Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A tank is born!

Plumbing the tank
After many years, my dream tank is finally underway. I put down a hefty deposit for a custom tank and stand from the folks at My Reef Creations (via Southeast Aquariums), and can hardly wait to start building.

The design is not completely final, but the tank will be a low-iron glass / PVC hybrid tank measuring 72 inches long, 40 inches tall, and somewhere between 30 and 33 inches deep (i.e., front-to-back). The final dimensions remain in flux until MRC can work out how deep the tank can be without increasing the size of the glass panes from which it will be cut. Between 30 and 33 inches should put the volume of the tank in the neighborhood of 375 to 410 gallons. With the planned 75 gallon sump, and backing out the volume of rock, sand and equipment, the working volume of the tank should be somewhere between 300 and 350 gallons.

The oversize overflow
The tank will include a large internal overflow to accommodate the plumbing necessary for a "BeanAnimal" overflow with dual returns (i.e., five 1.5" bulkheads), a hidden closed-loop system (four more 1.5" bulkheads for an intake and a return line, and four 1.0" inch bulkheads for the various output lines) and a dry raceway to carry electrical power and signals to the canopy (one more 1.5" bulkhead). This design was driven by my desire to have the tank rest flush against a wall in our home office, with unobstructed viewing panels (of low-iron glass) on all three visible sides.

There's still a little design work left to do on the tank. The design for the top bracing of the tank is still wide open (but largely unconstrained, since it will be concealed by an enclosed canopy, and screened to keep the jumping wrasses in. Also, the placement of the closed loop output bulkheads is not set in stone, although I'm not sure how I'll know if I've gotten them right until it's too late to make changes. Hopefully, MRC and Southeast Aquariums can sort these remaining challenges out soon - visiting Diver's Den with nowhere to put the fish and frags is an exercise in unbearably-delayed gratification.