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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK I know some of you thought it was sacrilege that I tore my 450-gallon system down. Numerous issues compiled and aided in the decision.

First off was the system itself. I think anyone who builds their first dream system will tell you that a lot more thought went into building it than effort in building it
I was no different. There were a few corners that I cut and a few things that I didn’t even think of. The problems with the tank were:

1. Plumbing. I had a few hurdles to overcome and overcame them fine. What I didn’t account for was noise. The display room was not that bad, a slight trickle was noticeable as the water fell 8’ from the overflow, under the tank and into the crawl space before traveling about 21’, up 3’ and into the sump/fuge portion of the tank. The other issue was where the water came back up 3’… It was rather loud in the downstairs bathroom and at night could be heard in my daughter’s room. The sound of water was also noticeable in the master bedroom when all was quiet, but I didn’t mind this much.

2. Humidity… Yeah we’ve all heard this, but I live on the outskirts of the desert. We have low humidity and people actually run humidifiers in their homes during the winter to curtail the bloody noses… No go, on really cold nights, humidity hit 60%, my windows were completely watered over, mold grew in the window sills, my daughter’s room was right above the tank and had mildew growing on the ceiling near the sofet of the roof line. Vent fans were not enough for the system.

3. Equipment: I should have taken more time with the initial equipment purchases, but money was a factor. Basically anyone who wonders how big tanks are managed can just refer to the phrase “you can go as big as your checkbook”. So after getting things going, I wanted to tweak things a bit and found out that my flow wasn’t going to work and the lighting was sub-par as well. A whole lot of watts was spent lighting the top 20” of water and didn’t do anything for the bottom.

4. SNAILS! OMG, never gain will anything ever get plunked into my tank. I have no idea where the vermetids came from, but they certainly learned how to breed. Enough on these guys, I’m trying to forget them!

Other than that, the tank was doing really well. I can say that numerous hours was spent learning about chemistry and as far and that aspect goes, it was a very healthy environment for my critters.

So with the tank issues, my wife just bouncing back from cancer and the passing of my father I found myself swimming dangerously low on co-co puffs! It was time for the tank to come down. I transferred everything into my 125 and began selling the parts I wouldn’t need.

I had hoped that I would be able to reserect the 450 and add another display to bring the total volume up to around 800 gallons, but more life issues thwarted that idea:D

So recently I decided that I would completely remove the infrastructure for the big tank in my office and concentrate on my 125 gallon tank. As luck would have it, I strolled into a deal with a 190 gallon tank that with some work, will slide right into the same place my 125 sits.

Initially I wasn't going to make a build thread until after it was completed, but with recent events I need an outlet and well, this takes my mind off things.

So away we go!
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I was lucky in the fact that I already had a mostly completed rebuilt wetroom and I can still use it with this system. Here is the original concept drawing. You will see how the plans changed slightly as the building was under way:


Part of the build required actually redoing my shop so that I could cut large 4X8 sheets alone. Here is a table saw and runoff tables I built in the shop to make the construction easier.



Next up, rebuilding the wetroom...
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So part of the build was the tear down the old wetroom and start over. Contrary to popular beleif, green dryway is not all it's cracked up to be. I still had moisture and mildew issues using green board and bathroom paint. Here are some shots of the tear down... Yes I know it was ugly:D Just stick around, it gets better... I think:rolleyes:


You can see some mildew from where the old sump sat...




And this is what the exhaust fan 4" pipe looked like after 2 years of use... Yuck!
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So on to the new!

After everthing was gutted from the room, bleached, and stripped, I added the floor. I elected on vinyl due to the ease of cleanup and if one tears, breaks or whatever, it's .$79 a square foot:D




Next up was the walls. I found some fiberglass shower surround sheets that I applied to the wall with water resistant/hard drying adhesive. Here are the first few sheets.


