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hello everyone I am fairly new to the world of aquariums, i got my first tank in September of last year and started my first twenty gallon planted tank not to long ago. My dad had done saltwater aquariums when he was younger and just recently decided to take up his old hobby. so he asked me to help him design a 125g tank for his office. at first i was like "holy crap thats awesome i get to set up an amazing tank!" and then reality hit i didn't know that much about planted tanks. i mean sure i have my 20 gallon but it isn't really high tech. so i spent the past month learning everything i can about planted aquariums.

1x 125g all glass tank
1x 29g all glass tank (for water changes and quarantine)
2x eheim 2217 classic canister filters
2x 36" current USA sundial lights (4 10000k and 4 freshwater bulbs)
1x 18w coralife UV sterilizer
1x Milwaukee regulator 5lbs Co2 tank
1x diy co2 diffuser
150lbs charcoal soil master select
2x 250 watt heaters





i went to home depot last night and bought i ton of plumbing supplies. (by the way self check out sucks when you have hundreds of small plumbing parts.)

so that's most of the gear. of course the lights are on the tank.



last night was just supposed to be a shopping trip but my dad and i got a little carried away and started to set up the plumbing for the two canisters.



the filter inputs are hanging from a self that we mounted on the top of the cabinet.



the two filter intake pipes connect into one piece of 1 1/4" PVC pipe using a tee coupler.



then it connects into one of the overflows on the bottom of the tank. we put a valve on the PVC pipe just in case something went terribly wrong.



Last night we decided that we didn't have nearly enough supplies so we made another trip back to the Home Depot here's what we got.



Last night's main task was two complete the filtration system. Which ment hooking up the outtakes for the two Ehiems, building a C02 reactor and hooking up the UV steralizer. Early that day my dad started to work on the auto water change system by setting up part of the drain line. I'm still not really sure how the water change sytem works but I will have him explain it later.



The plumbers also came and took a chunk out of the wall to run the pipes down to the drain lines. The're coming back today to put the pipes in.



Now onto the filter outtakes as I said earlier we decided to use the spraybars and save the bulkheads for the water change system. This turned out to be a little bit of a challenge because we didnt have enough of the smaller hose so we had to change to a larger size hose. The small green hose is for the outflow from the canisters.



One of the filters lines runs to the UV steralizer and the other runs to the CO2 reactor which we also built last night. (Still have to tap for the airhose.)



One of the really nice things about this set up is that we can disconect one filter (to clean it) and still leave the other one running. heres a pic of the back of the tank showing were the outtakes enter the tank.



OK we got alittle carried away last night and decided that we should also paint the tank.



It looks so awesome now that it is black. So that's all we got done.

Today the professionals finished making the required modifications to the building to support the tank. Unfortunately we have commercial building codes to comply with. These changes got a bit more complex than the orginal plan. Here's an overview.

Support for Auto Water Change System

The office that this tank sits in is just above a janitorial closet with water and a mop sink. So the plan was to take a simple flex water line up through the floor for a supply similar to a ice maker line. Turns out the County required a back flow device with an emergency dump to ensure the tank could not contaminate the potable water. Never mind my pleas that the water line would never be connected to the tank.

The plan for a drain line was to bring a 2" ABS line through the floor across the ceiling, down the wall and into the mop sink. Turns out the County required the line to be vented and because it will be open in the sink it needed to be vented all the way through the roof. Could not tie into an existing vent. Bummer.

Here are some of the pictures of the finished plumbing to support the tank.



The end result, this is the 4" drain which ties to the sink and the 3/4" cold water line that will feed the water change system. This is behind the right side of the tank.



Same as viewed from above.



Hole cut in ceiling above drop panels to allow for plumbing of water line and P-trap for new drain line.



View of the janitor closet with new supply and drain. You can see the line tap off supply to hot water heater, travels through the back flow device and up the wall. The black ABS is the drain line from the tank overflow.



This baby just looks expensive, doesn't it? This is the back flow device required the funnel looking device on the bottom is the dump. Each time there is a change in water pressure this dumps creating an air gap between the two springs. Similar to anti-siphon hole in the overflow.

So that's the plumbing, I'll provide a detailed description of the water change system once we get a little further.

With all the work and $$$ that are going into this tank we didn't want to risk a power outage shutting down our equipment with the potential loss of fish. This building is equipped with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and I wanted the Eheims and heaters to use this power source.

This was actually pretty easy, just needed my electrician to extend an outlet to behind the tank.



