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NEED HELP/SUGGESTIONS FOR A NEW HUGE TANK BUILD

Discussion in 'Your Fishroom' started by F8LBITE, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. F8LBITE

    F8LBITE Members

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    Hey guys im seeking info for a family friend. He is custom building a house and wants to put a huge tank in BEFORE the walls go in. This tank is going to be huge we are thinking 12FTx4FTx8FT. He wants to do a big saltwater display tank. He wanted live coral but I explained to him how meticulous and complicated it would be to sustain and that it would limit the types of fish he could keep. I need help with 1) Who can build this tank (acrylic) 2) who can help design filtration 3) who can help set up and source livestock. The main thing is setting the tank in place and designing the filtration setup/room. The licestock and setup would happen way later. I'm thinking about contacting the Baltimore aquarium people but if anyone here has the time/ ability to take on this project you can make alot of money.... oh and budget ...... there is none! :eek:
     
  2. JLW

    JLW CCA Members

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    Hey Jose,

    For a tank that size, I would strongly urge you to contact a professional maintenance company that is licensed and insured. There's a lot of potential liability and problems that can arise in a tank of those dimensions. Of course getting it in before the house is finished or even built is a great idea.
    36495205_2177429188938897_9127172607739691008_n.jpg

    Things like this become a whole lot easier when, y'know, there's no walls. That's a 10 x 3 x 4 that we (Batfish) are installing as a room divider.

    A big tank like that could absolutely make a fantastic reef tank, and I would consider it. The biggest thing that stands out as a no-way for me is acrylic. Under no circumstances whatsoever would I install an acrylic tank that large, especially for saltwater, and especially for a reef tank. Acrylic is great because, y'know, I can carry two 55-gallon acrylic tanks by myself. But, once its installed, what do you care about the weight? It's like worrying about whether a Sumo wrestler is wearing slippers or boots. One is a lot heavier than the other, but that's not where the weight is coming from! And like boots, while glass is heavier and more difficult to install, it offers a heck of a lot more protection.

    In a marine aquarium, we deal with a lot of organisms that have very different behaviour from what you'll find in a freshwater tank. You might, for instance, want to add puffers or trigger fish. I've had both of these fish spend their days kissing the acrylic. You keep one in there long enough, and you'll get these little half moon scratches all over. I've even had some blennies bite acrylic and damage it. I've had tangs whack the front with their mace, and leave a mark. And, then there are the invertebrates... the urchins, crabs, and some snails that will crawl over the front pane and chew the acrylic up. And then there is algae. Freshwater algae is a joke -- you can clean 95% of it off with a paper towel. Wait until you're dealing with hard, calcareus algae - including coraline algae. Sure, a lot of the tools that remove it won't damage the tank, but the algae will when its caught between that tool and the glass. Or the glass frustules of a lot of different marine animals that'll just show up. Or the hard shells of some. Or -- well, you get the idea.

    This is a big tank, and you're looking to make a permanent installation. Don't use acrylic. Acrylic is great for tanks that are expected to have a short life span. Sure, if it gets scratched, you can refinish it, but on a tank that size, that's a big job. And, if you do just a spot, you'll get a distortion. Plus, there's a limited number of times you can refinish it.

    Go with glass. You won't regret it. Sure, it'll be a pain in the butt to install, but .. what do you care, you're paying someone to do it. ;)
     
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  3. FishEggs

    FishEggs Well-Known Member
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    I would definitely ask Josh (Batfish) his thoughts and advice on the subject.
     
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  4. Frank Cowherd

    Frank Cowherd Global Moderators
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    IF it is really deep, cleaning is a problem. You might need a SCUBA tank and wet suit. A four foot deep tank is about as deep as I would want and three feet deep would make cleaning easier.
     
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  5. littlen

    littlen CCA Members

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    There are many custom glass (and acrylic) fish tank manufacturers. So that portion of the process should be easy on your end. I would personally deal with them rather than have someone else broker the deal and cost more. The fine folks at the Bmore Aq do not do home maintenance projects/installs. If you know someone there, they will likely give you some pointers for vendors for LSS equipment and fish, but again you could just as easily get that same info from the fine folks on this forum. There is a local (NoVA) company that you may want to refer your friend to for any/all portions of this project. At a minimum, husbandry and maintenance once the tank is up and running. They do a lot of business in the area from my knowledge: http://www.reefescape.net/
     
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  6. Marzo

    Marzo CCA Members

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  7. Becca

    Becca CCA Members

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    I'm probably a little bit biased by years of getting great fish, wonderful advice, and assistance with installs and furniture building from @JLW@JLW, but Batfish Aquatics is a great local business and a club sponsor who puts A LOT of time, energy, and money into our little organization. He's very experienced with an eye for both aesthetics and functionality (seriously, his personal reef tank has a fold-out wine bar in the stand). His recommendation of glass over acrylic is spot on, especially for salt water. Definitely have your friend hit him up for an estimate.
     
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  8. F8LBITE

    F8LBITE Members

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    Paging Dr Batfish! Check your PM's please
     
  9. FishEggs

    FishEggs Well-Known Member
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  10. Becca

    Becca CCA Members

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    +1

    Send an email to that address, he checks it regularly.
     
  11. JLW

    JLW CCA Members

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    Oh, yea... I only sometimes see the e-mail notifications that I have a PM. :)
     

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