Play Video

Electrical Needs

By Saltwater Ambitions on

Brian Howell:
Hey everybody this is Brian Howell from Saltwater Ambitions, a project sponsored in part by Custom Aquariums. Today I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about electrical needs. As part of this project, I wanted to make sure that we left no stone unturned when it came to the foundation that this aquarium system runs on. In order to make sure that you create a successful environment for your fish and corals, it's critical to have a solid plan for your build. Most people spend at least some time researching their system components. Things like pumps, lights, filters and so on. One of the things that's often overlooked, however, is electrical availability.

So many times I've seen people purchase all of their equipment and get it set in place only to determine that they don't have anywhere to plug it in, or if they do it's an inadequate place to plug it in and circuits end up overloaded or they end up with extension cords everywhere. The last thing you need to have happen is to blow a breaker when you're not home, only to find a tank full of dead inhabitants or a floor flooded due to the pumps that quit working. I really wanted to give you a look into the way that I've done the electrical for this build, hopefully, it gives you an idea of what you might want to do for your own build. If you guys have any questions let me know and let's take a look.

All right guys, right now we're actually down in my laundry room, my utility room and what actually doubles as what I'll call the aquarium room and you can see here that I've actually had a completely separate breaker panel installed by a professional electrician. Those of you who saw my previous post about build location might remember that I only had this single breaker box prior and I had the separate one added and all of the items for the aquarium are actually now on the same panel.

As you can see here, I have the quad plugs and ceiling plugs which are for the pumps and also the lights. I also have a separate circuit plug for the H2O system which is ultimately my RO/DI unit, the pumps and heaters involved in that in order to mix my saltwater for the tank. This entire unit here is brand new. Had this added just for this project. If I spin around you'll actually see that I have two quad receptacles, outlet receptacles added here.

I did have to move quite a bit of wiring when I removed the studs for the tank location. I had these added for the pumps, the filters, the heater, the protein skimmer, all of the fun equipment that goes along with the filtration and then up the wall, I actually had an outlet added up in the ceiling as well and that's primarily for the light fixtures that are going to go above the tank. I really didn't want cords and cables hanging out everywhere or having the cords for the lights running all the way down the wall when I could just easily have an outlet added up in the ceiling and I can keep everything contained up there.

Now, there's a lot of work to do to clean this stuff up. You can see it's a bit of a mess with the insulation and the old wires in place but I will definitely get that cleaned up. I also have over here my water mixing station that I built and you can see it's a rather large unit. I've got up on the top here behind this white panel there's a 35-gallon brute container made by Rubbermaid. My RO/DI water will flow into that top container and then down in here, there's actually a ball valve that I can open up to let the water out into the bottom brute container which contains a heater and a couple of pumps.

A circulation pump and a pump and ultimately when I'm ready to have the water sent to the tank, I just flip a switch and the water goes through hoses up into the ceiling and down into the tank or into the filtration rather so that I don't have to deal with any kind of buckets or anything like that but I wanted to show you this to show you that I actually had an outlet added up above here in the ceiling for that as well so I don't have cables plugged in all over the place. Everything's pretty well organized and neat and hopefully, it works out. Like I said there's a lot of work to do on this but it's been great so far. Anyway if you guys have any questions please let me know, thanks.

About Saltwater Ambitions

Brian installed a custom 240-gallon reef aquarium as the centerpiece of a remodel in his home, complete with filter system and welded iron stand.

Started in May of 2017, the Saltwater Ambitions project was created to document the journey from concept to reality and beyond of a 240 gallon in-wall Lifetime Aquarium build. Owner Brian Howell has partnered with to showcase some of the features and functionality of the Lifetime Aquarium display tank, Seamless Sump, H2Overflow, Siphon Stopper, and more.

View More

Connect with Saltwater Ambitions