120 Gallon Newbie Build

Baba
  • #1
I want to create this thread to show the development of my 120gal Saltwater build.
It should serve as a journal and as an incentive to push me to the next level (To be quite honest, the "build" started 6 month ago but progress is slow.)
Last but not least, I hope the experienced members will chime in when they see the potential disaster on the horizon.

This is a list of the items I have acquired so far, they are scattered around the house and collecting dust.

The tank of course, 4' x 2' x 2' drilled tank w/ central overflow (3 holes for 1" bulkheads)
40 gal breeder for sump
2 Aquaticlife Edge Reef (48")
2 Eheim Jager 200W
2 Jebao PP8 wavemaker
Bubble Magnus NAC 5.5
Reef Keeper Lite
a few pounds of base and dry rock
bags of sand

Bits and pieces of miscellaneous stuff I picked up over the month, like water tester, thermometer, refractometer etc.

My next goal is to build the stand, followed by the sump and then I want to start getting wet.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #2
Here my concept for the stand I am leaning to currently.
I would like the tank sitting flush on tank with no top of the stand visible. It needs to match the living room furniture to be allowed to stand in the same.
I want to build it out of plywood and paint it with an acrylic based paint plus transparent epoxy coat as final finish.

For bottom and top two 3/4" sheets glued and nailed sandwich style.
The vertical support will be two sandwiched 3/4" sheets as well, with one panel of the sandwich sitting in a dado in top and bottom. The whole stand is supposed to be 33.5" high when finished.
The back panel will be a 3/4" sheet, rabbeted and glued.
Two front doors allow access to the sump and equipment.
Two doors will go on the sides. One will hide the controllers of the various electrical equipment and the other will give access to storage for the little thinks like gloves, nets and food.
 

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Wild Bill
  • #3
Sounds nice. Following.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Got the RO/DI unit installed on the weekend.
I figured I need to have a shut off in place to have it run unsupervised.
I also want to add an outlet with garden hose threaded adaptor to easily drain the waste water bin without moving it filled up around or having to use a pump.


IMG_8530.JPG

IMG_8531.JPG
 
Wild Bill
  • #5
Looks good.
 
stella1979
  • #6
Found it! Definitely following along. And don't worry Baba... my salty tank was in the works for a few months before starting my own thread, and it's half the size and a quarter of the work of yours. I'm patient, but will look forward to seeing this come together.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Found it! Definitely following along. And don't worry Baba... my salty tank was in the works for a few months before starting my own thread, and it's half the size and a quarter of the work of yours. I'm patient, but will look forward to seeing this come together.
My better half is already complaining that this is not moving faster. I was to tied up with my Freshwater builds (and not done yet) but next paycheck I want to invest in plywood for the stand and have this rolling.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I was reading a bit about sump designs today (slow day at work, yay).
I am planning to use a 40b and wondering if I build a refugium or not. My plan is to have a big enough return chamber to avoid water level fluctuations and as a safe guard for return flow. The DP tank I have is plumbed with loc-line outlets. There is a risk that they can be accidentally pushed further down, leading to more back flow when the pump shuts down.
Taking all this in consideration, I think the available space for a refugium will be too small.
What do you think?
 
stella1979
  • #9
I know nothing about sumps/returns/plumbing.... but I can say that I run a very small refugium on a 20g, and it'll keep my nitrates at zero if I want it to. My fuge shares an Aquaclear70 HOB box with a large bag of media, so the chaeto's area is probably about 5"x 4"x 3". Prior to modding the HOB to run as a fuge, I had difficulty keeping nitrates below 10ppm, and that's with careful target feedings of corals and only one fish. So, yes, I do think that even a small space is worth it.
 
Wild Bill
  • #10
I was reading a bit about sump designs today (slow day at work, yay).
I am planning to use a 40b and wondering if I build a refugium or not. My plan is to have a big enough return chamber to avoid water level fluctuations and as a safe guard for return flow. The DP tank I have is plumbed with loc-line outlets. There is a risk that they can be accidentally pushed further down, leading to more back flow when the pump shuts down.
Taking all this in consideration, I think the available space for a refugium will be too small.
What do you think?

