Echoreef 250 Entry Way

echoreef

New member
Background:

I got started in the hobby about 3 years ago and jumped on a 120 gallon SPS. It was a long learning process with many disasters along the way. Now that I have gained the experience and knowledge, I am ready for my dream aquarium. I have been wanting to upgrade to a larger tank for almost a year, but the wife said I could not do it until the floor in our home gets upgraded. Well I cannot really argue with that since moving a fish tank of that size is no joke.

So this summer, the flooring finally got upgraded. We went from porcelain tiles to a combination of marble and wood. Here's where the problem got started. I was planning on having an 8 foot long peninsula tank in the living room. The original floor upgrade was suppose to be all marble but we changed our mind to go with wood for the majority of down stair. After seeing how easily the wood floor got damaged when the piano was moved from one spot to another, I realized that having a super heavy fish tank and the potential water damage was not worth the risk.

That is where the contingency plan came in. I really wanted to have a long peninsula tank, but given the situation the tank was going to have to stay against the wall in the entry way of our home. So instead of putting the tank directly on the wood floor, an area was created to be the location of the new fish tank. The measurement of the marble area is 75 inches long by 41 inches wide. If I went any longer, the entry door to the house would not be able to open fully. If I went any wider, the space for walking between the wall and the tank would be too tight. Given the space, my new tank will be 72" long by 30" wide by 27" tall. This comes to 250 gallon.

Old flooring:




New flooring:




 
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echoreef

New member
Aquarium Design

I have done a lot of reading and talking to local reefers the last few years. By visiting reef forums such as here and seeing other people's tank in person, I want to come up with a modern reef aquarium system. My objective is to take as much of the work out of aquarium maintenance as possible and be able to sit back and enjoy the tank more. Sort of like the saying you own the tank, don't let the tank own you.

These are my goals:

  • Automated water change
  • Automated feeding
  • Auto top off
  • LED lighting
  • Natural looking reef
  • Keep it simple: no zeovit, vodka dosing, 2 parts, kalkwasser
  • Self sustaining for a few weeks if I have to go on vacation
  • Crystal clean sand
  • No cyanobacteria, hair algae, diatom, hitch hikers, bristleworm
 

echoreef

New member
Livestocks

For a 250 gallon tank, I would like to get a group of shoaling fish and a few pair of other fish. I am trying not to get any fish that grows to more than 10 inches in size. I am a big fan of angel fish, but I know most are hit and miss with corals. The fish all need to be peaceful with one another. Any fish that messes with the corals will be shipped out. The tank will be predominantly SPS with a few softies thrown in since anytime I have people come to my house, the frogspawns and torch corals get more love than the exotic SPS. I like collecting hard to find SPS species. Although this is a big jump for me to go from 120 to 250 gallon, space is still limited. I will be adding only 40 lbs of additional rocks to the ones I already have in the old tank.

Fish List:

  • Black tang
  • Hippo tang
  • 3 Yellow tang
  • Regal angelfish
  • Bandit angelfish
  • Goldflake angelfish
  • Flame angel
  • Coral beauty angel
  • Diamond goby
  • 2 Picasso clowns
  • 2 Golden Rhomboid wrasses
  • 2 Bartlett anthias
  • 7 Dispar anthias
 

echoreef

New member
Equipments

  • Lee-Mar starphire glass aquarium 72x30x27
  • 100 gallon sump by Advanced Acrylics
  • 36 inches tall custom build stand
  • Reef Savvy ghost overflow
  • 3 Radions Pro LED
  • 3 Vortech MP40w ES
  • Vertex Alpha 250 or RLSS R8-i skimmer
  • GEO 618 calcium reactor
  • Synergy Reef SMR - 2500 media reactor
  • Genesis Renew Pro automatic water change
  • Reef Keeper Control
  • Dolphin Amp Master or Reeflo Dart/Snapper Gold Hybrid return pump
 

dave.m

Active member
Just a couple of comments that you can easily disregard:

If that wood flooring is the modern self-locking stuff you should know that it comes up easily for repair/replacement. Why not take it out just under the tank and go with your peninsula? At the very least, I don't think you should let it be a limiting factor.

The thing with auto-feeding is that if you do all your feeding this way your fish will not associate people with food and will always take off and hide whenever people approach the tank - not what most people want with their pets.

For clean sand you need to get sand cleaners like diamond gobies, conchs and nassarius snails.

You are going to have to allow a few months in the beginning for the ecosystem in your tank to find balance. Cyano, diatoms and hair algae outbreaks are all par for the course. Bristle worms are your friends. A reef tank is not considered to be mature and stable until it is at least two years old.

Fish only shoal when they feel a need to. Don't be surprised if the fish you want to see in a shoal are spread all over the tank. Also, that is way too many fish in your list for only a 250. I hope you are prepared to thin that out a little.

