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FAQs about Tanks/Marine Systems: Location/Placement

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Somewhere it will be appreciated... not too near doors, windows to the outside... or drafty hallways... Near electrical outlets, convenient to water, drainage/toilet...

Re: Acrylic Aquarium build. Holes, placement      2/1/19
I forgot to ask. I have to drill 2-2” holes for bulk heads half way up on the 36” side of the tank and off to the side. Also a 1” or 1.25” bulk head closer to the top of the tank on that same side. The return from pump is a Varios 8 from reef octopus. We’re talking up to 2700Gph . Should I be too concerned about the hole locations? Ex. Proximity to each other? Proximity to side corner or top? Any risks?
<Not too much of a concern. Please read over our replies to such: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbholessizeplace.htm
and the linked files above>
( regarding overflow bulk heads being half way up the side. It gives me the option to run the tank at a lesser volume in case there’s a weight bearing load issue.
<... as in on the floor? I'd have a structural engineer into check unless this is a concrete slab>
Also, a leaky bulk head will only drain half the tank. ;)
<Yes... but, a problem in the plumbing will drain it down this far. DO search WWM re Overflow Designs... I'd mount mine near the top... Bob Fenner>

Re: Planning Question; tank placement      8/20/13
Hi Bob,
Well we've had yet another change of plans.  It looks like we might be moving sooner rather than later.  So I'm going to focus my energy on determining where to put the fish tank in the next house.  Below is the floor plan we're looking at.  I would have liked to have the tank as a look through room divider in the family room and kitchen, but it looks like that won't work since we'd lose too much cabinet space.  Now I'm looking at the conservatory.
<Here or as a stand alone in the foyer would be my choice>
 I'm thinking of doing a very similar set up to what I did in our basement and using the powder room to access the tank and have only a picture frame of the tank visible in the conservatory (again - just like what you saw in the video I linked in my previous email below).  My main question is how big an issue would it be for the tank to be in a space with so many windows? 
The house would face south so I wouldn't think the tank would get direct sunlight, but I don't want to have an algae problem if the there is too much light.
<In these times/years, the sunlight not such a big issue. The type of glass used in the Conservatory is important... and some natural light is useful... just a bit more maintenance, choice of livestock really. Bob Fenner>

RE: Planning Question     8/20/13
Where is the foyer would you position the tank - I hadn't thought of that? 
I would probably prefer somewhere I can sit and enjoy the tank as opposed to foyer, but if the other spots won't work the foyer would make for a very impressive display upon entering the house.
<Yes; my thought as well... along w/ being able to see from the LR and dining... Are you going w/ a traditional rectangular shape? Considered bull-nose, perhaps circular, polygonal? BobF>
 RE: Planning Question     8/20/13

If I put the tank in the conservatory I would us the tank I have currently which is a 135 L rectangular.  If I went with the foyer I would be open to whatever you thought would be best.  I'm still a little unclear on exactly where in the foyer you would position the tank? 
<Depending on size, shape (centered in front of door, twixt stairways, lengthwise most likely for all)>
Are you suggesting it would go in the middle of the floor (under the chandelier)?
<IF more upright; circular, hex or other-agonal, likely so. B>

