First Marine Tank - Planning Assistance Please :lol: - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 3 Old 09-18-2007, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
New Member
First Marine Tank - Planning Assistance Please :lol:

Hi Guys,

Currently I have a 3ft fresh water community aquarium and in about 6 months would like to take the jump and start a reef tank (spending the full 6 months researching it fully).

My wife and I are currently renovating our house and there is an opportunity for me to include a complete floor to ceiling setup in the renovation process.

I am looking at a tank 179cm wide X 76cm deep X 120cm tall (1632.48 Litres \ 431.26 US Gallons) in size.

I need help in a few ways:

1. Pretend like money isnt an issue and assist me with product recommendations for the list of equipment I below so I get a realistic view of whether this is plausable
2. I need people to make sure I havent forgotten anything from the list of equipment
3. Can I \ Should I have my tank any taller as I certainly am not really restricted in height (floor to ceiling) where Im at my max width and depth.

Thank-you everyone for taking the time to read this and I really appreciate how helpful everyone is on this forum. Any information is appreciated


Size - 50cm gap from roof (170cm Length floor to ceiling)

Lighting - 6 tube fluorescent lighting. 1 x Full spectrum bulb, 1 x Plant oriented bulb, 1 x Metal Halide, 1 x Very High Output, 1 x Actinic Blue & 1 x Actinic White

Tank - 179cm X 76cm X 120cm (1632.48 Litres \ 431.26 US Gallons)

Gravel - Black (Depth?)

Heater - Need two heaters (one as backup)

Wavemaker/Surge Device


Wooden Stand - Strong enough to hold 1 Litre of water = approx 1 Kg / Needs to be 100% level otherwise will cause stress on joins.

UPS - Stable Electricity - Need to total required wattage

Filter - Eheim canister filters - 5 times the flow rate of the capacity per hour.

Timer - For lights

Protein Skimmer

Sump Tank

Water Pump - Backup Pump Also

Water Purifier (Deionizer\Reverse Osmosis)

Plumbing: Drainage

Safety switch \ Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)- Water Vs Electricity
Power Outlets
Celing Fan
pink_bass is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 3 Old 09-28-2007, 12:08 AM
St6_Devgru's Avatar
check your contracter if its safe to put into your 2nd flooror + but even if its the ground floor, it may be raised so check to make sure you have a strong and stable foundation. also for support overdoing it might be better incase anything else no marine tank expert but i can tell about some abasics in dealing with giant tanks...well more people should reply and i hope they can give you more info...good luck

St6_Devgru is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old 10-10-2007, 03:51 PM
bettababy's Avatar
Well, some things to give thought to:
Ventilation... humidity levels and salt creep are 2 things most often forgotten with tanks of that size. If you're going to enclose this tank in any way, both will become an issue quickly. If this is to be a reef setup, lights to keep it going are going to be intense, will give off a lot of heat. The deeper the tank the higher the lighting needs. Some ways to work around the lighting issues: Make sure the area is well ventilated, for starters... fans and vents are important. Work with rock where you can create shelves in the tank, at all different depths of the tank, almost to the surface. Corals can more easily be accomidated if placed closer to the surface to put them closer to the light source, but keep in mind with anemones and other photosynthetic animals that are able to move around on their own, they may not always stay where you put them. If light is limited and the upper layers of rock are covered in stationary corals, anemones may battle with or overtake and kill your corals, sting them, etc, to make their own space.

Work space is another thing many people forget when they are setting up such a large tank. You have to be able to get in there to take care of it. How do you intend to reach? Sometimes building stands that sit lower to the floor can help with taller tanks, but don't limit your space up above and leave at least 1 full wall, preferably the back of the tank, open and available for you to get in for maintenance. Even a healthy tank needs to be scraped from time to time, or animals need to be handled, etc. Expect this during planning the tank and you'll be thankful later on. The same applies for filtration... keep it easy access with space to move around in case you need to fix things, replace things, or simply maintain what is there. I have seen a lot of beautiful aquariums of over 300 gallons, but few I would ever want to take care of due to the difficulty in accessing the important parts.
I also would think that until you know more specifically what you wish to keep for animals, it is a bit premature to be so sure of lighting needs.

Gravel? If this is to be a reef tank you surely want to use aragonite sand. Some of it being "live sand" will help to get the tank cycled and seeded properly.

On a tank that size it would work better to build/use a sump system. It would be healthier for the tank and easier for you to maintain, and a lot less work! Is this a tank built with overflow already installed to run the sump system? If the sump is of the proper size, there should be no need for the canister filters.

The other things I can think of at this moment that would be needed and are not mentioned:

UV Sterilizer * in something of this magnatude this would be a must to help prevent illness/disease safely*
calcium reactor, it would cost a small fortune in liquid calcium to keep something of that magnatude stable
at least 300 - 400 lbs of live rock
A backup heater is always a good thing to have around... as is a surge protector for your electrical system and a spare air pump and either battery operated pumps or generator in case of a power outage
generator would be the better choice due to size and need of output
mixing vat for premixing your saltwater for water changes (yes, even something that size will still need water changes, and the water must be premixed to be safe to use)
pump for the mixing vat
hydrometer will also be a major need just to get started
what about cleaning tools? Have you given any thought about scraping glass in the event of an algae bloom?
One last thought before I leave you (sorry if this was overwhelming).. what about covering for the tank and where your water line will sit? Fish jump, and saltwater is no exception, and can sometimes be worse than freshwater with this size of a system. You won't want an expensive fish on the floor if it decides to jump for food or pleasure... there are ways to help prevent this, anywhere from installing "safety barriers" around the top of the tank to lowering water levels appropriately... but that means taking that into account with overflows installed. Can you lower your water level enough to make it safe for your sump system to work properly? What about scooping fish out of overflow systems? A lot of fish end up in those... you'll need to be able to easily remove them, both dead or alive.
Hope this helped some...

Dawn Moneyhan
Aquatics Specialist/Nutritionist
Juneau, WI
bettababy is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Several tank planning questions : ) conwayscience Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 11 04-07-2010 10:54 PM
I need help planning first planted tank JMILLER Beginner Planted Aquarium 60 03-20-2010 12:26 PM
Planning my first Reef Tank njudson Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 1 11-17-2009 11:58 PM
Planning a Cichlid Tank eruuska Cichlids 1 01-20-2009 03:36 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome