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Old 04/18/2020, 05:41 PM   #1
karimwassef
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10,000 gal pool reef. 38,000 liters

I have a new plan to build a pool and convert it to a reef in Texas.

If anyone has attempted a pool conversion, please let me know!


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Old 04/18/2020, 06:14 PM   #2
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There is two young guys who coverted a swimming pool to a saltwater tank for one two days on YouTube e.. Upkeep would be really expensive. But its doable. I've seen a guy in south america who had something similar in the middle of his house with skylight on roof for natural light. He could close it to avoid rain water getting in.

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Old 04/18/2020, 06:54 PM   #3
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Diving board or slide?


IMO, pool may be ok for sharks and rays, but as a giant look down tank, not so much. Have you already seen one and know that you'll like it?

Sorry that you couldn't build your original plan, a lot of thought went into that!


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Old 04/18/2020, 07:46 PM   #4
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Look down tank would be crazy


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Old 04/18/2020, 11:33 PM   #5
karimwassef
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The below ground pool dimensions are 10’ wide x 20’ long x 3’ deep so it’s not a huge pool to begin with. It is a massive reef though.

The modification adds 2.5’ of above ground height so the total is 5.5’ deep (pictures coming soon). That’s around 8000 gallons.

The other 2000 gallons is split between the sumps, surge and fuge surge volumes.

As far as running costs... the most expensive elements of running a reef are temperature and lighting.

I’m using sunlight and underwater cooling coils to basically make use of the natural resources as much as possible. My only handicap is heating in the winter where I’ll be using a low height greenhouse cover to try and retain the heat as much as possible. I may need to add a gas heater to keep the pool at 73F+ in the extreme freezes of Texas.


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Old 04/18/2020, 11:36 PM   #6
karimwassef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albano View Post
Diving board or slide?


IMO, pool may be ok for sharks and rays, but as a giant look down tank, not so much. Have you already seen one and know that you'll like it?

Sorry that you couldn't build your original plan, a lot of thought went into that!
This is actually a modification of that tank at a 5x scale. Iím still planning on surges and the fuge return. If anything, without a full greenhouse, this may actually be less expensive and would allow the tank to be converted back to a pool when we go to sell the house some time in the future...

Itís tricky but I think I can keep the HOA, my wife, future buyers and my addiction all happy 😃


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Old 04/18/2020, 11:40 PM   #7
karimwassef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by savethereef View Post
There is two young guys who coverted a swimming pool to a saltwater tank for one two days on YouTube e.. Upkeep would be really expensive. But its doable. I've seen a guy in south america who had something similar in the middle of his house with skylight on roof for natural light. He could close it to avoid rain water getting in.

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Rainwater incursion is going to be tricky. Thereís a reef-keeper in California with a YouTube video channel that runs a standard reef outside (~1000gals I think?) and he lets the rain fall directly on his tank with no ill effects.

I also worried about predation... there are some big birds in Texas and tangs can look yummy from high up... and then thereís bird poop...

Also - hail in the winter.

I havenít figured out an automatic pool cover solution yet... but itís gelling.


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Old 04/19/2020, 02:42 AM   #8
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Here's the volume breakdown. It has two sumps, 4 surges (combined into one surge volume), and a surge fuge (all dimensions in feet):





So the actual reef is a drop off that's 14' long x 10' wide. The shallow side is 3' deep and the deep side is 5' deep.

I originally wanted the shallow side to be 1.5' deep but I felt like I'd be paying for a lot of water I never got to use... the fish may enjoy the larger cave, but I decided against it.


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Failure isn't an option It's a requirement. 660g 380inwall+280smp/surge S/L/Soft/Maxima/RBTA/Clown/Chromis/Anthias/Tang/Mandarin/Jawfish/Goby/Wrasse/D'back. DIY 12' Skimmer ActuatedSurge ConcreteScape

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Old 04/19/2020, 04:50 AM   #9
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and here's the proposed pool. There's a privacy room and an equipment shed as part of the plan too.






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Old 04/19/2020, 04:57 AM   #10
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The backyard and pool face south so the tank will get the most sunlight all year round.

The structures are all <200sqft (HOA requirement) and <10' height (also HOA requirement) and the open privacy room is 3' unattached away from the house (also HOA requirement). We still need to submit it for approval, but this should work.


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Last edited by karimwassef; 04/19/2020 at 05:04 AM.
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Old 04/19/2020, 09:19 AM   #11
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Karim, welcome back!!

This build looks absolutely amazing! Can't wait. Have you already moved into this house? How is the holding system getting along? Still have everything in there?


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Old 04/19/2020, 10:13 AM   #12
karimwassef
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Yes. We moved in late 2018 but the HOA rejected all my original submissions. I also started a new job so I’ve been on the road a lot.

It’s taken some creativity to reset and restart.

Unfortunately, the holding system at my dad’s house didn’t make it. The winter was too harsh and the Rubbermaid tank had a leak. It required gallons of water daily and an ice freeze destroyed the RO system... and the neighbors reported the raised ATO tank to the HOA which caused us to tear it down... and everything died.

That was an emotional blow as well and it kept me from doing anything for a while.

For this build, I’m looking to make it robust enough to survive on its own in the freeze and get approvals from the HOA, wife and neighbors ahead of time.




