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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Unhappy Home alone 4 - and feeling empty.


    This monday, I drove to montreal to drop off my wife and son at the airport. They are travelling to India for 4 months. The look on my son's face as they moved into the security area had million words, couldn't help but my eyes fogged, I controlled myself wishing that atleast he would a have good time, with all his cousins.

    Now here is the situation, I have never lived alone ever in my life, and now I am in the house all by myself, and believe me it is my worst experience so far.

    A friend suggested that I should focus on my hobby, so I decided to plan the basement fish room, that I have been post-poning for the last 6 months.

    So this is what I have comeup so far, found a perfect place to house the tank, will look a in-wall construction when finished. The tank dimension will be 96" X 36" X 36" (approx 500 gal), with a 180 Gallon Acrylic sump/refugium 72"X24"X24.

    The closest wall to the setup will be my inside garage wall, should I be OK with exhausting the hood to the garage, are there any issues here?

    Started enquiring about glass (I have to build it there as I cannot move a finished tank through the stairs and basement), I guess I need 3/4" thickness. I got a quote for 3000$ for a all startphire equivalent. And 2000$ for regular float glass. I wasn't going to take second mortgage.

    So did some further investigation, and found a source for the glass a low iron glass (clearer than regular float glass but not the same as a starphire). I can get for 700$ including S&H and that is for all panes, now I have the fish room idea resurrected from the grave.

    I am in the budgeting phase now, live rock i'll get it directly shipped from Fiji say 500lbs by overnight air. I guess i'll have to drive south of the border to pick up my southdown sand to save a bit.

    While adding corals, is there any limits on the number of corals you can add to your tank in a single day?, the reason I ask is that I can sources mother colony size corals for unbelievable price as long as I buy them in box quantities including Shipping, Cities permit etc. This way I can save a ton of money, and bring down the tank cost drastically. .

    I am still reseaching the feasibility of this approach, as the demand on nutirents for the corals may be pretty high, any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    I am working on my own automation for the whole system, which is quiet a project by itself, complete web enabled home/aquarium controller, with auto top off, water changes, and automatic live feeding and all the works under the sun.

    Any design ideas for the aquarium and insights will be highly appreciated.

    This planning phase helped me take my mind of the loneliness, but still dread the thought of going home and crawling into bed and hear those spooky creaking noises from the roof.

    All I need is focus without distraction.

    Wish me luck.

    Venki Worathur

  2. #2
    Senior Member LadyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    I will wish you all fun with this great project Venki

    500 G is pretty much a big tank...Mine's only 80 and needs lot
    of $ investment..

    How much you think you will get 500 lbs of LR?...I heard it was 4$/

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I can get mine for around 3.50 most of the price being for the air freight at 4USD/Kg.

    I won't buy anything at retail price, so the price should be within acceptable limits, for a 500G tank (My budget 12K when it is fully stocked over a period of 12 months). All I have to do is start digging a tunnel to my nearest bank.


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Cool VENK

    Good luck and you have a good 4 months non interuption time to think it thru.are you positive you can get all the glass for a 500g tank for $700??? really look into that because the wholesalers and manufactors couldn't sell all that glass 3/4'' for that price. $3000 sounds right. I've been/talked and even have connections working with a BIG CATHOLIC SCHOOL board and coundn't even come close to that price.Theres basically 3 types of glass that you would use.
    #1. float/regular/anealed
    #2. DIAMANTE [low iron] and exspensive!.
    #3.STARPHIRE [low iron] and exspensive!.
    You can only get glass thru a dealer ship and not directly thru say PPG or OLDCASTLE. In OTTAWA I went thru BROWN & MACFARLANE as no one could touch there price. you also have to factor in beveled and polished plus holes drilled plus delivery. Any time you want to pop by you can check out my progress to date and REEFERBOY also has a huge tank or 2! as well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Good luck. It sounds like a real interesting project that you have going there.

    You mentioned Automation. What are you going to use in terms of hardware specifically?

    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    The price is right as I have dealt with this supplier for other products for more than a year. The price include cutting grinding, polishing and freight. Tempering is 20% extra, I might as well get it done as long as there are no distortion as a result of tempering.

    People would go "if it is good to be true, it probably isn't " but unfortunately we are all victims of our own emotions. It is an imported item that would explain the price. As most items I import are priced at 1/3 of the retail price.

    Will take you up on the offer and take a look at your setup, may be I can have you come over sometime as well so that I can take your inputs on the design especially the location of the holes for drain and closed loop.

    The same pricing goes for my acrylic sheets for the sump as well, 1/3 retail.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    I just completed the schematics for the controller, built using microcontroller, modem, OP Amps, Darlington array transistors and relays with my own TCP/IP stack for the web server (can serve Java Applets, data and images), will be hooked to my IP camera for real time images on the Web. It also will have a complete X-10 controll module all that will fit in the palm of my hand (yes the isolation aspect has been taken care off). Will control PH, TEMP, ORP, DO and condutivit. I can expand this to monitor and control more than one Ph (or any other parameter) reading etc. Say one for the tank, One for the Calcium reactor and One for the batch of water made for water changes.

    I am designing the PCB currently.

    I'll using some screw conveyors for my adding salt to the RO water to mix my batch of salt water for water changes and the same concept of adding brine shrmip eggs to my hatchery, but still haven't figured out how I am going to removed the hatched egg shell.


  8. #8
    Senior Member Marty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Wow, that's a great project. I will probably seem too quiet in the house at first, but you will have plenty of time to work on your big project. When your wife and son return home, not only will they be happy to see you, they will be happy to see your new tank. You will be so busy that 4 months will fly by.
    Good luck with your project and be sure to take lots of pictures

  9. #9
    Senior Member Conan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    and make shure you start a thread in the large tank forum to keep us posted!!!
    Do or do not. There is no "try" - Jedi Master Yoda

  10. #10
    Senior Member CableGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    If you can make that huge tank happen for only 12K let me know how the hell you did it!!!!!

    I started a 220 gallon a few months ago and have spent well over 8k and I'm still looking at spending another 2k before I even get the corals in there!

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