How wide and tall I should make my peninsula reef tank?

scottsweet

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I have a peninsula...about a 180. It is 5' long and 32" wide. I like the width. I wouldn't go beyond 26" high for the reasons mentioned...you can't reach the bottom. Make your stand taller so the tank is closer to eye level when you are standing. It also gives you more room to put stuff underneath. My build is in my signature.
 
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Terrp

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After some rethinking, I decided on not doing a peninsula tank due to remodeling constraints. I did decide on on going to an 8 footer. I really can’t believe I’m going to go that big! It’s a bit overwhelming to think about. I’m leaning on going to 30 inches deep and 28 inches high. I don’t think going to 36 inches wide will be much of a benefit since I’m not doing a peninsula. OR WILL IT? So 96 x 30 x 28?

Sone decisionsI need to make is:
1. Whether to go rimless or place a metal brace around the top and bottom of the tank for support. Rimless is a lot more money.
2. To go regular glass or low iron. The thickness will be 3/4 inch thick and thus a green tint with regular glass.
Any final thoughts on dimensions, bracing or low iron? I will be ordering the tank soon. Thanks

I’m planning for an 8-10’ peninsula now. I also considered an in-wall before settling on the peninsula. Here are some thoughts that may be relevant for you:

I have a rimless now. I hate it. Requires thicker glass (more expensive, bigger magnets needed) and it’s a huge pain to clean up all the water mess on the outside glass and stand after maintenance, or when the fish decide to get rowdy. Therefore, I’m going euro cross braced. It avoids those problems, the look is much cleaner than a metal frame, and you have a ledge to set tools on while working in the tank.

I had an island tank before, and the fish loved it. With a one sided tank, all the fish can either bump into each other in the front, or they can hide. With a two-sided tank (peninsula or island), they can easily dart through to the other side to get away from a spat without having to hide. And you always have at least 2 full swim lanes down either side, with one in the middle if the tank is wide enough. It seems you can get a lot more fish in the same tank if you have more separated swim lanes without it feeling overcrowded.

Tall, wide AND one sided access is the hardest to maintain, since it’s really hard to reach low in the back. Designing for easier maintenance with a large tank will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run. Therefore, if it’s still an option to reinforce your floor or do other remodeling to allow the peninsula, you’ll find an 8x3x2h peninsula much easier than an 8x2.5x2.5h one sided.

Even though I don’t have long arms, I’m still considering taller than 2’ for my peninsula for a few reasons. First, bigger fish benefit from more headroom. Second, with a peninsula, I love open swim space for fish that like to cruise above the aquascape. It’s an awesome look. Third, I think longer tanks need to be taller for a proportionate look (and proportionately wider as well). I like 21” tall for a 4’, 24” for a 6’, 27” for an 8’ and 30” for 10’ and longer, but that’s just my preference as a starting point.

I think it’s possible to design the aquascape such that the widest part of the structure is “elevated” (essentially sitting atop and hanging over the base rock) so you don’t have to reach all the way down to the bottom in a taller tank to place corals.

One reason to not go peninsula is flow. No one wants power heads on the far side of a peninsula, but few reach more than 6’ from one side. The Panta Rhei does, but it’s pricey and I’m not sure it gives an ideal even flow throughout. It takes a bit of work to plan and implement a closed loop, but it may be the best way to go in a long wide peninsula. You have many more options in a one sided tank.

I hope those random thoughts help. Whichever way you go, good luck.
 
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Gundy

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I’m planning for an 8-10’ peninsula now. I also considered an in-wall before settling on the peninsula. Here are some thoughts that may be relevant for you:

I have a rimless now. I hate it. Requires thicker glass (more expensive, bigger magnets needed) and it’s a huge pain to clean up all the water mess on the outside glass and stand after maintenance, or when the fish decide to get rowdy. Therefore, I’m going euro cross braced. It avoids those problems, the look is much cleaner than a metal frame, and you have a ledge to set tools on while working in the tank.

I had an island tank before, and the fish loved it. With a one sided tank, all the fish can either bump into each other in the front, or they can hide. With a two-sided tank (peninsula or island), they can easily dart through to the other side to get away from a spat without having to hide. And you always have at least 2 full swim lanes down either side, with one in the middle if the tank is wide enough. It seems you can get a lot more fish in the same tank if you have more separated swim lanes without it feeling overcrowded.

Tall, wide AND one sided access is the hardest to maintain, since it’s really hard to reach low in the back. Designing for easier maintenance with a large tank will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run. Therefore, if it’s still an option to reinforce your floor or do other remodeling to allow the peninsula, you’ll find an 8x3x2h peninsula much easier than an 8x2.5x2.5h one sided.

Even though I don’t have long arms, I’m still considering taller than 2’ for my peninsula for a few reasons. First, bigger fish benefit from more headroom. Second, with a peninsula, I love open swim space for fish that like to cruise above the aquascape. It’s an awesome look. Third, I think longer tanks need to be taller for a proportionate look (and proportionately wider as well). I like 21” tall for a 4’, 24” for a 6’, 27” for an 8’ and 30” for 10’ and longer, but that’s just my preference as a starting point.

I think it’s possible to design the aquascape such that the widest part of the structure is “elevated” (essentially sitting atop and hanging over the base rock) so you don’t have to reach all the way down to the bottom in a taller tank to place corals.

One reason to not go peninsula is flow. No one wants power heads on the far side of a peninsula, but few reach more than 6’ from one side. The Panta Rhei does, but it’s pricey and I’m not sure it gives an ideal even flow throughout. It takes a bit of work to plan and implement a closed loop, but it may be the best way to go in a long wide peninsula. You have many more options in a one sided tank.

