Zeroinverse FIL 240 tank build

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by zeroinverse, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    Hi all!
    My FIL (father in law) decided he wanted to set up a tank at his retail pharmacy location in Oakland Chinatown...

    So I need some help & suggestions for his build.

    We bought the Leemar 240 gal tank. 8x2x2 peninsula style.

    This tank will be set up as a east to care for softies/LPS tank for now with LEDsg

    Here is where it will be located: between two columns so you effectively only see two long sides (more of a room divider style).

    In the overflow section there are only two drain holes at bottom. The overflow plastic also has two return holes cut into the into the top of the overflow.



    Some questions to start:

    Q1: should I use one hole for return and one hole for drain?
    (I can't use bean animal style silent 3 drain setup)

    Q2: should I use both holes for drain and then put return "over-the-top"?
    (Does that mean I still plumb into the two return pipe holes cut into the overflow?)

    Q3: How do you get flow at the far end?
    I could use
    a) MP60 (which would have the dry side sticking out)
    b) OR a WP60 that would be mostly inside tank.
    c) OR return pump with educators (this would require a lot if PVC over top of the eurobraced tank). Since we may have a canopy to house lights, this may not be a big deal.

    Q4: should we create a fake "wall" display? This would let us have a canopy and prevent light leakage. It also allows me to put plumbing and wires out if retail store customers reach.

    Q5: should we simply build a plastic "top" for the tank? It is a nice eurobraced tank and seems a bit if a shame to not celebrate it.

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  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    #4 definitely, that should help with all your other issues too.

    Remember this is in a place where the public will be, you don't want to risk that the fact the average person does not have good sense to not touch things that aren't theirs. However do make sure it is accessible for regular maintenance, you really don't want a nice tank in a retail location that looks like crap with algae on the glass/rocks.

    Are you actually going to do a reef tank in it? Or just fish?
  3. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member


    The retail space - is there utilities on the back side (away from camera) of either post?

    I'd go with #4. An 'end cap' type of wall would give you the place to hide and protect all the light and plumbing stuff. Added to Mike's 'average person' comment is the warning about just odd teenagers. The tank and animals need to be protected from them. An open top would be a disaster waiting to happen. Some jerk will toss in coins to make a wish. Wall, canopy and stand all need locking doors.

    For the OF...
    I'd go with a 'Herbbie' style. Almost as safe as beananimal and quiet.

    You might take a look at the DT at Neptune. They have a big peninsula. IIRC, they use a closed loop for some flow.
  4. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    Yeah false wall makes sense.

    Plan to do reef, but softies and LPS first. Maybe SPS later.

    So like BTAs and such. (Which may mean no pumps except return plumbed ones to avoid suction end).

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  5. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    Can you explain end cap style? There are two columns on the "ends".

    As for utilities, there is a power strip on the column wall to ceiling so we are good there.

    As for closed loop, tank is already drilled and not sure I can do closed loops without cutting holes into aw leemar.

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  6. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Sorry. End cap is what it's called at the end of a grocery isle. Some sort of structure to either include the column or be just inside the column. I've included a quick Sketchup of both 'looks'. I guessed at dimensions! ;)

    What, you don't want to start drilling on a brand new tank? No guts, no glory!!!! :)

    After I thought about it, Neptune might also have some pumps (MP60?) in the tank too.
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Softies might be your best bet for a tank that's not "yours" you get some movement in the water, they're a LOT more tolerant of any tank issues, over all best tank I had was RBTAs and softies, water change once every 6-12 months, quick scrape of a razor blade and it looked brand new.

    Hogwash. It is not the natural state of an anemone to wander into a pump. When it finds a good place to set up shop it will stay there. Those who have had issues more likely didn't have conditions that were favorable for that anemone.
    Having rocks with deep holes will make them more likely to want to stay, however with that said the initially "stay right where I put you" condition almost never happens :D
  8. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest


    What is the "modern" circulation method? Closed loop manifolds? Or "in-tank" propeller style pumps (i.e. MP40s, Koralias, etc).
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    "modern" ?? I use the "gentle" flow pumps in my tank, if for any reason I can move a lot more water with lower power and centrifugal pumps that you hook up to piping.

    If you don't want the look of any pumps you'll have to spend more on electricity because those pumps aren't anywhere near as efficient.
  10. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    So are you suggesting to run a closed loop system or run in-tank propeller/educator style circulation pumps?

