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DIY tang tank


Tanganyika

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I am on a mission to build a 5x 2 1/2 x2 tank, stand and hood and then go through the steps necessary to achieve the ulitmate tang community for a tank of this size. I have a preference for smaller more peaceful fish with as much colour as i can get but the fish can come much later. I have never built a tank before and dont really know the best place to go to get the glass, what thickness etc but i am hoping i will be able to get some advice from this board as well as glaziers. Not sure what filtration methods i will be using or lighting etc so I guess it is obvious that i will be asking a heap of questions hopefully making use of the vast amount of experience the members of this site have.

Sure i should probably start off with a two footer rather than jumping right in but i am quite happy to take my time and tackle something big (well for me anyway, some of the tanks i have seen on this site are huge).

So anyway I guess the first step is a decision on what i want the result to be. I know i want the width to be 5 ft and i was hoping i might get some input as to the pros and cons of the other dimensions. I will be taking pics and posting them as i SLOWLY progress and hopefully i wont come accross too many pitfalls and mistakes . I dont know how long this will take but i thought it might be useful for others who may take up the challenge of DIY. I will also keep a record of costs to see wheather it is worth the $$$ going DIY.

Thanks in advance

Damian

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I can understand the feeling of satisfaction derived from DIY but in the case of a glass tank it is nearly impossible to buy the glass cut to size cheap enough. The tank manufacturers can buy it so much cheaper than you will be able to unless you know someone in the trade. DIY filters are another matter and you can make various types yourself - go for it. Datails can be found in the FAQ secton of the site.

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Agree with all that David has said...plus would like to add that a 5 x 2.5 x 2 tank is a huge first project ask. A lot can go wrong and safety could be compromised. Ask Wayne at Extreme to give you a quote...you would save yourself a bit of heartache that way I think.

Andrea smile.gif

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Ok guys advice taken.

It looks like i will be much better off going for a 6x2x2 as i can get one new in brisbane for $250.

So the next step is building a stand and hood. I am not too concerned about how as this is something that i am fairly capable of and i will probably end up over engineering it for weight to be safe. I usually end up building things twice as strong as they need to be and in this case i think that will definately be a good thing.

What i was hoping for is to get some feedback on what i should build, on the height you all like your stands to be and why? Also should i make it with removable ends for access? Does anyone have any tricky little ideas built into their stands that make life easier?

Thanks all

Damian

PS.I am planing on having a sump. Is this the best way to go i should i go with canisters??

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I would defiantely go with end doors. It allows you to put a large sump in your cabinet without compromising the bracing needed to support the tank.

Bruce

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Depends on the setup of the sump as to the size. Personally larger the sump is better, although I only run a 2ft on my 6x2x2.

A lot of people run huge amounts of water through the sump (3000LPH or more) personally I've been trialing slower water movement and using internal filters to do my mechanical filtration. This came about from several articles on reef sites. I'll have to find the link again.

For a cabinet, I would have legs every 2ft so in this case 4 legs across the length. Also if I had the money, I would have asked for sliding trays so that I can move what I need in and out of the cabinet easily.

Sliding Lids on the tank is a bonus but not entirely necessary.

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If it's a display tank and you don't want filters and equipment in the tank then a big sump can be better for storage of that equipment. A bigger sump usually goes with more water movement. I'm running 8000l/h through mine and my water is crystal. You may use other things on your tank aswell to improve filtration, on mine I have a UV sterilizer and a fluid bed sand filter. These just add to the water quality.

Bruce

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If you do not want to run a sump, large cannisters may be an alternative although I feel that it may end up costing more. Quite a few people I know run this quite successfully and it gives them the option of adjusting where they want water flow to occur. Also means less effort has to be put into the cabinet's design.

What type of lighting are you planning to run? This will also affect the hood you plan to build. There is a wide choice of option now so go through them carefully.

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Do you usually have a back on your cabinets??

