Tiny- The Wallet Destroyer (1000G)

Sltloser

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One thing I like to remember when lighting large aquariums such as this is that you don't need to illuminate the entire aquarium. You can tailor your lighting to be most intense where it is needed, other areas can be illuminated with simple LED fixtures where PAR is not necessarily needed (open sand space where there are no photosynthetic sessile invertebrates or corals).

Depending on how high your rock structures are, and where you want to place corals you can work your lighting to be most illuminated over that area, cutting down on how many fixtures are needed. You could also search the FS equipment forum for 400W cozumel pendants, hopefully there are a few floating around. Hope this helps!
 
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ElussssvReefSD

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How high are the a360x's mounted off the water surface? Remember you have two options with them. You can mount them lower to the surface anywhere from 4 to 8 inches or higher up to 14 or so. Higher you go you need to add the lens to them. I think it changes the spread from 130 degrees down to 90.

BRS just did video on them I believe which shows the effectiveness of them. An option I guess.

Right, I plan on all the lights hanging the same height for aesthetics.

I planned on using the primary MH lights for the coral's photosynthetic needs, and the A360Xs just as accent lights and dawn/dusk effects rather than contributing any meaningful PAR numbers.
 
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One thing I like to remember when lighting large aquariums such as this is that you don't need to illuminate the entire aquarium. You can tailor your lighting to be most intense where it is needed, other areas can be illuminated with simple LED fixtures where PAR is not necessarily needed (open sand space where there are no photosynthetic sessile invertebrates or corals).

Depending on how high your rock structures are, and where you want to place corals you can work your lighting to be most illuminated over that area, cutting down on how many fixtures are needed. You could also search the FS equipment forum for 400W cozumel pendants, hopefully there are a few floating around. Hope this helps!

Exactly. Yeah that's my thinking, 400W MH for the corals, and the A360Xs for accenting.
 

Rogueaquariums

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Love the tank dimensions -- do you think it will be too tall/wide to get to the middle section? How would you reach the bottom in the middle? I'm 6'4 and can't get to the other side of my 3' wide tank without dunking my head/shoulder into the water

My tank is 48” wide and I have a hard time reaching to the bottom of the middle without almost having to dunk my shoulders into the tank.
 
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My tank is 48” wide and I have a hard time reaching to the bottom of the middle without almost having to dunk my shoulders into the tank.

Yup, already have the snorkel ready LoL
 
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Alright so update:

Original plan with house that was being custom-built was scrapped due to issues with permitting and the lot etc.

New plan is a new home that closes on August 7th (with a pool... so WOOHOO, not a bad way to social distance as Florida gets over-run with COVID). The good news about that is that I can push up my timelines somewhat!

Now, I need to get serious about getting quotes together and deciding the details for the tank construction.

Since it's a different space, it's going to be traditional and go against the wall. Was thinking to spec 2 External Low-Profile overflows along the back panel (it will be a large open room so adding an additional 6-10" isn't a big deal). Was also interested in possible adding a closed loop for an Aqua Ultraviolet UV/Ozone combo unit similar to what they did w/ BRS360?

Other than that, I'm going to have to get creative w/ plumbing, as I won't be able to have a fish room. The other restriction is, I would like to keep the total system height (tank + stand) at no more than 6 feet tall so that I can perform maintenance through the top without having to build a custom ladder. So at 48" tall, the stand would be no more than 24" which would preclude much from fitting underneath.

Luckily I will have ~20 open feet of linear space to work with so was thinking of possibly putting in extra cabinets on either side to hide equipment in... what do you think? My only concern would be noise, so if any of you have addressed this concern in your build without a fish room, please let me know how you approached this.

"Worst-case" scenario, I drop the tank height down to 36" and use a taller stand, but I'm still stubbornly (and foolishly according to many of you :p) stuck on having that epic 48" glass or acrylic window to my reef front and center in the room.
 

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Since the height is such an important factor, you might consider mocking up the tank out of pvc fittings or scrap wood. You will need an actual snorkel for a 48” vertical, and you may want to physically see how far down you can get to the middle and rear of the tank. Depending on how wide the tank is, I don’t know if there is any ladder that would let you reach the back side.
 
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Since the height is such an important factor, you might consider mocking up the tank out of pvc fittings or scrap wood. You will need an actual snorkel for a 48” vertical, and you may want to physically see how far down you can get to the middle and rear of the tank. Depending on how wide the tank is, I don’t know if there is any ladder that would let you reach the back side.

Oh trust, I'm not joking about the snorkel... at a depth and width of 48", it'd be about a little over 5.5 feet reach from the front top corner to the bottom corner of the far wall of the tank.
 
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Also, while I won't be able to have a fish room on the same floor as originally planned, what about having the fish room above the tank?

So plumbing return pumps to take water from the tank, up to the second floor sump, through an overflow on the sump, and back into the tank via gravity?
 

Blue Tang Clan

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Also, while I won't be able to have a fish room on the same floor as originally planned, what about having the fish room above the tank?

