New 2,5mtr X 1 Mtr X 1 Mtr Marine Tank

Discussion in 'New To Reefing' started by Jacques Pels, Mar 7, 2017.

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  1. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Hi All,
    I am a new member, living on the Gold Coast, Qld. About to start the extension to the house, and plan to get my big Marine tank again.Had an * ft marine tank for 20 years, but technology has changed, and I want to plan to avoid some of the pitfalls i encountered.
    The tank will sit in the middle of the new room, so viewable from all 4 sides. I recognize I may have to sacrifice one of the short ends, for the overflow, returns etc.
    The over size of the tank is established, but I would appreciate advise on is the design / layout for all the other requirements such as , Overflow style, size, location. I want to avoid the usual set up with Sump, pumps, etc all hidden below the tank stand. I want to plumb it all in, so the overflow goes directly to the basement, where I will set up a fish room, to house the sump, filters, QT tanks, refugium etc.
    In the past I had 6 Metal Halide lights over the tank, but the heat was tremendious, plus the electricity usage. I am planning to install 2 or 3 Solar Tubes - used mainly for Skylights, which give 99,7% true sunlight, as my main light source, then augment it with LED lights.
    To simply have the main tank built, with Starfire glass, 19mm, is not the main problem - it is the overall layout and system I would appreciate advise on.

    Many thanks
    Jac
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  2. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    Sounds epic, if I had the space and set up like yours I would have a powerful self cleaning skimmer connected to two IBC . One IBC would be freshwater evaporation top up on RODI with a float to keep it maintained, the other IBC would be for extra volume where by I could by pass it when required and dump the contents and get it filled by a water truck (salt water) the display would in effect be such and the overall volume of the system would be almost doubled with the use of the IBC. Ahh to dream away!!!!
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  3. RobbieMVFC

    RobbieMVFC Member

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    Wow. This is going to be epic. Can't wait to see this come together.
  4. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Slin and Robbie, thanks for your inputs.
    This blog experience is all pretty new to me, so please excuse my ignorance. Am used to fiddling around, and experimenting till I find a way forward, but this is a grand opportunity to learn from others, and not make the same mistakes .
    Slin - excuse me, but what the hey are "IBC" ?
    For an aquarium of this size, I want to try at least to get the basic design and set up right... too darn big to try to retro fit and correct basic design faults, once it is already planted as the centre piece of the new room :)
    A lot of the US based sites, dont have the advantage we have, of easy access to fresh ocean water, and sunlight, so I am trying to design a set-up that is applicable to our environment.
    Has anyone had any experience with the Solar Tubes , as lighting for a marine tank ?
    Does anyone have any suggestions for the design of the sump and all back room equipment I will be able to locate in the basement ?
    The return from the overflow of the tank, to the basement, will be about 10 meters - do i need to take precautions for Algae growth in the main lines ?
    Should i allow for a hole to be drilled into the far end of the tank, considering it will be 2,5 to 2,80 meters long, for the return water from the sump, to allow for equal distribution / flow of water ?

    Hope we can look back on this in 12 months time, and all have a hearty chuckle along with a stiff Rum & Coke.. but right now, this is what I am trying to sort through to get me to the point I can make final decisions on the build and installation.

    Appreciate all and any inputs.
    Tks
    Jac
  5. slin1977

    slin1977 Member

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    IBC - intermediate bulk container...
    or you could use a rain water tank.

    I was thinking of running a pipe to you driveway where your salt water delivery guy could dump fresh 1000 liters at a time to your IBC.
  6. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    Ok. Epic.

    Alright, if it's going to be in the centre of the room and that big - consider a centre weir. Especially if the sump is going to be a level below. I've attached a pic of an awesome tank in Adelaide that I saw recently with centre weir. 8x4 of awesomeness.

    Lighting. Also in Adelaide I checked out a solar tube install. It was awesome, but consider it as the supplement, not as the main source. Maybe consider solar tubes with a couple halides and some leds?

    Sam
  7. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Sam,
    thanks for the advice. I looked for the attached images you mention. Clicking on the (blue) links below your message, it brought me to a list of posts, but went through them, and did not find any for a 8ft tank .. excuse my ignorance.
    Jac
  8. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    IMG_6448.JPG
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  9. ReeferRob

    ReeferRob Solidarité

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    I'm with Sam on the centre weir. You'll then have a point at which to attach/support your rock structure as well as being able to skim from the centre.
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  10. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Sam, and ReeferRob,
    thanks guys.
    Awesome tank !!
    With a length of 2.6 ~2.8 Mtrs, I have been leaning towards the centre overflow box. Have also been reading a lot on some US sites, who warn about having the tank in a room with a lot of natural sunlight, due to algae growth/management. Our new room will be all windows, 3,2Mtr ceiling height, so taking that into consideration, there is logic to block off one of the short sides, 1100mm wide, or part of it, say 500mm wide, as the overflow box location, and block some of the morning light from that side.
    This brings me back to the efficiency of having the overflow at one end of such a long tank ? Then where to locate my return water from the sump. ?
    Sam, your earlier comments about not relying on the SolarTubes as the main light source, also seem to be echoed by others, who suggest the use of LED lights, as they can give me better control of the lighting , intensity, duration and varied modes.
    With the planned tank height of 900 mm, do you think the LEDs can give sufficient penetration for good coral growth ?

