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Hi from a new member; I've had Discus / Amazon-themed aquariums for 30+ years (basically since childhood), mostly 200-400L low-tech.
We recently moved to a new house and am now planning my dream aquarium build - a ~1.200L aquarium with a "wild" nature aquascape hopefully catching the atmosphere and concept of something close to Josh Sim's Congo. There will be many technical hurdles to overcome and figure out how to do this project and I look forward to learning and hopefully getting some good tips and guidance from experts here.

I have several initial construction concepts first I need figure out and your help would be greatly appreciated. Overall I would like to (a) keep aesthetics of as clean as possible with minimal intrusion of hoses and devices in the display area (using ADA glass accessories where needed etc.), and (b) design a system that is a quiet at possible - this will be in the main living/reception area so continuous humming sound of filter pump gets really annoying.

1) Dimensions of the tank: 240cm width (covering the wall connecting dining area with the main reception area / living room; with this width, I am considering 65cm depth and 80cm height to give reasonable dimension proportions, but could also do 240x65x70 if lower walls would be easier to fill with scape and avoid too much empty space at the top...?
2) Rimless open top: for such a huge tank & water pressure, I don't know if glass would hold rimless open top design? Any ideas how to calculate?
3) Clean ADA glass style inflows-outflows etc. from the top of the aquarium, or drilled-bottom design? Again, considering the size of the tank and the desired aquascape, I am not sure if drilling the bottom will be possible?
4) Canister or Sump for filtration? ...one VERY important factor in this decision is not only efficacy for filtration, but also quiet operation; we currently have Eheim Professionel 3 XL for our 400L aqurium and my wife complains that it is much too loud and wants something that would be able to run quieter.

I like the simplicity and ease of use and maintenance of canister (if there is one that can be quiet enough), but worry that I may need to canisters to ensure enough flow for 1.200L and that would raise the noise further. On the other hand, I worry about troubleshooting the sump and all the complexity it brings, but at the same time it would allow me a lot of added flexibility in terms of adding all the other devices incl. CO2, UV, etc., but most importantly, it would allow me an automated water exchange & top-up (e.g. on timer, each day 50L water would be drained from the sump and refilled back; also with a floater, water level would be continously maintained, as I would expect a lot of evaporation in case of open top design.

4) Surface skimming: a nice ADA-style skimmer or an overflow system? ...considerations of aesthetics, noise, functionality...?

There will be many next steps to consider, but this is the first stuff that I need to think about as it pertains to how we actually design/construct the glass housing itself and what technology will/can be used to support it.

Any tips and suggestions at this stage would be very very helpful!!! :)

cheers,
aeneas
 

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Do you have a basement? I hate humming noise as well so I moved my canister filter to a table in my basement directly underneath the tank and ran the hoses through the floor. Needless to say, it is utterly silent in the living room and actually easier to service down there as well (near my laundry sink). After some googling, the concensus seems to be that in a closed, pressurized system there is no headloss to the pump by placing it that much lower than the tank. I would have to do a search to find the links.

Well worth considering.
 

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Hello and welcome!

The actual construction of this tank will determine a lot as far as filtration is concerned. 317 gallons and 8 feet long translating it to imperial. I would first find someone willing to make it with experience doing so. This would be at least 25mm glass and maybe thicker which is HARD to find in the states, not sure about where you are. Even harder if you want low iron and in the state's at least VERY expensive to purchase. Most large tanks like this are made from acrylic or are rimmed. If made of acrylic the top of the tank will be braced with a piece of acrylic that covers the whole surface except for designated cut outs. If you can find someone making this tank as a rimless.. Well I'd be impressed, I don't know anyone in the states for example that can do it.

The requirement for a silent system also is also determinative. You can't run enough canister filters in the same room as this tank without knowing they are there. You will need a minimum of 2 canister filters to move enough water in this tank. That means either 2 eheim 2262 or two fluval fx6. Both use 1 inch hoses I believe. I am not sure if they make glassware 1 inch in diameter? Never looked honestly.