Aquarium Placement (Bob or James, care to comment?)  12/13/10
Thanks for the great site, I use and recommend it all the time. This may be a question for an electronics expert, but I figured I would ask you first.
I am thinking about setting up a 120 gallon freshwater aquarium under a TV hanging on the wall. There would be about 8" from the top of the tank to the bottom of the TV and the tank will have glass lids. Do you think the humidity or moisture will cause problems for the TV?
Thanks for the help,
Jeremy <><
<I think this would be a very bad idea for all sorts of reasons. Yes, aquaria produce a lot of humidity. They also tend to splash, at the very least, when the fishkeeper is maintaining the tank, and that water can
easily splash onto electronics. At the same time, a large aquarium needs plenty of clearance because of depth and the large size of devices such as filters, and when you're maintaining these, there's going to be water at the very least dribbling out of hoses and whatnot. So you don't want mounds of wires behind the tank, or for that matter, something above the tank that gets in the way of you working inside the tank. There may well be ways to completely isolate the back of the tank from the front, e.g., by fitting the tank in a recess behind the wall, so only the front pane of glass is directly below the TV set. That's the sort of set-up you'll see in public aquaria, sushi bars, and so on. But unless you're a qualified electrician AND an experienced aquarist, I find it hard to recommend anything that places water and high voltage in such close proximity. Besides, once you have a nice big aquarium, it's not like you'll be watching TV anymore!
Cheers, Neale.><<In addition, RMF wouldn't situate a tank thus as it would be too distracting, hard to watch the TV>>
Re: Aquarium Placement (Bob or James, care to comment?)   12/13/10

Thanks for the quick reply. I understand your concerns. I will look for another place to put the tank that my wife will be ok with. To clarify, it is a flat panel TV that only sticks out from the wall about 4" and the
power and cable connect to it high on the wall so there would be no wires associated with the TV behind the tank. The tank would sit at least that much off the wall so it is almost the opposite of the scenario that you mention. Putting the tank in the wall is not an option, I wish it was though. I think you are right though, better safe than sorry, so I will be looking for a new location.
Thanks and Merry Christmas,
<Hello Jeremy. James G., who is, according to his biography page at WWM, a "Field Service Engineer/Industrial Electrician", agreed with me on what I said to you earlier today. So I think your decision to go with the safe route is probably best. Merry Christmas to you, too. Cheers, Neale.>

Noise around SW systems  4/2/10
Hello Crew, hope all is well with everyone!..My boss has decided to have a 200gallon saltwater tank installed in a catering hall. My question is..
will the fish suffer too much stress from the noise of ear drum numbing music?
<Ah, no>
I know I STRESS...haha. I'm concerned the constant vibrations would cause them harm. And if so..then how would one "sound proof" an aquarium?
Thank you so much for your time.
Laurie from The Palms
<Thank you for your concern, but it is at times VERY noisy in the seas... with waves crashing, good sound transmission (much better than the air), and many animals making a racket. I've installed and maintained systems in
night clubs... no problem, 'cept keeping drinks out of them! Bob Fenner> 

