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Seth81
09-30-2015, 04:56 AM
Hello Everyone,

I am moving in a month or so, and am already planning the tank we will build as part of the basement we will develop ourselves. So I am looking for advice how to best utilize the space I have available.

I am thinking about a through the wall build with the tank sticking out 10" - 12" through the wall and into the play room.

So the tank dimensions I am thinking about is 90" long, 24" deep, and 30" tall. Which would be a 280 Gallon tank.

So I welcome any comments at this stage as the design is not set in stone. However I am going to have to start framing very soon.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/New%20Tank%201%20%282%29.JPG

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/New%20Tank%201%20%281%29.JPG

Myka
09-30-2015, 02:49 PM
It looks like you have a great location! A general comment about 30" deep tanks is that unless you're really tall and lanky, you're not going to be able to touch the bottom of the tank without getting your armpit wet, and you certainly won't be able to touch the sand at the front of the tank once the rocks are in when you only have access from one side. You will definitely have to learn to be good at using tongs. :D I do have to say though, that a 30" tall viewing pane is soooo much more pleasing than a 24" tall viewing pane. Imo, if you're going 30" tall, I'd also go 30" wide. For saltwater tanks, it is so much easier to aquascape the rocks when the height and width are either the same or the width is greater than the height.

So...what do you have planned for equipment? What type of corals?

WarDog
09-30-2015, 04:26 PM
I would make the same suggestion as Myka, you want to maximize depth. What is that white boxed area in the middle of the fish room? A shower or a closet? Any chance you could relocate it?

gregzz4
09-30-2015, 08:24 PM
What is that white boxed area in the middle of the fish room? A shower or a closet? Any chance you could relocate it?

Looks like the floor. I'd leave it where it is :smile:

Delphinus
09-30-2015, 09:04 PM
You will always appreciate more front-to-back dimension. 24" seems like a lot, but when you consider 30" of height, 24" will seem smaller. For example if you were to flip the dimensions so that you had 30" of depth (front to back is depth) and 24" of height, you'd need less light intensity AND would have much better options for aquascaping.

I have my tank in a similar configuration, except mine is 72x30x30 (also coincidentally 280g). It is not accessible in front at all so I do have to do the wet armpit thing but that I don't mind so much. I wanted the 30" height for visual appeal and swimming room, but if I were to go back I'd go shorter because it's dificult to get enough light to the lower levels. All was well when I ran 400w halides, but then I switched to LED and things just were never the same. I'm actually considering going back to halides. LED just doesn't compare with this height, you wouldn't think 24" vs 30" would make such a difference but it really does.

shiftline
09-30-2015, 10:55 PM
Cool idea having partially coming out of the wall like that

eli@fijireefrock.com
10-01-2015, 01:32 AM
I have to agree with the depth,it gives the tank much more room for aquascaping and tons of space with hiding spots for the fish.
The partial side view is nice but you have to consider what type and how to mount the powerhead if you are to place any on the far sides of the tank.
If you are using faux rocks in the front I would consider hidden doors as it helps have an opening from the front.
I had in my old tank no opening in the front and it was always a hassle, now with the new build I love my front hidden doors (not I use them often but if needed,they are available)

Seth81
10-01-2015, 03:43 PM
My current tank is 38" tall, so no worries about tongs!! Ha ha ha...

I agree about the 30" wide too, just might have to stick out more into the play room, because I don't have a ton of room by the shower there.

I've kept SPS corals before, and I think that will be the plan for this one too. I may recycle some of my current equipment; BRS dosing pumps, DIY ATO using ultrasonic level ttransmitter etc...


It looks like you have a great location! A general comment about 30" deep tanks is that unless you're really tall and lanky, you're not going to be able to touch the bottom of the tank without getting your armpit wet, and you certainly won't be able to touch the sand at the front of the tank once the rocks are in when you only have access from one side. You will definitely have to learn to be good at using tongs. :D I do have to say though, that a 30" tall viewing pane is soooo much more pleasing than a 24" tall viewing pane. Imo, if you're going 30" tall, I'd also go 30" wide. For saltwater tanks, it is so much easier to aquascape the rocks when the height and width are either the same or the width is greater than the height.

So...what do you have planned for equipment? What type of corals?

Seth81
10-01-2015, 03:45 PM
Its a shower, and nope can't move it as the drain is located there, and we can't easily move the drain as the basement slab has radiant heat.

I would make the same suggestion as Myka, you want to maximize depth. What is that white boxed area in the middle of the fish room? A shower or a closet? Any chance you could relocate it?


https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Aquarium%204.jpg

Myka
10-01-2015, 03:56 PM
My current tank is 38" tall, so no worries about tongs!! Ha ha ha...