Honestly I think you are already in the area of sump. You can install a bean animal overflow and make a sump nearly silent in a system like this. BUT that means you will have an overflow in your tank or drilled through to the backside. At which point, do you really need a rimless tank?

Sounds like really cool project, I hope you go through with it and document it.
 

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Here are a few points for you to consider. This is going to be kind of rambling, but these are just some of my thoughts.



  • A rimless tank of this size is not only going to be hard to source, it will be incredibly expensive. If you do manage to get someone to make it, it will more than likely be acrylic, not low iron glass.
  • (1) For filtration, you can probably get away with 2x Fluval FX6. I have one on my 125G, and it is pretty damned quiet. There is a big different between quiet and silent, however. I’ll try to get a video later today showing it running and you can decide for yourself.
  • (2) If you go with an FX6, you’re going to run into difficulty getting glassware. I have yet to find any 1” Lily pipes, and was forced to have a local glassblower make them for me. Your other option would be to split the return hose from a 1” to (2) @ 16mm. There would be a bit of a reduction in flow, but not a substantial amount. The problem now, is that you would have 2 filters, so you would have a total of 4 inflows and 4 outflows in the tank.
  • Adding together points (1) & (2), my suggestion would be to drill the tank and plumb in a sump. You could plumb a Bean Animal overflow, which is very, very quiet. You would need to do some serious work designing the sump, but it is possible to have a completely silent sump.
  • Just to contradict myself, if you’re planning on using CO2, you’re going to have a difficult time with using a sump. Sumps tend to have quite a bit of surface exchange, and offgassing CO2 is a problem. I’ve read through several threads of people with sumps on huge tanks simply not being able to get their CO2 concentrations up to 30-40ppm, no matter what they do.
  • If you’re planning on Discus and Altum Angels, temperature is going to be an issue. You’re going to need to run several large heaters to keep a 300G, open top tank at 86-88 degrees F. You can still keep these out of the tank with a sump or canisters, however. With a sump, just put the heaters in there. With canisters, you would need to split the flow like in my point #2. From there, you can add an inline heaters on each of your return lines.
 

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Sounds like a great build. Dont think its a great idea to use an open top with discus, however. Anyone thats raised discus long enough becomes used to hearing them hit the top glass at least a couple times a week for various reasons.
 

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Hi from a new member; I've had Discus / Amazon-themed aquariums for 30+ years (basically since childhood), mostly 200-400L low-tech.
We recently moved to a new house and am now planning my dream aquarium build - a ~1.200L aquarium with a "wild" nature aquascape hopefully catching the atmosphere and concept of something close to Josh Sim's Congo. There will be many technical hurdles to overcome and figure out how to do this project and I look forward to learning and hopefully getting some good tips and guidance from experts here.

I have several initial construction concepts first I need figure out and your help would be greatly appreciated. Overall I would like to (a) keep aesthetics of as clean as possible with minimal intrusion of hoses and devices in the display area (using ADA glass accessories where needed etc.), and (b) design a system that is a quiet at possible - this will be in the main living/reception area so continuous humming sound of filter pump gets really annoying.

1) Dimensions of the tank: 240cm width (covering the wall connecting dining area with the main reception area / living room; with this width, I am considering 65cm depth and 80cm height to give reasonable dimension proportions, but could also do 240x65x70 if lower walls would be easier to fill with scape and avoid too much empty space at the top...?
2) Rimless open top: for such a huge tank & water pressure, I don't know if glass would hold rimless open top design? Any ideas how to calculate?
3) Clean ADA glass style inflows-outflows etc. from the top of the aquarium, or drilled-bottom design? Again, considering the size of the tank and the desired aquascape, I am not sure if drilling the bottom will be possible?
4) Canister or Sump for filtration? ...one VERY important factor in this decision is not only efficacy for filtration, but also quiet operation; we currently have Eheim Professionel 3 XL for our 400L aqurium and my wife complains that it is much too loud and wants something that would be able to run quieter.

