First Tank -what I'm thinking

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by 6x9base13, 31 Jul 2014.

  1. 6x9base13

    6x9base13

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    Hi All,

    OK, intro's done, thought I might jump straight in ! Since I recognize I know nothing other than what I've devoured reading 24x7 for the last few days , I think perhaps I can throw out what I'm thinking and let the experienced catch the inevitable mistakes :blush:

    Since I'm not specifically set on a specific size or shape other than I would like to target at least the 500L mark I thought I'd try find where I want the tank and then see what fits.

    From browsing the tanks on forums, I believe that for the first year or two and first tank, I'll be happy with soft corals and compatible fish. The top ten on the beginners list will keep me more than happy and busy! (I want sun coral eventually, but imagine by then I'll be on the next tank :))

    The only other things in mind are that I want it to be neat and quiet ! I'll rather plan and wait than jump in and miss the target on those - I intend to have the stand and canopy (if any) made from quality furniture grade wood so that it becomes a feature in the house !

    So, with that in mind I've picked a location that works from an aesthetic and convenience perspective, but not sure about practically from a tank perspective :

    [​IMG]

    Behind me is a sitting room where I spend hours reading. That corner next to the chimney which has become a skylight is 78cmx78cm. I'm pondering a cube, even though you loose two viewing panes. Tank and sump should be close to the target volume and the skylight could be sealed up and panels placed over the openings to provide more space for kit or / a second sump / dedicated refugium.

    The wall behind me in that photo could be clad with a full length mirror so that the tank will be visible from the tv room and bar area you see in background.

    I haven't quite got the hang of the options for getting the water out of the DT into the sump, so not sure if that corner actually works.

    What's the gut feel of the experienced ? Once I've settled on location I can start working on the rest !

    I have two other options to consider, but this would be first prize.
     
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  3. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    A few other random thoughts which might help position the advice.

    I've thumb sucked a budget of a round R10k - 15k, though I intend to automate and over engineer this so that as much as possible of my time is spent on the water quality and occupants health and not on fiddling with kit or getting frustrated when doing maintenance. That might shift the budget over time :(

    I have a mate who is a plumber and welder and I'm fairly handy and can DIY too, so much of the fabrication can be done in house. Wood work will be outsourced and that as well as live stock is not included in the budget figure in my mind.

    I've pondered extending the tank into the Skylight area, but access from the top is an issue unless I lower / shallow out the tank so have almost scrapped that idea, but it would be cool :)

    Auto top up,a chiller and a reef angel or seneye type monitoring system is a must have (over and above the usual - skimmer etc.....). I already have a STC-1000, RO / DI unit and some decent heaters. Everything else must be purchased or built.
     
    Last edited: 31 Jul 2014
  4. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    Mmmm, plan B which is actually fast becoming plan A is this counter in the bar area :

    [​IMG]

    220cm (granite right to the wine rack which isn't going to be used) so a few more cm's to the edge of wall. Width is currently 60, but going to need rebuild for support so that can be moved up to about 100cm's.

    That makes a nice room divider with a bit hidden away. Thinking this might be the way to go. Volume nearly triples. Is maintenance going to be three times as difficult ?
     
    Last edited: 31 Jul 2014
  5. zgg01

    zgg01

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    i personally would go with option 2... keep in mind option 2 has more room to maneuver around the tank (trust me u will need it specially if u want a large tank ;) also water changes, sump and all the other equipment

    Best of luck and keep us updated
     
  6. jimilutz

    jimilutz

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    Plan A is a good position for a tank to get your feet wet but that size cube will limit some of the larger choices like Tangs. Tangs are great for a softy tank as they eat away your algae problems and softies like a bit of nitrate which is a leading cause of algae.
    I would not put a refugium into that chimney/skylight unless it has one of those skylight fittings that channel sunlight in for an extended period as this would allow some good natural sunlight options. Access will however be a PITA.
    On option B, you could save a little space by the wine rack for a refugium and I would take that little wall down so that you can see the full height from the TV room. I love sitting on the couch with my kids and watching "tank" while they watch cartoons, I also watch "tank" while my wife watches those crappy vampire shows.
    A bigger tank means more stability so the maintenance can be less frequent but the water changes are a bit of a bigger job. If the bar has a sink this is an added bonus.
     
