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Ocean By Design custom tanks

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So it’s been awhile since this topic has come up, so I feel it’s time to clear the air about OBD. 

About three years ago I enlisted them to build my new tank. The tank was 60x30x24 and all starfire! Throughout the build process I was in constant communication with Mike, owner of OBD. The one thing that got over looked was the stand. While we did discuss I was building my own stand, it was lost in translation that I was building the base out of modular lumber (2x4) construction. Mike assumed it was plywood construction. As you can see there is a 3/4” difference in thickness here. So as Mike is busy doing his thing, ordering glass and building tank, I am building the new stand!! 

Fadt forward, before tank is done Mike and I are talking and it was learned I built out of 2x4 construction, he ordered glass with bulkhead holes drilled for 3/4” plywood thus now making a major dilemma; not enough clearance to put nuts on underside of bulkheads.

$@&)(....   I panic and start thing how much money and time I invested and not willing to scrap tank. So I talk with Mike and decided to open the rear of the stand (box out) and leave voids in rear wall of stand to access bulkhead nuts!! Problem solved! The thought was to just use 2x4 or metal braces to support rear corners where I cut out!!  The stand was very well supported!!

Tank arrives and voilla looks beautiful and fits perfectly on my custom stand. Get it all hooked up and running like a dream!! Then as fate would have it, I go to Hawaii and the day I return, break my leg. I return from ER visit and discover water all over the fish room floor! As you can imagine I am not able to do much, leg in boot and on crutches. I discover rear corner vertical seem split and euro bracing separated from tank! Luckily a few of my reefer friends, Stylaster, Jorge, Gumby, Danik and Jeff sprung into action, removed all my livestock and emptied tank! This all took place within an hour of my call!!

OBD steps up to plate and tells me don’t worry they will take care of it, meaning my tank. Months go by and just like he said, Mike built a new tank, had it delivered, removed old one and put new one on stand . It was actually the owner of Crystal Reef (Julian) who drove down and did the removal and set up. 

So what is the moral of this story? Well, it was originally thought the silicone they had changed to have out and cause the tank to fail. When Julian removed old tank he discovered something he felt caused the issue....foam! Or lack there of. When I boxed the stand out for corner overflows I also left the foam out in the corners (a 6”x6”) square on both corners. 

The old tank was returned the shop and taken apart. Mike found silicone on both sides of the seams indicating it was not an adhesion issue, but shear amount of pressure on the seam from lack of EVEN support where I had left the foam out. I refused to believe that was the issue and felt they were just trying to move the blame back to me. After all, I was hearing through the reef community that several of their tanks were failing, so how could it be my fault!

At the end of the day, OBD AND Crystal Reefs replaced my tank, delivered it from Bellingham and stood behibd their product. So who’s fault is this? I would say the large majority lands on my plate for not supporting the tank with a full sheet of foam but I do fault them slightly for lack of communication in stand construction which I turn made me come up with a FIX as scrapping the stand was not an option. Moving forward I think communication is key and solves many issues. Talk a lot and talk often when building your new tank! 

Fast forward again to today. I have complete trust and faith in Mike’s tank builds and Julian’s business ethics. They are currently building my new tank for the new house and will continue to be the guys I use for my tanks for personal and business use. Not only do they give you a beautiful tank, great prices, lots of options, they have integrity and stand behind their product 100%. So if anyone has reservations about their tanks I hope this post eases your mind. Reef on!


In closing, if you have questions or comments I am glad to answer but please be respectful. 


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