DIY - Projects & Ideas • My Odyssey- Building a 100G Tank into my Living Room Wall

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Postby The King Crabb » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:10 am

:popcorn: =D> :thumb: Loving it!
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:09 pm

Thanks, guys, it's starting to come together at last.
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Postby Steve C » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:31 pm

Lookin good man. Make sure to post a pic when that BG gets there Tuesday :thumb:
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I think we're gonna need a bigger boat
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Postby vann59 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:50 pm

Well, this is no doubt going to be a Christmas to remember with a great family gift built into the wall. Hopefully you will get many years of enjoyment from this project. Looks like you're doing a great job.

A couple little things I thought of, that you may already have covered, but I thought I might mention them just in case.

Since there will be a substantial amount of evaporation (what with the sump and all), I would suggest that you make sure the air circulates well enough from the room into the house, and will allow your home A/C to deal with the moisture, which I assume it can handle well, to prevent any mold problems.

And since you do use the fireplace on occasion, at those times, it will likely be a significant source of heat within the fish room, and it could cause a temperature increase inside the fish room, so if you have a digital thermometer, that you can see easily, it might afford an early warning for any overheating problem. And a quiet little circulation fan in either wall, located up high, along with an intake vent, like maybe a large return A/C vent, located lower, perhaps in the entry door or below the tank on the viewing wall, about knee level, would help with the potential buildup of moisture and/or heat.

Also, another water issue, you probably have thought of, is you will need a splash shield on the inside of the viewing wall, just above the tank, so when they do a 'shamu splash', it doesn't wet the wall board above the tank. A plexiglass panel stuck to the wall, siliconed along the top edge of the tank rim would work nicely. Likewise, if you silicone the wood trim to the glass on the viewing side, it will keep 'window cleaner' from dripping down inside the wall when you clean the outside glass.

Great looking job. It will be nice to see the finished product. Do you have your peas and haps stocking figured out yet?
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:44 pm

Thanks, Vann. I appreciate the thoughts, especially the little things like sealing the front for splashes. Little things make life easier.

Regarding ventilation, If you look at the picture here

Image

you can just see the space between the peaked family room ceiling, which is solid wood, and the joists of the second story. The whole area is open, and opens to the main attic above the second floor. So it's not truly a sealed room by any stretch. I easily fit up there and can crawl around.

Additionally, there is a crawl space under the room that the back of the tank faces, I could vent that with a small panel if humudity seems to be causing problems, and get a flow from the crawl space under the house and thruogh the attic. The trouble is that while I was working on the room before I closed up the crawl space, there was quite the wind whipping in the crawlspace, when this was open, and I don't want a cold or hot draft shooting in between the floors.

I plan to cover the main tank with plexiglass to slow evaporation, and will add a Sea World style acrylic splash guard. I have some extra plexi and even thought about covering the sump, but I worry about heat buildup.

What do you think?
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:47 pm

Forgot my stock list, I need to go back one more time and cut the 8" or larger fish, but here is my list, as I am not sure I won't just get them and re home when they blow past six or seven inches:

Haps:

Copadichromis azureus
Copadichromis borleyi (Kadango)
Copadichromis chrysonotus
C Moorii
Otopharynx lithobates
Placidochromis electra
Plac. sp Jalo
Plac milomo
Placidochromis phenochilus "Tanzania"
Myelochromis lateristriga
Protomelas spilonotus
Protomelas sp spilonatus Tanzania
Prot sp Steveni Taiwan
Prot taeniolatus Red
Sciaenopchromis fryeri Maleri Island.

For Peacocks:

Auloncara German Red OR
Baenschi, incl albino (one only of the 3)
Aul ethelwynnae
Aul koningsi
Auloncara sp Lwanda
Aul masoni
aul maulana
Aul solisi
auloncara stuartgranti Chiloelo
Aul sturatgranti Ngara flametail
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Postby vann59 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:59 pm

New postPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:44 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Report post
Thanks, Vann. I appreciate the thoughts, especially the little things like sealing the front for splashes. Little things make life easier.

"Regarding ventilation, If you look at the picture here you can just see the space between the peaked family room ceiling, which is solid wood, and the joists of the second story. The whole area is open, and opens to the main attic above the second floor. So it's not truly a sealed room by any stretch. I easily fit up there and can crawl around.

Additionally, there is a crawl space under the room that the back of the tank faces, I could vent that with a small panel if humudity seems to be causing problems, and get a flow from the crawl space under the house and thruogh the attic. The trouble is that while I was working on the room before I closed up the crawl space, there was quite the wind whipping in the crawlspace, when this was open, and I don't want a cold or hot draft shooting in between the floors.