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Old 04/21/2020, 01:01 AM   #13
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Well as someone who's currently using a 300g Rubbermaid as a holding tank (don't buy anything Marineland...) and it looks somewhat cool as a look down, it's also only about 2 feet of water or so and it has LEDs relatively close (18-24 inches) to the surface so corals are glowing. However surface agitation makes viewing fish a bit problematic, although there are ways around that (don't have has much surface agitation is the key), but I'd image with the size of a pool a "look down" wouldn't be that impressive. So unless you want to regularly scuba or snorkel in the pool for recreation, I probably wouldn't bother with something like that, I'd rather just get a big pane of glass or acrylic and build a monster tank inside.

That said, yeah I saw the youtube video that the above guy mentioned, but they're not into aquariums, they're into Youtube clicks/views/subs, they basically paid someone else to do it, and who knows what the long term viability of it is. But all they did was put a few really big fake reef structures, then fill it with salt water, and then tossed in a ton of fish. For all anyone knows they fished out all the fish and drained the tank after they made the video.


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Old 04/21/2020, 05:47 AM   #14
karimwassef
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I've got plans

anyway - this is the guy I was talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0HQd3qChTw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYvelgnvbPs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvBSifK-L6o

You won't need a plane to see my tank from all sides ... stay tuned


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Failure isn't an option It's a requirement. 660g 380inwall+280smp/surge S/L/Soft/Maxima/RBTA/Clown/Chromis/Anthias/Tang/Mandarin/Jawfish/Goby/Wrasse/D'back. DIY 12' Skimmer ActuatedSurge ConcreteScape

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Old 04/23/2020, 02:38 PM   #15
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Some large tank owners have incorporated pumping water thru underground plumbing for cooling and heating. Not as easy as it sounds, but effective......what little I remember about it.


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Old 04/23/2020, 05:01 PM   #16
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Karim, good luck and hope to see it happen soon


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Old 04/23/2020, 10:56 PM   #17
karimwassef
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I’m planning on geothermal cooling loops.

I’m in negotiations now. I didn’t want to post until things were locked and loaded.

It incorporates all the ideas in my last design + a couple of new ones.

Peninsula, L drop off, surge+fuge, vacuum surge/vertical grazing, quadrant loop flows, tides, settling filter, geothermal, solar light, solar heating, auto-covering.

Im considering an infinity edge weir but it conflicts with some of the other design elements.

What it doesn’t have are dedicated lights or cooling/heating. I’ll have some things in case it doesn’t work but the running cost would make this prohibitive. The idea is that having a large open deeply grounded reef should be self-sustaining and the running cost should be primarily from pumps and vacuums + cost of water and chemistry (and food).


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Old 04/23/2020, 11:30 PM   #18
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Check with Steve Garette he has a coral farming in his back yard and he heat it with gas so its much cheaper than electric. Also he has blue acrylic top so the sunlight can diffuse and give some blue spectrum. Dont expect your coral will look nice like with blue led mostly brown. Salt can be expensive hopefully u can get natural sea water to replace. Plan to custom build a big calcium reactor to keep up alk, cal and mag. A big reef set up is so much more works and difficult compare to a big saltwater fish tank.


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Old 04/24/2020, 03:46 AM   #19
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Thanks. I do have a massive kalkwasser setup and I make my 2 part and Mag in bulk.
I don't plan on having a cover though. Coral color is driven by UV and any covering will block it. The reason most "sunlit" tanks are brown is that glass and plastic remove almost all UV.

When I planned on a greenhouse, I was going to use very thin sheets of tempered ultra-high clarity glass to get as much UV in as possible and supplementing with UV LEDs. Without that option, I will have direct sun in the summer and use a plastic sheet in extreme winter. So I'll be brown in the winter and colorful in the summer.

No option for natural salt water so water changes will be an extreme event. I am thinking of an auto-salt changer that slowly changes it over long periods of time.

I may install gas-heated fresh water ground loops in the concrete floor just in case.


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Old 04/24/2020, 08:19 AM   #20
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Thanks. I do have a massive kalkwasser setup and I make my 2 part and Mag in bulk.
I don't plan on having a cover though. Coral color is driven by UV and any covering will block it. The reason most "sunlit" tanks are brown is that glass and plastic remove almost all UV.

When I planned on a greenhouse, I was going to use very thin sheets of tempered ultra-high clarity glass to get as much UV in as possible and supplementing with UV LEDs. Without that option, I will have direct sun in the summer and use a plastic sheet in extreme winter. So I'll be brown in the winter and colorful in the summer.

No option for natural salt water so water changes will be an extreme event. I am thinking of an auto-salt changer that slowly changes it over long periods of time.

I may install gas-heated fresh water ground loops in the concrete floor just in case.

What part of Dallas are you in?


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Old 04/24/2020, 10:22 AM   #21
karimwassef
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Prosper - just north of Frisco


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Old 04/24/2020, 10:54 AM   #22
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Cool Iím in Houston but in laws in Rowlett


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Old 04/24/2020, 11:40 AM   #23
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If we can ever travel again, come on by!


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Old 04/24/2020, 11:46 AM   #24
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If we can ever travel again, come on by!

Def! What stages are you in with this? Will def be following along.


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Old 04/24/2020, 08:41 PM   #25
karimwassef
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proposing to the HOA and getting city permits + getting quotes from subcontractors: excavators, concrete walls, concrete floors...


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