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Old 07/26/2008, 08:17 PM   #1
Whys
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4FishTank / ChinaSouth

I just received my custom tank from 4FishTank.com, and will be looking for a lot of advice over the next few months.

I wanted to add a review thread of this company in the sponsors forum, but can't seem to. It's not a sponsor I guess. Anyway, here's my review and I look forward to everyone's input as I develop my aqua-environment.

Peace.

----------------------

In a word, perfection.

Below you will find the plans I submitted along with detailed photos of what I received. I think you will agree that this company employs true craftsman, pays attention to every detail, and deals in excellence above all else.

I can definitely recommend 4fishtank and give them 5 out of 5 stars. Their custom orders are very expensive, so if you can't handle the price, then do yourself a favor and pick something off the shelf. But if you're willing to take the leap, 4fishtank can turn your imagination into reality.

Because of my location, I had the honor of working directly with the Vice President, Alex. He is a strict professional who's greatest concern is customer satisfaction. For more than a month he reviewed my designs, offering helpful advice, and even suggested less expensive alternatives. My order includes a custom stand, custom tank, custom canopy, and a very custom overflow. Together we discovered the right solution for me, and not once did he ever say, "can't do that."

The stand, canopy, and overflow are all black, inside and out. For visibility, many of these photos have been lightened. First, here are the final plans I submitted, with allowances assumed for additional rounding of the bow-front corners.



Here is what I received.



The curves are incredible and I can't find a single measurement with a difference of more than 1/4" with most of the measurements being within 1/8" or less. The wood grain and finish can't be done justice with these photos. The stand has a single door that can be easily removed and, by my request, flipped over to open from the opposite direction. The canopy door is also a unique design and has been wonderfully implemented. In this photo, the stand is resting on an optional/removable foot about three inches tall. I didn't request the foot, but because my design is for seated viewing, the foot was added free of charge in-case the stand seemed too short. It looks great both with and without it and really demonstrates this company's commitment to its customers.

Lets take a look at the back.



In this image, the foot has been removed. I don't know what is applied to the back glass, but it is entirely bonded to the surface. It's also worth considering that a black surface behind glass often results in an undesirable mirror effect. In this case, when viewed from the front, there is no mirror, just black. Just as it should be.

Now lets take a peek behind that surface with photos that were taken before it was applied.



Yep, those really are the return spouts six inches from the bottom and twelve inches from the top. I was warned by Alex that this will lead to siphoning, but my design includes a check-valve, so it won't be a problem.

I replaced the spouts with modular tubing.



A.) Black PVC 3/4" slip to thread female adapter.
B.) Modular threaded male connector.
C.) Modular 3/4" to 1/2" reducer.
D.) Modular 1/2" round nozzle.

With a deep sand bed and/or properly placed live rock, these two return lines should mostly disappear, while providing endless flexibility.

Now for the canopy.



In this photo, the light fixture is present. The door is being held open by two built-in wooden struts, but it can also be opened a full 180-degrees.

Say hello to the light fixture.



This is their own product. 250w-MH with 2 T5 blue. I don't know how they do it, but no external ballast. There are two separate plugs and two fans, one on each end.

Lets look at a couple canopy details.



See that narrow lip in the red square? No light will be escaping from this door seam. I didn't have to request this, they did it on their own. Another great example of true craftsmanship.

See that round hole? It goes all the way thru the glass underneath and will be convenient for feeding my fish. The opening in the center supports two glass panels.




This is what I mean by attention to detail. The glass panels have been sized just right for greatest convenience. The front panel slides forward, perfectly fitting into the space over the bow front, leaving an opening for my arm to reach in. If I then slide the back panel forward, I gain access to my overflow. I consider this a nice touch.

By the way, look how THICK the tank glass is. It's a solid 1/4".

There are some other details these photos can't show. Black silicon was used along the back and bottom seams of the tank, as well as along the overflow. This is a small detail many other companies might overlook, but it makes a big visual difference when viewed up close and in person. The seams just disappear and the overflow merges with the glass.

The precision of tank construction is also hard to appreciate with pictures alone. All the sheets fit together like a single mold. The rounded bow front corners produce virtually no distortion. It is solid, strong, and beautiful.

I will never admit to what I paid, but...

I love my purchase. :)


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Old 07/26/2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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WHYS,
Thats a great looking tank and what an awesome experience it sounds like? And I know you admit to this but it doesn't really matter cus we all know that the happiest people/customer pays the most. WHY?

You get what you pay for!!! So great job on that design and what an outcome!!


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Sometimes I think my fish live a better life then I do!!!!

Current Tank Info: 72 gallon Oceanic bowfront with built-in overflow, Oceanic Sump1, Coralife MH, Coralife skimmer, 3 maxijets 900,
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Old 07/27/2008, 02:40 AM   #3
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Bump.


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Old 07/27/2008, 04:20 AM   #4
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I didn't read the whole thing but even check valves are not 100% guaranteed. I would still be worried.

otherwise it looks very nicely built.


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Old 07/27/2008, 04:42 AM   #5
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Kau_cinta_ku,

Good point, but I've already tested the check-valve for the amount of water column above it. Not even a drip. I have a ball valve to place above it, and the check-valve is a true-union, so I can easily service or replace it.

I'm waiting on my pump and a couple more unions, so can't put together all the plumbing just yet. Once the pump is in place, that will decide the final dimensions of my refugium and sump. I'm looking for a local place that can make a couple glass tanks for the purpose.

It's gonna be a process.


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Old 07/27/2008, 04:50 AM   #6
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Oh, and if the check-valve really is a problem, then I have a couple black PVC 90-degree elbows I can use to replace the two female adapters on the return lines, a few inches of black PVC tubing and... I've got my head above water, so to speak.


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Old 07/27/2008, 05:05 AM   #7
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sounds like you know what your doing

good luck


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Old 07/27/2008, 05:05 AM   #8
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looks great, and a pleasant experience is always good to hear about. Customer service seems to be a luxury nowadays.

To scale the project, what is the capacity of the tank?


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Old 07/27/2008, 05:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by stricknine
looks great, and a pleasant experience is always good to hear about. Customer service seems to be a luxury nowadays.

To scale the project, what is the capacity of the tank?
43.7 gal.


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Old 07/29/2008, 01:04 AM   #10
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After calculating for glass thickness, bowed front, and actual water line...

37 gallons water volume.

With deep sand bed and live rock...

30 gallons water volume.


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Old 10/27/2014, 02:05 PM   #11
sellmecorals
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Would love to see updated pictures - the first post's pictures have gone offline it seems..


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