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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it's been a year since my boss asked me to convert the big ~1200 gallon office lobby tank from Saltwater to Fresh water and I'm finally getting around to starting the work. The one piece of equipment the tank does not already have is a heater. I've done a little bit of looking, but so far I haven't seen any heaters rated for a tank this large.

Any recommendations?
 

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I would go with multiple heaters. You can put several in the sump as well as an inline heater. This will keep any one heater from running away and burning up the tank as well as a single heater failure from causing them to get to cold. You will just have to pay more attention as you may not see a single heater fail if you have 10 of them in there.
 

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Not sure on the electrical situation, but that might be the reason for not having heaters. Depending on ambient room temp. you will probably need ~2.5wpg of heaters. 1200galx2.5=3000watts, that is 2 full circuts.

The real question is what is the ambient lobby temperature? Are you sure the tank will need heaters? If it is going to be lighted with metal halides I could see that being enough to meet the minimum requirements for your needs.
 

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If you are using a sump or want to run heaters inline there is a place that has in stock some nice heater set-up's for large tanks.

http://www.jehmco.com/html/heaters.html#Heater Module

IMO: Run 2 500w or if need be run the 2 1000w Custom fitted Titanium heaters with bushing and centering collar in a Heater Module with temp controller.

http://www.jehmco.com/html/temperature_controller.html

Or get 2 adopter for sumps and a temp controller

Both set-ups will be underneath the tank an not in view !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The tank has 2 large sumps so that would probably be the route to go.

I'm planning on making this a cichlid tank so some heating might be necessary during the winter months. During the summer months the lobby where the tank is is almost impossible to cool due to some weird architecture, no insulation in the attic and pressboard AC ducts that have collapsed and are venting the cool air into the attic. During winter the same problems keep the lobby pretty close to whatever the temperature is outside. With Texas weather you never know what that temp might be, and we do have rapid and extreme changes which probably wouldn't be healthy for any fish.

We're getting the AC problems fixed eventually, so hopefully things will eventually be more stable and we won't need to run the heaters that much.

Power is not a problem. We have 3 MASSIVE 3-phase breaker boxes and none of them are over 1/2 capacity.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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They make big heating elements that can be plumbed inline with the sump returns.

1200gal is a lot of water... but might not be that huge a challenge to heat depending on what the heating situation is in the building.

If the heat is turned off over weekends like in some office buildings, you'd probably need a really good heating system.

You may also need a chiller for the summer... but those things are SERIOUS $$$...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They made heating and cooling ducts out of pressboard? :icon_eek:
Is that even up to code?
Small town. This building hasn't ever been inspected. We discovered the problems while trying to figure out why it was so hard to heat and cool our offices and why our electric bills were so high.

And I made a bit of a mistake on my size calculations. For some stupid reason I was using 48" for 2 feet instead of 24. I guess I was brain dead for a while. The aquarium is only 500 gallons.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Pentair makes some good heater modules that can be plumbed inline... you might even look for one designed for a spa.

But I'd definitely invest in a heater controller as a safety shutoff. On a tank this big, a heater malfunction would be a catastrophe.
 
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