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sphack 07-11-2012 03:38 AM

Epic 130g bow front Starphire build - 8/8 Pictures
I set off on the trail seldom travel. It will be long, no doubt bumpy, and hopefully fruitful. Many have tried; many have battle wounds they wear as badges of honor, of sleepless nights cleaning up tank catastrophes. Those who make it show off the fruits of their labors proudly.

I'm going to build my own tank.

Thankfully, I'm not going to start completely from scratch. I have come by 3 sets of starphire glass pieces that will make, when assembled, a 130 gallon, 60" bow front tank. I don't have exact dimensions yet for the glass is not in my possession for another few weeks, but I'm excited.

Hopefully, this will be fun, humorous, and successful. Only time will tell.

8/8: Added pictures of the glass:

sphack 07-11-2012 03:42 AM

place holder 1

sphack 07-11-2012 03:42 AM

place holder 2

CL 07-11-2012 05:45 AM

DIY bowfront? Now that's a first! And a big one at that.

sphack 07-11-2012 04:02 PM

For this tank, I'm not starting from scratch. Somebody else in Colorado had designed and built this tank as a marine tank. He specifically wanted a 5' tank and since nobody makes one decided to have the glass slumped for the curve front. As I understand it, the setup fee was the majority of the cost so instead of buying one set of glass, he bought 4. He built the first tank and has been running it for over 6 years as a reef tank. The other 3 sets of glass are still packaged in the shipping crates. Due to life circumstances (and a massive tank crash due to an extended power failure), he is selling everything.

I'm planning on making the trip across the mountains in about 10 days to pick up the glass, plans, Autocad drawings, primer, and whatever other pieces/jigs/research he has to hand off. I'm effectively the inheritor of a great looking tank. I'll ask permission to repost one of his pictures.

I didn't realize it, but yes, I've not seen any bow front builds posted. :) Pictures will come, I promise.

I like to build, to make things. That is one of the big aspects of fish keeping that has really appealed to me - I get to make cabinets for the base, engineer the filtration, CO2, filling/draining, lighting, timers, electical, etc. Being able to say, "Look, I made this; all of this."

sphack 08-09-2012 05:15 AM

The glass has arrived!
A week and a half ago, I made the trip across the divide to pick up the tank glass. Boy that stuff is heavy and beautiful. What is not pictured is the 60" x 12" x 30" crate containing 3 curved tank fronts!

When loading this in the truck, we used a winch to lift up the crate and the A-frame loaded with the 6 large pieces of glass.

Unloading was a different story... Every piece of glass was unloaded, stored in the garage while unloading the create and A-frame. Then each put back in their place. A few hours later, everything is nice and safe in the garage.

ua hua 08-09-2012 05:20 AM

This will be a cool and challenging project. I'm looking forward to seeing this come together.

dubels 08-09-2012 05:25 AM

Wait so you bought all three?

Obakemono 08-09-2012 09:55 AM

This is going to be interesting. Sub'ed

Silky 08-09-2012 01:55 PM

looks like it'll be alot of fun to build. I'm sure it'll be that much more rewarding knowing you built it from scratch as well. Looking forward to seeing it all put together.

RayT 08-09-2012 06:03 PM

Subscribed, this most definitely will be epic!

sphack 08-09-2012 07:15 PM


Originally Posted by dubels (Post 1972729)
Wait so you bought all three?

I initially was looking at getting one. However with transporting the glass ~250 miles, I would have needed to buy/build something to hold the glass for the trip. Talking to the seller, he really wanted to get rid of everything and talked me into buying all three. With that, I got the existing A-frame and crate. My wife really likes this hobby as well, especially the products of the work, and really likes watching the little fishies. My 3 year old daughter really wants a "yellow fish"... My cats, well, they just want fish.

So yea, I bought three sets. If I break or screw one up, oh well. If I need to get rid of some of the glass, I already have a few people locally who was interested. If the build goes well, I'll sell them as full tanks to subsidize the hobby. Who knows...

Curt_914 09-18-2012 07:50 PM

I am going to follow this as well!! Let me know on the glass as I wouldnt mind one as well!


aweeby 09-19-2012 04:24 AM

wow, this is nuts. subscribed. This reeks of epicness.

sphack 09-19-2012 04:51 AM

I've been reading a lot about sumps and drain pipes and reef tanks and planted tanks w/ wet/dry filters and and and...

So far, I'm leaning to the bean animal stand pipe solution. Many people recommend it and I like the idea of a quiet tank (I'm currently running canister). The only problem is that the tanks are already setup to have two overflows with one drain and one return each...

A coworker who is in the same boat (but with his tank up and running) brainstormed over this and we came up with a solution: turn the two overflow chambers into one. For these tanks I'm debating one big overflow and/or drilling more holes. I've also considered the long high channel overflow idea.

Here is a description on bean animal's solution:

Since the tanks are not assembled I could always get the rear glass drilled (would work great for planted as well) and get an undrilled bottom. Or drill more holes into the bottom and potentially only use one side...

Thoughts? Ideas?

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