Pros/cons of an in wall tank? Pictures of your setup please!

Dinkins Aquatic Gardens

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We are in the process of designing our new house build and my wife dropped a mind bomb on me. She said what if you had a whole office and put your tank in the wall? My mind was swirling at the potential dream fish room! Tank would potentially be a 8 footer! Would love to hear peoples experiences and pros and cons of having an in wall tank!! Thanks everyone!!
Give yourself access from the front! Trust me on this... you'll absolutely hate trying to put in and take out a magcleaner etc from the back!!
 
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OutColdCRNA

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Give yourself access from the front! Trust me on this... you'll absolutely hate trying to put in and take out a magcleaner etc from the back!!
Will definitely have some sort of way to at least access a few inches in the front. I’m thinking for dimensions of tank I’m looking at either 96x30x24 or 96x24x24. Don’t want a deep tank and then if I have a few inches on the front I can reach in do several things from the front. I’m 6’2” and thinking of building the opening to be at least 36” off the floor. Probably closer to 40”.
 
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OutColdCRNA

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I'm curious if that was me?

I have an 8 foot in wall tank. And one great difficulty is only accessing it from behind.

I knew the risk upfront, but that didn't change my decision.

20240406_134617.jpg


My compromise was to make the upper crown molding slide so that I could pull the jump screens forward to allow easy access from behind.

20240406_134658.jpg
How much access do you have to the front with the moving trim? Enough to fit your arm into the tank or only enough for the screens to go forward? How did you creat the sliding trim?
 

Sisterlimonpot

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How much access do you have to the front with the moving trim? Enough to fit your arm into the tank or only enough for the screens to go forward? How did you creat the sliding trim?
Maybe 2 inches. Only enough to get the screens out.
 

Sisterlimonpot

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Is the limiting factor the size of the trim? Thinking of framing out the tank with 6” inch trim and board and batten on the wall.
Not necessarily. The sliding top molding was an after thought.

When I framed everything in, I left very little wiggle room around the tank.

I just measured and there is a 1" gap between the tank and top of the opening.
20240407_145129.jpg

And the crown molding trim I used is a combination of different moldings to match the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.

And that is 4" wide.

20240407_144832.jpg


You can definitely use wide enough top molding to hide a larger gap.

I think it would be different to have the top of your molding slide up enough to comfortably fit your arm through.
 
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Not necessarily. The sliding top molding was an after thought.

When I framed everything in, I left very little wiggle room around the tank.

I just measured and there is a 1" gap between the tank and top of the opening.
20240407_145129.jpg

And the crown molding trim I used is a combination of different moldings to match the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.

And that is 4" wide.

20240407_144832.jpg


You can definitely use wide enough top molding to hide a larger gap.

I think it would be different to have the top of your molding slide up enough to comfortably fit your arm through.
What is the mechanism that allows the trim piece to slide?
 

TannerC91

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I don't have an in wall tank but I've wanted to do one and done a bit of research.

1. Don't make your tank too deep. One example is tusi_coral_reef. He mentions he can't reach a lot of his tank and difficult to maintain because it's too deep. I believe he only has access to one side aswell but I can't remember.
2. Your access panels don't have to be doors, you could have clip on panels and make them into accent panels that run the whole wall. Here is an example i found on google images. Definitely want as much access as possible.
1712596538088.png

3. Get lights that can be mounted high. My orphecs do good high and get great coverage.
I've aslo seen some people have a way to hoist the lights up and down (electric). I haven't done much research on that specifically and it would up the budget but it would give more access and light options.
Again, this is just from research I've done because I've been wanting to do an in wall build for some time. I have no real experience setting one up myself.
 

Fred A.

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We are in the process of designing our new house build and my wife dropped a mind bomb on me. She said what if you had a whole office and put your tank in the wall? My mind was swirling at the potential dream fish room! Tank would potentially be a 8 footer! Would love to hear peoples experiences and pros and cons of having an in wall tank!! Thanks everyone!!
I've got a 10' wide tank. 500 gallons. Couple of suggestions:
1. Would be great if you could have all the equipment in a separate room. Mine is under the tank which is fine.
2. Can you run a water and drain line to the tank, maybe from a nearby bathroom? Then you can hook up an RO unit under the tank to automatically top off the sump as water evaporates
3. Make sure there's enough room between the lights and top of the tank for workaround space and storage.
4. Think of where/how you'll do water changes
5. Power backup generator when you lose power?
6. Enough room under tank for all your equipment. Need a Chiller? I've got the heat exchanger under the tank but the 1.5HP compressor in the garage. Need to run refrigerant lines thru the attic space, but easier to service and no noise. Easy to do if house under construction
7. Install several, at least, 20Amp electricity wall receptacles, high enough off the floor to allow for drip loops
8. Plan extra space under the aq. In case you want to add more stuff later
9. Avoid direct and even indirect sunlight if possible
I loved planning my setup. Even had a big screen tv that elevated and retracted into the cabinetry! "Easy" to do while house is under construction. Good luck!!
 

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I've got a 10' wide tank. 500 gallons. Couple of suggestions:
1. Would be great if you could have all the equipment in a separate room. Mine is under the tank which is fine.
2. Can you run a water and drain line to the tank, maybe from a nearby bathroom? Then you can hook up an RO unit under the tank to automatically top off the sump as water evaporates
3. Make sure there's enough room between the lights and top of the tank for workaround space and storage.
4. Think of where/how you'll do water changes
5. Power backup generator when you lose power?
6. Enough room under tank for all your equipment. Need a Chiller? I've got the heat exchanger under the tank but the 1.5HP compressor in the garage. Need to run refrigerant lines thru the attic space, but easier to service and no noise. Easy to do if house under construction
7. Install several, at least, 20Amp electricity wall receptacles, high enough off the floor to allow for drip loops
8. Plan extra space under the aq. In case you want to add more stuff later
9. Avoid direct and even indirect sunlight if possible
I loved planning my setup. Even had a big screen tv that elevated and retracted into the cabinetry! "Easy" to do while house is under construction. Good luck!!
Thank you!!! With the design of the construction I’ll have the builder install a floor drain, multiple 20 amp circuits as well as plumbing for a sink and RO containers.
 
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