I like the simplicity and ease of use and maintenance of canister (if there is one that can be quiet enough), but worry that I may need to canisters to ensure enough flow for 1.200L and that would raise the noise further. On the other hand, I worry about troubleshooting the sump and all the complexity it brings, but at the same time it would allow me a lot of added flexibility in terms of adding all the other devices incl. CO2, UV, etc., but most importantly, it would allow me an automated water exchange & top-up (e.g. on timer, each day 50L water would be drained from the sump and refilled back; also with a floater, water level would be continously maintained, as I would expect a lot of evaporation in case of open top design.

4) Surface skimming: a nice ADA-style skimmer or an overflow system? ...considerations of aesthetics, noise, functionality...?

There will be many next steps to consider, but this is the first stuff that I need to think about as it pertains to how we actually design/construct the glass housing itself and what technology will/can be used to support it.

Any tips and suggestions at this stage would be very very helpful!!! :)

cheers,
aeneas
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you have a basement? I hate humming noise as well so I moved my canister filter to a table in my basement directly underneath the tank and ran the hoses through the floor.
I have a basement where I also have a central filtration and ion exchange station; it cleans and softens the water and is good to go as is so I don't need an R/O... behind the aquarium I have existing piping to add the softened water already pre-heated and also a drain pipe for outgoing dirty water. However, drilling more for adding filter lines would, unfortunately, not be possible.


This would be at least 25mm glass and maybe thicker which is HARD to find in the states, not sure about where you are. Even harder if you want low iron and in the state's at least VERY expensive to purchase.
I agree this will likely be expensive, but worth getting some quotes; it seems these guys managed to to an open tank with similar dimensions and if I understand correctly they used 19mm Opti-White glass:
1026175

will see if I can get some quotes for this...

The requirement for a silent system also is also determinative. You can't run enough canister filters in the same room as this tank without knowing they are there....
...Honestly I think you are already in the area of sump. You can install a bean animal overflow and make a sump nearly silent in a system like this. BUT that means you will have an overflow in your tank or drilled through to the backside. At which point, do you really need a rimless tank?
Sounds like really cool project, I hope you go through with it and document it.
All fair points. Indeed probably will need 2x canisters. I am thinking of putting antivibration pads underneath and then using very good soundproofing insulation of the entire inside walls of the cabinet. That could work.
Yes, I am still looking into sumps, but it seems that takes construction design (and potential problems) to a whole new level. In addition, except for some cases where people reported really nearly-silent solutions, many people complain with all the trickling noises in various parts of the sump, making it much noisier than the best pumps.

Any experience with Oase Biomaster Thermo 850? It's smaller than Fluval FX6 but 2 units would probably work. It seems like it could be a quiet canister...

Here are a few points for you to consider. This is going to be kind of rambling, but these are just some of my thoughts.
A rimless tank of this size is not only going to be hard to source, it will be incredibly expensive. If you do manage to get someone to make it, it will more than likely be acrylic, not low iron glass.
  • (1) For filtration, you can probably get away with 2x Fluval FX6. I have one on my 125G, and it is pretty damned quiet. There is a big different between quiet and silent, however. I’ll try to get a video later today showing it running and you can decide for yourself.
  • (2) If you go with an FX6, you’re going to run into difficulty getting glassware. I have yet to find any 1” Lily pipes, and was forced to have a local glassblower make them for me. Your other option would be to split the return hose from a 1” to (2) @ 16mm. There would be a bit of a reduction in flow, but not a substantial amount. The problem now, is that you would have 2 filters, so you would have a total of 4 inflows and 4 outflows in the tank.
  • Adding together points (1) & (2), my suggestion would be to drill the tank and plumb in a sump. You could plumb a Bean Animal overflow, which is very, very quiet. You would need to do some serious work designing the sump, but it is possible to have a completely silent sump.
  • Just to contradict myself, if you’re planning on using CO2, you’re going to have a difficult time with using a sump. Sumps tend to have quite a bit of surface exchange, and offgassing CO2 is a problem. I’ve read through several threads of people with sumps on huge tanks simply not being able to get their CO2 concentrations up to 30-40ppm, no matter what they do.
  • If you’re planning on Discus and Altum Angels, temperature is going to be an issue. You’re going to need to run several large heaters to keep a 300G, open top tank at 86-88 degrees F. You can still keep these out of the tank with a sump or canisters, however. With a sump, just put the heaters in there. With canisters, you would need to split the flow like in my point #2. From there, you can add an inline heaters on each of your return lines.
Would love to hear if you could make a recording of your FX6... ; your point of 4x in and 4x out has a point... :(
Regarding sump, your two points both frustrate me as well; it could be a good solution, but would require a LOT of planning and construction design to really make it work well, while high-tech CO2 etc. is then not as effective... Also lots of people complain about tricking noises in the sump itself, nut just the overflow, which is well solved with the beananimal.

