What Do You Wish You Had Known Before Ordering a Custom Tank??

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JoshH

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I have the same size as yours. Wish I had gotten a 135.
This is a big one, if you're going custom, especially reef Savvy, you might as well get a showpiece tank you will be happy with VERY long term. A longer, possibly shallower tank (Similar to mine :p) will keep your livestock choices open, your maintenance easy and a nice long viewing pane for you to enjoy.
 

Gdesquire

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You have a 48x24x18? What is restricting about it? Also what dimensions do you wish you went on the 135G?
I would want a wider tank say 60” and then decide on the depth vs. height. May I ask what the company your purchasing from quoted for your build?
 

JoshH

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You should protest and not pay any more state tax until the law is reformed. That’s an unreasonable restriction of liberty.
If I had the room, which I don't lol I'd get a slightly longer one than I did, going with a 72" Long x 30" wide x 18" Tall. Though I have a peninsula style, 30" might be really difficult to clean reaching from the front. But wow the things you could do with that kind of aquascaping space!
 
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LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

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This is a big one, if you're going custom, especially reef Savvy, you might as well get a showpiece tank you will be happy with VERY long term. A longer, possibly shallower tank (Similar to mine :p) will keep your livestock choices open, your maintenance easy and a nice long viewing pane for you to enjoy.
Honestly, I don’t see myself ever having a tank over 200 gallons, and that’s not something I envision wanting until I’ve purchased a home, for the next 5+ years I think I would be equally happy with a 90 or 120 and if I upgraded to a really large tank in the future I think I’d be happy to keep this Reef Savvy as a shallow frag or secondary length. Pretty set on 48” length but now I’m mulling over going out to 30-36” from 24” after getting some feedback in this thread.

The sentiment on this website always seems to be “Go bigger”....of course!! Haha ;Joyful
 
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LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

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I would want a wider tank say 60” and then decide on the depth vs. height. May I ask what the company your purchasing from quoted for your build?
I’d prefer not to post my quote but the Reef Savvy tanks are probably the most expensive of custom tanks. At least from what I’ve seen. I like the long tanks especially to have swim room for the fish that need it but for space considerations 48” is about as long as I can go. Love the look of the 5-6’ tanks though.
 

lakai

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I’d prefer not to post my quote but the Reef Savvy tanks are probably the most expensive of custom tanks. At least from what I’ve seen. I like the long tanks especially to have swim room for the fish that need it but for space considerations 48” is about as long as I can go. Love the look of the 5-6’ tanks though.
You'd be surprised close the pricing is for an apples to apples tank between reputable custom manufacturers. I don't know why everyone is so secretive about their quotes.

As for what I wish I knew before ordering a custom tank, don't expect everything to be perfect. If you're expecting zero flaws more specifically the silicone application even from reef savvy, you might leave yourself disappointed. It will not be messy but don't expect machine applied consistancy.
 

JoshH

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I’d prefer not to post my quote but the Reef Savvy tanks are probably the most expensive of custom tanks. At least from what I’ve seen. I like the long tanks especially to have swim room for the fish that need it but for space considerations 48” is about as long as I can go. Love the look of the 5-6’ tanks though.
I probably wouldn't go 36" on anything other than a 48" unless I had access to both sides either due to a peninsula or it having a fish room behind it. And theres no question reef Savvy is the most expensive. And it's worth noting a 6 foot tank doesn't have to be huge gallons wise, If i had made mine 6 foot it would be barely over 140. To me I say go medium cause looking back now that's what I wish I had done to begin with, it would have saved me thousands in the long run. But that is me lol
 

GMF21

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If you are going with a canopy on top, make it as tall as possible. Hard to access the tank, e.g. pour a bucket of water in if the canopy is only 12" tall. I would recommend 24"

Also, if you are having them plumb it, make sure you think through your sump configuration as well as any possible you may add in the future (chiller, UV sterilizer, etc). Lots of unions will help with this. Also, if the tank will be in your living room, noise may a concern and type of overflow (durso, bean animal) should be considered.

If you are having them build the stand, make sure you think of how you are going to organize the area below. Is it tall enough to access all areas of the sump? Will you be able to get the sump in/out if you ever decide to get a new one? I have a side door for mounting my apex and other equipment I seldomly need to access, but shelves in main area near sump for dosing pump.
 
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Blinky

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I've never specifically ordered custom glass but I've owned plenty second hand.

A few thoughts in no particular order.

Take a real long hard look at what your dream livestock needs, if you want an Achilles tang for example.

Next, I'd go as long as I could. Long is life.

I'd also consider closed loop circulation, powerheads are ugly so if I can minimize the need for them I'm happier.

Width doesn't really matter as long as you can reasonably reach all of the tank, I don't want to go fishing for a dead fish or knocked over colony with grabber tongs, it's awkward and adds a degree of risk to the coral imho.


