Tank from skratch

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Kevinfish, 8 Jan 2008.

  1. Kevinfish


    Posts: 13
    5 Nov 2007
    Likes Received:

    Hi Guys

    I have decided to build my own tank!!!

    All the info that I have come across is a bit unclear when it comes to ceratin important things.

    To start of I want to build a 1500x700x600 reef tank.

    How far below the top of the tank should the weir be ?
    Can I place the weir in the middle (back) of the tank ?
    Is it better to drain the weir from the bottom of the tank or out the back ?
    How big should the weir be in relation to the tank size ?
    How big should I make the sump? I no bigger is better but it must fit under the tank along with everything els.

    Thats all I can think of for now, if any one can think of other things that I must be carfull of please let me know.

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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Posts: 17,868
    29 May 2007
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    Cape Town

    Hi Kevin - I will try and answer a few of your questions. You can also have a look at the "Handy Links" thread which Hennie started.....
    Handy links - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    OK - here goes:
    1) Weir: depends on where you want your water-level - I think that this is personal choice - some people want the water-level right at the top of the tank, just below the braces...... You must remember that you should leave about 1cm or 1.5cm for the surface skimming area to skimm off surface water
    2) Yes - you may place the weir anywhere you want to - just keep in mind that you will have to drill the tank either in the back panel, or bottom panel (durso stand-pipe design) - also, you will require 3 glass panels to make up the weir, instead of only 2 panels if the weir was placed in a corner
    3) Your own choice - I think personally that a durso-stand-pipe design is better, in which case you want to drill a hole in the bottom panel of the tank for the durso's bulk-head fitting
    4) The weir size as such is not too important - it is the amount of water being delivered into the weir that makes a difference, and whether surface water is being caught into the weir..... And how noisy the weir will be....
    ie. some people use only stand-pipes for their down-pipe - which only has a 25 or 32mm opening - other people use a C2C design (a weir "entrance" that runs along the whole length of the tank to allow as much surface skimming as possible
    5) You gave yourself the amswer - the sump should be as big as possible, BUT still be able to fit below the tank......
    3 compartment sumps seems to be the best, where the 1st compartment contains the down-pipe from the weir, and the skimmer, the 2nd compartment (should be the biggest) contain the DSB/refugium/algae scrubber, and the last compartment contain the return pump/heater/auto-topup/kalk-wasser/phosphate reactor/etc....

    Anyone else are welcome to amend my answer and add / change it....
    viper357 likes this.
  4. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

    Posts: 4,576
    7 May 2007
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    In the Koeberg blast radius

    My overflow is 35mm below the top of the tank.

    Why middle back, that would involve some skillfull cutting if it is what I am thing.
    what about the whole back as a coast to coast overflow
    Not sure exactly what you mean, but you want surface skimming, hence drain over a pane of glass into a overflow chamber with a durso standpipe in
    Big enough to hold the dursos
    Same size as your tank if you can depending what extra equipment you might want to add outside the sump

  5. Zookeeper


    Posts: 465
    1 Aug 2007
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    Cape Town

    Give some thought to the construction of the overflow weir,be sure that you will be able to get your pipe fittings inside.The guy that build my tank made the glass brace a bit to wide and kind of blocked the top of the weir.
  6. palmerc


    Posts: 642
    12 May 2007
    Likes Received:
    Edenvale, Johannesburg

    Just make sure that it is big enough for you to put your hand all the way to the bottom to fish out things that may fall in. take into accoutn space taken up by dursos if you use them.

    This is also a point to consider if you go with a central overflow. you need to ensure you can access it, so I would not go this route if the back is inaccessible.
  7. SIMS


    Posts: 3,008
    6 May 2007
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    1. Go Wider and 2. Have your dorso pipes external. JMO
  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

    Posts: 2,899
    15 May 2007
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    A picture paints a 1000 words, and I'm lazy, so here goes...


    The simplest way to make an external weir is to have one of the panels (back or side (as in my case...) cut approximately 30mm lower than the other panels - you then build the box around the outside (size is not critical, but bigger is always better...) and glue two short pieces of 30mm high glass into the outside edges, thus forcing the water into the outside box.

    In this configuration it's the easiest to take the downpipes from the bottom of the box.


  9. KevinW


    Posts: 342
    6 May 2007
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    I would agree with Hennie but what I have done is made the overflow bob about 40mm deep - just enough so that you can fit the durso overflow heads into teh overflow box and still have proper flow. Found that this sorts out a lot of noise and access problems (both inside the overflow and to the plumbing underneath the overflow box).
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