So plumbing return pumps to take water from the tank, up to the second floor sump, through an overflow on the sump, and back into the tank via gravity?

Same principles as fish room below; just swap display tank for sump. Any time you go up or down a floor, you need to be very mindful of back-siphons -- use multiple ways to cut the water off if the pump power goes off.
 
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ElussssvReefSD

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Same principles as fish room below; just swap display tank for sump. Any time you go up or down a floor, you need to be very mindful of back-siphons -- use multiple ways to cut the water off if the pump power goes off.

So I was thinking, overflow on the DT, pumps set on a shelf above the overflow with intake pipe into the overflow.

Then, another overflow on the sump, with bean animal-style drain pipes that flow back into main DT.

That way if pumps fail, water doesn't drain freely into DT, and if drainage pipe from sump is blocked, then water level drops in DT and pumps can't push any more water up to sump.

Is there a way to set the circulation pumps such that if they get dry, they shut off automatically?
 
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Did you ever source wild live rock? I recall chatting with you about looking for some pacific wild stuff a while back.

I never did find anything pacific no. Every now and then a batch would turn up online but it never lasted long. And now with COVID, it seems like the selection is thin even for popular items.

I plan on using KP Aquatics down in the Keys once I’m ready for a foundation, then fill in branch rock that’s been marinating at the LFS above it for structure.
 
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Alright everyone, we're getting close!!! Have most of the build quotes in, just waiting for a couple stragglers.

But I need all of your help! Have quotes from the following builders (in no particular order):

  • FTD-Tsunami
  • Advanced Acrylics
  • A.G.E
  • Midwest Custom Aquariums
Please let me know if you've used these builders and what your experience was with them. Thank you so much!
 
Tidal Gardens

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I built a similar tank to what you have in mind. I limited my height, though, to 30 inches and bare bottom to simplify lighting and maintenance. 36 inches would have also worked, but 48 would have really challenged the process and ongoing maintenance.

I also did bare-bottom and built my rock mountains so they are on little legs (three medium rocks cemented on the bottom), allowing flow underneath and I can scoot them around. Even if I can't reach everything, I can grab a rock, scoot it over to mount corals, clean under it, or whatever, push it back, or pull something out if I get tired of looking at it.

Orphek Atlanktiks can be mounted 20 inches above the tank, which leaves plenty of room for maintenance, but, I don't think they could push light to the bottom of a 4 foot deep tank. They can handle 36 inches though. See this guy's tank!

I used Custom Aquariums glass tank with aluminum bracing. I am really liking the glass over my old acrylic tank. The tank configurator works well, and I like the overflows they use.

Go to autotopoff.com, they make shutoff switches that you can use for your pumps.

Building the DT as the lowest part of the system is also going to add some considerable design challenges regarding anti siphon accidents.
 
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What did you decide on the tank bracing dilemma? did you go steel?

Yes, will have steel framing on top and bottom if glass... there's no other safe way to do it at these dimensions with the glass widths currently available as far as I can tell from talking to people who know more than me.
 
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I built a similar tank to what you have in mind. I limited my height, though, to 30 inches and bare bottom to simplify lighting and maintenance. 36 inches would have also worked, but 48 would have really challenged the process and ongoing maintenance.

I also did bare-bottom and built my rock mountains so they are on little legs (three medium rocks cemented on the bottom), allowing flow underneath and I can scoot them around. Even if I can't reach everything, I can grab a rock, scoot it over to mount corals, clean under it, or whatever, push it back, or pull something out if I get tired of looking at it.

Orphek Atlanktiks can be mounted 20 inches above the tank, which leaves plenty of room for maintenance, but, I don't think they could push light to the bottom of a 4 foot deep tank. They can handle 36 inches though. See this guy's tank!

I used Custom Aquariums glass tank with aluminum bracing. I am really liking the glass over my old acrylic tank. The tank configurator works well, and I like the overflows they use.

Go to autotopoff.com, they make shutoff switches that you can use for your pumps.

Building the DT as the lowest part of the system is also going to add some considerable design challenges regarding anti siphon accidents.

WOW, that is a beautiful tank!!! I LOVE the idea of putting the rock structures on legs, I might steal it!... I haven't even gotten to the sand vs. no sand decision LoL... I think I can only handle one small step at a time with this monster haha.

As far as lighting, I'm actually starting to think about using a 3-4 commercial grade LED floodlights like an Ecoxotic Cannon or Maxspect LED Floodlight in lieu of the 10-15 smaller LEDS at $600-800/per...
 
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Alright, the time has come and it goes to AGE for the win!!!

120x48x48 glass with stainless steel bracing!!!

Can't wait for this monster to start taking shape! Will post here as soon as the drawing is finalized.

First order of business, internal or external overflow boxes. Visually I prefer low-profile external overflows, though would internal overflows offer some benefit other than saving space at the back of the tank?
 
Zoanthids

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