Closed Loop Tank set-up 135 gal

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Hornet, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Hornet

    Hornet

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    Ok, so this is the start of my new money pit.

    NOOB ALERT !!

    Been looking around in a few LFS and I don’t see anything or hear anything from the employees that impress me. I’ve been looking at a 135 gal (2 x 18 x 24) from glasscages. Or I might consider going with a 125 (72 x 24 x 17) if somebody believes I can save money on lighting for SPS set-up with a shallower tank.

    Been reading lotta posts and articles, and based on some comments that fatman posted on https://www.livingreefs.com/forums/newbies-to-reefing/13294-new-tank-2.html I would get all my circulation from drilled overflows and returns. I emailed glass cages and they told me its $75 for 2 bulkheads, 2 returns, and $25 for each additional hole for returns. I “think” I would like to go with 2 1 ½ bulk heads and 4 ¾ returns as suggested. Only problem is glasscages says I need to provide them with a diagram of where I want the holes drilled. Can anybody point me in the direction of a sample diagram or explain how I should draw this thing out.

    In advance for some help from the great fatman I’m putting some beer in the mail to AK :). Me being a total noob I'm also open for any suggestions as I'd rather address anything I can now and not dump even more money into the pit later on :)
     
    Hornet, Apr 21, 2008
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  2. Hornet

    Ironman

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    first suggestion would be the tank, are you set on glasscages? or do you have a budget? I did alot of research when I ordered my custom tank several months ago. I found article after article of people unhappy with glass cages tanks. It ranged anywhere from the glass breaking to the most common problem of the seems coming apart. they are very popular these days because there prices are very low compared to others. They were willing to build my tank for $750. when all the other custom builders wanted anywhere from $2500 - $4000. when I asked the other custom builders why there tanks were so much more they replied you get what you pay for, and showed me where thet couldnt even buy the front glass for what glass cages was selling me the tank for.
    So I decided against glass cages. I will say though that most comlaints seemed to be with bigger tanks. and Im sure there are alot of there tanks that dont have problems. one of the biggest things i couldnt get over was the finished look of there tank. there silicone work is horrible, and they glue narrow strips of glass all around the edges.

    anyway, I ended up using a company called deep sea aquatics, they are a group of people who were the builders for oceanic before allglass bought them out, they quite and started there own company, you cant tell the difference with them and a oceanic. same trim and everything, and very good quality. the price will be more than glass cages, but not as bad as a high end custom.they were in the middle for my tank.
     
    Ironman, Apr 22, 2008
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  3. Hornet

    reeffreak

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    I live in middle Tennessee and heard to many horror stories from Glasscages.I heard the same thing Iron mention...mainly shoddy workmanship and very piss poor customer service.I'm sure there are many people who think they are great.Happy customers usually don't speak up like customers who were upset from poor workmanship.Still,A reef/saltwater system is a huge investment so research and go with a company you can trust.I won't even get into the cost to ship a tank,all I say is it is high.

    If you can't find a custom builder locally than look for LFS that sell All-Glass(Aqueon).If they sell that tank then they can order you a custom tank from Oceanic.Close-loop drilled or however you want the tank.
     
    reeffreak, Apr 22, 2008
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  4. Hornet

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Getting a drilled, custom tank is nice, but very costly. For a first tank, it wouldn't hurt to check on Craig's List before you decide to go the custom way. Yeah, it's unlikely that you'll find one suitable for a closed loop system, but you can get some very good deals online.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 22, 2008
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  5. Hornet

