View Full Version : 360 gal. FTS. Critique please.

11/12/2008, 11:37 PM
I think I finally learned how to use Photobucket, I think. If the image shows up here is a shot of my 1.5 year old tank.

The tank is 8 feet long, 2 feet deep and 40" tall. I purchased the 1" thick cell cast acrylic panels and built the tank right in my dining room where it now resides. I spent more than I had planned on just the tank, sump, lights, rock and sand that's why there isn't much in the way of corals,yet. The tank overflows into a 300 gallon sunp/fuge in the basement. All I have in the way of gadgets is a skimmer. That's it. No auto this, no reactor that.

The project started out as a FOWLR tank but after I bought that first coral well..

The PVC posts you see in the tank originally had PLexi shelves connecting them but I have since removed them. I was going to cut the posts but started liking the way they look without the shelves. Kinda like under water dock pilings. I plan on glueing corals to them.

Any comments,good or bad, will be graciously received.

11/12/2008, 11:51 PM
i like it and the way you worded you post...if it were my tank i would get ride of the pvc...you tank looks great....lots of coraline, nice rose and other LPS and such...another couple of fish...i love tangs lol and you are there...i see a little clam also very nice and 4 tunze will surely move some water..."verrrrry niiiiiiceeee"--Borat i just like a clean look so i would chop of the pvc....if you like it though its you tank!!!

11/12/2008, 11:55 PM
Beautiful tank!!

I agree the only thing I would change is lose the PVC pipes, other than that is gorgeous!!! Keep up the great work.


11/12/2008, 11:57 PM
Yeah, at the moment I am just can't bring myself to chop them down just yet. I even bought a huge PVC cutter for the job. If I cut them I might kick myself but there ARE times when I really want that all "rock and coral" look. The Tunzes are on timers so there is some surge current in the tank. I just added a Regal Angel. She doing great so far.

11/12/2008, 11:59 PM
Thanks for the encouragements Paulie and Spleify. IF more folks chime in about cuttint the tubes I will do it so let's hear it out there!

11/13/2008, 12:04 AM
you could always cut them down right below the rock and use them are sps stands....might be cool to have some nice big branching sps growing off them.

11/13/2008, 12:12 AM
Are they serving any purpose right now sundancer?

How about some more pics of the rest of the setup. Your occupation says says you are a woodworker, did you do a custom stand? Pics, pics, pics......lol

11/13/2008, 12:16 AM
Nice work !!!

11/13/2008, 12:23 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13736518#post13736518 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by mg426
Nice work !!!
And lots of it, too! I never thought a 40"tall tank can be such a pain to maintain sometimes especially when a coral falls over and I have to reach in there with a pair of tongs trying to set them back in place. However,any inconvenience is offset by the large,almost paroramic viewing panel. It'a nice, also, to see fishes swimming at the top. I used to have 13 Bartlett's anthias before my crash last year. They were such a joy to behold always frolicking near the top of the water column. I miss them. Thanks for the comment.

11/13/2008, 12:27 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13736474#post13736474 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by PaulieWalnuts
you could always cut them down right below the rock and use them are sps stands....might be cool to have some nice big branching sps growing off them.
Do you mean to have sps growing on the still standing pipes or the parts that is to be cut off?

Mr. Brooks
11/13/2008, 12:30 AM
I agree with Spleify and Paulie. The PVC takes away from the rest of the tank.

Your tank is so tall! And I thought 30" was tall.

What kind of angel is that in the middle? I have a Passer that I'm about to sell. I don't want to risk having it nip on corals. Are your angels reef safe so far?

I love how purple everything is. Can't wait till mine looks like that.

11/13/2008, 12:34 AM
I think if you give it one more year and mount some coral on those pipes they will disappear.

I like how you haven't stacked rock all the way to the top. That will give coral some room to grow.

11/13/2008, 12:35 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13736498#post13736498 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by spleify
Are they serving any purpose right now sundancer?

How about some more pics of the rest of the setup. Your occupation says says you are a woodworker, did you do a custom stand? Pics, pics, pics......lol

No, they are not serving any purpose right now but I am hoping I might find a zenful reason to leave them be. Deep down inside I think it's just a matter of time before I do it. It's just such a shame because I spent a lot of time designing this rock support system that did not meet expectation and now find myself dismantling it. So far all that's left of it are these 6 posts and when that's cut down it's like cutting off one's fingers: You can't just re-attach them.

