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  #1  
Old 06/20/2007, 10:07 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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280G+ Starphire In-Wall Build by ReefArtist

I’ve decided to take the plunge and purchase my dream tank. The tank will be 280G and will be located in my living room wall. All the equipment will be housed in my soon to be new fish room that will be located in my garage. This fish room will be completely enclosed with an in-wall AC unit. I’m in no hurry as this is my dream tank and I want to make sure everything is done to the best of my abilities – which might take some time to get it right. Virtually everything will be DIY – not only to save money but to learn and share ideas. I’d also would like everything possible will be automated. I’m guessing my build will take approximately one year to one and a half years to complete. This includes custom glass panels that will be added into the doors of the stand.

Tank Selection –
1. Length - My first requirement was to have a system that is 6 ft long. One that is 4 foot would fit better in my living room but my tang and Wrasse now would be happier with more space. So my room is a little small – for them a 6 foot tank it will be .
2. Height - No higher than what I have now (25”) – My arm can reach the bottom of the 25 inch tank. If something falls I want to be able to reach in and get it without having to get equipment out. I'll also be spending less money on lighting with a shorter tank, which is less money spent now and in the future.
3. Depth – This is the most important to me. I want to be able to produce an underwater scene with depth. Have the corals and aquascape flow and give depth and interest not just in fish and corals but placement of rocks.
4. Acrylic/Glass – I love the clarity of the acrylic but because of cost and ease of scratching (Which I would always be buffing out), I decided to go glass. The clarity issue will be solved using Starphire glass on the viewing surfaces – Front and both sides.
5. Support/bracing – I would like the tanks top bracing to be divided into three sections. Doing this will allow placement of Metal Halides within each section. I contacted GlassCages and they are building it to my specifications.
6. Overflows – I would like the overflow to be on the outside of the tank, but I really don’t want to worry about another area that has the potential of leaks (All around the overflow on the outside of the tank). So, I’ll have two overflows splitting the tank into thirds. The placement of these were also a concern so I contacted the tank manufacturer and they are placing these to my specs.
Return Pump – Dart (?)
Returns – (2) 1 inch PVC and Spa-Flex with 3/4 inch Flexible Ball Socket
Output – (2) 1-1/2 PVC and Spa-Flex with DIY Dorso standpipe
Flow inside display tank – Flow from returns, Tunze wave box is a possibility and two Tunze Turbelle Stream 6100 + 7095 MultiController (3175gph/each). Each pump will be covered with clay that will be of my own design.
Aquascaping - 200+ lbs live rock from old tanks. Pillars, caves etc will be made from specially formulated clay and also be of my own design.
Back glass and overflow boxes will be completely covered with specially designed clay with ledges for frags and areas for critters. These also will be of my own design.
Substrate – Lots of live sand from my current two tanks and will be purchasing the remaining 300+ lbs.
Type of system – Still doing research on this one, it will either be a plenum system or DSB. At this time I’m leaning toward the plenum system.
Skimmer – Still looking and working with LFS on this. I like the RC500 but it has lots of pumps, we’ll see what I can come up with that is just as good!
Sump/Refuge – Sump will be my old 90G fresh water tank. They will be moved into a smaller tank. The sump will be DIY configured using glass inserts. The refuge will be a 40G breeder tank that I already have and it also will be DIY configured using glass inserts.
Chiller – AC wall unit will chill room and water.
Calcium Reactor – DIY and already finished
Carbon Reactor – DIY or use old FW filter (350 magnum).
Phosban Reactor – DIY (Will start with the 2 reactors I have)
UV – Will purchase probably around an 80W system
Lighting – DIY reflectors . 2 – 250W and 1 - 400W with IceCap Ballast
Controller – AquaController III or AquaController III Pro
Stand – DIY wood frame – design TBD
RO/DI – Aqua Barracuda 100 GPD with 4 stage filtering (Carbon, chloramines). The water source will come from my water heater and the drain will be attached to my waste water system.
RO/DI Reservoirs - 60G top barrel will have RO which must have a connection to my freshwater tank and the bottom will be for saltwater mixing water changes (Thanks MFLamb for the design). Top barrel will have a float valve installed.
ATO – This will also be one of the barrels I have but it’s one of the 30 -40G. I will be cutting it down to fit under my tank.
The key to my fish room is that nothing but the ATO and storage will be located under the tank.

Here are some ideas that I have been playing with – please if you have any comments or suggestions I’m open to all!


This is my living room conceptual view


This is what I'm hoping my fishroom will look like when finished.

