Thanks for following along!!Just read the whole thread. Love this tank. Hope to build me something similar soon. Just won't have the large room behind it.
What would you do different if you could?
Also what does it cost you a month approximately to run it??
I dont know the true longevity of a "plywood tank". The name "plywood tank" gets a bad wrap cause wood and saltwater dont mix. The name "epoxy tank with wood backing" is more realistic. Ive heard of tanks lasting 10+ years and still going. I dont have any plans of taking the tank down as long as i live. Ill let you know in 10 years and we will see!!!Incredible tank build and job well done!! Would like to pick your brain. What is the longevity like on a plywood tank vs an acrylic tank? I’m looking to do a large tank build but not sure whether I should go sheets of acrylic route or plywood. Would be a tank in the size range of 144X36X18.
Just found this thread, looking awsome what are your future plans for the system?
Do your research about going over a full length of plywood. I didnt have the guts to do it. You would definitely have to double (or triple) layer the plywood over the joints. I didnt wanna risk the joints, lemme know if/when you start. I would love to follow along.Following. This such an inspirational thread, I am planning on building a 16 foot plywood tank one day.
Yes i think most of the QT issues are behind me. I have the QT setup all the time with some liverock and a HOB filter. Some say i shouldnt keep it up all the time, but it works for me.Amazing...also really neat to have your kids have an interest. Looks like your early fish issues in QT are behind you! Looking forward to another year of growth!
TY TYLooking very good.
TYVMVery nice set up!
I have this video 7 months ago. Its just a quick walkthrough. Ill do another one soon and I might even break out the Gopro and do a video from inside the tank.Amazing. Do you have any videos of your tank? On YT or else where?
Ive been a long time member of other forums, but recently have focused most of my time on the Reef2Reef forums. So I thought it was about time to add a build thread here also.
My wife, 2 kids (3yr and 1 yr) and just moved into our new home. During the design of the house, I planned the build of a monster reef tank. I own my own construction company building custom homes and because of my construction background, I did a lot of the work myself. Now after 16 months of working on the house, I am finally able to start working on the tank. I hope you all enjoy the ride as much as I will.
The Tank is 120” long x 48” deep x 32” tall plywood tank (798 gallons). The total system volume should be somewhere around 1200 gallons. The display tank is in the wall facing the family room of our walkout basement. The basement family room is going to be used as a mancave/theater room/playroom. I hope this is the most used room in the house. A 240 square foot fish room (10x24) is behind the wall and will house the tank and all of its filtration. The tank will be a mixed reef with a rock wall on the back and two sides of the tank. The family room has wainscoting paneling 3 ft. up the wall. My goal was to incorporate the wainscoting into the exterior wall of the tank and make it feel like a part of the room. This was the main concern of my wife. She does not want the room to be overtaken by a fish tank. I think it turned out very well.
I am not one to get caught up spending money on unnecessary things in this hobby. I always try to get my best value in the equipment I buy. Because of this I built the plywood tank. As I stated above, my construction background helps me with being comfortable with this endeavor. I also won’t be spending tons of money on the newest latest and greatest things also. I try to buy things used if I cannot build them myself.
Google sketch image of Fish room
Plywood Tank Build
Tank is 120"x48"x32"
Step by step plans for building the tank.
1. My plan was to use 4'x10' 3/4" plywood to make an open box 32" tall. I will be making the tank in the family room outside the hole because of the space I have in this room to move and install the glass
2. Cut out a hole on one end leaving 4" on each side and 2" on the top and bottom for the Glass
3. Once the box was made, I Fiberglassed the inside of the box. Special attention to the corners was made. also added Black paint to the fiberglass.
4. After this I coated the fiberglass with 3 coats of Epoxy to make it waterproof. In some places I actually created a form and poured the epoxy to make it almost 1/4" thick.
5. Put Tank on its front edge leaving the hole for the glass down
6. Install a (rough measurements) 120"x30"x3/4 Low iron Glass over the hole facing down. Place 1/8 spacers in caulk to insure good bead. Have a powered caulk gun for this already.
7. At this point the tank is made and I will slide it into the hole from the outside. (Stand will already be made inside the hole)
8. I will then be building a 2x4 walls around the side of the tank tank and 2x6 wall on the back of the tank. These walls are level with the height of the tank and securing the wall to the structural wall of the house.
9. I set the tank back 2" into the 2x6 wall the hole is already in. I used this 2" to put structural trim on the front side of the tank with the glass panel. This was done all the way around the hole to help support the front edges.
10. I do want to use the 2x4 wall to hide plumbing for overflows and Electrical for the powerheads
11. Lastly, I cut 2 18x18 inch holes in one side and the back. I wanted to be able to see the backside of the islands and since the tank is “Inwall” I now can see it from the fish room. I want to put a piece of foam in the openings when they are not in use.
