240g Mixed Reef Tank Build

ChrisKey

New member
240 Gallon Ocean View aquarium - 96" x 24" x 25"
The tank was originally sitting on a 24" tall stand but I want to make it harder on myself and decided to build a 36" tall stand for better viewing. The plan it to take the existing stand and convert it to a canopy above the tank to house my LED penant lights and give it more of a built-in feel.
I will be finishing the stand and canopy to match at a later date but getting it set up and cycling is the first step since I am setting the tank of 4 hours from home. I just bought a new house that we will move into in 7 weeks, but I wnad to take advantage of that time and cycle the tank before I move all my livestock. I wanted to have the tank up this weekend but due to a bad design in my stand (I built one side 1/4" taller than the other so I have to do some leveling of the tank/stand before I can add water) I had to push that back until Easter weekend when I am back to the new house in Huntsville.
Ultimate goal is a mixed reef tank with about 35x turnover in the DT.

Some of the equipment I will be running:
Aquacontroller III with 3 DC8 oulets
4 - 120w Bridgelux LED Pendant Lights
40b sump with a separate 20g Tall Refugium on reverse lighting cycle. 6x turnover rate through sump.
3 - 200W heaters as well as 2 cooling fans controlled by the aquacontroller to maintain 78.0-78.2 degrees.
Aqualifter Pump ATO controlled by float switch
Return pump is a Panworld 250ps that will be feeding dual 1" returns down to 3/4" penductors, dialed down to about 1500gph total flow. But with the penductors I hope to realistically get 3000gph flow.
I custom drilled the tank and built a 36" overflow box with a Bean Animal Silent overflow system.
4 Hydor Koralia Pumps (5000gph total)
Skimmer I am going to run is an ETSS 600 skimmer pushed by a Little Giant 4mdq pressure rated pump at just under 700gph at the necesary 3' of head.
Bubble magus Dosing pump with 3 of the 5L dosing containers. Plan to dose Calcium, Alk, and possibly fuel or some other trace elements. I am using Reef Crystals Salt and I think my Magnesium will not require dosing. I am currently running Dr Drews dosing pumps with great success, but upgrading to the Bubble Magus
BRS Dual chamber reactor with GFO and phosban.
Coralife 9W UV Sterilizer

I have 110 lbs dry base rock from Reefrocks.net I am using as the lower base because they are flattened pieces. Then I have about 60lb dry rock of mixed pukani and reef saver rock. Then I have about 120 lbs of live rock that is getting cycled for the next two weeks, and finally about 100 lbs of live rock from my current 55g and 20g mixed reef tanks. So I hope to use a total of 170 lbs dry rock and 100 lbs of live rock in the DT and use about 50lb of live rock in the sump. I have about 420 lbs of rock but I only want to use about 320 in the tank.

I am using 160 lbs of sand from reefrocks.net so it is his Bahama Sand placed in after the rock forms are sculpted. Seeding it with 2-3 cups from my current tanks.

Setting up a dual 55g drum Saltwater Mixing Station that will refill fresh RODI and Fresh Saltwater by the turn on a gang value under the stand.
Coralife 50gpd RODI 4 stage unit, upgraded to a 75g membrane with the 150gpd upgrade from BRS.
For water changes, I plan for an 8% water change each week, so I will pump 20g of water from the sump straight down my Laundry drain then just open a valve to refill the 20g I removed and turn the system back on.
I will have a 30g RODI container under the stand for the ATO reservoir, so once a week I can turn the valve to fill that fresh water.

Future upgrades:
Genesis RENEW Automatic Water Change
4 Vortech W40es pumps OR 2 W60es pumps

I know there are tons of things I am missing, but I will update on a regular basis. It will be slow updates in the first few weeks because I cannot do anything to the tank for 2 weeks at a time while I am still living in Auburn (4 hours way).
 

ChrisKey

New member
Here is the tank after I first bought it and moved it into a garage for 2 months. The tank sat without water for a few years and has lots of salt deposit and about 250 pounds of coral rubble in it.

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ChrisKey

New member
Here are some pictures of the equipment I will be using. I am not going to be using filter socks on a regular basis but only use them about 2 days a week to get a good removal of suspended solids or use them 2 days before I know I will be showing my tank. I am also going to redesign the socks and make a larger rectangular sock. when I bought the tank, it had some DIY metal halide lights with cooling fans, so I removed the fans and fabricated an acrylic holder for them to sit on the sump. They will turn on when the temp gets too high and should be adequate for my setup.

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ChrisKey

New member
Water will flow into the first chamber (socks) with the protein skimmer pump pickup at the bottom of this chamber. The water will then flow under the first baffle into a section with live rock. I built the second section large enough for an in sump skimmer in case the ETSS downdraft skimmer just doesn't work like I want. then it overflows into a large section that will be a frag growout area with a 250w metal halide 10,000K lamp. Then flow into the return chamber on the far left. I think I will install one more baffle as a bubble trap on this section to prevent microbubbles. I will be pushing 1500gph, so I think that will be some turbulent flow falling into the return section, even if I place the float switch just an inch below the overflow. This setup will give me about 30 gallons of water in the sump so I will have about 10 gallons of backflow from when the tank backsiphons with the pumps turned off.

