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Old 01/23/2009, 12:59 PM   #1
troylee
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Talking let's build the ultimate 500gal reef tank...

well the day has come where i am moving to a bigger house finally.......my current display i built is inset in a wall 160 display with 40 sump 40 ref. well like 13months ago when i joined this great hobby i didn't know anything i went from a 10gal fresh water to a 220gal saltwater........actually it started out as a 160gal fish only in the wall after it cycled and the diatom bloom began i started really researching reef tanks and tryed to step it up along the way over a course of a year i learned so much it's not even funny well i drilled the back put over flows built a sump built a refugium built a skimmer everything i built my self from scratch......let me remind you these additions such as drilling it over flow sump's etc. were all done with the tank running and full of livestock fortunently i did'nt lose anything.......everyday i look at my tank and say wow i wish i knew then what i know now....which probally is'nt the half of it lol......so i could build one complete in the begining and not keep changing everything and working on it full of live stock........SO now the day has come i got a little over 4 month's to get this build complete from the ground up im gonna go with a 300gal display 24"tall 30"w and 96"long and a 200 gal sump/refugium.....im gonna order the acrylic in a week or so 1" thick to make this tank and the steel for the stand i choose steel because i can use less bracing and etc. and have a more open area below the tank for a sump reac. etc.... i have the skills to build this from the ground up no problem i have done acrylic for 15yrs and run a plex shop for a sign company....im very confrotable with the fabrication process or i wouldn't even think about it.......what i need is info like best places to mount a overflow my current tank i just put one in the top back corner for surface skimming it work's good but im sure there is better designs or areas for this and would love suggestions debates etc...on what i should put in this tank and where such as a wave box ,overflow, drains ,returns etc.....it's gonna be a mixed reef i think more lps and softies than sps since i don't have much luck with them...........im really looking forward to this build and can't wait to get started major pic's will follow as i go........like i said before i got the skills just way short on the knolodge and i want opions on what's best and why and i only want to do it once...lol so all i can say is let the games begin and let's design and build the ultimate reef tank from scratch...........


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Old 01/23/2009, 01:49 PM   #2
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troylee,

Sounds awesome!

I would get used to Sketchup and prototype it that way.
I know a lot of people say they hate sketchup, but if you do all of the tutorials you can be an expert in about three hours.

My 12 year old has an entire house designed and it only took him a couple of days starting with knowing nothing about sketchup.

Anyway.... I have thought about the ultimate tank if I were to ever start from scratch.
I think the best design would have three chambers attached to the back of the display.
Each end chamber would be a surge tank, and the center chamber would be the overflow. With the right wave maker, the chambers would oscillate on opposite cycles ( In & Out vs Out & In ).

Since you are skilled with acrylic, you could make the overflow a coast to coast and still have the built in surge chambers on each end.
Just the plumbing for the overflow would be in the center chamber ( I would Use Beans design for the overflow plumbing ).

Good Luck!

Stu


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Current Tank Info: 125 Gal. display w/80 gal mud/caulerpa sump. Basement sump w/ LED Grow Light,Gravity fed Reeflo200 skimmer w/ ORCA Recirc, DIY calc reactor & kalk stirrer. Inline plumbed 75 Gal frag/settling tank.
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Old 01/23/2009, 01:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by stugray
troylee,

Sounds awesome!

I would get used to Sketchup and prototype it that way.
I know a lot of people say they hate sketchup, but if you do all of the tutorials you can be an expert in about three hours.

My 12 year old has an entire house designed and it only took him a couple of days starting with knowing nothing about sketchup.

Anyway.... I have thought about the ultimate tank if I were to ever start from scratch.
I think the best design would have three chambers attached to the back of the display.
Each end chamber would be a surge tank, and the center chamber would be the overflow. With the right wave maker, the chambers would oscillate on opposite cycles ( In & Out vs Out & In ).

Since you are skilled with acrylic, you could make the overflow a coast to coast and still have the built in surge chambers on each end.
Just the plumbing for the overflow would be in the center chamber ( I would Use Beans design for the overflow plumbing ).

Good Luck!

Stu
which design are you talking about from bean???the failsafe silent one??? i have actually never read that posting but i see it is very long and bean is very knolodgeable so im sure it's a great design......


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Old 01/23/2009, 03:07 PM   #4
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good idea there stu but i just read beans page and that is a slick setup im really considering this now it looks great and is simple......but if i put the surge chambers like you say on each end wouldn't i be defeating the purpose of the coast to coast surface skim because im pulling the nasty surface water in and pushing it back out the surge pumps?????


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Old 01/23/2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Since you are doing thick acrylic incorporate an external wavebox, also if you're still flexible on size I'd really recommend going 48" wide or wider if you can, you'll appreciate the depth.

You've got the fabrication skills, so I'd go a little different than common reef sizes, for the the cost of 1" acrylic you could buy a marineland glass starphire 300 for about the same price/size.

Depending on what look you are going for check out oregonreef.com, it might convince you to completely rethink your tank, if I was building one from scratch I'd go that deep in a heartbeat.


