Fish tank...As a wall? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-17-2008, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Fish tank...As a wall?

My family came into a large amount of extra funding(My parents passed away a few months back, and I, being an only child, was left everything) recently, and we just bought our dream house.
We have two daughters, and we're converting the basement into their room. They've loved fish their entire life, and one of the things they asked is if we could make a fishtank into a wall for them. And, quite frankly, my husband and I are more than enthusiastic at this idea.
The ceiling is 20ft high, but we would leave about 5ft of space between the tank and the ceiling. So it would be 15ft high. The room is about 35ft from wall to wall. We would either cut out a 6.5ft-by-3ft space in the middle of the tank for a doorway, or just take 3ft off the entire thing, so it's 32ft instead of 35ft with a cut out.
What we need to know is how wide we should make it, if it would be better to have the cut-out, or just shorten it, and any other tips on tank shape. Also, what should we fill the tank with? I'm very much lost on this entire thing, since I've never done anything like this before. We definately want it to be a marine tank. So, what kinda of corals, fish, and other sorts of things would be best?
Just, basically, help us out in anyway you can, so we can try and make this dream possible?
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-17-2008, 06:59 PM
iamntbatman's Avatar
Sounds like quite the challenge! While you're in the planning process, here are a couple of things for you to consider:

-Even if you're richer than Donald Trump, it would be extremely expensive to get an appropriate amount of live rock for an aquarium that size. The cheapest live rock I've ever heard of anyone buying was about $1 a pound, but it's usually at least $3 a pound. Considering the thousands upon thousands of pounds it would take for that aquarium...well, you get the idea. You might want to look for a bulk source of some kind of base rock which you can use to build the structure of your reef. The live rock could then be used on top of this base structure to start seeding the aquarium.

-Healthy corals require a good bit of intense lighting. A huge portion of your build costs are going to be the lighting system itself. You'll need to have access to the lighting when the aquarium is complete in order to change the bulbs. Also, if the tank is going to be fifteen feet high, that's an incredible distance through the water for your light to travel. It will be difficult even with the best metal halide lighting to provide the lighting corals will need.

-Your utility bills are going to be monstrous. You will definitely need a huge R/O system in order to keep the aquarium topped off. The electricity for heating and lighting and water movement is also going to be substantial, to say the least.

-You will need one gigantic cleanup crew for a tank of that size, including thousands upon thousands of snails and hermits.

I strongly urge you to get in touch with someone at a public aquarium, as the tank you're talking about is on that same scale. Don't underestimate the cost of such a system; the big spiral reef display at the National Aquarium in Baltimore even has artificial coral and live rock instead of the real deal.

If you go through with these plans, definitely keep us updated as it would be amazing to see the progress of such a build!

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post #3 of 4 Old 07-25-2008, 08:15 AM
Rogergolf66's Avatar
yes wow I don't know if you know what you are getting your self into here. Asl already mentioned the lighting live rock and clean up crew would be increadable. if you are looking to go with something like this I would not do Corals or at least real ones. also I don't think I would go with live rock as your filtration method. I would go with a fish only tank. Also would go with a very deep sand bed for denitrafication and bio balls for the main filtration and one hell of a skimmer.

also don't forget who is going to go diving with the fish to clean the tank every few weeks

Well that would be an increadable system, but you will need some professional help to guide you. if you were to go with fresh water it would be much easier and much cheeper and much easier to maintain. personally I only like salt water tanks but that is JMO

Good luck.

here is another option here is my tank.

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post #4 of 4 Old 07-25-2008, 11:23 AM
Little-Fizz's Avatar
Very nice set up Roger I remember reading a thread by you about this tank! A really long time ago, so I'm surprised I remember.

But I agree with everyone here. This is going to be a insane, cost wise and maintenance wise.

Personally I would go for something like Rogers... How big is that tank by the way?

And just before you laid dead weight upon its shores, I stung you in the face for that's the nature of my core.
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