I will either be feeding the refugium with its own cobalt 1200 pump from the middle section or have it fed off the return line and overflow back into the return section. I don't want it fed from the overflow of the DT to prevent as much debris from getting into the refugium as possible. And I will be keeping a population of copepods and ampipods in the refugium so it can overflow them into the return to feed the DT.

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I am going to have three separate 1.5" drains from the DT coming into the sump from the Bean Animal Overflow. In this sketch, I have the overflows on the side of the tank but I decide to drill in the center and have the overflow in the center of the tank.

I have a 1" bulkhead for an external pump drilled for the protein skimmer from the first chamber.

Then for the return, I drilled a 1" bulkhead for the Panworld pump that will pump up and split into two separate sections for each side of the tank. I may also split off and have it feeding my GFO Reactor, Phosphate Reactor, and UV Sterilizer, as well as the refugium. The 20g refugium is drilled and will just drain directly into the sump.
 

ChrisKey

New member
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The major difference between this sketch and the actual tank is I drill in the center and put in a 36" overflow box.
 

ChrisKey

New member
Here is a picture of about 2/3 the plumbing I plan to use. I also have all the plumbing to set up my dual 55g saltwater mixing station that isn't pictured.

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ChrisKey

New member
And here is a pic of the downdraft skimmer and the 20g refugium. The box is also my 4 sets of 120W bridgelux LED Lights. I currently have 3 of them hooked up to my 55g and 20g reef tanks, so I didn't bother with getting the last one out of the box until I get the rest of it set up.



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ChrisKey

New member
I was dreading the tank drilling for a few weeks because one slight problem and I didn't want my 240 gallon tank to crack. But all was successful and went very smooth. It took about 30 minutes total to drill the 3 holes including the setup and cleanup time, so I was very happy.

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ChrisKey

New member
Next came the building and the painting of the overflow box. I originally planned for an overflow on one side of the tank that was 14" long by 5.5" wide by 6" deep, but I want to make sure I catch enough surface skimming. I wanted the overflow on one side so I could adjust the overflow ball valve for the Bean Animal, but I decided I could put it in the center and just extend the valve to be below the tank and access under the stand.

So I had some glass cut at Huntsville Glass to give me a 36" long by 5" wide by 5" deep overflow box. Siliconed the box together first, then painted the front and sides only with krylon fusion on the inside. I left the bottom clear so light could penetrate and reduce my shadow in the tank from the box.

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maddmaxx

New member
looks good so far...long tanks like that are sweet, more fish, perfect for tangs. alot to fill up and look at, hope all goes well....
 

ChrisKey

New member
While painting the box, I am also painting the back glass and the trim of the tank. Lots of newspaper and painters tape. :)

It took just a little bit over 2 cans of Krylon Fusion, so got the whole thing painted for about $12. It turned out great.

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ChrisKey

New member
While in the process of the overflow box silicon curing, I decided to drill two more holes in the glass bracing in the top of the tank for my returns. I have the 36" overflow box in the middle of the tank and these returns will be about 4" from the side of the box pointing to the opposite walls. I used some 1" pipe and 90 degree elbows to reduce it to a 3/4" FNPT connector. I wanted to reduce it down to a 3/4" connection for a Penductor on each side to also help improve flow.

I am not sure if the suction from the penductor will cause and issues with the overflow since it is that close, but I will just take the penductors out if it does cause a problem.

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ChrisKey

New member
And here is a pic of the return section put together. I don't want to deal with a check valve or anything so I will drill a hole directly below the water line to break siphon when the pump it turned off.

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ChrisKey

New member
And here is the money shot with the tank sitting on the new stand with the old stand on top as a canopy. I still have some work to do on building a skin for the stand and canopy, but for now it is going to remain open so I can set up and work on the tank until it is complete with all equipment hooked up.

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ChrisKey

New member
One other DIY project you can see in the first picture is the screen covers for the top of the tank. I have 3 open sections that are 24" x 24" so I wanted to prevent catastrophies from occurring with jumpers. So I went to Home Depot and got the Bird Mesh from the garden sections as well as the window screen frame and corners so I could put together 3 sections to provide screen tops. they turned out great. You can see them sitting in front of the stand in their positions. They will get installed when I get cycled and get the fish in.

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david00061

New member
And here is the money shot with the tank sitting on the new stand with the old stand on top as a canopy. I still have some work to do on building a skin for the stand and canopy, but for now it is going to remain open so I can set up and work on the tank until it is complete with all equipment hooked up.

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Looks nice in that room. I would never put a display tank in my basement.
 

worm5406

Not afriad to admit wrong
Team RC
That is a VERY nice build out so far.

I am going to like following this.

+1


Looks nice in that room. I would never put a display tank in my basement.

I had to put my DT in the basement. Floors in the old house and placement of supports under neath it. Unless I wanted to put it in the middle of the room.

At least I have 100% control of the lighting and windows.
 

ChrisKey

New member
Ok. I will be rock scaping this weekend and putting in the sand so I want an idea on which aquascaping looks best and flows best. So vote on one of the following and let me know if there is a change you would make. Or if there is a combination you would do. I hate this part. :)

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ChrisKey

New member
Option 1 is more of a minimalistic approach for some more SPS.
Option 2 gives some open swimming room in the middle.
Option 3 gives me more places to put coral and provide a good center for large leathers and soft corals / LPS.
Option 4 is another minimalistic setup with three columns for groups of coral.

Since the tank is 8' long I think I can get away with two or three sections and still provide plenty of swimming room.
 
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