View Full Version : 225gal in-wall predatory mixed reef upgrade

03-01-2015, 08:08 PM
Earlier this week I gave Concept the go-ahead to build my final upgrade / dream tank. It will be 225gal 5'x3'x2'H euro braced, with external Herbie overflow, Starphire front and sides. I have been really resisting the urge to make it larger and more complicated which is something that I didn't expect.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh109/whatcaneyedo/russel%20tank%20build%20feb%2021%202015_zpsty6uwza w.jpg

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh109/whatcaneyedo/russel%20tank%20build%20feb%2021%202015_2_zpsumfhn vla.jpg

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh109/whatcaneyedo/russel%20tank%20build%20feb%2021%202015_zpskplnw0b 5.jpg

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh109/whatcaneyedo/russel%20tank%20build%20feb%2021%202015_zpsi28kkvj o.jpg

Once complete I'll build a wood stand and it will go into the wall here. The old 120gal display will then become the new sump.


For now I will continue to use all of the same equipment as before which consists of:
Two 250W LumenMax 3's with 14k Phoenix (until my stash runs out) over the display and one over the sump/frag tank.
Precision Marine Bullet 3 skimmer with Iwaki 70 pump
Reeflo Dart return
Precision Marine 622 Calcium Reactor with effluent chamber
DIY Kalkwasser Reactor
Neptune Apex
Two Tunze 6105 for sump/frag tank flow.
BRS dual media reactor
75gpd Airwaterice RO/DI.

The one exception is I'm adding a Reeflo Hammerhead closed loop with an Oceans Motions 4Way (with 1-1/2" outputs). Currently I use the 4 Way with the Dart as the return and wave maker.

Apart from simply wanting a larger tank this upgrade is to increase the swimming space for the fish, eliminate the centre brace, silence and hide the overflow and increase the sand bed area.

03-02-2015, 03:15 AM
Nice tank. Look forward to the build.

Skimmer King
03-02-2015, 12:46 PM
dude that tank is sick I never knew you had it in the wall. I love it

03-02-2015, 01:40 PM
Nice tank and beautiful room for it. My wife seen the pic and says, "Hey, we have that exact same trunk!"

03-02-2015, 05:23 PM
The current 120gal has only been in the wall for a little more than one year. But when I framed the room I blocked-out two areas so that they could be removed easily for a larger tank and stand.

I picked up the old trunk in Victoria because I needed to store extra aquarium stuff somewhere and it looked like a treasure chest.

03-18-2015, 04:30 AM
Denny at Concept just sent me these pictures to show the completed aquarium and in return I sent them my tax return. I also got Paul at Oceans Motions to custom make me this new housing for the 4-Way. It has all 1-1/2" ports so that I can run larger diameter plumbing in the new system. My current unit has only 1" outputs.




03-18-2015, 06:08 AM
Wow that tank is gonna be huge !! Welcome to the concept club . Should be a great build .

03-18-2015, 01:44 PM
Your tank looks so much bigger in person I gotta say I'm thinking about copying the dimensions for my upgrade lol will shoot some better pics today once we get it out where there's more space :)

03-18-2015, 02:58 PM
yeah super nice tank . I want to copy it too now. :biggrin:

03-19-2015, 03:37 AM
I used to have a 72W X 36D X 24H a number of years ago and loved the 36D ... can do so much with aquascaping and still have a nice spot out front for fish to swim unobstructed ... you will love it :mrgreen:

04-08-2015, 05:13 AM
An update finally. After waiting a several weeks and wondering what had happened I phoned up Fastfrate today and so did Denny from Concept. It turns out Fastfrate had transferred the shipment to Bandstra in Edmonton but when they did someone entered my phone number AND address wrong on the new shipping documents. So Bandstra had been phoning the wrong number trying to deliver the tank to a house that doesn't exist for over a week. We corrected those two points and they delivered the tank this afternoon.

It was crated really well and arrived without any damage. I was able to strip everything off and move the tank onto two furniture carts for a better look. The edges are clean cuts, dimensions are what we agreed upon, there are some air bubbles in the silicone but that seems to be normal and they don't look excessive. Overall I am very pleased with the tank and I'm really looking forward to getting it installed. Denny included a weir for the overflow which at first I didn't think much of but now that I see it in person I really like it. This weekend I'll begin work on the stand and closed loop plumbing.