And temperature: we have quite warm house and I do not think keeping temperature will be that much of an issue... however temperature WILL be an issue for having really nice plant growth and also in the choice of plants themselves... very few are happy at higher temperatures... But this is a challenge I will work towards in the second phase of planning ;)

Sounds like a great build. Dont think its a great idea to use an open top with discus, however. Anyone thats raised discus long enough becomes used to hearing them hit the top glass at least a couple times a week for various reasons.
You have a point here. Although I've had discus fish for 30+ years, I only once had a situation of high ammonia that discus started darting around and hitting the top glass. Normally that was never an issue. However I remember when I was a kid, and I left my top open one day and left for school, I returned home and there were 2 discus fish lying on the floor dead and dry. But that was looong time ago. In recent years I never saw any of my discus having any interest in stuff above surface...
 

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I have a basement where I also have a central filtration and ion exchange station; it cleans and softens the water and is good to go as is so I don't need an R/O... behind the aquarium I have existing piping to add the softened water already pre-heated and also a drain pipe for outgoing dirty water. However, drilling more for adding filter lines would, unfortunately, not be possible.



I agree this will likely be expensive, but worth getting some quotes; it seems these guys managed to to an open tank with similar dimensions and if I understand correctly they used 19mm Opti-White glass: View attachment 1026175
will see if I can get some quotes for this...


All fair points. Indeed probably will need 2x canisters. I am thinking of putting antivibration pads underneath and then using very good soundproofing insulation of the entire inside walls of the cabinet. That could work.
Yes, I am still looking into sumps, but it seems that takes construction design (and potential problems) to a whole new level. In addition, except for some cases where people reported really nearly-silent solutions, many people complain with all the trickling noises in various parts of the sump, making it much noisier than the best pumps.

Any experience with Oase Biomaster Thermo 850? It's smaller than Fluval FX6 but 2 units would probably work. It seems like it could be a quiet canister...


Would love to hear if you could make a recording of your FX6... ; your point of 4x in and 4x out has a point... :(
Regarding sump, your two points both frustrate me as well; it could be a good solution, but would require a LOT of planning and construction design to really make it work well, while high-tech CO2 etc. is then not as effective... Also lots of people complain about tricking noises in the sump itself, nut just the overflow, which is well solved with the beananimal.

And temperature: we have quite warm house and I do not think keeping temperature will be that much of an issue... however temperature WILL be an issue for having really nice plant growth and also in the choice of plants themselves... very few are happy at higher temperatures... But this is a challenge I will work towards in the second phase of planning ;)


You have a point here. Although I've had discus fish for 30+ years, I only once had a situation of high ammonia that discus started darting around and hitting the top glass. Normally that was never an issue. However I remember when I was a kid, and I left my top open one day and left for school, I returned home and there were 2 discus fish lying on the floor dead and dry. But that was looong time ago. In recent years I never saw any of my discus having any interest in stuff above surface...
That is certainly unusual. Have you had breeding discus? Males who exhibited aggression toward one another?
 

