Rygh's 250 gallon - rev.2

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by rygh, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Perhaps unusual, but I decided to make a revision-2 tank journal.

    I had a rather large setback with a partial tank crash, and plan to change a ton of things.
    Plus, mentally, I need a restart.

    Old tank thread is here: http://www.bareefers.org/forum/threads/ryghs-250-gallon-upgrade.9718/
    It has been about 4.5 years since I started that.


    1 - Acknowledge that I have a serious lack of time.
    Time spent with the kid has gone WAY up. Not a bad thing, but a fact.
    In particular, weekends are so often totally shot.

    2 - Simplify and automate regular maintenance and testing.
    Lack of time + procrastinations has led to skimping on important maintenance.
    I need to solve that.

    3 - New rock-work.
    The old rock formations were too bulky, and I had some issues with concrete falling apart.
    New ones need more thought on coral mounting, more thought on not blocking flow,
    and I want it to be more "whimsical." Fun tunnels, branches, etc.

    4 - Do something with the sand bed.
    Perhaps eliminate it? Make it much smaller? Coarse sand?
    Not sure yet.

    5 - Fix the display tank flow
    The flow in the main tank is terrible.
    Too strong in some spots, dead in others, digs up sand, ugly powerheads, and so on.

    6 - Properly planned mix of corals
    Right now, it is pretty much whatever managed to survive.
    Before, it was pretty much what looked rather interesting at the time.
    Needs some actual planning.

    7 - Simplify the sump and plumbing
    I added a fun huge fuge, but I know I will never use it.
    And some of the plumbing is still flex tube, waiting to fail.

    8 - More fish
    I waited a bit because I knew the tangs and others would grow.
    I am confident I can add some more now.

    And most importantly:
    9 - Ask for more help!!!
    I do enjoy solving problems myself ... but really not the best plan.
    And it is clear there is a lot of great advice from people in the club.

    So ... expect a lot of questions and plans for how to fix the tank here.
    Mozby's Reef, Nav and neuro like this.
  2. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Flex is not reliable? My entire system is flex...
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I am talking about some really thin wall tubing.
    This stuff : http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=9500
    It was fantastic for flexibility. But very easy to cut through. Fittings can do it.

    Normal flexible PVC or vinyl is fine. No worries there.
  4. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Oh ok. My flex is so thick that I couldn't bend it in the angle I wanted!

    Also feel free to delete this post. Dont want to hijack your new tank thread ;)
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Hijacking is what tank threads are all about!
    anathema and Nav like this.
  6. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Let me know if you want help working on plumbing or whatever
    rygh likes this.
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Cool, appreciated. Mostly just need advice for now though.
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Keep Sand Bed or not????

    While doing a water change, I decided to siphon out a fair bit of sand. Especially in the back.
    Wow, what a black bucket of water! :eek:

    On the other hand, I really don't particularly like the look of the plain acrylic bottom.
    Boring and ugly.
    I know eventually growth will cover it, but it would still be really flat.

    So my latest theory:
    I will glue some sand and small rubble pieces to a 1/8 sheet of acrylic, and put
    that on the bottom of the tank.
    So it should look decent as growth slowly covers it, and retain some texture.

    Anyone done that before? Downsides?

    With my luck, it will become an ideal Majano breeding ground...:mad:
  9. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    How about a 'rug' of pulsing Xenia?

    See 'Xenia outbreak' thread! :D
  10. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Well, it would look nice. :)

    Honestly, one of my major concerns is dealing with pest growth on the bottom.
    With sand, it is really not an issue.
    But with anything solid, I will get Majanos, Palys, GSP, mushrooms, and everything else.
  11. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I'm so mixed on sand. In the past I tore down my 140 due to a leaking bulkhead. When I put it back together I ditched the sand and went with a starboard bare bottom. I raised all the rocks off the bottom with acrylic rods and built a fancy closed loop system to keep the bottom clear. It worked amazing. Zero detritus.

    However I ended up missing the worms and other creepy crawlies in the sand. So even now with my 37 I have sand...

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Sounds like what I plan to do.
    I am sure I will miss the sand a bit, but seems worth it.
    I had fairly few creepy crawlies anyway. Sand bed was too shallow.
  13. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I think you are on the right track to glue rock, sand or other rubble to the acrylic sheet at the bottom. I found with plain smooth starboard that crabs had nothing to grab on to. If they fell off the rocks they'd basically just slide across the bottom of the tank to the front and have a hard time getting back to the rock work.

    My other tip would be to fill the gap between the sides of the tank and your bottom sheet with silicone. I had a tiny gap between my barebottom sheet and the glass and was always pulling snails and crabs out of there. They had a knack for getting stuck in there while looking for detritus.
  14. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    The image that comes to mind of the crabs is pretty funny. :)

    Interesting note on the gap.
    I was not planning on draining the tank, so can't really silicone it.
    But the acrylic will only be 1/8 inch, so not a big gap. And I could bevel it.
    Plus I could put a bit of small rubble there.
  15. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I also had a pretty big conch and it would occasionally tumble to the front as well. Its not like the current along the bottom was incredibly strong either; just creatures couldn't grab hold of it well.

    Beveling would probably be enough in combination with it being 1/8". Just as long as there is no sharp crevice in which things can get stuck.
  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Super fancy bottom Spray Bar
    The basic idea is to have a spray bar on my returns, at the back of the bottom,
    jetting water forward, to keep detritus suspended.
    With some holes up top for siphon breaks.

    But of course, I can't do a simple ugly pipe. Nope, has to be overly complex.
    So the idea is to build a box-tube out of acrylic, and coat it with a bit of sand and rubble.
    It should match the future glued sand-rubble-acrylic bottom.
  17. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I love your idea of the acrylic box-tube to carry the return flow. That should keep the tank nice and clutter free.
  18. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    What about the new gyre pump? Would do mostly the same thing for you... Check it out at brs they have it up now.
    anathema and rygh like this.
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Hmm, very interesting notion.

    The back of the tank is 6 feet between overflows, and they are only 1 foot long.
    So I would probably need 4 of them for good coverage.
    The upside would be a rather nice gyre, at 20,000 GPH total.
    Which would be 80X tank size. Definitely high flow, especially since
    a gyre makes it more effective.
    Set in alternating mode, really should generate some interesting flow.

    Another big plus is eliminating all the big visible powerheads that
    are currently at the top ends of the tank. :cool:

    Not cheap though.
    The biggest issue might be the 200 watts.
    Power use and heat dumped inside the tank.


    I currently have 4 x Magnum 7's.
    So a total of at 11,000 GPH at 48W.
    I was thinking of adding 2 more, at center-top-back pointed toward ends.
    It is a partial gyre, but not very effective.

    An alternative is using 10 x WP25's.
    Put one at the back/bottom, every 7 inches.
    That would be the same 20,000 GPH, at 120W.

    Of course, there is the hassle of maintenance. A spray bar needs very little.
    Powerheads need cleaning every 3-6 months.
  20. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    I believe they are two feet long each. Could be wrong tho. And I think you could put one on a side if your rock work is spaced up and it would keep the whole bottom moving. Maybe one on each side. 4 is way overkill I think.

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