Scarbird's Dream 250

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Scarbird, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Hello fellow reefers, Happy New Year to you all!
    I am embarking on a new years journey, my new Lee Mar custom starphire 250, with custom stand and sump built by Chris Tran.
    I'd like to thank all of the members of Bar for the wealth of experience and knowledge available in these pages. I have recently finished Gimmito's huge thread (no small task), and am currently in the middle of several others including Coral Reefers home 120, JARs in wall 215, Brandies 210 to mention only a few.
    I have learned so much since joining BAR, and intend to utilize this knowledge in my new build.
    Thank you for your continued advice and support!

    As you may know from my original journal I currently have a 72 gallon bow front mixed reef. Very overcrowded. If anyone has had a 72 bowfront, you know how small the openings are in the top. Hard to access for cleaning and so on...

    To the build, my tank should ship on or around Jan 9 (very excited)!
    I purchased a 24" Ghost overflow from Reef Savvy which Lee Mar is installing for me.
    I will cut out the wall behind the tank to provide the space for the overflow to fit and allow maintenance from both sides of the aquarium.
    Custom sump by Chris Tran is in progress, hopefully will be ready in time to coincide with delivery of the tank. The way the cabinet is built requires that tank and sump be inserted from the back and then the entire cabinet pushed against the wall and connected.

    Attached Files:

  2. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Video clip of new cabinet
  3. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Video clip of existing reef
  4. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Very cool. Best of luck with your new build!

    By the way, who is Chris Tran? :)
  5. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Well someone was on Santa's 'NICE' list!

    The stand looks great. So clean, so much space, so uncluttered, so unnatural! :) :)

    What are the dimensions of the tank?

    What are your plans for, well, every aspect of the tank?
  6. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    I have lots of plans but they are not compete, in any sense. My intention is to start the dialog and get some good ideas from all of you.
    • First, I have decided to go barebottom for numerous reasons. 1) Unfortunate scratching of the existing tank with granules of sand under the mag float while cleaning. 2) More flow allowed without disturbing the sand. The lack of substrate will allow the detritus to remain suspended in the water column. 3) With the combination of open back of cabinet and barebottom I will place 3 MP40's along the bottom of the back glass with open rockwork, allowing the flow from under the rocks and up the face of the reef and to the over flow. The intention is to keep the flow devices hidden as much as possible. For additional flow I also intend to do a sort of closed loop. I say sort of, because it will come from the sump prior to the filtration chambers and return via a Sprung style loop around the top of the aquarium with the appropriate number of outlets, hidden from view due to the approximately 2" overlap of the wood trim. Question#1: Will 3 mp-40's be enough for the bottom?
    • 24" Ghost overflow will protrude through the wall and employ 3 bean animal style ultra quiet drains into the left side of the sump.
    • The sump will span the lengh of the cabinet bottom, 24" wide and 20" deep. The water level will be set at 11". From left to right the first chamber will have the drains land on a filter pad chamber, beneath which another chamber exists for passive media bag(s). Next the skimmer chamber will be 24" X 24" allowing lots of room for upgrades. The pump for the semi=closed loop will be to the left of the skimmer (up stream). Haven't quite nailed down the skimmer thing yet. I understand this is the most important aspect of the build, so lots of conversation room here. I like the idea of a recirculating skimmer, allowing control of the flow and foam making separately in order to tune properly.
    • Next chamber will be approximately 20" X 24" . Anything goes here, probably a deep sand bed, mud, frag racks or chaeto. Maybe a second skimmer? Who knows what new gadgets will be the must have of the decade to come. Lots of flexibility is my game plan.
    • Next will be baffles and then the 10" X 24" return pump chamber.
    • Return pump: I currently have a pondmaster mag drive 18 that provides 1800 gallons / hour of flow. Initially I plan to use this as my return pump and plumb the other equipment from a manifold connected to it. Other equipment equals 2 holding tanks and an extended sump (flexibility here) in the room behind the wall.
    • Amount of return flow is very debated. So far I am leaning towards slower flow through the sump to allow more time for various filtration and oxegenation, while a robust in tank circulation (hence the semi-closed loop) keeping the detritus and food in the water column to be surface skimmed instead of settling into hidden places of a 10 year old sand bed which would require complete tank breakdown to replace. Hmmm:mad:. Any input on the flow rate would e appreciated. What works for you all?
    • 2 sea swirls in the corners will be my primary return from the sump.
    • Neptune apex with vortech controller already owned( merry xmas to me).
  7. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Thanks Denzil,
    Joe from Aquatic Collection recommended him. He built the cabinet and sump for Roberts front display tank at Neptune. Chris is a pleasure to work with. Very polite, businesslike, and does excellent work. I recommend his services to anyone. I told him what I wanted and he exceeded my expectations!
    He delivered the cabinet on Christmas eve. We actually had to remove the window to get this thing in! It wouldn't fit through any of the doors. The cabinet is 7-1/2' tall and 78-1/4" wide. I told him that instead of a tank sitting on a stand and a canopy on top, I wanted the tank to be inside of a cabinet that was built in to the wall. Excellent craftsmanship and flawless!
    denzil likes this.
  8. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Will the wall behind the tank be completely open? Seems like it might be tough to get to wet sides of Vortechs if you can't get in from behind.

