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Aquaman3000's 110g in-wall hi-tech photo journal - 56k warning!

29966 Views 91 Replies 47 Participants Last post by  books421
This thread will be a journal of my journey constructing a 110 gallon planted show tank in the wall of my entry and living area. I intend to detail each step along the way, including planning and challenges that were encountered, much like the article series written by George Booth called "Some Assembly Required" which I was inspired by.

I will be adding photos profusely over time, as I have tried to take snapshots throughout the process! (When I could remember!)

For now, here is a photo preview of things to come.

From this:

To this:

Up and running:

Some assembly required:

I hope you stay tuned!
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This looks like it will be a good one. Can't wait to see it unfold!
I gotta see this - subscribed!
:eek5: Wow! Nothing better than watching a well thought out plan coming together. Definitely looks like you have one to watch.
I'll be subscribed to this one as well.:proud:
Incredible! Please describe your hardware setup in detail as you go through the epic.
sweet goodness. I am in! Now is that room a fish room all together?? Or like an office or something.
GOOD STUFF, I think its well planned out. Very nice
Here are some details about the setup.

The aquarium is a custom Oceanic 110 gallon with dual overflows. (60.5" x 18.5" x 23")

A Neptune Systems Aquacontroller II computer is used to control all aspects of the aquarium.

The filtration is provided by an All-Glass Megaflow model 4 wet/dry filter using Dupla brand BioKascade bio-balls, as well as a Pentair Aquatics Lifegard mechanical filter. (Yes, I use a wet/dry with CO2)

Circulation is provided by a Poseidon PS2 pump.

Lighting is provided by a 48" Hamilton Technology hood with two 175 watt metal halide lamps and two 40 watt normal output fluorescent lamps, and by Blueline dimmable LED moonlights.

Heating is provided by a Dupla brand Duplatherm 1000 substrate heating cable, and an Ebo-Jager 250 watt sump heater. (Yes, I use a substrate heating cable)

The CO2 system includes a 20 lb. aluminum Catalina CO2 cylinder, a JBJ regulator, and a heavily modified Aqua Medic Reactor 1000.

Substrate consists of a bottom layer mix of regular Flourite and Terralit, and an upper layer mix of Flourite Dark and Estes Bits O' Walnut gravel.

If you have questions about the setup or my choices, I have detailed the setup in excruciating detail at the link below.

Now is that room a fish room all together?? Or like an office or something.
There is a spare bedroom that is currently not used for anything. The aquarium equipment is housed in the "closet" and is designed to be totally contained inside that space. I must confess that aquarium related gear still occupies much of the spare "bedroom" but will be cleaned up at some point.

Here is a picture of the room at one point! This is all aquarium related paraphernalia.

Here are some more contruction photos. As you can see, there was special 2x6 framing above the hole to minimize light blockage.

Here you can see some of the early electrical.

Here is a picture of the framing for a through the wall fan mounted in the ceiling. If you look closely you can see a hole.

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need to see more also!
Looking forawrd to seeing more. I also had a tank built into a wall when our house was built.
looks very well planned. nice project!
full tank shot close up pictures please? :)
One day I will have something like that.
full tank shot close up pictures please?
I am working on getting some better close-up photos. They are not turning out very well, most likely due to my lacking photo skills, or possibly my camera. Rest assured there will be some nice close-ups at some point in this thread.

For now, here are some more photos as construction progressed. Please be kind and remember that this home was just built, so often there is quite a mess or temporary furniture.

Here is a wooden cross beam supported by adjustable steel columns on concrete blocks directly under the aquarium. If you look closely, you will see there are double floor joists as well.

Unfinished hole = happy wife! ;) The entry light fixture you see was to be moved farther out, as the electrician mislocated it, and I missed it during construction. Even seeing it in this photo really bugs me.

You can see the 2x6 framing that extends a foot above the aquarium. This is only 2 inches wide and minimizes light blockage. It was later painted to match.

Here is the inside of the unfinished "closet." You can see one of four electrical outlets. There are two dedicated circuits for the aquarium.

Here is the fan above the aquarium. It has a rheostat and can blow up to 360 cfm, which is serious overkill, so it is currently at the minumum setting. It exhausts through the plant ledge into the vaulted area above the aquarium. Control is by switch or by using the Aquacontroller II.

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Nice to see people taking the planted tank to the extremes that are common in the reef hobby. Great work! How do you like having a sump with a planted tank? I guess most people would consider it unnecessary, but it seems to me that there are some unexplored possibilities for the planted tank that could be gleaned from the reed hobbyists.
the filtration and a lot of the rest of the hardware seems like overkill--more like a reef setup--but who knows maybe it will engender some benefits. the extra volume with no plant biomass in the sump ought to make it easier to control or moderate some params.
Nice to see people taking the planted tank to the extremes that are common in the reef hobby. Great work! How do you like having a sump with a planted tank?
I have never kept reef aquaria, or saltwater fish for that matter, but found a lot of useful ideas in reef forums. To be honest, I find lush planted freshwater aquariums more appealing than reef aquariums. (Although I do like and appreciate them.)

I very much like having a sump. There are a lot of benefits including hiding equipment, maintaining the water line, providing easy access, and increasing the total water volume. I think too much is made of CO2 loss when using sumps in planted aquariums, and I explain more of that in the link below.

the filtration and a lot of the rest of the hardware seems like overkill--more like a reef setup--but who knows maybe it will engender some benefits.
While I agree one can mainain a successful planted aquarium without all the hardware I am using, every component was added with a practical purpose. I detail the equipment choices and reasoning at the following link.

Here is a photo of stand construction.

Here is the stand painted and in place. The stand surface looks bowed because it was not yet screwed down.

Here is another view of the stand. You can see the support in front of the filter is mounted with hinges, so the filter can be removed without disassembly.

Size test! :)

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Without any more new comments or questions, I guess I'll just get to some more photos.

So, without further ado, here is is the new aquarium as it arrived. Oceanic did a nice job with packaging.

The tank is being unpacked. Notice the glass center brace that Oceanic uses for strength. Next time I will use another bracing scheme, as this is somewhat cumbersome to work around. It is still manageable however.

The tank is in place. My father and I lifted it into place, and it was nearly too much for us. I would guess it weighs about 300 pounds.

Here is a closer view. Both the aquarium and sump were placed on an excercise / yoga mat to compensate for any small variance in the stand surface.

Just beautiful. Oh and there is the aquarium too.

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Comments, criticism, questions, concerns?

Here you can see the nylon mosquito netting I hot glued to the teeth of the overflows so little fishies don't get through. Periodically I give these a quick cleaning to clear plant material.

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can't wait to see the plumbing!
can't wait to see the plumbing!
Your wish is my command. I think I will have a few more later as well.

There is nothing quite like a plumbing mess.

The return manifold is assembled with flow meters and gate valves for fine tuning.

This is the overflow probe manifold. I think I built it wrong twice before the final version due to my craptastic measuring skills. Herco compression glands hold temperature, pH, and ORP probes.

Here is a closer view of the return plumbing and mechanical filter as I was working on it. The Aqua Medic Reactor 1000 was heavily modified to allow more flow. Unions, ball valves and flexible PVC were used as needed for easy maintenance and minimal head loss.

Here are some more shots as the plumbing was being worked on. You can see the bulkhead that was installed in sump in the last photo.

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