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Thread: Sweet Water Reef

  1. #1
    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Sweet Water Reef

    This tank has been a 4yr on going project that was originally purchased to be a replacement for my 220gal full blown reeftank. The tank is a 245 gal three sides starfire glass tank, drilled with a single center overflow. My original plan was for the tank to sit on a custom made steel stand in our living room, with an oak wrap on the stand. After setting the tank in place my wife decided it was "taking up the entire living room". So i switched it to a 4 side viewable in-wall with a basement sump. The change to in-wall required some big modifications to both floor and wall, since the tank sits in the center of a 14' span. I added 8 jack posts and two 8x8s to support the tank and an oversize header to allow for a wide open space to slide the tank in and allow for a view of the end wall of the tank as you walk in the front door. Here are a few early on pics.

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536626564
    Here is the tank that ate the living room.http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536626658

    After having a reef for over 15 yrs i decided to return to where i started out as a child (still a Kid) with fresh water.
    I wanted a challenge and having kept pretty much everything else in the past i chose Discus. I did my research, and added a little saltwater style to my setup.
    One thing i learned is if maintenance is not easy you won't do it as often as you should. So i made a list of what i wanted.
    1.) A No bucket water change system
    2.) Basement Sump with large mechanical and biological filtration ( rotation of socks and Poret Foam)
    3.) A large capacity aged and aerated water storage
    4.) No constantly heated stored water

    Here are some early sump construction pics
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536627778
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536627778

    After doing a lot of reading i made choices for my display. I liked the ease of cleaning of bare bottom tanks but since the tank was a focal point in my house i went with substrate instead. Pool filter sand. My original thought was planted with driftwood, but for now i will hold off on the plants. I purchased 3 really nice pieces of Malaysian driftwood from a local shop. These sat in a dry tank in the living room for a year due to other more pressing issues. Here is a pic after the house surgery required to make it an in-wall
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536628459

    After the dry year my wife told me to either get the wall closed up and the tank running or get rid of it, so full steam ahead!!
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536628773
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536628773

    Another requirement was a quiet system, so i opted for Spa flex for nearly all of the plumbing to and from the basement.
    Also to speed the removal of detritus the the sand i went with two Gyre pumps in the display which moves it up off the sand and into the overflow nearly eliminating the chore of siphoning the gravel.
    For lighting i searched and found LED lighting that spans my 72" tank and gives me a nice sunrise\sunset transition.
    As a leftover from the reef i am using my Apex controller for temperature control and PH monitoring.
    Here are some pics of the basement sump system, it's a little mad scientist looking but i can heat and change out 55 gallons of water in 30 mins with out a bucket or a hose and never get my hands wet!

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536629976
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536629976
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    Wow,

    That's some project !
    It sounds like you have done all the research and know what is involved in a large build and stocking an aquarium. I'll be following with interest to see what I can learn from your project.
    I love large builds and look forward to following yours

    Mick (a fellow discus beginner)

  3. #3
    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    Thanks Mick i have a few more pictures to go with the build. For my water change setup i have three 55 gal drums two are on foam on the floor and the third is elevated to just below my 7' ceiling in my basement on a 2x4 stand. All 3 are usually full of aged or aging water with large air stones driven by an Alita linear pump. The two bottom drums are plumbed together with a 1" pvc pipe and two Uniseals. In one is a Mag 9 pump which will move water to the upper drum to fill it as needed so it can be heated for water changes. Also in the bottom drum is the pump for the Tunze osmolator top off unit that keeps up with evaporation. To heat the water i took a different route than most. I couldn't see the logic in trying to keep 55 gallons of water heated at all times for doing water changes, especially with the standard electric submersible heater drawing 300watts or more. My solution was to cut a bulkhead fitting as low as i could in the side of the elevated drum which i plumbed in a Panworld pressure rated pump that's output was teed with a ball valve on each, one that goes directly to the sump and the other output is plumbed to a wall mounted natural gas tankless water heater and the output of the heater runs to the top of the elevated drum, thus creating a loop that will heat the water from room temp to my 85.5 Degree tank temp in 25 to 30 mins depending on the room temperature. The drum temp is displayed on a digital thermometer so i can determine when its ready to add to the sump. At that point i shut off the return pump, wait for the reverse siphon to stop, then open a ball valve below the sump which drains all but the section with my heaters down to a pre-determined level. At that point i close the heater loop valve, open the valve to the sump and start the pump. The sump fills in less than 10 mins and i restart my return pump. I lose about less than an inch of water from the display during the change so the fish are not bothered at all.http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...9&d=1536712989
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536713208
    These are pics of the Apex control mounted behind the front wall and the digital light contols for the two 72" LED fixtures that are currently at only 35% power. I built screen tops for the tank to promote good gas exchange as the sump is covered to control humidity in the basement and heat loss. The Gyre pumps in the display are at 30% power and create enough flow to keep the sand clear of unwanted waste or uneaten food.

