Why Each Reefer Wants a Gap In The Wall | Reef Builders


Ongoing renovations to my home have given me a uncommon alternative to enhance how I run my tanks by using a gap within the wall. With regards to suitability for tanks my place isn’t good. It has raised picket flooring for a begin, on rickety outdated ground joists, so the ground isn’t stage, it strikes whenever you stroll round and I’ve even needed to change the ground in some rooms. However once we ripped out the dilapidated outdated kitchen to make method for my fish room and workplace, other than the awful flooring, the kitchen got here with some cool fishkeeping equipment like a lot of wall sockets, an extractor fan (for the outdated hob,) mains water, and a drain. I misplaced the struggle to maintain the extractor fan and needed to cap off the mains water pipe, however I did get to maintain a lot of electrical sockets, and proper within the nook of the room, the drain pipe that the washer and dishwasher used to connect with. And I’ll be utilizing that drain for my latest reef tank. 

Contained in the room, three pipes are prepared to empty to waste, usher in air from outdoors, and provide RO water.

The issue of CO2

There’s plenty of speak about CO2 and pH proper now. Mike Paletta is talking about it, Jake Adams was speaking about it, and each experimented with merely drawing in air for his or her protein skimmers from outdoors. So a pipe main out that I may join my skimmer to could be pipe primary to undergo the wall. Subsequent is the age-old subject of lugging heavy buckets of water round. They ain’t getting any lighter, so with the chance to place a brand new, 32mm diameter waste pipe from my tank to the drain outdoors, pipe quantity two was a no brainer. As it’s I’ve put an elbow on it in order that I can stick the tip of my siphon tube down it and eliminate the necessity for buckets, however the business installer in me may simply exhausting plumb it to a “T” on my return pump in order that I can really pump to waste just by turning some valves. It’s a luxurious in a house aquarium however it’s so price it. 

And after per week or so of watching my two new pipes and considering all the chances that they’d convey I put in one other, this time for RO water. My RO machine is outdoors anyway so I can join my RO product water feed to my top-off reservoir via a float valve or sensor and a solenoid, and top-off mechanically too. In order that’s pumping out, drawing air in, and topping off all sorted. However my ideas have run past that. If the tank ever grew to become freshwater I’d reinstate the mains water feed, and introduce that by way of an inline dechlorinator and a float valve too. And even swap the skimmer airline or RO tube for an airline, sitting an air pump outdoors the place nobody can hear it, however giving my future freshies further bubbles. The alternatives! 

A photograph that solely a reefer may love. Three pipes going straight by the wall from the tank to the drain.

Potential Points

With the outdated, smaller tank nonetheless working independently within the different room I’ve had the posh of taking my time with this new construct. After visits from a plumber, an electrician and a plasterer my outdated kitchen now seems a bit extra like a room, with my desk at one finish and my supposed tank on the different. I had the chance to buy a five-foot tank from a pleasant retailer at an ideal worth. The one factor is, it’s a freshwater tank, so each saltwater conversion thought has gone by my thoughts from easy exterior canister filters to a hang-on overflow field, to drilling the tank, constructing my very own weir, and putting in a sump beneath. Figuring out how a lot I really like Herbie- type weirs in addition to wanting ten occasions turnover by the sump per hour, I’ve gone for what I feel is the suitable alternative and can drill the tank and set up a central weir, similar to on a Pink Sea Reefer or related.

I’ve needed to supply a sump too however have already gone from sourcing a DIY glass sump for the equal of $40 to being given an unused acrylic sump by a man I used to work for. Extra about that sooner or later. However working at about 450 liters/120 gallons whole quantity plus rocks, I’ve introduced in a carpenter too to strengthen the ground joists. Now I want I’d have gone larger as I can nearly stretch to 6 toes lengthy wall to wall, and with all the prices of shopping for a weir comb, glass for the weir, diamond-coated gap saws, bulkheads, and pipe fittings, I in all probability ought to have simply gone for a customized, or an off-the-shelf reef ready set up. 

Again to pipework, it does terminate over an exterior drain that’s related to my washer, kitchen sink, and drain in one other room. I don’t actually need the odor of a drain in my workplace once I’m not pumping down it so have shut the most important pipe off with an finish cap for now. This can even forestall any chilly drafts, bugs, or undesirable mammals from getting into the pipe and in the end, my home. 

For the skimmer line, I turned the pipe up in order that it attracts in air away from the drain, and if I wish to I may lengthen that inlet pipe proper up the aspect of the home to attract within the cleanest air larger up. I reside close to the coast so ought to have good air high quality, however am additionally surrounded by fields which have excessive pollen. I intend to make use of some carbon and filter wool as a primary air filter and place it inside an upside-down plastic water bottle, which can even maintain the rain out of the pipe. Drawing in chilly air in winter might enhance my heating prices, however I’ll try it out over the following 12 months to seek out out. I sealed the gaps within the masonry with increasing foam on either side.

These pipes are about discrete as they are often, and as soon as the tank is pushed again nobody will see them, but their operate might pay dividends.


I’ll remorse not maintaining that oh-so-handy 4” extractor fan, particularly because the inevitable condensation builds up in winter, and sure, I’ll all the time remorse not going larger nonetheless with the tank and filling the brand new wall area utterly, however I’m actually glad that I stored the outlet within the wall and shall be reporting on the advantages long run. I can all the time go larger with a tank sooner or later, and from the skin, that pipework seems like one thing solely a fellow reefer will perceive, (and the wall wants re-rendering!) however I wish to suppose that by plumbing to waste and strengthening the ground, I’ve future-proofed the area.     

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