220 in wall build up


Premium Member
I have a post on this in our local area portion of RC but figured this puts me into the large reef tanks arena so I should post one here. I actually found this website when someone directed me here as I was looking at some bigger setups people had and I really appreciate that, there is a lot of information here.

So, we had been thinking of building a tank into a wall that used too be an exterior wall and still had the old exterior windows. Hole was 80" wide and 48 tall...looked into a custom starfire tank but the cost put me off. Ended up getting a perfecto 220 tank thats 72x24x30 which will work fine with a little additional trim work.

I do not have central air and have always run into problems with heat in the summer time so wanted too put the sump/refuge in the cellar.

Here is where the tank was too go, this was shot about a week ago


The skimmer I decided on is the Octopus TDNW-300 which will be in the cellar along with a 300g rubbermaid tub as the sump. I also picked up a used calcium reactor from another RC member to use.

Cellar looked like this about a week ago:


Picked up the plumbing and utility sink last week also and plumbed those in.

My kids are looking forward too being able to get more fish...
So I had finished the utility sink and running a new line for a hose outside by the wifes deck...forgot too mention, my wife wanted a deck for many years and when I said lets build that tank her reply was "Not until I have a deck" so the deck was built in 4 weeks...


I also braced the floor where the tank will go. This is an exterior wall and may not have needed the added bracing, however better safe than sorry. Used a 10' 4x4 and two jack stands:



The plumbing (me and plumbing do not get along too well, go figure with aquariums being one of my big hobbies...) need to be repaired in two spots, outside where the hose hookup went and where I started the job...an old unused washer/dryer hookup, the cold water connection is leaking but i think that may be the inside of that old fitting.
Here is a shot of after the windows were removed



It was harder to remove the window than I had imagined, we needed too use a reciprocating saw to cut the window out. A couple neighbors came by to help get it out.

Now to build a stand...
After a few days of no progress, picked up wood for the stand then headed over to Reef Creations too pick up the tank (Thanks too everyone there who helped get it into the minivan)

So, built the frame of the stand for the rest of the day and now have the tank up. Plans for tomorrow are to get the plumbing going under the stand and toward the cellar as well as working on finishing the stand/planning the hood.

Some photos of the progress:




Put the bulkheads in today, did work around the house/deck the rest of the time...

My youngest checked the integrity of the tank out today:



Savco fittings arrived last Friday along with the flexible PVC tubing. Found out after using regular cement on a few fittings there is a special cement for the flexible and picked that up using it on the rest...

Plan on using the flex tubing pretty much everywhere. (4) tubes for returns on the inline each with its own true union joint so I can clean the Ocean Motion occasionally. (1) 1 1/2 dran too the closed loop and (2) drains (2) returns too the main tank for a total of 8 1" true unions and (1) 1 1/2 inch true union...

I opened the package and there was a big roll of the 1" tubing, a shorter 1 1/2 inch tube a strainer and 8 1" true union ball joints...no 1 1/2" true union ball valve so i check the receipt thinking they forgot too add that too my order, but nope there it is $34.

Grabbed the phone and called, Savco rep seemed to be very helpful and said he would take care of it today (so, wont have the part I need till Monday/Tuesday?)
Could not really reach the bottom of the tank and wanted to wipe it out with vinegar so enlisted my older daughters help...she got a kick out of being in the tank (I know second kid in tank photos in one thread...going overboard?)



So, the tank was clean and ready for some stuff inside
So off to Reef Creations (local shop) to get some sand/live rock a replacement 1.5" true union so I could finish the plumbing and pick up my pumps that arrived.

Got home to find my wife was still out at a 5k run with the son and did not get back to work on it until after 9pm (gave me time to drip an SPS I picked up and fish) but put me behind schedule. I also found out I need a couple more PVC joints to complete the plumbing so carried some 5g buckets of water up to fill the tank a little keeping the liverock mostly under water but got tired so called it a night.

About 150lbs of rock and 140lbs of sand in the tank right now and I did not count the buckets of water moved.



First "residents" of the new tank, must have been hanging on or in some of the rock I moved from the 75 gallon

Picked up some of the blue PVC cement (The correct stuff too use with the flexible PVC tubing) and finished everything except placing the pumps in. Did rig up a submersible for the Barricuda so that I could pump water up into the main display to empty the 300g rubbermaid enough to put in a bulkhead.

