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Emperor1

Want to help a newbie???

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Hello Fellow Enthusiasts,

 

Well, I think it's time to begin my quest of a new reef tank. I have virtually no experience except what I have read here, but do have patience, and have read this can be the most important thing.(clap) I am looking for valuable information from beginning to end on the construction of this tank and hope to have it done by Christmas, or sometime after to surprise the wife with.(wife) Besides, we are in the information age, it's better to ask first, then to ask later and have to start again. ;)

 

The space that is available is 51"long x 31"deep x 69"tall (stand, tank and canopy is included in the height). The tank will be on the second floor of my home, but is newly constructed in Aug 10'. I've been to a few local shops and am still debating if I have them build it or build it myself. I have found specific items I like at each shop, which is leading me more in the direction of putting it together myself. I have little experience in plumbing, elecrtical (lighting) and woodworking. That's where you guys come in!!

 

Now that we're through that, let's begin with the tank. The local shops that I have been to, are mostly selling/using acrylic, but I'm leaning more towards a starphire glass tank (3 sided starphire if I move). I'm still open to other ideas. The stand and canopy I would like to see built locally (OR or WA). I have found each manufacturer makes various sizes, but think something around 48"x30"x24" will fit nicely. The tank will not be accessible from the back or sides once set up.

 

Let the thread begin!!!

 

Regards,

Emperor1

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Have you talked with Envision? he custom builds acrylic tanks. The work is highly regarded and the construction is awesome. I don't like acrylic (too easy to scratch and I am clumsy), but his tanks are NICE!!!

 

I would go with the Starphire glass (not sapphire) on at least one side. It looks so much better.

 

Good luck. Post more specific questions if you want specific answers. Most on here will answer questions, but not tell you what to do otherwise.

 

dsoz

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More specific ideas for this tank would help a lot of people on this site. Everybody is really helpful. Think about what kind of corals you want in the tank? Small polyp stony, soft corals, large polyp stony, any anemones? What kind of fish do you want in the tank? These answers will help people give you suggestions on lighting, filtration, and tank size. Sounds like you like to research. Look further into corals and fish. Decide what you would like in the tank. Also let everybody know what kind of budget you are running this project on? Looking to spend a few thousand or spend a maximum thousand bucks? You can spend a lot of money real quick in this hobby or wait around to see if some deals pop up in the classified ads. Also, nothing is ever definite in this hobby no matter how much research you do. Fish decide kill each other that should get along, Skimmers decide to freak out and overflow for no good reason, anemones decide to go down overflows that seem to be well covered. A lot of people will have different opinions of what is right and what is wrong. Read their suggestions and decide what works best for you. Then post the results so another person can follow in your foot steps or avoid what didn't work for you. I'm sure everybody looks forward to seeing your ideas for the build.

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so I've read that the low iron in the "Starphire" glass causes the glass to be softer, in turn causing it to pit or scratch easier then regular glass. Does this make it on the same level as acrylic?

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Not quite the same level as acrylic, but it is easier to scratch than regular glass. My old business partner builds the best stands in town, no question, so if you need his number, let me know or check out his forum here...Davy Jones Locker. And he is close to you. He lives in Troutdale.

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Not quite the same level as acrylic' date=' but it is easier to scratch than regular glass. My old business partner builds the best stands in town, no question, so if you need his number, let me know or check out his forum here...Davy Jones Locker. And he is close to you. He lives in Troutdale.[/quote']

 

There ya go. Marineland cube w/ starfire, Davey Jones stand.

 

Have no idea how you can keep it a secret. My wife knows when i pick my nose.

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There ya go. Marineland cube w/ starfire, Davey Jones stand.

 

Have no idea how you can keep it a secret. My wife knows when i pick my nose.

 

Thanks Algea. I found these guys, glasscages.com. Anyone have experience with these guys?

 

My wife knows just as much, but a planned trip in December, got me thinking to put this plan in motion.

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I have heard good and bad about them. Shipping can be really expensive depending on what tank you get. I just had a custom 60x30x24 tank built and it was cheaper to have Envision acrylics build it. There are a lot of local builders that can make you a tank but most of them do acrylic.

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I have heard good and bad about them. Shipping can be really expensive depending on what tank you get. I just had a custom 60x30x24 tank built and it was cheaper to have Envision acrylics build it. There are a lot of local builders that can make you a tank but most of them do acrylic.

 

 

Envision is an interesting option. Right in Beaverton, where i can pick it up. I will give them a call as well.

 

Great info, thanks everyone!!!

