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Old 08-10-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2
Making a new tank, need advice, been over a decade...

Hello all!
I'm most impressed by everyone here and both their knowledge and helpfulness!

Here's my situation.
I'm wanting to build a decent sized tank.
Of course, by 'decent sized' i mean i'm cutting a huge hole in my wall and wanting build a tank probably facing the proportions of 8'x6'x1' (WxHxD).
Yeah tiny little think :P
i figure a salt water tank would be better looking thank a freshwater tank, and have a lesser chance of algea growth.
Please lemme know what i should do. questions that come to mind are:
1) i'll probably end up building the actual unit myself, so what should i use to seal it? silicon? also how thick of glass, etc will i need for it to be structurely strong?
2) i want it to be as quite as possible (mechanically speaking. bubbling, and other aqua-noise is fine), what filtration and/or heating should i do?
3) what would you recommend i put i this. i want it to be really great to look at.
4) i'd like the tank to be as natural as possible. if by setting up a few plants and throwing a dozen bottom feeders will replace most my filtration needs, i'd rather do that. i know that tanks generally need to be airated.
5) anything else you can give me for advice. whether or not i should just get a contactor to build it (i'd rather not though), tips for framing the sides to make it stronger. strength is important because i don't want someone tripping on the couch and putting his hand through the tank.

I'd like the tank to be as clear as possible so i can see through it and watch the TV in the next room :P
also the ability to illuminate the tank different colors for a party's length of time would be amazing. (possible spectal blending through the basic primary and secondary colors) so fish and other organics that won't be bothered by this would be preferable

HatredManifesto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2004, 04:26 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Freak
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: West Lafayette IN
Posts: 222
first things first take a look at where all the load bearing walls and support beams are in your house because that tank will weigh lots! =) As for algea growth, saltwater tends to have more in my experience, but it can be easily kept down. A lot of your filtration can be handled by live rock, especially if you have about 2lbs per gallon, its also wickedly cool looking and interesting (www.livesrocks.com is where i got most of mine and its worth the money). The next thing you need is good water movement and a good skimmer. I have no idea about glass widths etc, you should check out the diy section of the forums.

55 gal FOWLR
Euro-reef 5-2 skimmer, 29 gallon sump
3x penguin 1140 ph
2x65 10,000K and 2x65 03 Acintic
40lbs cc/30lbs argonite sand mixture
80lbs keys rock (www.liverocks.com awesome stuff)
25lbs fiji/tonga lr
10lbs lace base rock (now hapily live with lots of coraline growth)
lziarek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2004, 04:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 295
u will need a sump i would imagine...other will direct u to that...im not experienced
30gal / 2: maxijet 600s / 150w heater / CPR Bak Pak2 (maxijet 1200)/FOWLR

30lbs base rock
6lbs Brazilian LR
35lbs sand (20lbs of lfs ls i think it cycled my tank faster)

3 blueleg hermits
4 turbo snails
royal gramma
gold stripped maroon clown
crage34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2004, 05:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Cochranville PA
Posts: 698
welcome to AA
A tank that is 6x8x1 will not be stable, or be easy to aquascape. Something that size would have to be 3 to 4 feet wide. At a rough guess that is about 1000 gal if you figure about $20 per gal or more for something with corrals.
The first thin I would recommend is a good book
1 use 100% silicone (bath and kitchen silicone have mildewcides that can mess with the tank) As far as thickness i'm not sure, but my 75 gal has 3/8" glass so it would have to really thick.
2 For filtration I would use a sump and 1-2 lbs of lr per gal. look in the articles section under sumps explained.
3 A community tank. Look in your new book ( I would recommend " The conscientious marine aquarist" by robert fenner) and find something you "must have, and design the system around that.
4 Lr is natural, and some macro algae would help too
5 post some room sizes and and layout with where you want the tank and I can help you more. The one think to keep in mind is that the tank when full will weigh approx 15 lbs / gal. If there is any question about "will the floor support it " get a structural engineer to look at it.
The first rule in sw is patience.
good luck, and keep us posted
A lot of ripples make a wave
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Old 08-12-2004, 06:16 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Woodburn, IN
Posts: 13
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The tank you are proposing is an impossible build. No way will you be able to make that function in a saltwater environment. Probably not even in a freshwater, unless you are going to fill it with tetras and guppies.

Here are some suggs.

Be more realistic in your dimensions. 8x4x3 is still a very impressive tank, and is much more realistic to build DIY. The 12 inch 'depth' you are wanting would leave you with no options. None. You'd be lucky to fit rubble LR in there, much less anything that would look cool.

The 6 foot depth you want would be an engineering nightmare to manufacture and light. Youd be looking at several thousand dollars to buy a piece of glass that big and that thick. I'm not even sure you would even be able to find someone to make it for you. I don't think acrylic would be an option at that size. Oh, and don't forget the lights. You're talking 10's of thousands of dollars to get enough light in a tank that deep to make it functional. Again, try thinking a little less Sea World size and a little more residential.

Unless you are on a slab, the weight load of a tank that size would be to much for any home without significant bracing and reinforcing. The deeper tank helps with that by creating a larger footprint, but even with a 48 inch depth, you are talking immense weight and pressure.

As someone stated before, the $20 per gal rule is pretty sound, but it gets skewed significantly once you go above 200 gal. And not lower. You'd be safer guessing twice that. I'll let you do the math for a 750 to 1000 gal tank.

If that hasn't talked you down off of the roof, then by all means, have a crack at it. I hope it turns out well for you. I would like to hear more about how you are coming along, so make sure you post often along the way. Who knows, maybe you had already taken some of those things into consideration and have workarounds.

If you do decide to give a 'smaller' big tank a try, I have a link that might be helpful.

http://www.vatoelvis.com/Stands.html has some good info on it about DIY tanks and stands.

The DIY forums here are also a great place to glean useful info.

Wish ya the best.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:20 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2
i suppose 8x6x3 may be doable. as for costs, it's not much of an issue (seeing as my roomate rakes it $500+k per year, and that's just inheritance, he also owns a garage in which he makes the money he actually regularly spends). ahh nothing like milking a friendship for all it's worth... :P
anyways, if the structurals don't add up, i'm sure we can arrange some reinforcements to be built. constuction is fun. if not, i'll set it up in the basement. there's a bar, it will work.

HatredManifesto is offline   Reply With Quote


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