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  1. #1
    Senior Member SnelgroveReefer's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Build in wall reef/possible problems?

    Hello,
    I am planning to build a 100 gallon reef tank into a wall in my home theatre/basement area. The room that the tank will back into is not finished with drywall, just plain spruce studs and the inside of the outward facing drywall. I am worried (actually my wife said I can't install until I get answers) that the water evaporation and salt will affect the bare drywall, the bare studs and the bare stud rafters of the floor above. Do I need to paint the interior surfaces or do other prep to the area? Any help would be very much appreciated!!
    Mark
    90g Display, 30gal sump w/ refugium, MAS CR418 calcium reactor w/ Mag5 and Blueline CO2, Vertex IN-180 protein skimmer w/ Mag5, Mag9.5 return, 150 Phosban Reactor w/ MJ 1200, 1 Ebo 200w heater, 90lbs. LR, 80lbs. Carib-Sea aragonite, Cooltouch MH lights -2 x 400watt (20K & 14K) PFO hoods & Coralife 65w PC in custom hood with fan, Coralife 3-3/4watt mini moonlights, 8 jet Closed Loop System w/Reef-flo Dart, Aqua-Safe RO/DI, JBJ Auto Top Off unit w/Mag 5 return, 12g Nano cube, 10g quarentine.

  2. #2
    Moderator cres's Avatar
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    You should consider ventilating the tank room (or whatever you will call the area behind the wall). Painted or not, if the humidity is trapped, you can have problems. Paint won't stop moisture, it will simply slow it down.

    You could put a de-humidifier in there too, but, it will draw a fair amount of power and heat the room. A bathroom type ventilation fan will help tremendously.

    The reality is, a 100 gallon tank will evaporate 1-2 gallons a day. That water has to go somewhere.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

  3. #3
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be terribly worried about the salt spray. Don't over fill the tank, make sure the returns and power heads aren't splashing out of the tank & raise any lights high enough not to get splashed accidentally.

    You'll still get water on the floor & walls occasionally, but cleaned up promptly it's no worse than spilling your coke, there's just potentally a lot more of it.

    You could paint the studs first, but IMHO it's a waste of time. If you want to do it propperly, seal them with varathane.

    Humidity could be a concern as cres pointed out you'll be dealing with 1 -2 gallons a day in evaporation. If the unfinished room is big enough a small dehumidfier works wonders, but you'll need to empty it daily. If not, vent it as cres suggested.

    Your lights will also get quite warm so you need to consider heat / drying effects on the materials around them. Not to add to the list of concerns but you need to keep that in mind while building. The lights will need to be away from anything they can damage from heat and / or cooled (fans) so that they don't build up the heat in the first place.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    My in-wall 150g joins onto the furnace room. So I guess there's ventatation going on since the furnace fan is on 24/7.
    After 1.5 years, no apparent issues.....but it may be too early to really tell.
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  5. #5
    Senior Member putz28's Avatar
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    The humidity in the room would be at par with what you might expect on a humid summer day, those of you without AC of course.

    In a basement it would be 'extra' humid but nothing a dehumidifyer couldn't handle if you are concerned.

    I have a 125 in wall backing on the garage, sure on a hot day it's humid, but on par with what the rest of the house would be on a hot summer day. Regardless, you'll want to move that air, either vent it or dehumidify.
    125G in wall
    2 x 250 hqi
    4 x 4' actinics
    tunze wavemaker & 6060
    2 x 1200 maxi's
    quiet one 3000

    ...just started of course



    One day my daughter asked me for Nemo. Here we are thousands later and I'm just getting started.

  6. #6
    Senior Member aragorn69's Avatar
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    Does the room that the tank will be in have a window? You could always just get a window fan and vent out there? Maybe even have a small dehumidifier in the room just in case the humididty gets to high.
    Adam

    __________________________
    A Black Hole Is Were God Divided By Zero!

  7. #7
    Senior Member SnelgroveReefer's Avatar
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    The room does not have a window, but I do have a dehumidifier that is already in use in the basement due to my current 30g reef. I think that I will drill a 4" hole through the foundation and install a bathroom fan as advised. Thanks for all the help and anyone with links to pictures of thier setup and further advice is very much appreciated.
    Mark
    90g Display, 30gal sump w/ refugium, MAS CR418 calcium reactor w/ Mag5 and Blueline CO2, Vertex IN-180 protein skimmer w/ Mag5, Mag9.5 return, 150 Phosban Reactor w/ MJ 1200, 1 Ebo 200w heater, 90lbs. LR, 80lbs. Carib-Sea aragonite, Cooltouch MH lights -2 x 400watt (20K & 14K) PFO hoods & Coralife 65w PC in custom hood with fan, Coralife 3-3/4watt mini moonlights, 8 jet Closed Loop System w/Reef-flo Dart, Aqua-Safe RO/DI, JBJ Auto Top Off unit w/Mag 5 return, 12g Nano cube, 10g quarentine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member pwall's Avatar
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    Nov 2004
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    Welcome to Aquaria.ca by the way!
    Regards,
    Patrick.
    Ottawa (Orleans), Ontario
    Yahoo IM: pwallnfld

  9. #9
    Senior Member cdn beaver's Avatar
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    Of course you'll want good access to the tank to make sure you have enough room for maintenance.

    My biggest regret about building in my tank, is that now it will be difficult to upgrade to a larger tank...

    Good luck with your build.
    Cheers,
    Mark

    Setup:
    27 Gallon Saltwater tank, 110W PC Light, Seaclone 100, 5 gallon HOB Fuge,Approx. 30lbs Live rock, Aragamax sand substrate.
    Livestock:
    Tomato clown, Mandarin dragonnet, Bicolor Angel, Assorted hermits and snails, Cleaner Shrimp.
    Corals:
    Assorted mushrooms, Zoanthids, Finger Leather.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    You won't have too many troubles/problems. Just do as everyone says and have some type of vent for the backroom. Also, use the water resistant gyproc ( green paper) for the walls on the frontside and in the backroom. You might want to do the floor as if it were in a laundryroom, such as with tiles or linoleum. Also, make the hole in the wall as high as the top of your canopy because the thickness of the wall will cut the reflecting light from hitting the full tank otherwise.

    My tank was also an in the wall, but viewable from both sides ( divider between livingroom and kitchen). My filter system was in the basement pumping up to the tank on the main floor.

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