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Tank Build! Aquatic Room Build (36+ tanks)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AnderDan, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    I thought I'd document my progress as I build a fish room - a literal room full of aquariums. At least 36 planned ones to be exact. Then I thought, "Hey, maybe others would be curious about it or learn a thing or two. Maybe it'd inspire someone else? Maybe I'll learn a thing or two too." So here we are...

    A little about me (in a nutshell): My name is Daniel. I've had aquariums for a couple decades and been a member here for years. Moved around a lot - helped a lot of people with their aquariums. Ended up getting a BS in Animal Ecology with a focus in aquaculture and pre-vet at ISU. Moved out of state for awhile down to Florida, but now I'm back - with my wife and one year old daughter in tow lol.

    I will end up having a few different sections of aquariums when it's all said and done:

    - Saltwater Community (10x 35 gallon tanks and 1x 57 Gallon rimless)
    - LPS (80 gallon rimless)
    - SPS (80 gallon rimless)
    - Softies/Zoas (80 gallon rimless)
    - Freshwater Community (10x 35 gallon tanks and 1x 57 Gallon rimless)
    - Cichlids (6x 35 gallon tanks)
    - Feeders (75 gallon tank)
    - Coldwater/Goldfish (4x 35 gallon tanks)
    - Koi/potential Stingray System (undecided volume)


    Aquarium Aisle.JPG


    Pardon the mess, but it can be difficult fitting everything in the room lol


    Aquariums.JPG


    So I arbitrarily selected a section to build after some thought on how to build aquarium stands. I wanted to build something where I could have sumps on the bottom and two rows of tanks on the top. So I came up with this:


    IMG_1246.JPG


    Unfortunately, the first hiccup was that I didn't realize the tank's dimensions I ordered were the GLASS part - not the frame on it. So, I had to modify the stand to fit larger-than-expected 35 gallon cubes. I made a section behind the aquariums for me to get to. This will allow me to walk behind the aquariums to fix any leaks, do maintenance or access hard-to-reach places.


    IMG_1292.JPG


    I added two rows of 35 gallon cubes after I screwed the entire fixture into wall studs. You can get a sneak peak at the bottom right corner of the black siding. I will end up skinning the entire fixture (and future fixtures) in black. Here I started plumbing the sump and the UV sterilizer to the tanks. I put ball valves on each aquarium, so that I can isolate for any potential disease or leaks. On an after thought, it occured to me to add ball valves in front of the rows so that I can shut off the whole row at once. I'm glad I opted to install the extra valves.

    Now to add water (created from the RODI unit):


    IMG_1305.JPG


    So far, so good! After filling all six tanks, I started fiddling with some spare lights I had.


    IMG_1309.JPG

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    In the long run, this 6 tank system will be for cichlids. I'll finish skinning the structure, blocking the lights from the plumbing, turning on the UV, adding a background, adding materials to block fish from jumping out (or into neighboring tanks too) and I'll be adding some more sand (and eventually some decor) to the system. I put some in to get a sense of what it'll look like and to see if I like it.

    So far, so good. More updates to come!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jeremy Acro Addict GIRS Member

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +831 / 4 / -0
    Looks like an amazing build already.
     
  3. Bud Loves Bacon Website Team Leadership Team GIRS Member

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,722 / 14 / -0
    Holy cats!!! You have serious MTS (multiple tank syndrome)
     
  4. gordonh

    35
    Pennsylvania
    Ratings:
    +12 / 0 / -0
    How big's the room?
     
  5. Dave Experienced Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    Des Moines Area
    Ratings:
    +400 / 1 / -0
    Wow
     
  6. DangerJ Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    873
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +319 / 4 / -0
    Wow!! Very impressive! A few questions:
    The 'pillars' of 2x4 you have extending up to the ceiling above the 3rd level - will you be using these to hang anything? If not, you could probably save yourself some wood and not build those for the future shelves.
    Is this in a building where you are financially responsible for the utilities?
    Will you route filtration to be a section-by-section (column by column?) setup, or will each tank have individual sumps?
    Are you opening a store or is this for personal enjoyment?

    Can't wait to see more!
     
  7. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    15 feet x 30.5 feet
     
  8. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    1) Yes, eventually that top will have some more pieces to it to support some lighting and prevent fish from jumping out.

    2) Yes, my wife and I are responsible for utilities. We're planning on going with LED for the lighting and as best as we can, equipment that will not utilize a lot of energy (or produce a lot of noise for that matter) - it's all a balancing act.

    3) Each section will end up having it's own sump. I've selected some large sumps for future additional projects - algae scrubbers or macro algae grow outs etc

    4) Little of column A, little of column B


    I went and got some more pieces last night. Gonna start the first saltwater section soon!
     
  9. Ray/Jen_Reefin 2016 Vice President / 2015 Volunteer of the year.

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +459 / 5 / -0
    Do you think Kasi will let us do this in your basement???
     
  10. Ray/Jen_Reefin 2016 Vice President / 2015 Volunteer of the year.

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +459 / 5 / -0
    Very EXCITED to see the finished project!!!!!!
    Very impressive!
     
  11. jeremy Acro Addict GIRS Member

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +831 / 4 / -0
    I think she might be pushed to the edge when I tell her I am going to pick-up a bigger tank. Lol
     
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  12. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    New update:

    Started the first saltwater section. I moved around some of the tanks to clear room for the section. Smaller than the first, this one will hold four 35 gallon cubes.


    IMG_1332.JPG


    You can sneak a peak at the small room off to the side. That is where I have my RODI unit and two 95 gallon vertical storage bins for freshwater and saltwater. My measurements were more accurate on this build than the first section. The floor joists on the bottom section aren't an equal 50% of the width. This helped to compensate for the plastic frame on the aquariums. Little more snug for me to fit behind but works better.