    fatman

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    I would recommend that you buy a standard undrilled tank such as an AGA or equivalent. I would go with a 120 gallon, or a 180 or their large bow tank. You should try for a tank as wide, wider or nearly as wide as it is tall. This will allow for lower wattage lights and increase water to air interchange area (largest surface area). Buy a two hole saw bits from http://glass-holes.com as well as a back wall overflow box from glass-holes. Glass holes are easy to make in a tanks back wall. You can not drill the bottom glass which is tempered glass. The only thing is you must be patient when making the hole. Figure on 5 minutes per hole. You would need a variable speed drill of at least 3/8 inch capacity (just a cheap Sears drill) and would need to make or buy some play dough to make a ring shaped damn around the hole you are drilling in order to hold a layer of water. This keeps the drill bit cool and removes the glass dust from the hole your making. You actually grind a hole through the glass you do not cut the hole. Glass-holes provides complete directions with the drill bits. I would recommend that you use two 1-1/2 inch bulkheads for your single overflow box. This will allow redundancy and quiet flow. I would put in holes for one inch bulkheads for returns and bush them down to take Loc-Line 3/4 inch fittings for adjustable return nozzles. This will allow running 1 inch return lines cutting down on flow losses from friction, and the bushing down at the bulkhead will allow for kicking the velocity back up. About your only flow losses will be due to the height difference between your pump and the return line heights. I would consider either putting in two return lines near the top of the tank and two about 2/3 of the depth from the top or all at near the top of the tank. You might also consider whether or not to drill for a closed loop circulation system before filling the tank. You can always just close the extra holes off with pipe nipples and ball valves until you decide to install the system. The hole saws are only about $10 to $15 dollars depending on the size. If you decide on a large flow through your sump and want a refugium it is best to decide on that before building the sump, because with a high flow down to the sump you will need to put your refugium on one side, your sump with skimmer on the other side and the pump return chamber in th middle so as to not flow massive amounts of water through your fuge. You can grind your holes without the water but yours bits life is shortened greatly. With the use of water cooling/lubrication each bit should grind about 25 to 30 holes before they need to be replaced. PLay dough is made with Cream of Tartur spice, flour, salt, cooking oil and water. The recipe is available online under homemade play dough. I use the play dough for at least 20 holes before making a new batch. Just keep it in a couple zip lock bags. I wrote tis up assuming you were going to put in a sump/refugium. If you are talking about a seperate closed loop from your sump set up. I would use a two inch bulkhead for supply the colosed loop and return it through four 1 inch bulkheads bushed down to 3/3 inch with the same nozzle system as above. I would recommend a Sequence Dart for the 180 gallon and either the Dart or just one size smaller for a closed loop for the 12o gallon. I use a Dart, and an Iwaki 40 xL for two closed loops in my tanks. I use a Iwaki 40 XL for the return from my sump/refugium in my tanks. They are 120 gallon tanks. I have custom made boxes for feeding my closed loops which are made by Glass-holes. Email them and he will post a picture on the web site. All I have is my AutoCAD drawing I submitted to him, no pictures.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2008
    fatman, Apr 22, 2008
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  6. Hornet

    Hornet

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    Thanks guys :)

    After doing some more surfing about glasscages I've decided that its not worth the gamble with my $$ . I found some people posting that they are happy and others saying that they are not. I'm trying not to waste my money and I don't want to gamble to much with getting stuck with a crappy tank.

    I've already been checking out craigslist for sometime but I have not came across anything that seems to suit me yet. But I still keep watching it often.

    Ironman,

    I checked out deepseaaquatics website and they have a few dealers about 30 miles away from me so I may ride down there this weekend and check them out.

    Fatman,

    I like your ideas and if I find a tank at a decent price that I can hack up I may go the route of learning how to drill holes myself. Even if I don't do it myself I have some ideas now for how to lay out the closed loop. Based on some of your other posts I really want to stay away from the powerheads.

    Luckly I'm in no real rush here. So I'll keep tossing around ideas and making notes till something seems to stick for me. Plus I need to get some other stuff done around the house before I start spending too much on something else. (gotta keep the boss happy :D )
     
    Hornet, Apr 22, 2008
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  7. Hornet

    Ironman

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    for whats its worth the guys at deep sea will talk to you if you call the number on there site. they were very friendly and didnt act like I was wasting there time with my many questions. we talked everything out and then I had my local store order the tank for me. Very friendly people. Keep in mind as with most tank builders, the only warranty is ussually if you buy there stand as well. they do make a very nice stand to!
     
