Cube vs. normal tank design

Discussion in 'Anything DIY Related' started by Furbz, 16 Jul 2009.

  1. Furbz

    Furbz

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    hi guys.

    what are the pro's and cons of of cube vs. a standard marine tank setup (rectangle)

    think this would be interesting for ppl thinking of designing and building a tank, but is unsure as to which design is better!

    go for it! all ideas welcome! :thumbup:
     
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  3. Annoying

    Annoying

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    For me :

    Cube pro's:
    Can build a nice reef because of the width
    Looks sleak and profesional
    You get a nice feeling of depth

    Cube cons:
    Not nice swimming space for fish like tangs
    If you have a big cube it is normally high so you need strong lighting


    Rectangular pro's:
    You get a long tank that you can play more with the reefskaping
    Tangs and other swimmers look great in it and prefer such a tank

    Rectangular cons:
    Looks slugish when it's to long
    You have to be careful because most rectangular tanks don't have much depth so if you build youre rocks to close they look like they were packed against the glass when you fill it with water

    This is just my opinions of the tank. I would prefer the rectangle because a PB tang is my favourite fish:lol:
     
  4. Matt

    Matt MASA Contributor

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    Depends entirely on the livestock you're wanting to keep - as Annoying has said ;)

    I personally prefer CUBE designed tanks - that way you can have a central island of live rock to work with - looks natural and less cramped often than the "wall of live rock" type of scaping lots of people end up with in their rectangular tanks.

    In terms of lighting, I would build a shallow cube (not quite square) - that way you could go MUCH wider and deeper whilst keeping lower wattage MH (250W??).

    The size of cube I would like would be 1000 length x1000 breadth x600 height. Still a good size for fish who like to swim and would be AWESOME to scape ;)
     
  5. Tony

    Tony

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    I'm with the guys on this one. Weigh up your options and then you can decide what you want to do
     
  6. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Oooh, and have I not done this homework this couple of weeks that passed to decide what the hell I am going to do with my tank.

    Choosing cube vs rectangular boils down to one MAJOR thing... location location location!!! ;)

    If you have a smaller space against a wall in the house, where you will be able to sit the tank in the middle of the room, and have space away from the wall, then NOTHING looks as good as a cube!!! :biggrin: The major advantage of a cube is that you can ultimately have three scaping scenes in one tank, as you have three viewing angles.

    If you have a corner that needs filling, then I guess a rectangular tank would do, or if you have a huge wall to close.

    Another pro on the cube, is that good water movement is much easier (thus much cheaper) to acclomplish, due to the fact that the water travels over shorter areas. Water traveling i.e 650mm vs a 1.8m tank where the water will loose MUCH of it's rate over such a long distance, thus having to have bigger, stronger and more numbers of powerheads, CLS outlets etc.

    Cubes also need just one overflow, that will do a great job at surface skimming, whereas very large tanks sometimes gather a lot of dirt on one side, as the overflow is so far away to the other side.

    Cubes have a smaller surface area, so you can have i.e one 250W MH in a 600x600x600 cube, where you must have at least two 150W MH's over a longer rectangular tank. Also in a cube of that size, 24W T5's will serve for the actinic need, where rectangular tanks need longer lights i.e 54W or 80W, which cost more.

    BUT...:whistling:

    As mentioned above, cubes does limit you to swimming space for certain fish though. A rectangular tank also just looks better agains a large wall, if the space is there. Rectangular tanks also leaves much more space below the cabinet / tank for the sump, refuge, reactors etc. Remember that a cube of 600x600x600 has a volume of 300 litres for example. A rectangular tank of 1.2x450x450 also has that volume for example. But, to get the right size DSB, refuge, skimmer space, reactors etc below that cube, will be impossible, as you only have 600x600 to play with...:p

    So it boils down to this, what space have you got available in the room, and how would a small cube look in a huge hall vs. a rectangular tank. Do you have a smaller "backroom" that can be used as an engine room etc...?
    :wave2:
     
  7. keyaam

    keyaam

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  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    See my point? In that room there just isn't any space for a huge tank, thus the cube makes a hellova job there!!!

    Very healthy looking tank, but a little bit short on fish. I only see one clown? :p I'd add about 5 more fish in there, of similar size.
     
  9. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Well you have gotten excellent advice from the guys...the choice is yours to make...
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    A Cube design is a lot more limiting and crammed in respect to lightning and the sump area.

    Lights, 800mm cube, max 24w T5 units, Else single Metal Halide.
    Long tanks, a lot more options, longer T5's or multiple MH and combo's

    Sump. limits with 3 chamber sump design. The DSB must be as big as possible, so it does not give a lot of space to put skimmer compartment and return compartments.