    IMG_1336.JPG


    This is the point where I attached it to the wall for extra support. Next we start putting in the floors:


    IMG_1338.JPG


    I placed the tanks on top of the floor and marked where the holes would be drilled:


    IMG_1339.JPG


    I drill out one of the two holes, then I place the bulkheads on top of the circles. From there I have to trace an outline that will give me a wide enough birth that I can still have the bulkheads on the tank and be able to hand tighten them when placed on the shelving unit. It isn't as pretty with a huge hole in the floor underneath the tank, but they have substrate in them when finished which blocks the view of the hole.


    IMG_1340.JPG


    And now we put on the rest of the aquariums:


    IMG_1341.JPG


    And now the plumbing! I started putting the overflow kits together, one by one.


    IMG_1342.JPG
     
  13. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    After putting the overflow kits onto the system, I started plumbing the tanks together:


    IMG_1344.JPG


    I took a shortcut that seems to be working for the moment, but I attached the sump hose from each of the top two tanks and have them drain into the two bottom tanks under them. So far, so good.

    After plumbing the system, adding the UV sterilizer and such we get to add some water!


    IMG_1347.JPG



    IMG_1349.JPG



    IMG_1350.JPG


    Next I'll be monitoring for leaks, checking salinity, and adding sand and lights. Stay tuned!
     

    Attached Files:

  14. B_Braz

    B_Braz Well-Known ReefKeeper

    375
    Ratings:
    +106 / 1 / -0
    Super impressed with this! Would love to come see it in person when your fully operational.
     
  15. yankieman Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    559
    Monmouth, IL
    Ratings:
    +153 / 0 / -0
    This is an awesome build ,, I am looking forward to watching it transform before my very eyes
     
  16. B_Braz

    B_Braz Well-Known ReefKeeper

    375
    Ratings:
    +106 / 1 / -0
    Been awhile since we seen an update. How's it coming?
     
  17. Ray/Jen_Reefin 2016 Vice President / 2015 Volunteer of the year.

    Davenport, IA
    Ratings:
    +459 / 5 / -0
    We are sitting on the edge of our seats for updates!!!!!
     
  18. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    UPDATE #3

    Well, it's been a little while since I've updated. I haven't made too much progress just quite yet, but I've done a smidge of detailing. I started skinning the sides and insides black. Below is a shot of Saltwater Community Section C (the first section for saltwater I've built).


    IMG_1394.JPG


    I got a little lazy/curious and decided to see if I can just drop the out-water down through the tanks directly below (notice the gray tubes directed into the overflows of the bottom row). I can always change it later. I also added lighting on the bottom row and white Caribsea sand in all four saltwater tanks. Oh and you may notice a few fish to test the waters. So far so good!


    IMG_1395.JPG


    I brought these guys from home to help test the system. Closer view of my fish:


    IMG_1396.JPG


    Now for the freshwater system. Room lights off:


    IMG_1399.JPG


    Room lights on:


    IMG_1400.JPG


    I started skinning the sides, insides, and front of the system. I plan on taking outdoor black paint to detail the edges and I have plans to eventually redesign the bottom black panel to be able to come on and off via magnets, so that I can access the sump from this side too (not just from behind).

    Here's a recent tank room shot:


    IMG_1416.JPG


    Cleaned it up and organized it a bit better. (Behind me was all my extra sumps and tanks).

    Now to add some rock work to the salt tanks.


    IMG_1631.JPG


    I was very, very pleased with the quality I ordered. I have enough rocks to basically add another section. So eventually instead of 3ish rocks per tank, I'll whittle it down to 2ish rocks per tank.


    IMG_1629.JPG


    Now to add some fish and plants!


    IMG_1633.JPG



    IMG_1637.JPG



    IMG_1680.JPG



    IMG_1685.JPG



    IMG_1688.JPG



    IMG_1689.JPG



    IMG_1691.JPG


    I added black background to all the tanks and added lighting to the bottom middle freshwater tank for the anubias.

    Next I'll be getting a taller step ladder to better reach the top tanks, add just a little more sand in the freshwater system, a little more sand in the saltwater system, add lighting to the top rows, and then add fish to the top rows. I'll also finish skinning the system and detailing it in black.

    After that, it's time to build another system. Question is... do I start one of the coral systems (softies/zoas, LPS, or SPS) or continue with some more freshwater tanks and a feeder tank?
     

    Attached Files:

  19. DangerJ Well-Known ReefKeeper Board of Directors Leadership Team GIRS Member

    873
    Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +319 / 4 / -0
    That looks awesome!!!
    Not sure if you've posted it yet, but have you tailored your lighting to the specific needs of the tanks? Ex: You've got plant lights for the plants? Always hate to see livestock wasting away in a store tank because there isn't enough light.
     
  20. AnderDan

    21
    Osage, IA
    Ratings:
    +20 / 0 / -0
    Saltwater lights (Current Marine Orbits) may be overkill for the community tanks I think, since I won't have corals in those systems, but I'm still debating about the freshwater lights. Right now (since I just had them laying around), I have Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LEDs on the freshwater tanks. They are a mix of gen 1 and 2. First gen mostly burnt out after a couple years but gen 2 still work fantastic. Had them since they came out. So if memory serves me, they are 6500k spectrum and 3 watt diodes. So they should penetrate the water depth + gap above the tanks. If anyone has other recommendations for the project, I'd surely be curious. Haven't decided one way or the other on lights, but the Current LED fixtures fit very nicely with my design. Having said that, I am quite firm on using LEDs on the tanks due to the structure's design. I want to save on the energy bill and keep a streamlined fixture.
     

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