Dave.M
 

echoreef

New member
The entire down stair flooring was practically completed except for the fish tank area. Instead of continuing with all wood in the entry way, I decided to go with marble. I know that sooner or later there will be some water accident. I rather that the water go down to the marble floor than risk getting onto the wood and ruining the floor. This has happened to me a few times before changing the floor. I used a hair dryer to get the water out from underneath the tank. When I moved the tank for the remodeling, there was no damage done to the porcelain tiles.

Below are some pictures of the work that was done in preparation for the 250 gallon build. First I had to empty out most of the water in the 120 gallon tank and move it out of the way for a few days so that the area underneath can be laid with marble. I did not want to have to remove any of the rocks, corals, or fish while moving in the interest of time. I emptied out about 85% of water from the display tank. This left many of the corals exposed for a period of 30-45 minutes. Once the marble area was finished, the tank was pushed back to the original spot. In this process, I did not loose any fish. A couple of my SPS frags died, but otherwise everything else made it.











 

echoreef

New member
Just a couple of comments that you can easily disregard:

If that wood flooring is the modern self-locking stuff you should know that it comes up easily for repair/replacement. Why not take it out just under the tank and go with your peninsula? At the very least, I don't think you should let it be a limiting factor.

The thing with auto-feeding is that if you do all your feeding this way your fish will not associate people with food and will always take off and hide whenever people approach the tank - not what most people want with their pets.

For clean sand you need to get sand cleaners like diamond gobies, conchs and nassarius snails.

You are going to have to allow a few months in the beginning for the ecosystem in your tank to find balance. Cyano, diatoms and hair algae outbreaks are all par for the course. Bristle worms are your friends. A reef tank is not considered to be mature and stable until it is at least two years old.

Fish only shoal when they feel a need to. Don't be surprised if the fish you want to see in a shoal are spread all over the tank. Also, that is way too many fish in your list for only a 250. I hope you are prepared to thin that out a little.

Dave.M

Those are great advice. The fish list is more of a wish list at this point. You are right that I likely need to thin out the list a bit. I really like the idea of having the 3 yellow tangs in my reef aquarium. I saw a huge group of yellow tangs at a display at Sea World here in San Diego and just fell in love with it.

For the flooring, it is not super hard to remove the wood floor and replace it. In fact, that had to be done after the floor was put down and the piano was moved on wheels. It damaged the floor and the wood pieces had to be removed and replaced. I am just worried about water getting onto the surrounding area and causing a huge mess. Also the wood floor I am using is super soft. It's American cherry wood with a junga rating of something like 850. The tank will more than likely sink the wood down.

As for the sand thing, I plan to aquascaping in such a way that I can use an underwater vacuum to clean the top layer as needed. No rocks will be touching any of the walls. I will have a good cleanup crew with a diamond goby as well. I realize that bristle worms are beneficial, but I am not a fan. I am super cautious with what I put in my tank and where I get my rocks from. I have not seen a bristle worm in my tank. That includes at night and looking under rocks. I plan on only using dry rocks and what I have in my existing tank.

The cycling process is something that we all go through. I am trying to minimize that as much as possible by using live rocks and water from my old tank. So I will be treating it more as a tank transfer. The pristine water condition and free from algae is something I hope to achieve a few months down the road and not at the initial cycling phase.
 

echoreef

New member
The first piece of equipment just arrived. I have been debating whether to go with the SRO-5000 Ext skimmer or the Vertex Alpha 250. I chose the internal skimmer to lessen the risk of water spilling and to save space in the garage so that both cars can still be parked inside.

 

echoreef

New member
I drove all the way from San Diego to Ontario to pick up the sump and acrylic pan made by John at Advanced Acrylics. I am very impressed with the work. My first sump on my 120 gallon was also made by Advanced Acrylics. The sump has a section for a refugium, probe holders, dual socks holders, and an oxygen tower to make changing the socks much easier.

Here are some pictures of the sump and the design picture I had submitted to John:









 

echoreef

New member
I was really worried about not having enough space in the skimmer section since the Vertex Alpha 250 is so huge. It turned out that the space was a perfect fit.



 

echoreef

New member
I thought long and hard on how I could prevent the small amount of water that could get onto the bottom of the stand and through the floor. There were a few options to waterproof the stand. One was to use a shower liner. Another was to paint multiple coats of Kilz. In the end, I opted for the acrylic pan that was custom made by Advanced Acrylics. It is slighter smaller in dimension to the stand so hopefully I can fit it inside without any problem. The pan dimension is 64"x26"x1".

 

echoreef

New member
Got the tank and stand delivered just before Christmas. Took 4 of us to get the tank from the truck into the house. Fortunately, we did not have to carry the tank very far. Build quality on the tank and stand from Lee-Mar is excellent. I am happy I went with the Reef Savvy Ghost overflow. Looks good and save lots of room inside the tank.







 

echoreef

New member
Plumbing got started. Using all Schedule 80 fittings and pipes. All wires and soft plumbing will go through the wall and hidden on the other side of the garage. I must have spend hours planning out the plumbing and getting the parts. Not fun but I am getting close to being done. Manifold will feed the calcium reactor on the other side of the wall as well as the GFO and carbon reactors.





 
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