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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I
After browsing several forums I decided to join Plantedtank.net to get adequate help on my project, i will try to be concise but will probably omit information I must later post. thanks in advance to all.
I´m quite new to planted aquariums having my first experience with a DIY 55 gal tank with sump, yes its been difficult and full of algae.
I want to make a 180 gallon tank that will divide the living room from the dinning room, it will measure 87 long by 24 wide by 20 high made of either 9mm or 12 mm thick glass (another thing to decide is weather to temper all sides or just the bottom and the perforated 24 by 20 side where I plan to install the input output bulkheads)
My first question is if the tank can be glued together with UV cured adhesive and use very little silicone (almost seamless) or I must use the thick bunch of silicon as adhesive and seal?
my second question is about the filter, i want to keep the tank free of cables and accessories and wonder if a canister filter my best option or should i go for a sump?
 

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You are going to need a pretty impressive system for this tank.
Might I suggest boring holes on the bottom of the tank to put PVC bulkheads on the bottom of the tank? Have the inlet and outlets be covered by driftwood or rocks in the tank. There is a thread somewhere that shows nearly the same thing going on. Another thing would be to use an Aqua ultraviolet Ultima 2 system as the filter and an external pump.
I would temper all the glass, and make it thick glass while you are at it. Thicker the better and make sure all the seams are as tight as they can be.
 

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180 gallons is going to be a difficult build for anyone who isn't a professional tank builder. Check out Scolley's "big kahuna" tank for tank building info.
 

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Hello everyone, this is my first post here. I
After browsing several forums I decided to join Plantedtank.net to get adequate help on my project, i will try to be concise but will probably omit information I must later post. thanks in advance to all.
I´m quite new to planted aquariums having my first experience with a DIY 55 gal tank with sump, yes its been difficult and full of algae.
I want to make a 180 gallon tank that will divide the living room from the dinning room, it will measure 87 long by 24 wide by 20 high made of either 9mm or 12 mm thick glass (another thing to decide is weather to temper all sides or just the bottom and the perforated 24 by 20 side where I plan to install the input output bulkheads)
My first question is if the tank can be glued together with UV cured adhesive and use very little silicone (almost seamless) or I must use the thick bunch of silicon as adhesive and seal?
my second question is about the filter, i want to keep the tank free of cables and accessories and wonder if a canister filter my best option or should i go for a sump?
I know it's not planted freshwater, but the guys at ReefCentral.com DIY section can provide some good insight regarding a build of this size. I'm quite certain that if you are talking rimless, the first advice you are going to get is thicker glass. 9mm is probably too thin even for a euro braced tank. Every rimless 180 gallon tank I have heard of had 3/4" glass (19mm).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the advice, This project will have to go slower and better thought through.
first it will be 3/4" ultraclear glass, rimless and bottom perforated indeed.
filter should be canister and was thinking of the new Eheim 3e, any thoughts?.
the third matter is which substrate is my best option for this size planted tank?
this forum has been very helpful and full of info.
 

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I personally always recommend multiple filters for big tanks, as a failsafe should one filter ever fail. Not only will multiple filter intakes and outputs help with overall flow in the tank, but it's also convenient to alternate filter cleanings.

There are many commercial plant substrates on the market, but they're going to be extremely expensive for a tank this size. Personally, I'd DIY some mineralized soil; great substrate and a tiny fraction of the total cost. See the sticky at the top of the substrate forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
My access to a standard rimless 180 is extremely expensive, i could make three and break two for the same price as i did with a 55 gallon! the whole 55 came down to the living room in the form of a tsunami, fortunately for me there is a fountain below floor level with a drain near by and the water chose that course...

I will temper the bottom after making the holes, anyway i will test the tank outdoors to avoid divorce...

regarding the filter, does a sump plus a canister make sense? i could have the best of both worlds limiting the sump to 30% capacity during the day to avoid CO2 loss, and have a constant water level on the tank, also i could save my self from the extensive piping i would need to put online the heater, PH probe, CO2 reactor etc.
 

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I have never used a sump, but those who do have always assured me that it isn't difficult to prevent excessive CO2 loss in one, and the advantages outweigh the slight increase in CO2 usage. If you do some research both here and at http://www.barrreport.com/forumdisplay.php/1-Barr-Report I think you can find out a lot about sumps.

We, who can go to a LFS, and buy almost any tank size we want are spoiled! I have noticed that many people make their own tanks in both Mexico and in India, becoming very good at doing so. You seem to have already made smaller ones to learn from so I hope you go ahead with this and let us watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
the idea of having both a canister and a sump led me to the idea of placing the sump to the side of the tank or maybe on the back (wich will make it a very long sump) with the overflow made directly to the 3/4 glass, i made some tests on a broken piece of 19mm glass and the result looks beautiful, this probably would be the best way to add a sump and lose the least CO2, Right?
 

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My access to a standard rimless 180 is extremely expensive, i could make three and break two for the same price as i did with a 55 gallon! the whole 55 came down to the living room in the form of a tsunami, fortunately for me there is a fountain below floor level with a drain near by and the water chose that course...

I will temper the bottom after making the holes, anyway i will test the tank outdoors to avoid divorce...

regarding the filter, does a sump plus a canister make sense? i could have the best of both worlds limiting the sump to 30% capacity during the day to avoid CO2 loss, and have a constant water level on the tank, also i could save my self from the extensive piping i would need to put online the heater, PH probe, CO2 reactor etc.
I'm curious about your 55 gallon. Did something hit the front panel or did it just fail from the water pressure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It was from water pressure, the top pieces of glass where glued with uv adhesive which is non flexible. that was the mistake.
 
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