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How big can I go???

Discussion in 'General Reefkeeping Discussion' started by ianryd, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. ianryd

    ianryd Copepod

    I'm seriously considering an upgrade from a 75 to something much bigger. Let's say 300-500 gal. mixed reef with refugium sump. I have up to 7 ft long, 7 ft tall (wall height), and up to 29" deep to work with (more if I remove my door frame to the room). The room is in the basement so weight is not an issue. I have sufficient electrical. My only constraint is that I don't have space for a fish room, so I want to run everything under the tank in the stand. Water station is in the room adjacent. I currently use a brute can to make water and schlep it back and forth. I don't mind doing this, but bigger tank means bigger water changes. I could possibly build water storage in my laundry area or outside so I could have more water on hand.

    My current tank is a 75 with a fuge and everything I need is inside the stand. I run 2 part, a skimmer and an ATO. I'd like to keep this bigger setup simple as well. So, without remodeling my entire basement......how big do you think I can go?
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  2. halmus

    halmus Sardine Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    A fish room isn’t a requirement on bigger tanks. Just a nice convenience. I would prefer to never have to climb under a tank again in my life. But, we have to work with what we’ve got. (Says the guy with a room). Check out the display at Aquatic Art. Beautiful big system with a conventional sump.

    Just an idea but could you go wider on the tank front-to-back and just bring the aquarium in on its side? If space allows. But the stand might have to be built in place.

    Other than that, you’re going to have to consider what skimmer you might use and its dimensions. That height is going to be a big constraint to work around. The stand will need to be tall enough to service the skimmer. Then, think about how much room you’ll need between the tank and the ceiling for lights and just servicing the tank. That should tell you how tall the aquarium can possibly be. Might be tight.

    I would also plan on having access to as much of the sump area as possible. If you’re wrapping the stand, consider doors on 3 sides.
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  3. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    The Marineland 300g deep dimension is 72x36x27. If you have a 7 foot space to work with, this would leave you about 6 inches on either side....might be a tight squeeze for maintenance?
  4. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Ya, 300g would go great in that space I think. Leaves enough space to the side you could put a cabinet of some sort to house all the external equipment, like controller, dosing pumps, ato ect...
  5. ianryd

    ianryd Copepod

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Gives me some stuff to think about. To be clear, the wall its going on is about 20 ft long, so there will be plenty of room to get to the sides. The stairwell it has to come down has a 90 degree corner with a ceiling height of just over 7 ft where the tank will have to be stood on end to turn. Thats where my 7 foot length came from.

    That marineland 300 looks pretty sweet. I may tape off those dimensions in the room and make sure it wont be too gigantic!

    I know its not going to happen overnight and I have lots of thinking and research ahead of me, but I'm glad to know that a bigger tank is a possibility for me!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using MASC mobile app
    TheRealChrisBrown, halmus and SynDen like this.
  6. halmus

    halmus Sardine Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    Might be worth putting together a cardboard aquarium with the dimensions you’re considering and take it for a test run down the stairs.

    I know someone (me) that had to remove his entire front door down to the studs just to get the aquarium inside. They offered to upsize the custom aquarium at no cost. I failed to check those new dimensions until I had committed to the tank. Lesson learned.
  7. SeaMonkey

    SeaMonkey Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thats some good advice halmus. I would suggest using pvc pipes and fittings though instead of cardboard.
    halmus and ianryd like this.
  8. ianryd

    ianryd Copepod

    Get out of my head! Lol I had that idea this morning as I was looking at my staircase. Kinda like how hot rod builders use a plastic engine to mock things up before the real thing.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using MASC mobile app
  9. aztecdreams

    aztecdreams Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Yea make sure the tank can make every corner/ doorway on its journey. I picked up a really nice 370 bow front that I couldn’t get into my house or down my stairs. Ended up having to sell it. [​IMG]

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    MuralReef and ianryd like this.
  10. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Regarding the skimmer, you could make the sump longer than the display since you have a whole wall to work with. That way you could have a panel on one (or both) side that comes off so that you could have a taller skimmer without being forced to work around the stand height. Makes sense in my head at least..
    ianryd likes this.
  11. MuralReef

    MuralReef Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. MASC Vice-President

    Or you can go with an external skimmer and have it in a tall cabinet adjacent to the tank.
    ianryd likes this.
  12. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would recommend a wood sled to get it down the stairs. When I put the 390 in it was a lifesaver.

    Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
    scmountain and ianryd like this.
  13. scmountain

    scmountain Amphipod

    Arm length!!!
    the only reason my system works with "very tight" access is that I have them 6'3" go-go-gadget arms to reach the bottom of my tank.
    @halmus has a good point that Aquatic art has a beautiful giant display on a traditional sump setup. (Jacob should be banned from calling his setup just a "fish room" hahaha)

    not sure what other spaces are near/ available but with a strong enough pump you can have your sump/fish room rather far away.
    @Andrew_bram has over 15' of head height IIRC and over 20' of "run"

    I made an insulated tunnel and plumbed to an insulated "fish-shed."

    there used to be an ad on denver craigslist for a "trickle tower," 4' x 1' x 1' could add something similar to the side of the tank to increase filtration and like most have said, a skimmer on the side too.

    @aztecdreams THAT TANK is amazing! I need to find one now.....
    ianryd likes this.

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