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Old 05-07-2003, 09:03 PM   #1
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Tank size and type?

Hello,

I am a new aquarium enthusiast and want to purchase my first saltwater tank. I will start with fish but eventualy would like to add some live rock and have a reef/fish setup. I am building it into the wall with a dedicated closet behind it for the equipment. I want a 72" long tank but am not sure if I should go with 18 or 24" front to back and how tall it should be. Also should I go Glass or Acrylic. Thanks for your input. By the way the tank will be on the first floor (slab) so weight should not be an issue.
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Old 05-07-2003, 09:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
not sure if I should go with 18 or 24" front to back and how tall it should be.
The deeper front to back the better. If you have a choice go with 24" The reason is it will a) give you more water voulme b) give you more surface area c) give you much more flexability in aquacaping

Now. how tall? Just know the taller you go the more light you will need. Dont go taller than 24" for sure.

I would favor glass. Its gonna be a lot heavery to put it into place but it will hold up better and resist scratching.

When desining the wall enclosure remember to give yourself ample room in your closet for the sump and your pumps and your plumbing and lighting equipment. Puting your lighting rig on pullies so it can be rased up out of the way when your working on th tank would be a benifit also.
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:40 PM   #3
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Second everything he said. Also, if it is possible, install a floor drain to assist in water spilling on the floor, it happens to all of us (i think)
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:03 PM   #4
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install a floor drain to assist in water spilling on the floor, it happens to all of us (i think)
Getting the floor/carpet wet is inevitable. It WILL happen. Sooner or later. I wonder how many gallons have hit my floor over the years (more than I want to remember)?
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:08 AM   #5
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Acrylic is lighter than glass but scratches easy. Glass is heavy but doesn't scratch easy. Glass is cheaper than acrylic.

Also remeber at that size a glass aquarium is going to weight 300lbs-350lbs depending on the height you decide on. I say this for lifting purposes

Also remeber that water is going to evaporate so the area will be humid. I'm not sure of how you are making the wall but keep that in mind. Else you may have a little mold/mildew on the inside of the walls.

Have fun, I'm going thru the same thing you are. Just doing it in about a month
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Old 05-08-2003, 10:34 AM   #6
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I see you live in California, are you in earthquake territory? That would be my only reason for suggesting acrylic over glass. I don't know from experience, but I've heard on other boards that acrylic stands up much better to earthquakes than glass. I think it has more flex to withstand the movement.

Brian
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Old 05-08-2003, 01:46 PM   #7
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We live in California and have had glass aquariums for years, never had a problem when it comes to earthquakes. But we didn't have ours in the wall, just on a sturdy stand which was anchored to the wall. I'd take earthquakes over tornados and hurricanes any day. JMO
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Old 05-08-2003, 04:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I did not even think about the humidity factor. I will use some paint grade plywood behind the drywall so I can have it water tight. May even consider sheeting the whole closet area with plywood for that reason. Also the drain is a great idea. Will make water changes easier. Still debating the glass vs acrylic? Thanks again to all for your input.
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Old 05-08-2003, 05:14 PM   #9
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I would put a vent in the closet area to the outside and a fan. Kind of like a bathroom fan. Then you can vent the humidity outside. I would guess your gonna experence 5 gal or more evaporation a day from that size of setup.

I get close to 2 gal a day evaporation from my 80 gal and 30 gal sump.

I have to wonder if earthquakes would pose a greater risk on a tank inside a wall than on a stand. When the tank is in the wall the walls moving will impose stress on the tank more than simply having the floors move. But I am sure there are several rich hollywood types with tanks in their walls who have no problems. But maybe they use acrylic. Usually acrylic has been bonded on the seams vs being glued together with sylicon.
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:57 PM   #10
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Hmmmm... You could always set the tank back the width of the drywall and have it not really "attached" in the wall. Just have it sit on a free standing stand and put a nice border around the hole in the wall to cover up the ugly edges. So I'll go on the line and say glass.

Not sure how old you are but if you have kids, there is another reason to go glass.

Hot wheels tend to scratch acrylic a little more
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