View Full Version : Rimless Reef


RealFish
04-14-2009, 11:17 AM
I have been lurking here for the past month or so, catching up on the latest trends in the hobby. I have kept aquariums on and off since I was eight or ten years old. My first experience was a 5 1/2 gallon guppy tank that my father decided to clean with Germatrol (an old Amway product) and killed off the entire population. After college I had a series of tanks including a 75 gallon reef and after getting married had a 200 gallon reef and then a 100 gallon planted discuss tank.

I have always bought a lot of stuff used and pieced it together and never really having everything as it should be. I believe I paid $15 for the guppy tank with paper route money. After getting divorced, I haven't had a tank for three years. So, now that I'm a little more established financially, I have decided to embark on setting up a reef and picking the items that I really want for it rather than picking up what is available used or on sale.

People around here seem to get a lot of enjoyment out of the build posts, so I thought I would start one as well. I hope you enjoy and will offer advice as I move through the process.

I've always liked having a tank in my home office (man cave in my case). So, my tank needed to fit the space. I really liked the ELOS tanks, but didn't really care for their stands or the plug and play aspect of it. I really enjoy building the system. So to that I decided to have a custom built rimless tank from Deep Sea Aquatics that is 48x24x20 with Starfire glass on three sides. It is scheduled for delivery later this week.

As far as the rest of the setup goes, here is what I chose:

Lighting:
Aquatinics 48" TX5 (5 bulb T-5) suspended from ceiling
ATI Aquablue Special (2)
ATI Blue Plus (2)
ATI Color (1)
Neptune Systems Lunar Simulator (2 LEDs)

Filtration:
30 gallon Perfecto (may switch to 40 gallon breeder depending on space)
EcoSystem 200M Refugium
CPR 4" filter bag sump inlet
CaribSea Mineral Mud
MRC OceanForce 200
Phosban Reactors (1 for carbon 1 for GFO)

Water Movement:
Lifeguard 6000 (feeding return, phosban reactors and refugium)
Vortech MP40W (2)
IceCap Battery Backup for Vortechs
Level Lock Top Off System
Bulk Reef Supply 5 Stage RO/DI

Control:
Neptune Systems Aquacontroller III
Temperature/pH/ORP probes
Direct Connect 8
Aquamedic Electrode Holder

Other:
Finnex 500 watt Titanium Heater
CaribSea SeaFlor Reef Sand (up for debate)
Bulk Reef Supply Two Part Dosing

Looking to create an island of rock in the middle once I get everything assembled and tested. Don't really have a wish list of inhabitants yet, but will work on that as we go.

That's about it for now. Will try to post some pictures as the build progresses.

atreyu917
04-14-2009, 11:21 AM
Wow that's quite the system! Can't wait to see pictures! And welcome to the ARC, I think you'll love it here!

atreyu917
04-14-2009, 11:22 AM
Is that about a 100 gallon tank?

RealFish
04-14-2009, 11:32 AM
Is that about a 100 gallon tank?

That's what I calculated it at. It's going on a second floor in my town house so I didn't want to go much larger.

I kind of lucked out with the placement of it. It happened to be right over my pantry so the span on the joist underneath it are only about 6'. Looking at the load tables at 11' the joist system would support a live load of 189 lbs psf. So even at an 11' span I should have been ok, but since it was such a small area, I pulled out the ceiling below and added additional support. Not sure what the new numbers are, but I should be more than safe. Also had the architect/construction manager take a look at it for me.

Also, for some reason, the outlet right behind the tank is wired into a 20 amp circuit along with the washing machine. Combined, I'm a couple amps below the limit at full power. I figure I shut down the heater or do laundry when the lights are off I'll be fine. Beats pulling a new circuit 40 feet from the box.

bratliff
04-14-2009, 12:07 PM
Sounds like this'll be an awesome tank. One small suggestion... you only have a single heater listed for your system... you might wanna run at least two. For my 90g, I have two 150w heaters in the sump (one in the skimmer section and one if the refugium) and then, as back up to those, a 400w in the display. The 400w is on its own dedicated UPS. I need to order the UPS for the Vortech as well.

Sounds like a great project... I'll be following along! :shades:

Skriz
04-14-2009, 12:10 PM
Very cool! Welcome to the ARC. I can't wait to see some pics. I hope you took pics of the support you added; I love pics of a house being torn apart to accomodate an aquarium!

