Cruz Mc5’s family reef tank

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Cruz Mc5, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    A few months back my wife decided we should get a salt water tank. We *almost* bought one, but decided to try out a freshwater tank first. We ended up with a 75 gallon cichlid tank that we love, but I found myself constantly looking at salt water tanks. Came across a Facebook marketplace tank and we decided to take the plunge.

    As of a few weeks ago, we are now the proud owners of a used but new (guy never finished setting it up) custom tank from Neptune’s Aquatics, complete with a custom stand. The tank is 48x22x21, so about 90 gallons, but has a pretty good footprint. We’re going to run a Reef Octopus Regal 200 skimmer, Kessil AP700 led light, jebao DCP-8000, 2 jebao OW-40’s, and an Apex controller.

    We finally picked up a sump today at Neptune’s Aquatics, one of their OceanFlex sumps, 48x20x20. So, it’s almost bigger than our tank, lol. The plan is to plumb it through our wall and into the garage. I have all the plumbing and am going to try and and get everything set up this weekend, barring anything crazy happening.

    Today I was finally able to get the tank on the stand in my house (and out of the garage), and play around wit the bulkheads. Unfortunately I hit my first issue already though, as the holes aren’t even and one is a little too close to the back wall of the stand. I’ll either have to move the tank forward a bit (not a fan of since I think it’s matched up to the edge well right now) or either sand down the stand or nut for the bulkhead.

    The other issue is that the stand/tank was rocking a bit front to back. It’s set on carpet, and is e,put at the moment, so I’m sure it will firm up, but I think I’m going to anchor the stand to the floor with some half inch bolts. There is a large “crawl” space under the house, so I have access underneath the tank. I’m hoping that will give the tank a little more stability, especially with our 2 little ones (soon to be 3) running around.

    Anyways, here’s a picture of the tank/stand as well as the new sump.

    EC55CB79-FC18-4EF9-BB35-7E4CC055CE02.jpeg 60300D1F-008E-4135-A58E-BC75CE59BF59.jpeg
    ashburn2k and glee like this.
  2. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Here's what I think once you add water that tank is not rocking anywhere. You might need to level it with so shimms.

    Btw congrats on the new setup.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
  3. xcaret

    xcaret Guest

    Before any bolts are driven if you go that way, check under the carpet the type of floor, you dont want to damage nice floor. You may instead, place a piece of thick plywood as a base and level that with the weight of the cabinet and dry tank. Let the set compact the carpet/padding a bit and shim it level under the plywood. Once leveled up, you can move the stand/tank so you can work on the plumbing and what not. When the cabinet is finally on the plywood base, you can secure it with screws to the base; you don’t need to go through the floor, just to fasten the cabinet to the base plywood; the carpet all compacted will prevent the aquarium from sliding anywhere.
    OnTheReef likes this.
  4. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Just double checked and it’s just standard sub flooring underneath my carpet. After thinking it over last night and this morning, I think I’m just going to fill the tank and see how it sits after adding all that weight. I may add bolts through the floor as a back up, but I don’t want any pressure on them, as pressure can eventually cause something to fail over time. It’s really just for peace of mind for my wife and me, and a failsafe in case something crazy happens. Probably not needed though.

    My bigger issue right now is deciding what to do about the bulkhead where the nut is hitting the stand and not able to be tightened down.
  5. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    Very nice looking tank, fits the space well. Great idea to stash the sump (and skimmer noise) away in the garage if possible. I only run my skimmer at night because of the noise. Are you thinking two AP700s? If not you might consider 3 A360’s similar to what Neptune’s has over their SPS display tank to get better light spread.
  6. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    You could see how level the waterline is after filling a couple inches of water, that would still leave time to add shims. I’ve never seen a tank setup that didn’t require shims.
  7. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Thanks! We’re pretty excited to get it up and running. At the moment, we’re just going to run 1 AP700. Likely won’t be sps dominate, but figure we could add another AP700 if we weren’t getting enough light for what we wanted to grow.

    I have a feeling I’m going to need to take my tank off the stand again to sand down opening in the stand a little bit so that my bulkhead can fit. It was one of those things that I didn’t know enough about when I bought the tank and so I didn’t notice/understand why it might become an issue.
  8. xcaret

    xcaret Guest

    You can get a rasp to remove the material quick and then sand it smooth; if you have a router with a straight bit, will work wonders.
    If you can crawl underneath that specific area, check the way joists run; you want the weight supported for as many joists as possible rather than one, maybe two longitudinally.
  9. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Checked the floor joists before setting the tank in place. Joists run perpendicular to the tank, so it’s got plenty of support.

    Also, got the cabinet out with a little help.

    E22CD578-0629-4944-8A1C-2735661BF370.jpeg CD27F4B6-6DF8-41E2-BD2F-B3FEB8786B8D.jpeg
  10. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Got a decent amount of plumbing done today. And the tank is level. Still lots to do, but off to a good start I think.
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    ashburn2k likes this.
  11. Rostato

    Rostato Supporting Member

    I’m super jealous of all you guys with garages...kinda sucks that 125 year old houses didn’t have them.

