A Golden Reef Tank

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halmus

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Golden, Co
I've been preparing for this project for over 3 years. So, I'll get right to it! I live out in Golden CO and have been planning some sort of peninsula tank since I took down my SPS tank in WA in preparation for our move to Co.

I just put the down payment on a tank that is being ordered through through Cris at Aquatic Art. Here is a quick sketch of the tank as it will hopefully look once done:

 

halmus

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677
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Golden, Co
I'm calling the thread "A Golden Reef Tank" for two reasons. The first is obvious: I live in Golden. The second is a much geekier reason. My background is in embedded systems (a computer with a dedicated function within a larger system) and computer software. I'm also an electronics tech with a background in RF. The only thing keeping me from being the stereotypical geek is that I hate Star Trek (sorry everyone).

The proportions for the tank's viewable area roughly match what mathematicians call the Golden Ratio.

Excerpt from the Wiki article on the Golden Ratio:

"In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. The figure on the right illustrates the geometric relationship. Expressed algebraically, for quantities a and b with a > b > 0,
where the Greek letter phi ( or ) represents the golden ratio. Its value is:


"

So, the Golden Ratio is seen by some as the ideal proportion to base dimensions on. Why not try to build a tank that matches that?

The display area of this tank will be 48" x 48" (footprint) x 36" tall. The bottom 2" of the tank will be covered by the counter that will be installed around the perimeter which also covers up the 2" metal bracing that the manufacturer is installing. The top 2" of the tank will be covered by the hood which also has bracing. You won't see the water line or much of the sand bed from the display. That leaves 32" of vertical viewing pleasure. 32" x 48" roughly matches the Golden Ratio. It's a little too deep to be perfect, however the builder told me it would be cheaper to order a 36" deep tank than a 30-34" deep tank. So, who can refuse that?
 

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halmus

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Golden, Co
Here is what I sent to the manufacturer to get the ball rolling. They proposed an alternative to the eurobracing I had drawn in. They're going to put a metal framework around the tank top (and bottom I believe) to brace. The dimensions here generally represent what's being made.











The tank being built is actually 48" wide x 62" long x 36" deep. The back 14" is for overflow with "dry boxes" on either side. I've seen this used on a few tanks. Specifically, I watched a video years ago before I moved to Co of a tank up in Evergreen. Most of you probably know of that tank. I believe Cris helped make that tank a reality. I will use the dry boxes for the same purpose, to put MP-40's or 60's in. The overflow area is roughly 24" x 14". That will be used just like any other overflow. In the future, I might put an additional submersible pump in there if I need that extra flow to an area the Vortecs can't reach.

The overflow will be inside the wall and spill over into the filtration room which is directly behind the aquarium.



 

halmus

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Golden, Co
The access door to the filtration room isn't drawn in, but you get the idea.



RO/DI will likely go along the wall to the right in this image below. The refugium will go to the left as you enter the room. The QT system is along the opposite wall separate from everything else.



I had a crazy idea about having an additional sump hooked on to the back of the glass tank being made. Cris talked me out of it because it didn't really accomplish all that much but I'm not going to take the time to remove it from the sketchup model. The rack towards the middle of the image below is a frag grow-out area. It will be hooked to the main system along with the refugium, however I'm going to make it so that it can run as a stand-alone unit simply by turning off the pump that supplies it from the main sump of the display.



The sink area isn't going to be along the wall it's drawn on here. It will be on the wall to the left along that "closet". That closet needs to be there to house the home water filtration unit. I will also be recycling the washing machine my wife hates. She's getting a new laundry area in the basement with new equipment. Why not stick her washer in the "fish room" to clean towels, filters, other nasty stuff? I want to build a frag saw station into the counter area as well. I don't know if I'll have space, but I already have the saw. It was going to cost too much to run the plumbing to this wall where there is plenty of room.



These are the frag tanks. I already had the tanks made two years ago when I started planning this. I just need to buy (or build) some shelves to put this together.



This is the QT section. I already have all of these tanks. I salvaged them from a store going out of business in Tacoma Wa two years ago when I started planning this. I will also have a coral QT tank with a dedicated sump. I might end up plumbing all of this together but don't have a solid plan yet. I know I'll want to isolate the fish QT tanks periodically for medication or other issues. That's an issue long down the road. Again, I just need shelving and time to put it together.



A couple other things of note:

- They're installing a floor drain. I will put a skim coat of self-leveling concrete in the fish room to even things out and help direct water to the drain (I hope). Then, I will coat the floor with some sort of garage/shop floor paint with an abrasive to help prevent falls.

-I'm going to coat the first 8' of the fish room with FRP. I will also do a couple other things suggested by members here to seal the moisture in this room where I can vent it out.

-Some sections of ceiling will be 9' tall. I'm really happy about that extra foot!

-Because they're installing a washing machine, they are required by code to put in a ceiling vent fan. I don't know what the CFM of the fan is they're putting in, but I hope it can handle this room. If not, I might replace it for a bigger unit or find other ways to deal with moisture.