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That is certainly unusual. Have you had breeding discus? Males who exhibited aggression toward one another?
I’ve had discus breed many times in many combinations of pairs. Even had some situations where there were clearly two alphas in the tank, but they decided ton”split” the space rather than fight over it. I had many situations where male would defend the area where female laid eggs and chase others away... but never jumping out of the water...
 

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I’ve had discus breed many times in many combinations of pairs. Even had some situations where there were clearly two alphas in the tank, but they decided ton”split” the space rather than fight over it. I had many situations where male would defend the area where female laid eggs and chase others away... but never jumping out of the water...
Interesting...
 

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Yes, I am still looking into sumps, but it seems that takes construction design (and potential problems) to a whole new level. In addition, except for some cases where people reported really nearly-silent solutions, many people complain with all the trickling noises in various parts of the sump, making it much noisier than the best pumps.

Any experience with Oase Biomaster Thermo 850? It's smaller than Fluval FX6 but 2 units would probably work. It seems like it could be a quiet canister...


Would love to hear if you could make a recording of your FX6... ; your point of 4x in and 4x out has a point... :(
Regarding sump, your two points both frustrate me as well; it could be a good solution, but would require a LOT of planning and construction design to really make it work well, while high-tech CO2 etc. is then not as effective... Also lots of people complain about tricking noises in the sump itself, nut just the overflow, which is well solved with the beananimal.
The Oase 850 has just 400 gallons per hour flow as it's advertised level. That doesn't take into account media or head pressure. It's actual flow amount is probably half the advertised level. In other words, you would need 4 of them to filter this tank at a minimum. A fluval fx6 has over 900 gallons per hour flow. So despite the 850 being priced and advertised as a fx6 competitor, it really is not.

Anyway making a sump silent is not hard. A bunch of matten filters shoved in there and you are done.

I'd be wary of building this tank out of 19 mm glass. Before you sign on the dotted line make sure the builder has made tanks this size before and those tanks are still around. Anyone can make a tank out inadequate materials that will hold for a week, a month, even a year. It takes a properly engineered tank to last a decade.
 

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I made some sketches of how the layout could look like; going from 335 gal max (97x25.5x31.5 in) which is wall-to-wall to 225 gal min (79x25.5x25.5 in) which leaves some space on either side and is lower in height. Currently, playing with design, the best looking to me might be 97x25.5x27.5 in wall-to-wall but slightly lower height, giving me ~293 gal.
1026193

1026194


Honestly, I do like the idea of a sump and it would allow me lots of additional flexibility - like having automated water changes with a solenoid valve letting ~50L water into the drain each night and then refilling back to the floater level; also automatically dosing nutrients and chemicals would be much easier... I have been reading about the bean animal overflow etc. but it seems waay to complicated to me for designing and all the engineering details that would need to go along. I understand overflow could be made quiet and there are some external pumps that can also be supposedly extremely quiet, but many people seem to complain about all the trickling of the water in the sump etc. If it is not done perfectly, it will be a lot of time and money wasted and my wife will not be too happy with it ;)
Also I worry about power failures; we live in a new neighbourhood where there is continuous construction going on so there are frequent (i.e. once every 2-3 months) power cuts. But would be happy to consider it further if you guys help me out with thinking this through. :)
 

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Well, if you want to go the sump route, then you're pretty much shoehorned into a bean animal or herbie style overflow if you want it to be silent. If you don't, you're going to hear the water overflow. On the sump end, you can put the outlet pipes way below the waterline in the sump to prevent any noise.

If you go with the bean animal design, the third pipe (that's dry by design) will be way above the water line. This one would only carry water if the first two have failed, and the splashing noise is your alarm.
 

