Would you ever build a house around a new tank? What would you do?

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Have you ever built a new house "around" a new dream reef tank set up?

  • Yes (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 67 15.7%
  • NO, but I would like to

    Votes: 266 62.1%
  • NO, I would worry about the tank later

    Votes: 81 18.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 14 3.3%

  • Total voters
    428

rlattof

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Maybe not a whole house , but I did my basement over 4 mos ago and did just that
 

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Appoloreefer

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Happy Monday!

Many of us dream about building that PERFECT reef tank, equipped with an equipment room, drains, water source and the works! A lot of times though we are unable to achieve everything we would like due to the limitations of the current home that we live in. But what about if you were building a brand new home? Let's talk about it today!

1. If given the chance to build a new house would you build it "around" a new dream reef tank set up?

2. What are some of the things you would do if you were building a new home with a dream aquarium housed in it?


images via @kfennell
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If I was going to build a home I would certainly build it so that having a reef aquarium would be included in the build and would have everything it needed to make sure that there was plumbing, waste, top off, filtration for the water like having an RODI system built in. It would be the only way to go. But unfortunately I do not see this happening since we have a home and do not plan on selling or moving and will have to make do with what we already have, but we still can make improvements which is always a good thing.
 

Appoloreefer

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Did this back in 2013. Had several things in the planning. DT is 430 gallons. This faces into in the great room. Hybrid in-wall install. Tank is 3 feet wide. Two feet are visible outside the fish room so I can see from end to end. One foot extends into fish room. Tank sits on square metal tubing stand, so plenty of room below tank for equipment. Put extra rebar in the foundation to help with the weight of tank and water. Fish room is a 2x4 level lower than the rest of foundation just in case some major water spill would not flood the house. House is on septic so fish room drain goes into a dry sump not tied into septic tank. Put 3" PVC pipe in foundation that goes to outside of the house. Put flex PVC through this pipe so I can get salt water with my pickup truck and pump directly into a 165 gallon holding tank via 12 volt bilge pump. All the other usual stuff. Sink. QT tanks, etc.
Wow that is amazing and I am sure something that we all would love to be able to do at some point.
 

Appoloreefer

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Not sure if I will ever be able to but I would do it for sure, it would be 15' x 15' x 4' with the sandbed even with the floor and lots of natural light in an open indoor courtyard sort of feeling with saltwater plants growing along the edges of the room incorporated into the system offering filtration and a natural salt marsh feel. I would house giant Australian cuttlefish and a good variety of corals on a couple small islands, attempting to grab a small slice of the Great Barrier reef. This seems far beyond possibility but it's a clear vision of mine.
It certainly costs nothing to dream and imagine. It might be possible one day
 

Appoloreefer

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If I was building a new house, I would definitely design it with the tanks in mind.
However, I just bought my LAST house ( I’m 70)! Doing a lot of modifications to accommodate my tanks… will start a build thread soon.
Besides the reef tanks, the new place also has a 1 acre bass filled pond… would take way too much salt to convert it to SW!
I have seen where people have converted their swimming pools into saltwater reef aquariums which is amazing, you can swim in the pool and it is like swimming in the reefs. I would probably do something like this but not right now for I love the pool too much. I suppose living in Florida it would be a good idea to have a saltwater reef in your pool
 

Bruce Burnett

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I look at it different than most people. First the main display or two displays have to be in most active area in the house. Any fish room will have to be practical for a new home buyer. Your home is an investment and has to be usable space for the majority of prospective buyers. Does not mean you can't have the tank in a wall or a dedicated fish room behind it. You just have to think of can it be converted into useful space later like a bathroom or usable closet, laundry room. Most people do not live in the same house all their life. Not everyone gets excited by an aquarium especially if they are the ones to maintain and the on going expenses. Also if you become disabled or a senior you may not want that expense.
 

chaoticreefer

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1. If given the chance to build a new house would you build it "around" a new dream reef tank set up?

Duh...what true reefer wouldn't?

2. What are some of the things you would do if you were building a new home with a dream aquarium housed in it?

The viewing aquarium room (whatever it is, the den, living room, etc):
The aquarium would be plumbed through the wall. I would want to view all 3 sides, so no flat in wall aquarium. But I would still want it look like it was fully walled in, so that would probably mean wood paneling that's smooth and elegantly painted all the way from the floor to the ceiling. The below would be just cabinet space, the top would have access doors so I can pop them open to do front tank maintenance stuff. If I had decided to sit the tank at a higher level there would be holes in the walls so I can slide a plank in so I can do some tank maintenance without being limited to a ladder's step reach. Those holes in the wall would have some kind of covers on them (or somehow hidden) when the plank is not being used.

The back fish room:
Floor drain with the floor with a slight funnel. Tiled walls or somehow making the walls water proof that way I can just squirt off the floor and not having to worry about water leaks running up the walls. A whole wall for RO/DI system and water changing tanks. A deep utility sink with some counter top space off to the side (somehow with a long drain gutter on the table for dripping fish,etc and to drip/air dry wet equipment). A large slider or a small garage door opening to the outside. Enough room to have the sump off to the side (definitely nothing over it). Definitely its own power breaker circuits (multiple of them) with each wall have multiple outlets with outside weather covers on them. The room having its own cooling, heating system. Air vents from outside down low by the floor for CO2 removal (but you can use the slider or garage door for that too) that can be opened and closed from outside weather. A work table with an office chair that I can sit down and work on whatever. Oh, and of course, a TV in there so I can watch while doing some long work/maintenance or even for watching youtube for help while working on equipment or whatever.

