VERY VERY VERY Large Saltwater Tank Help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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VERY VERY VERY Large Saltwater Tank Help


I'm new here and I need some help, please. I am building a new home and I am having my architect build in a wall that separates my living room from my dining room. Half of the wall will be a saltwater aquarium.

The size of the tank will be 11 feet wide, 5 feet high and about 3 feet wide. I have had fresh tanks in the past of about 125 gallon but nothing this size.

Does anyone have any idea about what something like this will cost completely setup without the fish and coral etc? Cost is no object for me. . . I just want to make sure the architect is not ripping me off with his cost estimate.

Also, am I losing my mind? If necessary I can afford to have it proffessionally maintained on a regualr basis. . . not problem. I just need some insight into what I'm getting myself into. i.e. more than anyting, I'm looking for a sanitiy check.

Regards, Cahrles
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 01:51 AM
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Re: VERY VERY VERY Large Saltwater Tank Help

Hiya Charles.

Such a large plan. I would consider the cost of maintenance, your time of maintenance and how you're going to reach the tank bottom.

Also, am I losing my mind? If necessary I can afford to have it proffessionally maintained on a regualr basis. . . not problem. I just need some insight into what I'm getting myself into. i.e. more than anyting, I'm looking for a sanitiy check.
Lol..Charles, you're sane as everyone. It's the maintenance that you might consider. Such a large tank will cost you thousands in fortune.

Pls ask the person you're going to hire how he will do the maintenance.:) We just want to know as there might be mistakes bound to happen.:) I'm not a SW keeper however, I still have equal concerns with FW and SW. Used to keep SW myself but that was before.:)

Good luck, Charles.:)

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post #3 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 02:47 AM
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I can't answer any of your questions, but I gotta say, WOW.

That's going to cost more than a kid to maintain, and maybe a college tuition to setup!
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 01:51 PM
All i can say is wow.....that is gonna be one big fish tank. And it will probably be kinda costly to set it all up. i couldnt even give you a figure to go by. And the maitnance on that is gonna be alot. probably far me than we could ever afford, although im sure my husband would LOVE a tank like that.

Anyway i hope it will look good and when its up and running we can see pics!!!!!
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 02:15 PM
For a reel coral tank your going to have to run thousands of watts of light and thousands of watts in other electric things.
with tanks that big some hobbyist make a room in there basement just for filtration. For your filtration you could do a massive protein skimmer(A type of filter) And a whole bunch of liverock and cheato(algea) In a 150 gallon sump tank.
If you relly do have a lot of money than you should go ahead and do it. If you work alot and dont have time to do maintainese than you should hire somebody.
with a tank of that size im not sure what kind of maintainence is necasary. Probly cleaning algea of the walls and adding chemicals and foods.
Just to give you a clue on how expensice salty tanks are i would estimate a fully stocked 30 galllon tank with lighting filtration ect. would be 1500$
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 03:57 PM
My 120 gal ran me with everything over $4,000. I did a calculation and your tank will be over 1100 gal. That is a huge tank. (Wish I had one) I wouldn't even want to know how much that would cost(Yes I do) I knew a guy that had atleast a 600gal and it cost him over $1800 just for the frieght to deliver. He didn't discuse how much the tank (glass only) cost. You would have to get it made. Is it going to be acrylic or glass? As for the live rock will cost tons. Along with the skimmer, sump, calcuim reactors, water changes, salt, I could go on and on. As for the losing my mind part no your not. Do I think thats to much for a house, yes. As for the paying to do the maintence, that is the best part of a tank. I never did believe that anyone who pays to have the maintence done, is wasting money. My meaning behind that is, its fun and you can do it all yourself. Good luck on the setup, and take pics when its done. Also I would build a room in the basement (if you have one) for all the filtration devices. Or have a room built next to the tank.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 05:10 PM
All I gotta say is, this is freaking awesome! Forget the loot, go for it!

And don't forget PICS! What are you planning as far as your stocking goes? :D
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks All,

You touched upon something that I had not thoroughly considered---the space the filtration etc will take up. The tank will be the dividing wall between the dining room and the living room. Both rooms will have 12ft ceilings so there will be plenty of room on top of the tank for the filtration and other support equipment. The way the wall is designed is that there will be a base about 2.5 feet in height, then the 5 ft hight tank and above that some accessible cabinetry to access and maintain the tank and then the wall going up to the top of the ceiling. Since the entire wall of the room is going to be 20 ft long the 11 ft tank will only be a part of the wall. The end of the tank will be part of the end of the wall and viewable from the.

I am not anxious to have so much ancillary equipment in such close proximit to the tank that the noise and space requirements will detract from the experience of the tank.

Also, I live in Australia (but I'm an American that use to live near NYC till 5 yrs ago)and there are no such things as basements where I live here on the Gold Coast in Queensland so whatever equipment I will require will necessarily need to be juxtaposed to the tank.

I expect to pay about $50k for the whole setup without the fish, coral, rocks, etc. Thanks for the comments about the maintenance as that is the part the I really will farm out to a local outfit.

I will definitely post pictures when its done. I was inspired to this by seeing something about that size in a local mall and it is absolutely STUNNING!. It completely dwarfs the other of my so-called large tanks of the past.

Regards, Charles
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 10:50 PM
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you will be around the 50-60k depending on how you stock it. Ive seen someone else do something like this and he put almost 100k in after it was fully stocked and done.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-11-2006, 11:40 PM
I think you could pull off a nice FOWLR type tank for 30k or under. You will have problems with maintenance. Your space selection limits your accesibility greatly You should be able to have a nice sized sump under that tank to help with filtration. Since you will not be able to have a "fishroom" I would suggest that you have a closet on the wall side of the tank. Your skimmer will probably be about 5 feet tall. You will need a place to hide it. It does not sound like you have a lot of personal experience keeping salt tanks. I would recommend you start with a fish only with live rock type set up. A few hundred pounds of live rock and base rock. A load of hermits and snails. A few fish. Some easy low light corals and mushrooms wouldn't hurt. Then for lighting I'd just use a lot of flourescent shop lights with appropriate bulb colors. Keep it simple as you could easily overwhelm yourself with a huge reef tank.
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