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New tank plan - lots of questions - please comment

934 Views 9 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  khoile

I'm ordering my tank soon, here's the plan I have for the builder. It has two 1" filter outlet holes 2.5" from the back wall. You can view the drawing here:

Please let me know if 2.5" is far enough from the wall? Any other issue I need to worry about? I don't want to fix any potential mistake in this planning phase. Also I wanted to use sch 80 1" bulk head, does this mean the hole need to be 1" diameter or larger? I never order tank will hole drilled before....

As for heating this 180G tank... what's the best way? I'm thinking of getting 2x lifegard heater modules (similar to scolley) with 2x 300W heaters to do this..

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wow thats a big tank. I also have never had a drilled tank but I can tell you that 60 inch tanks can be hard to find lighting for. Most lightings (unless its a DIY in a hood) are 4 or 6ft. Is this a discus tank? If its not then are you sure you need to heat it if your still in cali?
For a 1" bulkhead, you need to have a 1 7/8" hole drilled. This link might be helpful. Bulkhead Tank Adapters

Keep Smilin'
John :)
Also, the increased size of the holes means I think you'd want to move them further from the back wall. My 180 is laid out with the holes farther from the back. Once the tank is 'scaped, they are hidden.

Re: the Starphire glass, what are you planning to do with the tank? While it does make a difference in the clarity/color of the glass at the thickness you are talking about, if it's a planted freshwater tank, I'm not sure it makes enough difference to justify the added expense.

Here's my line of reasoning ... A planted, freshwater tank is full of green anyway and that "tints" the way everything looks, no matter what type of glass you use. If it's a salt water tank, you get a lot more "bang for the buck" from the Starphire glass.


Starphire Additional $$$

While the manufacturer in the 2nd link is only one source, if you scroll down almost to the bottom of the page, for your size tank he want $432 ADDITIONAL for Starphire glass on 3 panels or $288 ADDITIONAL for just the front pane in Starphire glass.

That's a lot of money and, for me, it would require a LOT of benefit to justify. Just a couple of thoughts to ponder before you plunk your hard earned cash down ...

Keep Smilin'
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oblongshrimp: I do plan to keep discus... but we'll see how everything work out, maybe altum angels will be better

John: Thanks for the helpful tips. How about 3.5" from the tank wall?
Regarding the starphire decision. You have a point about green planted tank "tint" everything green already :). However, I've never seen starphire planted tank in person. I admit, I made the decision to go with starphire by looking at reef tanks. But with this late into the planning, and I agree with you about green tint in planted tank, if I dont' get starphire glass, I'll be spending the time asking my self how my tank would look with it. So just to make me feel better in the future *that warm fuzzy feeling* I decided it's probaly worth it.

Please post if you have any comments or concerns about my design. I really need all the advice I can get before ordering the tank.
My recommendation would be for more holes. More than 2 makes sense to me even though my tank with 7 holes is a bit overkill ... I bought it used and that's what I had to work with.

My tank is 24" front to back and the 4 holes about 6" from the back wall are 1/2" bulkheads and are all plumbed as inputs to the 2 XP3's. The single hole in front is a 3/4" bulkhead to a ball valve and hose bibb and I use that as a drain whenever I need to drain other than via my autochange drain. The 2 holes inside the overflow are used as follows: the one on the left is a 1" bulkhead and it is tied into the input of the XP3's as well, using a standpipe to draw from the surface. The one on the right is plumbed to outside and is used as the drain for my autowaterchanger (shown in the diagram and described in post 23 of the build thread.

My build thread

So, while 7 holes is crazy, you may want to go with more than 2.

Keep Smilin'
John :)
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I'm going to have to think about putting more holes.... I don't want to increase the chance of one leaking... but what do you think the total flowrate should be? Can I get by with smaller holes (smaller bulk head) I would guess it need to be 3x the volume of the tank so ~540gph.

I'm open to all filtering/heating idea, as I have very vague plan right now about that. I plan to just simply hook 2 Eheim canister up and that's it.

For lighting, I have a 48" Orbit MH/T5 fixture from Current USA, I'm going to be hanging it in the middle of the tank length wise, and a bit to the back width wise. I figure the front will be for short stem fore ground only so the light coverage should be ok... correct me on this.

Thanks again for all the input.

Any suggestion where to put 4 holes in this tank? I have no idea where is ideal...:confused:

How about now?

I plan to use Eheim 2/3 as filter, so what pvc size is best?

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A bit more idea of water flow


How about this.. the water will flow toward the front of the tank and wrap around to the drain in the back.

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kinda final version, not that it matter :).

Here's one with the possible layout that I've been thinking off by looking at AGA competion tanks. This is to see how I would be able to configure the holes for each layout.

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