My 240 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium Journey!


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This build started after I lost my home to a devastating fire. I was able to get my daughter out of the house and the passed out from the smoke. My neighbor and the fire department dragged me out just in time. Fast forward a few months and I am in a brand new home. My mother was visiting one day when she told me that I had always said that if I were ever in a new home I would build a large aquarium into my living room wall. I couldn't go back on my word so the build began.

I purchased a 240 gallon acrylic aquarium from Titan Aquatic Exhibits along with a metal stand.
002 May 6 2013.JPG

I decided to build the aquarium into my wall in the family room that was in my basement. The family room is not finished yet but this was a good starting point. I also wanted it on concrete since there was going to be a LOT of weight.
005 May 6 2013.JPG

I wanted to be able to have the built in look but also liked the idea of a view from one end. I built a sitting space with a counter top on the end. This would be a great place to sit and enjoy the view. 008 May 9 2013.JPG

Now that everything was level I started to close in the wall making sure that there was no vertical support on the front right corner. This would make for a better overall look. 009 May 10 2013.JPG

I decided to go with light colored paneling with access dors on the right end, top, and bottom. 010 May 11 2013.JPG

The paneling is in place. Now all I need to do is add some trim. The paneling will be switched out for hardwood at a later date. Trying to pay for a whole house here along with replacing everything I owned that was lost in the fire. 011 May 12 2013.JPG

The view from the end is pretty impressive. 012 May 12 2013.JPG

A friend of mine stopped by to help vacuum out the tank. This shows the size of the tank. It is 8 feet long x 2 feet wide x 2 feet high. 240 gallons. 015 June 17 2013.JPG

Filtration will consist of dual Bubble Magus Curve 7 Protein Skimmers. 016 July 31 2013.JPG

I will also be running dual CPR Aquatics Wet/Dry Filters with dual Return Pumps. 021 July 31 2013.JPG

It took some time but I finally finished plumbing the filtration without any leaks. I later added a Turbo Twist UV Sterilizer, a Phosphate Reactor, a Carbon Reactor, and an ATO. 024 August 3 2013.JPG

I started the build on May 6, 2013. I started adding water on July 18, 2013. 028 July 18 2013.JPG

I added a lot of sand which clouded the water. As you may have noticed I filled the tank before I started the filtration. 031 July 18 2013.JPG

After the tank was full and the filtration had cleared up the water I finished the trim work on the paneling. 036 August 5 2013.JPG

The end view looks good except that you can see the block wall at the other end. 038 August 9 2013.JPG

I attached a piece of black fabric to some plywood along with a lip on top so that it was removable for tank maintenance. 039 August 10 2013.JPG

The end looks much better now and matches the back of the tank which is black acrylic. 040 August 10 2013.JPG

This is a view of the top of the aquarium from the right hand end. 044 August 17 2013.JPG

I had an electrician put in 3 outlets on two separate breakers for a total of 12 plug ins. 045 August 17 2013.JPG

I decided to go with Artificial Coral Inserts by Rock-n-Reef. 051 August 19 2013.JPG

This is how it look initially. Things changed a lot over time. 052 August 20 2013.JPG

Some of the fish that I had at the time. My Stars & Stripes Puffer peaking over the edge. 061 October 6 2013.JPG

A view of a few more fish. 063 October 6 2013.JPG 070 December 8 2013.JPG

This is a view of how the aquarium looks today. I switched it over to South American Cichlids after my saltwater fish died from a Marine Velvet outbreak.
View Today.JPG
View Today.JPG

I cut a tree root in half and placed it in as aquascaping. The problem was that it floated, so I supported it to my ceiling trusses with lumber. You can not see the lumber in the tank and it works great. Tree Root.JPG

Root Support.JPG

I hope you enjoyed my build thread. I invite any and all comments. Thanks!
Lazy's Coral House


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Thanks for a great build journey. I’m just about to move from the get the area prepped phase and start the actual build phase myself. Your build was a great motivator. Sorry for the cause, but love what you did.

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