New 225 Setup with Aquascaping Focus

andrewsk

New member
Hello all,

My name is Keith and I live in Calgary, Canada.

I am starting another "watch me build my tank" thread but I hope this one will be a bit different.

I am the current owner of a low to midrange 90 gallon tank with some assorted corals and fish. While I love my tank I always felt that it could be so much more. Then I came across this thread on RC and was truly inspired by the design of the tank and some of the comments in the thread.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=853513

My biggest "dislike" in reefkeeping is the look of a tank that that is simply filled with Live rock (one large hill in the middle) covered in coral with clams, frags etc all over the sand. I think it looks cluttered and very non reef like. I also think that coraline all over the back and sides of the tank takes away from the depth of the tank and should be eliminated. Last, I cannot stand the look of powerheads, heaters or anythink man made in the tank. (I hope this does not offend anyone in any way, this is just my anal opinion anyway :) )

Here is a quote from "steveweast" in the above thread that says it better than I can:

Greg (Bonsainut) posted the best example of aquascaping perfection. It's the one I always come back to for inspiration....and why ? ....because I believe the answer to all your aquascaping questions are right there in that pic..... you just need to notice its philosophies...

1) have just as much postive space (rocks and corals) as negative space (open water and sand)

2) Don't worry about creating nooks/crannies/caves/etc....they just will be eventually covered by livestock. Instead focus on the general rock shape that has both low and high points...perhaps even breaking the surface. Focus on large details...not small crevises (especially if you have a large tank).

3) Maintain an algae free back (and sides if possible) to create an illusion of infinite depth....contrary to what we'd all like to believe, coralline does not create an attractive back drop...only a distracting one.

4) hide all the things of man.....overflows...pumps...pipes....etc.

5) don't clutter the sand bed with a bunch of livestock....a clam or two...maybe...but that's it. Cluttered sandbeds just make the overall display look too busy. You can improve the overall display tremendously by just removing all the frags, zoas, blastos, etc that so many people seem to keep on the sandbed these days......it just distracting.


With this in mind I am going to TRY to create a new tank that follows these principals.

The tank will be 225 gallons (72 long, 30 deep, and 24 high). The 30 deep instead of the standard 24 deep 30 high should allow a few more aquascaping possibilities.


As for the equipment, on my 90 I went low to mid range for most of the items and was often let down.

IMG_1244Large.jpg


For the 225, I am going to try to get only the best equipment and do this right.

Here are my equipment plans (I will put rough equipment costs in here in case anyone is interested) Opinions are welcome!

Water movement.:
Tunze TS24 Turbelle Stream Pump Kit - 2 x 6100 Pump + 7095 Multi Controller and a Wave Box. The pumps will be hidden on the rockwork by 2 Tunze Turbelle Stream Deco-Rocks.
Total $2000 CAD

(I did seriously think about a closed loop system, but I want to do some serious wave simulation and I love the nightime, feeding, and total control that the tunze offers.)

Lighting:
72" PFO Professional Series Metal Halide
IceCap Metal Halide Ballast Add-On - 3x250W
3-250W 10000K XM Metal Halide BulbPFO Fixture IceCap Fan
Dual Fan
PFO LED Night Light Add-On
PFO Fixture 72" VHO Actinic Add-On (Dual) - 2x165W
Total $2000 CAD

Skimmer:
Euro-Reef RC500 External Protein Skimmer
Total $2000 CAD

Sump:
I am still not decided on the Sump. Currently my plans are to use my 90 for a sump/refugium combo but I do not think my skimmer will fit inside (I know it can go external but would prefer it internal) so I may have to order something custom.

Sand/Bottom:
I am going barebottom and have ordered my board from TheCuttingBoard Company. (2 - 1/2 inch thick 36" x 30" white boards.) $200

Live Rock:
I am going to go with a full Deep Water Tonga environment. I currently have 70 lbs in my 90 and have another 70 shipping out today. $500 per 70lbs

Filtration:
Other than the skimmer, I am going to have a ton of Cheato in the Sump, 2 Phosban Reactors running RowPhos and Carbon, and 3 custom plumbed pails (Like the Instant Ocean ones) that will be joined by PVC and bulkheads and fed from a pump through 2 unlit deep sand beds and 1 unlit miracle mud bed.

Due to many spills and floods from the 90, we are redisigning my den and putting down tile and laminate where than will soon be going.

IMG_1242Large.jpg


Current progress. The pipes just go to the 90 for now and will be removed once I have converted to the new tank.

My equipment and Tank will be arriving this week so please feel free to comment with any opinions or suggestions as I move forward.
 

andrewsk

New member
Looks great. Ill have to follow your thread and compare notes. My tank arrives tomorrow!

