Rockstacker's 120g Build

Discussion in 'Tank Showcase Comments' started by RockStacker, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Right now it is just an empty glass tank, and a lot of planning and window shopping.
    Since the tank is already pre-drilled at the bottom, I am planning the following layout.
    Of course the plan can still change depending on what my planning and research turns up.

    [​IMG]

    Return lines will be 3/4" tubes. Overflow lines will be 2" tubes.

    I was also contemplating using one of the overflow lines to feed a "Chaeto Channel" above the sump which will then overflow into the sump.

    If anyone knows a good place to buy Schedule 80 stuff other than BRS please let me know. I am price shopping right now for the materials.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 7, 2012
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  2. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Here's another variation of the plan in case the straight tube overflows would be too noisy.
    I will use Durso style standpipes for the overflows and enclose them in overflow boxes.
    I will cap one of the return bulkheads that would end up being inside the overflow box.

    The pipes are not to scale.
    [​IMG]
     
    RockStacker, Aug 7, 2012
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  3. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Can any mods please change the tank size in the title from "120g" to "100g" please? :)
     
    RockStacker, Aug 7, 2012
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  4. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    I did a test run on ordering the pipes and fittings I need for the sump assembly and the pump, the BRS shopping cart was $420.00 :shock:

    Since this tank is pre-drilled at the bottom, I did not want to skimp on parts and prefer all Schedule 80 fittings and bulkheads.
    Would that be overkill? Their ABS bulkheads are much cheaper, but not sure about using them for this particular application.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 7, 2012
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  5. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    After mulling this over some more, and reading stories by people with bottom drilled tanks having issued with repairing/replacing their bulkheads I have decided to make yet another modification to the plan.

    I will be making the overflow boxes bigger to enclose all the bulkheads for the overflow and return pipes.
    This way, the bulkheads are only exposed to the water that is already in the overflow boxes. If there is a need to replace or refit the bulkheads, I will only need to drain the water inside the overflow box and not have to drain the entire tank.

    This also should provide another benefit that should a bulkhead fail, the tank will drain only down to the level of the overflow and not drain the entire tank - unless the overflow box fails too.

    With my tentative overflow box design, the overflow box will contain no more than 5 gallons of water a any given time. Also counting (at maximum) the potential top 1 inch of the tank water above the overflow cut-off (72" x 18" x 1" = ~4 gallons), I am looking at a 10 gallon spill.

    That is still a lot of water, but a lot better than 100 gallons with a naked bulkhead.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 8, 2012
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  6. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    The build is coming along, although much slower than I expected. I keep getting sidetracked by other priorities :)

    It is crazy hot outside so I can only bear to work on the tank outside after 7:00pm.
    If I try to work outside during the day it feels like I am inhaling exhaust air straight from an oven.

    Here's the tank getting prepped for painting.
    One of the overflow boxes is being bonded to the glass. After that, I will apply silicone sealant at the seams.
    [​IMG]
    The artillery shells in the background are the old overflows that the previous owner built for the tank.
    I decided to strip out all the old pipes and bulkheads because the seals were suspect and I did not want to risk them failing after I have the tank filled.
    I am putting in brand new bulkheads and plumbing.
    The tank will have two 1-1/2" Durso style standpipes for overflows.


    View of the overflow box from the back side. The large hole is for the overflow, while the two smaller holes are for the returns.
    The other set of holes consist of one large hole for the overflow and one small hole for the return.
    So the tank has a total of 2 overflow holes and 3 return holes.
    [​IMG]

    Partial view of the overflow box from the front:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the other overflow box, waiting for the paint to dry.
    [​IMG]
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  7. RockStacker

    kevdogg

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    Looking good! Love DIY projects. Do you have a Lowes out by you? The one out here has sch. pipe and fittings. Its not going to be as pretty but it may save you some money. I painted my piping to hide it a little.
     
    kevdogg, Aug 16, 2012
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  8. RockStacker

    Old_Moe

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    very cool!

    Good choice about the bulkhead. Make sure when you plan the power off scenario that you have enough room in the sump to handle the extra water ( bulkhead chamber + how ever many inches of water from the DT )

    looks really good so far.
     
    Old_Moe, Aug 16, 2012
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  9. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Yeah I have decided to use SCH.40 PVC pipes from Lowe's. The only "brand name" parts I bought were the Bulk Reef Supply ABS bulkheads because I could not find any of those from hardware stores.

    The SCH.40 pipe are white, but I will be painting any visible areas blue so they do not stand out.

    Total cost so far for all the SCH.40 pipes and fittings: $75.00.
    Compared to the cost of SCH.80: $260.00.
    I also bought a $9.00 pipe cutter - makes life so much easier and cleaner than the hacksaw.

    I talked to a plumber and he said that SCH.40 is more than enough to handle water pressures involved in a 100gallon setup.
    It's just now a matter of "How much I trust my bulkheads" GULP:shock:
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  10. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Thanks,
    I will be testing that when I get the sump tank in.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  11. RockStacker

    cvcdrk

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    looks awesome!
     
    cvcdrk, Aug 16, 2012
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  12. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Regarding the sump holding capacity:

    I have calculated a worst case scenario of 2" of water above the overflow line to flood into the sump during a power-off condition.
    72" x 18" x 2" = 11gallons (approximately).
    Plus 1 or 2 gallons of water in the overflow pipes.
    Total "flooding" volume = 13 gallons.

    Although 2" is unrealistic unless I have a massive pump pushing that much water that causes a 2" wall over the overflow. That kind of flow will most likely kill my fish and corals.
    I am thinking the waterline would be more like 1/4" to 1/2" above the overflow line - if not lower..