I plan to cover the main tank with plexiglass to slow evaporation, and will add a Sea World style acrylic splash guard. I have some extra plexi and even thought about covering the sump, but I worry about heat buildup."


It sounds like you have a good handle on that issue. If it turns out to be too drafty, you might have to limit air flow rather than create it. I would definitely monitor temperature and humidity for the first year to see how it varies with weather conditions. It might require you to have more heater wattage, maybe using two separate heaters. Anyway, you are aware of it and can figure that out.

My Fluval E heater has a neat feature that if the water temperature is off by two degrees the digital screen will change to blue or red to indicate that visually. Of course there is that convenience on the one hand, versus the visual beauty of having no equipment in view, it's a personal choice.

Perhaps a thin layer of styrofoam on the back and side glass panes of the tank might even help to insulate a little bit if the temperature varies a lot, but of course heat does rise. There are probably a lot of possibilities, and you will no doubt find out what works best as you go.
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Postby vann59 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:23 pm

CITADELGRAD87 wrote:Forgot my stock list, I need to go back one more time and cut the 8" or larger fish, but here is my list, as I am not sure I won't just get them and re home when they blow past six or seven inches:

Haps:

Copadichromis azureus
Copadichromis borleyi (Kadango)
Copadichromis chrysonotus
C Moorii
Otopharynx lithobates
Placidochromis electra
Plac. sp Jalo
Plac milomo
Placidochromis phenochilus "Tanzania"
Myelochromis lateristriga
Protomelas spilonotus
Protomelas sp spilonatus Tanzania
Prot sp Steveni Taiwan
Prot taeniolatus Red
Sciaenopchromis fryeri Maleri Island.

For Peacocks:

Auloncara German Red OR
Baenschi, incl albino (one only of the 3)
Aul ethelwynnae
Aul koningsi
Auloncara sp Lwanda
Aul masoni
aul maulana
Aul solisi
auloncara stuartgranti Chiloelo
Aul sturatgranti Ngara flametail



Theses are some great looking fish, but you may have some 'coloration' issues. If you have a German Red, a Red Shoulder (Chiloelo), and a Ngara flametail, the chance of all three coloring up well are probably slim.

Sometimes you may get two similar colored peacocks to both color up, but three, unless you had a really long tank, I wouldn't count on it, but I could be wrong on that. It's really hard to choose too, with great looking fish like those.

Since you also want to get a Lwanda, and they are more aggressive than the Ngara or German will probably be, then that might be another factor to consider with general aggression. But you can't solve all those issues in advance, there will no doubt be surprises no matter what you do.
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Postby PfunMo » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:33 pm

There will always be the unexpected but I might give you a heads up on the Protomelas sp spilonatus Tanzania . Are you familiar with them? Kept them? I was really surprised when A friend suddenly dumped a bunch for me to keep for a while. They are huge fish but can't handle a lot of the mbuna types. The quick little guys with attitude scared mine to death. I only kept them together for a few months but their stress level was pretty high. They are open water schooling types and the three types of mbuna I tried them with would come up under them and scare them almost out of the water. I had three with gashes in their head from banging into the center brace on my 125. It was a relief to pass them on just to quiet the splashing all night!

While the Copadichromis and Sciaenopchromis fryeri are technically haps, they are full blown mbuna at heart. I might expect trouble there.

This is a picture of my 125. The Protomelas are all jammed together at the left end because the kenyi won't let them come to "his" end of the tank and believe me they were much bigger. The picture skews the size due to him being closer.
Image

As a good point for them-- they will not eat even the smallest fry. That is what the blue arrow was pointing to for a friend to spot.
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:56 pm

I am not familiar with them, thanks for the heads up. I looked at profiles and pictures and tried to find fish that looked good and would fit.

There is wiggle room, the stock list is longer than my stocking comfort level, so I may bump them off, but man those are pretty fish.

At this point, I haven't fallen in love with any, so it's not really a big deal to modify the list.

Thanks for the heads up.
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Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:08 pm

OK, this part is only DIY insofar as the actual install, but I purchased a custom 3D background after seeing that a couple members here, BradyK specifically, got such a nice product from them.

I completely admire the artistic people here who can take a sheet of foam and take away whatever isn't needed so that a realistic background is left. Because of the size of my project, I didn't want to have my in wall 100G be the first background that I ever made, so I spent the money and I am REALLY glad I did. The project has dragged on long enough, I didn't need another 4 weeks for my artistic troubles to manifest. Since I am building it in, I feared that I would never reach "good enough."

