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untamed 11-16-2006 01:37 AM

400 gallon project
This is the story of my 400 gallon tank, which is still under construction as of now. That's about 6 months construction time at this point.

Here's how things looked when I started, back in June, 2006.

The easy part was destroying the brand newly carpeted room. Once that is done, it provides real commitment to the project!

untamed 11-16-2006 01:42 AM

With Lino on top of the concrete floor, I started with the stand and walls. Before I started, I positioned the 2 sumps, RO water container and mixer into their rough positions, then built around them.
The stand is built with fairly standard 2x4 construction, except that the studs are only 8" apart and doubled up everywhere there is a larger gap. The top of the stand is 2x6's on edge bolted to the frame.

untamed 11-16-2006 01:45 AM

Here's a fun shot of what $2000+ worth of plumbing gets you! (there are three Dart pumps there...) It all looks very small, until you realize that you are looking at the 6' x 4' stand area.

untamed 11-16-2006 01:50 AM

Tank arrival!
I rented a van, drove down to Portland, Oregon to pick up the tank from Envision Acrylics. That was about 5.5 hour drive. It was actually cheaper to rent a van, and stay in a hotel than it would have been to crate the tank and have it shipped...(and I was more careful than any shipper that I've worked with)

The tank itself is 1" thick acrylic throughout. It is 6 feet x 4 feet x 26" high. That puts it just under 400 gallans. Empty, it weighs about 500 lbs.
We were able to move it easily thanks to some support from a local hot tub company that loaned me their super-dolly.

In the end, we just dead-lifted it onto the stand. Perfect fit!

untamed 11-16-2006 01:55 AM

Electrical issues
Along the way, I became experienced in electrical work. I brought 4 x 15amp circuits directly from the main breaker and run throughout the area behind/under the tank.

Two of the circuits are dedicated to lighting. The other two are fairly distributed along the walls for accessory pumps, computers, solenoids...

In all, I wired up over 30 duplex receptacles and one light with switch. All four circuits are GFI protected.

When I was all done, I had an electrician come in and verify that I was safe. The electrician did the final connection to the breaker box.

untamed 11-16-2006 02:01 AM

Plumbing - closed Loops
Done with being an electrician...I became a plumber! I now consider myself to be quite accomplished at PVC plumbing. Many thanks to the guys at Corix Water Products. I became quite a regular there!

Here's a shot of the two closed loops. (Left and Right) Each consists of a Dart pump connected to an OM-4 way. The outlets from the 4-way deliver water back to the tank in such a way that the water will be "rolled" from the bottom/back across the bottom...up the front glass, then across the top toward the overflows.

I'm very happy with the OM-4 ways. They are completely silent, very well built and Paul is very helpful on the phone. Even though the two loops are almost identical, I experienced some water hammer in the right loop. A quick mod provided by Paul cleared it up easily.

untamed 11-16-2006 02:08 AM

Plumbing - Return system
I've put considerable effort into designing the overflow system to be quiet.

Suffice to say that water falls through two back overflows. Each overflow has 2 x 1.5" outlets. In each overflow box, one of the outlets is choked back by a gate valve. This turns that outlet into a silent siphon. The other outlet has a durso standpipe, but this outlet is only collecting water that just couldn't go down the primary silent siphon outlet.

Emergency situation water testing confirms that even if one outlet is completely blocked, the other outlet(s) can handle the entire flow.

That's a G6 skimmer sitting in it's approximate final position.

fishface 11-16-2006 02:09 AM

lovin' it! looking forward to see how the whole project pans out, keep up the nice work and keep us informed! :)

untamed 11-16-2006 02:11 AM

Details, details
With the tank in place, I've started working on the overhead walls and doors. This was a lot more complex than I thought at first. I wanted to maintain the clean look of an "in-wall" system, but also wanted front access.

I've decided to build the walls and doors out of plywood. At this point, the doors/walls have been tested, but are not yet installed as I need to finish them up before I hang them. I also need to devise some sort of prop to hold the doors up so that they don't crash down on my head.

MobyDick 11-16-2006 02:13 AM

Wowo this looks good!taggin along.

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