I was thinking i might so i can attempt to soundproof it. Where does the noise usually come from, the intake from the tank itself or the sump?

Can i use flexible hoses to enter the sump so i am able to move them out of the way and slide the entire sump out on a drawer. Would be using the drawer runners used in 4wd fit outs as they can carry a fairly large load. Would the extra effort and $$$ be worth it? How much access will i need in an around the sump??

I was thinking a cabinet height of around 3 ft to bring the tank closer to eye height and also give me a bit of room. Does this sound ok to you guys?? Should i go higher? dntknw.gif

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For lighting i was simply planning on goin fluro. Is this the most economical way to go. Is there better value for money?? confused.gif

I guess the lighting is something that will be constrained by budget for the moment but may be upgraded later so i guess i should look at making the hood capable of housing whatever it is i might want to upgrade to.

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How are you planning to get the water from the tank to the sump? Weirs? I find my weirs to be the main source of noise but I filled them with a coarse black foam insert and there is almost no noise now. I don't think flexible pipes would be needed. Although it depends on your sump setup. My piping is PVC and I just unplug it from the bulkhead when I need to do anything with them or the sump. I think 3ft is a good stand height. Mine is that and is a nice eye level although accessing the tank and working on it can be a pain and also getting the hood off requires two people. A stand backing is not necessary but it does help to eliminate noise, just make sure you leave enough room for piping etc to leave the cabinet.

Bruce

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I was planning on using weirs. Was told to go for 50mm with elbows to help reduce noise. The insert sounds like a good idea. do you have any problems with blockage, Plant matter etc????

By the way thanks everyone for all your help.

It is really appreciated

Damian

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I got no problems but then again my tank is only rock and sand, I had had plants in tanks with weirs before and sometimes you need to clear the plant matter from the weir guard otherwise it can cause blockages.

Bruce

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Here is a pic of my stand.. My tank is 6 X 2.5 X 2, As you can see. Its got 3 legs.. Personally I think its way over engineered.. Its an ex commercial tank.. From a tourist attraction… with out saying too much, wink2.gif

If I was too do it again, I’d defiantly go a box section frame just like this one!,

The bottom of the tank sits at 110cm.. about 3.5ft, (on top of a piece of 20mm marine ply)..

The tank and sump has all been changed since the pics, But you get the idea anyway.. If I could change anything.. It would be too remove the bottom mounted? PVC skimmers (now 2 have a weir around them too draw from the bottom) and drill the tank for aesthetics..

user posted image

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I would go for a shs stand if i wasnt getting the timber for free.

What timber did you use? It looks great!!

Do i need to use a glass tank for a sump or can I use a plastic tub? Is there any disadvantages or advantages for either?

Thanks

Damian

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A glass sump may be easier to see what's going on inside. If it doesn't work then it's near impossible to try and figure it out from guess work. I know from experience laugh.gif

Bruce

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That makes sense.

Can anyone direct me to where i might find DIY sump designs they would recomend??

I have done a google search and ended up more confused than informed.

Damian

You have no idea how much i appreciate all of the help i have recieved. As a single dad of a 2 1/2 year old, picking the brains of staff in person at the LFS is pretty much a rare luxury. At two and a half my son doesnt quite understand why he cant run around the shop and tap on the tanks. I find it best not to inflict him on the staff or the poor fish.

Thanks

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Here is a basic design I knocked up though you may want to modify it to incorporate some sort of biological filtration, thats where a fluid bed filter may come in handy

user posted image

Bruce

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Forgive me if I don't remember correctly, but isn't this sump design you had so much problems with?

I still prefer the other type where the water is either diffused via a drilled plate or spining arm, so that you make full use of the air/water design of sumps.

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If you want to make a DIY sump you can make it out of a plastic tub and a bucket. It really isnt that hard.

I would also say to go for a drip tray or a spinning arm.

There are plans on the net for a simple home made sump but I cant remember where

Josh

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