The stand is made with 2 rows of 2x6s 16” OC on the front and back of the tank and 2x8s spanning for support in the middle of the tank. I also made a raised 12” walkway around the tank. I used collapsible hinges so this walkway can fold down and give more walking space in the fish room.
I have added 6ft of countertop space to work on and a utility sink. So far this has been the best use of my money over my last fish room. I have so much more storage and it looks so clean. I have a laptop setup and fragging supplies for down the road.
I will be using a 100 Gallon Rubbermaid stock tank.
4 Filter socks coming from the display tank to help with sediments and one from the frag/refugium.
Tunze 3155 ATO
2 Eheim Jagger 250w Heaters
2 Finnex 500w Heaters
My whole house is a Samsung “smart things” house. This allows me to hook up timers, cameras, water leak sensors, and ive found I can even hook up a temperature probe to the tank. Im not 100% sold on reliability because its untested on fish tanks, so some of the major items will wait for a while before they are setup on this system. The room is wired so that every outlet is prewired with a switch. All the switches are in the same area for ease of use. I plan on putting the lights and maybe automatic feeder on this system to start. Then if my kids want to watch a movie in the family room, all they say is “google, turn off the fish tank light”. The lights turn off for up to 3 hours, but stay on a normal schedule other than that time. Same thing with the feeder (still working on this). Kids can feed the tank using voice control and I can make it so the tank will only feed so many times a day no matter how many times the kids try. I want the kids to interact with the tank, but stay out of my fish room when I’m not there…. Door is locked with a keypad to get in!!!
Someday I’m sure I will add a controller when the technology is better for testing Calc, Mag, and Alk. Until they become more affordable, this will work.
I plan to make a lighting rack to over the display rack. My goal is to hook up a winch to this to raise and lower the rack as needed when working in the tank.
Display tank will have 4 250w Metal halides.
Lumenmax Elite Reflectors
Luxcore/Icecap 250/400w Electronic Ballasts
Additional Blue supplemental lighting will be added later. Nothing fancy, just some blue LED strip lights.
This thing is a beast. Ive looked at other Skimmers rated for a tank this size and most are not near this size. Im hoping it will exceed my expectations. I bought it used, so its worth a try!
• 6" Diameter reaction tube
• 5.25" Diameter neck
• 8" Diameter head
• Total height 48"
• Base footprint 10" x 10"
• Easy clean air injector
• Precision needle valve for air adjustment
• Ozone injection port included
• 1" Water input
• 1.5" Output with schedule 80 gate valve included
• 1/4" Cell cast acrylic tube
• 1/2" And 3/8" cell cast acrylic base
• Suitable for systems up to 750 gallons
• Baffle plate to help increase contact time
• Automatic waste collector included
Dual Carbon Reactor:
Ive had this for my 220 gallon tank for 3 years and never set it up. Its too small for this tanks water volume, but I was told I will just be replacing the media more often. If this is a problem then ill upgrade later.
This tank is my current frag tank. I plan on putting Mangroves and Macro algae and having it be somewhat of a display refugium.
The frag tank will have 2 metal halides exactly the same as the display tank.
I have a few old Tunze powerheads for the frag tank.
I also bought used custom made frag racks
To start, I will have two Tunze 6255 powerheads on each end of the tank. These have a extremely wide output compared to most powerheads, Im throwing around the idea of a Gyre xf 280 in the middle of the tank on the back wall, but this can come later if needed.
Tunze (2) 6255
• for tanks up to 1,050 gallons.
• Flow performance: approximately 1,300 to 4,800 gph
40 Breeder w/ hang on back filter, some old 3” PVC laying for hiding
2 55g for saltwater:
1 55g for Freshwater:
I bought a 130cfm Exhaust fan. Being in Indiana it I also had to hook up a dehumidifier that runs into the sump pump. The fish room is connected to my furnace room, so this was easy.
I want to dabble into fish breeding, so im getting this setup used from a buddy. Pretty sweet setup i think.
I was able to acquire almost 1200lbs of liverock and 600Lbs of sand for this project. I used a combination of E-Marco 400 and Black Pond foam for the back wall. The pond foam worked the best and im keeping my fingers crossed about the longevity it will have in the tank.
I made special emphasis on 2 things.
- I wanted to have one large sand bed area. Most tanks ive had never have open swimming room for schooling fish, but because I have so much space on the rock wall for coral. I can spare some space for more sand. I hope to have 25 Anthias and 10 chromis. I know they wont “school” but hopefully they will shoal a bit.
- I wanted to hide the Glass viewing holes in the back of the tank. I mortared rock around them to hide them as much as possible and the peninsula is placed so that it will hide the glass in a FTS.