    And now the whole reason for all this, The fish, or as my wife calls them "The Babies". I had been reading a a lot on Simply Discus to try and decide on where to get my fish and was impressed on all the great reviews about Kenny's Discus. It turned out that my wife and i were headed last fall to San Francisco area to take a 2 week vacation and see as much of California as we could. I soon realized that Daly City could be a stop during our trip. I called Kenny and asked if we might stop in and see the fish he was getting ready to ship at that time. He said sure. This worked great to introduce my wife to the beauty and personality of the fish we all love on this forum. After having a reef tank she was a bit skeptical of the colors. After we met Kenny and saw the fish she was sold! Yeah! I finally had my system up in time for an August order from Kenny. I decided on a group of ten fish between 5" and 6". I requested two of each of the following 5 strains.

    Red Eagles
    Blue Diamonds
    Tiger Carnation Turquoise
    Leopard with ring gene
    Golden Flora Pigeon

    Here are a couple full tank shots. In the first 3 weeks the Eagles are laying eggs, one Blue Diamond and a Tiger Carnation have also laid eggs twice. I'm still running carbon to knock down the leaching from the driftwood to take advantage of the Starfire glass's amazing ability to make the fish look like they could swim out into the room.
    http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536715342
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    Thanks Mick i have a few more pictures to go with the build. For my water change setup i have three 55 gal drums two are on foam on the floor and the third is elevated to just below my 7' ceiling in my basement on a 2x4 stand. All 3 are usually full of aged or aging water with large air stones driven by an Alita linear pump. The two bottom drums are plumbed together with a 1" pvc pipe and two Uniseals. In one is a Mag 9 pump which will move water to the upper drum to fill it as needed so it can be heated for water changes. Also in the bottom drum is the pump for the Tunze osmolator top off unit that keeps up with evaporation. To heat the water i took a different route than most. I couldn't see the logic in trying to keep 55 gallons of water heated at all times for doing water changes, especially with the standard electric submersible heater drawing 300watts or more. My solution was to cut a bulkhead fitting as low as i could in the side of the elevated drum which i plumbed in a Panworld pressure rated pump that's output was teed with a ball valve on each, one that goes directly to the sump and the other output is plumbed to a wall mounted natural gas tankless water heater and the output of the heater runs to the top of the elevated drum, thus creating a loop that will heat the water from room temp to my 85.5 Degree tank temp in 25 to 30 mins depending on the room temperature. The drum temp is displayed on a digital thermometer so i can determine when its ready to add to the sump. At that point i shut off the return pump, wait for the reverse siphon to stop, then open a ball valve below the sump which drains all but the section with my heaters down to a pre-determined level. At that point i close the heater loop valve, open the valve to the sump and start the pump. The sump fills in less than 10 mins and i restart my return pump. I lose about less than an inch of water from the display during the change so the fish are not bothered at all.http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536799621
    Around the corner of the wall i have the Apex control and the timer\dimmers for thhttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=118037&stc=1&d=1536799 817e LED fixtures. Currently i am running two but plan to add a third in the near future.http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536799817

    And finally some full tank picshttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=118039&stc=1&d=153http ://forum.simplydiscus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=118040&stc=1&d=1536799 9376799937
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    Thanks Mick i have a few more pictures to go with the build. For my water change setup i have three 55 gal drums two are on foam on the floor and the third is elevated to just below my 7' ceiling in my basement on a 2x4 stand. All 3 are usually full of aged or aging water with large air stones driven by an Alita linear pump. The two bottom drums are plumbed together with a 1" pvc pipe and two Uniseals. In one is a Mag 9 pump which will move water to the upper drum to fill it as needed so it can be heated for water changes. Also in the bottom drum is the pump for the Tunze osmolator top off unit that keeps up with evaporation. To heat the water i took a different route than most. I couldn't see the logic in trying to keep 55 gallons of water heated at all times for doing water changes, especially with the standard electric submersible heater drawing 300watts or more. My solution was to cut a bulkhead fitting as low as i could in the side of the elevated drum which i plumbed in a Panworld pressure rated pump that's output was teed with a ball valve on each, one that goes directly to the sump and the other output is plumbed to a wall mounted natural gas tankless water heater and the output of the heater runs to the top of the elevated drum, thus creating a loop that will heat the water from room temp to my 85.5 Degree tank temp in 25 to 30 mins depending on the room temperature. The drum temp is displayed on a digital thermometer so i can determine when its ready to add to the sump. At that point i shut off the return pump, wait for the reverse siphon to stop, then open a ball valve below the sump which drains all but the section with my heaters down to a pre-determined level. At that point i close the heater loop valve, open the valve to the sump and start the pump. The sump fills in less than 10 mins and i restart my return pump. I lose about less than an inch of water from the display during the change so the fish are not bothered at all.http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536799621
    Around the corner of the wall i have the Apex control and the timer\dimmers for thhttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=118037&stc=1&d=1536799 817e LED fixtures. Currently i am running two but plan to add a third in the near future.http://forum.simplydiscus.com/attach...1&d=1536799817

    And finally some full tank picshttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=118039&stc=1&d=153http ://forum.simplydiscus.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=118040&stc=1&d=1536799 9376799937

  7. #7
    Registered Member Cove Beach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    Thanks Mick, There are more details coming, just waiting for it to be cleared.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sweet Water Reef

    Some pics of the kidshttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/images/attach/jpg.gifhttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/images/attach/jpg.gifhttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/images/attach/jpg.gifhttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/images/attach/jpg.gifhttp://forum.simplydiscus.com/images/attach/jpg.gif
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