    In order to run a closed loop (without me drilling additional holes in a leemar tank), my overflow would have to handle like 2000+gph or such. Most overflows don't like that.

    Plus, the online research shows closed loops require like 300-500GPH per 1/2"-3/4" outlet. If I install even 6 of them, that is 1800-3000GPH.

    With 2 MP40s or Koralia magnums, I can hit 3000GPH each at peak flow and get 6000+ GPH in tank.

    Plus an external pump doing 3000GPH or more is probably pretty loud and harder to isolate vibration than in-tank circulation.

    So at that type of "high flow" (which is good for detritus movement and water equality) is intank circulation pumps better?

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  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I would suggest in tank pumps, for some of the reasons you already mentioned.

    You could do it as a closed loop system, but you would need to drill the tank.
  12. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    2 mp or wp 60's and a good return pump. Use all four holes for drains. Canopy
  13. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    I don't have 4 holes for drains.

    Only two 3" glass cut holes (2" pipes) on bottom glass.
    The other holes are actually only in the overflow wall for return pipes to go back out (to make look a bit "hidden".

    Also, even though this is leemar tank, the overflow has slits cut at top, middle and bottom of the overflow wall. Thoughts in if this is good or bad?

    I will probably use Herbie style drain.

    It means I need to make sure the siphon pipe is not too low or else tank will drain a lot of water across 8 feet. But at same time full siphons need like 5-6" of water head height to make sure it will start siphon correctly.

    So I may need to create a "mini chamber" or else I will end up draining 8ft x 2ft x 6 inch of water when power is out (that is 60 gallons)!!!

    Now that I say that out loud, I need to build a chamber!

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  14. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    yeah that's odd that it has those slits cut in the bottom of the overflow, I think the designed planned on a tall overflow pipe almost as tall as the top slits.
  15. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    Yeah, that's what I figured. Or else the original "leemar" tank was "mis-designed" by the original owner.
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Well the Leemar tank I have, had a strainer in the bottom of the overflow too. I assumed that it was just some place to hide a pump for a closed loop, but just thought it was an idiotic idea since there'd be no way to fit a bulkhead + pump in that space. Who knows maybe that's a standard design? *shrug* I just glued a piece of acrylic over the opening :)
  17. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    I think I need to leave the slots on bottom so I can get enough "flow" through the tank.

    I probably need 240 gallons x 6~8X per hour turnover.
    So that means about 1440GPH or 1920GPH

    According to this calculator:

    If I target 1500 GPH, that means I need the following:
    My peninsula tank overflow is trapezoidal shaped and but is basically like 24 linear inches. The problem is only "half" of it is "slotted" (50% space is slots, other 50% is the "blocker slots").

    My DRAIN BULKHEADS will fit either 1.5" or 2" bulkheads (the hole cutout is 3").
    I am planning to use 2" pipes both as DRAINS in HERBIE configuration.

    For those that want to use Herbie designs... MUST READ!!!

    Basically one 2" pipe will be under full siphon and controlled with a ball-valve.
    And the other 2" pipe will be for emergency backup. If there is ever enough of a "clog", then there will be enough "noise/choking" to cause the other pipe to start gurgling.
    (I'll also put a float switch in there to shut off the return pump in case of emergencies.)

    According to the following:
    (NOTE: this is under normal gravity flow, not under full siphon)

    BTW, this is an awesome read on PLUMBING BASICS
  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Hmmm not quite I buy those flow rates on the bulkheads, I have a 1" drain on my 180g tank and my return pump has got to be pushing more than 350GPH, I forget the exact model but I think it pushes somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200gph at 0' head, so at full height probably half that.

    Although look at the article the pictures seem to show the bulkheads as sideways, now a horizontal bulkhead is restricted a lot more than a bulkhead that's vertical, so perhaps that's where those numbers came from.
  19. zeroinverse

    zeroinverse Guest

    I think it depends on how much "water height" and if you are running a siphon drain.

    Siphon drains can do like 3-5 times normal "aerated" gravity drain flow.

    Is that what you mean about the bulkhead flow rate?

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  20. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yes it definitely depends upon head height. However an opening that's oriented vertically will drain water faster than one that's horizontal simply because there where always be a head height of water over it. I don't consider having water over the drain as a "siphon" either.

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