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FAQs about Commercial & Custom Tanks for Marine Systems By Manufacturer/Brand

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Related FAQs: BioCube, MegaFlow, Red Sea Max, Tanks, Tanks 2, Tanks 3Tanks 4, DIY Gear 1, DIY Gear 2, DIY Gear 3, DIY Gear 4, Tanks, Stands, Covers, Custom Aquariums, Stands, Covers..., FAQs on Commercial, Custom Tank: Design, Shape, Materials: Acrylic, Glass, Other... Tools, Location, & DIY Tanks, Sumps 1, DIY Tanks/Sumps 2, DIY Tanks/Sumps 3DIY Tanks/Sumps 4, & FAQs on DIY Tank & Sump : Design, Shape/Size, Materials, Tools/Construction/Sealants, Plumbing... DIY Acrylic Tanks, DIY Glass Tanks, DIY Wood Tanks, DIY Other Material Tanks... & Acrylic Tank Repair

All Glass (AGA): www.all-glass.com Finnex: http://www.finnex.net/ Jebo Aquariums: www.jeboaquarium.com Glasscages.com Lee Mar: leemarpet.com Oceanic: www.oceanicsystems.com Perfecto: www.perfectomfg.com San Diego Plastics Aquariums: http://www.sdplastics.com/aquaria1.html SeaClear/Tradewind/CASCO:  www.casco-group.com/ Tenecor: www.tenecor.com Tru Vu Aquaplex: http://yhst-32494300360055.stores.yahoo.net/

Your opinion          5/27/15
Good morning crew!!! Just a really opened question, what is your opinion of Deep Blue Professional aquariums? I am looking to purchase a 110 xh reef ready. I am also curious on what you think of there stands? I have never seen one and can't find any reviews on the web on them.
<Me neither>
I just want an unbiased opinion on them...
<Mmm: http://www.deepblueprofessional.com/index.html
Don't have any first-hand experience w/ their line. As usual w/ such product queries, I/we encourage you to seek out actual users opinions... via hobby clubs, bulletin boards.... Bob Fenner>

One more time please, acrylic tank manufacturer    6/20/12
Hi. I am needing help finding the info. about where my tank had came from.
About a year or two ago I had written an email to you guys asking about my 120 gallon acrylic fish tank with the
word NOVA at the bottom of it.
You had responded back with the information and, well, I've lost it. Any way you can tell me one more time?
<Mmm, maybe the light fixtures sold w/ Aqua Plex/Tru-Vu out of Hayward, CA... or perhaps the AquaNova folks:
Bob Fenner>
Re: One more time please

I remember the person that gave me the information saying it was a company out of Canada or some thing like that. I just wish that I could find it on your web site.
<Have you tried searching? B>
Re: One more time please, acrylic manuf.      6/22/12

Yeah, I've tried with Google, Yahoo, and even tried looking for the first email I sent a long time ago on your web site. I figured it would still be posted but could not find it. So, I'm just going to let it go. I want to say thank you for trying and that I'm a big fan of Wet Web Media. A very informative place on a hobby I love so much.
<Rats! I don't see it either... maybe perusing here:
or here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CommAcryltk.htm
Bob Fenner>

Replacement Pump For Solano Nano Tank 6/7/09
Hey Guys,
<Hello Samantha>
my husband and I both have Solano 34g nano tanks. Set up as reef tanks we've had great success with them but recently both our pumps have gone out, mine being the latest. And we've had to rig replacements since I can't seem to find a true replacement from Solano or anywhere else. Do you'll suggest anything else I should or could do to continue to have optimal skimmer performance. I appreciate any input.
<Have you contacted Current USA on this? Forward this to info@current-usa.com.>
<Your welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Samantha Serie

Tempered bottoms, glass tank manuf. choice  11/23/08 Hello, <Dave> After buying an Oceanic Tech 120 gallons and returning it 5 times (that's right 5) because of various problems including 2 that arrived cracked....I give up on Oceanic...their quality control is non-existent...I decided to get essentially the same tank but made by a local custom tank manufacturer. <Used to be a good co.> Now i have the option of a 3/4 inch non-tempered bottom just like the Oceanic tank had, or a 1/2 inch tempered. I'm not planning any drilling...which is the way to go? <... "Six of one..."> Seems to be some disagreement on what's better, though I notice that manufacturers making "higher end" aquariums tend to specifically state that they use non-tempered as if it is superior. Can you offer some advice? Thanks, Dave <I'd likely go the 3/4 inch bottom route... as someone may at some point decide to drill it... these two choices are fine, near equivalents in terms of strength... the 3/4" inch being a few tens of pounds heavier to lift... Bob Fenner>

Tank information needed... reading  -- 7/30/08 Hello I have been checking out your site for a few weeks now (really enjoy it), and sent in a fish question that was answered for me. Now I have a question in regards to an aquarium I am thinking of purchasing. This will be an upgrade from a 12 gallon to a 40 gallon. My LFS gave me paperwork info from two places. The first is Clear For Life which I am getting the impression from the couple of places I found WWM that they would be one of the company's of your recommendation... am I correct in this? <I think they have good, consistent products> And if so can you give me anymore info on these tanks plus pros and cons? <Mmm, don't know what you're looking for here> The other company they gave me info on was Visio if I wanted to go the glass route, <Oh... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm the first... to Tanks...> but I cant seem to find anything on these aquariums when I am doing searches. Do you know ANYTHING regarding the Visio aquariums that might be helpful to me? <Again... how would I know what you know? See their makers site re: http://www.advanceaquatanks.com/vg.html> (though I am leaning more towards the acrylic since this is what I already have). The Clear For Life that I am looking at is a 40 gallon rectangular 36x15x16 for $114.00 for tank plus $21.75 for fixture. In your opinion does that sound like a pretty decent price or do I need to keep looking? <Is very reasonable> Oh also my LFS suggested H.O.T Marineland Emperor 280 <Mmm... I would not go this route... for any token mix, type of marine livestock> is he steering me in a good direction with all this? <I'd keep reading... Bob Fenner> Thank You

