Sorry for the long post, but I am seeking advice on set up for a 100-180 gallon freshwater tank. This will not be a planted tank, so please delete if these kinds of posts aren't allowed.
My job is building a new facility within the next 6 months. I have a 30 gallon tank sitting around at my house that I was going to put in my new office. I approached my boss to see if he was cool with that, and his response was "No, you're not going to put a 30 gallon tank in your office. What we're going to do is install a 150 gallon tank in the wall so that it can be seen in both in your office and the reception area. You just need to maintain it."
Pretty cool, right?
But a tank that size presents a number of problems for me. I've never had a tank that large before. The largest tank I have is a 55 gallon high tech planted tank. Also, the tank will need to be viewed from two sides, which means that I can't use the back of the tank to hide hoses/overflows/wires/etc.
I don't have much advice for the tank itself, but wanted to share some interpersonal advice about work tanks. I would stay away from a large central tank that is in the office reception area if it were me. Even with my little 2.5 gallon work tank there are social problems. Going through an algae or bacterial bloom? Everyone in the office comments on it and assumes you are bad at fish-keeping. Have a sick fish, that is also your fault. Everything about the tank will be your "fault" since you are in charge of it, and non-aquarists do not understand the challenges even the best kept tanks have. One particular problem I have found is that people are uncomfortable with the tank being dark during business hours, but then the longer photoperiod (about 10 hours for me) creates algae on the glass every 2-3 days that I have to scrape. I cant imagine if it were in the main reception area and was larger. Also, you will get rude comments about your choice of fish. If properly stocked, people will think the tank looks too empty. If you choose common fish or more nuanced fish, people will think that the tank is boring. At least in your office you have more control and less visibility.
What happens if you get water on the floor during a water change? Will you be expected to conduct maintenance on your own time in addition to your normal duties? What if the tank leaks? What if the heater or filter breaks, who pays? Do you trust the staff to conduct maintenance while you are on vacation? Unless you have a very good casual atmosphere at work, this sounds like trouble to me. I would want a smaller tank in my office, or would want them to hire a company to design and maintain the tank.
Moving away from my social advice:
I would not suggest drilling etc. I would insist on a tank that is pre-designed. Something like this: https://www.fishtanksdirect.com/tsun...yABEgLE4_D_BwE
I would also insist on heavy automation. Something like the Neptune Apex system, or at the very least a solid UPS and smart outlets. I would not want to screw around with the old-school timers etc. Don't skimp on components. Buy a good smart light, reliable filter, high-end heater, etc.
If this is going to be a permanent fixture in a new facility, the boss should have the plumbing set up to allow auto-water changes. Remember, the tank might be there much longer than you.
I do think a cichlid tank is a good option since the colors are some of the brightest, which is what non-aquarists tend to appreciate most. The larger size is also more impressive to non-aquarists.