Aquarium Setup • Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

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Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby dcheney888 » Thu Apr 16, 2020 11:39 am

Adding a new multipurpose room (above new garage) where I plan to install a 180 gallon tank with a 180 gallon sump with drip feed water supply. Worked with an assumption that the total weight of the filled aquarium would approach 4000 lbs (architect has included this load requirement in our plans).

While I am still 6 months or more away from installing the aquarium, I would appreciate advice on electrical and plumbing specs for the general contractor.

Electrical

I assume I should have a dedicated GFCI outlet for the aquarium. I have not settled on the actual equipment yet (example of what could be included below), but what is the maximum amp draw I should expect for the aquarium? I was thinking something in the range of 5-8 amps. What would you recommend that gives the system some headroom as I would rather have it somewhat overbuilt than have to come back and redo the line after our renovations are complete?

Any other points on electrical (beyond the GFCI and ampage requirements)?

Plumbing

I plan to have a drip feed to the sump. In an initial discussion with the plumber, he thought a line similar to that which feeds a refrigerator water dispenser may be sufficient, but has no experience with aquarium requirements. From a plumber perspective, what needs to be done on his end, even if the drip regulator is something installed downstream of his work?

I have not yet tested our local water for chlorine / chloramine levels but, with drip feed, not sure if that would be an issue (in terms of needing some intermediate tank to get rid of the chlorine).

I assume it would be risky to size the waste line size for just the flow of the drip feed, in the event the tank had a leak would the waste line normally associated with a shower be sufficient or ???

Or, am I overthinking this and having the plumber set up what he would normally do for a washing machine be sufficient?

Tentative / Illustrative Specs for the Tank

180 gallon 72 x 24 x 24. Eshops 300 sump and Lifegard Quietone 4000 (1022 gph) plus a magnaflow C-530 canister. 300w heater (sufficient?)
LED lighting with the modules you can clip in to get the color / intensity I want.
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Fri Apr 17, 2020 1:36 pm

Wow. That sure is one monster sized sump lol. I don't think you would need the canister with that sump. You may need more watts of heating, depending on the temp of the room. The volume of the sump should be considered for heating too. I am no expert in terms of electrical stuff, so idk what to say on that.
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby Deeda » Fri Apr 17, 2020 2:18 pm

OP, I saw your new topic and forgot to reply earlier. It looks like a great project.

How big is the new room? Will you have more than one electrical outlet in the room? Any other non-aquarium equipment or lighting? We converted a basement bedroom to a fish room and ended up adding 3 separate 20amp circuits with 8 wall outlets. It is oversized for what we have now.

As to the plumbing, I would recommend a laundry sink with sufficient space to clean filters, etc. Adding a washing machine box setup might be handy especially if you decide to utilize it for both the drip setup and water changes as this would free up the sink for everyday use. Not sure what the plumbing requirements are in your area but I think it's 2" drain here in Ohio. Don't forget to install a trap to prevent sewer gas!

Don't forget you will also need to be able to drain the display tank for water changes or substrate vacuuming. You could either drain to the laundry sink or DIY some PVC pipe low to the floor that connects to the drain piping and install an open adapter that allows you to stick a hose into it to remove the water.
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby dcheney888 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:00 pm

Thanks for the responses.

Soccer:

I take it that my sump is oversized relative to the primary tank? I had thought most sumps were 50-100% of the capacity of the main tank?

Deeda:

I will have at least one or two dedicated outlets for the aquarium itself (dedicated in that they would each have their own separate circuits). I assume the general contractor can work out what I need to handle the balance of the load requirements for this space (essentially the size of a three car garage). Most of that power is modest, lighting, normal outlets etc. Three 20 amp circuits does seem over the top but what would be appropriate. If I go with the large sump, it sounds like I may need another heater as the room temps may run a little cool in the winter (65-70F).

Plumbing wise, good suggestion with the sink. Sounds like the laundry box setup would be practical. Will check with GC/Plumber on code requirements for the drain. It would be tied to the waste line of the bathroom so a trap will be needed.

Thanks for your input. I would appreciate a little more guidance on electrical and, if a 180 gallon sump is in the silly zone, what would be your recommendations?
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby SoccerMbunaAndShak » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:06 pm

dcheney888 wrote:Thanks for the responses.

Soccer:

I take it that my sump is oversized relative to the primary tank? I had thought most sumps were 50-100% of the capacity of the main tank?

Deeda:

I will have at least one or two dedicated outlets for the aquarium itself (dedicated in that they would each have their own separate circuits). I assume the general contractor can work out what I need to handle the balance of the load requirements for this space (essentially the size of a three car garage). Most of that power is modest, lighting, normal outlets etc. Three 20 amp circuits does seem over the top but what would be appropriate. If I go with the large sump, it sounds like I may need another heater as the room temps may run a little cool in the winter (65-70F).

Plumbing wise, good suggestion with the sink. Sounds like the laundry box setup would be practical. Will check with GC/Plumber on code requirements for the drain. It would be tied to the waste line of the bathroom so a trap will be needed.

Thanks for your input. I would appreciate a little more guidance on electrical and, if a 180 gallon sump is in the silly zone, what would be your recommendations?



You're right about the sump. Nothing wrong with it. I was just amazed that's all. It is not silly at all. Personally, I keep my sumps closer to the 50%, but that's because of cost and space. If I could, I would certainly make mine a lot bigger.
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby Deeda » Fri Apr 17, 2020 3:51 pm

dcheney888, will the room be the size of the 3 car garage or is it just included in the total new space?

I don't see an issue with the sump being so large so if you already have it, use it.

I do agree that my fish room electrical is overkill but as we were already adding AND needed a new larger main panel anyway (contractor installed) we just did it.

As far as the electrical, look long term for what possible uses there may be in the future. Not helpful I understand, more expense upfront but cheaper IF you end up adding more tanks or more equipment for other purposes, say a dedicated shop room or similar.

A silly example is our 2 car attached garage. It had one 15A electric outlet on the wall when we bought it. We had to add an outlet in the ceiling for garage door opener and a couple 20A outlets for power equipment which was not fun trying to fish wire through the walls.
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby dcheney888 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 4:46 pm

Thanks again for your help Soccer and Dee.

Sounds like 3 dedicated 20 amp circuits for the aquarium will keep me from having regrets down the road. Would have completely missed the value of having a laundry sink near the tank - forgot that having drip feed won't eliminate the need for more significant water work, such as substrate cleaning and occasional (if less frequent because of the drip feed) water changes.

Regards

David
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby DJRansome » Fri Apr 17, 2020 5:27 pm

You also need to clean the sump like you would clean any filter, so a sink will help rinsing media, etc.
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Re: Power & Plumbing Specs for a 180 gallon tank plus sump

Postby dcheney888 » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:15 pm

Thanks DJ. Looks crystal clear that the laundry sink is more than just a nice feature, probably essential given the volume of water and media I will be working with.
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