After a couple emails back and forth about what I wanted and what they thought, we decided to include a channel along the left side to carry that ugly 1.5" down tube that powers the USandJs and returns the sump water to the main tank. To the right side, the background wraps around and somewhat camoflages the overflow box.

I was able to send this crayola paint diagram that shows you my basic tank setup with critical measurements

Image

After the configuration was set, it was a matter of my wife and I deciding what looked best. I was torn between a monochrome river rock scheme and a multi colored cobblestone scheme (although they have many others, these were the 2 I focused on). Thinking ahead for once, I decided that the real rocks in the tank needed to fit the scheme, so the river rock colors would ensure that just about any colored rocks will work and not create a tension between the large background and the rest of the tank. I also wanted to retain as much tank volume as I could despite the down tube and overflow projections. They were able to handle this easily. Well, they made it look easy, any way.

After initial construction, they emailed me some photos and they were happy to tweak it to my liking. Honestly, looking back, it's kind of hard to imagine that we were able to comunicate so well, with me not being artistic and not being able to see it except through photos.

Any way, here's the packing job they did:

Image

Image

There was a ton of balled up neswpaper cushioning the contents. Every part was wrapped, first in a lot of bubble wrap, then in some light foam sheet.

Enough of the slow roll, here's the only piece I unwrapped at my office. I want to leave the rest wrapped up so they don't bang together on the way home

Image

And a close up

Image

It feels funny, it is not as heavy as rock, but it is wayt heavier than foam. It also feels cool to the touch, I think there is some kind of thin mortar or cement as a coating, but I am not sure and do not intend to let anyone's secret formula out of the bag.

Tonight, I need to clean out the tank and test fit this bad boy, expect some more pictures later. The tanks has been sitting in the garage in the direct path of MDF, plywood, drywall, and all other cutting that is involved in this project.

I completely respect the forum rules regarding posting vendor info, so if anyone wants their contact info, please PM me and I will flip you the address.

So tonight, I need to swing by Home Depot for some drywall screws, a couple more 2 x 4s to build my fish room door, and one piece of melamine for the TV cabinet shelf. I should be in a position to install the tank in the wall this weekend, I will try to get the BG installed tonight, and I will let it gas off and set up until Saturday or so. I also need to finalize the jet configuration and spray that black asap so it can gas off as well.

Fishless cycle is approaching rapidly.

Thanks for watching.
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby PfunMo » Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:49 pm

Very nice looking background. Possibly the best suited to what I like. I'm not a background user/builder either. Possible that people who know hammers and can work them are lacking in the use of paintbrushes smaller then 4"??? Some way my attempts at "natural" just don't get it done!
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Postby Bradyk » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:38 pm

Wow! This is turning out to be quite the project! Hats off to you sir for your amazing build, I hope my build will go as smooth as yours. I'm very curious on how this is going to look and love that background so far and can't wait to see more pictures. Dang you now I think I will have to go with that style of background for my new tank!

When I got mine ups smashed the #%$& out of it and Im so glad that these guys packaged there backgrounds so well, I've heard other people on the net getting BTN backgrounds from other company's and the packing wasnt any good and just destroyed the background. Point and simple these guys take care of there customers.

Good job! we all will be waiting to see this full of water and stocked! :popcorn:
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Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:44 pm

Thanks, Pfunmo and Brady! I am really excited to see the rest of it and get it installed, I can see the end of the project now.

Brady, I was so worried the contents were messed up that I took a picture before I opened it, no worries, though, it was safely cocooned in paper and foam and bubble wrap. These guys KNOW what they are doing.

I can't wait to start my cycle.
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Postby CITADELGRAD87 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:22 am

Crapopla, I typed this out and it jumped screens right before I submitted it.

Anyway, I spazzed out and grabbed GE II window and door, I think it's wrong so I will be checking after this post, I did not use it, so pardon the white boards propping up the BG in some photos.

Here's te cliff notes since I am tired

Here's the tank before

Image

Here's the BG all set up on the floor, which is a good thing, because afer I got it in, the glare is a problem and the boards obscure some of it.

Image

In place but propped up

Image

Image

Here's what they were able to do for the overflow box

Image

Image

And finally, here's my pudmilla super fry, 1.5 inches of colored up badness, he was watching me work on the 100G while he is cooped up in a 10G grow out tank. He may find his way in there, I was never much of a purist

Image

Ok, 10 minutes of GE I vs II research, then off to bed.
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2003 10:28 pm
Location: ORANGE COUNTY, CA

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