    So if I get a 30gallon sump tank with a normal operating volume of 15 gallons (or less), then adding the "flood" water from the DT of 13 gallons will put 28 gallons of water in the sump.
    That is cutting it close, but then again this is based on the extreme side where there is 2" of water above the overflow.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  13. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Some more photo updates.

    This is what the Durso standpipes look like before painting.
    The standpipes are 1-1/2" pipes coupled to a 2" bulkhead via 2" threaded male to 1-1/2" socket adapter.
    The overflow holes in the tank are sized for 2" bulkheads so I cannot use a smaller bulkhead.
    The smaller pipes are 3/4" for the return lines.

    My daughter asked if I was building RPG launchers. Between these and the old overflows that look like artillery shells, my neighbors are getting nervous. :)
    [​IMG]

    Painting the Durso heads:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also painting some of the return lines that will be visible in the DT:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Checking how the tank will look with the two overflow boxes in place.
    The entire back of the tank will be painted blue as well.
    [​IMG]

    More pipes and supplies at the ready:
    [​IMG]
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  14. RockStacker

    Old_Moe

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    Wow!.. looks like the plumbing might look too nice to hide in a sump. :Cheers:

    I would be alittle careful with the paint overspray getting inside the pipes, not sure if its reef safe.

    Also, factor in complete failure of the bulkheads in the overflow chamber. Might be another couple of gallons.. you still should be safe, but I would add that too.

    Looks great.. Keeps the picks coming!
     
    Old_Moe, Aug 16, 2012
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  15. RockStacker

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Nice job so far. Looks solid. :)
     
    d2mini, Aug 16, 2012
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  16. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Yeah that is something I am still considering. Each overflow box holds about 5 gallons.
    I should probably get a 40+ gallon sump since it will easily fit inside the cabinet.

    However, if the bulkhead fails on the outside seam, then I am out of luck. I have not designed a failsafe to catch the water in case of an outside seam failure. It will not drain the entire tank, but it would drain the entire overflow box.
    I should probably just place a couple of Lowe's blue buckets under each overflow box inside the stand :)

    The Krylon Fusion paint (for glass and plastic) is what I am using.
    This is what was recommended by many reefers and they used it on their pipes and surfaces that are in contact with the water.
    I will just have to let it cure for several days and thoroughly rinse the surface before using them in the tank.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  17. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    This is where things get a little scary.

    Leak testing overflow box #1:
    [​IMG]

    It held! it held!
    There were some dripping from the unglued seams of the pipes (That is expected. I will glue them once I finalize the pipe lengths).
    The seams of the overflow box held the water from the inside. Next test later on will be to see if it holds against the pressure of the water from the other side when the tank is filled with water. I will have to wait until the tank is on the stand before I do that.

    The other test I conducted was to evaluate the performance of the Durso standpipe.
    For that test, I placed the open nozzle of the garden hose in the bottom of the overflow box and opened the spicket all the way.
    The Durso standpipe handled the water volume from the garden hose nicely. No water spilled back out of the overflow box.
    I did notice some intermittent... uhm... farting sound from the standpipe. I think I need to make the airhole one size larger than the current pinhole that I have.

    It is quite funny. The overflow is quiet and all of a sudden it pulls a whoopie cushion with no warning..
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
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  18. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    All "top side" pipes and fittings disassembled and being prepped for PVC primer and cement.

    [​IMG]

    After that, everything will be at a temporary standstill.
    I ran out of Mr. Sticky's Underwater glue. My next supplies shipment won't be here until Monday.
    The aquarium stand does not come in until a week later.

    I still have a ton of work ahead of me:
    1. "Sump side" plumbing.
    2. Sump assembly (I will be doing a DIY version out of a 30-40g glass tank).
    3. Rails for the lights. I am thinking of hanging them from the ceiling this time, but not 100% certain yet.
    4. Rock stacking - ordered 100lbs from MarcoRocks.com, the rest will be repurposed from the 55gal tank.
    5. Livestock (I think that's kinda important, yes?)

    6. Decommission the 55gal reef tank and convert it to a freshwater tank for my daughters.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 16, 2012
    #18
  19. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Blue paint on the back is finished. Once this cures, I will spray black paint over it so the back of the tank will be black on the outside and blue on the inside.
    [​IMG]

    Second overflow box has been bonded, and seams have been covered in silicone.
    [​IMG]

    A view of the blue background from inside the tank.
    [​IMG]

    In between waiting for the multiple layers of paint to dry, I started building some of the reef structures out of 1/2" Schedule 40 pvc pipes and fittings.
    I plan to cover them with DIY rock mix of Portland cement + Aragonite gravel.
    The 4-legged piece will have an eggcrate panel on top and will hold a live rock plateau. The bottom will be kept clear so the fish have ample room to swim in between the legs.
    The other frame to the right will be the backbone for a live rock pillar with a horizontal outcropping.
    It is a little difficult to visualize right now because the PVC makes them look so inorganic. But they will be "fleshed out" soon enough.
    [​IMG]

    Painted black so that any exposed PVC would not stand out.
    [​IMG]
     
    RockStacker, Aug 18, 2012
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  20. RockStacker

    RockStacker

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    Aquarium stand won't get here until after next week. :(
    I can't cut the pipes for the sump side plumbing just yet until I get to see the inside of the stand and it's inner dimensions.
    I also cannot build the hanging frame for the lights because I want to match the materials and style with the stand. I know what the stand should look like based on how I ordered it at the shop, but I want to wait until I see the finished product in person before I make my next move.

    So for now I just sit tight and handle the dinoflagellate issue with my other tank.
     
    RockStacker, Aug 21, 2012
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