Build: 200 gallon frag system

trizzino

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How are you going to do your electrical? Are you housing the electrical connections outside the box as much as possible? I feel like it’s going to corrode the metal on everything pretty quickly if it’s left inside.
 

danielll

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For electrical I purchased hole covers like you may see on the desk top, to pass cables through. I will drill holes at the points i need pass the cables through, and plug them up outside. I don't think I will need to keep any electrical outlets inside the system at all. Should help protect the power bricks and also make it look pretty clean.

I am going to try to run humidity inside the system at around 52% . I read a little and it said mold is an issue north of 55% so I want to skirt that edge as much as I can to keep evap as low as possible. As to when things start rusting, maybe I should be looking into that as well.
 

danielll

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Today at lunch, I got the tanks completely drained, wiped down and cranked the dehumidifier back up. I saw absolutely no issues with the rubber, it's even less tacky than it was before so I am extremely confident I have the problems worked out now.
 

danielll

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Going to fill it this morning and drain it this evening.
On a side note, just purchased on the Seneye reef monitor with the wifi web server for monitoring. Supposed to be a pretty good par meter as well. Pretty excited to get this.

I looked at controllers primarily for dosing but I just don't think it will work because on one day I can have 50 frags in the system, and the next 350. there's just not a lot of dosing automation that can make sense. I am going to write a quick application to log my tests, and dosing as well as coral frag count, in hopes that as my data set grows, I can start to use the data to predict my consumption based at a per coral level.
 

lmm1967

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Going to fill it this morning and drain it this evening.
On a side note, just purchased on the Seneye reef monitor with the wifi web server for monitoring. Supposed to be a pretty good par meter as well. Pretty excited to get this.

I looked at controllers primarily for dosing but I just don't think it will work because on one day I can have 50 frags in the system, and the next 350. there's just not a lot of dosing automation that can make sense. I am going to write a quick application to log my tests, and dosing as well as coral frag count, in hopes that as my data set grows, I can start to use the data to predict my consumption based at a per coral level.
I'm interested in your application - what platform etc do you intend to utilize?
 

danielll

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I am a .net developer, so I will probably lean into that, probably just a website, subdomain of my biz site. So yeah, .net/ms sql server on the backend, should be fun.

Ideally, just a simple site where I can enter number of corals, and measured parameters, and then build in the logic based on the size of the tanks so it can tell me what to dose. I am hoping that within a few months of this I can test less, and allow it to predict the dosing.
 

danielll

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Alright, and so begins the weekend.

I started by drilling the first couple pass through holes for electrical connections. All plugs will be outside the room, I think this is just a bit wiser in general.
IMG_1353.jpg

Then for funzies, I went ahead and added the sand. the 160 i purchased a while back was actually a very good estimate, sand bed is about an inch, maybe inch and a half deep, and loving the look
IMG_1356.jpg IMG_1357.jpg

Now it's time to make water. my only goal is to fill one half of it, and get the system idling just in one tank so I can fully break down the tank upstairs, get the sump cleaned and put down here, and then get everything plumbed up to go live with the full system.

So i am confident I am going to have my 10-20 half dead corals in this system by sunday night. exciting stuff :D
 

danielll

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Whoops, forgot to post, System is up and running on one side.
59DFE625-FAE4-4FAB-8003-F5D355CFD1E7.jpg

Currently working on prototyping the mounts for the lighting.
image.png

Hoping to have the lighting all done by the weekend, then on to plumbing so I can get the sump and second tank up and going.
 

danielll

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Got all the light mounts built installed, and grabbed a quick photo under full actinic for fun. Loving the way it looks!
IMG_0653.JPG
 

danielll

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Okay, wasn't an overly productive weekend, but I did get the return system roughed in, and will over next week be gluing it.
also got the overflow hoses taken care of, though I have concerns with it's performance, I am hoping it will be just fine.

IMG_1406.jpg
IMG_1407.jpg <- the left side is tee'd off to allow me to control flow through my little refugium I am going to spin up.
IMG_1408.jpg
 

danielll

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Okay guys, I think it's time to wrap up this build thread.
Both tanks are running through the sump, and now it's just a matter of tweaking, and adjusting. The tank has had some frags (about 15) in it for about ten days now with no losses, and in fact one of my acans got uppity and grew another head. Zoas are open, and happy, and the fish are doing just fine.

