View Full Version : Super Long Nano Tank

01/16/2017, 11:14 PM
I'm new to saltwater, so any criticism is helpful.
I want to build a very long, narrow and low tank (plywood and acrylic). It would be 12 feet long, but only 14 inches high (some of which will be my plenum and behind plywood - the acrylic will only be 10 or 11 in. high) and 10 wide, with a matching sump. I understand this would give me about 180 gallons. I am building it like this so that:
1. I don't want to put 130 gallons in one spot and have it fall through the floor.
2. I like the accessibility of nano tanks but want more stability and inhabitants.
3. I want to set it into the wall so it shouldn't be in the way.
4. I have a lot of 1/4 inch acrylic. Shallow tank = thin acrylic & less lighting.
The sump would be split in half, each half would have its own overflow and 350gph pump. I have a 270gph powerhead for further circulation 970gph total. is that enough/ OK? or should I add more? I have two 200 gph hobs that came off a friend's mbuna tank.
Can I use the skimmer that came with the used 90g I bought?
What kind of fish could I put in? its narrow so I'd have to treat it like a bunch of 10s or can I add something bigger?
Garf's calculator says they don't reccomend anything bigger than 96 in. Am I missing something here?

01/17/2017, 11:06 AM
Well first off, that is still roughly 80 gallons of water, so definitely not a nano.

Secondly, aquascaping that would be really difficult, since it is so narrow front to back. I would imagine lighting it would be a pain as well, since it is so long, you'd only be lighting up small areas with each light, you'd end up using a lot of fixtures. That isn't any where close to enough flow. You're planning a 12 ft long tank. You will need a bunch of power heads throughout or you'll end up with a lot of dead spots accumulating detritus.

Why not just do a big normal tank and reinforce the floor? It isn't too difficult.

01/17/2017, 06:12 PM
Thanks. I guess its not a nano then. I want it to be very close to the wall (and partly in it), so that I can still use the rest of the room (I am also not the only one in the house and can't fill it with tanks) I intend to stagger t5s in two rows across the top (5 total). The two sumps would each have their own overflow and 5 foot long spraybar (I built a triple set of 3 1/2 foot spraybars [13 1/2 feet total] for a reverse undergravel jet filter in my 55g freshwater that I am setting up now, and it works great, also on a 350gph pump, so I know it will work.) I spoke to the guy in my lfs today & he said I could keep anything I want in such a tank, as long as it can "turn around". I can't afford to really fill the whole tank with coral anyway, so I'd focus on the effect of carefully spaced clusters of coral, kind of like the way 3-7 rocks fill an iwagumi tank.
How long of a fish can I get? in the freshwater forums they say the fish can be one to two thirds as long as the tank is wide except for things like rainbowfish that need more room and things like eels that need less. Can I apply this to saltwater? If so, how?

01/17/2017, 07:51 PM
I'd get more powerheads still. You'll need more flow than what you have planned. For fish I wouldn't get anything that gets beyond 3" or so.

01/17/2017, 08:23 PM
i could see this as a kewl tank Running along inside a wall.. Full of very small corals and different rock scape.

It would be best to do one big sump on one end or the other of the tank. Put a high power pump on the opposite end of the tank and create a loop back into the sump. This will eliminate the need for any power heads thru the tank It will be a Open top loop Kinda like a stream flowing down hill..

01/17/2017, 09:53 PM
How much is a high power pump? my two 350gph pumps? (10x display per hour together), or more?
Is there need for the refugium and/or skimmer?
Will a 10" wide overflow handle 700+gph?

01/18/2017, 02:38 AM
You should ask this in the DIY forum. I'm questioning the use of 1/4" acrylic.

01/18/2017, 03:46 AM
This has been done before. Search for a guy called Calvin I think and it was 12ft long.

01/18/2017, 06:13 AM
On further thought, doing this as a closed loop would probably work the best.

01/18/2017, 08:23 AM
How much is a high power pump? my two 350gph pumps? (10x display per hour together), or more?
Is there need for the refugium and/or skimmer?
Will a 10" wide overflow handle 700+gph?

Well there are a few ways that come to my mind on this. Get a DC PUMP that can be controlled putting it at the end of the tank on a variable random speed settings.. with its output running to the beginning of the tank . If you set the pumps on and off timing i think you could create some nice rippling waves from end to end..
The pump needs to be large enough to pull the whole water volume thru... I am guessing 1000 to 12000 gph ...

you could use a jebao dcp on the controller they have to go with it... Just a thought..

you need to move the the whole volume of water.. We discussed this in a threat last summer but on a different scale...

01/18/2017, 12:15 PM
This has been done before. Search for a guy called Calvin I think and it was 12ft long.

I remember that thread, pretty cool tank.

01/18/2017, 01:47 PM
I searched for Calvin but it came up blank. :(

01/18/2017, 02:22 PM
I found it. yes, was a very cool tank :)

01/18/2017, 02:45 PM
I searched for Calvin but it came up blank. :(
What did you search? Or what's the title of the thread?

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01/18/2017, 03:55 PM

Had to find it on a thread listing tank builds on the forum. Could never find the exact thread with just a name search.

01/22/2017, 04:45 PM
I found the Calvin thread, but I could not find the thread about water turnover. I looked into the subject and found that I need a ~5x turnover for the filtration and 3-12 cm/sec flow for the corals, depending on the type and how much light they are exposed to. I am trying to keep this project under a budget, so I don't want to spend any more on supplies and power than I have to, but I'm not trying to be cheap. If I can't build it right, I won't build it. Anyway, I attached a sketch I made of the system. I would be using the Bournoulli effect from the dry rock to help increase flow, especially over the high light coral, where it is needed most. I understand that the LEDs are suitable in the shallow (10") water I'll be using. I understand that the wave maker would give me a massive increase in flow do to the water orbiting beneath the waves. I would have a new wave about every 1.5 min with this system, would this be enough flow? I can't find any way of calculating the flow I'll be getting from this. If I am using a plenum what effect will this have on my sump needs? will I be able to get away with the two ~10gal sumps on either end and the plants in the tank for filtration? do I neeed reactors or is my gravel bed enough?
Help please and correct me if I am in err.