I'm hoping everyone will pitch in with ideas. I'm also going to be adding the QT, Frag tank and Seahorse tank. Thanks everyone in advanced!
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  #2  
Old 06/20/2007, 10:57 AM
mflamb mflamb is offline
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Looks great. I would skip the 400 MH. With a 25 inch tank minus DSB/Plenum and minus 1 inch at top, I think a 400 will cook the corals.
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  #3  
Old 06/20/2007, 11:38 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I was wondering about that. I noticed with your deeper tank that you were going with 250's. You hear so much about light, light, light that I thought if nothing else I'd put one 400 MH in the center. I'm not going to have a SPS only tank and never will. I have one 250 now over my 65g and the SPSs do seem to be doing really good. Nice color, for the most part they're health except my purple haze over the last two week started looking like it wanted to TRN. The Hawkster helped me treat it and a few others - not sure what it is. I really don't think it's related to light. Might have to change that 400 to a 250 which I'd like better (cheaper).

We'll have to see how your tank looks and how your corals do with yours - nothing like having a test system.
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  #4  
Old 06/20/2007, 01:25 PM
mflamb mflamb is offline
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In my 31 inch tank, I'll have an inch at the top and a 5-6 inch sand bed, which leaves me 24-25 inches of water, so at most 23 inches to the top of a clam and less than 20 inches to any SPS, so 250MH 10K and VHO actinic will be fine.
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  #5  
Old 06/20/2007, 06:32 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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That is very true and I always forget about taking the sand bed depth off. So did you decide to go with the VHO's and not the T5's?
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  #6  
Old 06/20/2007, 06:45 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Just to let you know and I wanted to see what everyone thought about the new protein skimmer that was built for Sequence and made around their ORCA Needlewheel pump. they are thinking the unit will be equivelant to the Royal-Exclusiv Bubble King skimmers. Of course at a lot less money - not that it would be hard to cost less. They are estimating the capacity of this to be up to 600g heavily stocked, and up to 1000gal lightly stocked. Here's the tread that's talking about it - I might just go with one!

http://archive.reefcentral.com/forum...readid=1096170
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  #7  
Old 06/20/2007, 07:37 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Here are a few pictures of the wall the tank will be placed in. This whole build started because I saw some flying termites. I knew the location of the nest and had the whole house drilled and treated. We had to wait three months before checking for damage. Monday the garage side of the wall was removed - here are a few photos of what was done:


This is a photo before Demolition


This is what I found inside - termite damage. I was lucky and they had only destroyed three 2x4s.


This is a photo of a dried up termite nest.
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  #8  
Old 06/20/2007, 08:20 PM
mflamb mflamb is offline
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I wanted VHO from the beginning and have not been pleased with the colors available in T-5, or the wattage available in T-5, so I went with the 72 inch, 160 watt URI actinic bulbs for supplementation. I'll drive them with a Ice Cap 660. I haven't decided whether I'll use 2 or 4 of them with the 3 MH 250 10K.
I picked up all my stainless nuts and bolts today and have started on my light rack.
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  #9  
Old 06/21/2007, 07:49 AM
Genin Genin is offline
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hey good thing you ripped down that wall. the first day my wife and I moved into our home we found termites, man that sucked.

I think your design will be great. I look forward to the updates.
  #10  
Old 06/21/2007, 08:48 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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thanks Genin - you don't see termite to much in PA do ya? Here in Florida the saying goes "If you don't have termites you will". It's just a fact and part of living in this buggy state. Perfect environment for them - there are a few different types of termites and we had the least invasive. The repairs will cost next to nothing compared to what it could have been. Of course the treatment cost me around 1500.00 so I'm very happy with the damage.
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  #11  
Old 06/21/2007, 05:22 PM
mflamb mflamb is offline
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Are you going to have the stand and wall ready before the tank arrives?
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  #12  
Old 06/21/2007, 06:13 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Well I'd like to but I'm not sure if I'll get that far. With the 4th and then going over to the SRC - it's going to be tight.