hello to Bob and the crew, Finnex tanks/systems    7/26/08 I have a question about nano tanks. I have been thinking about down sizing my 55 gallon tank to a 30 or 34 gallon nano. Tanks I am looking at are the Solano and theM-Tank by Finnex International Corporation. First which is better? <Mmm, not familiar with these: http://www.finnex.net/productlist.php to state, but do see my comment below> My second question is I have a sleeper goby, three clownfish, two are a mated pair laying eggs, two powder blue damsel fish, an arrow crab <Watch this... Stenorhynchus are predatory> and a small reef crab, will all these fish, who have lived together for over 6 years, be ok behaviour and bioload wise in either of the tanks I listed. I have been having some problems with algae should I use the live sand and water from the 55 gallon tank and use it in the new tank? <I would> Thanks Kathy <I'd also add an external sump/refugium to this system. Am not a fan of these "all in one" built in systems... too puny, hard to work on, un-adaptable. Bob Fenner>

Follow Up on Finnex Post    7/26/08 Dear Bob, <Andy> I read the post/answer regarding the Finnex M-Tank and thought I would throw in my 2 cents. <Much appreciated> I actually purchased the 30 gallon Finnex M-Tank a few months back because I wanted to set up a goby/pistol shrimp tank and my LFS had one they were "testing" to see what kind of hobbyist interest they would get. <Great> I got a pretty good deal on it for a LFS purchase, although I found later that I could have ordered directly from Finnex for about $100 cheaper (but who knows what shipping would have been). <Yes... and possible headaches therein> Anyway, generally, I like the tank a lot and it is perfect for my use. It is an "all-in-one" as you know, with a skimmer, "wet-dry" (which is nothing more than a compartment with a foam insert--which I promptly removed and replaced with a bag of Purigen), a pretty nice-sized refugium with a PC fuge light, and a black cabinet stand--all for about $590. Mine came with 4x24W T5s, although they do offer a 150W HQI version. When I was considering this tank, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to convert my 30g long that I'd been using for a QT or go with a new system. When I started pricing everything out for the upgrade to my existing 30g (and factored in that I'd need a replacement QT), it just made economic sense to purchase the Finnex. I will say that the skimmer is completely useless, so I would recommend upgrading to an AquaC Remora, which I plan to do in the near future. Also, the glass does scratch pretty easily, but I think this is a given with any glass tank. Take care. Andy <Thank you for this input Andy. Will accrue/place with t'other. BobF>

Re: Follow Up on Finnex Post    7/27/08 Bob, <Andy> I forgot to mention one very important attribute of the Finnex tank--the wet-dry filter clogs very quickly. <And I'll bet is a pain to service> When this happens, the water level in the return chamber drops and the tank spews billions of microbubbles. This is one of the reasons it&#39;s important to ditch the foam insert (the other being the elimination of a nitrate factory). Also (guess that makes it two things . . .), the plumbing is not sealed, so I found that the tank does have a tendency to spew microbubbles which you can fix through a combination of silicone and adjustments to the refugium flow valve. Hope this helps someone. <Does help me!> Andy <Thanks again, BobF>

Re: 125 gallon glass aquarium 07/17/2008 Thanks for the reply. Here's a couple pics, maybe it will look familiar. I still have quite a bit of cleaning to do on it so don't mind the crud! I really don't guess it is that important, I would just like to know what brand it is. Thanks so much for your help and such a great site. I don't know what I would have done without you when I started this magnificent hobby a couple years ago. Jacob <<Unfortunately, I still cannot pin point a specific manufacturer. However, it certainly appears to be a sturdy aquarium. Thanks and have a super day. A Nixon>>

Might be an old Atlas Aquarium... RMF

Uniquarium Skimmer Upgrade -- 05/31/08 I just wanted to say thank you for the great advice. <<We're happy to help>> I placed an AquaC Remora-Pro skimmer in my 100 gallon FOWLR tank with awesome results. <<Ah!...excellent>> I have a Clear for Life Uniquarium so it took some work to modify the rear of the tank to accommodate the Mag-3 pump. (A coping saw and about 1 hour of work) <<Very good>> I struggled with finding the best skimmer that would fit in the space available for many months. <<Sounds like your research paid off>> Please let your readers know that if they own this particular aquarium that it is possible to retro fit a much better protein skimmer to the rear of the tank. <<You just did>> Again thanks for the great advice. <<Always welcome. EricR>> Re: Lee-Mar custom frameless tank 1/29/08 Hi Bob, I wanted to update you on the tank situation with Lee-Mar. I appreciated your input and timely response on our last emails, and respect you as a leader in the industry. The tank was delivered again today, two weeks after we sent the tank back with the imperfections it was delivered with the first time. As you can imagine we were all filled with anticipation awaiting the delivery of this tank we have been waiting for since the beginning of December. The tank does not even make it off the truck and we have to decline delivery again! The tank not only had MORE inclusions that the first time they sent it, they wrapped the tank with all of the shipping/ packing material while the paint on the back of the tank was still WET. <... What a mess!> The paint came off in the plastic, had HUGE marks where the packaging was placed against the wet paint, and allowed to dry, and the edges of the glass were chipped from where they had to take the tank apart to reapply the sealant. <Mmmm> I know that you state that Lee-Mar has superb craftsmanship, but what we have experienced on this custom tank, has been nothing short of a disaster! I can't believe after all this, NO ONE bothered to quality control this tank before it left the shop, and if they did, they ALLOWED it to be delivered in this condition. <Something is very amiss> We are extremely disappointed to say the least, and I do not want to give my good money to a company that has so little concern for the quality of product they deliver to a consumer. Do you have any other suggestions for glass tank manufacturers?? <Oceanic... Glass Cages... Perfecto... All-Glass> We are looking to expand our reef/fish collection, and have built-in tank stand that will accommodate up to a 125 gallon tank. Thank you again for your time and patience with my dilemma and look forward to hearing from you. Sandy Moats <Very sorry to hear/read of your experiences here. I do encourage you to write directly to the management at Lee-Mar. Feel free to copy my name, our correspondence to this. Bob Fenner><<Note to RMF: Write Terri Boyd directly if these folks don't get satisfaction>

