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please help me plan my new tank

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  • please help me plan my new tank

    hello everyone, i need your help
    here is a list of what i am planning to get,

    tank:180 (72x24x24) i am not sure on which material, but i will probably get an AGA since its the least expensive ...does anyone know how much a custom starfire or acrylic 180 would cost?

    sump: 36x18x20, divided in half (one chamber for skimmer feed, the other for zeo reactor/return) to hold approx. 30 gallons

    return pump: i am not sure about this one, initially i was thinking about using a gen-x pcx55 (iwaki 55rlt equivalent) coupled to an eductor, but i dont think that would be enough flow thru the sump...oh, i forgot, everything MUST be QUIET(all the equipment will be hiddn the cabinetry)...any ideas?

    skimmer: AP702 w/Eheim 1626 feed

    reactor: stuck on this one...maybe a jetstream 1 but all this peristaltic pump feed talk etc., has me all confused, LOL...other choices include deltec and MRC spray bar. i will not need the reactor right away, since i basically have zero sps colonies, except for some montis and birdnests

    in tank flow: two stream 6100's on multicontroller...i am afraid this won't be enough...your thoughts?

    zeo reactor: probably madisons basic reactor

    lights: three pheonix 250w DE driven by bluewave HQI ballasts

    ...i think thats about it for the major equipment, let me know what you think.

  • #2
    I think everything seems great I dont know the price increase on starphire, but my buddy has it on his 150g and it is worth everypenny. I know when I upgrade the tank will definatly be starphire on all viewuing panels. The clarity is amazing, you dont realize how green std glass is until you see a tank with starphire. As for acrylic, I could never use it im not careful enough Edward should chime in here for acrylic I believe that his tank is acrylic

    Tank Specs:60g Cube SPS/Clam tank, ASM G1x Skimmer, DIY ZEOvit Reactor, 1x400w EVC 14k, Marine Life Aquatics CR-250 CaRx (RIP)

    Not sure yet.....Build Thread to come!


    • #3
      thanks...i've always wanted a starphire tank, hehe...


      • #4
        For the return pump definitely check into the GRI (Gorman Rupp Ind.) pumps. German built and top quality IMO. I'm using the small one and I'ts absolutely silent.
        For the reactor don't shy away from the JS-1. I've been using one since last summer and love it. I think alot of the problems associated w/ this reactor are brought on when people try and go w a flow rate on the bottom end of the recommended flow. With a 180G. you may not have the problems. My tank is only a 58g. so the reactor is way oversized. I would recommend reading the thread on RC "shuran jetstream-1 " by Ewan. Schuran is mispelled and I think he has it spelled as "shuran". Fantastic thread w/ lots of info and pictures.
        Take Care,


        • #5
          Looks great. I would also think about using the Sequence Dart as a return pump. They are nicely priced and very quiet.

          Starphire gets expensive. I would say the tank is over $1000.00 if you go starphire. If you go starphire on the main panel, it might be less. There is a company in Canada that makes great starfire tanks at good prices. PM me for the name, I can't remember it right now.


          • #6
            Hi Jonah, in my situation where the tank had to be carried down narrow stairs to the lower level[11 HS football players] acrylic was really the only choice for a large aquarium It is more clear compared to standard glass, but can be more easily scratched, so one must be more careful especially with LR & coral placement. Bob
            "There might be something to this ZEOvit"


            • #7
              Bob, my tank didn't fit through the door so I had the tank assembled in my living room so you do have another choice next time you're presented with the same problem

              After last weeks earthquake acrylic sounds really attractive though...
              400 gallon reef, Bubble King 300, I~Spin, 2 x 10,000K BLV 400W, 2 x 20,000K Radium 400W, 2 x 6,400K Osram 400W, Schuran Jetstream 1, AquaController Pro


              • #8
                , I believe acrylic would be good in those areas where EQ's are more frequent--I guess that's another reason, I've never thought about[there always something that I miss] I also like that fact with acrylic, even I can cut CL's for my reef[I have 3], as I don't think I would even try this with glass. Bob
                "There might be something to this ZEOvit"


                • #9
                  Greetings All !

                  Everything sounds cool so far ...

                  A couple of random thoughts ...

                  Glass vs. Acrylic

                  Glass Advantages: Less expensive ... until you enter the realm of Starfire; More difficult to scratch than acrylic; Allows maximum access to the top of the tank (except for crossbar/support); Cleaning of surfaces easier and less problematic; "Fixed" material ... glass won't "bow"/bend under longterm weight the way acrylic will; Durability ... withstands longterm "wear & tear" better than acrylic; Withstands exposure to heat ... MHs ... well.

