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Armstrod

Diy Long Nano size recommendations

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Armstrod

Hi All,

 

Looking at DIYing a long nano tank. Running a pair of pico vases atm, and learning that big hands and small necked tanks lead to frustration. I want some room to place some more aggressive species of coral and have some smaller fish, without the big tank issues of being up to my arm pit in water chasing coralmorphs out from under the rockwork etc. 

 

Can I ask thoughts on a 116cm long x 24cm high x 21cm deep tank? I like the dimensions of the Mr Aqua long 3ft nano, but want to extend it to the length of the shelving unit it will be sitting on. (shelf will be reinforced for weight etc). I'm new to reefing in general so feel free to point out the obvious, as it's likely I'll be oblivious at this point.

 

I'd like to make it in drillable glass, so not tempered etc. Online calculators are saying 5mm thickness will give me a safety factor of 11. 

 

I like the idea of not having to reach into a tank hence extending the dimensions of the nano rather than going to a larger 4 foot factory setup. My focus is mainly corals and some smaller fish. Coral gobies, maybe some clowns at biggest.

 

Lighting will be a custom setup, so I can group LEDs where lighting is needed. Space them out where they're not. I'm relatively comfortable with electronics and will be running the tank on a reefpi. I like the flexibility of being able to pick out individual LEDs in the spectrum of my choosing and wire them in where I think a particular batch of corals would prefer shallow broad spectrums or deeper water blues.

 

Flow I'm thinking of plumbing the overflow and return at opposite ends of the tank to give a baseline of laminar flow down a tank which will essentially be a long skinny tube. Then using some rock work to create a constriction point and higher flow rate area. Maybe have some powerheads running counter to the flow to create periodic turbulence. The length of the tank might lead to a slight temperature gradient. I'm thinking of running an inline heater and if there is a gradient, using it to host corals in their preferred "climate". If it's particularly bad, an in-tank heater may be needed as well, thinking about it, that could actually be a handy redundancy setup...

 

Can I ask thoughts? Almost all the tanks I find in this length are wider and deeper, Guess I am trying to identify if that's because of customer preferences or if there is something I'm missing before buying some glass and finding out the hard way.

 

Cheers,

Dave

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Christopher Marks

Hi @Armstrod!

 

This sounds like a good plan to me. Does your shelf allow for any more width or height? Since you're custom building it, I can't help but think something closer to 30cm high and wide would really give you the most flexibility of space and height for coral to grow. There's nothing wrong with the dimensions you have, but 21cm feels kind of narrow over that long span.

 

Have you found a good guide for building it?

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Armstrod

Hi @Christopher Marks

 

I have been thinking quite hard about going up to 30x30. I am quite attracted to the smaller volume but similar frontal viewing area of the 24x21, but local glass suppliers have been quoting me ridiculous prices for materials (three times the cost of fully built aquariums etc.) so I might end up having to go for a factory built tank, and the 4 foot, 30cmx30cm tanks seem to be the closest match.

 

I'd say I've probably found the usual suspects online as far as guides go, DIY king on youtube and some forum posts. Wouldn't say that I've found anything that seems to be the definitive guide or anything though so would be keen to hear any recommendations. One of my weird life experiences has been building stained glass windows, so I'm relatively confident cutting/grinding glass etc. It's more the theory of tank design I'm interested in. I am currently thinking a frameless/braceless design, just because it's the most common current practice that I can crib off of, and am sizing my glass thickness accordingly, but I'm wondering about the wisdom of it to be honest. Bracing does give somewhere for the lid to rest naturally, and I can probably ratchet down the safety margin significantly from the 11 I've currently got it at, meaning lower costs and weight etc.

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Lingwendil

30x30x100, or 20x30x100 would be nice, with 20 tall being my preference 🙂

 

Even 20x30x150  or 30x30x180 would be nice if you have the room for it.

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dan0788

are you looking for more volume than the mr aqua 3ft? The stocked 12g will be well over 200lbs - that seems like alot of weight for a shelf

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Armstrod

Thanks folks, sorry for delay in response, my email had been blocking notifications.

 

I've now started construction on the 24 high by 21 deep, although I'm already planning the next one at 30 deep 😂 After having the materials cut out and attached together I'm looking at the depth thinking its *just* enough for some 'scaping, but I was thinking of using black egg crate as as a racking system to attach rock shelves and corals to the back wall of the tank, and 21cm is just a little narrow for that. Will see if I can think up something that will securely hold things in the tank without taking up too much room or being too obvious. Am using magnets currently in other tanks, but as time goes on I'm just not trusting them to stay put as much as I'd like to.

 

I am trying to keep my cross-section in the tank a bit smaller because of another idea I'm rolling around in my head atm to do with waterflows in the tank. Trying to replicate the back and forth laminar tidal flows you might see deeper in a reef but that needs me to keep the cross-section as small as practical. Now looking at it in hindsight I could use rockwork and substrate depth etc. to restrict it down and create high flow areas while also giving more opportunities for lower flow and generally a wider "range" of flow patterns across the tank. Ah well live and learn. Will see how the first design works and if it's worthy of a second iteration.

 

Am very mindful with the weight of this project, particularly the live weight if I get too creative with flows in the tank. Atm my hybrid solution has a total rating of 180kg, and the tank will be coming in at approximately 64kg. I do have some options for additional reinforcement but I will probably run the system empty for a while just to satisfy myself the margins are ok.

 

End of financial year is unfortunately consuming way too much of my time and energy at the moment to progress this as quickly as I like, but hopefully I'll have some photos before too long.

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Robbie_Maxwell

Any updates?

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