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Old 01-17-2007, 10:02 PM   #1
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New to the forum, building a very large Aquarium.

Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and was lucky to find this great place with so many aquarium enthusiasts. I’m building what is called a monumental Aquarium. The aquarium it self is going to be:

Length 14 feet (168 inch)
Height 8 feet (86 inch)
Width 6 feet (72 inch)

Gallon Weight: 5026

This would be basically a floor to roof commercial like aquarium in my own home. The viewing surface will be an 8 feet tall from a half a foot base up. I have done a lot of research and most would love to see if I could pull this off. My questions are basic I think. But I would be happy with any input would be helpful:

1. Where is a good place to buy custom Acrylic (Plexiglas)? Any specific companies or locations? How thick should the Acrylic Sheets be with this size of tank because of water pressure?
2. How big of a filtration system will I need? Are there any specific details I need to look at, any advice? Oh and it’s a saltwater system.
3. Because they system is so large I am think of making the sides, back and bottom another material and just have the front be Acrylic. Any advice on this? Doing this may also prove to be cheaper.
4. Any advice on where to find good exotic marine life to display in the Aquarium? Where is a good reliable retailer of marine life?
5. Any advice or point of views about filtration system on how to build etc.climate, or anything dealing with the aquarium and the design.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 01-17-2007, 10:25 PM   #2
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I'd talk to this guy about this sort of question - he's really a FW planted tank guy, but he has experience w/ some huge installations.
Tom Barr

also seen at Aquaria Central and at BarrReport

One of his projects

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Old 01-17-2007, 10:26 PM   #3
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Hey welcome to the forum. I am new to the hobby so I can't really help you . All I really want to say is that your plan sounds awesome and to wish you good luck.
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:07 PM   #4
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Please do not cycle your tank with live animals.

That sounds like an awesome project. I definitely want to see some pics! By mu calculations that comes out to 4503 gallons. I used this Calculator to get the total gallons.
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Old 01-19-2007, 01:38 PM   #5
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the volume you stated is correct at 5026 gallons, but that is if the tank is completely full. you will have some unused volume at the top. if you leave 6 inches of dead space at the top, you will have 4712 gallons. the water it self will weigh 37,700 pounds (assuming 8 lbs per gallon). then you will have to add that weight of the tank (probably several thousand pounds), as well as the displaced weight of rocks and sand (obviously they weigh more than the water volume they are replacing). the point im trying to make is that this thing is going to be unbelievably heavy.

there is no way this is going to go on anything other than a concrete slab. and it will have to be on grade... you will also need to add concrete piles under the foundation to support this tank. ($$$$)

how tall are you ceilings. you will need to leave some space above the top of the tank in order to get stuff into and out of the tank. i would leave a couple of feet above the tank. plus, you are going to have to deal with lighting up there too.

with the volumes you are talking about, you are probably looking at commercial grade equipment, and an entire room dedicated to just the equipment. and not a small room. the amount of top off water you are going to need on a daily basis is massive.

with a tank that deep, you will probably not be able to keep corals. 400 watt MH lighting is only really good for tanks that are a few feet deep (i.e. 3 feet). so, youre probably going to be limited to fish and inverts.

here is a link to take a look at... it is a 1700 gallon plywood tank with a single viewing pane. it should give you some ideas for the construction methods.


do you have a budget for this project? will you be doing the work yourself or contracting it out? there are so many other things i could write, but thats enough for now.

while i admire your project, i think it is a bit over ambitious. but, im willing to let you prove me wrong! :P

55gal FOWLR,
DIY stand and Hood,
AquaC Remora,
Coralife Lunar Aqualight (4x65W),
60 LB Hirocks Base Rock, 40 LB LR 50/50 Keys/Gulf
150 LB Playsand (~3-4 in DSB)
2 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp, 2 x Cleaner Shrimp
2 x Black and White Percula Clown, 1 x Orange Spotted Blenny, 1 x Red Stripe High Fin Goby
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:08 AM   #6
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Don't leave out the problems of that much water evaporation inside a home... That can do a lot of damage...
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Old 01-21-2007, 02:45 PM   #7
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This is a log of someone doing what you are planning:

As you can see, the first piece of equipment he got to build this is a backhoe. With something this big, you will need to build it like an indoor pool, except you put a window in the front for viewing. (And you will need scuba gear to do tank maintanance.)

You'd best talk to a commercial pool builder, since you would need proper foundation & reinforced concrete work for the sides. I would not hazzard a guess on the thickness of glass needed for your viewing window with an 8 foot tall tank. However, a 4 foot tall 2000 gal tank at the local Big Al's uses 1" thick plexi, you would be looking at at least 2-3" thick stuff.

Personally, I think a 3-4 foot tall monster tank would be more managable for the avarage guy. At this height, the construction is same as an indoor pond, and there are many sites with examples. There was a site with pics of someone with a koi pond like that with viewing windows, although I can't find the address ATM.

80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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