I would highly recommend a fuge. Great place to hide heaters and Macroalgae. Put a powerhead in it a get the Chaeto tumbling and it’ll grow like a weed. Water level fluctuation can be solved with an ATO. Forget the loc-line and buy a couple of threaded (inside and out) bulkheads. Your plumbing will love you for it.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I know nothing about sumps/returns/plumbing.... but I can say that I run a very small refugium on a 20g, and it'll keep my nitrates at zero if I want it to. My fuge shares an Aquaclear70 HOB box with a large bag of media, so the chaeto's area is probably about 5"x 4"x 3". Prior to modding the HOB to run as a fuge, I had difficulty keeping nitrates below 10ppm, and that's with careful target feedings of corals and only one fish. So, yes, I do think that even a small space is worth it.
Your tank is 20 gallon, right? You see positive effects with a fuge volume of 60 in3, then I would need to quintuple it for my tank. So at least 300 in3. Seems very doable.

I would highly recommend a fuge. Great place to hide heaters and Macroalgae. Put a powerhead in it a get the Chaeto tumbling and it’ll grow like a weed. Water level fluctuation can be solved with an ATO. Forget the loc-line and buy a couple of threaded (inside and out) bulkheads. Your plumbing will love you for it.
I already have the ATO purchased. I have an exceptionally good memory but its unbelievable short. I would definitely skipping top offs if I would have to do it manually
What do you mean with skip the loc-line and get bulkheads? My tank overflow box is drilled to hold the loc-line. If I skip them I would have to plug it. How do I run the return then? I wouldn't like to run it over the back wall if possible.

This is my current design for the sump. The 5" in the return section should be enough to cover the pump inlet by 2" (might need to measure again at home). My calculation with assumptions give me 6 - 6.5 gallon back flow after pump shuts off. 1500 in3 enough to hold it or should I raise the second weir?
The refuge area seems now plenty considering Stella's successful ratio of fuge to DT.


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Wild Bill
  • #12
Can you post a pic of your overflow?
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
That’s how it looks like. My memory tricked me, the outlet is a bit above the teeth of the weir.
IMG_8767.JPG
 
Wild Bill
  • #15
I would highly recommend a fuge. Great place to hide heaters and Macroalgae. Put a powerhead in it a get the Chaeto tumbling and it’ll grow like a weed. Water level fluctuation can be solved with an ATO. Forget the loc-line and buy a couple of threaded (inside and out) bulkheads. Your plumbing will love you for it.

My bad. I air headed what a lock line was. I was thinking barbed bulkhead. Lol.
 
Wild Bill
  • #16
That’s how it looks like. My memory tricked me, the outlet is a bit above the teeth of the weir.View attachment 433539

Yes. The lock line is bendable. If you put it below the water line, it will draw water back into the Sump. I run mine so it’s half way in the water. Easy fix, put a wye check valve in your return line.
 
aussieJJDude
  • #17
I would just drill a small hole somewhere near the surface so air goes through and stops the flow....

Subbing
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Yes. The lock line is bendable. If you put it below the water line, it will draw water back into the Sump. I run mine so it’s half way in the water. Easy fix, put a wye check valve in your return line.
Ahh, I wouldn't feel comfortable to rely on a check valve. Too paranoid

I would just drill a small hole somewhere near the surface so air goes through and stops the flow....

Subbing
That's a good idea. Might add a fitting to accept a 1/4 tubing line. So I can direct the spillage where I want and it will break the siphon when the pump shuts down.
 
Wild Bill
  • #19
Wye valves are very reliable. Clean it out every once in a while and you won’t have a problem. Only drawback I’ve seen is they are kinda spendy.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Wye valves are very reliable. Clean it out every once in a while and you won’t have a problem. Only drawback I’ve seen is they are kinda spendy.
Holy cow, the one on BRS for a 1 1/4 line is $85.
 
Wild Bill
  • #21
But that’s 85 bucks worth of insurance.lowes has the cheaper one for about 10 bucks, but their use once and throw it away. No maintenance.
 
Baba
  • Thread Starter
  • #22
But that’s 85 bucks worth of insurance.lowes has the cheaper one for about 10 bucks, but their use once and throw it away. No maintenance.
The opinions on this topic seems to be sharply divided what I can tell from my research. That will be though to decide.
 

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