Red Sea Reef Max vs. C.A.D. Aquarium 1/25/08 Hi, <Hello Phil> I am new to saltwater and contemplating purchasing a Nano tank. I like the idea of an all in one tank, they also fit my space needs. I was originally set on the Red Sea Max and then someone suggested the new C.A.D. 39g set up. Reading the specs on both it is difficult for me to determine the best. I thought I may ask for help from others who have experience. Which company has the better quality/customer service etc... Any help comparing the two and guidance as which way to go would be a great. <I'm not familiar with the CAD product, a search didn't help me much with product info. I'm thinking no protein skimmer is provided. The Red Sea on the other hand provides everything, a true plug and play system, and, the lighting provided, should fit the needs of most if not all light loving invertebrates. As for customer service, I know first hand that Red Sea is excellent in this regard. If it were me, I'd choose the Red Sea.> Thank you, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Phil <<See here: http://www.oceanreeflections.com/products.aspx?prodcat=Aquariums&heading=C.A.D%20%20Aquariums&subhead=39G%20C.A.D%20SIgnature%20Series&page=1 RMF>>

Re Red Sea Max vs. C.A.D. Aquarium 1/25/08 Hi James, <Hello Phil> Thank you very much. <You're welcome.> I appreciate it. I was leaning towards the Max, I think I will go with it. <Don't think you will be disappointed. James (Salty Dog)> Phil Metaframe Aquariums, resale of antiques!  -11/18/07 Hello, After doing several searches to no avail, I'm hoping you can help me. Recently several people have offered to buy my 15 gallon Metaframe aquarium. It is in great condition and is still currently in use, with its original stow a light canopy. I've looked on eBay and have seen two currently listed, one 10 gallon for $80 and an identical 10 gallon for $250 so I'm a little confused about its actual worth. Any assistance you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Kate <Hello Kate. To quote Margaret Thatcher, "something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it". This may not help you much, but there it is. Personally, I'd spend next to no money on a 15 gallon tank. It's simply not useful except for rearing baby fish or housing very tiny community fish or shrimps. Every time I advise beginner aquarists, I always, always, ALWAYS tell them to go for a 20 gallon tank upwards. Anything smaller can't be used to properly maintain the sorts of fish regular aquarists like to keep, like goldfish, guppies, angelfish and so on. Moreover, your sort of tank, with a slate bottom and metal frame, just isn't a good long-term investment. These tanks simply get increasingly more likely to leak as they age, and moving them from one house to another is precisely the sort of thing that puts strains on the joints speeding up this degradation. So while it may appeal as a collector's item, as something a hobbyist should spend money on it makes no sense at all. For less than $100 you can get an all-glass 20 gallon tank with lights, heater and filter from a brand like Marineland that gives you a warranty as well as a source of spare parts should things go wrong. Getting prices from eBay is not always helpful, because by definition eBay exists to use the auction mode of sale to drive prices up. Moreover, a lot of stuff never sells at its listed price. Anyone who spends $80 on a second-hand metal-framed 10 gallon tank -- let alone $250 -- is, in my opinion, out of their mind! I'm not really sure this is what you wanted to hear, in which case I apologise, but we really aren't geared to advise people on commercial or financial issues. Cheers, Neale.>