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I made some sketches of how the layout could look like; going from 335 gal max (97x25.5x31.5 in) which is wall-to-wall to 225 gal min (79x25.5x25.5 in) which leaves some space on either side and is lower in height. Currently, playing with design, the best looking to me might be 97x25.5x27.5 in wall-to-wall but slightly lower height, giving me ~293 gal.
View attachment 1026193
View attachment 1026194

Honestly, I do like the idea of a sump and it would allow me lots of additional flexibility - like having automated water changes with a solenoid valve letting ~50L water into the drain each night and then refilling back to the floater level; also automatically dosing nutrients and chemicals would be much easier... I have been reading about the bean animal overflow etc. but it seems waay to complicated to me for designing and all the engineering details that would need to go along. I understand overflow could be made quiet and there are some external pumps that can also be supposedly extremely quiet, but many people seem to complain about all the trickling of the water in the sump etc. If it is not done perfectly, it will be a lot of time and money wasted and my wife will not be too happy with it ;)
Also I worry about power failures; we live in a new neighbourhood where there is continuous construction going on so there are frequent (i.e. once every 2-3 months) power cuts. But would be happy to consider it further if you guys help me out with thinking this through. :)
Reducing the size of the tank will definitely help make it easier to construct. Let us know when you find a builder you like and how much it will cost, I'm definitely curious what prices are like overseas.

Sumps make noise either when the water enters the pipes from the overflow or when they go through a filter sock and drip into the main sump area, or in the sump when the water goes over baffles and splashes down into the next section. The overflow issue is resolved through use of a bean animal. Any decent tank maker can certainly incorporate a bean animal overflow into the construction of the tank. Or you can buy a premade overflow that attaches to the outside of the tank through drilled holes. To eliminate noise in the sump you simply have your lines entering the sump be below water level, thus no dripping noises. You could incorporate filter socks below water level if you wish or simple not use them which would be my preference. Once the water is in the sump you simply don't use baffles. The water stays at the same level the entire time. Instead you have 2 or 3 matten filters/foam walls of various densities (course to fine). There is a pretty gigantic planted tank that george farmer from youtube helped scape and this is the filter system they use for that tank (though clearly scaled up to the 10th degree).


Skip to 17:20 to see the filter system. Its just a bunch of matten filters (way more then you would need) and the water passes through them, In order to clean one they just pull one out and leave the others in place. Pretty nifty setup.

You size the sump so that if the power goes out the water will drain from the main tank into the sump till it gets below the level of the overflow. The sump is big enough so that it can absorb this extra water. Once the power comes back the sump pump turns on again and begins to refill the main tank until the water level reaches the overflow again. A bean animal overflow will restart automatically after a power outage. Its thus as safe as can be. If your return line is above the water level then you don't need any special precaution, if its below the water line then put a check valve in as safety to stop reverse siphon. You can also incorporate an air hole above water line in a return to break siphon depending on design. All of these issues have been worked out before by people much smarter then me frankly since what you want (a safe silent sump) is a pretty common requirement.

Regarding co2, there are plenty of folks on this forum using co2 with a sump and they don't have issues. You will certainly use a LOT more CO2 in a 300 gallon tank then say someone with a smaller tank, but that is to be expected. You will definitely want a reactor for co2 (assuming you are planning to use co2 that is), as opposed to a diffuser. A reactor can definitely be incorporated in the sump as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
@aeneas, care to show yourself? Coming here for designing ideas of a large planted tank but not an ordinary hobbyist, I don't feel comfortable sharing my own design...
Hi @Bettatail - I hear your concerns. Not sure how I would "show" myself, but I understand the reluctance to share thoughts with an unknown new member. As I wrote, I've had aquariums most of my life, mostly discus fish etc. But never anything serious to write or brag about. It was a "living picture" - a small space of zen that I always had somewhere in my home. Never did any particular aquascaping project... basic aquarium with some wood, rocks and various plants - anubias, cryptocoryne, valisnerias, etc. (stuff that holds well higher temperatures for discuss aquariums).

Since I can remember, however, I was dreaming that once we finally settle down in our new house, I will construct an ultimate nature aquarium... a proper "Takashi Amano" inspired discus tank (I have all Amano's books as well as Bleher's discus tomes etc.). I still don't have too much free time (hence my worry whether I dare to think about sump construction) but do have the means to pull this off.