Some things I have planned moving forward:

1. Installing an air circulation duct outside the box which will pump air from the top of the room down under the left tank so I can place dehumidifer and ac under the tanks.
2. installing a monitor for humidity and temp inside the box so I can keep an eye on that.
3. install the portable ac unit, route vent pipe through wall, and install a port on my garage door so it can vent outside.
4. finalize wiring, and plug pass through holes with insulation, general clean up.
5. install wifi camera so I can keep an eye on it.

(none of these things are worth continuing to update the thread, they are just environmental tweaks.)

So in terms of the technical aspects of the project...

1. dimensions: 7.5w x 7h x 10long (ft)
2. Total cost ~2000 to 2500 not including aquarium equipment
3. Time to build: ~4 months
4. total tank volume including sump ~165gallons
5. total usable area for frags/coral: ~32 square feet with comfortable room for between 500-600 frags. (well spaced)

Some things I would have done differently:
1. Would have built my own sump, spanning the space between the tanks, and just a simple waterfall overflow into it.
2. Would have done the ceiling and wall paneling before building the tanks (would have been way easier)
3. Would have not screwed up the curing my first attempt at liquid rubber :D



I am setting a reminder at 3 and 6 months to come back and post about it's performance over time.

Thank you all for your advice, and encouragement. Would have been a lot less fun without people to talk about it with. If you have any questions or want to come see it, shoot me a PM.

If anyone wants to test out liquid rubber, I have about a half gallon left, and that geotextile tape you are supposed to use for the corners, shoot me a PM.

pic1.png
pic2.png
 

Onefallleaf

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Looks awesome. Whatd you end up using for the lights? I see LEDs and was wondering if you were getting a good dispersion with and without your cover. You know what you are getting PAR wise? Mostly curious because I'd like to do something similar in my house soon.
Also any fish gone in yet?
Definetly would love to hear how this goes 3-6months from now.
 

danielll

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I actually switched to clear acrylic for the covers, and the LEDs are doing okay, I think my par levels as far as my seneye says are around 100, but i really really question the accuracy of seneye par meter. I have done some tests under some other lights and it really seems to measure too low.

For fish, I have a wrasse who hasn't killed the one crab yet so pretty happy about that. and two clowns, all three are currently on one side, eating and doing well.
I am installing the air circulation system on sunday, it will pull air from the top and push it down to the bottom under the tank. I am also going to test whether or not during the mid temp and may summer months if I can simply take that same duct, and route it outside, so air would pull in from the garage, and be pumped outside. I believe if I can keep my temps at 85 or below, I wont need to use an AC at all.

I am in woodstock if you would like to come by and see it.
 

Onefallleaf

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I actually switched to clear acrylic for the covers, and the LEDs are doing okay, I think my par levels as far as my seneye says are around 100, but i really really question the accuracy of seneye par meter. I have done some tests under some other lights and it really seems to measure too low.

For fish, I have a wrasse who hasn't killed the one crab yet so pretty happy about that. and two clowns, all three are currently on one side, eating and doing well.
I am installing the air circulation system on sunday, it will pull air from the top and push it down to the bottom under the tank. I am also going to test whether or not during the mid temp and may summer months if I can simply take that same duct, and route it outside, so air would pull in from the garage, and be pumped outside. I believe if I can keep my temps at 85 or below, I wont need to use an AC at all.

I am in woodstock if you would like to come by and see it.
Ya for sure I'd love to see it at some point. Its a little far away from me I'm in Suwanee, but Ill definitely try to make it over sometime. Im always one for if it grows it really doesnt matter what the par is lol. My measurements have never been accurate but I always have good growth and colors so I roll with it.
 

danielll

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Sure, if you are ever out in this area, just shoot me a PM. I believe the Seneye is known to not measure LED very well because of the way they designed the PAR meter. it's highly dependent on angle.

I did a test when I first got it where I put an off brand led fixture over it about 5 inches and it only measured about 220 par. The light is quite bright so that leads me to think it is measuring too low.
par test.jpg
 
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