I agree about the 30" wide too, just might have to stick out more into the play room, because I don't have a ton of room by the shower there.

I've kept SPS corals before, and I think that will be the plan for this one too. I may recycle some of my current equipment; BRS dosing pumps, DIY ATO using ultrasonic level ttransmitter etc...

Ah, you're a Tong Master! :D I agree, I wouldn't want to cut down on the space in the back, I'd put it out into the room more.

As far as equipment goes I was more interested in things like skimmer and lights. :D

sphelps
10-01-2015, 04:35 PM
I think protruding it out is a mistake, it would look much better flush with the wall with a nice frame around the tank and fit better with a modern contemporary design if that is what you are going for. I'd also make use of the all awkward space and just extend the tank all the way back to the shower wall making it around 40" deep (maybe ~36" to leave room for an external overflow). Full access from the front and partial from the back is really all you'll need. You'll want to keep equipment away from that bedroom wall, not just for noise but any leaks or spills will ruin that carpet in a hurry. Putting equipment on that back bathroom wall would allow clean plumbing to wrap around the corner and gives you a straight shot to the existing floor drain.

sphelps
10-01-2015, 04:43 PM
Also consider a viewable panel in the bathroom, using a boat window or something :mrgreen:

http://www.yachtsofstuff.com/adgraf/NautTrop/NT_1743.jpg

Seth81
10-01-2015, 05:04 PM
Well I must admit I do have some concerns with the protruding concept

1. How to finish off the sides of the wall where the glass meets the wall
2. Building front access panels maybe more difficult
3. Clutters the room by not having a straight path from stairs to the theater


Actually in general I am not too sure how to make an access panel with that sort of masonry work on it. I spoke with the masons working on the exterior of my house, and they said making a joint within the stone work was a bad idea, and would look bad. So I guess I could make one 8 foot long 42" tall panel above the tank that hods all that stone, but I think it would weigh a ton, and not too sure how I could attach it to a frame, I don't think magnets would cut it.


Yes, this i a very modern looking house, it's off topic but I do have the rest of the house modeled, as its a custom build as well. :biggrin:

I do agree a "L" shaped tank would best utilize the space, but I think it would be front only viewing, despite your port hole idea! LOL I wonder if an "L" shaped tank would have issues with getting proper flow.



I think protruding it out is a mistake, it would look much better flush with the wall with a nice frame around the tank and fit better with a modern contemporary design if that is what you are going for. I'd also make use of the all awkward space and just extend the tank all the way back to the shower wall making it around 40" deep (maybe ~36" to leave room for an external overflow). Full access from the front and partial from the back is really all you'll need. You'll want to keep equipment away from that bedroom wall, not just for noise but any leaks or spills will ruin that carpet in a hurry. Putting equipment on that back bathroom wall would allow clean plumbing to wrap around the corner and gives you a straight shot to the existing floor drain.

Myka
10-01-2015, 05:43 PM
I don't think Steve meant an L-shaped tank, I think he meant a rectangular tank that goes the full width from the front wall to the shower, and being about 40" wide. That's a cool idea too.

I was assuming no front access. Although front access is handy, I don't think it looks as good. I haven't seen a modern looking access - except maybe what "lastlight" did with his 404.

EDIT: http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=71462&highlight=404&page=30

I think it would look better if the hinges were hidden, and the gaps had a lip behind them so you couldn't see light shining through.

sphelps
10-01-2015, 06:47 PM
Yeah no L, just rectangular 90x40 or whatever that space works out to. A port in the bathroom would be sweet so don't right that off until you really think about it.

I've seen two protruding tanks in person before and both looked awkward, the small side view offers nothing and exposes tank seams which in reality are always ugly. Both owners of these two tanks regretted not keeping the tank flush with the wall. Plus for modern you need clean lines which will be difficult to achieve with a tank sticking out like that. Sort of gives the impression you had a tank and built the house around it rather than the other way around. Also for what it's worth a masonry feature like that isn't very modern but if it is something you want and are concerned about weight you can purchases foam or faux panels (http://www.fauxpanels.com/) that look identical to real stone.

sphelps
10-01-2015, 06:52 PM
For front access a panel system is very easy to build and also quite modern

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-08/totm/images/tn_2006Julytotal13_jpg.jpg

Seth81
10-01-2015, 09:34 PM
I think stone can work with a modern look, but maybe not that stone. That particular stone (as per the model) is going on our exterior. Also I was planning on using that exterior stone for some columns in the theater/Wetbar. Our two story fireplace and feature has this stone:

http://kodiakmountain.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Earthcoverings-Strips-Lavastone-600x440.png But I am not sure if they have any nice accent pieces to use to form a ledge, but it could work?