Since this is a really really big endeavour, I do not want to do it blindly, but want to take time to study, check all my options and consult with expert hobbyists. Learn from others as much as I can in order to avoid making too many mistakes. There will be mistakes, for sure. But with such builds, drilling holes and multi-tonne weights, many decisions are a one-way ticket and are irreversible. This is why I decided to come out of "reading only" mode and get involved :)

In terms of showing oneself - if you guys ever hold zoom/teams (or other VC) chats, I'd happily join. I am against posting personally identifiable photos though. Just keeping the internet presence clean. I will gladly share my aquarium build journal and post photos that have no people or kids in it ;)
 

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1) Dimensions of the tank: 240cm width (covering the wall connecting dining area with the main reception area / living room; with this width, I am considering 65cm depth and 80cm height to give reasonable dimension proportions, but could also do 240x65x70 if lower walls would be easier to fill with scape and avoid too much empty space at the top...?
2) Rimless open top: for such a huge tank & water pressure, I don't know if glass would hold rimless open top design? Any ideas how to calculate?
From the glass calculator you would need 24mm glass for sides, 27mm for the bottom w/ a safety factor of 3.8 (standard).
Lower the depth the less glass thickness

@ 2400x 650 deep x 650 (or 800, doesn't change it.) mm glass only needs to be 15 and 20mm
700.... 16 x 22 bottom

Depth is the critical factor really..
Did you consider eurobracing?
Oh standard glass. Prob increase for low iron, decrease for tempered.

Weight calc..

Roughly bottom piece alone weighs 230-250-ish lbs (more for 27mm glass, 1" glass =25.4mm )..depending on chosen thickness.
DRY..about 1/2 ton.
Add a ton 1/2 for water.

235lbs/sq.ft.
ROUGH estimates.. best to consult builders.

Sort of confirmation (remeber depth matters):
I have looked at alot of tank manufactures and have decided on 2 tanks that are within my price budget.


1. Marineland 300 with corner overflows. Glass is 1/2 in sides and 3/4 in the bottom.
2. Glass Cages 300 with corner glass overflows. Same thickness.


The other day i was with my New LFS in Dallas and he recieved some quotes from his tank manufactures and they recommended nothing less than 3/4 glass thickness. I called glass cages and they sid they would be happy to make it in 3/4 glass. Marinland would not.

My 370 gal 1 inch glass weighs 800 lbs. it took 6 guys using glass clamps to move it in. Glass clamps the way to go.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
From the glass calculator you would need 24mm glass for sides, 27mm for the bottom w/ a safety factor of 3.8 (standard).
Lower the depth the less glass thickness

@ 2400x 650 deep x 650 (or 800, doesn't change it.) mm glass only needs to be 15 and 20mm
700.... 16 x 22 bottom

Depth is the critical factor really..
Did you consider eurobracing?
Oh standard glass. Prob increase for low iron, decrease for tempered.

Weight calc..

Roughly bottom piece alone weighs 230-250-ish lbs (more for 27mm glass, 1" glass =25.4mm )..depending on chosen thickness.
DRY..about 1/2 ton. Add a ton 1/2 for water.

235lbs/sq.ft.
ROUGH estimates.. best to consult builders.

Sort of confirmation (remeber depth matters):
This is very useful info @jeffkrol , thank you! This really makes every cm of depth important then - maybe wall-to-wall wide but not that deep is the way to go (e.g. 65cm or max 70cm, but certainly not 80cm).

I've never heard of eurobracing until now. I looked it up and get the point of reinforcement, but at the cost of aesthetics. Will read some more, but probably we'll not go with this approach... Thanks for bringing it up though. I will certainly do some reading.
 