-The hood on the tank will be open on the back into the filtration room. So, I won't have moisture trapped in there and can easily circulate fresh air and have easy access.
 

halmus

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Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
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Golden, Co
whatt!!!!! long time no see! hope all is well with you!
Hey! Congrats on the store! I've been out of it for a long time, when did you open the place up? Want to move to Denver? There's only one store in the entire state worth shopping at. Cris at Aquatic Art just made it in Coral mag a few issues ago. He's got a great store, otherwise you have no competition.
 

halmus

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Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
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Golden, Co
By the way, the awesome frag tanks I mentioned in the post above were made by Jason at CFI before I left WA. He does great work. I wish I had a contact like him locally.
 

halmus

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Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
Location
Golden, Co
This is the view coming down the stairs. We opened up the wall on the left and put in the arches. The 48" x 85" opening to the left is where the aquarium will fit through the wall into that back filtration room.













The sink and washer machine will go against the far wall from here. You can see that small closet I referenced in the SketchUp model for the house filtration. The back of the aquarium will go through the opening on the left. They dug in the trench for the floor drain today. I don't remember if I mentioned before, but I am having the wall separating the filtration room and the living space framed 2x6 with insulation to try to keep down any possible noise.



 

seakingaquariums

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Mar 25, 2012
Messages
103
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Bellevue, WA
Looks like you've put a ton of thought into your system! three years of planning wow! I'm excited for you and I'll definitely be following this thread. Hopefully your tank builder works faster than you plan :p


We opened back in Feb. 2015... but I don't think we'll be moving to Denver anytime soon :p
 

halmus

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Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
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Golden, Co
I already had the filtration room drawn up multiple times before leaving WA. I have really grown to like SketchUp for planning larger projects. The first task when we moved into our new place was to build a workshop to build out of. You can see the process at the local club forum (for Denver) here:

http://www.marinecolorado.org/forums/showthread.php?26876-Workshop-Build&highlight=halmus+work+shop

The sketch that I made for this project won't exactly match what I posted above, however the major components are there, just in different locations. The holdup on the build was because of our plans to move to Denver, followed by our home search, followed by me searching for a job (to pay for the system), followed by me completing the shop to work out of, followed by my wife demanding that we outsource the basement build rather than do it ourselves to save time. It was a long process! Even now that it has started, the tank probably won't see water for almost 6 months.


Your store looks awesome. I miss doing business with you.
 

Scooterman

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I had to back track several times to soak it all in, this is going to be an awesome project, I'm glad you decided & took the time to post it up here, I'll be watching your build thread to the end. We don't get to see projects this size too often and it is always fun to see it all come together.
 

1guydude

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Jul 12, 2011
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p-town, WA
Yeah I wouldn't call myself a geek either. A dork maybe yeah. Lol
What about star wars? Do u like star wars?
...
lol

Very kool. I had no idea you were planning such an elaborate set up.
I'm a little spacey. I feel I could have explained the math part a Lil easier or in lamin terms.
Anyways.

Are the qt and frag tanks gravity fed down to each other?

Wat equipment are you gonna run on these beauties?

Are you going mixed reef or all sps like your last 1?

Looks good brotha. Glad things are working for you. Golden Co. Sounds like a beautiful place. Despite lack of fish stores.
Kinda like that place from Joe dirt. Lil quiet town. Lol
Thx for sharing man. Glad to c u back at it. Ur a hard core reefer in my books.
D
 

halmus

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Joined
Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
Location
Golden, Co
Pretty impressive.
Thanks mfinn.

I had to back track several times to soak it all in, this is going to be an awesome project, I'm glad you decided & took the time to post it up here, I'll be watching your build thread to the end. We don't get to see projects this size too often and it is always fun to see it all come together.
I'm happy to share the project here. I spent countless hours drooling over other builds going up in other countries like Thailand, Canada, and California. It's finally my turn. Like other builds, I'm going to rely everyone out there to help me think through it. I've spent a lot of time planning this, so I have tunnel vision. I appreciate everyone's input.

Dammmmnnnn this is going to be the BOMMMBB! Totally love it.
:)

Yeah I wouldn't call myself a geek either. A dork maybe yeah. Lol
What about star wars? Do u like star wars?
...
lol

Very kool. I had no idea you were planning such an elaborate set up.
I'm a little spacey. I feel I could have explained the math part a Lil easier or in lamin terms.
Anyways.

Are the qt and frag tanks gravity fed down to each other?

Wat equipment are you gonna run on these beauties?

Are you going mixed reef or all sps like your last 1?

Looks good brotha. Glad things are working for you. Golden Co. Sounds like a beautiful place. Despite lack of fish stores.
Kinda like that place from Joe dirt. Lil quiet town. Lol
Thx for sharing man. Glad to c u back at it. Ur a hard core reefer in my books.
D
I do like Star Wars. I'm a dwarf Wooky.

I don't have a solid plan for the QT tanks yet. I might plumb them all together into a common sump and still set them up to be run stand-alone.