    Following the build
    Jeff Rehling and gatohoser like this.
  12. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Looking good!

    I have my sump in the garage also, and it is SO much better.

    I would have suggested moving tank out from wall a tiny bit. It is a long term pain not having access.
    Plus an inch or two keeps moisture from building up.

    For the pipes through the wall:
    Build some sort of fire barrier. Required by code, and a good idea.
    Plus make it mouse proof. Yeah, they like to run along pipes.
    Long pipes like that can have quite a bit of torque, so you want to support both ends.
    Remember that your tank is going to drop up to 2 inches when full as it compresses the carpet.

    Is that valve for the adjusting the overflow drain?
    Probably ok there, but you might actually want it in the garage just before it enters the water.
    Generally only an issue with large pipes, so you should be fine though.
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I think 2” is overkill for allowing carpet to compress. 1/2” I think is more reasonable. One thing of note is that the tack strip runs around the perimeter of the room. I had my tank right up against the wall and had to wedge the front of it about 1/4” because the tack strip doesn’t compress and the stand rested on it.
  14. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the advice. I’m kind of stuck with where the tank is right now, but I did have it out enough that it was off the tack strip.

    Yeah, the valve underneath is for the main drain (built a bean animal system). Seemed like a good place to have it so I could watch the tank as I adjusted the flow.

    My plan is to make a cover for each side of the wall. Cut 4 holes for the pipes, then slice the cover in half and put it back together around the pipes. I’ll probably put another empty pipe through for various wires as well, since we’re going to be using an apex controller.

    All the pipes are now plumbed in. I accidentally cut the soft pipe for my pump a little short, so I need to go buy a longer piece and then finish bracing the pipes as they run along the wall. I also still need to figure out what I’m going to do with the return line. I have a 1 inch pipe through the bulkhead and then I have 3 holes in the overflow box for return nozzles. The holes are on 7/8’s of an inch though. I’m thinking about trying to find some small bulkheads for the holes and then get some linelock for the tank side of the overflow. For now, I rough plumbed in some plastic tubing just for testing purposes.

    As of now, there are no leaks and the drain system seems to be doing great. Of course I really don’t have any idea how it should be working, lol. But, the main drain can definitely drain out tons of water, and the secondary drain is working as intended I think. And when it’s going, it’s almost completely silent. The sump is pretty loud, as I don’t have the filter socks in so the water just splashes down, but I’m assuming that will change once they’re in.

    And here’s the pictures of the days work.

    3DB5B14C-A48A-4FB6-B9F4-109BF7A151EC.jpeg 9630A6CB-683B-4719-8C30-9EE5B652C17C.jpeg F19529C6-C7D5-4FCF-B955-489CEF1CE359.jpeg CB14276F-4B39-4A15-90B8-F1E5A2DCD677.jpeg 49599B32-82EE-4858-924B-7C6CF6CFD9F2.jpeg 35EB84AB-838F-4B0E-8269-A9D1ED26D010.jpeg 93D658E4-9DD6-4747-82BA-8FDA86033BE3.jpeg
  15. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Also, I realize that the water/electricity situation right now in the garage is not a good solution. We’re actually getting an upgraded sub-panel this week and my plan is to run a new circuit for the sump and accompanying items. Along with that, I’ll be fixing the mess above it. As well as replacing my sink, since the pipes decided not to play nice with it.
  16. xcaret

    xcaret Guest

    You can use Great Stuff fire block foam, the orange color.
    For the return lines at the overflow, I assume you mean the top? They have a little tab to remove? If so, they are meant for use with Lokline IIRC I believe 3/4”.
    Seems you have plenty of space to either side of the sump for a nice RO ans SW mixing station.
    Cruz Mc5 likes this.
  17. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Ah. I was wondering if they were sized to just run loc-line through the holes. Makes sense now. There’s no tab, just 3 holes at the top, but sounds like what you’re talking about.

    I’ll have to check out the great stuff fire block.

    And that’s exactly the plan. A fridge will be next to the sump (on the left side), so I’m going to put the RO/DI and mixing station on the other side. It’s not here yet though, so I’ll have to work on that next weekend probably.
  18. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    Picked up a few goodies today from License to Krill!
  19. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Looking good!
    Lots of good equipment.

    I would suggest a sheet of plastic behind the sump, to protect the drywall from skimmer moisture.

    Water level in fuge section seems low. Is that just an adjustment?

    Opinion: On a reef tank, returns are almost irrelevant compared to the big power heads.
    So do whatever works easy and don't worry.
    Just be careful of siphon issues. Do not put return outlet to low in the main tank.

    Yeah, sink was seriously in the wrong spot. Easy fix. I wish I had a nice sink so close.
  20. Cruz Mc5

    Cruz Mc5 Supporting Member

    As far as the water level, I honestly have no clue. That’s one of the big mysteries for me right now. I’m not sure how much water should go in the sump. The section next to the return pump has a sliding wall to adjust the water height. I have that pulled up as high as it goes. As far as I can tell, there isn’t s way to adjust the water level between the fuge and skimmer sections.

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