View Full Version : Looking for help with design and plumbing

06/01/2008, 11:00 PM
Building a new home and with it a new tank. I've been going back and forth between a 48"x48"x 24" vs. a 72"x36"x24" tank - and I think the rectangle has won out since imo it will be easier to light and possibly easier to plumb for good flow for some (not all) SPS.

This tank will not be against a wall, but rather "open" in a great room.

I really would like it to be viewable from 4 sides, but it's making me absolutely crazy trying to figure out how to do things - like lighting but especially plumbing.
This is what I do want:
1. basement sump
2. open aquarium, not sure if I want a euro braced tank or rimless.
3. Starphire on all viewable sides. Planning on going with Miracles.
4. Steel stand.
5. Probably will go with ATI powermodule fixtures.
6. Possibly combo MH/t5 fixture (Maristar/Giesemann)- must admit I like the more "natural sunlight" look of this, but think the T5 only will be less expensive to run and easier to manage with the room.
7. Quiet. I moved my current sump to the basement, and it's great. So, the idea of adding any more noise (CL??) is a scary thought.
8. Want to be able to "see through" the tank - two rock formations that the fish can swim - both between and around.

First, going along with an island overflows I think it just kills the whole idea of having a cube tank. They look much better with external overflows imo.
My next choice would be the rectangle tank with two island overflows.
I'd need help with the how to's of creating more flow with a tank that can't be plumbed from the sides.
Another downside is the lighting would really be directed into the overflows - not a good thing.

Now I need opinions about this: what if I basically make this tank 72"x36"x24" into a peninsula tank, but still keep it in the middle of the room?
I could have an external overflow on the 36" end (great for more space where I want it) and figure out how to design the cabinetry
around this. Maybe by having a small "closet" built the end of the tank, basically turning it into a 3 sided tank?
I could have two drains and two returns off the overflow, and a CL with an OM Dart at the opposite end. Help me out here - since CL are still a bit foreign to me. lol.
I can still use my vortechs on the somewhere on the side wall, though hiding the wires would be a little tricky.
Does this idea make any sense??
All I know is I need to really go in a direction...
Your ideas and opinions are needed and welcomed!

06/02/2008, 01:18 AM
You could plumb your overflow through the bottom and in an island in the tank, rather than on a side... making it viewable 360. Then the pipes just go through the floor to the basement. Build up your rockwork around this overflow for a pillar, and you will never know it is there. You could do dual overflows like this (maybe 8"x8"x24"h, made from 3/8" plate glass siliconed to the bottom), and have one pillar of rock around each overflow.

06/02/2008, 07:19 AM
That's definitely where I was headed - 2 island overflows to create the 2 rock formations before I started to think about making it into a peninsula style tank.
My big concern is how to plumb for enough flow?
Using vortechs ( I need a dry box) will be challenging. I could use tunzee's but need enough room to mount them - but how do I do that on the overflows? Is there enough room?
Could I get by without using a CL? I'm not thrilled with the idea of putting too many holes in the bottom of the tank. How many holes is too many when they'll be four for the overflows?
I want a sandbed for my critters, so will it cause problems with the intake? If the intake(s) are high enough I guess that will help with sand entering the intake?
Would an OM 4 way with a Dart be enough for this sized tank?
What about using wavy seas on the returns? I know there's another one (can't think of the name) that needs no electricity and attaches to the returns.
Thanks for your patience with all the questions.

Thanks for your patience!

06/07/2008, 12:15 AM
My tank is close to your size, 68X 36X 24. I went with a peninsula style and like how it turned out. Here are some of the highlights
Overflow at one end with Calfano (sp?) linnear style. The overflow runs the entire length of the end (36") and goes into a box that is about 3"X4" (internal). Two holes on the end that go to a 90 elbow inside the box and a "T" Durso external down to the basement sump.
Return is Barracuda that goes up and over the tank. There are three return spots. Two at the overflow end that go through the euro brace and point down to the back corners. The other is run down the top to a return at the far end and is run through a wavy-sea. Each overflow has a valve to adjust flow. This produces a flow that goes down the end, across the bottom, and back across the top towards the overflow. I have two Vortec pumps located on the overflow end. This helps with the swirl effect, but you can see areas of counter current drawing water into the Vortec pumps. With this design there are only two holes drilled in the tank, and they are pretty high up. When I looked into a closed loop the bottom of the tank looked like Swiss cheese. You can hide all the end stuff in a small box. There is more flow one end and I place my SPS there and my LPS at the other end with less direct flow.
I have three islands of rock. One is between the two Vortec pumps along the end wall, and two at the other end which makes a "Y" with caves for the fish to swim in. I had a 30" wide before this tank and the extra 6" gives you much better options for decorating a peninsula tank.


06/07/2008, 04:08 PM
Kshack, having the ability to go "up and over" plus the euro brace gives you a lot of options - and without the added bulkheads in the bottom. That would be great if i was planning a the tank with a cap - but i'm ready to move on toward something new with an open top/rimless tank.
That's what I like about the idea of a peninsula tank : I will lose viewing from 4 to 3 sides, but it's worth it by being able to "hide" the external overflow and still be able to use my 2 vortechs on the same wall.
I can also use that "closet" for putting ballasts incase i decide to go with MH/T5 combo over all T5's fixture.
I think having a CL separate from the overflow will give me those 4 holes used for the return and drain "back" and keep the bottom from turning into swiss cheese.
I've got time to figure out a really cool way of designing the "closet" on the short end of the tank and incorporate it into the overall look with the rest of the skin.