I hope those random thoughts help. Whichever way you go, good luck.
Thanks for the advice and thoughts. I never would have thought about water splashing on the front glass. Adding the bracing will be cheaper as the glass can be thinner and I will revisit the peninsula set up with our interior decorator and architect. I do agree that the peninsula is much better for viewing and swim lanes for the fish. Good advice.
 

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How often do you have to reach the bottom?
For me, a wider(front to back) tank is always more preferable than a longer and narrow tank. I also prefer taller tank even though I can't reach certain part of the tank without any assistive device.
With my style of aquascaping and corals placement, the LPS will be on the sand. I can always just an extension arm device to place those corals. The chance of me gluing a frag at these depth is probably unlikely. And once corals go in, it's unlikely for me to have to touch it again.
I had a 72"x48"x24" prior to the current tank and that was a blast. Plenty of room for aquascaping and it was almost the perfect size to be honest. I miss it.
My current is a 84"x34"x28". I couldn't make the 48" front to back in the room. I do enjoy the longer tank but not as much as I miss the 48" front to back. It just so much more freedom in the front to back space. I used to have tanks that are 24" or shorter in height. But this one, I went with 28" and I'm glad I did. The fish
With that said, if I have the room in the next house or build an addition for a tank, it would be an 96"x48"x30". Of course, we always want bigger and bigger. But at some point, if you can't successfully manage it, a bigger tank is a even worse than a small tank.
I also think going wider than 48" front to back will run into the risk of looking into a cloudy tank.
 
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How often do you have to reach the bottom?
For me, a wider(front to back) tank is always more preferable than a longer and narrow tank. I also prefer taller tank even though I can't reach certain part of the tank without any assistive device.
With my style of aquascaping and corals placement, the LPS will be on the sand. I can always just an extension arm device to place those corals. The chance of me gluing a frag at these depth is probably unlikely. And once corals go in, it's unlikely for me to have to touch it again.
I had a 72"x48"x24" prior to the current tank and that was a blast. Plenty of room for aquascaping and it was almost the perfect size to be honest. I miss it.
My current is a 84"x34"x28". I couldn't make the 48" front to back in the room. I do enjoy the longer tank but not as much as I miss the 48" front to back. It just so much more freedom in the front to back space. I used to have tanks that are 24" or shorter in height. But this one, I went with 28" and I'm glad I did. The fish
With that said, if I have the room in the next house or build an addition for a tank, it would be an 96"x48"x30". Of course, we always want bigger and bigger. But at some point, if you can't successfully manage it, a bigger tank is a even worse than a small tank.
I also think going wider than 48" front to back will run into the risk of looking into a cloudy tank.
Thanks for your reply and opinion. After much contemplating , I’m leaning towards a tank size of 84 x 36 x 28. Several people have mentioned that wider tanks are so much fun to aquascape and so much more room for larger fish to swim. With it being a peninsula style tank, I should have well over 16-20 inches of space on each side of the glass depending on placement and width of rock In the middle.

Any ideas on glass thickness and the placement of internal and external support for such a large tank?
 
Fritz

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Glass thickness should leave it to the tank builder. But 3/4” glass for this tank size is pretty standard.
my tank is 84”x34”x28”. I left two inches to clear the door. Didn’t want to need to turn the tank on its side to fit through the door. Not for a 36” size. If it’s 48”, then it’s worth to turn the tank over it’s side to fit through the door.
 
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Glass thickness should leave it to the tank builder. But 3/4” glass for this tank size is pretty standard.
my tank is 84”x34”x28”. I left two inches to clear the door. Didn’t want to need to turn the tank on its side to fit through the door. Not for a 36” size. If it’s 48”, then it’s worth to turn the tank over it’s side to fit through the door.
I have heard that 3/4 inch glass is so thick that a lot of magnets don’t work very well for cleaning and holding clips for the inside of the tank for food to attach to.
 

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After some rethinking, I decided on not doing a peninsula tank due to remodeling constraints. I did decide on on going to an 8 footer. I really can’t believe I’m going to go that big! It’s a bit overwhelming to think about. I’m leaning on going to 30 inches deep and 28 inches high. I don’t think going to 36 inches wide will be much of a benefit since I’m not doing a peninsula. OR WILL IT? So 96 x 30 x 28?

Sone decisionsI need to make is:
1. Whether to go rimless or place a metal brace around the top and bottom of the tank for support. Rimless is a lot more money.
2. To go regular glass or low iron. The thickness will be 3/4 inch thick and thus a green tint with regular glass.
Any final thoughts on dimensions, bracing or low iron? I will be ordering the tank soon. Thanks
Ive had both types of glass and the low iron is sooooo much nicer in my opinion, I think its worth every extra penny. I have a 5' RSR tank now and am looking to upgrade to 8' in the near future for my fish, so Im following along on your process of what dimensions to get, where to buy and the challenges of an even larger tank. I have a rimless tank currently and although it looks sharp, when you add the mesh top to prevent fish from jumping , it kind of looses that extra visual appeal compared to a framed tank, not to mention its not as strong as a braced or rimmed tank so Im still in the air on that decision. Best of Luck to you.
 

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One thing to note with low iron glass is that it’s a lot easier to scratch than regular glass. So make sure you be careful when cleansing it.
If anyone come up with glass that is the clarity of low low iron but a lot harder to scratch, I would pay to 2x premium or even 3x premium. Really sucks when you found out you’ve scratched your $8,000 tank in a matter of 3 weeks. :D
I stopped looking now because it only hurts my feeling.
 

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