    Jac
  11. Aspidites

    Aspidites Member

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    There is a guy over here in WA who has been lighting his tanks with sunlight for years now and as most of us on this forum would agree, his acros are amazing in colour and growth. He now breeds clams but still has a bunch of other corals. He always used other forms of lighting aswell as sunlight.
    Look him up on facebook, his name is Acro Al.
    I also think a centre weir is the way to go as it will give a cleaner look from the outside of the tank.
  12. Aspidites

    Aspidites Member

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    As for the back room stuff, I am a believer of keeping it simple. Sump, skimmer, return pump, refugium and some method of dosing calcium, alk and magnesium if required.
    However if you have a fish room the world is your oyster!!!
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  13. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Aspidites,

    thanks for the inputs.I will try to look him up.
    As Sam suggested last week, it may be best not to rely on the SolarTube as the main lights, but in combination with some LEDs, which will give more control over overall lighting.
    I am really itchy to pull the trigger, and order the tank build, but am trying , for a change, to exercise some control, and make sure I get the overall design right first - that means deciding on the big issues such as :
    = overflow - part of the 110cm wide short side, or center overflow box?
    = where to plumb the water lines coming back from the sump in the basement into the tank ?
    = what allowance should I make in the build, for providing easy access for electrical lines to flow pumps mounted inside the tank - i.e. should I add a separate stand pipe ( in the overflow box) for electrical lines, to feed the pumps, so avoiding the ugly wires exposed in the tank?
    I have access to regular water from a local supplier, so should I make allowance for a RODI set up ?
    Lighting - have seen many positive reviews on the Kessler units. For a tank of 2,6 ~ 2,8 meters, what would be the best and how many ?

    I have been trying to get opinions from others, as I have not found a reliable LFS on the Gold Coast, who could advise on the overall set up.

    I would appreciate anyone's 3 cents worth.

    Thanks
    Jac
  14. Sam Parker

    Sam Parker Moderator

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    Here are my 3 cents:

    1. Central overflow
    2. I'd go back up through the weir
    3. Yes, certainly, add an extra pipe or two to run cables up/down to keep
    4. Most certainly setup/automate an RODI reservoir. Use a drum, spare tank, whatever and set something like this that I made so that it turns itself on when empty and off when full. Should only need to switch on once a week or so:
    5. Lighting. A tank this size will need lots of light. Personally, I'd go for halides. If you don't want halides, consider T5. You would need a LOT of led units to cover a tank this size and the cost would be prohibitive. By all means, if you like LEDs, consider them with some t5's or halides so that they can give you ramping/colour/storms, but not have to do the heavy lifting. Check out the KILLER light setup that Lesley is building for her new tank, will give you an idea of what I think it would take for a large tank.
  15. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Sam,
    many thanks. I took a look at what Lesley is doing - Wow..!
    I have replied to her, and may just try out the US guys she used, as I have had similar issues with local suppliers.
    Keep you guys posted on progress and again, THANKS.
    Jac
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  16. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    Hi all,
    sometimes it feels like I am just spinning my wheels and got getting anywhere fast with this new tank design and set up. The pressure is now on, as we demolished the boundry wall last week, and leveled the site for the extension. It will be 7 meters out and 11,5 meters long. The tank with get pride of place, as the divider between the new Lounge and 10 seater dining table areas.
    Thought I should chronicle this, so you can follow the progress.
    No stopping now.

    Jeronimo .. !!

    Jac Demolish wall.JPG Leveling.JPG Demolish wall.JPG Leveling.JPG
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  17. Savage Henry

    Savage Henry Member

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    This sounds awesome and the central weir would allow so much flexibility.

    You could almost keep a pet dolphin in that thing!

    Second best, consider a smallish grouper or something that becomes a pet?

    And, where you are you could go diving and get your own small fish to start with.
  18. Jacques Pels

    Jacques Pels Member

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    :)
    when it is finally up and running, I hope the little critters appreciate all the work and time that goes into it - if not, I may go the Grouper direction.
    Jac

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