So-called "Reef-ready" aquariums 7/30/05 I was just introduced to the term "reef-ready" by Jeff at LifeReef.   <The term is laughable to many experienced aquarists. I find these aquariums tend to be minimalist yet overpriced. Normally have inadequate water flow capabilities too. Check our WWM archives and those of big message boards like Reef Central for the term/phrase. You will read more details for concerns about such displays> I understand it is basically corner overflows inside the tank. <Yep> Jeff suggested this set-up was fairly industry standard for advanced, professional set-ups.   <I respectfully disagree. And I have nothing to sell you by the way. Even my books are so low profit as to be no significant motivation. Heehee... unless I really needed a dollar badly <G>>> I find no mention of reef-ready tanks in Robert's book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.  Why not?   <Check the copyright my friend... things change in time and books pay poorly yet are expensive to produce ;)> I found some references to reef ready aquariums at   http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-01/gt/index.htm  , which also suggested this was an excellent set-up.   <OK> Please comment on whether or not I should be specifying, "reef-ready" when I purchase a 220 gallon cold (50-55 degree) saltwater tank for installation at the Pioneer's Home in Sitka, Alaska. <Just check the math yourself my friend... a 1" bulkhead can handle 300 gph quietly, 600 gph noisily (unless modified ala Durso or Mega). So... for a 220 gallon aquarium that needs conservatively 10-20X turnover of flow (most reefers do much more than this). 4000pgh adds up to a whole lot of 1" bulkheads which none of the so-called "reef-ready" tanks have. So, that leaves us with a small pump running a weak (and quiet - that's good) loop of around a 1000 gph through 2-3 standard drain holes in a sump loop. You can do this... but at least need to drill one larger hole for a 2" bulkhead, for example, to tap a pump into the display proper for a closed loop to do the bulk of the water movement needed in this tank. That's presuming that you are willing to return the water from the 2" line fed CL pump over the top of the aquarium as in a perimeter manifold (see the thread on CL perimeter manifolds stickied at the top of my forum at reefcentral.com for a long list of threads on this topic).> All specimens will be from local waters and the rock will be as alive as it can be.   <wow... fascinating. Truly so :)> Thanks, Kris Calvin <You do know that it is illegal to collect the cnidarians, yes? Above all... obey the fishing license regulations. Best of luck, Anthony> Sump Stuff 7/24/05 Dear Mr. Fenner (or other great crew members) I was reading through some articles on sumps and being new to this particular subject I was thinking about something. Currently I have a 30g reef (about 2 months old) and am using a spare ten gallon tank as an outside plenum filter.  I was going to also use this to house my equipment.  But I noticed that all of the sump plans on WWM  have separate compartments for every thing. <Yes... easier to maintain constant water flow, compartmentalize functions...> Rather than ruin my plenum, I thought I might as well just get another tank/tub for another separate sump for the equipment and other filtration means.  I would put this one before the plenum to keep it clean.  Would this work better than ripping the plenum out and decreasing it's area by cramping it into a baffle system? <IMO, yes> Also what would you recommend, to buy a sump or put one together? <Either>     One other question that's slightly related...  A while back you gave me (potentially) life saving advice on installing a double pump sump return system.  (Thanks for that!)  I have decided that if I want to become more serious about my hobby I should move out of my very old 30 gallon and buy a new tank that has a built in drain system.  I might go bigger but right now I just want a good aquarium.  Any suggestions?  Personal favorites?  Brand preferences?  Any and all help will be appreciated.     Thanks for everything, Andrew <Most all mainstream manufacturers products are fine... just make sure you get the size, number of plumbing holes/lines you want for now and potential upgrading later. Bob Fenner>

Who makes the best tank? 8/31/05 Hey Crew! <Howdy> Who makes a better 55 gallon tank.  Oceanic or AGA?  Is there really an appreciable difference in the quality, design and durability of either?   I am planning on setting up a 55 gal. fish only marine aquarium.   I've heard some people say that the Oceanic product is a step up from the AGA and then I've heard that both Oceanic and AGA are now owned by the same company.  I've also been advised that the wet/dry filtration is the best way to go with a saltwater application.  AGA offers a pre-drilled 55 gallon tank (reef-ready) that would accommodate a wet/dry filter.  However, Oceanic only has a 58 gal reef-ready tank and I don't like the dimensions on it.  Its about a foot shorter in length than the AGA.   I want the dimensions of the AGA since it will be a fish only and not a reef tank and I believe the longer tank is more fish friendly and would allow me to house more fish.   The option I am considering is to have a special order or customized pre-drilled 55 gal. Oceanic tank with the dimensions I am seeking.  I was also told that the pre-drilled tank with the wet/dry filter could be put up against a wall whereas that would not be possible with a non-drilled tank. This is an important consideration due to space limitations.  So in summary: 1.  Which is the better tank?  Oceanic or AGA.  What makes one stand out from the other and is the difference really appreciable? 2.  Assuming that wet/dry filtration is the best method of filtration for a 55 gallon marine tank, should I get a pre-drilled tank.  This being said, is it possible to get a customized pre-drilled 55 gallon Oceanic tank with the dimensions I want.   Thank you for you invaluable input and advice. Gary <Who makes a better tank? For an aquarium of only 55 gallons with those particular dimensions you don't necessarily need to be too overly concerned. Both companies make good aquariums that will last several years. If you were ordering a 550 gallon aquarium it may be a different story. Go with the company who has the better price, warranty, customer service or maybe even the sexiest phone voice. Regarding your second question of tank filtration please read this: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm ...then reread it...And yes, you should get it drilled with a built in overflow box and yes, it is possible to get a pre-drilled 55 gallon Oceanic tank with the dimensions you want. Simply have your local fish store call them and put the order in for you. Gary, consider focusing more of your time/energy into reading up on the proper filtration methods/methodologies of marine aquaria rather than being too caught up in who makes the best 55 gallon aquarium. Good luck Gary!! - Ali>

Battle of The (Aquarium) Brands? My friend is considering purchasing a bow front glass aquarium to be used as a reef tank.  Right now he's considering either All-Glass or Oceanic. I know from what I've read that Oceanic is better quality.  But he wants a more definitive answer as to the differences (besides cost) between these two manufacturers.  He recently took a trip to the LFS and said that from visual examination he could not see a difference in materials between the All-Glass and Oceanic bow front aquariums.  He said it was easy to see the difference between the standard aquariums, but not the bow front models. Can you point me in the right direction as to where I can find some literature on the differences between the two?  Or can you tell me? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Chad <Well, Chad, to be quite honest, I've heard good things about both manufacturers. Personally, I have no experience with either, as I use acrylic, but I think that you'd be best served by posting a query on the WWM Chat Forum, to hear what your fellow hobbyists have to say. You just might meet some pretty cool people who can give you some great feedback! Have fun! Regards, Scott F> New Tank recommendations 3/28/04 Hi Was wondering if I get your opinion on what you think of those acrylic tanks which you can buy that have the lighting and filtration built into the lid of the tank ? <I find them to be limiting if not poorly designed for advancing aquarists I am not sure what they are called and couldn't find a link, but I was thinking of buying one to start up a marine tank. (I am looking at a 3foot tank - not sure what that is in gallons) One thing I did notice was that it seems very difficult with these tanks to put in a protein skimmer as there is no room with the lid being used for lighting / filtration. <exactly... as per my statements above> Which leads me to the next question - do I need a skimmer? <I very strongly recommend it. Else you need to compensate with lighter bio-load, more water changes (weekly would be nice), etc> I know I need a skimmer in terms of the bigger debate - but in light of the tank logistics, can I get away with it. <can, yes... but not worth doing without it> How good would you say the filtration is in one of those tanks where it is built in ? <weak to moderate> I like the idea of having it all very compact and tidy. <understood... although it comes with a price> in my last tank I had a big Eheim on the floor a skimmer sticking out of hole in the glass which resulted in my carpet/furniture being eaten away by salt built up. What would your recommendation be? <if you'll keep a sump, then a Euroreef or AquaC skimmer in a (first water) partition... or if no sump, the a top (rail) mounted Tunze> Thanks Simon <Best of luck, Anthony>