I think I'm just going to use 4x4's or 2x6's and then 4x4's for the legs - simple design. Should only take 4 - 6 hours. The big thing is that the front of the tank will be about 12 - 18 inches into our living room and is about 6" higher than our garage floor. Need to get that perfectly level! Also I'll have to move my 65g to get the stand in place. Melev had to do the same thing so - I'll take a look at his site to get some hints.
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  #13  
Old 06/21/2007, 06:41 PM
triggerfish1976 triggerfish1976 is offline
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You noted that you are considering using 1 1/2" Spa flex for some of the plumbing. I would strongly recommend that you don't. 1" is fairly easy to work with but once you get into 1 1/2 and 2" it is basically like using rigid PVC. I used it on my tank but I have an excessive amount of space and it was not easy ro get good glue joints in applications that involved bending of the Spa flex. It is also pretty expensive and just not worth the investment.
You are still welcome to stop by anytime and I can show you the setup.
  #14  
Old 06/21/2007, 07:18 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Thanks triggerfish1976, I have used the 3/4" and the 1" on my other tanks. The 1" was hard for me to work with and I did wonder what the big deal was - at that expense. Sounds like I need to just stay with the rigid, save some money.

I sure do need to get over and check out your setup. Paul and I have been talking about your wave box - very cool things you've been trying there.
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  #15  
Old 06/21/2007, 07:59 PM
mflamb mflamb is offline
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I used about 40 feet of 1.5 inch and 2 inch on my setup. It's a little bit of a hassle to work with and at the price, I wouldn't do it again. The 1 inch was good to have in the garage setup.
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  #16  
Old 06/21/2007, 08:45 PM
triggerfish1976 triggerfish1976 is offline
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Yeah, Paul has been wanting to come over as well. You both could do a dual visit if you want.
  #17  
Old 06/23/2007, 10:11 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Could anyone tell me if I should get pressure treated 2x4's that will be going in the wall? This is the wall between my garage and the living room. Would guess it's not needed because regular wood is what was used prior - but would it be better if I did?
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  #18  
Old 06/23/2007, 10:34 AM
ichthyman ichthyman is offline
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I believe it is against code, or at least it used to be, to use PT on an interior structure. Something to do with off gassing of the chemicals used to make the lumbar PT.
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  #19  
Old 06/23/2007, 11:20 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I see, thanks John. I was wondering way people didn't use it down here with all the termites. That's also (I would think) why people seem to make their stands out of non-PT wood. I guess it would be best to go with non-PT wood for my stand also just to make sure. Don't want to be breathing this stuff in my small fish room.

I thought they were going to change the way PT wood was being treated (using different chemicals). You would think that if they can treat after the fact (termites) we could come up with a good way to treat before the damage is done - just a thought.

Thanks for the information.
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  #20  
Old 06/23/2007, 12:03 PM
triggerfish1976 triggerfish1976 is offline
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As of a couple of years ago PT wood's did go from a copper arsenate treatment to more environmentally safe treatments in order to make them safer for interior use.
I am not 100% sure if it is no longer alllowed by code but I used 4"x4" PT wood on my stand so that might explain the contact buzz I get every time I work in the tank room.
  #21  
Old 06/23/2007, 01:56 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Contact buzz, do you have an urge for munchies after Trigger ?

I think that was what I was thinking - removing the copper arsenate treatment. I'm going tomorrow morning to pick up some supplies and check what we have locally. I'm not sure if HD has non-PT 4x4's or 4x6 and if not - can't wait for the "Contact Buzz"! The walls (2x4's) I'll keep with the non-PT. Thanks for all the information.
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  #22  
Old 06/23/2007, 08:23 PM
Snook65 Snook65 is offline
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Looking forward to following another West Central Florida reefer's thread.
  #23  
Old 06/23/2007, 09:18 PM
chrisqueenz chrisqueenz is offline
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I will be following this one too!
  #24  
Old 06/24/2007, 10:39 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Welcome - Snook65 and chrisqueenz, if you have any advice just let me know - new ideas are always welcome.

I'll post my wall plans later this evening - I hope everyone will take a look and let my know if I'm doing something wrong.

I'm just about ready to get some of the materials for this weeks projects.

This week I'd like to get the following finished:

Remove the old 2x4 wall studs and replace with new studs

I need to move the old AC return about 2 feet over - need to find out how to accomplish this.

Shop for new pocket door - I don't like the old one and it's in this wall so now is the time to do this.

Once the above is complete I can then add the insulation and install the HardiBacker boards.

It's going to be a fun week!
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  #25  
Old 06/25/2007, 09:32 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Today I was able to remove the old wall studs and get some of the new studs installed.

While the AC repair person was at my house (AC fan broke over the weekend) I asked about moving the air duct. I found out that it was not needed so I don't need to worry or reconfigured any of the AC - that was great news.

I shopped around but couldn't find any pocket doors I like so it will end up being custom made.

Here's a garage wall layout drawing and a few photo:




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