Anyways I am still not sure about going full depth as it forces me to have an overflow on the bedroom side, and power heads will all have to go on the bedroom side as well also it means for sure I need front access.

This depth is as depicted is 40". If I wanted to maintain some rear access I think would need at least 18" behind the tank, shrinking the tank to a depth of 22", which is not ideal. I'm still not sure how to best use this space, I think the shower can get much smaller.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Aquarium%205B.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Aquarium%205.jpg

WarDog
10-01-2015, 11:33 PM
Are the bathroom drains already in place and has the basement slab been poured? Also, could you show a floor plan of the entire basement?

Seth81
10-01-2015, 11:47 PM
Yeah slab is poured and drains are in place, no framing yet. The builder will do the framing for me, but that's all, after that it's all me! I see lots of work ahead of me!

Here is the proposed layout.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Basement%20Layout.JPG

sphelps
10-02-2015, 02:59 AM
You can move the shower, the drain doesn't have to be centered, it can offset to one side but the framing would be a little weird unless you widened the whole bathroom. Either way that would allow for the extra space needed. Also busting up concrete and moving drains is actually very easy :lol: just saying.

But if it was me I'd probably just make the tank 36" or even 30" deep to allow for the overflow, some plumbing and whatever else. Access from front is really for the best anyway. Every once in a while you'll need to scrap and clean near the seams of the glass, would be a nightmare from the back on that size of tank. Some stuff in this hobby is hard enough, doing it backwards doesn't seem like the smartest way to enjoy it.

Seth81
10-02-2015, 04:22 AM
True the shower doesn't have to be center to the shower especially with a tiled shower. But the slab has a hydronic radiant floor heating system, so there is no way I will be moving that drain!

Yeah maybe front access is all that's needed? Maybe also go to 90" so there is room on the sides so I can mount some power heads?

You can move the shower, the drain doesn't have to be centered, it can offset to one side but the framing would be a little weird unless you widened the whole bathroom. Either way that would allow for the extra space needed. Also busting up concrete and moving drains is actually very easy :lol: just saying.

But if it was me I'd probably just make the tank 36" or even 30" deep to allow for the overflow, some plumbing and whatever else. Access from front is really for the best anyway. Every once in a while you'll need to scrap and clean near the seams of the glass, would be a nightmare from the back on that size of tank. Some stuff in this hobby is hard enough, doing it backwards doesn't seem like the smartest way to enjoy it.

sphelps
10-02-2015, 04:01 PM
Yeah for sure front access would be sufficient, pretty much like most tanks are situated. You would still have decent access to part of the back as well though, 58" out of 90" is basically two thirds so most of the tank can be access from behind as well.

Just a quick thought for the shower, if you extend the bathroom wall 6" down the page, and center a 36"x36" shower pan on the drain and put a 12"x36" bench on bottom of page side you'll gain a little more clearance (6") for the tank would negatively effecting anything else.

Seth81
10-02-2015, 06:03 PM
Yeah the bathroom and shower could be shrunk down. So I think this could work, but I will have to go to site to make sure I'm okay for the shower drain.

If my drawing is accurate, I should be able to accommodate a 96"x30"x30" with about 24" behind the tank and about 3.5" on the the sides (the 8'4" measurement is between the posts)

Any thoughts about this layout if it works? I still am not sure about allowing for front access to top and bottom and what if any material to make any cabinetry out of. All I know is I want to use some material that is already in use in the house so the tank looks like it is suppose to be there.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Basement%20Layout%201D.JPG

sphelps
10-02-2015, 07:07 PM
That layout looks pretty good and if you stick to only 30" wide back access only won't be terrible if it's too challenging to make front access work with your finishing plans. You'll have lots of time to figure out those details relating to access and finishing but some cabinetry type finishing that matches what was used elsewhere (kitchen, bathroom, wet bar, etc) is one option. Few examples:

http://www.aquariumgroup.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/contemporary-through-wall-fish-tank-gloss.jpg

http://rowelab.com/fish/newtank/in-wall.jpg

https://northtexasaquariumdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/full-wall-aquarium.jpg

Myka
10-04-2015, 03:38 PM
Your new layout looks really good Seth! I like the photos Steve posted up too. Not rock work you were wanting, but I think the above photos are more modern looking anyway.