The new orange outlet is connected to the UPS. We'll install a power strip in the cabinet to serve the pumps and heaters. A second plug strip will use standard power to run balance of equipment.

What makes this power uniterrupitible? Here's a primer...

The building is an independent telephone company, that provides telephone, cable TV and Internet services. As such we have a pretty custom power system. The orange plug connects to...



On the left you see a bank of rectifiers (white equipment) which take commercial power and convert it to 48 volts DC. This rectified 48 volts DC feeds a bank of batteries. On the right you see a bank of inverters (gray equipment) which takes the 48 VDC from the batteries and converts it back to AC to be delivered to the orange plug.



This is one of four stacks of batteries, each stack has 18 cells. This system is a bit different than a standard UPS because the power flows through the batteries 100% of the time instead of on failure. Very clean power is the result.



Finally the entire system is backed up with a propane powered generator that is wired to an automatic transfer switch. The generator is supplied by a 1000 gallon propane tank. So if the power fails the generator will kick in and likely run for 4 to 5 days, then if it were to run out of gas (shame on us) or fail we get about 2 days out of the batteries.

What's the point, I guess you shouldn't here us sobbing about a windstorm that caused a power outage.
 

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Boy you make my 125g look penny anti with all your fancy auto-everything equipment. So are you gonna have expensive fish for that puppy since you're going to all that trouble? I love the turn off valves you have connecting everything. Also neat is the white vinyl grid you have so that you can connect to it. Nice ideas!
 

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Whoa, talkin' about high-tech. I don't understand half of what's going on; but it looks awesome! What is the plan as far as fish and plants go?

Just a word of precaution, the Milwaukee CO2 regulator sucks (at least the one that I bought for 80 bucks did). It was very hard to control the CO2 flow precisely. I think it has to do with the needle valve that they have.
 

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WOW!!!!
Has to be the high tech of high tech tanks!

I love my Milwaukee regulator even after i broke the low side gauge(my fault).

it helps if you mostly adjust the main pressure to regulate flow and needle valve for the finer adjustments.. since i no longer have a low side gauge i have become a pro at working mine :roll: i havnt had to adjust mine in 4 months. since the tank change.

can't wait to see more!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Very nice hardware work! I'm excited to see how it looks when it's done.
 

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Hmmmmm.
The admins should keep track of this thread for the Crowdgather flagship tank as it'll be installed in an internet server type building similar to this. :p

Looks nice. Keep us up to date on it.
 

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It looks to me that your off to an awesome start, I can see the SW aquarium background influence in the setup, very nice!

as far as being a planted aquarium I am a little concerned about your lighting, it seems to be a little on the dim side for this size tank especially if your going for a high tech planted setup usually requiring Co2 and greater than 2 watts per gallon. by my calculations you have 8-24w t5 bulbs planned and thats a total of 192watts over 125 gallons being roughly 1.5watts per gallon. Not to say you can't manage a great planted tank with this setup, I think you'll be more than satisfied with it as long as you choose the appropriate plants for your aquarium. This would fall closer to a medium-low light aquarium especially once you factor in the depth of this tank.

If you choose the correct plants with this setup, you could potentially have one of the most stable aquariums probably ever posted on APC with the full battery backup/low lighting/powerfull filtration/auto waterchange I'm really excited to see where this tank goes from here, and admittedly a little jealous.

What are your plans for plants and fish?

Awesome and organized start!! :D
 

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This is proving to be one sweet setup so far.

One other suggestion is to find a way to add more flow to the tank. The two Eheim 2217 filters will provide plenty of filtration, but circulation is another matter. Once the plants fill in and become dense you may need to add a powerhead or two.
 

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plenty of filtration, but circulation is another matter. Once the plants fill in and become dense you may need to add a powerhead or two.
Aaron, once again, I couldn't agree more. I've found that added circulation really helps prevent a lot a problems with algae and waste build up, granted in a lower light setup this may not be as much of an issue although it shouldn't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It looks to me that your off to an awesome start, I can see the SW aquarium background influence in the setup, very nice!

as far as being a planted aquarium I am a little concerned about your lighting, it seems to be a little on the dim side for this size tank especially if your going for a high tech planted setup usually requiring Co2 and greater than 2 watts per gallon. by my calculations you have 8-24w t5 bulbs planned and thats a total of 192watts over 125 gallons being roughly 1.5watts per gallon. Not to say you can't manage a great planted tank with this setup, I think you'll be more than satisfied with it as long as you choose the appropriate plants for your aquarium. This would fall closer to a medium-low light aquarium especially once you factor in the depth of this tank.