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Old 01/23/2009, 04:05 PM   #6
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you're right about the size I originally was gonna do a 1000gal display but the wifey ain't having it LOL.... Also I was looking at long term costs and just doing a 25percent water change every month is a 125gal so that right there is a 100 month to start I'm trying to keep the cost down I don't need another car payment every month LOL...as for buying a saphire tank that wouldn't be any fun this is all about the build man I'm trying to have fun LOL......


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Old 01/23/2009, 04:31 PM   #7
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Yeah i did a 150 gallon waterchange yesterday by hand, 5 gallon buckets so I know how that goes.

Are you wanting to do in-wall again?


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Old 01/23/2009, 05:08 PM   #8
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no the inwall exp. is over it looks super sweet and is silent as can be but a pita. to clean and maintain....the only accsess i have to my tank is the master closet so i go in blind trying to clean and decorate with my black background.....if i would of put doors above it from the living room i might have changed my mind but this is just to much work.....what i have right now is anyways.....


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Old 01/23/2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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U should do an in wall and then on the back leave a channel to slide in a black piece of acrylic so when u take it out u can see everything in your tank from the back and u can clean the acrylic in a few minutes with it out of the tank and then u have no more coraline on you rback wall thats hard to get off!


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Old 01/23/2009, 07:57 PM   #10
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That's pretty much what I got on my current display I just cut a thin piece of black acrylic that is just taped on for that reason so I can remove it but I have so much rock piled up against the back it is still hard to see in the tank and clean I have built veiwing boxes and done numerous things to make it easy as possible to clean but cutting doors above the tank and putting cabinet doors over it.... Which in reality is the best thing I could of done.... There are alot of things to consider when putting a tank in the wall that I didn't have a clue about I learned the hard way by putting it in there and dealing with them as I went for instance lighting my current display sits in the wall where there is 2 sides veiwable the front and left side so you can look down the tank in 7ft of water which looks way cool but around the top of my tank there is the thickness of the wall 6" and my tank is 18" wide so it left me 12" on top to put lights on after running a jbj pc for nine months I finally got around to mh's which I couldn't get a reflector for so I ended up making my own which you can see on one of the first pages of this forum tittled my diy mh with color changing moon lights...another thing to consider is heat my tank runs hot because the back side is in my master closet which is 6ftx8ft so there is minimal space to cool it and very little circulation being it's a closet I had to add fans....and on this size of a tank the lighting wouldn't be to hard but honestly I don't think there is a wall I could it in..... Here is my situation I am moving into the house next door to me LOL... Real far huh? Anyways me and the current owner are good friends so I did some measuring and figured out a size and location so from there my plan is build this tank stand filtration etc. Put it in his house before I move out of mine and just drain my current and bring it all next door to it's new home... Which should be able to happen all in one day with very little stress on my corals or fish I could just pick them out of my tank and walk them over in my hand and set in the new display for a total of 30seconds out of the water LOL.... ThTs the plan anyways....


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Old 01/23/2009, 08:01 PM   #11
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My son did this in sketchup after I gave him the dimensions of: 96"L X 30"H X 40"D:





The rear chambers are divided equally but could be adjusted.

Ends are surge chambers & middle is overflow chamber.

Stu ( & Austin )


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Some people think that I have Attention Deficit Disorder. They just dont understand that........ Hey! Look a chicken!

Well, We KNOW GOD exists, but for US to exist without a GOD is preposterous….Umm wait a minute…. Sounds a bit circular to me…

Current Tank Info: 125 Gal. display w/80 gal mud/caulerpa sump. Basement sump w/ LED Grow Light,Gravity fed Reeflo200 skimmer w/ ORCA Recirc, DIY calc reactor & kalk stirrer. Inline plumbed 75 Gal frag/settling tank.
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Old 01/23/2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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Thats pretty sweet there Austin... I'm gonna have to play with that sketch up and see what I can do.... So I have been thinking and thinking and I think I got the overflow well planned I will use beans creation but the overflow will be external on the back and I will just route a 1/4" slit down the entire back so the display stays clean and the water will just cascade down the back of the tank into the overflow......it should look pretty clean and work good I'm thinking.....time to learn sketch up LOL....... I can picture stuff in my head and vision it well so please forgive me if I lose someone...


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Old 01/23/2009, 09:17 PM   #13
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Next:



Shows the overflow.

I can do the holes for the surge tanks next...

Austin


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Some people think that I have Attention Deficit Disorder. They just dont understand that........ Hey! Look a chicken!

Well, We KNOW GOD exists, but for US to exist without a GOD is preposterous….Umm wait a minute…. Sounds a bit circular to me…

Current Tank Info: 125 Gal. display w/80 gal mud/caulerpa sump. Basement sump w/ LED Grow Light,Gravity fed Reeflo200 skimmer w/ ORCA Recirc, DIY calc reactor & kalk stirrer. Inline plumbed 75 Gal frag/settling tank.
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Old 01/23/2009, 09:58 PM   #14
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man that's sweet looking it's time to go back to school you think I would be able to use the computer for drawing being that I did go to vocational school for four years and majored in drafting LOL I can draw it on paper like a pro and draw blueprints but last time I used the computer for drawing was in school and it was when autocad just came out the programming has came so far I wouldn't know where to start anymore... I remember "acrylics" James talking about a external overflow is not as efficent as a internal but I can't remember the reason why...... What are anyones thoughts on beans silent fail safe over flow running external???? James if you ever stop by this thread please feel free to leave your opionin on this build you have way more exp. At building tanks than me..... I have been doing acrylic for 15yrs but not building tanks for that long I have built my fair share of them but they were always just simple tanks nothing extrodinary like this build.....


