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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning a basement remodel that will include bar with a 90 gallon reef tank as the focal point. The bar will be built along one of the below grade concrete basement walls. Since this is the early design stage, I would like to get it right from the start. I would like all the plumbing to include sump, protein filter, etc. to be in the cabinet below the tank and if necessary I can plumb from the tank to a utility room that will be off to the right side of the tank and bar unit. I plan to build a custom cabinet for the tank and sump. One issue is because of the concrete wall, there will be no access to the back of the tank. Any help on design concerns, equipment, etc. would be appreciated. Should I forget about plumbing everything below the tank, instead have everything run the utility room and return back to the tank? I plan to have a RO/DI reverse osmosis installed in the utility room that will be eight-feet away from the tank. I have not purchased any equipment yet so I am open to suggestions?
 

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I think if it is possible, I'd try to plumb everything to the utility room. I like not being constrained to what can fit in a stand. For example, you'll see that many protein skimmers are built such that it is really tough to fit them under the stand, but even more so, tough to get them out to perform maintenance to them.

I have a dedicated reef room, so I have a cabinet behind the tank for the sump/equipment. The tank itself sits a little over 2 feet from the wall.

Of course, since you are building your own stand, then you can pretty much design it how you want it, including adequate space for whatever you want. If you decide to keep everything under the stand, be sure to construct the stand such that you can get your desired sump in there. Else you'll need to plumb several tanks together once inside the stand.

No access to the back shouldn't be too much of a problem. It is nice to have, but nothing that can't be overcome. You might keep it several inches from the wall anyhow for running power, hoses, plumbing, anything hang-on, etc.
 

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Thanks georgiajams. How many lines do I need to run between the tank stand and the utility room? The tank will have a built in overflow. What material and size is best to use for the output and return lines to the tank? Is there any good reference material online of such setup with a sump?
 

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You will also need to consider any closed loop systems that you will be adding for circulation, other that that I would have to agree with GeorgiaJams. Get everything into a room where you can work on it easily. Are you going to build any parts of the bar over the tank or are you using that for lights. If the lighting will be enclosed you will need to figure a way to get the hot air out. You could just get a chiller but I really think that the heat will be controllable with out it. Especially since you are in the basement. It's great that you are putting so much planning in to it. I guess it would be kinda hard to change after the bar is built.
 

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As far as plumbing lines, you'll need one for each drain, and one for the return. If you have more than one drain, you can consider combining them, then running one larger pipe to the remote area. However, consider losing the advantage of redundancy in that case. I ran two independent pipes (one for each drain), but mine is not a very long distance to the sump either.

I asked a similar question several weeks ago on plumbing. You might do a search on "plumbing" and see the ensuing threads.

Also, alot of what I did on the overall tank was influenced by the book Simplified Reefkeeping. It's good to read several approaches and form your own ideas, but I liked this book for the purpose of a practical approach to reefkeeping. The theory is great to understand (and I did read alot of that as well), but at some point you have to figure out how to accomplish it, in a practical sense. For instance, what type of pipe do you use? What is the difference between a gate and a ball valve? etc. He does have a section on plumbing and has a couple pages describing typical plumbing parts available, etc. I wouldn't buy the book solely for plumbing tips, but rather as another tool in your arsenal of marine reading.

-Chris
 
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