Rygh's 250 gallon upgrade

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by rygh, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    to do that you'd need a door to code, but it can be done. I had a client that built another room inside the garage for their fish room/ inwall tank.
  2. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    You can get fire rated assemblies for pipe penetrations going through walls. Between those and fire caulk you should be able to work something out.
  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Gresham is right, if you do anything to compromise the walls between the garage and living area you need to bring it up to code, kind of like if you change an electrical outlet in the bathroom you have to bring it up to code (GFCI), any modifications negate any "grandfathering" that lets you get out of that. You'll basically need 5/8" drywall (special fire resistant type), and you need to tape the seams somewhat special (I can't recall the exact method off hand as I suck at mudding and taping drywall :D), also you'd need a door rated for 1 hour between the areas.

    Now if you already have proper firewall 3m makes a product specifically for this
    basically it melts funny and crumples up in fire, so that it gets that 1 hour burn time requirement (the link is for the 'Ultra' line, 3hour, but they make a 1 hour version too)

    Now if you don't have a proper firewall, I would say screw it and just run everything with the forethought that it will be illegal as all hell, but you'll fix it if you need to in the future (spackle + paint and you'll never know). As that code really got put on the books due to the fact that SOME people keep fuels and other really combustible materials in garages, yeah you can have a fire with your tank stuff, but if you take precautions and keep it away from other flammable stuff (i.e. don't have a pile of old newspapers next to it) you'll be fine IMO. Lots of codes that are out there that have good intentions but are borderline retarded as they don't apply to all situations.
  4. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Like ADA compliance in dance studios that are in 80 y/o buildings in SF, on the 3rd floor and with no way up/down except for stairs. No way to build an elevator, let alone enlarge the staircase to bring it up to ADA standards.
  5. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    The first time I read this, I read it as Amano Design Aqua and thought "What the hell are you talking about?!"
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    yeah, they had a parade/celebration of ADA the other day man.. not that I don't think those with disabilities should have access, but often its a draconian "ok stop EVERYTHING else and make this complaint right now" mentality that I hate... "sorry students no field trips this year because we had to build a ramp... with unionized workers... for wheelchair accessibility even though no one in school is in a wheel chair"

    My parents who live within earshot of the airport quite a few years ago got special windows (basically double pane and double windows) however in a bedroom they had to cut the window lower to the ground for a fire egress.. not because my old ass parents would be expected to crawl out a window, but because sometime in the future a child MIGHT be in that room... *sigh*
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Here is a fancy way to keep pipes safe.


    Plus, nice, visible, and obvious, for the inspectors.
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yup, that's what I linked to. However that thing is only technically "useful" if the wall already is rated for a 1 hour burn.
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yep, nothing like not hitting refresh, wasting time on a web search.

    I have a new house, so up to code on the wall. Well, except for a few holes that err, don't have that device.
    And can't even blame the previous owner.

    Funny, I had all my solvents/etc in a big old surplus ammo box. But it is full, so the leftovers are just
    sitting around on a shelf.
  10. Roc

    Roc Guest

    You can have a hole gresh, but the hole needs to be sealed so for instance a vent may gothrough a wall but you need to fire tape or fire caulk around the vent. In this case a tank could be fire caulked on the garage side and the fire marshall still wouldn't be able to say much, however, if you did not submit for a permit and clearly show how you were doing this then you could be in trouble.
  11. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Friends of mine had a 2006 BMW burn up in their garage as they were sleeping.
    They felt the one hour rating saved their lives.
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    no smoke alarms?
  13. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Officially ordered the tank today!
    Gave kritter a deposit. Should be done in a couple of weeks.

    I ended up going with the "topless" tank, with a stainless steel rim brace.

    Yipee. :party:
  14. slim_jim989

    slim_jim989 Guest

    Good choice on going topless with the trim, I have a lot smaller size then yours with only 120g but love the openness of the eurobrace.
  15. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Algae Turf Scrubber Filtration

    So as mentioned in the beginning, the filtration will be algae turf scrubber based.
    A couple of people have expressed curiosity about that.
    That means no skimmer, no carbon, few water changes. Yet well fed.
    And it means zero nitrates, and zero phosphates, no matter how much you feed.