    Ironman, Apr 23, 2008
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  8. Hornet

    messiah023

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    Last edited: Apr 23, 2008
    messiah023, Apr 23, 2008
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  9. Hornet

    Hornet

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    Ok, fatman I'm starting to make a bit of sense outta this stuff :shock:

    First off I'm planning on getting a 120 (4' x 2' x 2') Glass holes has also put a pic up of your custom overflow boxes. http://www.glass-holes.com/product.sc?categoryId=5&productId=62 Now for the newb questions...

    2" bulk-head: This is plumbed directly down to the pump and returned thru 4 1" bulks? If I'm finally understanding this loops just cycles through the pump and goes to no other componets. Just the grated box -> pump -> then back in returns. I suppose the Dart or the snapper pump would work for this. I'm leaning towards the snapper because it says it has lower pwr consumption over the Dart. Only $30 diff between the 2 pumps so if there is something gained by having the Dart let me know.

    The part that is still confusing to me:

    Two 1-1/2" holes for single overflow box. I assume this is the 1500 gph box your referring too? This plumbs down into the sump? Maybe one side to fuge and the other to the skimmer? I'm guessing a sump sectioned of to Skimmer -> Return <- Refuge. (Seems like a lotta flow to go into fuge.) Now where does this return too? Does this portion require another ext. pump. With all this am I running out of space under a four foot tank ?

    Also, in the pick that glass-holes put up are all 3 of those items separate 2" inch grated boxes or are they different things ?


    Whewww! Your response to this should hold me for a bit :frustrat:
     
    Hornet, Apr 28, 2008
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  10. Hornet

    fatman

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    The Dart will provide half again more flow than the Snapper, at about half again more power used. They both have the same rough dimensions and have the same size inlet and outlets.
    The overflow with the two 1.5" bulkheads is for 1500 gallons maximum per hour. I would not run that much through the sump/refugium though. Actually all the flow could go through just one 1.5" bulkhead but noise would become a problem. With two large bulkheads you have redundancy in case one gets blocked (it can happen), and will also make the over flow very quiet. I would recomend something like a PanWorld pump, which is comparable to an Iwaki, but half the price. They are available at Marine Depot. I would get a circulation pump, not a pressure pump, rated at around 900 gph. The same enginner designs pumps for both manfacturers. I would run half one overflow drain into the fuge and the other into the chamber for the skimmer. I would have thepump return in the center of the tank. A fourty gallon breeder tank will fit under a 120 gallon in a standard commercial stand and allow room for the Dart or Snapper at one end. The other pump would sit in front of the tank and be plumbed into the center chamber. It requires a strreet elbow to plumb the setup so tht the line runs closed to the tank as it hooks up to the small pump. Return should be a 1/2" larger than pump outlet and should be "T'd" at near the height of your return inlets. At this time reduce to 1 inch and run to 1 inch bulkheads tahat are threaded on the inside of tank. This will allow for a bushing to reduce to 3/4" threaded that will acept Loc-Line 3/4 swivel nozzles hooked up to a Loc-Line male threaed adapter. The Loc-Line stuff is also available at glass-holes cheaper than anywhere else.

    The pictures of the inlet boxes are of two 1.5" inlet boxes and one 2" inlet box. They were pictures of the original order. One side of the box is removeable to clean out anything that might possibly enter it. The bulkheads are solvent welded to the boxes. I just ordered more two inch ones, so I know he still has the jigs set up to make them.

    The Snapper and small sump/refugium pump will give you around a 92 percent of the recommended 30 times turn over per hour that is recommended with a tank holding principally SPS corals. A dart will give you 122 percent of the rated 30 times turn over per hour. (IE 3300 gallons versus 4400 gallons per hour turn over) Typically I would recommend the Dart, but I run higher circulation than most people. Presently I am setting up a tank with a Dart, a Snapper and A Pan World pump. That is potentially up to 6800 gph of flow in a 4 foot 120 gallon tank. I will however be throttling the flow down to around 5500 gph (equivalent to what I am getting now out of a Dart and two Iwaki 1200 gph pumps).
     
    fatman, Apr 29, 2008
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