I did a small mockup of what I want to do with the tank in Paint. Opinions are welcome.

My tank arrives tomorrow.

TankDesign-1.jpg
 

King-Kong

New member
- flow; so detritus wont settle as easily
- fish movement; more swimming room/area to get away from "display"
- coral growth; give the coral room to grow on all sides
- aesthetics; "open" aquascapes tend to be (in my eyes) some of the better looking ones.

... lots of reasons for more area around and inbetween rocks. I think most of the hobby should re-examine the "wall of rock" mantra/routine, and strive for unique/useful aquascapes.

I love it!
 

andrewsk

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7569851#post7569851 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by King-Kong
- flow; so detritus wont settle as easily
- fish movement; more swimming room/area to get away from "display"
- coral growth; give the coral room to grow on all sides
- aesthetics; "open" aquascapes tend to be (in my eyes) some of the better looking ones.

... lots of reasons for more area around and inbetween rocks. I think most of the hobby should re-examine the "wall of rock" mantra/routine, and strive for unique/useful aquascapes.

I love it!

Thanks Kong.

The back space is for exactly the reasons you stated above as well as allowing me to keep the back glass clear from Coraline etc.

I am going to TRY to create the illusion of depth and algea growth on the back will mess that up.

I could not agree more on the "Wall of Rock" mantra. In many ways it put me off the hobby thinking I needed to do it that way.

Perhaps this should be the Anti-Wall of Rock thread :)

Not that I am knocking what other people find appealing in any way. There are some amazing tanks that use this principal. It's just not for me.
 

NCreefwannabe

New member
how do u plan to get the sloping effect? using pvc racks would be the easiest. that way fish could go around AND under rocks. You could also hide powerhead underneathe since its a BB tank to keep deitrus from setlling underneathe. Would also save a ton on rock lol.
 

andrewsk

New member
My plan was to drill an few inches of pvc into each rock that is going to sit on the bottom (Except the very fron ones) allowing about an inch of free space across almost the whole tank.

Ill have to think about a rack. Great idea.
 

andrewsk

New member
Ok, this drawing SUCKS but it's late.

What if I used shelves made from PVC and acrylic or something to raise each rock as high as I needed it.

That way for the rock sticking out of the water at the top, I could just measure it and build the proper sized shelf.

Shelves-1.jpg
 

NCreefwannabe

New member
yeah thats the basica shelving idea. saves money on rock. and allows your fish to get behind and under your structures. You can also hide stuff under it if needed.
 

sr3w

New member
Keith, King Kong - If you start a "Anti Wall-of-Rock" club, I'll totally join. I love the ideas you're presenting here, Keith. I'm excited to see the final aquascaping results. If I can get my camera's batteries to hold a charge, I'll take some shots of my setup, which is also rather open. But the chances of that are poor. So in the meantime, just take this as some positive encouragement.

Scott
 

andrewsk

New member
Well my tank arrived tonight and it is HUGE. It's one thing to measure and plan, but when the tank actually showed up I just could not believe how big it was.

Albert and the gang from Golds delivered it and did a great job. Man that thing weighed a TON.

There were a couple of things Albert metioned that I wanted to clear up and thought it would be good to have them in the forum.

Since the tank is frameless, we put it on some plywood and Albert suggested I get some foam to put under it. I got a 1/4 foam camping pad from Wal Mart since Home Depot only carries hard styrofoam it seems.

Does this look ok?

Foam.jpg


Albert also suggested that I cut out a portion of the center of the foam and leave it open. I am not sure why I need to do this. Would just leaving the whole sheet of foam under the tank cause problems?

Anyway, it's in a looks great. I have to wait a week for it to cure and then put fresh water in it for a week to leak test. That is ok as I have at least that much work to do with the Sump, rockwork tests and plumbing.

Here are the shots:

IMG_1387Medium.jpg


IMG_1389Medium.jpg



Look how tiny my little 90 looks now from the exact same distance of the shot!!!!

IMG_1388Medium.jpg


Here is the overflow. There is one on each side outside of the tank. I wanted as much room in the tank as possible and as little man made objects as possible.

IMG_1390Medium.jpg
 

King-Kong

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7576907#post7576907 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by andrewsk

Look how tiny my little 90 looks now from the exact same distance of the shot!!!!

hey! I'll have you know that 90 looks QUITE LARGE TO ME!


(beautiful tank, and I am quite jealous of your external overflows.
 

chrismunn

New member
right, thats why i was asking. the frameless looks like acrylic, but by the pic you can tell its glass, very nice!
and why would you need to cut a hole in the foam pad exactly? i dont see any reason to?
by the way, what was the time frame you were looking at untill this thing has water in it?
 
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