Planning a new 5000L tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Mainstay, 8 Feb 2010.

  1. Mainstay

    Mainstay

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    Hi,

    I am planing a new reef tank, and hope to get some great advice so i don't make a big mess. :(

    The dimensions are 3300mm x 1500mm x 1100.

    2 Glass windows. front 3215mm x 1125mm , left hand side, 1608mm x 1125mm, both 38.34mm low iron clear glass.

    Other 2 sides as well as bottom are marine plywood, all sealed in black fiber glass.

    All to be build inside a equal angle frame. 80mm x 10mm.
    Stand is also steel, 100x50mm tubing frame.

    Been planning a reef tank for the last 3 years, build a big lapa just to house it. at that time i was going to be a 20 000L tank. Wife stopped me just as I wanted to order the glass. Now I have her blessing but only for a smaller one. :)

    Use to have a avr 600L fresh water tank, and a large koi pond. still got the koi. :)

    So any advice would be greatly appreciated before I order the glass and steel this week.
     
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  3. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    First off all get hold off idol marine, best tank builders that we have in sa.

    and then i think your tank is way too deep, it will give you difficoulty cleaning. And be prepared for major costs
     
  4. robvdv

    robvdv

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    Sounds cool. I'd compare costs of fiberglass and marine ply to all glass. For me the small saving wasn't worth the extra risk/complexity. I'd go glass all the way.

    1.1m depth is workable as long as you can get your whole body over it and you're prepared to get wet. If you have it in a Lapa, try really hard to use natural light with actinics. Will save you a bundle but you'll still get the nice evening viewing.

    Try Google Sketchup for designing the tank: http://sketchup.google.com/ It really helps with planning.

    Good luck :)
     
  5. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    The tank will have like a walkway, on top of it, where i can lay on my big tummy and some a bit of snorkeling. 1.1 would be max, with dump buckets the water level should be around 1000mm to 1050mm.

    The glass cost makes it a bit expensive to do a full glass tank. The glass works out to about R2500 sqm. There is about 15.7sqm of floor and walls, doing the back and bottom with fiberglass saves allot of money.

    I am removing the roof, and replacing it with a clear polycarbonate sheets, this will save Eskom from having to build a power station just for me. lol..

    Busy playing with schetchup, and hope to have a drawing up soon. :)



    [​IMG]
     
  6. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    Why not make the back and the sides you want to make from fibreglass from concrete, it could just save you if there is some day a problem with that wood
     
  7. robvdv

    robvdv

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    You can use cheaper glass (non low-iron) on the non viewing panes. You might want to consider epoxy instead of fiberglass.

    Be careful about using polycarbonate. It blocks almost all UV and some blue light and also yellows with age quite quickly. Glass flush glazed onto galvanised steel or strong aluminium is best if you can afford it. Alternatively you can try acrylic flush glazed onto a lighter aluminium. Just avoid the Polycarb if you can.

    If you're going to go polycarbonate regardless, then use twinwall polycarb. It helps with insulation.
     
  8. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    Acording to the manufacture MODEK. The clear sheets has the following spec.
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]VISIBLE SPECTRUM (380 nm - 700 nm)
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Light Transmission[/FONT] 90%[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    Light Reflectance
    [/FONT] 13%

    And acrylic
    VISIBLE (380nm–780nm)
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Light Transmission[/FONT] 93%[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Light Reflectance[/FONT] 8%

    They seem to be preforming almost the same.

    I was planing on using fiberglass as a base to seal the tank and then epoxy as a top coat.

    First drawing is almost complete, well tank frame at least.

    Reason i don't use concrete, the boss(wife) If we one day move, i must be able to remove the tank.
     
  9. robvdv

    robvdv

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    Yeah, it's just that the 10% it blocks out is at the bluer end. From Wikipedia:

    "Also, polycarbonate is almost completely transparent throughout the entire visible region until 400 nm, blocking UV light."

    The yellowing is also an issue. My polycarbonate lenses got noticeably yellower over time.
     
  10. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    Thanks, will go with acrylic then. sunroof will be 5mx4m.
    should let allot of sun in.
     
  11. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    This is what i had in mind for the tank. Will do stand next.[​IMG]
     
  12. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    This is the back, to show the plywood.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Renannchen

    Renannchen

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  14. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    Thanks, this is where i got the idea of a frame, and to use plywood.
    Just using a steel frame instead of wood.
    the steel frame should be stronger and less bulky.
     
  15. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Mainstay,

    just a thought, if you dropped the water height to 70cm it changes the costs completely and that huge steel skeleton is no longer required.....
     
  16. robvdv

    robvdv

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    That's huge :) Perversely you might find yourself having to shade it part of the year. I use blue 50% shade net in my greenhouse, which casts a nice light into the water.

    Those big braces over the top are hectic. You might be able to get rid of them by beefing up the angle iron at the edges. This would give you much better access.
     
  17. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    I agree Rob - those top metal braces might end up rusting in any case (even if they are galvanised).
     
  18. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    Those are for me, so i can walk on top of the tank. I just could not draw in the expanded metal that should be on top of the 2 braces.

    Problem with the roof is, the pitch is 45deg, so actual floor size is just 3.5x4m. Did think i would need to use a filter during the summer months. Maybe filter out the yellow?
     
  19. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    Hi Neil,

    I know, but if i could i would make it even deeper. Would be able to do some nice cliffs.
     
  20. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    Hope sealing all the steel in an epoxy would save it from rust. Still looking for the best polyester resins, or epoxy.
     
  21. Mainstay

    Mainstay Thread Starter

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    The Stand. Not completed yet.
    [​IMG]
     
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