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  1. #1
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Talking Making my new house "reef-ready"

    I am moving to my new house March 2004. The house hasn't been built yet so I am free to make any changes to make it reef-friendly, if not "reef-ready"

    I will be putting the tank in the finished basement, to eliminate any floor support necessary. Also it is usually cooler down there so no chilling is needed.

    I am planning on a 120 gal tank, "reef-ready" (i.e. drilled), with at least a 20-30 gal sump under the stand. Wife doesn't allow behind-room installation with thru-the-hole-in-the-wall viewing, so I'll have to make do with a nice stand.

    What can I do to make the house better compatible with reefing? I will be adding a GFI outlet near where I install the tank. Do I need upgraded electricals such as 200amp circuits instead of the usual 100amp? I do intend to install MH lights. What about dedicated circuits?

    What are some of the things you'd wish you had known or installed in your house after you became a reefer?

    All suggestions welcome.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    Hey SUV, that's great, always fun to design when building!

    I didn't quite do that, but I did do a lot of setup work prior to moving in - didn't move the aquarium into place until after I had a break from moving in cuz we just tried to do too much!

    A 120 gal is no biggy on a main floor, especially if close to a load bearing wall. I think people underestimate the strength of their floors. Water beds weight a )@*^$ of a lot.. If it's done right, it's a minor setback. Now, if you are talking 300gal + ok..

    I've got a 180 on my main floor, I too was worried. I have it next to a load bearing wall, and that wall is 7' away from an I beam - so you can't get any better. However, out of paranoia, I doubled up the beams even though I was told it was not necessary. Doubling up like that will reduce the chance of squeaks on the floor more than anything.

    If you are building a new house, and it doesn't cost you a fortune, I'd get a 200amp service just cuz. Hydro companies like me. Makes everything easier, workshop, tank, etc. etc. HOWEVER, it's not necessary, especially with the size of tank you are talking about. The key here is to spread the load over a few GFI circuits so that if something trips, the whole system doesn't go down, etc. I've got 3-4 15/20amp breakers for the aquarium setup, but I have an upstairs/downstairs setup. I've only got 100amp service. If you add up all your circuits, guaranteed you will have way more than 100amp - the idea is that you are not going to turn on absolutely everything, including high load appliances at the same time, so you don't need to worry.

    Always consult pros if you need to though.

    Too bad about the no hole through the wall trick, that's the best way to keep the mess, noise, and equipment in a specialized room, and just see the nice aquarium. My two previous setups were basement in the wall tricks. I way prefer mainfloor now though - you get to spend way more time seeing it.

    Oldest system 75g in basement wall @ moms


    Previous system 180g in rental house (partly finished basement)


    bags a floatin'


    behind the wall


    And now, current 180g, upstairs in a stand (but sump in basement)


    Good luck!
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  3. #3
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Thanks for your suggestions, fishysan. And great pictures, BTW.

    Here are my thoughts:
    I am going to install 2-3 dedicated circuits, GFI protected, near the tank. One will support all the in-sump equipment like return pump, heater and skimmer. I suppose if the sump circuit trips, there is no need to run the skimmer since the water won't be returned to the tank anyway.

    Another circuit supports the in-tank powerheads, which is further protected by a UPS in case of a power failure.

    Another circuit drives my MH lights. Any idea how much current (while power-on, and continuous running) do a pair of 250W bulbs draw? Close to 5A or something?

    I love designs

    I will keep you guys updated on my project.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

  4. #4
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    You may want to consider ducting the heat/humdity to an outside wall. (like the dryer outlet). This will remove extra heat and humidity. I'd also consider a bigger tank like a 180, it gives you alot more room and the price really isn't that much more
    Daniel
    M.A.S.K.
    Marine Aquarium Society of Kitchener
    www.maskcanada.org

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    Thanks SUV!

    Good point Dan - a 24" wide tank is way better than 18" for landscaping, etc. etc.

    Also, venting heat, and especially humidity is definately an issue. Something I'm having to contend with now and improve things.. 400gal of water's giving my AC a hard time, and it's too humid in the winter.

    I'll be adding some venting to outside.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  6. #6
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Great. I'll definitely consider the 180g. What's the standard size of a 180g (LxWxH)?

    Unfortunately my laundry room is relocated to 2nd floor because the unfinished part of the basement is quite small. So connecting a vent to the dryer pipe is not possible.

    Does a dehumidifier help in that regard? Heat is likely not an issue since the basement is always cooler than the rest of the house all-year-round.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    Hi ya,

    My 180 is "standard" at 6'x2'x2'

    My laundry is upstairs too, I would not be using my existing vent anyway, as how would you control where the air goes, etc. You'd need flappers etc. I was referring to going right outside.

    But, if you have the tank in the basement, and just that size, partly covered you'll be fine likely. I just have too much water lying around.

    The dehumidifier is great, however, in the summer it's heating the basement to then remove moisture. Your AC also removes moisture. I had both running, didn't help - cuz the dehumidifier heated it up too much. In the winter the dehumidifier doesn't work very well if the temperature is too low.

    If you are going to put halides on the tank, and the tank is in a small room, it will keep things warmer. But it's not that big of a system, each house is different, etc. It will likely all be well.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

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