Eight's 170 gallon in wall LeeMar

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Eight, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Eight

    Eight Guest

    -------------------------------------------UPDATE:photos of the build are on pages 3 and 4Diagram of the auto-water change system and frag tank are on page 8Photos of the livestock are on pages 5, 7, 11, 12, 15-------------------------------------------Well, after some to and fro, I have finally decided to take the plunge and upgrade from my current Elos 120 (80 gallons) to an in wall 170. I'm actually picking up RonSF's eurobraced LeeMar. Although I am a pretty experienced reefer, this is a significant size upgrade for me and my first in wall, so I'm hoping to get lots of advice from everyone! This was an impulse buy, so I haven't had time to plan it all out. This is where all of you come in. :D



    It's a custom glass, 68" x 24" x 24" tank. The glass looks to be 1/2" thick all around with a tempered bottom. It has two corner overflows with two 2 inch holes and two 1-1/4 inch holes in each overflow. (Holes are actually bigger to accommodate standard sized bulkheads.) In addition, the tank has two holes in the middle of the tank for closed loop returns. In total, the tank has 10 holes drilled.

    I am already inheriting a lot of good stuff from my current setup:

    Controller: Aquacontroller 3 with Aquasurf
    Skimmer: Bubbleking Mini 180
    Water flow: 2 x Tunze 6000s
    Supplement: Geo 618 Reactor and Aqua medic kalk reactor
    Dosing: Litermeter 3 with 2 remote pumps for continuous water change
    Ozone: Ozotech
    Chiller: Pacific Coast CL-650 1/4HP chiller

    The tank will be a mixed reef with a tendency towards sps and acans. The wall that I will be putting the tank into borders the garage, so I can be super messy in there. I am thinking about cutting a fan into the roof of the garage to vent humidity and heat from the lights.

    Thinking out loud:

    1) My lighting probably needs to be upgraded. Currently I am running a Maristar 2x250w halides + 2x39w T5s. It's great on my current 48" tank, but the new one is 68" and I think I will have dark spots on the side. I am hearing lots of good things about the Coralvue dimmable ballasts and Lumenbright reflectors. I like a pretty blue look, but would like to have fast growth as well. I also love the look of just actinics on... Was thinking about getting some T5 retros to supplement. What do you guys think of 3x250 halides and some T5s for actinic?

    2) What size/how many T5s would you do?

    3) 250s should be enough, right? No need to consider 400s?

    4) Although the tank is drilled for a closed loop, I think I will go with pumps. Electricity bill is a concern and I don't mind the look of pumps. If a CL could be somewhat competitive to pumps on a watt/flow basis, I would consider them. If I do pumps, I would end up capping the holes in the middle of the tank and half the holes in each overflow.

    5) I need an efficient, appropriately sized return pump to handle the main tank, a frag tank, fuge, chiller, calcium reactor and phosban. Was thinking about a Sequence snapper... does this sound right?

    6) I would set up a manifold with valves off the return pump, to provide water to the various components. Was going to select something like this:

    Eight 3/4inch ports (slip socket) x 1.5 slip x 1.5spg

    Ok, that's enough for now. Feedback and advise welcome... I am sure I will have more questions later!

  2. Eight

    Eight Guest

    Here's the wall that the tank will be going on. The mirror on the wall is about the same size as the tank. (The tank is a little bit shorter and wider than the mirror.)

  3. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President


    First off I am really glad to see someone in the club got this tank.

    I also have a 180 but the dimensions are a little different so take this with a grain of salt as yors is almost 6' wide and mine is only 5' and a little deeper

    AFA Lighting I have 2 400W MH's and 2 T-5's and they are more then enough.

    With a 6' tank I think though you would be fine with 3 250W (as my tank is deeper). I was going to run 4 4' t-5's (2 in the front and 2 in the back) but discovered 2 things.

    1) 2 is more then enough (4 was way overkill) and the 2 in the back got washed out by the halides
    2) you want your t-5's in the front and to sit a little lower then your halides.

    though you have a 6' tank and would likely only be using your t-5's for supplements there is no need to go with longer the 4' bulbs just stagger them a bit and you should be fine.

    My tank is also drilled for closed loop. I am runnng a Dart (which is quiet and energy efficient compared to some of the other CL pumps) and a OM 4 way for the closed loop but also am running 2 vortechs for extra flow.

    If you want to swing by sometime and see the setup for ideas etc LMK

    Using a Mag 18 for my return which has to travel up about 10 feet from the garage but still gives me a decent turnover (I don't like my turnover to be too high as I want my skimmer to work efficiently). If you are going to run a sump below it you could probably get away with a Mag 9 or an Eheim as you don't have to push through the head I do.
  4. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Congrats on the new tank man. That thing looks awsome.

    How big is the overflow? 4 holes in that thing are a lot. I'm wondering if you are going to have a problem fitting all the bulkheads in there.

    I don't really think you have to cut a hole in the garage for ventilation. I don't think the tank is big enough to cause any humidity or heat problem. Garage is usually colder than the house so you might have to use more heaters to keep up with the cold weather in winter and it's the opposite in summer. Is your garage well insulated?
  5. LeviT

    LeviT Guest

    Nice tank, looking forward to watching this one go up.
  6. Eight

    Eight Guest

    Thanks guys, I'm really excited too. Totally geeky, but it keeps me up at night laying out the plumbing in my head before I go to bed.

