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Need help planning big tank build

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Hey guys, 

So the. Missus finally signed off on getting my dream tank. I want to go all out, and set it up perfectly with proper planning. 

Once i have it all planned out, ill chase down pricing for everything and start chipping away at it. 

Ok so the size im going for is 8.5ftx3ftx2.5ft.

Not sure on sump size. Was thinking 6ft, then have a 2.5ft gap that i can put shelving in for food and other stuff. Would like the stand to be high enough so the tank is at perfect viewing height. For me (im 6ft tall) 

A 6x2.5x2 sump sounds crazy haha. 

How many heaters should i get (4x 300w??)and should i get 1 of those heater control boards for all the heaters to connect to? 

Whats the best way to plumb a tank of this size? Only ever use to plumbing smaller tanks which is easy. How many drain pipes and  how many returns? 

2x sump pumps? Or 1 big pump? 

Stocking will revolve around stingrays. Would love to have 1 minimum, could i house 2, if i scape it so 90% of the floor is open to them? 

 

I have so many questions and so much time. The sooner i plan this out the sooner i can start getting things going. 

 

In the mean time im going to search for tank builds and gather ideas. 

 

any help or ideas are greatly appreciated!! 

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That's very exciting.  my  tank is approx the same as your project tank size - 2.6 x 1 x .75 (LWH).  I have my mature stingray pair - floor space seems just enough.  I don't run sump as i don't like the looks (I have an open stand) but have 2x 2180, 2x 2080 and 1x 2260 as my sump.  heating is provided by the 2180 (600w I think) and I have a spare 300w eheim inside the tank as back up.  

For decor, I have fake coral (living color) and a universal rock waterfall sitting at the top of the tank to make it look like a rain forest effect.

Would love to see how you progress with this.  

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12 hours ago, litigator666 said:

That's very exciting.  my  tank is approx the same as your project tank size - 2.6 x 1 x .75 (LWH).  I have my mature stingray pair - floor space seems just enough.  I don't run sump as i don't like the looks (I have an open stand) but have 2x 2180, 2x 2080 and 1x 2260 as my sump.  heating is provided by the 2180 (600w I think) and I have a spare 300w eheim inside the tank as back up.  

For decor, I have fake coral (living color) and a universal rock waterfall sitting at the top of the tank to make it look like a rain forest effect.

Would love to see how you progress with this.  

Im quite awhile away from it yet, gonna plan everything out and work out total figure. 

When it comes to stocking, i was thinking 

2x stingray (haven't started researching them yet) 

And mainly south Americans. Obviously big enough so the rays wont eat them when they sleep haha. 

Im hoping a sump size of 6x2x2 is enough to let me do 1 waterchange a week. If it doesn't, might look into a drip system as well as weekly waterchange. 

 

 

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for the sump you could get a pretty cheap second hand 6x2x2 because there pretty easy to find( then just reseal it and polish it if you want it display quality)

plumbing really depends on what you like, you could do bulkheads on the side or back of the aquarium, maybe a strand pipe in both back corners then have the return in the middle spraying towards both side?? id say its pretty easy to do the plumbing any way you like just play around with drawings and see what you like

personally id get a heater controller because once you start talking big, expensive tanks and fish you dont want to boil your fish and ( i think there pretty cheap for the peace of mind ) as for how many heaters and watts id say it depends where you plan to keep your tank, a garage will get colder in winter and hotter in summer compared to a main room in the house 

id say the pump depends on what type of media your using in your sump and how much of a turn over you need per hour

im no expert at all but if you have any other ideas or questions just ask 

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3 hours ago, Colin95 said:

for the sump you could get a pretty cheap second hand 6x2x2 because there pretty easy to find( then just reseal it and polish it if you want it display quality)

plumbing really depends on what you like, you could do bulkheads on the side or back of the aquarium, maybe a strand pipe in both back corners then have the return in the middle spraying towards both side?? id say its pretty easy to do the plumbing any way you like just play around with drawings and see what you like

personally id get a heater controller because once you start talking big, expensive tanks and fish you dont want to boil your fish and ( i think there pretty cheap for the peace of mind ) as for how many heaters and watts id say it depends where you plan to keep your tank, a garage will get colder in winter and hotter in summer compared to a main room in the house 

id say the pump depends on what type of media your using in your sump and how much of a turn over you need per hour

im no expert at all but if you have any other ideas or questions just ask 

was thinkin of using the black flex hose for intake and return, ive heard its good for noise and super easy to work with.

will definitely have all drillings done from back of tank so front and sides are clean and clear of equipment. 

thinking of going with the 3 drain, 2 return.

ill be aiming for close to 10x water turn over. sump will have a heavy duty mechanical section, large k1 section, then probably fill the rest in with marine pure and macropore.

really keen on setting up a drip system. need to find a way to set it up so i cant see any aged barrels of water haha.

has anyone tried getting nice gloss panels with magnets attached to them to act as removable panels on the stand? going to get a matching trim for the top to hide water line, looks much better in my opinion when the water line is hidden.