Surprisingly enough it worked well, the submersible (rubbermaid tub with a 2 1/4 hole cut out for the input) allowed me to get the pump at water level. I did try the Mag 7 from the 75 gallon first, no luck...then tried the Dart pump which also could not get the water that high...it looks like I ended up with a 14-15' head.

So, the display is now full up too about 5" below the top of the tank. The bulkhead fitting for the sump's pump is drying. I figured since its not 100% flat surface to seal it with aquarium sealant after getting it on.

I wanted too use one of the rocks from the 75 gallon to add more support too a 60lb rock I have placed up creating a large cave so took it up and shook it, saw a large star inside so kept pulling it a little out of the water and the star eventually dropped out (the water in the display is about 15 degrees cooler than that in the old 75 gal at this point) and the process of getting the star out took about 10 minutes. I then looked over the rock several times to ensure there were no other hitchhikers. As soon as the rock hit the water in the new tank, my wrasse shoots out and goes into the rockwork too hide.

I quickly put three heaters in the new tank hoping that this will help get the temp closer too what it was in, but I fear any damage is done. I should have been more patient and heated the water before adding anything from the 75 gal.

I hope the wrasse is tough enough to make it.

Tomorrow I will hook up the pump on the sump and hopefully have it ready to run on Monday after some more RO/DI water is made into the sump. I will be moving at least the rockwork out of the 75 gallon tomorrow and setting up the final aqua-scaping and perhaps moving some of the other livestock depending on the parameters of the water.

Will not have my lights yet, so would have too jury rig something too hold my current light set up over this tank. Wont be able to finish the closed loop until the Ocean Motions arrives.

Coming too a point where I am waiting on gear.
Well, that brings us up to date. I was coping and pasting from my local RC community thread and hope it still makes sense, some questions were answered so may seem a bit weird too read some of it.
Good news, when testing the water parameters this morning the wrasse came out of hiding/sleeping for the night and appears too be doing fine. The water temp is up too 74F in the 220 now as well, so hopefully the stress from his hitchhiking into the new setup will not be too much for it too handle.

The water tested fine, there is currently about a 5 degree difference between the two tanks plan on finishing the plumbing too the sump this morning and transferring the livestock this evening after getting the temps closer together by transferring some of the water from the 75 over too the main tank and water that is in the cellar up too the 75 during the course of the day.
Spent the day plumbing the Barricuda too the sump in the cellar, dismantling the old 75 gallon and getting the livestock/corals into the 220 today. Tomorrow will get some shots, as well as finishing up in the cellar.

Still waiting on the Ocean Motions four way too install the in line (Dart pump under the tank) and the 400w MH bulbs for the hood. It is currently being lit by a single 400w bulb from the old display.
Thank you, need to break out a camera again. Have done a lot in the cellar and not as much upstairs.

Have completed the closed loop and have it running, it is on a timer alternating on/off due too my puffer getting stuck on the intake the first night it was on.

Lights should be here today, so there will finally be sufficient lighting in the main display.

After reading the results of some testing (current RC thread) on the phosban reactors ordered one and will have it up and running on Monday.

Picked up some of the Oak yesterday for finishing the stand, going with 1x red oak and red oak trim. A neighbor who is good with woodwork is providing the labor in exchange for an old 45g setup I had
The phosban reactor arrived yesterday and I installed it, after seeing it working I can understand why it works better than using a media bag and think I may get a second reactor.

Here are some shots I took while installing the Luminarc III and MH bulbs.



We have the front of the stand completed and will be installing it today then will be building the doors and sides/canopy. Using Red Oak 1x boards.
Here is a shot of the cluttered basement, need to take a few hours too really clean it up now that most items are where they will remain. Need to also pick up some float switches and set up a auto top off as I have been doing it manually still.


Need to work on the hood that sits over the refuge, so the pipes coming into the top from the overflow of the main tank goes under them. Also need to disconnect the UV unit and use PVC cement on the fittings that attach to it, its dripping a leak from simply being seated.


Lots of room for some SPS growth




Wish they grew faster


Also wish I could remember their names, I think this one has a new branch starting: