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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started framing the stand yesterday and was hoping to get the rough build finished today but had to rip out carpet, padding, and staples to get a new floor installed tomorrow. When I finally got a chance to start again my wife took my oldest daughter to the hair salon and left me with the baby.

I am using the panel method for the actual tank. Instead of the 2x4 with 1/2" ply for the side panels. I am using 2x8 shaved to 7 inches with 3/4" ply. This way I can holesaw two inch holes for the overflow system and keep it all hidden by a stained exterior sheathing. I am going to use fiberglass and marine epoxy to seal the panels. The water volume of the tank is going to be 519 gallons (96x48x26). The exterior dimensions of the tank are going to be 111.5x54x32.5 (almost the same as the stand) This will allow for about 3 inches from the water line to the top of the tank. I was stressing about whether or not to go over 24 inches deep, but I wanted to at least say that I have a 500 gallon tank.

Stand 111.5x54x32

32- 2x6x10
10- 2x8x10
1- 1/2" 4x8
5 lbs- 3 inch deck screws
5 lbs- 4 inch deck screws
5 lbs- 2.5 inch deck screws
32- 3/8" 8" zinc bolts
1 case - large tubes of liquid nails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The first things into the tank are all of the demasoni fry I keep finding. I am also gonna toss in some clams for sifting, and about 50 crayfish. Then I am gonna put in some Moba Fronts, a largemouth bass, a channel cat, sunfish, and yellow perch. I am replacing my 2x 240 tanks with one large tank. I will be selling the tanks on Craigslist once the 519 is up and running.

Sorry - If you get mad about the demasoni living with the preds but my LFS will only take so many in trade, so it is either the freezer then the garden or life on the run. You never know they just may make it.

Sorry - I am mixing fish from different continents and different genus but they are large predators that only eat smaller fish and show con-specific aggression. I have never seen my Frontosa, Bass, or Perch chase a different species. These guys like to relax, unless it is feeding time.

I'll post some pics when I get the stand completed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am planning on having 8x 1.25-1.5" ID drains in the tank. 4 of the drains will be setup for surface skimming and the other 4 will be setup about 3 inches above the substrate. Every pipe diameter is ID.

The drains will be tied one high and one low that feed into a 4-way. Will 1.5" be sufficient or should I use 2" when T'ing the two 1.25-1.5 drains. I think that keeping the same diameter piping won't matter because total flow will be provided by two quiet one 9000s that flow around 2328GPH less the head and bends. Even at the max 4656GPH; 4x 1.5" pipes should provide plenty of area to move that much water.

http://www.petsforum.com/personal/trevo ... tions.html

I plan on using the above link for the surface skimming portion of the overflow and will use a couple street 90s to pipe the low flow drains to the same level as the surface skimmer.

The only modification that I am going to make to the above link is using a router to cut a long channel on each side instead of using a drill and multiple holes.

Does anyone see any flaws in this system... I am open to suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is what I have done so far. The stand and the tank are going to be modular. I built all of the panels squared and plumbed everything then then glued and screwed a bunch of stuff. To assemble the panels I lap jointed the front and back with this sides using 5" lag bolts and 3" bolts with nuts. I also used 8" bolts to secure the sides to the fronts. I paneled out the sides a little more and used 2.5" bolts. If I ever need to break it down I can use an impact wrench or auger motor to back the bolts out. Once the bolts are backed out I should be able to use a bottle jack to pop the front and back from the sides.



I have 3x 20x26" openings on the front and back. This will allow me to put in 3x 19x36" Sumps and tie those together with 2 inch PVC.



I used 2x8 for the sides trimmed to 7" so I can drill 2-2.5" holes for the plumbing. This way I can keep the plumbing hidden in the sides. I also framed the inside which adds support for a beam and will also support the 2x8' floor panels from the panel tank. I had to change the tank specs for the floor to 2x 2x8' instead of 1x 4x8 because I cannot get a 4x8 sheet, with the joists attached, down into my basement.



I have a 5.5x5.5" beam with 1/2" plywood inbetween boards. I still have to assemble the supports for the middle two portions of the beam. This middle beam will support the middle portion of the 2x8' panels for the tank floor. After the framing of the floor panels I will have a span that can easily be supported by doubled 2x3" spaced every 10".

If you are a little confused by the layout and how the floor will tie into the sides and be supported by the stand, all you need to do is wait for me to get the panels assembled, fiberglassed, and the glass installed and I will show pictures of how the whole thing is supported and how I am deflecting the weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I finished the front, back, and side panels today. I also started on the two floor panels. Those should be finished tomorrow. Once I get the floor built I'll lay it out and post some pics of it. I should be able to get the fiberglass and epoxy tomorrow, as well, but will not be able to start the fiberglass until this weekend. I will not do the final bolt assembly of the panels until the fiberglass/epoxy has cured but will pick up the

I increased the outer tank dimensions from 111.5x54x32.5 to 111.5x54x34. This allows me a little extra overhead in case I want to run a 2" bulkhead for the suface skimmer.

