Achilles and the Life Aquatic

Discussion in 'Supersized Tanks' started by Achilles, 22 Oct 2009.

  1. Achilles

    Achilles

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    The big blue and all its magnificent creatures are my inspiration and passion.
    From an early age I began to explore the wonders of our Planet’s diverse aquatic life and ecosystems. I have been an Aquarist for around 25 years and am constantly learning so many new and wonderful things about life in our oceans and rivers. This planet should have been called water not earth anyway!
    This current thread will show you my latest endeavour……a slightly different take on a reef aquarium.
    The Aquarium is 3 m (L) X 2m (W() X 1 m (H) and holds approximately 5000 litres of water and was the replacement for my old aquarium, which was the same volume but significantly different in shape and design.
    The aquarium is concrete , fiberglass and one viewing pane made of low iron glass. My previous aquarium was also concrete and fiberglass and this current aquarium will be my third that I have built this way over the years.
    The pictures are not always great quality, because they were taken with a cellphone and low resolution cameras, but you will get the idea .
    The Aquarium is built in an outside room . I drew up plans of where it was to be located and had to do substantial reinforcing as it was located above my garage and its total weight was going to be around 15 tons when complete with water.
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    The front part where the aquarium front and supports are.
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    The back of the Aquarium and the engine room for it. I had limited space so I had to use what I had and it wasn’t optimal.
     
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  3. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    After demolishing some walls. We made the skeleton from galvanized steel and constructed the concrete shuttering.
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  4. Brandon WJ

    Brandon WJ

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    very cool.
    Are you still building the tank or is it completed?
     
  5. Jaak

    Jaak

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    Whoa!!!!!! That's insane Achilles! I'm absolutely green with envy!! Keep them pics coming!
     
  6. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    Next came the concrete
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    The curing process took some time then the shutters came off!
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    Then it was time to fiberglass the interior. Some piping was already installed in the shuttering and concrete moulding process.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 22 Oct 2009
  7. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    it is completed this is the build thread of how it was done, thanks for the compliments!
     
  8. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    Then the glass was fitted in - it weighed about 350kg
    [​IMG]
     
  9. crispin

    crispin

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    stunning looking build:)
     
  10. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    Once this was complete it was time for the décor and something a little different.
    I am mainly a marine fish fan and so I’m much more experienced with fishes as opposed to corals and invertebrates . My previous aquarium was mainly FOWLR with a few anemones and almost no corals, but this time I wanted to keep a diverse group of creatures in one body of water so I divided the aquarium into 3 sections with fiberglass décor. The two side compartments are to be for small fish and corals similar to coral lagoon area , while the middle section is primarily like reef drop offs and would be where my main fish collection would reside. Many of my fish have been with me for along time - some 15 years plus so I wanted to give them a great home.
    The two side compartments would have movable trap doors should I wanted to bring certain fish in or release others into the main section. These compartments would be refugiums, allowing me to keep sessile invertebrates and corals that some of fishes would undoubtedly decimate if they could get to them.
    [​IMG]
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  11. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    fantastic buddy, i get so jealous when i see a build like this.. enjoy..
     
  12. durleo

    durleo

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    Wonderful Build - Its great to learn from such an experienced person :thumbup:
     
  13. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    Then I clad the front of the aquarium with an access panel on the front and full access on the rear of the aquarium and started decorating the interior with barnacles and suitable materials. The base rock was ceramic manmade bio rock which would provide the skeleton for my live rock.
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  14. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    Then I had to fill to check for leaks anywhere

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    I added some live rock from my old aquarium which was still running as I built this one , so it started the maturation process and the first couple of months I used nsw from the research aquarium near my home in Cape Town.
    Here is a small video clip of my old fowlr aquarium with the fish, who are my pride and joy and my reason for doing all of this. I’m not a good photographer or videographer, so excuse the poor quality and shaky video, but it gives an indication of the old aquarium which while beautiful , was now already 12 years old and had numerous faults including a crack on the glass which had begun to spread, albeit slowly. It prompted me to build the new Aquarium pretty fast
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Yuri

    Yuri

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    where is the achilles tang
    What fish are you going to put in and what corals will you put in
     
  17. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    very nice !
     
  18. toppdogg

    toppdogg

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    awsome dude wish i had the space to do this
    tagging along
     
  19. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    WOW Achilles! Now THAT is something SPECIAL! Can you also please share pics of your filtration system with us? What skimmer do you have on that monster tank?
     
  20. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Absolutely stunning...Hope you are gonna post plenty pics of your system...:thumbup:
     
  21. Achilles

    Achilles Thread Starter

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    yuri , the achilles is still with me going strong for about 4 years now already,I put in all my existing fish , corals well what ever thrives i will keep, the corals in this case come secondary but i will find what works for my system

    Jacquesb, i most certainly will post pictures of my engine room and the skimmers, im always tinkering in there and it is constantly evolving to the system

    Thanks for the compliments guys!
     
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