to my MAG18 with 2 complete rolls of garden hose (50' each) and it had good pressure coming out, this is promising.

I was wondering if a wave box would be good for plants? Has anyone tried? I'm thinking about building one in my overflow (like the Tunze wavebox). Would it be beneficial? I'm ordering the glass for the tank overflow rebuild so I have to make the decision soon.

Announcing rain tomorrow so I get to play with my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update

Hi all,

There have been some advancements in the project:


Manifolds are in place and are being used for:

4 hoses for display tank
2 hosesfor sump reactors
1 hoses for quarantine tank
1 hoses for water dump (waterchange)



Hoses are run through the walls as much as possible to keep out of sight



Some painting is done as well as some corrugated plastic caping.



Tubing has been passed through the walls from doser to sump for ferts.



I received my Flourite, Milwaukee PH controller, Milwaukee selenoid (complete) and I scored a nice piece of driftwood for the tank!



I'm planning my sump separations and will be placing a glass order soon.

My choices for the decor have changed a lot. I'm thinking of creating a planted rock wall out of rocks, styrofoam and epoxy. I'd pass all of my plumbing for the overflow inside of the structure instead of geting more glass cut in ordet to make a traditional overflow. I think it would give the tank a more natural cube shape (since no glass overflow) and increase display area.

I will no receive my volcanic rock... I have to look for an alternative in my area...

I'm looking in getting lilly pipes for the returns, not easy to find around here. I'm probably gonna try the DIY way with acrylic tubes or go see local glass blowers.

Can't wait to have this thing filled with water!

Cheers all!
 

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You don't really need any chambers in the sump. I just ran my drain into a sock, with the output submerged, and stacked my media in bags in the middle. That's way I have no falling water to gas off my co2 and I am not set in stone as to my sump layout. Jus a thought. I'd also run that durso as a herbie, once again to prevent gassing off of co2.

Looks good. I though your reef was nice. Looking forward to seeing this thing planted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You don't really need any chambers in the sump. I just ran my drain into a sock, with the output submerged, and stacked my media in bags in the middle. That's way I have no falling water to gas off my co2 and I am not set in stone as to my sump layout. Jus a thought. I'd also run that durso as a herbie, once again to prevent gassing off of co2.

Looks good. I though your reef was nice. Looking forward to seeing this thing planted.
Here are some vids I took of my reef after a SPS crash.


The squamosa clam's shell measured 12" :eek:. The green mandarin in this vid is eating granular fish food!!!

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/gvMgJROF0Pw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe

The copperband butterfly also ate granular food as well!!! Had him for ovefr 3 years before selling him :frown:.

I was entertaining the thought as well as to not put baffles in the sump. I was thinking of simply using egg crate to keep the filter materials separate. I am also gonna use 2 reactors (charcoal occasionnaly and rowaphos in the other).

Would there be a problem to use lavarocks for biological filtration?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Very nice plans, wood looks great, I think you can make 8 T5HO bulbs work just fine.
Thx, would this be enough lighting for the coloured varieties? I need to cover 40" X 40", I really want reds, pinks etc.

I dream to have a coloured tank like Tom Barr's tank :eek:, and yours!
 

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Looks great, and looking forward to seeing progress!

One suggestion though, the original post made it sound like the quarantine tank was to be plumbed on the same loop. Please do not do this. Ok to have isolation tank on the same water loop, but quarantine should be on a separate loop, otherwise it is not quarantined.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks great, and looking forward to seeing progress!

One suggestion though, the original post made it sound like the quarantine tank was to be plumbed on the same loop. Please do not do this. Ok to have isolation tank on the same water loop, but quarantine should be on a separate loop, otherwise it is not quarantined.
The quarantine tank is on the system, i just need to just turn off the valve on the manifold for flow which leads to the QT and have a hang on filter do its job during the quarantine period.

It's a quarantine tank for now :icon_mrgr.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi all!

Progress has been slow due to nice weather, 10 year wedding celebrations and my other hobby (LARP animation) taking so much time, life is good!

I have been bouncing back and forth a couple of ideas and need this communities input.

For the overflow:

Originaly I was going to go the traditional way of making it with 2 pieces of glass in the corner covered with black acrylic panels and a build it "comb". However I saw this incredible system :

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=97329

Now I was thinking of hiding overflow pipes and internal box in this stuff. Love the caves and final look.

Any special precautions needed in the 2-part epoxy or do they all do the job (since material becomes inert after reaction)?

For the substrate:

I received my bags of Flourite and saw Laterite. Should I put some Laterite at the bottom before adding my flourite?


I'm getting ready to remove the silicone in the display and reseal the sucker (preventive, no leaks).

Cheers!
 
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