My current tank is 96"x16"x16" planted freshwater (shhhh, it'll be ok lol) and I love the shape, unfortunately it was originally ordered with overflow boxes on each side back corners, set up for Durso drains.
It was noisy as all hell and never kept the middle of the tank clean, there was always lots of detritus in the plants.
I've since closed up one drain and turned the other into a Herbie so the tank flows from right to left but the now useless overflow box drives me a bit nuts so I guess the moral of the story is plan plan plan and avoid durso drains lol
 

DHill6

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Went with a Miracles cube and stand. When it arrived, the stand had gotten wet, they had a hard time finding the correct paint for touch up. You’d think their carpenter would know which paint he used. It didn’t match, paint stunk, not like paint in the states. Hardware rusted under 6 months, I had to order stainless steel boat hardware. Their reply was drill holes in the back for condensation. Went further and cut out the side to slide sump into and fitted with a wood vent. It was so tall on the stand I couldn’t reach the bottom of the tank, had to use a 3 step ladder just to clean. Can’t remember how high the stand was, it’s now a freshwater tank at son’s home. Jumped to a Red Sea 170, much easier.
 

Beardo

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If you are going with eurobraced consider having a hole drilled in the side eurobraces, depending on what wave makers you are using. I am using gyres and wish I could take the cord straight up and out the eurobrace. If you are using mps it wont matter.
Consider where your return(s) will be. I went over the top through holes drilled in the eurobrace but still have debates with myself if I would have been better off having the returns drilled into the back.
Overflow - I am partial to an external coast to coast over an internal overflow but this does cause the tank to be farther off the wall.

Some personal preference items:

I like a deeper tank and went with 36".

Stand height:
I went with a tall stand (42"). I had a tank with a short stand previously and hated trying to work on equipment in the stand. I also like a higher viewing height. Downside is I need a ladder to do anything in the tank, but it doesn't bother me.

If going with a deeper tank and taller stand, make sure they will fit getting them in the house. I ended up having to remove a large window to get the stand in amd out.
 

blitzkragz

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I got a 138" x 30" x 21" rimless peninsula from Custom Aquariums. I wouldn't change a thing about the dimensions, but the two things I wish I did:

Paid a little extra for their "cosmetic bottom siliconing". The standard way they silicone the bottom is in these big black globs that are kind of unsightly where the sand is shallow.

Had the return bulkheads drilled 1.25" (or maybe even 1.5") instead of 3/4". The 3/4" bulkheads really add a lot of head pressure to what the pump has to do. I could always go smaller with a reducer, but to go bigger i would need to re-drill the holes.
 
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IvanW

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I have a 450 gallon 96x36x30 from AGE out of Texas.I love it, well built and had no problems during the ordering process. I had them drill the bottom for a closed loop, which I actually installed but if you decide not to its an easy seal.I installed the closed loop thinking that it would be enough flow,which it was when tank was first set up but as everything grows out I added 2 Tunze 6150 from a previous tank and am about to add 2 Tunze stream 3's,I don't like the look of pumps sticking out, but I guess it is inevitable. Love the PVC bottom as it cannot break.I also had them drill the panel for the Synergy overflow,fellow reefers have asked me where is the overflow as it can barely be seen. The only thing that I would have liked,which I only saw long after the tank was up and running would be curved "plastic" corners. My advice is give it a lot of thought and please use a reputable builder I have experience in that regard,just do a search if you are interested. Get the biggest tank you have room for and which you can afford you will not regret it. Best of luck.
 

Sailfinguy21

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I have a tank being delivered today that is 44x28x14. I think 28-36" gives excellent width.

14 is too short for me though lol.

I have a 92g corner bowfront. Its not custom but if you want depth front to back its the perfect tank for it.

Its 48 inches long point to point. 24 inches tall and 36 inches front to back.. Honestly i think that would be a really awsome reef tank.. I could do more with that look wise then my 6 foot 135 which is only 18 inches wide.

But its currently being used by my mom for her ugly angle fish lol. Only downside to a tank thays only 4 feet long but wide front to back is its not great for larger tangs that need length to swim in.


Other downside with my 92g being 36 inches front to bsck is you cant reach the bottom in the bsck.. im 6 foot and even standing on a chair or ladder if i lean foward and try to rwach thr back mid to bottom my chest goes in the water and so do my shoulders.. its that far back and deep LOL
 
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turfster26

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I wish I went wider than the typical 24". It is an arbitrary common number, but doesn't really let you make a good "depth" within the aquascape.
EXACTLY. +10000000000

I have a custom Miracles tank: 60 x 24 x 29. And the single BIGGEST mistake I made was not going at least 30” in depth or 36” would have been great.

IMHO don’t go 24”. You regret It for years.
 

TheHarold

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I bet you feel like a kid on Christmas right now. Please post pics when you get it settled!
It’s pretty sick. Corner reinforced with acrylic triangles, low iron, modular marine overflow, the works. Had to be custom for my experimental coral system. I’m starting plumbing now and should have it wet this weekend. Thrilled that I also won a Maxspect skimmer earlier this week here on R2R, will go perfectly with the build.

(Spinning motorized frag rack that holds 200 corals).
 

JoshH

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It’s pretty sick. Corner reinforced with acrylic triangles, low iron, modular marine overflow, the works. Had to be custom for my experimental coral system. I’m starting plumbing now and should have it wet this weekend. Thrilled that I also won a Maxspect skimmer earlier this week here on R2R, will go perfectly with the build.

(Spinning motorized frag rack that holds 200 corals).
Snazzy! Well if were posting pictures...

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