Here the walls are almost completely up, calked and cured. The room will essentially hold about 3" of water now before it begins to flow out for the door:D
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Next up was the subfloor:


Then I was able to get the laminate glued on and trimmed. This is where you can see the cosmetic blem from the router bit. First thing tomorrow I'll rip that sheet off and replace it with new stuff



Moving along:






A littel more done and the skimmer in place... It is 4' tall...
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
This is the point where things began to change a little from the original diagram. After looking at numerous TOTM from various places I found that they had beautiful tanks, but the wire mess behind the scenes made me cringe. So I began to envision a build with no visible wires:






Here is the beginings of a cube I built for growing out corals and giving critters a safe-haven in the same system, but away from the display if needed.


It's 20X24X18:
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I guess I forgot to mention that everything has to have a finished look for this build... So here is the beginings of wraping the wood and fishing everything:D








 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Ventilation: This was a HUGE issue with the 450, so on the rebuild I elected to give the wetroom and the headspace above the tank is own fresh air intake and exaust. Here is the exhaust for the wetroom. It is a 100 CFM 1.2 sone bath fan. It is super quiet and will be tied(eventually) to a AC III with a temp and humidity sensor.




Oops bad pic... Try this one:


 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
The infrastructure mostly done: I only had electrical, which I still have to finish and a few other items. Then it's plumbing and equipment time!
The west wall:



The supports are bow wrapped:


The lower end of the east end, with braces installed and wrapped!


The north and west wall:


The door jam painted. Funny the sticker on the door stated that it would only be warranted if painted within 48 hours of hanging. Oops:
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I just had to have better lighting over the sink and the work and fragging areas, so I added some low-volt undercabinet lighting:


Starting to tuck the wires which are all ran through 2" pvc in order to hide the uglies!


Bulk heads installed in the lil cube and it's in it's place.


 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Just for fun, here was the concept of the big tank that won't be happening. So after viewing, please delete from memory:lol:
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So that's about as far as I made it so far on the wetroom.

Where is the 190 going?

Here in my livingroom. I built a 125 in the wall six years ago and it will accomodate a tank up to 30" deep. I went with a 25" deep tank this time as wanted room all around the tank for future plumbing/flow ideas.

Here is a pic before the finishwork was done on the 125:



With the trim done:


And now as my reef tank.


Before I tore my 450 down, I had a bit of a problem that led to the demise of most of my SPS. So the 125 has just been a holding tank for my critters until the next step, which was suposed to be the resurection of the big tank. With that not happening, it's still holding on to critters until the tank is done.

So that's it for now. The tank is a few weeks out, but I'll go over the details about flow ideas and livestock intent later:)

Thanks for looking!
 

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spaceman spiff
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11,769 Posts
My eyes! My eyes! I'll never be able to forget that picture!!

Good luck with the new setup and plans, Hop! The best part is planning for me, though. Stupid engineering degree. I can't escape it!
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
your idea of simple is FAR different from mine :D
I guess the simple part is that most of it was already going for the big build:) I could either tear it all out or use it for this build. Both were options and I elected to keep the wetroom instead of puting everything under the tank.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
My eyes! My eyes! I'll never be able to forget that picture!!

Good luck with the new setup and plans, Hop! The best part is planning for me, though. Stupid engineering degree. I can't escape it!
:lol: Sorry about your eyes!

I too like the building process. I was not suposed to be scemeing any tanks until I got back on my feet and finances squared away, but I did OK when I liquidated the equipment for the big tank that I could squeek the idea past the wife:D Initially it's going to be very simple, but designed for a full SPS system. It will just be a matter of adding as I go instead of being ready when everything is filled.
 

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Super Moderator
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10,749 Posts
Very Nice Hop!
 

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Carpe Noctem
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9,817 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Very Nice Hop!
Thanks! i'm going to try to take a few weeks vacation at the end of August or begining of September so that I can get the tanks swapped out. I'm a little nervous about how to go about holding everything for a couple of days while the swap happens. I think I'm going to put the livestock and half the rock in a 100 gallon rubbermaid stock tank I have. I'll just put it in the dining room. Then I'll see about getting some more holding spots for the rest of the rock and stuff.

I forgot to mention that my 125 is going to become the sump, rather than building or ordering a large acrylic one for now...
 
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