Gideon's 1800x900x700 Dream

Discussion in 'Supersized Tanks' started by abgg118, 29 Oct 2012.

  1. abgg118

    abgg118 MASA Contributor

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    Gideon's 1800x900x700 Dream
    Hi all,
    It’s been about 8 years since setting up my 2m display tank (with very small sump), and I’ve learned a lot since then about what I would like an aquarium to be. I hope to be putting the knowledge and experience to good use now that we are moving and I have a reasonable budget for it.
    I have been planning and drawing in Sketchup for quite a while, and would like to share the design with you for some comments and discussions.

    Tank Size: 1800 wide x 900 deep x 700 high (water level at 650) in 12mm glass with a 2x8mm laminated Starphire front viewing pane.
    Sump size: 1600 wide x 550 deep x 450 high (but it’s more involved than that, more on that later) in 6mm glass.
    [​IMG]
    The model shown above indicates where the tank will be situated in the room. The bottom-left of the room is open plan (kitchen to the left, main entrance to the bottom and two living rooms to the bottom-left and bottom-right) and the wood-and-glass doors walk out onto a patio with Louvre awnings, looking east. The stand will get some cladding, but the style still needs to be decided on.

    [​IMG]
    So, let’s get rid of the room. Above you can see the full view of the tank (without the cabinet cladding). Above the stand, notice the following:
    3x EcoTech Radion units with TIR lenses, hung from the ceiling.
    1x EcoTech VorTech MP60wES, on the right-hand pane.
    1x EcoTech VorTech MP40wES, on the left-hand pane.
    I really like the minimalist in-tank footprint of the VorTech pumps and I should get enough flow and not-run-at-100% options from these two pumps, as shown by the EcoTech flow calculator for the tank size (without return pump flow factored in):
    [​IMG]

    Bracing:
    Eurobracing employed all around with two narrow cross-braces between the Radions for extra support. That leaves about 45cm between braces to work through.

    Overflow:
    All plumbing will go through the bottom of the tank as opposed to the back/sides/over (using the 3-base technique with part of the thinner middle base missing, allowing for the water to flow between the two thicker bases to the bulkheads). A skinny (6mm) overflow will be used across the back pane with two returns (on the left and right). I was really impressed with how neat this overflow is and how little space it takes up. Also, having the plumbing from the bottom means absolutely no plumbing running up and down the outside of the glass panes, with everything hidden in the sump. But there was one thing I was not comfortable with. As I understand, the skinny overflow with bottom bulkhead is generally used as follows: you create a siphon-like return from the overflow to the sump, setting the level to which the water rises at the back of the overflow with a valve that restricts the flow just enough to force the water up a little in the overflow chamber. This reduces the height the water needs to fall into the overflow chamber, making the overflow extremely silent (if you have a wide enough overflow for your return pump volume). At some point the added pressure as the water rises pushes a little bit more water through the plumbing, which balances the system with the water level in the overflow chamber at an acceptable level.
    However, what concerned me was that, should there be a flow restriction for whatever cause in this system, and the drain pipe, with the overflow water level at the highest possible point, can only handle a little less flow than the return pump puts back into the tank, you get water build-up in the tank and the sump could run dry. I’ve been assured the chances of it becoming blocked are very small, with a lot of tanks running successfully like this for years, but the “no backup” situation kept bothering me, so I thought of something to put my mind at ease...
    [​IMG]
    I’m showing the one hind-corner of the tank above. As is standard, the return chamber is totally sealed off except for the bulkhead to the bottom-right and the short return pipe at the top-right, so that the return pump pressures the water through the bulkhead, up the chamber and out of the short return pipe (which will have a 45-degree elbow to allow some setting of the direction of flow). Also standard is the overflow chamber that extends to the left (and further out of the picture), covering most of the back pane, with the bulkhead (not shown) draining the overflow chamber into the sump. The middle chamber is what I would like to add as a safety measure. On each side there will be a small chamber with another bulkhead at the bottom, both also draining into the sump. However, these chambers will mostly be dry and not in use. For these sections, the overflow is raised only slightly (a bit more than the height of the sheet of water going over the overflow), which means water will only fall down these chambers should the level in the tank rise slightly due to partial blockage of the main overflow. 1cm of water level in the display tank equals about 15 litres of water, and the sump should have enough spare capacity to not run dry for enough time to allow these drains to kick in. I’m not sure what the total amount of flow is that these two drains would be able to handle, but having two of them, without the regulation of the valves, should allow quite a bit of flow if required. It just adds a bit of safety, even though you require two more holes, bulkheads and a bit of extra plumbing under the tank.
    I’m still deciding whether I would like a “flush pipe” bulkhead that allows easy draining/emptying, for instance for water changes, or whether I’d just put a pipe over the rim in these cases. I’m assuming it would be really safe to have the bulkhead with a proper valve that can be opened and closed to let just enough water out, without it dripping / leaking due to all the pressure?