If you choose the correct plants with this setup, you could potentially have one of the most stable aquariums probably ever posted on APC with the full battery backup/low lighting/powerfull filtration/auto waterchange I'm really excited to see where this tank goes from here, and admittedly a little jealous.

What are your plans for plants and fish?

Awesome and organized start!! :D
the 36" sundials are actually have 4 39 watt bulbs so that puts me at around 312 watts which is roughly 2.5 WPG. im pretty sure that should give me enough light to grow just about anything.

also i have never actually done a saltwater tank before though my dad has a long time ago. (he kinda scared me away from ever trying saltwater).
 

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I'm most impressed with the wire shelf rack mounted up under the base... brilliant!! Great start!!....now where did I put that extra wire shelf........

Troy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
wow I've been a little busy lately so i really haven't had that much time to work on the tank but i did get some stuff done.

first we found a 29 gallon tank on craigslist of 20 dollars this will be used as a water holding tank for the auto water change, so the water has time to heat up and the chlorine can be removed.


then we went and found some rocks we also went and found some wood. has anyone ever used alder in an aquarium before? here is a pic of a hardscape we kinda liked.




i was also thinking that some additional flow would be helpful in this tank. i really dont want to put in any powerheads though. does anyone have any suggestions on which powerhead to use or is there a better way to increase my circulation.
 

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Finally was able to get another good nights work on the tank. The good news is that the plumbing is complete. All the pipes and hoses required for the filtration and water change system are installed, glued and labeled. The photos that follow should give you a good idea of what is going on. Since you can't see where each pipe / hose begins or ends I've labeled the photos according to the legend below. Forgive me, it's long but there is a lot of stuff going on under this tank is a very confined amount of space. I am pretty pleased with the amount of storage that remains and the layout in general. Enjoy the photos.


Photo Legend


a.) Fresh Water from Holding Tank
b.) Tank Water to Eheim 1 and 2
c.) Fresh water to Holding Tank
d.) Inflow for Eheim 1
e.) Inflow for Eheim 2
f.) Outflow from Eheim 1 to UV Sterilizer
g.) Outflow from Eheim 2 to C02 Reactor
h.) Overflow from Tank to Waste
i.) Fresh H2O from Building Supply
j.) UV Sterilizer to Side Spraybar in Tank
k.) CO2 Reactor to Rear Spraybar in Tank
l.) 29 Gallon Holding Tank
m.) UV Sterilizer
n.) CO2 Reactor​

First of course I needed more materials. Someone should suggest that I save my $$'s for fish!



View under tank on the left side above water change holding tank.



View under tank on the right side above Eheim filters.



View from rear on the right side of tank showing filter lines.



View from front of left side showing water change holding tank, little giant pump, and utility hose (on a quick connect) for spring cleaning.



View from front of right side showing Eheim filters and CO2 system.




So that's it for now. I will move on to wiring, including low-voltage controls for the water change system. Be patient, I'm going on vacation next week.

P.S. No reef influence here. The reason we used a reef tank was to accommodate the automatic water change system. So "lazy" might be a better tag than "reefer". :)
 

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looking good so far, can't wait to see this tank in action. btw, you might want to save some $$ for fish (lol)
 

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Wow, this is a very interesting post. This is exactly the kind of thing that I want to do when I buy my own house :D

I have to agree with redstrat I've got 260 watts of powercompact light over my 125 g tank and on many an occasion I've found that plants don't do as well as they should until they grow into the top 1/3rd of the tank where the light is strongest.

I think around 400 watts of power compact light would be the perfect wattage for growing all stems, glosso, HC, etc without worrying about lighting in a 125g.

6x65w bulbs, 4x96 or 8x55w power compact will get around the right mark, or 3x150w metal halides.

Ah, I see that you have 300+ watts nvm... lol
 

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No new updates? I've been following this one and have to say I like it. You probably have more plumbing than necessary under there, but it all looks so cool :yawinkle:

I had a little trouble deciphering some of the last post, do you think you could draw up a diagram showing hoses, pipes, and valves? Even a cell phone photo of a hand drawn layout on a napkin would be fine, I'm just curious about your routing.

Keep it up, looking good so far!
 

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Oh my God

In this assembly, where vai be the Notebook?

Missing a crucial piece... The Ipood! Heheheh

Now comes the more difficult, the layout.

very cool that aquarium! Good luck.

Hug

JACK
 
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