I may change the sump layout to 2 72x16" sumps, I am going to build them out of plywood since it is so easy to work with. The only problem with making 2 long sumps instead of 3 short ones is that I will have to set the sumps in the stand before the tank is put on top and will not be able to get them out once the tank is filled with water.

I am going to try a refugium with java moss, and keep it separate from the pump house with some egg crate foam. I saw the TheFishGuy's sump for his 240 and thought of a way to work it into my sump idea. I will still use Bio balls but those will be in the trickle portion of the sump . I am also going to float hyacinths or water lettuce on half of the tank surface. Some people say that refugiums really don't work with fresh water but the tanks that I have heavily stocked and also have java moss in, have much lower nitrates when I do water changes. I figure that a dedicated space for growing something should have some benefits. I will have two different refugiums, one per sump, and a 75 HQI bulb for each that will run when the tank lights are off.

I am going to run three timers. One for the lights over the floating plants, that will also power the lights for the refugium. The other two will turn on over the space of an hour so the tank will light gradually.
 

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You should have taken the 4x8 sheet into the basement first and then attached the joists. Hopefully no problems arise from the 2 piece floor.

As far as the sumps you have got to be able to easily perform maintenance or you'll find yourself performing less and less maintenance on them.

Also if you were to build the sumps fixed inside the stand as not to be removed you can build 1 single big one instead of 2. It doesn't need to just be 16" wide. From the pictures it looks like your stand doesn't have a floor. So you can set the sump in the final position then lift the stand over the sump. Then put the tank on top of the stand. You could then have a 72"Lx36"Wx18"H which could potentially hold 200 gallons of water before it overflowed onto the floor and you would have plenty of room to be able to maintain it. Then you could have internal compartments for the refugium and whatever else you wanted to put in it. But that is just a size you could have. It doesn't need to be to those specs.

With the sump being 18" high you would have 12" of clearance that you could reach inside as to perform said maintenance. Having one giant sump would save you from having to link the sumps together.

It ultimately comes down to you and what you want to do.

Also, are you going to be using any form of auto water changer? Did you buy those pumps already?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The two piece floor won't be a problem, each piece is supported all the way around and gets bolted together and also to the front and sides. When I fiberglass I will be able to glass the surface and sides of all panels so there will not be any wood on wood contact between panels. When I assemble the panels they will get a bead of silicone as a stop in case the slicone in the tank fails. I also made the whole setup to be modular so after undoing 105 3/8" bolts I will be able to tear it down and move it. I didn't want to spend all this time building something that will have to be destroyed when I eventually move. Otherwise I would have just used doubled 3/4" ply fiberglassed inside and out.

I have a HI-S/RO-DI that fills a 32 gallon container that I use for changes for my SW tanks. I normally just bucket topoff the FW tanks out of the 32 gallon. I have been thinking about setting up a single solenoid, low flow constant pressure pump, two electrical floats, a mechanical float, with a relay and battery back up. Having the tank in the basement opens up a bunch of possibilities for plumbing since I have access to all of the pipes and can add more as needed.

I thought about one large sump but I will have 2 5.5x5.5" posts that support the center beam. They are between the door openings and cuts the layout into three side-by-side areas that will be accessible from either side. I have 32 inches of interior height but I have to be able to jockey everything through one of the 20x26 inch openings.
 

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I know how you are building the tank. I supplied the link that you adapted your design from.

That stand really doesn't even need that center cross beam. That stand is solid. Plus the bottom joists of the tank itself will be resting on the outside ring of the stand. The only way the cross beams would even do anything is if they went front to back.

519 gallons of water is 4323.37lbs you won't be able to budge that setup. So you don't have to worry about side flex in the stand or the need to support that cross brace from the bottom.

I just don't see the need for it anyway. But if you want to do it for peace of mind then go ahead.

How do you have 32 inches of interior height? I can see 30" tops. The 26" door opening and then 4" from the doubled up 2x's but then you couldn't get access to the sumps. Hence why I said make the sump 18" tall so you would have 12" above the sump to access it.

Did you buy those quiet one 9000 pumps yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh yeah, you did supply the link, thanks again.

The doubled 2x6s are 6 inches and then I have 26 inches of vertical 2x6. Once I slide something in, it will rest on the floor. The low spot for the beam goes below the top plate about 2.5 inches so in that area I have only 26.5 inches but that will still fit with my specs, as long as I keep total height low.

The center crossbeam holds the 2 floor panels. If I were to span the entire length with a single panel then I wouldn't need the beam. Since the open span that the joists have to run is 19 inches I am using 2x4 ripped to 3 inches, doubled with 3/4" ply for rigidity. The joists are about 10" OC. I know that I can support the floor with less but I want to stop any eventual sagging from having a sustained weight on the floor.

I didn't get the pumps yet, still figuring on how much total flow I should have. I like 10x turn over for my tanks but 5k GPH is alot of flow. I like two pumps powering two spray bars but am open to any suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got the the floor assembled this afternoon and picked up some West System 105, 205 and fiberglass.


This is the outside of the side panel. This is where all of the plumbing will get stuffed on ends.


