After Tile, Epoxy Paint, and Poly Board were complete, the fun could finally begin. Now was the time to prepare installing the systems, little did I know the work that would be involved. After spending months measuring the room from every angle I was certain I could install 6 independent systems with sumps and this is what I had set out to accomplish.
My first instinct was to purchase the Rubbermaid Stock Tanks; I knew a resource for them locally and the have a good reputation amongst other growers. Even with a Sport Utility Vehicle I took a few trips to get all six tanks but once I did, I laid them all out in the room, and things looked much smaller that they did on my piece of graph paper. What I had not taken into consideration was the footprint of the Rubbermaid tank in correlation to the surface area.
The step down on each side made for a nice way to install egg crate but the actual surface are of these tanks was not going to be much more than I had been working with and may out grow these glass tanks in the next two years. Another problem that I had not thought of is with the drastic step down, the platform I was going to build to elevate the tank above the sump would not be wide enough for me to slide the sump under. I certainly did not have enough room to have the sump right next to the tank, the room is too small.
After playing with the tanks for a week I realized I had to drop out the sumps or drop out the total number of systems. All my systems since 1996 had used sumps, and I could not see working without them. On the other hand the whole point was to build an addition so I can have large dedicated systems. As painful as it was, I made the decision to eliminate the sumps from my plan and work with single tanks.
As if that were not enough of a blow, after some calculations I realized the total amount of plugs I could keep in the tank at the level of the shelf was about 20 more than I was keeping in 40 gallon tanks, so the next painful decision was to return the Rubbermaid’s and go with a new grow tank. Luckily this step for me was not going to be that painful, because I had already found another tank I liked a lot and was less expensive. Because of the Step Down on the Rubbermaid’s they were never going to work as sumps which had forced me to find another brand.
I had settled on Tuff Stuff Stock tanks for the sumps, and liked the larger size for the grow tanks but I had already bought the Rubbermaid’s. The decision was a necessity; however the pain was more related to moving the old ones out and new ones in. My final decision was to buy 4, 110 gallon tanks, and 2, 140 gallon tanks. Below you can see a shot of the 140 gallon tank in the corner.