11/13/2008, 12:38 AM
Very nice looking tank. You did a beautiful job. It might look cool to have some zoas or something covering those post... Would love to see pics of the fish room.

11/13/2008, 12:41 AM
Hey Chad,

That is a Yellowtail angelfish from,I believe, Northwestern Australia. They look like the Personifer angelfish but not. This is my second one. Some parasite found its way into my tank late last year and killed 70% of my fish over a matter of days. Both Yellowtails have been extremely reef safe. Never a problem. I feed them well. I now have a Regal angel in there with the Yellowtail and she is so far showing good reef manners as well.

11/13/2008, 12:45 AM
I will see if I can take pics of the rest of the system tomorrow. I am not the most computer patient person in the world(my wife had to help me with Photobucket just so I can share my tank with you guys).

So far the best reason I have for keeping the posts is I might want to glue coral to them and have them grow at all angles. That might be cool.

Matt, I do have several colonies of zoos in the tank among the bottom rocks. Will they grow way up there under 400w halides??

Mr. Brooks
11/13/2008, 12:46 AM

I'd love to keep my Passer but it'd be impossible to get him out once he's in.

11/13/2008, 12:48 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13736575#post13736575 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Untamed12
I think if you give it one more year and mount some coral on those pipes they will disappear.

I like how you haven't stacked rock all the way to the top. That will give coral some room to grow.

It was my original intent to stack rocks all the way up hence the PVC posts and (now removed)plexi shelves. You are right on that one though. It looks better this way.

11/13/2008, 12:55 AM
Hey the tank looks great. And in contrast to the reactions thus far, I can see what you mean about the PVC being really artistic. If it were me, I'd stick with the plan and mount some corals on them. It's a really similar thing to Paul B (30something year old reef tank)'s situation where he threw in a few beer bottles and enjoyed seeing how the tank overgrew them. Only yours is life-sized.

11/13/2008, 12:59 AM
I have seen Paul B's tank and it is rather unique. Your sentiment is the very reason I still have not cut them. What if I cut just a couple?

11/13/2008, 01:29 AM
Cut the pipes or glue coral to them. The tank is sooo nice, the pipes are so lame. Sorry. Nothing but love for ya playa.

11/13/2008, 02:04 AM
Maybe you could just trim them down a little bit to see how you like it. I dunno though. The more I look at your tank the more they grow on me. In a couple years time... I think they will be just covered in life. Zoos adapt very well I think they would be ok.

11/13/2008, 02:06 AM
what u got in there fishwise?

11/13/2008, 02:28 AM
Very nice!!!
Whats your lighting setup?
I love the color of the tank!

11/13/2008, 02:59 AM
Looks great!

Personally I would not cut all the posts out. I would keep some. Specifically the one far left, second from the left and also the fourth from the left. Leaving 50% of them. If they were not so perfectly lined up, I think they could be very cool. The spacing and amount is just bugging me. With the ones left, you could also change the heights a little. Mount some corals to the ones you keep and it would look super cool I think.

Just my opinion though. Looks great!

11/13/2008, 03:09 AM
Beautiful. I love the size and the rock work.

How was it building such a large tank with heavy 1" acrylic? Have you made smaller tanks before this one?

I don't like the pipes at all.

11/13/2008, 03:11 AM
Very nice tank, but the pipes needs to go for sure

11/13/2008, 04:22 AM
The pipes do grow on you. I went back and forth between posts and looked at your tank and I say leave them. Someone inquired about a fish list, I was curious about that also.

11/13/2008, 08:02 AM
The PVC isn't too bad.. but I too would think making them different sizes would make them look great.. Also you could attach small egg crate to a few of them for easy frag plug placement.. You wouldn't have to make the eggcrate square either, you could always cut some weird designs so it is not as noticable. And once the eggcrate gets covered in algaes and eventually coral you will never see them. I think it would be a bit easier at least to attach the coral to eggcrate then a vertical pipe.

Whatever you decide tho, the tank looks great!

11/13/2008, 08:19 AM
I would leave the PVC pipes.
I think you will find that you might be able to use them to your advantage in such a large tank.
If you remove some rocks to create a more open space, then glue some fast growing acros to the pipes, I think it could look very original and impressive.
I'm sure your picture doesn't show how large the tank really is in person...