    Also if you do not want any pumps in the cube, the water flow from back to front must be sufficient to prevent dead spots in the two corners. All flow will be directed from the back forward.

    But it all comes down to your space. I only got place for a cube, so that is what I'm designing, and know all the design problems...
     
  11. Matt

    Matt MASA Contributor

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    Nothing beats this kind of thing for asthetics:

    [​IMG]
    Pic courtesy of Reefcentral.com
     
  12. dendrosa

    dendrosa Member

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    For me the only reason for going for a cube is if you can view it from all four sides. If one side of the tank has to be against a wall, I prefer a rectangle and setting it up peninsula style ie short side against the wall and viewable from three sides
     
  13. Jaak

    Jaak

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    I wouldn't be able to chose as I like both... Good Luck.
     
  14. Furbz

    Furbz Thread Starter

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    @ RiaanP

    i am currently designing a 800 x 800 x 600 cube
    if you could share your ideas and designs with me here it will be much appreciated!!

    i currently have this in my head.

    800 x 800 x 600 high cube.
    wier overflow located at the back middle of the tank.
    return pipes from the sump will come up thru the wier and be distributed close to the bottom.
    a 1 way valve will prevent syphoning from occuring if the electricity cuts.
    the sump will be the std 3 compartment design, with baffel boards inbetween the first and second chamber.

    the first chamber will house the skimmer, heater, pump for my carbon-pho reactor (sits outside the sump, but within the cabinet) i will also keep a bag of purigen in this compartment.

    the second chamber will have the DSB. and chaeto to grow. lighting for this will be 50W halogen globes. (used in the past and work like a bomb!)

    the third chamber will house the return pump and a pump to my chiller. (these pipes will exit the cabinet near the bottom and run to the chiller. they will be the only pipe that will be external to the setup.

    there will be a 4th chamber running the length of the sump to act as a reservoir for fresh RO water for the top up.

    none of my piping will leave or run on the outside of the tank.

    i plan for my stand to be 700 high. with a wooden cabinent surrounding the tank.
    i will cut a hole into the cabinet and install a PC fan to help prevent moisture from building up.

    the lighting i am still looking into. but ideas are it will be supported by a stand that runs behind the wier overflow making it 'invisible'.
    my roof is to high to have a pedant hanging on wires.
    i was thinking of maybe having this stand connected to my metal stand in order for neatness. maybe install or make it possible for the lighting fixture to swing out of the way or be raised.

    the top will remain as open glass. would love to go rimless but i think the costs are to great for this.

    the wiring will all be located in the cabinet at the top. away from water. i will only have one cable running into the tank to supply power. from this. the lights pumps etc will be powered.


    if anyone sees any design flaws or has any better ideas, please i would love to hear them!! :wave2::wave2::wave2:
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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  16. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    If the cabinate was high enough couldn't you use two 800 x 800 x 250 tanks below the main tank. So the main tank would overflow into the first top sump tank, where it would then overflow into the tank below it and then finally get returned into the main tank. This way the first tank could hold all the equipment (Skimmer, heater etc.) and it would then overflow into the second sump which would have a dsb and the return pump. This way you can still have a big dsb... So you would essentially have three tanks stacked on top of each other. Also if you have seen Idol Marines nano cube, it is at eye level, I think it looks so much better than leaning down to look into the tank...
     
  17. marine101

    marine101

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    Cubes are awesome but i prefer the peninsular rectangle tank. Im thinking of a 1.2 meter cube thats 600 high for next year. Just not sure how practical it will b
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Sorry Manic, Skimmer is TOO HIGH. will not work.
    50 sump stand plank and polystyrene, 250 bottom tank, plus 200 gap to get your hands in, then another 500 for skimmer, plus 100 gap to get the cup off, gives me a sump height at least 1.1M sump height space. Not nice if you want to sit in your lounge watching the tank.
    Add another 50 for tank stand and 50 for plank and polystyrene. Then tank height of 600. Then tank rim will be 1.8m

    Maybe on a lot smaller tanks, but 2 tanks of 800*800 will be a bitch to work in if you can not reach inside.
     
  19. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Why no corals on the reef ?
     
  20. Stressed Eric

    Stressed Eric

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    Why not just increase the height of the main display tank to accomodate a dsb in there, you could lower the stand slightly and clad the bottom 100-150mm with something to hide the sand and nobody would ever know it was there . . . Then the engine room would have plenty of space for toys . . .
     
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