Feedback: RF flatscreen interference 6/27/09
Hey, all !
No question, just FYI feedback.
I had written in a few months ago with questions & concerns dealing with heat/humidity and RF interference when mounting a flatscreen TV directly above my intended 90 gal reef tank. You thought the setup would most likely be ok.
Due to the very small size of my house and living room, to be able to get back into the hobby, this mounting setup was my only viable option.
It is up and running(finally!!). I have a 50"plasma, cable TV reception-pre and post converting to digital broadcast. It is in extremely close proximity to my 2 250w HQI MH and 2 54w actinic HO lighting(1'-3' distance), with the ballasts for each, just below the tank.
I have zero RF interference issues. The only precaution I took was to install those round magnets around the power cables that were supplied with my TV(can get at Radio Shack, also).
<I see>
Heat and humidity? Was taken care of by mounting a 50" long x 18" tall sheet of thin Lexan or acrylic to the wall just below the TV, and then attaching a thin piece of black plastic mounted from my canopy( canopy necessitated by being directly under TV), extending the 10" back to the Lexan, which, when you push the canopy back, contacts and makes a seal. A canopy fan inside the canopy blows the hot, moist air out the back, but must divert to the ends of the canopy and go around the TV, instead of flowing straight up into the TV.
<Reads like a very good design>
So far, zero issues with this set-up. Plus I'm able to maintain 80-81 ½ deg. water temp. with only the canopy fan(runs constant), and another fan over the sump(runs when MH are on).
Yes, the TV is considerably higher on the wall than I'd have if there was no tank. And It's taken some getting used to, but I find myself watching the tank much more than the TV, anyhow. Those fishes got more reality shows going on than any TV could come up with.
Any questions or more details, feel free to contact me at kent.warren@XXXX, thanks for listening.
Have a great weekend!
Kent Warren
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Controlling Humidity and Using Substrate from an Existing Tank -- 05/09/09
I have several salt water aquariums and I moved them into my basement last year. A 90 gallon with a 35 gallon refugium, a 12 gallon, a 20 gallon, two 10 gallons and my RO/DI water has a loose fitting lid. Only one of the 10 gallons has a lid. Since then, I have had huge moisture problems with evaporation, humidity and even a mold outbreak in the summer when it is extremely humid,
<<Mmm, I see'¦ It sounds as if you don't have enough air-exchange/enough fresh air circulating through the basement>>
I am in Chicago and the humidity can be high during the summer.
<<I live in South Carolina'¦so I do understand about 'humidity'>>
Currently, I run a dehumidifier almost nonstop. The dehumidifier has a bucket so I empty the bucket at least once a day.
<<Indeed'¦ But it sounds like rather than 'collecting' the moisture and keeping it in the room (to evaporate to the air yet again) until disposed, that you need a means of pulling the moist air 'out' of the room'¦preferably 'exchanged' with dried/drier air'¦but just exhausting the super-saturated air from the room and letting it be replaced 'naturally' (e.g. -- from the other rooms of the house) should provide some measure of relief>>
So summer is coming fast and I need to change things.
<<Agreed'¦the mold is nothing to ignore>>
I got a different container for my RO/DI water with a tight fitting lid
<<Do be sure to add some aeration/water movement to blow off CO2>>
and I got rid of one of my 10 gallons. I purchase an air conditioner dehumidifier that vents outside getting rid of its accumulated moister.
<<Ah! An excellent move>>
I am going to get rid of two more tanks the remaining 10 gallon, and either the 20 or the 12 gallon.
<<Will also help'¦but may prove unnecessary with better ventilation of the room>>
I want to keep the remaining 20 or 12, but I am going to move the one I keep to the main level of my home. I am leaning to the 20 gallon because it has a 65 gallon Coralife Supper Skimmer. Any other suggestions to control humidity?
<<You are on the right track (removing the excess moisture-laden air from the room). I have a 500g (en toto) reef system I built in to the wall between my living room and dinning room. One of my concerns during planning/construction was accumulated moisture in such a confined space'¦especially during the very long humid months here in SC. My solution was to install a 'bathroom' exhaust fan in the ceiling above the tank that vents to the outside of the house. I have it on a thermostat, but even so it runs pretty much 24/7. This has proven effective for more than 5-years now>>
Also, can I use the sand from 12 gallon nano-cube with has 1 inch to a 1 ½ sand bed in my 20 gallon?
<<Sure'¦ Be aware there will be some die-off of the in-fauna just from the movement/re-layering of the bed and monitor for any spikes in Nitrogenous compounds re>>
The 20 gallon has a shallow sand bed and so does my 90 gallon, the refugium has a sand bed over Miracle Mud. Any ideas would be great, but money is tight for the next 12 to 18 months.
<<Reuse the sand'¦just be aware of its pitfalls'¦though I think with the amount/depth you list, the risk is slight. Regards, Eric Russell>>