    That's about it for the display tank. More detail on the sump to follow in a day or two ...
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2012
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  3. Dillan

    Dillan

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  4. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Let’s move down towards the sump...
    Stand:
    The stand is pretty basic, with levelling feet at the bottom. Two things worth mentioning: Firstly, I’ve added an extra 35cm to the right to extend the width of my sump area and give me a solid place to stand when working on the tank from that side. The stand will end up very close (1cm – 3cm) to the wall on the right. Secondly, I’ve got these “little loops/hooks” planned for in case something needs to be “hanged” from the stand frame. I do not have the luxury of a separate engine room, so I need be clever in fitting everything I can reasonably fit in under the tank without making it too difficult to work down there. For one thing, I think I will have to hang an auto topoff RO tank “in the rafters”, which I can periodically manually fill up. My RO and saltwater mixing Jojo tanks will be standing in the courtyard about 7m away from the tank, so I will just connect piping to connectors built into the tank.
    [​IMG]

    Sump:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Side view, top view and “long” view of the planned sump given above. The overflow water enters the chamber on the left – a few baffles will be built in to reduce any bubbles. This chamber is “closed” with a lid to reduce salt creep, with a small semi-round hole at the top to allow for pressure equalisation. So, all the “turbulence” will sort itself out in that chamber before the water flows through the hole that is seen low down on the side pane of the “catchment box” to the skimmer compartment.
    I already have Tunze 9020 and Tunze 9010 internal skimmers, so I needed to plan around them. The next box in the sump will hold the two skimmers with skimmate going over the top of the sump wall into a catching container that’s big enough to not have to be emptied too regularly. The baffle on this box is at the skimmers’ water level indicators and the skimmers will be on stands to ensure the skimmate can be drained over the sump wall.
    The next chamber is the biggest chamber in the sump and will be used for DSB, refugium and frag grow-out. The size as planned is 400x338 for the narrow part of the L and 400x538 for the wider part of the L, with a height of 360. So a large DSB will easily fit, with refugium and frag grow-out on top. I haven’t totally figured out how to align everything in this chamber, but a 2-foot T5 should fit nicely along the 80cm length of the chamber to grow whatever needs to be grown (and the “hanging hooks” of the stand can be used here to hang the lights off). I will probably add an edge to the baffle from the skimmer chamber to this chamber to ensure water doesn’t flow directly downwards into the DSB. Standing in front of this chamber is a calcium reactor and CO2 cylinder.
    From here the water flows over a baffle to the return chamber. I’m thinking to use two smaller return pumps for the two return outlets rather than one larger one (less noise, or not?), and also run some of the equipment off these pumps. This is where things get interesting...
    [​IMG]
    Firstly, I need some space for my Hailea 500A chiller (removed in the last picture for clarity, but can be seen in the earlier pictures), so the corner of the sump needs to be “L-shaped” to allow the chiller to fit and be moved in/out past the stand foot that comes down in that region. Luckily, this serves another purpose. I have this 3 foot tank into which I have planned an algae scrubber. I’ve siliconed the tank with low baffle and bulkhead as shown, and have also designed and “playfitted” the algae scrubber’s plumbing into this tank, but just need to put it all together. Two 2 foot T5s with reflectors will light the sides of the scrubber growing screen. This sub-tank needs to be higher than the water level in the sump, so that the screen can be outside of the water (except the lowest part that sticks into the shallow water level) and the water can return via gravity to the sump. So, this tank will be supported outside the sump by some wooden blocks, and be siliconed into the sump, with the right and front panes of the rightmost part of the return chamber being dropped to support the scrubber tank (also siliconed to the back pane of the sump to take some of the weight. All is then sealed off with silicone so it’s as if it’s one unit. The reason the sump is extended to underneath the scrubber tank is to add some volume to the return chamber. The return chamber will also have enough spare capacity since, should a lot of water flow into it, the water wall actually flow through the bulkhead to the scrubber tank, which has ample space, being only utilised up to about 3cm – spare capacity volume to just under the T5s’ level.
    The little white thing is a valve to regulate the flow of RO water as the level in the sump drops, but it does not necessarily have to be just there (if maintenance is required from time to time it may be better not place it so deep into that “cavity”.

    From this chamber the water gets pumped back to the display tank (and through the equipment as required).
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2012
  5. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    wicked..........i haven't seen a tank planned like this for a while.....nice:thumbup:
     
  6. SApicoreef

    SApicoreef

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    Looks like its going to be insane.... Best light choice by the way:p
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    That is quite some awesome planning! You are nearly guaranteed to have a succesful reef tank!
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    yeah sure.

    So your backup overflow, will have 2 extra holes into the bottom pane. Why not just divide your back overflow into 2 sections. Drop these emergencies. So you sit with 2 complete separate overflows.

    BUT
    If you will be able to see into the overflows, then the middle divider should not get all the way to the top. So be about 20-30mm lower than the overflow. Each chamber then uses a GATEVALVE (not ballvalve) so you can set the water height in each chamber. If one do block up, or becomes restricted, the water level will rise and overflow into the other. If you cannot see into the overflows, it does not matter either. You will see that the one is not flowing and the other one is.

