Advice on new 300litre Marine Build

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Chris Speller, 6 Jan 2013.

  1. Chris Speller

    Chris Speller

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    Hello All,

    I have been running my first marine aquarium, a Boyu TL550 for two years now and am in the early stages of designing a larger ±350 liter system with a sump.

    I made a lot of rookie mistakes with my current system, mainly due to either lack of clear advice or poor advice from LFS mixed in with a job which meant I was unable to give the tank the attention it deserved.

    The tank is starting to look a lot healthier but having managed to severely scratch the perspex during the early algae scraping days I have decided to start afresh taking on-board as much expert advice as i can to design the system over a number of months. (Have learnt not to rush in this hobby!)

    I am looking to set up a ±350 liter tank around the dimensions of a Jewel Rio 300 (anyone have any suggestions of who to get to construct this? - the SA made tanks just don't seem to be of the same quality as the imports but the extra cost just doesn't seem worth it)

    I want to run a ±120 liter sump under the main display tank and was thinking 4 compartments. (I am in the process of trying to draw this up for comment) Compartment 1: (low flow) refugium fed by a lower flow drain from the display. Compartment 2: (high flow) Live rock compartment fed by overflow from refugium and a high flow drain line from the display. Compartment 3: Protein Skimmer (Any advice on some good options would be much appreciated) Compartment 4: Return with auto top-off, heaters possibly a chiller. (anything else make sense to include here?)

    I am planning on getting the tank drilled with three holes. 2 drain holes and 1 for the return form the sump. I have seen a system with a simple skimmer bar made using a length of PVC tube drilled along the top draining down to the two holes drilled ±3/4 of the way up the tank. (See below, any comments welcome)

    [​IMG]

    I am designing the stand/ cabinet out of angle iron clad in wood.

    I am not sure what lighting to go with at this stage. I don't really like the idea of having to upgrade at a later stage but not sure if to go the metal halide route or with LED's.

    Will try and get some pics up soon of my current tank. In the meantime some pics I took on a recent trip to Zanzibar.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers

    Chris
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Ask @dallasg how to make a simple skinny over flow looks nice!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  4. Gazzer

    Gazzer

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    Gonna be an awesome build!!! I'd say go with the LED's. Can be expensive though. There are some awesome makes and models. The ecotech marine radions are great as well as the vertex models. The radions can be synced to their pumps (vortech) as well wirelessly. Depending on your budget, I'd go with the LED's. Hope this helps :)
     
  5. Rossi

    Rossi

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    masahello
     
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome!
    Sounds like a good system, there are plenty good tank builders, I can put u in touch with some

    I will post tomorrow a pic of a skinny overflow or check out my new thread with pics
     
  7. the fish

    the fish

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    masahello
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Hello and welcome Chris


    [​IMG]

    This design is a bit outdated. And ugly. Clean and brand new it looks good, but just wait for the first algae etc to grow on it. Then you will realize that you got a big ugly PVC fitting inside the tank.

    Exactly the same can be achieved by moving the central return to the one side. Fitting a slimline overflow, basically a long narrow box over the outlets. Box is 10 to 20mm wide, and as in a situation where the outlets are high, then the box could be to just under the outlets. Other option is to extent the box all the way to the bottom, and have the exists down the bottom of the tank. That is basically the design used by Idol Marine.
    Look at this
    Evolution of slimline Overflow - Marine Aquariums South Africa

    Lastly the return relies on a non return valve. Do not use them. One day they will fail to completely close for whatever reason.
     
  9. Chris Speller

    Chris Speller Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the welcome guys, excited to get things moving.:)

    dallasg, some details of decent tank builders in the Joburg area would be much appreciated thank you!

    The skinny overflow looks good, i am definitely going to try and adopt that approach. It also looks like a lot better option for the return as you don't need a one way valve which can fail.

    Gazzer thanks for the advice on the lighting. LED's definitely seem like an interesting option. I am going to hold off on making a firm decision until I have costed all the other elements of the setup as I can see things getting expensive;)

    The dimensions I have been looking at for the display are 1.2m x 0.50m x 0.65m, does this sound about right? I am not sure as to whether to make it slightly shallower and wider for light penetration?
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Wider is always nicer. Helps with the rock stack. Will be able to get a much more stable build. Shallower does help with light penetration, but on the latest LEDs a depth of 600mm is not an issue.
     
  11. Chris Speller

    Chris Speller Thread Starter

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    OK I have decided to go with tank dimensions of 120cm x 55cm x 55cm. Have finished designing the stand so need to order the materials for that. Have emailed a few people to get a quote for the tank and sump build.

    Some pics of my current 130L tank. Having a bit of trouble with algae. Been dosing with Red Sea Nitrate and Phosphate reducer. Tested levels today and Nitrate is at 4ppm and phosphate 0.08ppm.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rossi

    Rossi

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    Love the long nose hawk
     
  13. ChrisRaubs

    ChrisRaubs

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    Nice Tank Dimensions!! :thumbup:

    Those GreenStripe shrooms are some of my favourites!!

    The NoPoX works wonders... give it some time, with a disciplined maintenance routine it'll be gone before you know it!! ;) Though i'm still struggling my back side off,,, :lol: Reduced my light period to 4 hrs a day, and slowly but surely i'm getting it under control...
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    The tank size you want is almost the same size as the standard units that Dorry Pets sell. As you enter their shop, directly on your left.

    Maybe look at a pre-build tank, as special sizes do cost more.

    Just saying... worthwhile to shop around while your wallet is still in your pocket.
     
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