And now...it's time to wake up into the real world.
 
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rhostam

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I selected "Other" because the answer would actually depend on my status.

If you ask me when I am ready to retire and planning a move into my old-age home, then YES. I would plan around a tank.

If you ask me before I retire (knowing full well the home I am in is not my old-age home), then NO because of resale. I wouldn't do anything to a home that would prevent me from selling it for the best price to the broadest audience.

If my personal wealth blew up all-of-a-sudden, I would probably care less and then plan around a tank at whatever age I was.
 

Calm Blue Ocean

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We built our current house with a really good home office being a priority so I'm totally on board with building for personal needs. Unfortunately that was before we got into the saltwater stuff. If we were to build again the fish tank would be a significant consideration. Aside from obvious things like appropriate structural support, I'd definitely want the tank to back onto some sort of fish room (utility room). No more lugging buckets down hallways!
 

dbowman5

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Merlin_Reef

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I am looking at building a home. Room for a reef tank is essential. The floor plan I like best has a bedroom in the basement right under where the tank would be. I want to turn that into a fish equipment room. Hopefully soon, I would be looking for advice on how to design that. So far, I know I want a utility sink, a drain in the floor, and plumbing for a mixing station and up to the first floor tank. I am unsure how high up and what space I need for a mixing station.
 

Salted

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I'd love to but unless we hit the lottery it's not a realistic option for us. My wife enjoys the tank so if money were no object she'd let me set up whatever I wanted no argument. What is realistic is to upgrade to a 200g 7'x2'x2' (some nice swimming footage to give my small but growing desjardini sailfin and an eventual naso and orange shoulder tang space) so as we are house shopping now the placement of a tank of that dimension is part of the equation.
 

dbowman5

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I selected "Other" because the answer would actually depend on my status.

If you ask me when I am ready to retire and planning a move into my old-age home, then YES. I would plan around a tank.

If you ask me before I retire (knowing full well the home I am in is not my old-age home), then NO because of resale. I wouldn't do anything to a home that would prevent me from selling it for the best price to the broadest audience.

If my personal wealth blew up all-of-a-sudden, I would probably care less and then plan around a tank at whatever age I was.
so, i am retired and in my terminal home, and i just drilled holes in the hardwood floors to get to the basement. I thought about resale value for about a week while the other concerns and ideas were at war to decide if i even went SW at all. also salt/water damage possibilities/certainties. I realized that the house was not as much of an investment as a vehicle for the life i wanted to live. 'Psssh', i thought, 'Go For It'! so i did. on a small scale.;Happy
 

chaoticreefer

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1. If given the chance to build a new house would you build it "around" a new dream reef tank set up?

Duh...what true reefer wouldn't?

2. What are some of the things you would do if you were building a new home with a dream aquarium housed in it?

The viewing aquarium room (whatever it is, the den, living room, etc):
The aquarium would be plumbed through the wall. I would want to view all 3 sides, so no flat in wall aquarium. But I would still want it look like it was fully walled in, so that would probably mean wood paneling that's smooth and elegantly painted all the way from the floor to the ceiling. The below would be just cabinet space, the top would have access doors so I can pop them open to do front tank maintenance stuff. If I had decided to sit the tank at a higher level there would be holes in the walls so I can slide a plank in so I can do some tank maintenance without being limited to a ladder's step reach. Those holes in the wall would have some kind of covers on them (or somehow hidden) when the plank is not being used.

The back fish room:
Floor drain with the floor with a slight funnel. Tiled walls or somehow making the walls water proof that way I can just squirt off the floor and not having to worry about water leaks running up the walls. A whole wall for RO/DI system and water changing tanks. A deep utility sink with some counter top space off to the side (somehow with a long drain gutter on the table for dripping fish,etc and to drip/air dry wet equipment). A large slider or a small garage door opening to the outside. Enough room to have the sump off to the side (definitely nothing over it). Definitely its own power breaker circuits (multiple of them) with each wall have multiple outlets with outside weather covers on them. The room having its own cooling, heating system. Air vents from outside down low by the floor for CO2 removal (but you can use the slider or garage door for that too) that can be opened and closed from outside weather. A work table with an office chair that I can sit down and work on whatever. Oh, and of course, a TV in there so I can watch while doing some long work/maintenance or even for watching youtube for help while working on equipment or whatever.

And now...it's time to wake up into the real world.

Actually, the more I think about it, I wouldn't do a plank system. I would just use bench(s), kinda like window benches you see inside old houses. When wanting to work on the tank, you can just pull off the cushions and walk on the bench(s).
 
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Siberwulf

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When we built this out oh.... 14 years ago, I was in the middle of my first Saltwater tank. We had them put in two dedicated 20 amp breakers, drain and water into a wall in my office. It's all ready to go. That said, we had three kids and the cash ain't there for the type of I tank I wanna get. But, I can live with the 90 I have going now :) I'll be patient about the big sucker when it's a better time.
 
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