This is the inside, just basic wood.


The floor panels have been completed. The top is basic 3/4 ply, the bottom has doubled 2x4 (cut to 3") with 3/4 ply inbetween.


Top image of the floor as it will lay in the tank.


The side panels lined up with the floor panels.


The whole thing temporarily clamped into place. I still have to build the L-Channels to mount the glass.

I should be able to start the fiberglass this weekend. I will do the entire front and back of the glass panels, the inside and sides of the side panel, and the top and all the sides of the floor panels. I don't know if I should put a rought fit on the stand and drill the holes for the bolts, then disassemble it and finally fiberglass it, or just glass it and assemble it; I am still debating which order to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I ordered the glass today. It will be here next Friday. I ordered 2 pieces of 94.25x25.875x.5 tempered glass with the edges polished (not really cheap, even though I shopped for the best price). I'll get the panels fiberglassed tomorrow, and mount the glass next weekend. During the week I am going to paint the interior of the stand, inside of the side panels and fit the plumbing. I will be using rustoleam outdoor paint because all I really need to control is humidity on the wood in those areas. I also need to make the sumps and seal them. For that I will have to order my bulkheads.

I still have to get some self-leveling floor epoxy to level out the 111.5x54" pad that I will set the tank on.

I figure about 3 more weeks before I will be able to do a water test.
 

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How are you going to connect the sumps together? If you make them removable the easiest way would just be to use clear tubing. If you go the fixed route then you could just use pvc/bulkheads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Clear tubing would be good but If I go with over 2" diameter I will have to start looking at coldwater supply lines for industrial drinking applications. I do have a PVC setup in mind, but am also designing a flexible tube layout as well.

I am looking at compression connectors for 3 or 4 inch PVC. The Bulkeads are going to be threaded inside and slip outside. This way I can screw in a teflon taped plug if I ever have to disconnect one of the sumps. The two outside sumps will be tied directly together and they will both have a connection to the pumphouse sump.

The filters and heaters will be on the end sumps. The middle sump will have the refugium with java moss, and also the return pumps. I am trying to have everything modular for ease of disassembly for emergency repair and also provide redundant operation. I am also going to run two more 20 amp GFI runs from my transfer panel so I can get automatic power switchover in case of a power failure.
 

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Instead of going with one giant pipe you could go several 2" pieces of pvc to get adequate flow to the center sump where the pumps are. Then you could use unions and ball valves for disconnection. Cracking open a 4" union would be a PITA. Also disconnecting the bulkheads how you are talking about sounds like it might be a PITA too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Any way you look at it, undercabinet plumbing is a PITA.

I wasn't thinking of unions but compression couplers. Unions are usually used with high pressure liquid and even gas movement. A drain is a low pressure, coldwater, application so compression couplers will work just fine. I know that with the 2" and smaller couplers I can cut the coupler in half and use it as a spigot connecter but I have not found anything out about the larger sizes.

With the compression coupler I can use street 90s and T's to mount my bulkheads at the end of the sumps. I should be able to undo the coupling on one end of the sump then pull the sump out of the other side. It should be as simple as screwing in a plug inside the other two sumps (I might use cutoffs), undoing the compression fitting, then removing the sump.

With cutoffs it would be turn two levers undo one nut, then remove the sump.

http://www.arncocorp.com/Product.aspx?PAGE_ID=244
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I started the fiberglass this weekend. If you have never done fiberglass (myself included), it is best to use some scrap pieces and practice at the temps you are using. I am using West System 105 resin and 205 fast hardner. I haven't even started the glass panels yet because there are quite a few angles and corners that I have to work with, more practice will be need on the flat panels until I can start the glass panels.

The first piece took the longest but as I got to the last piece I was getting better with the application and using the squeege to use the minimal amount of epoxy. I am going to use 5 coats, two with matte, and three without.

The first coat was clear, west system recommends not adding any pigment until later coats. I bought some blue pigment and will apply the second layer of matte and one of the follow on coats with the blue pigment. Just the sides will get the pigment. I will leave the floor plain because it will be covered with a mix of sand and aragonite. The final two coats will be clear epoxy.

I was hoping to be farther along but we have 40+ nights over the next week so I have to double the cure time for every 15 degree drop in temp from the 72 degree standard. I get a little more work time since the days are at 50 right now, so I can work the glass and resin to the thickness that I need.

Before I apply the second coat in about an hour, I had to do a little prep work. I washed the epoxied surfaces with a damp cloth to remove any of the amine blush that has built up on the surface, then I sanded the top and sides of each panel first with 60 grit to knock down any of my sloppiness and then with 80 grit so the new layer will have something to bite into. After that I ran another wet rag over the top to get rid of any dust.

I also went out and bought 2 more gallons of resin and 2 more quarts of hardner. I don't want to run out in the middle of a panel. I will return any unopen containers when I am done.

I have been using a 3M organic respirator with cartrigdes. The smell isn't bad but the package says toxic, so an organic respirator is a necessity. I was toying with the idea of using my M40 gas mask but didn't want to crack open the seal on the filter cartridge.
 
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