Uniquarium I thinking of purchasing a 60gal 24x24x24 acrylic aquarium for fish only,  I'm choosing this size because it fits perfectly in my home.  I know this size i not ideal, however will it work.  I'm planning on using live rock.  I'm debating considering the all in one Uniquarium.   What do you think?<The tank size would be fine.  But these Uniquarium are often hard to clean and can become a pain.  I would post this question on one of the message forums like ours or www.reefcentral.com.  This way you can get some opinions of those who have used them personally.  Cody> Thanks, Gary DIY Acrylic Tank Fabrication - Confused about Light Diffuser Hello all <Hi there> I would appreciate it if you guys could answer two questions for me. <Will try> I am designing and building an acrylic aquarium.  I need to know how large the top (two) openings should be cut (to allow for addition of fish, rock, etc while maximizing the tank integrity, reducing bowing, etc.)  Material ½ ' nominal acrylic throughout, tank dimensions 48' long, 18.125' wide (front to back), 30' tall (not counting ½ ' floor) roughly 112 gallons. <Leaving a good three inches around all the cut-outs and routing about the corners of the cut-outs themselves should be fine. I would make the top at least 1/2" thick here as well.> (Planning on having a 6' DSB but I have fairly long arms) I plan on using a router for the cuts, with 1.25' radius corners in the cuts to reduce points of stress in the top. <Oh. Good idea> 1.   How wide should the lip be around the outside of the tank and how wide should the single center brace be? <three inches for all> (I plan on implementing Calfo's overflow trough inside the tank and drilling the tank at the top back for both input and output.  36' long spillway will be made of ¼' acrylic since it presumably will experience little pressure.) 2.  Which way do you orient the light diffuser (egg crate) to concentrate light into aquarium as opposed to diffuse it'¦..skinny edge down or up? <Skinny side up as I recall> Thanks for all of your help. Sincerely, Michael <Bob Fenner>

To brace or not to brace Is it possible to construct a 4 ft by 21 in all-glass aquarium, filled with 2 ft of water (though the total height will be 30 in), without any top bracing at all? Or at least, without a centre brace? And what glass thickness would I need to avoid braces (I know this will be a more expensive option, but I just hate braces!) <Mmm, yes... but I do have an "alternative bracing suggestion"> I am thinking of using 1/2 in toughened glass for the sides and either 1/2 in or 5/8 in toughened glass for the base. There will be an enclosure on top of the tank, consisting of a wooden frame (1/2 in by 1 1/2 in timber) sitting on the top edges of the glass sides, then panels of 1/4 in thick MDF screwed/glued to the frame extending 6 in down the outsides of the glass to the water level. If the 1/4 in MDF panels are a snug fit to the outside of the glass, would they give sufficient anti-bowing support to the glass? <Should, yes> Or would I need a wooden centre brace extending across the frame? Or do I have to go the conventional route with a glass centre brace bonded to the tank walls and side braces bonded to the top of all tank sides? <I suggest siliconing a strip (two inches in width will do) either along the top or inside a bit down... front and back glass all the way to the ends. This will give you sufficient bracing to fill this tank all the way to the top, and not block your lighting, rock arranging, netting... Bob Fenner> Thank you for your help, Chris Peacock

Re: To brace or not to brace Thank you very much, Bob. Just two points of clarification, please: <Okay> ><I suggest siliconing a strip (two inches in width will do) either along the top or inside a bit down... front and back glass all the way to the ends. This will give you sufficient bracing to fill this tank all the way to the top, and not block your lighting, rock arranging, netting... Bob Fenner> Would the glass strips be attached to the top of the glass (i.e. sitting on top of, and siliconed to, the top edge of  the front and back panes) or to the inside of the glass (i.e. siliconed to the inside face of the front and back panes, near/at the top of the glass)? <Actually one or the other... Eheim tanks are made with these braces on the inside... and I made glass tanks (back in the late sixties, sheesh!) with them on top> The reason for under filling the tank, BTW, is not to avoid stress on the glass. It is because, for reasons of weight/aesthetics, I intend to build a shallow canopy housing metal halides and T5 fluorescents. With no cover glass or canopy glass, I need the space above the water surface to minimize the risk of water droplets hitting the halide bulbs. <I understand... but would rather see you build, use either less glass (expensive) and hard to discount issues like heat accumulation and moisture... and instead build a higher-up canopy... with fans blowing air in and out> The MDF enclosure around the top of the glass is essentially cosmetic (to conceal the space above the water surface), but would hopefully give a bit of extra stiffening as well. <Okay> The second question concerns glass thickness. Entering this tank's dimensions (with height as 24", not 30", since 24" will be the water depth) into the GARF tank calculator, gives a recommended glass thickness of 3/8" for all four sides plus base, with bracing round the top of all four sides(www.garf.org/tank/BuildTank.asp). Entering the dimensions into Warren Stillwell's glass thickness formula (www.fnzas.org.nz/glassthickness.0.html) gives a recommended glass thickness of 1/2" for the sides and 5/8" for the base, plus bracing all round the top and across the centre. Huge difference in cost/weight/clarity! <Yes> If I follow your recommendation and brace the front/back sides, would you recommend 3/8" or 1/2" glass for the sides? And what about the base - 3/8", 1/2", or 5/8"? Would you have the glass toughened and/or laminated? <You could use the 3/8"s for the sides, front and back if going with the 24" height... but I would definitely go with the 1/2" if you are going to make the tank 30" WHETHER you intend to fill it all this way (Bob will sleep better at night... knowing that if this tank gets over-filled accidentally (this happens) or sometime later you sell it to someone who fills it all the way purposely...> Many thanks, Chris <Be chatting, building, Bob Fenner>