Seth1981
10-05-2015, 05:07 AM
Yeah I think my wife prefers to use the same material we've used for our kitchen cabinets, just gotta source it, or find someone who can. But that's a far off problem.

I went to the new house today to measure where all the rough ins are, and found that the builder for some unknown reason put the drain directly under the fish tank and not in the spot as per the plan drawings.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Actual_Drain.JPG


Ugh, so I am sure this will be a bit of a fight with the builder!

I guess I should have seen it in this pic, also see why I can't move the shower very much?

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/101220456/Actual_Drain1.JPG

I had planned on using the area under the tank for a large sump with a huge refugium, so having that drain there will be very problematic. I guess I will see if the builder is able to move it. UGH:mad:

Seth81
10-16-2015, 04:56 PM
So I am still wrestling with the builder about that floor drain and what can be done. So I will have to wait a bit to finalize the fish room layout and tank dimensions.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do differently this time around, and what lessons I learned from my current setup, what worked well and what didn't. So I thought I would take a second to write them down.

1. Automatic water changes probably saved my fish from my work schedule.
2. ATO only works well when you do not relay on level switches!
3. Install a drip tray under the sump and all external plumbing!
4. I feel that I wasted a lot of money on chemicals for coral growth
5. External pumps will leak, it's only a matter of time (reeflo hammerhead)
6. DIY LED fixtures was fun to build but not worth it in the end
7. No more tanks over 30" tall
8. Add fish and coral slowly to system
9. Sump design worked well: Always ensure there is enough surge capacity in the event the return pump fails and the overflow plus 1 or 2" from the tank fully drains into sump.
10. Had two outbreaks of Ich, not sure if the UV sterilizer helped slow the spread, but only lost 2 fish to Ich over 3 years.
11. Low iron (Starphire glass) scratches easily.
12. Need more flow! The turn over rate I had was 10x the tank volume an hour, but more/better power heads would have helped in my previous tank.
13. Went through a ton of GFO/Carbon, and had to change media more frequently then I would have liked. Planning on building an Algae turf scrubber and use two BRS jumbo carbon reactors.

gregzz4
10-17-2015, 03:38 AM
Have you thought about moving the fish tank wall out a few feet ?
This will give you the space you need to have full access from behind.

I also like Steve's idea of having the tank flush on the viewing side with some full-access panels.
And the portal is a must for anyone with an in-wall build !!! Great idea Steve :biggrin:

Seth81
10-19-2015, 07:47 PM
That wall can't move because of the stair case. As is, the wall is pretty close to that bottom step. I could jog the wall at the end of the bedroom, but I think that may look a little odd.

Have you thought about moving the fish tank wall out a few feet ?
This will give you the space you need to have full access from behind.

I also like Steve's idea of having the tank flush on the viewing side with some full-access panels.
And the portal is a must for anyone with an in-wall build !!! Great idea Steve :biggrin:

Seth81
10-19-2015, 07:54 PM
So I've been giving a lot of thought about what I want to do differently this time around. And perhaps I am getting waaaaay ahead of my self here, but I really enjoy the designing and engineering side of this hobby.

So I really want to try to use Algae turf scrubbers as the primary means of nutrient export. Reduce water changes, and reduce GFO use. I was thinking of two really big ATS's. One of my goals is to be able to leave the tank by itself for up to two weeks without having anyone do anything except maybe feeding.

So I was toying with the idea of plumbing the overflow drains to the ATS for efficiency. Then ATS to sump. But maybe that's not a good idea to go directly to the ATS because of potential clogging issues. Maybe its better to have a dedicated pump, although the electrical costs to run a separate pump would be approx $90 a year plus a $300 - $400 pump.

Anyone on here use an ATS? Anyone plumb it directly from the overflow?

sphelps
10-19-2015, 08:44 PM
I'm not sure the new drain location is an issue unless I'm missing something. Seems to me a floor drain right under the tank is pretty good location. Easy enough to add elevate the sump/equipment to slope a drain line towards that floor drain, especially since you're looking at some sort of drip pan anyway.

For the ATS I would keep it separate, I'm not a huge fan/believer and with any similar type of addition best to make it as removable or adaptable as possible.

Seth1981
10-19-2015, 09:39 PM
The problem is that the drain was suppose to be for a utility sink :cry:

I'm not sure the new drain location is an issue unless I'm missing something. Seems to me a floor drain right under the tank is pretty good location. Easy enough to add elevate the sump/equipment to slope a drain line towards that floor drain, especially since you're looking at some sort of drip pan anyway.

For the ATS I would keep it separate, I'm not a huge fan/believer and with any similar type of addition best to make it as removable or adaptable as possible.