The frag tanks will be gravity fed down to their own sump which will also be plumbed into the main sump. So, I will be able to turn off the feed from the main sump, and let the frag tank setup continue to run unaffected. So, I'll have the benefit of the stable display system, with the ability to segregate it off if needed.

I'm thinking of scenarios like one of the local reefer's tanks needing a temporary home in emergencies. I will have a nice big stand-alone system already set up with plenty of space.

We have plenty of local fish stores. There's really just one bonafide store that I consider worth going to. We do have quite a few local garage businesses like ReefKoi and Gonzos that carry quality coral. They just don't have normal store front hours. Golden is a nice town. We live right at the foothills. It's quiet and safe.
 

Pepcrylic

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Dec 13, 2014
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Over There
I am so glad you decided to post up your build here at RF I will be watching.
Needless to say you have done your homework. Projects go sooooo much smoother when you have a detailed plan.
I am envious that you get to start with a clean slate ( construction wise) Not to many of us have that luxury.
You may consider adding an additional ceiling fan to vent out moist air while you have the open joists. It is a small price now compared to adding one later.
Looking frward to seeing this come together.
Welcome back

Peppie
 

halmus

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Joined
Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
Location
Golden, Co
I am so glad you decided to post up your build here at RF I will be watching.
Needless to say you have done your homework. Projects go sooooo much smoother when you have a detailed plan.
I am envious that you get to start with a clean slate ( construction wise) Not to many of us have that luxury.
You may consider adding an additional ceiling fan to vent out moist air while you have the open joists. It is a small price now compared to adding one later.
Looking frward to seeing this come together.
Welcome back

Peppie

Hey Mr D! I'm glad you're tagging along. I have done my homework, but so many aspects of the project have changed since I was working with an imaginary space I was dreaming of having back in WA.

It is certainly a privilege being able to design this from the ground up. I spent 6 straight months working on my workshop at the new house. My wife and I put up all of the walls (12') and completed everything short of electrical for that project. After seeing how long that took, my wife talked me into working with a contractor to get all of the rough work out of the way for this basement. Peppie, both of us are builders and have high standards. I'm extremely dissatisfied with the framing for the basement. Your hair would stand on end if you could see their work. After the "frame" crew left the first day, I grabbed a stud with one hand and pulled it out of the wall. A few walls were 1/2" out of plumb. I threw a fit and they fixed things to a certain degree. Their work is a complete hack job, so I'm regretting not doing everything myself. I've gone back and reworked some of the finer details after they were done. Their opening at the base of the stairs wasn't going to be big enough to fit the tank and stand through and their arch looked like it fell out of a tall cow's hind-end. I rebuilt that. I just finished re-framing the aquarium opening this morning because I don't want to have to cover up everything with trim to hide all of the mistakes.

But, we'll work through the rough patches and I'll do my carpentry magic later to make this look nice. I keep reminding myself how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to work on a project like this.

I don't have a concrete plan on what equipment I'll be using for lighting, pumps, skimmers, etc. I have been waiting on what the industry comes out with before making any definite plans. I don't want to go with the newest equipment because it's often untested and fails to live up to the hype. I do have products in mind, but with so many things going on at once, I'm trying to focus on priorities. I am doing the walkthrough with the electrician tomorrow morning. There will be x 4 dedicated 20 Amp circuits for the aquarium and filtration.

As for ventilation, Denver is a different world. It's extremely dry here. I have thought long and hard about what contained moisture could do to the floor joists above the filtration room. That's why I insisted on having a hood over the tank to direct the moist air into the filtration room rather than into the living space. My wife wants an open tank. I am trying to balance making this an ideal filtration room with tearing apart the house so much that it's hard to sell down the road when we're finally ready to move back to WA. My original plan was to use one of the basement windows for ventilation. I planned on framing it in with something like a greenhouse ventilation fan attached to a humidity sensor. That way, it could be removed down the road if needed. I have two windows to work with. My plan for now is to see what the humidity stabilizes at with the existing fan. But, you have me thinking. Thanks for the input!
 

Aquanaut

I Love Big Torts!
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Feb 14, 2005
Messages
542
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Renton, WA
Are you planning corbel supports under the countertop? Helps to lean on at maintenance time or shifting items about.
 

halmus

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Apr 6, 2012
Messages
677
Location
Golden, Co
Are you planning corbel supports under the countertop? Helps to lean on at maintenance time or shifting items about.
The aquarium manufacturer is building the stand. I have coordinated with them to have the supports for the countertop built right into the stand. I told them I wanted them to be strong enough to stand on while servicing the tank. The tank is 3' deep, so I'll have to stand on the counter and stick my head in the water to reach the bottom. :). I'll send pictures when that happens. I will be using a snorkel. No joke.

So, with the metal framework supporting the counter, I'm hoping not to need additional support.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Pepcrylic

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Dec 13, 2014
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Over There
That is how I have to work in my tank. Shirt off, Mask and snorkel on. I tell the wife I am going swimming. Skimmer sometimes acts up for 15 min. or so
 
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