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My wife is voting for canister filters - she says sump is too messy. I am thinking that with 2x Oase 850 Thermo (with added heater benefit) should be able to handle ~290 gal tank if properly heavily planted and with plants doing a big job in the ecosystem... if not, maybe 2x Fulvals...
But: with canister filters installed, I was thinking how to automate water top-up as well as do a ~50L water exchange per day. Here is a sketch that I'm playing with: one of the canisters will be linked to two separate solenoid-valve controlled hoses; first one will be timer-controlled and will open just enough to let 50L drain out once per day (e.g. during the night); the other solenoid is controlled by a water level detector in the aquarium - such as Hydor, which turns it on whenever water drops below the required level and then tops up with fresh pretreated water back to required level. This then takes care then of both the evaporation as well as when the other solenoid drains 50L per day.
Tell me what you think of the idea?


1026248
 

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My wife is voting for canister filters - she says sump is too messy. I am thinking that with 2x Oase 850 Thermo (with added heater benefit) should be able to handle ~290 gal tank if properly heavily planted and with plants doing a big job in the ecosystem... if not, maybe 2x Fulvals...
But: with canister filters installed, I was thinking how to automate water top-up as well as do a ~50L water exchange per day. Here is a sketch that I'm playing with: one of the canisters will be linked to two separate solenoid-valve controlled hoses; first one will be timer-controlled and will open just enough to let 50L drain out once per day (e.g. during the night); the other solenoid is controlled by a water level detector in the aquarium - such as Hydor, which turns it on whenever water drops below the required level and then tops up with fresh pretreated water back to required level. This then takes care then of both the evaporation as well as when the other solenoid drains 50L per day.
Tell me what you think of the idea?


View attachment 1026248
It would be really nice to be able to use the 850 thermo and call it a day. BUT keep in mind the 850 thermo is hugely underpowered. It simply will not be able to move water from one side of the tank to the other. Does that mean you can't use it? No, you could totally use it. But you would really want a few powerheads in the tank to keep water circulating as well. Since you mention that you want to keep in tank equipment to a minimum I don't think this is the route you want to go. Remember you want 4 to 8 times actual turn over (some folks prefer 10 times) in the tank in order to keep all the water circulating with just the filter doing the job. The 850 is rated at 400 gallons per hour without any media in the filter, and no head pressure. Add media, add head pressure, add regular accumulation of gunk and you are probably looking at half the actual gallons per hour. So each 850 is going to actually be circulating 200 gallons per hour. So if you have 2 of them that's 400 gallons per hour actual circulation. Or 1.3 times turnover per hour. So you would need four Oase 850 filters before you hit the minimum to keep all the water circulating well in this tank. That means even more lily pipes.

And unfortunately if using Euro Bracing you really can't use lily pipes unless they are some very very custom made versions. Or you need a drilled euro brace. I've never seen that but I imagine someone has done it I suppose. Not sure if its still as effective once you go and drill holes in it though /shrug.

Anyway if you don't believe me about the turnover requirements and the 850, here is another George Farmer video of his discus tank setup:


At 7:45 on the video he shows his filters. He has an 850 and a 250 working together on this tank. This is a 100 gallon tank. Also keep in mind that George Farmer is actually sponsored by Oase. The tank was given to him by Oase as were the filters. He does promos for them all the time and even he won't stick just an 850 on his tank and call it a day.

You could definitely do 2 fluval fx6 filters or 4 oase 850 filters. BUT also keep in mind that when it comes to lily pipes you will need either two sets of custom 25mm pipes, or 4 sets of the 16/17mm pipes, or use the stock pipes that come with either canister filter.

In short there is a reason you see a lot of people using sumps on big tanks /shrug

Can you do it with one set of pipes? YES definitely, but you will want some powerheads in the tank to move the water around so you don't get stagnant spots. This is a HUGE tank and has special considerations as such.

For the auto water change system, it would probably be a lot better to put everything on a timer rather then have it fill whenever a sensor gets alerted. That way you could stop your filter at the same time and thus allow the water to flow out or into the tank without fighting the flow of the filter. I am just guessing on this, I've never tried to do what you are doing here but that would be how I would do it.
 
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