Complex beginner build

Adellimore

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Hello all,

After watching hours of videos on youtube of 52 weeks of reefing I decided to get off the sofa and start my first tank build. I have zero experience in all of this but seems like a fun hobby to get into. I dive quite a bit in south east Asia and the Caribbean so it would be such a joy to have my own reef in my Brooklyn apartment.

I am working this week on building out the tank stand and then I will be ordering glass to assemble. This build will be pretty complex, because I am building it around a pole….

I have been doing some research on the best way to create a rimless and strong tank. Any suggestions on the thickness of glass I should order?

My tank dimensions will be 24” wide 60” long and 24” deep.



Wouldn’t a reef tank look great there?!



 

Eric Meza

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Hello all,

After watching hours of videos on youtube of 52 weeks of reefing I decided to get off the sofa and start my first tank build. I have zero experience in all of this but seems like a fun hobby to get into. I dive quite a bit in south east Asia and the Caribbean so it would be such a joy to have my own reef in my Brooklyn apartment.

I am working this week on building out the tank stand and then I will be ordering glass to assemble. This build will be pretty complex, because I am building it around a pole….

I have been doing some research on the best way to create a rimless and strong tank. Any suggestions on the thickness of glass I should order?

My tank dimensions will be 24” wide 60” long and 24” deep.



Wouldn’t a reef tank look great there?!



This is gonna be crazy nice can’t wait to see it done bro. Best of luck.
 

jaxredsoxfan

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Ive never seen a tank built around a pole. I assume the pole won't be in contact with water- esp if its metal? I wold say you would need to look at minimum of 1/2" glass. I had a custom 240gal once that was just under 3/4" glass thickness.
 
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Adellimore

Adellimore

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Ive never seen a tank built around a pole. I assume the pole won't be in contact with water- esp if its metal? I wold say you would need to look at minimum of 1/2" glass. I had a custom 240gal once that was just under 3/4" glass thickness.
Thank! I found a supplier that has some 3/8 inch low iron glass. I guess that will suffice.

I am planning to enclose the column with glass and the bottom piece will be cut in half with a notch to accommodate the pole.

This is going to be a big commitment because there will be no way to move it one I build it!
 

oreo5457

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Thank! I found a supplier that has some 3/8 inch low iron glass. I guess that will suffice.

I am planning to enclose the column with glass and the bottom piece will be cut in half with a notch to accommodate the pole.

This is going to be a big commitment because there will be no way to move it one I build it!
glass thickness depends mostly on the height and length of the tank..And the SAFETY factor you want to employ..start w/ 3.8 (common)..

48x16 by 24 inch deep requires, at a minimum .472 inch glass (1/2 inch approx).
Bracing can decrease that a bit.
ONE calculator:
https://www.easycalculation.com/measurement/aquarium-glass-thickness-calculator.php

Of course going around a pole you'll have natural braces.. maybe. Depends on the design...
It's not really an easy answer .

As a minor tip:
1)put 2x4's inside the legs so they rest on both the bottom and top 2x4's on the short side..

really don't want the top 2x4's just attached perpendicular on the legs..

Hmmm. photos are out of order aren't they?
 
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Adellimore

Adellimore

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Actually, there is a nightmare build that was built around 3 sides of a pole and has caused all sort of issues.

But, its a really cool concept.
Do you know where I can find details on the issues on this build. I am curious to know what setbacks I might run into
 
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Adellimore

Adellimore

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glass thickness depends mostly on the height and length of the tank..And the SAFETY factor you want to employ..start w/ 3.8 (common)..

48x16 by 24 inch deep requires, at a minimum .472 inch glass (1/2 inch approx).
Bracing can decrease that a bit.
ONE calculator:
https://www.easycalculation.com/measurement/aquarium-glass-thickness-calculator.php

Of course going around a pole you'll have natural braces.. maybe. Depends on the design...
It's not really an easy answer .

As a minor tip:
1)put 2x4's inside the legs so they rest on both the bottom and top 2x4's on the short side..

really don't want the top 2x4's just attached perpendicular on the legs..

Hmmm. photos are out of order aren't they?
Thanks for this resource. I guess 1/2 inch is the way to go. I also was thinking of using two panes of glass on the bottom so that the walls have more to bond to.

Yes I uploaded them in the wrong order lol. I will post some more of the progress
 
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oreo5457

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No, not really.. There are probably custom tank builders but most would want to build it themselves for $$$$$'s.
Off the cuff biggest problem would be any split bottom. Not seeing that as a road to success.
Never ran into one..
If you build a box around the pole you can minimize the bottom seam. Then overlay a piece of glass on the bottom, doubling up the thickness across the seam part..
like a euro braced bottom..
 
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Adellimore

Adellimore

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JW, why do you want to have a pole in the middle of your tank?
The pole is supporting an I-beam and is load bearing. I wanted to do something to make the pole disappear and what better way than a reef tank lol.

I am thinking I can make a creative Aquascaping to hide the pole inside the tank and make a canopy for the lights so it completely disappears
 
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Captain Quint

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I have been thinking of this build since you posted.

I do see some ideas, but they may not work. I am going to watch this. It is a cool concept, but I do not foresee a drilled tank coming from this.

Will you sleeve the pole?

Have you considered 2 tanks one on each side of the pole versus one full tank?
 
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BornHandy

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I know you didn't ask, but I can't resist the temptation to give some advice. I am definitely not trying to talk you out of it either - I think it's a pretty awesome concept, but I just don't feel right keeping silent on this one.

I have built a few tanks over the years, but never like this. If you were a customer paying me to do it, my first thought would be to talk you out of it. If I couldn't, I would try to talk you into two tanks that made a sort of "bracket" around the post. The two tanks would come together, and the seam would be hidden by a 5 or 6 inch board that matched the stand (beautiful stand by the way).

The two "backs" would have a wall of live rock, and an overflow drilled into it so that you can have a sump, and run both tanks as one system. On one side, I would do reef, and the other would be fish only with live rock.

If you are interested in the concept, I could do a sketchup model for you if you were willing to send me the measurements.

I would do two tanks because - if you change your mind or move, you can take it with you, and only have to remake the stand.

I say it'll work, and can even be drilled, but a little planning is in order.

Happy reefing!
 

Reef-junky

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I’ve seen something like this done with a round tank around a really big pole. They made the tank in two pieces fit together around pole so it was never in water. Not sure how you would hide the seams though. Something like this

CACA0DEC-DA78-4A1F-B6BE-609E75319F7D.jpeg
 
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Reef-junky

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I would make this out of acrylic by the way because it would be easier to work with then glass. I would be tempted to make an L type tank. Then you could get away with having a gap for the pole in just one tank. You could also hide the seams better.
 
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