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RobertP Tank Redo

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
As some of you may know we sold our home in 2018 and built a new house in the country. Since I have to redo everything from scratch I thought why not try to document everything as much as I can. Or when I can remember to take pictures! I guess I could have done a time lapse with my game camera...hmmm. I will try to post some comments along with pictures.

This is my fish section of the new garage. The garage is foam insulated and the garage doors are insulated as well. I keep a thermostat in there and so far I have not seen it drop below 60 as long as the doors are closed. We have one of the new heat pump water heaters in here so it is giving off cold air and de-humidifies as well. We will see how it does against Texas summers later this year.

Started out building a 4'x8' table to hold my 80 gal refugium and whatever else I want it to. I am weird because I really enjoy watching the fuge so I wanted it up high. This also gives me room to add a frag tank and/or other reactors that I might not want to crawl under the table for. The table is built with 2x4s on 16" centers with screws and screwed to 3/4 plywood and screwed to the wall studs. I finished the table and the legs with leftover Kilz from our house. I do not like painting but I really like this stuff! Then topped it with some leftover exterior paint again from our house. I think that was the last gallon as everything else was interior paint.

Also this is just the start! We are still debating how big a tank is going in the house. However, the new tank will go on the other side of this wall. So once it is in I just cut a hole in the wall to run plumbing to and from the sump. Of course depending on how big a tank we are talking the sump might have to be upgraded as well. New tank has not been ordered and doubt it will this year. I could make a list of all the crap you need in a new house before you can buy luxury items like a tank! :)
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Guess I should have mentioned that I have a big wash tub in the garage and a dedicated 20amp outlet. In hindsight I should have added 3 dedicated outlets but this will work for now. The other plug is internet and cable connection. Yes, we have very good internet out here in the sticks! :) My wifi signal is ok here in the garage so we will see if it is needed.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
The refugium needed to be plumbed into the system and I did not want to do an over the side overflow. So I bought a MarineDepot overflow kit which came with the bulkheads and even the drill bit. I was fairly nervous since this was my fish glass drilling! Not perfect but no cracks! Overflow fits perfectly but they forgot to include the gasket between the glass and the inside overflow. Apparently they didn't forget, it is not included. So I just siliconed it to the inside of the tank...this should not leak. I will try to get a better picture of this.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
OK so the past couple weeks of vacation were pretty productive. I built the water station in the shop and you can see there are plumbing parts all over the place! I decided to go with these two 58gal food grade barrels because they were close and do not consume a ton of room. I REALLY loved the idea of the 275 gallon totes but since they are 4ft tall and 4ft wide I just couldn't waste that much space in the fish garage!
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
I put down some pond liner on the top of the table and under the table. I thought about epoxying the concrete but decided against it for no real reason other than I can move the pond liner in the future. I got some help and moved the tanks into place. The 130 gallon is an old Oceanic tank about 15 years old. I replaced the bulkhead gaskets and praying the silicone holds now that it has been sitting for a year and a half. The 80gal fuge is an Oceanic too but it is only 13 years old but its been sitting for over 2 years empty. Both of these were in my unconditioned shop so they were subjected to heat and cold. Now you understand why they are not going in the house!
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Got a great deal on some external pumps from Steve so I decided to use one for the water station. I do not yet have it plumbed to the tanks but then again there is still a lot left to do. But I did add a plug for a garden hose so I can transfer water pretty easily.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Latest picture as of yesterday. I forgot to mention the sump is a Trigger emerald 34" that was under the tank. I decided it was easier to do it this way so I can access it easier. I put it on treated 2x4s under the liner.
The plumbing is mostly done to and from the tanks except for the flex hose. I will wait on that until after the pumps are plumbed in because I know the sump will have to move more. Also I am not sure if I want to plumb the pumps straight in or at a 90. Performance should not matter it is more about ease of plumbing which I am definitely an amateur!
l also built a manifold to direct water to the two tanks and it is sitting on the left for now. I might do a close-up at some point but my messy purple primer makes the whole thing ugly...or maybe it is just me. Of course if it works with no leaks it gets prettier! :)

I am still waiting on the 2" bulkheads so I haven't drilled the sump yet. Lifereef is building me a 30" skimmer so it will fit in here as well. Still debating whether it will sit in or out of the sump. But typical LR it can do either.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Was a busy productive weekend. What is it with plumbing a reef tank that seems to take forever! However, the leak test was successful. Of course there were a lots of leaks on those bulkheads but none on the tanks that had been sitting dry for so long.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
I drilled two holes for the 2 inch bulkheads and another 1 inch. I clearly wasn't thinking about tightening the 1 inch bulkhead when I decided to put it there. It was not easy to get a wrench in there but finally got them all to stop leaking.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
The manifold is ugly but it does not leak so in my book that is pretty! In the 1.5 inch line there is a plug for future expansion. Also there is an extra unused 1/2 inch line.
I mounted the BRS reactor over the sump and it seems to work fairly well and it is out of the way. Since I am using braided flexible hose it can be mounted almost anywhere. I am really liking the height of this table. I can sit under it without hitting my head so it makes doing anything under there easier.
The drain lines are flexible PVC. I elected to do this instead of hard PVC mainly because of the flexible options. Yeah, maybe if I wanted to plan more and map it all out I could have made it pretty. Hey, I am not a plumber and just want the tank up and running already. :)
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Mounted some 3/4 plywood to the wall and my 6 stage BRS RODI to it. Since it had been sitting for almost 2 years I replaced all the filters and media. Bad part....our well water has pretty high TDS and this is after it goes through the water softener. It is about 350 TDS and 13 after the RO and carbon. So it is eating up DI. I went through 1 and a half cartridges of mixed bed DI for about 70 gallons. Our well water has a lot of silica in it so I think upgrading to the 3 part DI will help this. Also the pressure is not great...hanging at 40 lbs so a booster is going to be needed as well.
 