  7. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    That right there sold me ! :):)

    Unfortunately no sink in the bar area, but there is a door out to the patio and garden so water can be pumped out quite easily.

    The skylight would have to be sealed off I think. I've not measured it, but think the temperature fluctuation day to night would cause a little chaos. Also, if needed at some point down the line I'd also look to run some sort of nutrient export on a reverse cycle so the day light wouldn't be desired.

    Thanks for all the input so far ! I think I'm going to scrap location A and start the thinking around location B, it's just more flexible and a better viewing position.
     
  8. SilverWolf

    SilverWolf

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    I like option B.
     
  9. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    ignore, too much of a compromise. Going to do this right.
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2014
  10. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Deeper tanks can be more difficult to maintain, however it really depends on what you have in it.

    I'd say stick with plan b. Seeing as how much a feature the tank is going to be, you best off getting one made up to suit your requirements
     
  11. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    Thanks, came to the same conclusion :)
     
  12. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    Right, so quick update. I knew I would do my usual thing and after bringing in builders to discuss breaking out walls and the like I came to obvious conclusion - I'm biting off more than I can chew especially given I have no idea what I'm getting into.

    So discretion being the better part I decided to get the Tl550 I have lying around up and running as a test run and potential quarantine tank for when I get my big DT. First problem , the top was a mess from the water leak and had swollen. We spent a few weekends looking for something that would fit in to our house decor wise for it to stand on , but came up blank. I pondered building something, but I'm not really geared up for that and this time of year is my busy time.

    Pondering a permanent solution and chatting to a mate whom I would have asked to help build a stand. I thought about plastic as a replacement as it would solve the water spillage damage issue permanently.

    Fast forward to my laser cut acrylic replacement :

    [​IMG]

    More expensive than another wood or marine ply replacement , but a permanent solution.

    Any how, that job took longer than expected ,so I bought a tl450 and have her cycling for 10 days now. Will update on that and my further thinking on the tl550 and ultimate big DT later.
     
  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    interesting solution. Will last forever and ever.

    Are you replacing the rest of the stand as well, or just the top section?
     
  14. 6x9base13

    6x9base13 Thread Starter

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    Sorry for the delay, been a rough few weeks - business trips, a wedding , two deaths in the family and a trip to the ER with my son who fell and knocked himself out , thrown in for good measure !

    I had initially thought of using the old stand, but actually called and stopped them drilling the mounting holes as I realized that using the wood stand would just defeat the purpose. The old stand was actually not in great shape either !

    I'm actually toying with have an acrylic stand made too. Initially I pondered doing something like the TL450's slotted stand :

    [​IMG]

    I then thought, since I'm having this made up in anycase, perhaps I can use the space better, perhaps build in an RO water tank for top up. I know most people seem to hide their sumps, but I was thinking and I do need to research more - having a display sump :lol: built in . Not a full warts and all mess, but just something to add volume to the system and use the space more effectively than just having it hold up the tank as it is.

    Any thoughts on that would be appreciated !
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    even as just a cabinet to hols all the extra bits and pieces, like fish food, nets, and what else. Plus extension plug for all the plug points, all neatly tucked away.
     
  16. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I think starting with a boyu is a good idea. You will get some indication of what is involved from a maintenance poibt of view before you go anchoring something you may not even wind up enjoying as a fixture in your home.

    Whichever option you go with in future keep these tips in mind;

    Keep it easily acessable
    keep wattage low on equipment
    look at good ventelation to reduce the need for a chiller.

    Good luck and enjoy
     
    reef addict likes this.
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