View Full Version : Custom building one

08/07/2016, 08:09 AM
Hi All,

We saw a tank online that we fell in love with but it was set up for fresh water. Yes, it could be a reef tank but by the time we made it reef capable it is easier to have it tailored to our space, also. Fortunately we have the space in the entryway for it. 120 inches long, 24 inches wide at the widest points and 18 inches in the rectangle. I have attached a picture of the original tank. It's from the website large aquariums so it's not great but you can get an idea of the shape.

I feel good with my light selection. I have designed a sump/fuge similar to the one under our 125 but shaped for this cabinet.

Pump and overflow are where I am hoping to get some feedback.
I am assuming I would like to be around 1800 gph and either a closed loop or a few powerheads sprinkled through the tank.

I have looked at
3-4 normal hole pairs for a durso and a return but have not been able to find any covers for the PVC.

Coast to coast

several notched sections going to overflow boxes with herbi or bean set ups

the Synergy box
We would like the tank as close to the wall as possible. The Synergy box seems to be capable and versatile and they have one that offers up to 2500 gph.

My lack of experience is in the distance involved here, also. Can I drain from 1 side and put the returns farther down the tank to push the water back or do I need to have multiple overflows?


08/07/2016, 02:38 PM
While that is an odd ball tank design, it could potentially be neat, although 10 feet long and only 18" wide seems a bit restrictive... but anyways, the part that worries me here is you say "my lack of experience" at the end, but you're still thinking of building one of these tanks by yourself?

Break it down piece by piece
-Tank flow
-Overflow options

Tank flow, closed loop could work sure, but if you're making this glass it's probably better to not do that as you'll be dealing with having to drill multiple holes. There are plenty of low profile pumps for a tank that push a lot of water for relatively little energy investment. That weird shape you have in the picture will end up requiring some thought too.

As to overflows, you mention notices (i'm assuming in the glass) but then you talk about the Synergy overflow, which is an inside and outside box (you don't notch the glass, you cut holes for the overflow). Either way you'll want a lot of surface area of overflow for long tanks, if you have all the overflow in one corner very often you'll get an oil slick on the surface because the water just doesn't naturally move there.

08/08/2016, 08:07 AM
I said my lack of experience is with the distance involved. I.E. a 10 foot long tank.

I mentioned several types of overflows because I am doing research and trying to find what is needed for the best result.

Your oil slick mention is exactly what I am trying to find out about and avoid.

The gentleman making the tank is apparently old school and wants to make a top exactly like the bottom with some holes cut into it to access the tank. While strong this will eliminate any chance of corner overflows and durso drains because I won't be able to access them.

08/08/2016, 08:24 AM
Tank that big I would use 2 DC pumps. I use Vectra and they are silent

08/08/2016, 09:25 AM
What about an external coast to coast overflow? I'd be worried about any overflow taking up too much space inside the tank. The tank is pretty neat looking though, just requires a bit more thought!

08/08/2016, 11:05 AM
I have tried to "envision" several (2-3) small notches in the glass but have no idea how that or a full length coast to coast would impact strength and the eurobracing.

I am leaning towards a couple of the ghost (or synergy or eshoppes) overflows.

But it doesn't appear to be easy no matter.

08/08/2016, 11:44 AM
How much bracing is along the top? Those Ghost/Reef Savvy overflows will be next to impossible to clean out if there's an obstruction above like a euro-brace, sure they have magnetic clipped on weirs but still good luck getting any gunk out of there.

But if you do go that way, there used to be a guy who sells similar things (without the magnetic weir) on ebay for half the price, it literally is the same design too.

I have cut a notch out of glass myself, and while it's possible to get a good 12" long segment, it definitely is something you would want to have professionally done. Now did it weaken the structure? I don't think so, because the entire top was braced with cross bracing. The only issue came when trying to attach an external box with all the plumbing on the back. Be careful about your requirement to have it super close to the wall, a tank that big is not going to be able to be moved much to install everything and once it's set I hope nothing goes wrong because good luck accessing it for cleaning and what not.

08/08/2016, 01:41 PM
We have a 125 and a 180. I am familiar with large tanks against the wall and so far in 5 years the only time I have had to reach behind the 180 (4 inches off the wall) was to pull cable for new lights. How often are you having to reach behind yours and why?

I have some input into the size of the holes in the top but presently his old school mentality is to make the bottom of the tank and cut some access holes in it. I would "think" that 3 inches would suffice as long as it had cross braces every 2 or so feet but I have no experience in acrylic structural integrity.

But so far there seems to be no way to drain the tank without punching holes in it and doing it externally.

08/08/2016, 01:47 PM
Oh, and on the restrictive comment earlier - the 18 inch section is only about 3 feet long. If that. Depends on how big the octagons are. I know it's 3 feet but it's also part of what makes the tank unique and it fits it easily into the entryway.

Just saw the H2Overflow. Looks like that may not be bad.