The Room Divider

AlaskaReefGuy

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Hey all,
A few months ago, I started up my current 100G mixed reef. Made a few Youtube videos on the build, but tbh, got so busy doing all the other things that I do that I forgot to make more videos. Anyway, this is a current shot of my 100G. Not my best picture, but not bad for an iPhone. (no, I don't have cyano on the sand... it's just a strange effect from the photo, it was also just after feeding)
IMG_0769.jpeg



Anyhoo, I set this tank up after being out of the hobby for about 5 years. It currently sits in our dining room, which is great... but it's away from the area we sit most of the time.

When I first set this up, my wife was "understanding" of my hobby, but didn't fully understand it... well... now she's more addicted than I am. While we were sitting on the couch about 2 months ago, she said "How do you feel about building a house around a tank?" I kinda stopped dead in my tracks and said.... "...... A reef tank?" she said yes. So for about a month, we searched pretty hard for what that would look like. Full disclosure, we're both in real estate, so we knew what we were looking for. That said, we also really love the area that we currently love. The house is fine, but the location is about as good as it gets. After a month of figuring out where we would need to be, we threw out the idea of moving and building.. which I thought killed the idea of another, larger tank. Until last week.

Last week she said "How would you feel about a room divider tank?" I kinda chuckled because there was nowhere to do a room divider. And that is when she handed me this:
Image 1-12-24 at 6.51 PM.jpg


It took me a minute to figure out what she was saying... but essentially, she wants a peninsula reef that will be built into a pony wall over our entry way. After doing some measuring, I have up to 96" in length, and I have a max of 24" in width.

There are some immediate downsides to this.

First, it's on the second floor. Now, I know the joists are running perpendicular to the tank and it will be against a load bearing exterior wall. The pony wall that it backs to runs straight down to the first floor concrete slab. I also can put in another header under the tank in the room below. It's just a closet for the bedroom down there, very easy to add structural support. Regardless, it's on the second floor.

Second, I live in Alaska. Getting that large of a tank here is ridiculous when it comes to shipping..... and.... we have 3-4 earthquakes A DAY here.
I think I've mitigated both of my downsides. I am fairly certain that I'll be going with acrylic. I've reached out to advanced acrylics in California (I've had several of their tanks before) and they can ship to me. Which is awesome. Really thought I would be driving up the tank from the lower 48 this summer.

I'm going to be going with another mixed reef. The idea is to have 3 sides viewable, so the wall that is against the house will be the side with the overflow box. I'm going to attempt to keep all of my flow going without the use of any in tank pump. This means that I'll be using closed loop flow. I absolutely despise pumps in tanks... and I have 3 in my current setup, which I'm not thrilled about.

I am going to attempt to keep everything under my stand. Yes, in theory I can use the closet downstairs as a fish room.. but if we need that room for "family growth" I don't want to have to move things later.

I need to have a chiller. I have one on my 100g, and it helps me keep my temps between 78.5 - 78.7 at all times. It never fluctuates outside that range. And yes, we need chillers here in Alaska as there is no A/C up here and we have a ton of windows. The chiller even runs in the dead of winter. Somehow, this is going to have to be hidden under the stand.

I'm wanting to order the tank within the next 2-3 weeks, so I've got some planning to do... but this is where you all come in.

Here are my options.

I can do an 84x24x24 tank and a 96x24 stand. This would give me 6" behind the "overflow" side of the tank to run all my plumbing. I can build that into the stand so it looks right. It would give me an additional 6" on the peninsula side of the stand to have... elbow room?

With 96" of space in the cabinet, I can build in a "chiller bay" that would be totally sealed off from the rest of the stand, and allow me to run ventilation in and out with large, low speed computer fans.

However, at the same time, I can also do a 72x24x24 and have an 84" stand. Sure it would be a smaller tank... but it would also... fit better into the space. The downside of course it that I would have less room for "stuff" under the tank. This would force me to use a smaller sump to be able to do the same chiller bay.

Finally, to throw a wrench in everything... I can do a 30" tall tank on either option.

So, RTR... what the ********* should I do here.
 

Sdot

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Hey my guy I was with you until you said second floor and earth quakes. I'm not an architect, I do not believe most homes are built to hold the weight of a full size crossover or similar on the second floor in a concentrated area. Not only that... remember that wood will and does flex.

Last thing, you will need to maintain the tank, no matter how careful we are... water will make its way to the floor at some point.... I wouldn't want even a little bit near an aquarium on a second floor...unless like you mentioned the home was built with that intent... doesn't sound like it was. 1st floor for such a large tank would get my vote...to risky otherwise.
 
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Zeefishies

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Hey my guy I was with you until you said second floor and earth quakes. I'm not an architect, I do not believe most homes are built to hold the weight of a full size crossover or similar on the second floor. Not only that... remember that wood will and does flex.

Last thing, you will need to maintain the tank, no matter how careful we are... water will make its way to the floor at some point.... I wouldn't want even a little bit near an aquarium on a second floor...unless like you mentioned the home was built with that intent... doesn't sound like it was. 1st floor for such a large tank would get my vote...to risky otherwise.
Not to mention he wants to put it next to that stair case,
LOL, uh NO!
That whole floor would have to be reengineered for that weight $$$$
That's not a good Decision, i have remodeled alot of homes and either go with the Tank on the first floor (cement floor) or go with a small tank.
Just my opinion !
 

Sdot

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Not to mention he wants to put it next to that stair case,
LOL, uh NO!
That whole floor would have to be reengineered for that weight $$$$
That's not a good Decision, i have remodeled alot of homes and either go with the Tank on the first floor (cement floor) or go with a small tank.
Just my opinion !
Correct, I didn't mention that. Yeah, hard pass on the second floor. I have a multi-floor home... however my 300 gallon system in on the 1st floor on top of a concrete slab.
 
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AlaskaReefGuy

AlaskaReefGuy

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Not to mention he wants to put it next to that stair case,
LOL, uh NO!
That whole floor would have to be reengineered for that weight $$$$
That's not a good Decision, i have remodeled alot of homes and either go with the Tank on the first floor (cement floor) or go with a small tank.
Just my opinion !
Now would be the time to mention that I have a double major in aerospace engineering and physics, with a masters in applied physics. I've done the math, so has my structural engineer friend.
 

Janci

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Interested to see how this new tank will work out.
Your 100G looks meticulously clean.

Just out of curiosity, if you talk about earthquakes, 3-4 times a day, how do we need to understand that exactly? Is your house or floor shaking? I had a quick look on the tectonic plates and seems these quakes are all in the same area (between Pacific/N-America plates). Are you located in this area?
And, do you mention this to the tank builder? Would they give any guarantees or use extra reinforced seams?

Concerning your question about the dimensions of the tank, I would go for the less long tank, but have a look if it can be wider. A wide tank will give you more scaping options, more room for real estate and the view of depth is much more pleasing in the end.
Instead of keeping it at 24" (600mm), maybe you can go to 32"(800mm) (I am European so I like my millimeters... ;)).
It all comes to personal preference. I like the tanks wide, but not that tall. I like my rock scape low to let the corals room for growing and filling the tank. They look somewhat empty in the beginning, but if the tank is a long term project that allows the coral to grow (not fragging) than it will fill up nicely and leave space for fish to swim.
Lower tanks also help in maintenance as it is easier to access all areas.
And wider gives more room below the tank to arrange the sump and equipment.
 

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