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Old 01/24/2009, 01:27 AM   #15
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I was the one James was telling about the internal vs external overflow box. What he was talking about is if you have a 12" wide overflow box that is 6" deep. If its internal, you have 24" of edge to run water over. If its external, you only have 12" and that makes the internal design more efficient. It isn't an issue with a coast to coast overflow the way this tank is designed.

Stu, ask Austin if he will draw me a skimmer if I send the design criteria to him. He is incredible with it, I can barely draw a circle with Sketchup.


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Old 01/24/2009, 11:07 AM   #16
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that makes sense odh. Thanks for info..... Well the overflow I think is pretty much designed now so it moves me to the next part.... A wave box what are the pro's and con's of a wave box and are they a nessesity???? This reef will contain mostly lps and sorties with some sps depending how it goes.... with my current display I have run into a few problems keeping them don't know what the problem is.....there is some sps I can't live without thou so it will contain some... what are everyones opionion on wave boxes????


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Old 01/24/2009, 01:29 PM   #17
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i really like waveboxes, but hate seeing them wasting space and looking ugly inside of the tank. ive seen people make waveboxes externally that produce the exact same effect as a tunze box, but arent visible from the inside of the tank. personally the idea is one of my favorites and is something ill be using next time i build my own tank. i would do some reasearch on it becasue it might be something you'de want to look into doing? especially it you plan on keeping any SPS.


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Old 01/24/2009, 04:45 PM   #18
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What location will the tank be in? How many sides veiwable? This might help everyone visualize how the tank should be. I like the idea of a center overflow will all sides viewable. You could make a tall steel stand to put the tank at eye level and have plenty of room for stuff underneath.
You could probably even compatmentalize the overflow to have an incorporated wave box (or even 2) in.
I love the way softies sway with a wavebox (if you decide not to go SPS).


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Old 01/24/2009, 06:38 PM   #19
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the back is gonna be against a wall with 3 sides veiwable..... One of my local club members is building a tank to with the wave box on one end but he is doing a pennesulia style tank which I would love but the wife just isn't gonna have it..... There are a million ways I would love to do this but I'm pushing my luck she wants to sell the one I got LOL....... With that being said it's gonna be a simple ordinary looking tank on a stand but I want it with all the options.... I am really undecided on the wave box I wanted to see the pros and cons with them guess I will search the web....btw. I downloaded google sketch up last night just haven't had time to play with it yet..


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Old 01/26/2009, 01:03 PM   #20
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ok well i think im gonna hold off on the wave box and probally not use it after reading and reading about them for this tank and what im putting in it it's gonna really just be a waiste of space.....as for drawing this thing up probally not gonna do it either stu your son austin is better than me at it i just want to get down and busy.......that being said i have the 1/2" material for the sump and gonna start it first im thinking on this paticular sump to build it just as i did this one in the photo with the 3 media drawers one for carbon one for phosban and the bottom with a filter pad......then below the drawers it will contain live rock 50gal total....the second chamber will contain chateo and a frag rack above for another 50gal....and then40gal for a refugium/temp holding area for new arrivals then a 10gal return for the pump and a 50gal fresh water top off on the end.......sound good???? anything anyone would change on this???




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Old 01/26/2009, 02:16 PM   #21
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500 gallons....Now thats what I'm talkin about!


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Old 01/26/2009, 02:35 PM   #22
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im trying man not getting much feed back so im just doing it for now till someone tells me different cutting the pieces for the sump as we speak.......:-}


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Old 01/26/2009, 04:32 PM   #23
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well i got my pieces cut for my sump and started the process of putting it together......here you can see the bottom panel 24"by 72" laying on the flat with the first side glued in place and clamped to my diy 90 jig. nothing fancy the same most people use note it is screwed to the table to keep it in place.... i personally like putting the bottom down flat gluing 3 sides on and putting all my baffles in before adding the last side this allows any cuts, off by a tad to get a good bond and dont waiste material by trying to get perfect cuts to fit in each baffle location......i glued this using weldon #3 and the pin's method except i use single ended razorblades just set them under the corners fill the joint with solvent pull the blades and tap down on the clamped piece with a rubber mallet to achieve a good clean bubble free seam.......tomorrow the fun contiunes and some more pics........a more detailed pic to come in a bit my computer messing up....




Last edited by troylee; 01/26/2009 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 01/26/2009, 06:00 PM   #24
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here is the other photo with a detailed pic of the jig holding the piece in place........



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Old 01/26/2009, 11:11 PM   #25
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here is a drawing of the sump layout it does'nt show all 3 baffells for bubble control but you can get the picture of each bay/chamber....



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