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Bigfishy

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Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Was a busy productive weekend. What is it with plumbing a reef tank that seems to take forever! However, the leak test was successful. Of course there were a lots of leaks on those bulkheads but none on the tanks that had been sitting dry for so long.
Good to hear no leaks in the tank itself


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Cody

Director
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Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Location
Spring, TX
Mounted some 3/4 plywood to the wall and my 6 stage BRS RODI to it. Since it had been sitting for almost 2 years I replaced all the filters and media. Bad part....our well water has pretty high TDS and this is after it goes through the water softener. It is about 350 TDS and 13 after the RO and carbon. So it is eating up DI. I went through 1 and a half cartridges of mixed bed DI for about 70 gallons. Our well water has a lot of silica in it so I think upgrading to the 3 part DI will help this. Also the pressure is not great...hanging at 40 lbs so a booster is going to be needed as well.
That's one thing that I wish I had: a plumbed sink in my fish room. I'm sure the wife would appreciate me not cleaning the skimmer cup inside as well haha
 

Bigfishy

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Joined
Mar 7, 2014
I have a sink in garage to use for my fish stuff. Otherwise I hear what your cleaning that in my sink?


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Cody

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Jul 23, 2014
Location
Spring, TX
I have a sink in garage to use for my fish stuff. Otherwise I hear what your cleaning that in my sink?


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Only if the dinner plates are stacked up in the sink beneath what I'm cleaning. I have a very large life insurance policy on my wife and I'm trying to give her a heart attack.
 
OP
RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
HA! I used to wait until my wife went to sleep before I would dump the skimmer cup in the toilet. It was far more smelly in the kitchen sink. I think the garbage disposal held too much of the skimmate unless you ran it. Then if needed rinse it out in the kitchen sink. That way the smell was gone before morning normally.

Already in love with the garage utility tub and haven't used it for a skimmer yet. :)
 

Cody

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Jul 23, 2014
Location
Spring, TX
HA! I used to wait until my wife went to sleep before I would dump the skimmer cup in the toilet. It was far more smelly in the kitchen sink. I think the garbage disposal held too much of the skimmate unless you ran it. Then if needed rinse it out in the kitchen sink. That way the smell was gone before morning normally.

Already in love with the garage utility tub and haven't used it for a skimmer yet. :)
Oh I couldn't dump mine down the kitchen sink. The sludge my skimmer pulls out is too much. Toilet or outside.
 

Bigfishy

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Oh I couldn't dump mine down the kitchen sink. The sludge my skimmer pulls out is too much. Toilet or outside.
You have to have a real man’s garage
Disposal. 1 hp OR bigger..

Don’t forget to clean the garage sink otherwise you get what’s smelling out here


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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Took a skill saw to the bucket and took the top off off. Then drilled a hole and added a uniseal for the drain and found a 1/2" to 1/4 push connector fitting and installed. This will feed the booster pump. Then took an old mag9.5 and used some 3/4 pvc to make a spray bar. It is just a T fitting and drilled some 1/4" holes in some pvc pipe. I think it works pretty good so far but WOW it is LOUD!!!
I haven't got the 1/4" float valve in yet so I just ran the 1/4" feed line over the top and clamp in place. I can pretty much leave it running wide open while the RODI is running and I dont see the water level move. I keep it on a timer right now to avoid a flood.
 

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RobertP

RobertP

Supporting Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Location
Frelsburg, TX
Got the new 3 stage DI saver kit from BRS and installed it. While it was better out of the box it was not perfect. I made about 100 gallons of water before I had to change the anion resin and you can see it is about half used up. The other resin hasn't even moved. We will see if it moves much after another 50 gallons with the spray bucket in-line.

Tank is setup and cycling. I am trying out Brightwells MicroBacterStartXLM. It claims it will be ready in 7 days and one 250ml bottle was the perfect size for this 220ish volume. 130 tank + 80 gal fuge + 10 gallons in the sump?!?! Trying to be very careful to follow the directions. I had to add ammonia to the tank so the bacteria will feed. I will check the levels later today and see if Nitrites have a reading yet...should be 2 days later today.

Everything is still a mess. I did a little wire management under the sump and mounted some led strip lights...loved them inside my tank cabinet. My Apex is not running correctly for some reason but get a call into them now to see whats going on. I was able to see it in fusion this weekend but now it is constantly rebooting so we will see.

Still trying to get my mind around I could add fish next weekend....we will see if Brightwell is correct or not.
 

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