    I'd love to swing by and see your tank some time for ideas. I'll let you know when I'm heading up your way. I like your lighting recommendation... 2 x 4' T5s in front, staggered, below the halides sounds right. Any particular reflectors or ballast recommended? Just go Icecap T5 ballast with Tek retros? Sump will be right below the tank, so I don't have much head to push through, although I would like to plumb a frag tank off the main pump and I will have a chiller as well. I'm using an Ocean Runner 2500 on my Elos 120 right now, wonder if one of the bigger OR's would be appropriate for the new tank.

    The overflows are pretty big, but now you have me a little worried about fitting in the bulkheads. I'm hoping LeeMar would have thought this through before drilling the holes. They're a pretty decent manufacturer, so I hope so! My garage isn't insulated at all. It freezes in the winter and gets stupid hot in the summer. I'll talk to my contractor about insulation possibilities. Might pay to have it insulted properly now vs. always heating the tank.
  7. Natterjak

    Natterjak Guest

    I have a 180 (6x2x2) in-wall, and I run 3x 250w MH with two VHOs for actinics. I use a Mag 12 for a return (however, mine is solely for the return), and have a closed loop running off a Dart and OM 4-way. My closed loop returns alternate flow from back to front, and then front bottom up towards the overflow.

    I'm in Dublin - you're welcome to come by and check it out if you'd like.
  8. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    I went with the Tek retros. I think the Icecaps are overkill if your only plan is to use them for supplements. I did get the Icecap reflectors though. You will save both money and power on them (and space over the t-12 VHO's).

    I think I have the same OM pattern as Bonnie (pattern 3 Bonnie?).

    FYI My dart pulls about .7 amps

    AFA the return pump. If you are planning on splitting it off you might want something bigger just because of the pressure loss. Not sure what i can recommend as mine is a straight shot from the pump to the tank.
  9. Natterjak

    Natterjak Guest

    Yup, version 3 on mine - been pondering using a bigger pump for a while, as the Dart and returns are my only source of flow. My CL is based on Paul's design, so simply adding additional powerheads probably wouldn't be a good idea.
  10. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    FWIW Bonnie I tried a Barracuda and a Hammerhead and they were really loud. With the Hammerhead the pressure was so much that it was causing the magnets in the OM to skip.

    If you are going to add something I would say throw in a vortech (or 2 :) ). I have a battery backup just in case to ensure that I have flow in my tank if there is a power outage.
  11. Natterjak

    Natterjak Guest

    Bryan, sent you a PM so I don't hijack Eight's thread. :)
  12. Eight

    Eight Guest

    Haha... no worries. All of this feedback is great. Bonnie and Bryan what kind of ballasts/bulbs are you running?

    I am *this* close to pulling the trigger on 3x250w Coralvue dimmable ballasts with the new 20k reeflux bulbs. Just called Mike at Reef Specialty and he says they tested the 20k Reefluxes that came out in December and they are brighter than the 12ks...
  13. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    I am running 400W Icecaps with Radium bulbs. I ran radiums on my old tank with 250W Icecap ballasts and was happt with them as well.
  14. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    If you go the 3 x 250W route, you'd have 1 bulb directly over the centerbrace. Not a problem, but you'd lose a lot of light from the salt creep. 2 x 400W would get more of the light in the tank & I like the T5 supplimentation idea. I have VHO actinic supplimentation, but if I had to start from scratch I'd go T5 because of bulb choices and less enegy used.
  15. Eight

    Eight Guest

    That's a good point about the centerbrace CookieJar... I decided to go with the 250s though because if I go with two 400s, I will have a dark spot in the middle/ends unless I supplement with daylight T5s. If I add T5s, I would like to use them only for actinic.

    Anyways, I just placed my order for 3 sets of:

    LumenBright Mini Reflector
    CoralVue 250watt dimmable MH ballast
    20k SE Reeflux bulbs

    I've always used magnetic ballasts for halides, so I hope the electronic ones don't disappoint. I decided on this setup because I really like the dimmable feature for acclimating coral (or overdriving them slightly if I want) and the LumenBrights can supposedly be placed higher above the tank than traditional reflectors. This should help alleviate heat in the garage.

    Now I am looking into ordering supplies to build the light rack. I was really inspired by this thread and may copy it pretty closely:

    (A few posts down, there's a great setup by GlassReef with an aluminum light frame...)

    I think I will hold off on T5s for a little while and see how the tank looks without them and to give my wallet a break...
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member


    Did someone say aluminum light frame? :D

    I say deal with the "dark" spot in the center, IMO it probably won't be that dark... simply have that as a low light coral area, that way you aren't always stuck to "low light" corals being on the bottom or hidden in some cave or something.
  17. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    When you think about doing the T-5's look at these (these are the ones I have). $159 including bulbs.

  18. Natterjak

    Natterjak Guest

    I'm running 14k Phoenix Bulbs in ROIII pendants - two off a Blue Wave VII ballast and one off a Blue Wave III ballast (if memory serves me right).

    Here's my ancient build thread (had to go to the last page to find it!): http://www.bareefers.org/discussion/index.php?topic=2768.0. There's a picture in there where you can see the light rack I built with the reflectors in it (the VHOs aren't mounted yet in that pic).
  19. Eight

    Eight Guest

    Nice light frame Mike... Did you get the aluminum parts locally or mail order?
  20. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    home depot.
    L, C, O and _ all available :D

Share This Page