Mounting A Flat Screen TV Over My Saltwater Tank 2/11/09 Space is at a premium in my current house for adding a saltwater tank. Moving my 48" flatscreen TV from a stand to a wall mount seems my best choice (space-wise), and putting a 75-110 gallon saltwater below it. However, I've read it's recommended to mount a sheet of Lexan to the plaster behind the tank to prevent salt vapors from doing harm to the plaster. <I've always had a tank against a wall (35+ years) with no visible damage to the plaster or drywall. As long as no air stones are used in the tank and a glass top is fitted, damage to the wall should not be an issue.> Which leads me to ask if these vapors would also destroy my flatscreen mounted directly above the tank (is there a minimum distance recommended?), <First, if you have a wood canopy, you will need to put some sort of stop on the hood so it isn't going to be resting on your flat screen when you are feeding/servicing the tank. Secondly, if MH lighting is used, I would not mount the cooling fans on the top of the cabinet. Exhaust from the air above the water's surface may cause some damage to your flat screen and internal components. As to the TV's height above the tank, I would shoot for 18" if you have to room and the tank isn't too tall. I'd shop for a tank with an 18" maximum height. Is better to have more length/width than height, creates more air/gas exchange per gallon of water. A tank size of 60" x 18" x 18" is available. Other than what I have mentioned, I see no problems other than the fact the tank lights would have to be off to watch TV, would be too distracting.> and would the lighting choice (MH?) affect the cable reception? <If the proper cable is used, it should not affect reception. Reputable cable installers will use RG6 cable which has a very high noise rejection rate and is the cable of choice for HDTV. If your home is prewired to wall plates, I'd make sure RG6 is being used and not RG59 which was used in the past. Not only is the rejection rate lower in the RG59, but the lower bandwidth of the cable will reduce HDTV performance. The cable should be clearly marked as to it's type. If you should have noise problems, which I doubt, you would need to buy a good line conditioner/filter. There are a few good brands out there  such as Monster and Panamax. I'm into home theater in a big way and I use line conditioners on all my equipment. Monster provides a lifetime guarantee should any component connected be damaged due to lightning strikes, power surges, and product fault itself. I've got about 16K invested in my equipment, and the price of a conditioner is pretty cheap insurance in my opinion. They will also provide a cleaner picture to boot.> Thanks in advance! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Kent Warren

Location of a big tank   4/20/08 Hi, <Hello Terri> I'm in the process of moving my fish from a 225 to a new 300 gallon tank. This is a fish only set up, and equipment includes a closed canister filter, very large, that fits under the cabinet with the skimmer and uv, a chiller that will go off to the side, and T-5 lighting. Should I leave enough space to walk behind the tank if needed or just a few inches from the wall? After tomorrow, this won't be an issue! Thanks, Terri <Mmm, well... A few inches at least is a good idea to allow ventilation/circulation of air to discount moisture/mold... and to provide a gap for possibly heat/cooling by conduction through an outside wall... Am not so sure re a big space to get behind... as may "look funny" and really not net you that much benefit, in reaching, moving gear, electrics, plumbing... but, to each their own! Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Location of a big tank   4/22/08 Bob, Thanks for the advise, the old tank had a short cabinet, and some things had to be set between the wall and the cabinet. This tank has very generous cabinet space, and was set a few inches away from the wall as you mentioned. Cabinet size may not be first on everyone's list, but can really make a difference. <Agreed and good point... the roomier the better> The tank looks incredible, and the best part was watching the fish swim in their new home! Best regards, Terri <And you, BobF>

Location, Location, Location  12/29/06 <Hi Kim, Pufferpunk here> I am new to the marine aquarium hobby and have had my 55 gallon tank set up for five months now.  Fortunately for me but unfortunately for my tank, I will be moving to a new home.  I basically have a choice of two locations for the tank in the new home.  In one location, it would be subject to a surround sound system, which is used about twice a week or so.  With the other choice of location, the tank would be about eight feet away from the main door.  Both locations would be an in-wall type installation. I've read conflicting information on your site regarding whether sound causes too much stress on fish.  And I've also read to keep tanks away from drafts.  I don't know whether the opening and closing of a door would be akin to locating the tank next to a drafty window or if I'm being too paranoid about it all.  I've put a lot of time, effort, stress and money into this tank thus far, so I'd like to make sure I get things right straight away in the new home.   I suppose my question is this:  Which is the lesser of two evils?  Loud sound, or occasional air from the door being opened?  Hopefully your answer is not an absolute no on both options, since I really don't have any other choices aside from selling the tank, which I really want to avoid!   <I'd go with the door, away from the loud noise.  ~PP> Thanks for your time,
Regards, Kim in Boston

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