I'm new to this forum, and am also new to the segment of the hobby that I'm about to dive headfirst into (reef keeping.) I have had a 40gal bow-front freshwater in the past (about 10 yrs ago.)
I really enjoy looking at the pictures of the beautiful reef tanks that are posted on this site. I hope I can put together something only half as wonderful. My 3 little girls would LOVE that!
Now, two homes later, I'm about to start what I consider a big project. I would be greatly indebted to the experts here to please comment on my plans as I describe them, pointing out where I'm crazy, or things that I should think of as I plan. I'd really like to do this right, and in some ways I have a good "blank slate" opportunity with this.
I want to put a 125 gal
(or so) tank behind my wet bar, just above the back splash. I'm thinking of an acrylic, dimensions L60x W18 x H24, or perhaps the 150 gal
(60x24x24.) A 5' is a nice length for this space. Any comments on 18" vs 24" depth or glass vs. acrylic (I know about the scratching and weight considerations.)
There is an area of the basement just behind the bar that I intend on turning into the "fish room", with the stand holding the tank up to poke through a frame I'd build above the bar. Around the hole will be trim, framing the aquarium and closing any gaps.
The stand will have to be custom, putting the aquarium bottom at a height of 40" so it is above the bar back splash. It would have to support about 1800lbs with this setup. The plans now are to use 4x4 treated lumber for stand framing, and 3/4 plywood on top. Sometimes you see advice to put styrofoam insulation under the tank to level gaps. Could a vinyl flooring remnant serve this purpose? What about a
I want to prepare the stand for a sump underneath, with an internal overflow in one of the back corners, drilled at the bottom. I'm still learning about the whole overflow/drain/return/drills/sumps set of concepts, so help here would be good. I thought I'd prepare for the sump, but start with some kind of external cannister filtration to begin with. Would this work? What would be a good minimal filtration system that I could start with and then grow into a sump, reusing stuff as I expand?
I thought it would be nice to have a drain nearby, so I'm looking at putting a bar size sink next to (or as part of) the stand, with hose-bib faucets (like a washer hook-up.) Is there a real need for hot water near the aquarium?
I had a crazy idea of building a light hood that I can raise and lower with pulleys above the tank. How do folks usually light a 5' tank? I know that 4' is more common. Am I in for a harder time with non-standard length tubes?
Of course, GCFI outlets above, timers, and perhaps a switched outlet that I can control from the front, for something that might be turned on to show off.
That's probably enough for now. Please let me know what you think.