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Old 09-22-2009, 04:03 PM   #1
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New Tank

All, I am in the thinking / planning stage for my "ultimate" aquarium. I'd love to start some open discussions so I can plan better and start building a shopping list. I will start with a money is no object and start to widdle it down from there. By the time I am done, maybe it'll be our aquarium. It will be reef with fish and a standard 200+ gallon size. Here are some of my thoughts / questions:

1. Use Starphire on front and sides
2. Should I use Black silicon
3. Should I paint the back?
4. What skimmer would you buy
5. Should I attempt a rock wall? Why? What is the reason people make them
6. It'll be reef ready with 2 overflows at each end. Sound good
7. Would you use a controller? Which one?
8. Would you use a phosphate reactor? Which one
9. Would you use calcium? Which one?
10. Do you epoxy your rocks or free standing
11. Custom or standard store sump/refugium?
12. How can I set this up so that my water changes are easier. I thought about some way of doing it in the sump.
13. I'd love to build my own aquarium trim, stand and hood. Most aquarium dealers have an exclusion in their warranty that you have to use their hood.
14. Would you go flat or a bow front? Why?

I will start over the next couple of weeks putting together a shopping list to see what you guys think.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:06 PM   #2
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No real advice to give you as your doing a WAAAY bigger scale then I have any experience with...

However, just wanted to let you know I will be following this Thread!
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:55 PM   #3
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Grerat!!! If you do think of something, be sure to let me know. I am looking for any input whatsoever...
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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If you manage to find black silicone, good for you. About the onl;y thing that's aquarium safe in the squantities you're going to need are GE 2 (i think) window and door.

Anything without the "mold shield" or whatever. any of those chemicals will kill your fish.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Flake View Post
If you manage to find black silicone, good for you. About the onl;y thing that's aquarium safe in the squantities you're going to need are GE 2 (i think) window and door.

Anything without the "mold shield" or whatever. any of those chemicals will kill your fish.

I think the GE II has the mold stuff. You need GE I for the silicon. They don't sell black I at most home centers but you can find it through some online vendors.

I probably won't build the tank as there isn't much of a price break for doing so. I'll have the black added by the builder.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:53 PM   #6
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It may be. I remember looking at both of them. Whichever doesn;'t have "bioseal" in it.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:53 PM   #7
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Flake knows her stuff when it comes to building a tank like your doing. See her build thread... maybe she'll update it soon lol!!!!
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:25 PM   #8
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Can't even give advice without being bullied anymore, sheesh.
As for the rest of your questions...

1. I'm using starphire and it's beautiful glass.

2. The color is your aesthetic choice.

3. I would paint the back. It gives the tank a flat neutral background so your fish stand out.

4. i've heard good things about the reef octopus but I have a marineland 300 for my 200.

10. I leave my rocks freestanding but a lot of people seal them together to prevent an avalanche.

11. Custom is best, you can control everything.

13. If you build it all, there's no warranty to have

14. Flaaaaat. The bow distorts, and on a tank that big it's going to distort pretty badly. If you want to easily clean your glass or take pictures of your fish, go flat. Since you're using starphire, it would almost be a waste to distort the view.

If you want to build it, go for it. The breakdown starts around 250$ but the esperiance and the ability to say you made it yourself is worth the extra IMO.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:25 AM   #9
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Yup, everyone out to give you a hard time. If you'd finish the plywood build the'd leave you alone. Nice work on it BTW.

Thanks. I was by my LFS and he has a tank with starphire and it will be the only way I go. I have an octopus 110 now and it works good without any mods.

I have contemplated building all from scratch. I keep going back and forth on it. I guess if they cut the glass it would be that big of an issue to silicon up the peices. Hmm, have to give that one more serious thought.

I did my own acrylic sump and I'd change all kinds of things if I did it again.

Is there a good site for custom building tanks this big? I have come across the glass thickness guide but most site deal with smaller tanks. I'd be interested in the need for cross braces and such.
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