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I have a glass cages tank. I love the starfire glass tanks. Their work is strong, but sloppy. You get what you pay for. When I ordered they were making a delivery to the NW so I paid very little for shipping. Tank is 70X36X25.

 

Ken

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just keep in mind... the contents of a tank define your work, not the tank or furnishings... do not be afraid to go cheap here or there, retrofit your lighting,etc. as far as used tanks, etc. check out hollywood. they have lots of tanks, and they do a lot of custom orders.

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I would never recommend going "cheap" here or there personally. You will just regret it later on as many of us can agree I'm sure. But do look for good deals on used equipment, and DIY whatever you can if you have the ability to do it right and still save money.

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I recommend James at Envision for the tank, I was in the same boat you are in regards to acrylic v glass, swore I would never do an acrylic tank yadda yadda....Then I talked to someone whos opinion I value and after looking things over, James at Envision is going to be the builder of our big tank for sure....The same with Dave at Davey Jones Locker on stands, his stuff is first rate and top notch....and last but not least, I highly recommend Eddie at Ed's Reef for the sump, his sumps are awesome and he is very reasonable pricewise, and is just an all around awesome guy.

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So far, we've got a few for Envision (tank) and a couple for Davey Jones Locker. This is great!!! I might change my mind as well jgf86123. :)

 

Thanks JGF86123 for the sump suggestion. I went by there on Friday, but closed. I will definitely go back though.

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If you check out my thread (Finch's sps envision) in the tank build forum you will see the sump he made me. Also I have a few shots of the tank that James built.

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If you check out my thread (Finch's sps envision) in the tank build forum you will see the sump he made me. Also I have a few shots of the tank that James built.

 

 

Thanks for sending me to your thread. The tank is clean looking and the sump looks like it could be on display as well, but really like the detail work on the stand. Why didn't you have James drill the holes in the tank and what are all the divisions in the sump for?

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if the tank is going on the second floor, glass is about twice as heavy as acrylic. unless you know the floor was built for the extra weight, acrlyic would be the better choice. unless you would not mind putting a beam under the tank.

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Thanks for sending me to your thread. The tank is clean looking and the sump looks like it could be on display as well' date=' but really like the detail work on the stand. Why didn't you have James drill the holes in the tank and what are all the divisions in the sump for?[/quote']

 

I didn't have James drill because it cost more and I was confident in doing it myself. It was not a big deal to drill the holes at all if you already have the tools. The sump is divided to different water levels and for bubble traps. The first section is two filter socks and the skimmer, second section is an open area for a fuge or equipment and then the last section is the area for the pump and ATO switch.

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Emperor 1-

First off "WELCOME"!

 

Secondly you cannot go wrong with having James build you a tank. He is nationally known and has built tanks for public aquariums.

 

Don't confuse "cheap" with "cheaper". You can find use equipment when it comes to lighting and maybe some equipment. Which will help on the budget. So check the classifieds!

 

Good Luck on your "build" and keep us in the loop! Good to have you here!

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if the tank is going on the second floor' date=' glass is about twice as heavy as acrylic. unless you know the floor was built for the extra weight, acrlyic would be the better choice. unless you would not mind putting a beam under the tank.[/quote']

 

Good question, so i pulled up the carpet and to my surprise it is cement board on top of 3 2x12's 16" spacing that will run perpendicular to the tank. My current configuration is a 150g tank + 50g sump, puts me at around 1669lbs + all other misc material/equipment, i could be at 2000lbs. Will this still work?

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I didn't have James drill because it cost more and I was confident in doing it myself. It was not a big deal to drill the holes at all if you already have the tools. The sump is divided to different water levels and for bubble traps. The first section is two filter socks and the skimmer' date=' second section is an open area for a fuge or equipment and then the last section is the area for the pump and ATO switch.[/quote']

 

Cool, i see a lot of tanks with a fuge in the sump and am thinking to do the same. What's an ATO switch?

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Emperor 1-

First off "WELCOME"!

 

Secondly you cannot go wrong with having James build you a tank. He is nationally known and has built tanks for public aquariums.

 

Don't confuse "cheap" with "cheaper". You can find use equipment when it comes to lighting and maybe some equipment. Which will help on the budget. So check the classifieds!

 

Good Luck on your "build" and keep us in the loop! Good to have you here!

 

Thanks Michael!!!!

 

I'm thinking, if I like it and hear a bunch of positives reviews about it in here, I can't go wrong, though I know nothing's perfect. I really want to buy new instead of used. I've bought used in the past with no issues, but now I have the $$$, i can go new.

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