Derek_S
04-14-2009, 12:35 PM
Sounds great, and welcome!

ares
04-14-2009, 1:09 PM
Id split the heaters up as well. 2 250w heaters > 1. plus presuming you run them on the ACIII, you can stagger their trigger points.

RealFish
04-14-2009, 1:25 PM
Sounds like this'll be an awesome tank. One small suggestion... you only have a single heater listed for your system... you might wanna run at least two. For my 90g, I have two 150w heaters in the sump (one in the skimmer section and one if the refugium) and then, as back up to those, a 400w in the display. The 400w is on its own dedicated UPS. I need to order the UPS for the Vortech as well.

Sounds like a great project... I'll be following along! :shades:

I had thought early on going with the two in the sump, not sure why I didn't follow through on that. I like the idea of two in the sump and larger in the main as a backup. I'd have to be able to hide it though. I want a very clean look.

BTW, aquacave.com has a 10% off coupon for Vortech's and accessories this month. I found them when I was looking for Spaflex and order three or four things from them. Was very happy with their order execution. Let me know if you want the coupon code.

bratliff
04-14-2009, 2:20 PM
I had thought early on going with the two in the sump, not sure why I didn't follow through on that. I like the idea of two in the sump and larger in the main as a backup. I'd have to be able to hide it though. I want a very clean look.

BTW, aquacave.com has a 10% off coupon for Vortech's and accessories this month. I found them when I was looking for Spaflex and order three or four things from them. Was very happy with their order execution. Let me know if you want the coupon code.

Not sure how your overflow is set up, but, you should be able to run your heater down alongside it. I got magnetic holders (instead of those suction cups that never work) and use that for mine. I need to move my heater still, but, you won't be able to see yours (the titanium will blend in real well). You definitely want a heater in your display. Set it slightly lower than your sump heater(s) so it only comes on when needed. For backup, this'd be the only heater I'd have on UPS.

And DEFINITELY send me the code please. :D I need that Vortech UPS... :yes:

RealFish
04-15-2009, 7:46 AM
Very cool! Welcome to the ARC. I can't wait to see some pics. I hope you took pics of the support you added; I love pics of a house being torn apart to accomodate an aquarium!

Sorry, no pics of the additional support. It wasn't anything special. It was basically a 6x6 closet that had for truss joists running through it. The tank would sit on the two middle joists, so I just tied them all together with 2x6s and joist hangers at both the top and bottom of the joist.

Derek_S
04-15-2009, 7:51 AM
Yes, can you post the aquacave code? Or pm it if you prefer?

Dakota9
04-15-2009, 8:00 AM
Sweet! You're starting out with a better set-up than most of us build up to! I'm certain it will help seat your success!

Welcome and happy reefing!

texhorns98
04-15-2009, 9:12 AM
If you have enough room in your overflow, can you put your heater IN the overflow?

savingnemo754
04-15-2009, 9:14 AM
First off welcome!

This sounds like a great set up. The only thing I see is the heater. I would split it as well. The rest looks great though and can't wait to see the pics.

RealFish
04-18-2009, 10:28 PM
False Alarm. Got a call that the new tank came in on Wednesday. Went to pick it up on Thursday and while un-crating it at the store, realized they did it with clear rather than black silicone. Very disappointed. Tank builder wanted to send me some black corner strips to fix the problem. Not.

This is turning out to be a very frustrating build. LFS owner waiting two weeks before he sent payment to tank builder then tank showing up wrong. "Reputable" internet retailer telling me everything was in stock and would be shipped the next day then taking 40 emails and 2 1/2 weeks to receive the product (items all the sudden back ordered or needing to be drop shipped) or get my money refunded. Product showing up damaged.

Sorry, just venting. Have a lot of money tied up in everything and it's just sitting around.

JetChris
04-19-2009, 8:49 AM
Dont worry it will work itself out. If your doing corals I would suggest 8 t'5s rather than 5. Sorry 5 is not gonna cut it, especially for SPS.

JetChris
04-19-2009, 8:51 AM
I would go with this light,

http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/T5_Fluorescent/Sunlight_Supply/Tek_Light_Fixtures/48_inch__8x54W_Tek_Light_T5_High-Output_Fixture_w!_Bulbs_(Black)_by_Sunlight_Supply

texhorns98
04-19-2009, 9:10 AM
Dont worry it will work itself out. If your doing corals I would suggest 8 t'5s rather than 5. Sorry 5 is not gonna cut it, especially for SPS.