Re: To brace or not to brace Thanks so much, Bob. Still some weeks of planning/purchasing to go, but I will send you an image of the final design and a photo of the tank when completed. Deep breath ...... I've done lots of DIY, but never built a tank before ..... now, I wonder whether the floor of my 110 year-old Victorian house will take the weight .... ho hum, more sleepless nights! <When in doubt, call in a structural engineer (find them in the "Yellow Pages" likely) and have them take a look... It may be that you'll need to shore up the floor... do spread out the mass with a good piece of plywood under the stand/support legs... Good luck and look forward to seeing the results! Bob Fenner> Thanks again, Chris Difference between tank brands 10/12/04 What is the difference between a Perfecto tank and an All Glass Tank?  It would be of great assistance to have this question answered.  <Generally, All-Glass is considered to be a better product than Perfecto, though the difference is probably insignificant in standard rectangular tanks up to about 75 gallons.  Compare both brands in the size tank you are considering, paying special attention to the thickness of glass, quality of seams and the top bracing (one molded piece vs. several pieces).  Best Regards.  AdamC.> AGA Overflows I have been reading a lot about the shortcomings of the standard overflows that come with certain Aquariums. I have a 90 gallon AGA and was wondering if it makes sense to somehow convert the ¾ inch return line to another drain to increase flow and use a closed loop type of return instead. Thanks, John <Does make sense... either to A) use the current small lines for a closed-loop recirculation system (in place of submersed pump/s, powerheads), B) Re-drill over these holes to much larger... or C) do A and drill new holes... Bob Fenner> 

Anybody Make A 48" Long 100-125 Gallon Reef Ready Tank? - 06/12/05 Hi gang: <<Howdy>> I recently saw a 48"x24"x24" Visio custom glass tank in my LFS. <<A very popular size/configuration.>> Evidently they ordered it for an SPS show tank. . . and decided not to use it for that purpose.  Anyway, they're looking to sell it. . . but the price is rather steep, and the cabinet is badly flawed.  I currently have a near-cubic shaped 105 gallon. . . bought used, but a custom job at time of manufacture.  Does anyone know of a manufacturer who makes something like this size in their standard lineup? I've looked at the Lee Mar/All Glass/Oceanic catalog descriptions. . . but unless I've missed something, I don't see anything close. Thanks in advance for any help on this. <<Well Chuck if I go by your title, I think you've missed something.  Google searches of both All-Glass and Oceanic show stock 120 gallon (48x24x24) aquariums.  I would suggest some key-word searches on the internet to see what you can find.>> Chuck <<Regards, Eric R.>>

Custom Acrylic Aquariums Could you please tell me where I could purchase a acrylic customized aquarium. Thank You. <Sure. There are a few of the larger fabricators listed here on our Links pages: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlinks.htm see the middle column under "manufacturers"... I encourage you to do a bit more looking in your geographic region (shipping can be an important cost)... and to ask your local fish stores what they might charge you to "piggy back" this job on their shipment (many do so for a nominal/minimal surcharge (ten percent), saving you much more than you can get the work delivered for direct... What else, let's see, oh, do check with the various BB's, Chatforums (ours: http://wetwebfotos.com/talk/ re opinions, experiences with the company/ies you're considering. Have you read through our "Designer Tank" sections?: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dessysart.htm and the linked files. Bob Fenner>

