opinions on plan for upcoming system


New member
I was thinking about a design for a customized system that I would like to theoretically build or have built in the next 5 years. Below is a general explanation of the plan and I was just looking for thoughts from people about feasibility, cost, and most importantly if this would be effective and effiecient enough to justify the customized design.

First off it would be a rather large tank, at least 300 or more gallons, in a seperate room adjoining the viewing room, displayed in wall with the wall above the tank having a hidden "slide"-like feature built in so you can slide away a large space to facilitate working in the tank from the front whenever neccissary while hiding all lighting that is above the tank in the other room when not. I imagine this as running on a track like a sliding door.

I would want at minimum 3 overflows built into the tank, which would then be hidden except at the very top by rockwork. I would use the middle overflow as that going to the sump/refugium and the other 2 outer overflows as feeding into a closed loop system that immediately returns the water back into the tank.

This return would be accomplished entirely through bulkheads in the back side of the tank. The sump would feed out of bulkheads on each side of the middle oveflow. The two end overflows would would be directed right into pumps and directed back out into the tank by bulkheads on each side of the end overflows to form a closed loop system.

All three returns would be on actuated ball valves set to turn concurently between the the bulkheads on the right and then left of the overflows, thus all three would go rightly, then leftly, then back and forth. The output of the bulkheads would be angled so that as the flow moved back and forth a wave like motion would be formed from one end of the tank to the other and then back the other way.

All the outputs would be concealed in rockwork up to their very ends so that almost no plumbing will be visible, somewhat akin to the stream rocks, but with natural rockwork, thus the flow will come from the rock work itself and be directed at the front of the tank, to deflect and spread accordingly.

Additinally, I had an idea for lighting that seems novel, but I am unsure of what effect it would have this is where I was hoping for the most input from you all. I would like to mount all the lighting, most certainly MH of some variety, on a flat surface, then find a way to move it up and down with a motor. I would intend to start at the highest point when the lightes come on each day, and the motor would slowly move the lights down over the course of the day until at "noon" when it would slowly move them back up to the highest point, the purpose would be to slowly increase/decrease light intensity over the course of the day to mimic a natural light cycle. Quite frankly I am asking for direct opinions...will this work?

Ideas about this plan, alternatives, etc are oh so welcome. I am anticipating some financial upswings in the somewhat distant future and want to begin the initial planning stages now. If possible I want to make the most effective, hospitable, beautiful tank possible, and simultaneously not spend money on totally unneccisarry bells and whistles or things that don't work.

Thanks all in advance.