Bottle of Corona for scale.

04-08-2015, 07:07 AM
Very nice - good luck with your project.

04-16-2015, 03:30 AM
I have been able to get a little bit done over the last few days. The structural portion of the stand is done. 2x4 studs, 2x6 joists 5/8" sub, 1/2" foam and 1/2" oak sheathing. I planed any irregularities out of the top of the stand so its quite flat however the house slab is not so I'll have to shim the base once its in. I plan to do some sort of recessed panel finishing to it later once the system is running.

Plumbing for the closed loop is coming along slowly. Once it and all of the other plumbing for the overflow, return, and skimmer input are done there won't be much room left to move.




04-16-2015, 05:15 AM
That's coming along nicely. And WOW, that stand looks pro!

04-23-2015, 03:48 AM
The tank holds water and the stand holds the tank! I have some tweaking to do with the plumbing but its beginning to take shape. My main concern at the moment is the powerful amount of suction at the closed loop intake. Even with a strainer over it I worry about my fish getting stuck to it so I may add a T and second strainer. If I can get organized well enough I'm hoping to do the full conversion and install this weekend.


04-26-2015, 07:00 AM
I spent all day gutting the room, moving my captives into two large stock troughs and then finally moving the new tank into position. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of family in town for the day to lend a quick hand. Tomorrow everything goes back in and I finish up the plumbing. Over the course of next week I hope to more or less get everything back to normal. However the final finishing touches will likely be stretched out over the spring.


04-26-2015, 06:29 PM
Looks awesome so far bud. Sorry I'm not around to help

05-01-2015, 01:29 AM
By late Sunday night I had the plumbing complete and most of the equipment set up. The live rock, coral and fish were back in although not looking their best. I lost the Flame Angel due to low oxygen in the stock trough. The bin had plenty of flow and a heater but was densely packed so most of the fish were gasping by Saturday morning. After I added an air pump things were okay but the damage was done.

I still have a lot of work to do to finish off the stand and fine tune the system. But overall its looking good and I'm happy with it.



05-01-2015, 05:40 AM
I have a problem. The centre brace on the 120gal which now serves as my sump/frag tank has broken. I foolishly had the MH above it hanging too close and the heat caused this. I guess the simplest thing to do would be to have a new piece of glass cut and silicone it on top to tie the two broken halves together. However I have always hated this brace and it would be nice to come up with some alternative. Any suggestions?


Here is what the rest of the top bracing looks like, its sort of a thin eurobrace on either side of the centre brace. For now I'm supporting the front and back panel with some lumber but even prior to noticing the damage and adding the supports the overall deflection or gap between the broken halves was only about 1/8"


05-01-2015, 05:58 AM
You could silicone euro bracing along the front and back to the underside of the existing glass trim and completely remove the centre brace.

05-01-2015, 06:41 AM
Your plan to solve the problem works fine as that happened to NE's tank before I took over. Looks like ass though.
I would think it would work just fine without it as your not going to be filling your sump to the top anyways

05-01-2015, 08:13 AM
I remember hearing/seeing that on the NE tank too. The normal operating volume is 3/4 full. But if my return pump is shut off the sump does fill to the top. I don't really want to drop the water level to 1/2 but if I did I guess I could get away with not having it and not doing anything else. I like Craig's idea of siliconing eurobracing to the underside front and back trim. The main issue I have with patching the centre brace is that I want to continue to use a single MH pendant over top which puts everything right in the way of the light.

05-03-2015, 05:06 PM
put some stainless steel braces in:biggrin:


05-04-2015, 02:15 AM
Thats another cool idea. But I've already paid for some 1/4"x4"x46-3/4" strips to be cut by Speedy Glass so I'll be ghetto euro bracing it.

06-08-2015, 03:15 AM
I've made some progress on the stand this weekend. It still needs a few little pieces of trim (I ran out and will need to buy more) plus I've got some brad nail holes to cover up and a little bit of touch up to do... Another day of farting around. I also had to upgrade the humidity exhaust fan for the room. For the past year I had been using a 110cfm Nutone which performed okay. Now I've got a 300cfm Nutone which is actually proving to be quieter and moves enough air that the tank no longer overheats during the day. Everything is up in the ceiling so even though it was $300 and nearly a days work, visually I don't have much to show for it. Compared to a typical bathroom fan it is a beast.