                  Glass Disadvantages: Silicone seams are inherently less stable than chemically welded acrylic seams; Weight ... Bob's not kidding about needing the varsity offense to move a large glass tank around (although a 180 ought to be reasonably manageable) ... then there's associated shipping/transport costs; Glass edges are more dangerous to small children and careless adults; Glass breaks/chips with heavy impact, acrylic just cracks; Glass is difficult to DIY drill/modify without the right tools and experience; Refraction/transmission of light through glass less "true" ... subtle photography color/resolution implications; Conducts heat better (poorer insulation) than acrylic ... higher chiller operation costs vs. acrylic.

                  Acrylic Advantages: Very stable seams ... no leaking unless the manufacturers screw up (relatively rare); Lightweight; Rounded corners ... many people prefer this aesthetically; Less distortion of light as it passes through acrylic ... better "true" color and resolution for photography; Safer for small children and careless adults; Many more design/geometric options for tank design ... not really an issue for you; Easier DIY drilling/modification than with glass (... although even this can be problematic after the acrylic has begun to "move" ...); Better insulation than glass ... cheaper chiller operation costs.

                  Acrylic Disadvantages: Material degradation over time ... it WILL get scratched no more how careful you are; More difficult cleaning maintenance ... unattended coralline algae can actually grow into the polymer structure causing permanent scarring ... more specialized products required to maintain luster of outer surfaces; Less Durability ... much softer than glass, so it's easier to injure; "Fluidity" of Material ... acrylic moves over time, under weight. There will be a slight/noticeable (... up to ~1/32" ...) "bowing" of the viewing planes, as well as a potential distortion of the bottom (... mildly problematic when moving the system to a new stand ...); Potential for Bending /Distorting after prolonged exposure to heat source ... MHs or bad heater placement; The "Biggie" for me is this: Less Access through the top of the Tank ... I'm into exotic aquascaping & rock fabrication. Because acrylic tanks must have a top plane ... to minimize bowing/movement of the viewing planes ... what you can put into the tank is limited to the openings cut into the top plane. You can special order larger than average openings, but it's still a limiting factor.

                  Regarding sump size/volume ...

                  I didn't see any specification regarding how the water gets to the sump ... I'm thinking you're going with a built-in overflow box, yes?

                  If so, you might want to reconsider your sump size. When the power goes off, all of the water present in the tank that is above to bottom edge of the slots in a built-in overflow is going to gravity feed into the sump. Unless you enjoy flooding ... hehe ... I'm wondering whether or not the sump volume is sufficient.

                  My general estimate on the "empty volume" requirement for sump space is on the order of 2 - 3 inches of display tank height ... depending on how much water is being pumped through the display.

                  With a 180G tank, we're talking a range of:
                  @ 2": (72" X 24" X 2")/231 = 14.9G
                  @3": (72" X 24" X 3")/231 = 22.4G

                  So ... you're going to need ~15G to ~23G of empty volume sitting there waiting for the power to fail. I'm alittle concerned that your 36" X 18" X 20" is right there at the edge of what's required ... although technically it's inbounds. When you additionally factor-in convenient spacing of sump components (... space relationship between skimmer, ZeoReactor ... etc ...), ease of manipulating and removing/replacing those components and their plumbing & electrical, minimum water height in the sump to prevent your return pump(s) from sucking air (depending on how its plumbed), ... AND the ability to raise the sump's "standing" water level in order to influence skimmer performance towards wet skimming (depending on skimmer type) ... I'm wondering whether or not a larger sump design is in order. Just a thought.

                  JMO ... HTH ...
                  Last edited by mesocosm; 04-02-2005, 09:46 AM.
                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                  Hunter S. Thompson


                  • #10
                    Fellas, Gary's post should not be lost, is a sticky in order here, maybe just his post? Thnx. Gary Bob
                    "There might be something to this ZEOvit"


                    • #11
                      One thing about the acrylic tanks and cross bracing. They are starting to make some that are completely open top and have a steel frame/bracing around the top.

                      Edit: just realized those pics were from another board that doesn't want cross linking.

                      Moonpod, care to show a pic of your tank?


                      • #12
                        i think ted and scott both got the steel bracing...that is REALLY cool...does anyone know how much more itll cost? meso, what do you mean by "standing" level of the sump? my skimmer is gonna be exgternal, i was actually hoping to make the sump 36x24x20, but that depends how much space i have under the stand...


                        • #13
                          Greetings All !

                          By "standing level" I mean the height/depth of the water in the sump, while the return pumps are in operation.

                          The 36" X 24" X 20" (~74G) sounds great ... no worries. Space under the stand is always a hassle.

                          Your plans sound excellent ...

                          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
                          Hunter S. Thompson


                          • #14
                            i ould invest in a auto topp off also there lifesavers also like stated sequence pumps are awesome when i upgrade im goin w/ a hammerhead for my CL
                            180G SPS Mainly
                            10 Bulb T5 Starfire
                            Calcium Reactor
                            3 Tunze 6105's
                            Profilux Controller
                            ATB Return w/ wavysea
                            ATB M External Skimmer


                            • #15
                              im gonna get the osmolater 3155