    I'm not a big fan of bare bottom. Can't keep wrasses that like to hide in sand and well, I like the look of the sand! :) Will the bottom be painted?

    And I forgot to say on the first post -- Nice upgrade from a 72g!!
  9. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Nice upgrade John! You must have a lot of time on your hands to read my build thread. ;) Also checkout Kris's tank thread (Kmooresf). I love the ghost overflows and would have loved to have one on my tank if they were available at the time. I would look into the WP40's for additional flow in the tank and save some $$$. I love recirculating skimmers and have H&S skimmers myself. If you're not keeping wrasses then a sand bed should not be a problem. I would recommend a deep sand bed over mud for the fuge.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  10. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Oh, this is gonna be cool! I really like the stand a lot. Great idea to get access from both sides. I wish I could get to mine from the back. Looking forward to watching this build.
  11. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    I just watched the video of the stand. If the corners of the tank are framed by the stand, how do you get the tank in place? Does something come apart to slide the tank in? Pardon my confusion.
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Through the back... after he chops the wall out.

    Which has me asking, where's power going to come from if you chop the wall out? Are their electrical outlets on the other side?
  13. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

  14. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    My next task is to open the wall after I pencil the outline. Also the rocks will be centered, leaving at least 6" behind the rocks to allow for flow and access to Vortechs.
    I would still like to try some wrasse. Are we certain no one has done it without sand?
    I had Lee Mar install a piece of black acrylic on the bottom. The back is to be black also.
  15. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Thanks Jim! It took me quite some time to get through it, but it was worth the time. I am currently working on Kris's thread as well. So many threads!
    About the wp 40's, how will I hide the power cords? I have told myself there will be no visible stuff except reef.
    Which skimmer do you have on your main tank?
    About the fuge, I was thinking of containers for the mud under the sand to make it easier to swap out. Any specific brand you have confidence in?
  16. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Correct. The the cabinet will be pivoted 90 degrees for me to open the wall. Tank and sump will slip in from the back of the cabinet (hopefully I can coordinate their simultaneous arrival). The cabinet will then be slid back up against the wall and secured top, middle, and bottom to the studs. The opening will allow for all power cords to run through and plug in to the apex controlled power strips located on the other side and above the sump.
  17. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Erin the back of the tank section is open, the sump section has 3 removable supports. More photos will be coming as the pieces arrive.:D
  18. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    You can always put a little container with sand for a wrasse bed if needed. I did it for my melanarus
  19. Scarbird

    Scarbird Supporting Member

    Thanks Mike. Where did you put the container? Did he seek it out immediately or did it take awhile?
  20. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    I don't know... it seems kind of unfair to not have plenty of sand for a wrasse. I personally don't know of any wrasse that don't utilize the sandbed for their homes. As much as sand can be a pain, I would rather deal with it knowing that my wrasses are happy and aren't 'cramped'. Just my two cents. :p
    tankguy and gimmito like this.

Share This Page