I run a 6x54 watt and have no problem with SPS.

Steve
04-19-2009, 9:24 AM
Creation Reef and Aquatics sells the Tek fixtures if you're interested.

jmaneyapanda
04-19-2009, 10:09 AM
This is best forum to ask- what is the appeal of a rimless? To me, it looks unfinished and ugly. The only rimless I would consider is a zeroedge, for novelties sake. Otherwise, there still needs to be a light over it, no disgiusing any of the necessary equipment. Also, a horrific risk to any fish (except seahorses). So, whats the appeal?

Akopley
04-19-2009, 10:53 AM
Rimless are awesome.

puttyman
04-19-2009, 11:32 AM
If it were possible for a fish tank to be sexy rimless would be it.

weaglereefer
04-19-2009, 11:38 AM
I don't get it either. There's a few that look alright like a cube in the corner with a MH pendant on a stand, but MOST look like the person ran out of money setting it up (I know they actually cost more).

RealFish
04-19-2009, 11:40 AM
If it were possible for a fish tank to be sexy rimless would be it.

I feel the same way. Really like the clean look at the ability to look at it from the top down. I'm not sure when the reef community picked up on it, but I really liked it when Takashi Amano did it with the fresh water planted tanks many years ago.

jmaneyapanda
04-19-2009, 2:08 PM
I feel the same way. Really like the clean look at the ability to look at it from the top down. I'm not sure when the reef community picked up on it, but I really liked it when Takashi Amano did it with the fresh water planted tanks many years ago.


But why?? You can just as easily look at any tank top down. Once the lights are moved out of the way. I would like to understand. A rimless looks clean, until you set it up. What about the lights, and wires, and saltcreep, etc. I agree that Amano looks gorgeous, but most of his pictures are pretty manipulated to only show inside the tank.

Derek_S
04-19-2009, 2:19 PM
I personally love a nicely thought out rimless setup. I think they look fantastic an contemporary. But careful thought has to go into concealing or diminishing the ugly effect of the wires from the pendant.

My ideal tank is probably a rimless, but I would have to really think out the logistics to make it look good.

RealFish
05-18-2009, 9:20 AM
Finally got the tank on Thursday after more headaches and delays. At the end of the day, the tank is exactly what I wanted, so we'll move on. Anyway, picked it up Thursday evening and a guy from work and a neighbor helped me get it up the steps. We left it in the crate for safety reasons so it weighed in around 300 lbs. We moved it a few steps at a time, while a pain in the behind, it was pretty uneventful.

Made a couple of changes to my setup since my last post. Got a MRC sump from Jeff that I like a lot. Also, changed to SeaChem gray coast substrate. Dirty stuff, but not too bad and I like the look (I just need to get up all the sand I dribbled between the bathroom tub and the tank).

Survey the tank and setup on Friday evening and had to revise my plumbing plan. Got it all plumbed on Saturday and leak tested it for about 8 hours with only one small leak in an extra return bulkhead in the overflow. Got that fixed without too much trouble.

Used unions at both tank bulkheads and then SpaFlex to the sump. On the return side I have a "T" that dumps into the main sump, followed by a valve that dumps into the refugium portion. On the return side it comes up out of the sump and "T"s. One goes to a 1/2" valve to the Phosban reactors and the other side goes through a 3/4" valve back to the tank through SpaFlex. Overall I'm very happy with the plumbing. It's very simple, compact, direct and serviceable. I probably have a little more flow than I need, so I may reduce the pump size.

Emptied the tank overnight on Saturday and put the sand in Sunday morning. What a mess. I went ahead and refilled the tank and let it run all day with freshwater through a filter bag to get out the fine particles of sand. Drained it again on Sunday evening and put in the live rock and filled it up with as much saltwater as I could. It was still pretty dusty.

I didn't have quite enough saltewater, so I slapped the Vortechs on the sides to keep some circulation going while I prepared more water. I was suprised how much clearer it was in the morning.

Topped it off this morning and letting it run all day with nothing but rock and sand. Still have lots of things left to do, but heading out for a long memorial day weekend, so I'm going to get the skimmer and ATO setup tonight. Here is a quick pick before the water went in.

http://i251.photobucket.com/albums/gg318/LostSouth/tank2.jpg

bratliff
05-18-2009, 9:29 AM
It's looking very nice. I'm thinking I wanna run my phosban reactor off my return pump too but, I'm dreading redoing the plumbing. Can't wait to see more pics. :D