Questions/Feedback on fishroom plan

Discussion in 'Equipment: Setup and Discussion' started by Bodegus, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    After 2 years off I am all moved in to our house and the newborn is now a toddler. Ready to get wet (again)!

    My furnace room has 2 unused areas. I want to set up the water station (steel storage shelf with 2 35 gallon water tanks) and 6 stage BRS set up next to the floor drain in the smaller area. In the larger section I'll build an L-shaped bench against the 2 walls, with the future sump against the short wall and the longer section for the quarantine tank (Also leaves the ability for the QT to turn into a frag tank in the future).

    Green - Fish Room
    Red - Future 180 foot print
    Blue - current 75 gallon (Quarantine system)



    Questions
    Any feedback on separating out the water making area? The RODI can be gravity fed to the RODI top off container in the fish room and salt making tank below. Salt mix would be heated and mixed with a recirculating pump that will be used to pump the salt mix to the sump when doing water changes.

    I will have a lot of plumbing running between the 2 sections. Is there any way to hook into the drain stack behind the shorter wall, or extend the drain access hatch (circle indent in fish room)? I would still run an emergency drain from the bench to the floor drain, but I would like to have a drain hard plumbed to make water changes a bit cleaner/faster/safer. - No direct connection to the tank but it would be cool to have a washer style drain so I can easily flush the dirty water.

    I am on the fence between a 180g and 120g set up. The fish room only provides 30-40 inches of overlap with the final tank position. I want to use an overflow like this one (link) Any concerns if the drain/returns are located in the right 1/3rd of the tank?

    Any thoughts on fish room bench height? I am thinking 20-22" clearance. This leaves enough room underneath for dry good storage totes and drain service access, while also keeping the top of the sump and QT system at about 42-44" which is fine for me to reach the back corners without a step stool.



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  2. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    If I can make a suggestion on your choice of overflow system, I would seriously consider looking into those made by Modular Marine.

    I have their 12" (1200gph) overflow system on my 32gal office tank and it's great. It runs completely silent using a modified Bean drain set up. The best feature of this system is the that interior overflow box is removable. The box slips in/out of the bulkheads that attach the exterior box. This makes cleaning out the overflow slots very convenient. The quality of their work is top of the line; very clean and well designed.
    I'll be using their 18" (1800gph) model on my new 120gal. I would recommend looking into using a larger model (like the 1800gph model) on your system. The smaller models have smaller exterior boxes which in turn have less room for bulkheads and plumbing. I want to make sure I have enough room to set up my plumbing with minimal difficulty. My smaller 1200gph model was set up with 3/4" uniseals and it needed some special planning to get everything to fit properly; but it works incredibly well. If you still want a smaller box, Modular Marine can do custom hole sizes for you.

    Here's a link to their low-profile overflow systems...
    https://modularmarine.com/collections/overflow-boxes
     
  3. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    One consideration on the water change drain system... this may be too much of a divergence from what you've already thought out. It also wouldn't help if you are planning automatic water changes.

    I plumbed in a banjo quick fitting to my return pump line which makes pumping water in or out easy and the larger diameter makes for quick work. Possible advantage is you can run a flexible line to it when needed and coil it up and hang out of the way the rest of the time. Also can put the hose directly into the drain.

    As for sending water from the top off tank to the sump... gravity works but does leave room for some eventual failure problems (in the on position). With the water in another room I'd look at the Avast top off system in combination with a float valve or other switch. I've been very happy with it on my 300 and its pulling water in from ~30' of 1/4" line. It also was a blessing to prime itself which is a big deal for me since the line runs through the ceiling. It also won't pump more then 3gal a day I believe.
     
  4. OP
    Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    jlanger nice suggestion. Hard to argue with the ease of cleaning though but I would be hesitant to rely on uniseal. Pulling something off of it isn't easy and the lack of threading could lead to accidents? I like the idea of cleaver slot design (also part of the Shadowbox from BRS) and it seems to have a slightly higher water level than the one I am looking at.

    RSnodgrass, Water is only going there for "bulk" generation. I'll keep 5-10 gallon top off tank near the sump that I can fill. I've left 1 too many valves open in my reefing life to ever trust myself with a direct connection from my tank to the drain or water supply.
     
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  5. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    The uniseals are only used (standard) on the smaller models; 8"(800gph) and the 12"(1200gph).
    If you really want to use the 8" or 12" model, you can request to have bulkheads installed in place of the uniseals. I'm assuming that they don't keep those in stock so it may take extra time to receive the bulkhead version.
    All of the larger models all use bulkheads.

    As a side note... I was also hesitant on using the uniseals.
    I spoke to a few people that used them on various projects to find out their thoughts. Fritz (SWE) had plenty of great thoughts about using them, so I decided to go with them. And I haven't had any leaking or other issues from the uniseals on my overflow box.
    But I will be using the bulkheads on my next overflow.
     
  6. OP
    Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    Planning out some more fishroom specifics... I was watching this video and heard a mind blowing statement...at about 34 minutes. You never need a ton of RO/DI, only salt water. I am thinking of trimming down to just one 35 gallon tank, T-ing off and feeding my top off container. Thoughts?

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1uufBK9AVw
     
    #6 Bodegus, Dec 30, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  7. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Good point, if room permits I still keep a large ro because I manually turn mine on when needed and then off again for a similar reason that you mentioned before.

    Any idea how long you can store the saltwater like that without using? Permanently?
     
  8. OP
    Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    Going down to only 1 water tank seems like the right call, it let me cut the shelf in half and I can move around in the area without bumping the water heater.

    Got the plumbing all set, just need some longer tubing to clean up the install. I also ran a an additional 20A GFI circuit to the fish room and installed a few 2 gang boxes along the ceiling joists (Water can't drip up!).

    I am thinking of using a narrow prep sink basin as a small sink to drain water into. I could set up a bypass for the return check valve to get a easy siphon to drain straight down (I am thinking of using a threaded stopper as well as a ball value for redundancy).

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  9. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Be careful with the wood provided for that shelving. I'm presuming there is a straight lip on the inside edge but I promise the wood will warp and collapse in no time.

    *It is simply too thin for the particle board to hold. I like to call it explosion board because that's what it does.

    ** if you set a couple boards across the top that reach end to end or just past that will work.
     
  10. OP
    Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    That's the plan, I have things hooked up now for a leak test. This is my second go with explosion board shelving, I am going to build a 2x4 frame for the shelf.
     
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  11. OP
    Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    Best experience of my life... doing a 95% water change in <45 minutes. I was able to flush my entire tank, and most of the sump water down the drain in under 15 minutes. Gravity fed the new salt water to the sump and let the return push it up to the tank. I should be able to do a 30 gallon water change in less than 15 minutes!

    Latest design concept. I have my 75 in the fish room for easier cleaning out (and a leak test). It get's cramped really quickly and I might have to keep the back wall free and set up the QT in the main room.

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  12. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I like your sump being elevated, I bet it made your return pump options really nice!
     
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  13. OP
    Bodegus

    Bodegus I contributed!
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    That's the hope, less head pressure, less plumbing, easier water changes and sump cleaning (easy siphon). Also gives me a little easier access to water for testing and acclimation.
     
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