Pre-Drilled, Twin-Flow Hi all- <cheers> Are you familiar with All-Glass pre-drilled Twin-Flow corner overflows?  <yep... inadequate flow for most tanks> I want to buy one of these but am confused about set up. I know I have to buy a separate accessory kit that has bulkhead fittings, pre-filter with media, float etc. But does this require a pump or is it past of the deal? <the pump involved will be sitting in your sump tank below... the kit is just an overflow assembly... and a small one at that> If I set up a sump can I put my skimmer and a heater down beneath?  <you will have to have a sump with a tank with an overflow. Very desirable anyways... and yes you can put most or all of your equipment down there. The skimmer will need a skimmer box though to keep a stable well volume (sealed baffle in sump or a drilled box within your sump)> And can I rely on this pre-bought system to circulate the water? <many complaints abound about weak flow from these units. A kind and knowledgeable aquarist that designed a better overflow for All-glass has worked with them on this topic but they have been disinclined to promote a higher capacity or modified overflow. I understand that you can special order a double overflow from them. Else, the standard issue will not allow you to run a large sump return pump that eliminates the need for power heads in the main tank. I personally don't feel like the inconvenience is worth it with an All-Glass aquarium. If you have a tank of fishes or invertebrates that wants or needs high flow, I would advise you to get a plain aquarium drilled with a bigger/better overflow. this could simply be 4 1" holes across the back top of regular tank> Would the downspout connect directly into my skimmer and how would I hook up the return?  <it could... but I would suggest that it would be safe to dump the raw water into the skimmer box in the sump which overflows into the sump proper before a sump pump (mag drive, Iwaki, etc) returns it back up to the display> Sorry for my ignorance but most of your Sump/refugium FAQ's relate to DIY systems or ad hoc systems, whereas I am attempting to buy a system that is integrated from the start. The more I read the less certain I am of what minimum requirements I need to satisfy. <it is really simple, my friend... the overflow drains into an empty tank (sump)... the pump returns the water through a short u-tube up over the display. The only variation here is a skimmer box catching the raw water in-line as it sits in the sump> I will probably buy the 75 gallon rectangular model, but space/aesthetics may necessitate the 92 gallon triangular corner model. I hope to set up for reef with fishes in moderation. <do continue to review the DIY diagrams for ideas and variations you may wish to adopt. Pick out these basic components outlined above in the following illustration: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/plumbingmarart.htm> Your help is greatly appreciated as I hope to make the BIG purchase sometime near the end of September. <let us help you find a good local aquarium society too... what city do you reside in/near? Anthony>

Jebo tanks input shared from WWM daily reader/friend (Now Crew member!) Hello Everyone, <cheers> I was reading over the FAQs and saw a question about Jebo tanks. Although I have never owned one the store I used to work in sells them, so here is my opinion (for what it is worth) <excellent and with thanks!> The tanks are aesthetically pleasing with rounded edges, and the filter is all up top in the canopy, much like the eclipse tanks. The Lighting on the 25 gallon is (I think) a couple of power compacts (pretty cool). The filter is a trickle filter of sorts, the water is pumped up through a tube which drips the water across a filter bad that is on top of some biomedia, then returned to the tank (also pretty cool). The only problems I have noticed is that the light switches on the canopy tend to break, and if you use the tank for salt water the salt will creep and the lighting is not sealed well, so you will end up with a lot of rust.  <ahhh...common with imports> Also, the powerhead that pumps the water up to the filter has one of those tube dealies that you can add for extra aeration, this does not work well for some reason. If I were looking for a tank that was fairly easy to set up and ready to go straight out of the box the Jebo is pretty sweet. I would also check out the eclipse systems. I would lean towards an eclipse because almost everyone sells them so parts and maintenance are readily available. In theory the Jebos are pretty sweet, but not having used one I cannot say for sure. Hope it helps. Best Regards, Gage <again... kind thanks for sharing. The beauty of good aquatic fellowship and this vehicle we call WetWebMedia.com Best regards, Anthony>

Finding Glass aquariums Hi Rob, My question to you today is can you help me find a retailer on the web or phone to find large glass aquariums.  <Hmmmm... shipping costs are dear. Where do you live? And are you looking for custom or commercial (cheaper) size(s)> I have checked the sites you have links to and they have is acrylic, that seems to be more expensive and scratches easily.  <agreed... I prefer glass> My local fish stores don't have much of a selection and don't want to seem to help much, all they carry is all glass or top fin which seem to top out at 180g. please help. Josh, thanks again! <OK... and do look into FAMA (Freshwater And Marine Aquarium) magazine. They have ads for huge aquarium therein. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: glass aquariums Hey, I guess I left a few things out. I live near Tampa, Florida. I would definitely go for commercial (cheaper). I'm looking for something between 250-300 gallons, but only 6' long. I will check for FAMA at my local pet shops, but if you can give me a couple names of manufactures of larger glass tanks off the top of your head so I can name them to my local pet stores. <Perfecto, All-Glass, and Oceanic are the big boys. Oceanic makes custom tanks, capable of making something in the size you are interested in. Perfecto's biggest tank is 265 gallons and 7 feet long. I think All-Glass's is something close to 200.> Thanks again, You guys are great! Josh <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Built-In Filters I have read that you like Tenecor's Simplicity Plus, and Advance Aqua's Uniquarium, but I haven't really seen any discussion about advantages/disadvantages to either one.  I am more curious about your comparisons of the built-in filtration in each. It seems that the Tenecor would be the better choice.  Thoughts? Tim McLaren <Well, Tim- both are well made, and come from reputable sources. My only real criticism of these systems is that they do not allow a lot of flexibility, as far as the installation of protein skimmers is concerned. You may be able to install a HOT skimmer, like the Aqua C. Remora, or maybe a Tunze unit, if you can figure out the mounting. I'd remove the plastic filtration media, if it were me. I'd use the back compartment as a "sump" of some sort, and place carbon and/or PolyFilter pads in there. The only other disadvantage to these units, IMO is that they tend to make the inside of the tank a bit more "narrow", which may or may not be aesthetically displeasing to you (I don't like tall narrow tanks, myself...Other than that, either one seems to be as good as the other. Regards, Scott F> tim

