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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I don't have any projects lined up so it's about time I do this! I've been putting it off for some time now anticipating a change in residence, but it looks like that will take at least 2-3 years. (still in planning/designing phase) So 2-3 years of enjoyment before having to leave it is good enough for me!

I want to cover this build IN DEPTH. In the past with my first TRT tank build and my LED build I have provided lots of pictures and felt that I did a pretty good job of this. But I think more is better in this aspect. I will attempt to post lots of videos of the entire process. This build will involve some pretty custom work, and I know there is a lot of folks out there that would love to see the build in detail. But I will say this early on….the videos may come in spurts with several at a time, spaced out more than desirable. This is in anticipation of editing time that will be needed. But I don't have much else going on so hopefully I will stay diligent.

Budget: what a dirty word these days…

The build will go in 5 phases as outlined below:

1) Design
2) Build Stand
3) Floor Removal
4)
Install Tank and Plumbing
5)
Skin Stand and Finishing exterior touches.

I don't have tank dimensions yet but will get those posted soon. I have to do some math on paper. My initial guess is 250-400 gallons.

Since my current 180 gallon is stocked pretty well with coral and I want to keep equipment clutter/heat to a minimum, this will be a fish-only tank. Currently leaning towards fake coral, no live rock. I know a lot of people hate fake coral. If you are at my house, simply turn your head and you can see all the live coral you want. I believe fake coral has a place and application and this is it for me.

A local acrylic manufacturer will build the tank itself. They don't specialize in tank building, but he has done some before on a much larger scale. My aunt works for this guy and I have picked up enough plastic in the past to see their work.
The overflow will be located in the center of the tank. The plan is to successfully disguise the center overflow and create a "reef shelf" that is at the top of the tank. Hard to explain now, will get back to that another time.

As far as the stock that will go into the tank, my wife and I are looking at a more aggressive tank. There are so many beautiful fish we cannot keep in our reef! In particular…..trigger fish. There will be at least 6 different types of triggers. What we put with the triggers, is still to be determined. I was thinking maybe some parrot fish, lion fish, and others. The key here is visibility! This is a 360 degree view tank, I will only stock it with gregarious species. Suggestions are welcome.

Having said that…..the only time I have even attempted a fish-only tank without live rock was 13 years ago…I think I was 13 or 14 (I'm 27, save the math ;) ) and it was not successful to say the least. So, your input would be greatly appreciated in certain aspects of this build. What I'll do is make a note at the end of a post like this that will summarize what I would like to discuss or get advice on, that way it may be a little more organized in the long run.

Before we get to the design video, let's talk equipment.

Skimmer/Filtration
I will use filter socks and I think I have decided on the brand/model of skimmer, but not size just yet. Here is my top choice as of right now.

Skimmer Choice
I am open to suggestions on this but from the research I have done it's the best bang for the buck. A good skimmer is at the top of my list since I am anticipating messy tenants.

Wet/Dry too? Overkill? Or just extremely heavy skimming?

Sump
This will be a pretty standard sump. There will be center bracing under the main display so the sump will take an "L" shape to provide more space and volume.

Lighting

Lighting will be done with LEDs. The main reason for this is heat! I won't even be using the 3watt leds for this tank. I want almost no heat produced in this closed system. Since the fish don't care about the wavelength, I have ample options out there for LED modules. Suggestions welcome.

The design and tank you will be watching come to life…..

PHASE #1



I know I left out a lot so let some questions come in and it will help me think of some more details.

Suggestions/Discussion Topics:

- General equipment needs for a FO
- LED module choice
- Filtration suggestions
- Fish suggestions
- UV or Not?
- Any comments outside of this are welcome as well

 

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Imperator Angelfish, and all other kinds are beautiful fish, sounds like your tank would be about right for one.Although I'm not sure if herbivorous fish would be a good idea, Seeing how there will not be any live rock.You might be ok though, as they would keep algae build up down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'll be watching this what design software did you use?
Photoshop

Imperator Angelfish, and all other kinds are beautiful fish, sounds like your tank would be about right for one.Although I'm not sure if herbivorous fish would be a good idea, Seeing how there will not be any live rock.You might be ok though, as they would keep algae build up down.
Yeah I agree, that would be a beautiful addition. Any triggers I should avoid in order to keep angels of other variety?

Build Intro


Tank Dimensions

I think I am going with: 32"W x 32"D x 42"H. This will give me about 186 gallons, but minus 30 or so for overflow room.

For the sump I think I will buy a pre-made one and baffle it out. I'll wait for that purchase until I finish the stand structure.

The Tank Itself

I still have not decided on glass or acrylic. I spoke to my acrylic guy today and he said it would take 2 weeks. Whatever I choose I need to buy it soon. Are there any advantages to acrylic? I have never owned one.

Overflow

The overflow will either be a 6-7" round cloumn in the center or a square. Not really sure where to go right now with an overflow for this tank. The design idea I have for the 'scaping makes a center overflow tricky. I'll have to research some other builds and take any suggestions your willing to give.

Return Pump

I will be using the Water Blaster HY 5000 Circulating Water Pump
Unless there are suggestions out there. Will likely purchase it this week.

UV Steralizer?

Should I get one? I know there are very mixed feelings about these and I don't have an opinion on them so I need yours :)

Thanks Everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone know anything about Deep Sea Aquatics? They are an aquarium manufacturer that I am considering. Can't get anyone on the phone though. Do they only deal with retail stores? Thanks.
 

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if you use a uv sterilizer run carbon right behind it. just had lecture o uv sterilizers in my aquarium systems class. they produce chloroform and other nasty chemicals. carbon will pull these out.
 

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Im excited for ya on this build! Looks fantastic and I cant wait to see it come to life.

How's the writing coming along?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Im excited for ya on this build! Looks fantastic and I cant wait to see it come to life.

How's the writing coming along?
TONY!!!

Boy would I love to write a sequel, and it will be done some time in my life but I've been busy growing my business (which involved about as much writing as my book).

I'm really excited about this build! Should be done within a month if I can get the tank ordered. That will be the slowest part. Didn't hear back from my acrylic guy today, not sure what the hold up is... I swear it makes me so frustrated when businesses have the attitude of "Ill get to you when I get to you" I just don't understand this. Companies now act like they are doing YOU a favor.... okay I'll stop now...:nuts:
 

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LOL... I will be waiting for a sequel to arrive in the mail :) just let me know where to send the check.. (or a more modern version.. the Paypal :p)

You would think with the economic environment as iffy as it is (especially in this hobby), businesses would treat customers a little better, but its also a sign of usually having to be understaffed in order to stay afloat...
 

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This ought to be interesting. Like the information so far. As for a fish recomendation, what about a Harlequin Tusk? And for my curiosity, in your last post with the pictures, in the first pic, what is the main sps colony in the picture? Love the colors and how it grows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
This ought to be interesting. Like the information so far. As for a fish recomendation, what about a Harlequin Tusk? And for my curiosity, in your last post with the pictures, in the first pic, what is the main sps colony in the picture? Love the colors and how it grows.
I think the Harlequin is a beautiful fish but I don't think I like the shape of that fish for this tank. That probably sounds weird haha.

are you going to have an Arduino on this one too?
No I don't really see a need for one at the moment. The lights in the tank won't have any action to them but I am thinking that the lights on the hood portion will be remote controllable RBG LEDs.

UPDATE

I cannot get the time of day from the two possible tank builders that I know of. Anyone worked with a company before in the Houston area? Or a company that ships? This is dragging out too long just for a tank order!
 

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