11/13/2008, 11:06 AM
Alright now we are talking. So far I have got about 70% cutting the pipes and the rest for leaving them. And thanks for all the creative and resourseful suggestions for salvaging the pipes. I like the idea of cutting them a little and at different heights.

I started with just T5's but switched to halides earlier this year. At first I had 4 400 watt Hamilton ballasts running Hamilton 14K lamps. I was not happy with the ballast so I bought a PFO HQI to play with and liked that more. Then I wondered what 250 watts would look like so now I have 2 400 PFO and 2 250 watt Coralvue. I will go with 4 400 PFO HQI.

Before that nasty parasite killed most of my fish I had:
13 Bartlett's anthias
a pair of Rhomboids
a pair of Lineatus
a pair of flame wrasse
3 fathead anthias
a queensland yellowtail angel
a regal angel
mystery wrasse
cleaner wrasse
5 rainford's gobies
various small gobies and blennies

After the deaths I was left with a :
pair of flame wrasse(male,female)
a mystery wrasse
a cleaner wrasse
2 rainford's gobies

Since then I have added:
A second Yellowtail angel
a second Regal angel
a bluespot jawfish
a couple of orange spot gobies
a potter's angel

All doing great, so far.

Building the tank is just like building a large,heavy cabinet but much more exacting. The empty tank weighs(est.)700 lbs. I had to create special jigs to hold the panels in place until the epoxy sets.

Mr. Brooks
11/13/2008, 11:55 AM
That's amazing. I don't think I could build a tank from scratch like that.

I had an idea for the pipes. What size are they? If they aren't too large you could drill the same size hole in some large pieces of rock. Then stack them up on the pipes. That way you'd have rock towers for coral placement instead of pvc pipe. I'd still cut at least half of them out though.

What's cool about that old tank with the glass bottles is that they're glass bottles. You're pipes aren't pier pilings, they're pvc pipes. I could see how they could grow on you but from an outside perspective they look like what they are. A bunch of pvc pipes standing up. It's going to take a long time to cover them in coral.

11/13/2008, 12:15 PM
I really like the 40" height!!! Nice...

11/13/2008, 12:21 PM
i second thechad's idea. try stacking or attaching some rock on the pipes.
IMHO they should be covered or removed. they distract from the rest of the tank, which is very cool.

11/13/2008, 12:48 PM
By themselves the pipes are distracting, but I think they give you a lot of potential and I wouldnt remove them. Either gluing corals do them, or better yet affixing rocks to king of hide them, you can really get creative with the aquascaping. That'd be my reocmmendation.

11/13/2008, 01:38 PM
Great looking tank. It'll be awesome once it's full.

I would do a little of everyone's suggestions. I wouldn't cut all of the pipes out, maybe 2 cut completely down. Then change the heights of a couple remaining ones. Try gluing corals straight to a few, maybe some eggcrate shelves, maybe some rock shelves. I think they could be used to make something very unique, but like someone said, as they sit now, they're just pvc pipes.

11/13/2008, 01:43 PM
Nice Tank

11/13/2008, 06:21 PM
Great recommendations, everyone. I like the idea of drilling holes and hanging rocks on the pipes but how do you drill holes underwater? I also like the idea of differing the heights.

Assembling the tank took about a week. I can only do one joint a day. I did not want to risk stressing the joint until it has cured for 24 hours. Yes, now that I think back on it I would not do it again but now that it's done I am glad I did.

Mr. Brooks
11/13/2008, 06:46 PM
Drill the rocks outside of the tank. Then slip them over the pipe. Not sure if you have room to do this. They'd have to be large rocks to drill a hole that big and not have them fall apart.

11/13/2008, 11:29 PM
Or I could make rock "necklaces" and slip them over the tubes?

I meant to take pics today but it's been a long day at work and then I had to drive 1.25 hours each way to San Jose to pick up some wheels and tires for my truck. Just got back home and I am pooped. I will do it in the morning.

11/14/2008, 12:22 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13738820#post13738820 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Reeforbust
I really like the 40" height!!! Nice...
Every tall tank has its price but thanks for the compliment. The biggest pain is just moving stuff around down there.

11/14/2008, 10:32 AM
you could drill small holes into the rock (outside the tank) then fasten the rock to the pvc with zip ties through the small holes. you could get some cool towers or peaks like this.