    Other advantage is then just 2 * 50mm holes instead of 1 main 50mm plus 2 smaller emergencies.
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Instead of little hooks etc, this is what I done. Welded a 50 square by 3mm welded mesh to the stand underside. Can hook up anything using cable ties.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    RiaanP,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I'm thinking maybe have only one emergency, also using just one extra bulkhead and plumbing. The reason I don't want two drains with valves on both is because you're then still restricting your overflow to a "set maximum". If one fails, the fact that the other one is restricted will probably mean it will not be able to handle all of the extra flow. With one totally unrestricted (and unused normally) emergency drain, it can run full siphon and handle a lot more "emergency overflow". I think I'll go with one emergency split away from the main overflow, cut down cost and effort a bit while keeping the emergency drain totally open and able to handle a lot of overflow should it be required.

    Yes, gatevalve, much easier to set in small increments.

     
  11. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Much more "precise hanging options" available then. Will inquire what the impact on powder coating is ...

     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2012
  12. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    OK, I received an updated quote - anyone want to contribute (or at leat buy my old Tunze Streams for a good price)? :whistling: Going with one emergency overflow only and confirmed 12mm glass for the tank, including 12mm Starphire front viewing pane.

    View of the EcoTech equipment, just 'cause:
    [​IMG]
     
  13. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    really nice.....keep it comming
     
  14. dylan woodhouse

    dylan woodhouse

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    pls more pics more pics
     
  15. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Steel for stand and glass for DT has been ordered. We're moving early December, so will start build and pics then ;)
     
  16. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    EcoTech Vortechs

    OK, while I've tested my Radions "away from water" just to see how cool they are, I haven't opened my Vortechs yet ... until today. Seeing as I've sold all my Tunze pumps and controllers (including the 3 pumps running in my current display), I had to start up the Vortechs to run the old tank for a month or so until the move.

    The wallet-breakers:
    [​IMG]

    MP40ESW in the box:
    [​IMG]

    MP40 unpacked:
    [​IMG]

    Spacer to be set for 10mm glass:
    [​IMG]

    Cleaned out a spot, attached, MP40 running, yeah!
    [​IMG]

    In-tank footprint is great:
    [​IMG]

    MP60ESW out of the box. Same idea, just bigger:
    [​IMG]

    Mounted and running - can someone spell "FLOW" for me, please!?
    [​IMG]

    Great in-tank footprint:
    [​IMG]

    And finally a video (it's HD, hope this works) of the undertow of the MP60 - it truly is impressive. My tank has had a lot less flow than it should have for a very long time, and last cleaning was quite some time ago, so there is a lot of detritus lying around. When the MP60 went on it drew so much of that into the water column it was scary, but it showed the water movement brilliantly ;)

    MP60ESw undertow
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2012
  17. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Some really sad news first ... While the move itself went well, both my circulation pumps on my temporary holding tank (we've moved to a new home and I'm waiting for the new tank to get built) - which is a 1.5mx65cmx65cm tank - stopped running a few days later and I lost some livestock ...
    Large Sailfin tang
    Medium-large Yellow tang
    Medium-large Regal tang
    Small Female Mandarin
    Small Filefish
    Brittlestar
    Black-spined urchin which I've had for more than 8 years. It arrived as a small hitchhiker on one of my first pieces of liverock.
    Bubble Coral
    Pincushion

    So, I now have 2 clowns, 3 Chromis, 2 Pajama cardinals, a spotted hawkfish and a watchman goby left. Coral wise not much, although a very large (even after splitting into 3) finger leather, some green starpolyps, a large rock or two of mushrooms and two or 3 smaller pieces.

    It was a really sad day ... and to top it off my laptop hardrive crashed, the automatic backups were never actually set up correctly so none of my actual work folders were ever backed up, which means I've lost a lot of data and code on my work projects of the last year, as well as some personal stuff. And the day I find out they cannot retrieve the backups I get pulled over, can't for the life of me find my license, get fined, and find my license when I get home - it was in the car all along actually.
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2012
  18. abgg118

    abgg118 Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Some better news. The build finally started! I still couldn't get Telkom to move my ADSL line yet, and 3G is painfully slow, so I'm not going to try and upload photos right now...

    The stand is "close-to-in-place", the sump (including algae scrubber sub-tank) already underneath and only requiring a few final "silicone seals", with the four side-panels of the DT siliconed together. One layer of the base, as well as the DB board, is being done tomorrow, with the base and overflow being finalised on Monday. So far it's going well and I hope to be feeling better soon ...
     
    Last edited: 13 Dec 2012
  19. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    shame boet.. i have been there before.. just sounds like you were having a crap time.. it will get better...

    tank build looks good..

    keep it up...
     
  20. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Keep working on it!
     
  21. devesh.r

    devesh.r

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    tagging for this awsome build
     
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