    You deliberately grow algae on external screens, and scrape that off once a week, and discard.
    That algae soaks up the ammonia, nitrates, and a bit of other junk. Then you simply toss it away.
    Basically, it is really-old-school, and very natural, but modernized.
    The external turf scrubbers are highly optimized to grow algae at a maximum rate.
    Note : "Turf" is an old term. Modern ones just grow hair algae.

    I have been doing it on my current tank for almost a year now, and it works well.
    I admit to having a big bubble algae problem, but I had that with conventional filters, and it is a bit reduced.
    But definitely no nitrate or phosphates.
    If you install one of these, those will be undetectable in a couple of weeks.

    There is a dedicated site to it:
    ATS Site

    What is the catch???
    Well, first, you generally have to DIY it. Although off and on they are available. There is a good one for sale on the site above.
    Second, it can use a lot of power. It takes a lot of light to grow all that algae efficiently. Although LEDs really help there.
    Third, it is tricky to get right. Getting it to the point where your nitrates go to zero is moderately easy.
    Getting the right lighting, right pump size, rough enough screen, light timing, all sized for the tank, is a pain.
    But getting it to where it is optimized enough to out-compete the algae in the main tank is very hard.
    I have not succeeded in the latter yet.
    Also, you MUST clean it every week. Although not like that is much different from normal filters.

    My setup:
    I will have two external ATS boxes. Each box has vertical screens, with lighting on both sides.
    Each box is about 20"W x 14"D x 14"H. So it could fit under a tank, but mine is in the garage.
    Screens = Two x 20" x 14" = 560"2, dual sided = 1120 sq in of surface total.
    LED lighting. High efficiency LEDs, somewhat spectrum optimized for algae, about 60W each = 120W.
    Lights run about 14 hours/day.
    Two 900 GPH pumps from tank up to scrubbers, gravity return to tank. Pumps run 24/7.

    Enclosed is a quick pick of one box.
    The pipe at the top is where the water enters.
    There is a slot in that, where water pours out relatively evenly to the screens.
    It flows down the screens, then returns to tank.
    The lights will be on each side.

    I am more active in the details on the ATS site.
    Main ATS build link
    LED lighting for ATS
    Setup on Current 55G tank
    Big long thread on LEDs for Algae

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/rev3_a1.jpg
  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    New tank is here!!
    Looks great. Gen at Kritter did a really nice job.
    Also thanks to Jose (BlueVoodoo) for helping move it in.

    Ok.... now what??
    One of those moments when I feel a bit overwhelmed. Still a really big list of things to complete.

    Some early pics.



    From Aquarium_Release


    From Aquarium_Release

  18. bluevoodoo

    bluevoodoo Guest

    It looks good, I got home and started telling my wife. That I want a new tank. Lol
    Well if you need help on anything else just PM me. Ill be happy to help.
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Go for it. Gen should be a bit less busy now. J)
    Although I checked your thread, and that 90 looks pretty nice.
  20. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Quick updates:

    1) I REALLY REALLY like the completely open top!!!
    (This Acrylic tank was done with a stainless steel rim, similar to Euro-bracing)
    Even just messing with the plumbing, it is so nice to be able to reach everything so easily, instead
    of trying to get in through the usual smaller access ports in the Acrylic top.

    2) Once in the wall niche, it does not look as huge as I thought.
    Very happy with how it looks in the room. And more importantly - so is the wife.
    It looked like a monster when it was in the middle of the room.
    I was actually a bit worried during the install.
    So anyone doing a in-wall, or other built in, GO BIG.

    3) Glad I put felt pads on the stand legs.
    It is really nice to be able to slide it in/out on the floor, and work behind it on plumbing.
    Even at about 500 pounds total, it still slides reasonably well. (Lots of legs)
    Of course, when full, it will not budge. And it will be bolted to the wall anyway, for earthquake issues.

    I think the tank project for this week is building the new sump.
    I was going to use the old 70G one, but it is a bit small, and wrong aspect ratio to fit where I want it to go.

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