Sea Clear System Tanks I currently have a 55 gal Sea Clear System II (the one with a built-in trickle filter in the back) reef tank. I bought it when wet/dry's were still in vogue, and, didn't realize how much I would have benefited from having a regular sump instead! Consequently, I have a hang-on skimmer (Sea Clone). I know the Sea Clones get marginal reviews, and, I was wondering about your opinion. Would I benefit enough from a Red Sea Berlin Hang-On Skimmer to justify the costs? Any other ideas? Also, I don't know how familiar you are with the Sea Clear tanks; but, I've only be able to remove half of the wet-dry media due to the excessively loud noise caused by removing all of it (water cascades down the back and drops almost the entire height of the tank, unimpeded). Could this result in any water quality issues?  Thank you very much for your help. David Kleeman <<Thank you for writing... and am very familiar with SeaClear/Tradewind/CASCO's products including this one... Am friends with the four owners and a few of their staff, and they do have other fine products... but do concur with your appraisal... this integral filter line... is bunk. I really would abandon the back "filter" area entirely... and drill (you can use/borrow a side-drill I know...) and just use the present area for circulation... maybe a purposeful denitrator)... and go with an external sump... and the real skimmer you intend (the hang-on or in sump needle wheel types are superior)... If any of this isn't clear (or obvious) please ring back. Bob Fenner>> 

Re: question for Bob F -- SeaClear Hi Bob. <Hey Trey> First, I've got say what a fantastic resource this web site is....Thank you all!!! <Welcome> My question is about SeaClear System II aquariums. I read a post where you called them "bunk" and I was wondering what you didn't like about them? <Two items: the inadequacy of the filter components and the difficulty of working on them (for other readers, these systems have integrated... part of the back of the tank itself...compartments for filter media, pump, skimmer...> What do you think is a good alternative to the self contained system? I know wet/dry filters cause a lot of nitrates and I was going to try and balance that out with 4 inches of live sand and Cell pore media. <Sump, refugium, skimmer set-ups. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm re filtration...> I'm just getting back in the hobby after ten years and thought they looked like a pretty cool design. All self contained with a spot for a protein skimmer and a heater. No drilling, no external plumbing, etc. <... yes, except they "don't work" worth a darn, and are a pain to get into, work on...> I'm planning a fish only, 50 gallon, with 4 inches of live sand to help with the nitrates. I'd like to keep all tank raised fish with little or no rock collected from natural sources. I'm thinking about False Percula Clownfish, Orchid Dottyback and a Neon Goby and few other tank raised fish with a clean up crew down the road. The whole idea is to have a complete marine tank that's not collected from nature. Any thoughts you may have on the SeaClear System II ( or alternatives ) and my choice of a tank raised fish with man made rocks would be great? Thanks!!! Trey <Read, keep good notes on going through "Marine Set-Up" section above. Bob Fenner>

Oceanic Tank manufacturer? Hi Bob; I wrote you an e-mail a few weeks back regarding fish per inch/gal. After checking out the list of companies in the back of your book. "The Conscientious marine Aquarist", I was wondering if you would know the address of "Oceanic"? The company that makes fish tanks. I am trying to get a price quote on two different manufacturers. Please let me know if you can help me. Thanks, Fred Siegele <http://www.oceanicsystems.com/wheretobuy.htm, Bob Fenner>

Re: New Reef Tank, Acrylic tank thickness, lighting, skimmer efficiency, confusion Bob, Just a few more questions. I was in Phoenix this week on business and visited the Tenecor shop.  <Nice people there> I also went to a lot of Marine shops and that confused me more than ever.  <Hmm, that's a shame... there are some great shops in Phoenix> Most shops said the Tenecor tank is not thick enough, even for a 50g tank(?) One said I should get an upgraded thicker top(?) <Hmm, well, yes... as a matter of economic expedience most acrylic tank fabricators "main lines" are constructed on less thick materials... than might otherwise be used... but/and these tanks are still very sturdy... much more so than glass of the same thickness... but are still inclined to "bow" much more than thicker material ones are... As such, manufacturers, including Tenecor will gladly use thicker acrylic (especially the top...) for custom tanks> I was planning on a retrofit with 2x96w lights, most suggested go with 4x55 watt(?)  <Six of one... the four lamps are more flexible in choosing different lamp arrangements> Some said don't do the wavemaker, go with the new rotating powerheads(?)  <I agree with this...> All said don't do the CPR unit as the built in skimmer isn't very good(?) <Not a "great efficiency" skimmer... but certainly "good enough" for the majority of set-ups... for larger systems, animals that extracting more is better, other models, makes are better...> I felt comfortable with my original choices except for thru Rio's which I would upgrade to the Maxijets but now I'm not sure. Any thoughts you have on a 50g limited to 36" wide would be a great help.  Thanks again, Paul <Please don't be discouraged or fall into a morass of non-action over apparent differences of opinions on gear... they are just that, different opinions... Strive to understand the underlying logic of these choices... and choose for yourself... Certainly there are better choices depending on aspects of efficiency, cost, your sophistication, desire to keep all up and going... but all the gear, ALL of it you mention will indeed work... Perhaps an analogy with automobiles... Yes there are more "high performance" cars, ones that get better mileage, are more safe, shinier/with more bells and whistles... they all will get you where you want in relative comfort and safety... Bob Fenner>

New tank (glass aquarium manufacturers, ratings) Hi Bob, I am looking into a new 100-135 ga. marine FOWLR tank set-up. I have looked at a few (on the internet). I was wondering about All-Glass brand, and Oceanic. Do you know if these are well-built (quality, reliability) tanks? <These are both good outfits, the Oceanic measurably better...> How about any other brands (I prefer glass). <Which part of the country are you in? If the Oceanic is within your budget reach, this is what I'd get.> I like the corner overflow set-ups that run out the bottom into sump/filter. Is this a good way to go vs. any other method of getting water to sump under tank? Pros/cons? <Yes, a good method... safe, sure... would be better if the towers had an "over-under" divider in their fronts to return water to the sump from the bottom layer of the tanks water...> Thanks for your time. Great web site! I ordered your book. Can't wait! Jason <Am sure you will enjoy, benefit from it. Bob Fenner>

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