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flexible hose is defiantly a better option then pvc imo and it does allow you to get a less powerful pump!

where are you thinking of having the drains and returns??

is there a reason why your going 10x turn over per hour?? most of the sumps iv seen and made aim for 3-4x an hour, could be a different type then normal but 10x seems overkill

yea a drip system is defiantly going to make your tank run smoothly with no more need to do water changes and can be adjusted if your bio load starts to climb

i havn't seen glass but i have seen people wrap there stands and then use magnets on finished wood panelling to make removable doors that look nice

heater controllers are a bit weird for me, id love to make one myself but with the laws how they are in aus it makes doing your own electrical work harder then it needs to be =[

 

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Nice size tank your planning. I would estimate you’ll be looking at around $5500-$6000 if your planning on getting everything new. 

10 times turn over is pretty crazy. The Laguna 11,000 sump pump would do that tank perfectly. Depending on where your tank will be and how cold it gets as to what size heater you’ll need. I highly recommend the schego 1200 watt heater. They are the ducks nutts of heaters. 

As for plumbing you could plumb the drains in one end and returns in the other. This will make plumbing to and from the sump a lot easier and can save some money on fittings. 

 

Now or for the rays it’s not recommended to keep a mature pair together for constantly as the male will always want to breed with her. Causing injury to her and most likely to him. The tank would be a great size for a pair until the male matures or you could keep a couple of females in there for a couple of years until she is too big. 

 

Hope that gives you some food for thought. 

Jp

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5 minutes ago, JayPee said:

Nice size tank your planning. I would estimate you’ll be looking at around $5500-$6000 if your planning on getting everything new. 

10 times turn over is pretty crazy. The Laguna 11,000 sump pump would do that tank perfectly. Depending on where your tank will be and how cold it gets as to what size heater you’ll need. I highly recommend the schego 1200 watt heater. They are the ducks nutts of heaters. 

As for plumbing you could plumb the drains in one end and returns in the other. This will make plumbing to and from the sump a lot easier and can save some money on fittings. 

 

Now or for the rays it’s not recommended to keep a mature pair together for constantly as the male will always want to breed with her. Causing injury to her and most likely to him. The tank would be a great size for a pair until the male matures or you could keep a couple of females in there for a couple of years until she is too big. 

 

Hope that gives you some food for thought. 

Jp

Only thing that will be second hand will be the sump, but when that time comes if i cant get the size im chasing, ill get it made new. 

Just want to get the best of equipment and plan it perfectly, so i can set it up and just enjoy, and not have to worry about getting more equipment. Money isnt an issue, to a certain extent obviously haha. I have time. 

Hmm i guess ill just go the 1 one ray. I want to stock it with fish all juvenile, so they can grow together ill wait till the fish are 6ish inch before getting a pup, and by then the tank would have settled in. 

What do you think? 

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i used a french cleat system for my last big one, allowed removal of the entire panel. personally wouldnt use magnets. if you're getting it built i'm sure whoever does it will have some practical ideas on how to do it.

have you thought about using canisters instead of a sump?

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6ft sump would suffice mate, I have a 6x2 sump on a 6x2.5 tank, the biggest you can run the better. . 10x turnover is a hell of a lot. I’d personally aim for 6x. Definitley agree with jp on the schego. A tank that size you wouldn’t run anything else. 

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I designed a pretty sweet sump for a tank that size a while ago. It has mechanical first chamber then into k1 and then into mechanical and chemical filtration then pump and heater section. Works a treat. It’s a 6-2-2 I wouldn’t go any smaller than that for a tank that size. 

If you can I’d go new sump as well. Then everything is new and there shouldn’t be any problems. 

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i think a 6x2x2 would be a pretty perfect size as long as you can fit it in the stand you get built with enough room above it to do maintenance, last time i check a new 6x2x2 was $350-400 and second hand you can get them like $150-200 ( but you would probably want to reseal it )

honestly im loving your ideas about this build but i cant get my head around the 10x turn over per hour haha even with it being heavily mechanical and having multiply sections after that, i think its over kill in my opinion and just going to add extra cost and problems thats not needed ~~ again just my honest opinion 

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im not an expert but i believe if the turn over of water is too fast the bio filtration wont work as efficiently as it can, like the water will move so fast the bacteria wont be able to actually clean the water if you know what i mean? if someone else can confirm this??

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