Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 20 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Starting the planning phase of my dream tank. I have already started framing out the rooms in my basement and will be starting on the framing of the tank stand and wall over the top of the tank. This is going to be a slow process, I'm hoping to have the frame up in the next month and I still have to finish the rest of the basement and money is tight so it's gonna be slow. With luck I should have water in the tank by the end of the year, tax time next year at the latest.

On to the design, 120 gallon 48x24x24 tank on a custom framed stand built out of 2x4's and a 1/2" plywood top It will be dry walled all the way around with a nice wood trim frame making the tank look like a living picture frame. The left side and the back of the tank will be painted black. The tank will only be accessible from the rear to keep the front as clean looking as possible. I might put the front top trim piece on some kind of invisible hinges if I can find them.

I'm dividing the basement into 3 rooms. The laundry room, a photo studio for my wife, and a rec room with my pool table and a couch for TV and gaming systems.


Here is the existing spot where the tank frame will be built.


Design for the Tank Frame, It is built directly over top of the floor drain.
Front:


Access From Rear:


With glass, Drywall will cover all the framing.


In case your wondering what the small framed sections running along the ceiling in the main room are. I'm building a drop to cover the Heating Ductwork and steel I beam with drywall.

Any comments or suggestions are always welcome. I will update this thread as progress is made.
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
I completely understand the money situation. The fact that you're building your own stand will save you several hundreds... I know this is a dream tank and perhaps 120 is the dream. speaking from a dream 135'r that is considering ripping that tank apart to make a 240, consider the biggest you can buy 8). I like the layout but I don't get why your cutting yourself off at 4' when there is clearly more room there. Why not flip the door to the wall opposite the ductwork and make the entire wall where the 4' tank currently sits ?

Please understand this is not criticism but statments from a fellow dreamer that didn't dream quite big enough the first time LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
nice layout to but i will also dream bigger (180 or so) if possible.
this is a one time project from the look of it, so why not bigger since you have the room.
also, it may look better if it were flush to the wall. so it would be inside the laundry room.
this way you gain that extra 2' of space.

its good to ask questions and for advice before going ahead with projects.
people may see something you dont. *** made that mistake x2 with my fish room project.

good luck with the project and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Awesome, you got some skills for sure. I have a 4ft 90 gallon, dude, i wish i had a 6ft or 7. This thing is going to be permanently in your wall, your never moving it. I would go big! 150-200 gallon for sure! Length is better than depth in most cases. I can attest to that, i have a 90 tall, and territory can be a problem because not as much footprint. Going big will have a draw back, moving it in, you will need maybe 2 friends to help, thats it really. I understand your trying to place it over your drain, however if your basement ever floods, which is unlikely, it would run all towards your aquarium wouldnt it? or would you have gaps at the base to allow water passage? Are you going to make that room your man cave, cant tell if the rec room is split from the aquarium, or is that the over head pipes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
You guys up North are so lucky to have basements. A basement would double my living space, but for some reason we don't have basements in Texas. Not this part of TX anyways.

Looks as though the rec room is that whole side of the basement, seeing as he said there are three rooms and the other two are clearly defined. I initially thought the same thing though, with the drop down he is going to use to cover the ducts.

I'll second what others have said, if you can go bigger than 4', do it. I have three 4' tanks and am not satisfied. This is a permanent and one-time thing, you don't want to have regrets. As far as I remember, I've never heard anybody complain about their tank being too big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BigDaddyK said:
Why not flip the door to the wall opposite the ductwork and make the entire wall where the 4' tank currently sits ?
Believe me I would love to do that. Problem is the plumbing. It's not drawn in the pictures but the main plumbing and drains for the house sit there so I can not put a door on that side or move the tank to that spot. The door to te laundry room has to stay where it's at and I can not have the tank in that wall.

I thought about rotating the tank 90 degrees and making it into a room divider between the rec room and making a 4th small room like between the stairs and the laundry room but this will just make both rooms look much smaller and that room will be too small by itself to really do anything with. I have made many designs and this one so far satisfies the most of my needs with space and tank size. I would love to have a larger tank, concerns are money (cost of tank, equipment, upkeep, more fish, larger water changes) and space the tank concumes. I used to have a 125 and it was nice don't get me wrong but seems like it just took up too much space. I don't need to have that monster tank. I've been living with a 28 for a few years now and i'm good with that. If I had a larger home and more money to blow I would love to have a 240 or so but that is still some years down the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
369 Posts
You thought this all through. After I posted I noticed the Main Drain and assumed (although not sure) that was the problem there. If a 120 is going to suffice than by all means buy the 120!! it's going to look great regardless. I was just offering some thought on hindsight :?

You've done the homework on this now you get to enjoy the build!! !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,747 Posts
Just wanted to post to say, in some basements the floor is sloped around/towards the drain in order to get water to go down the drain and not just sit there. Are you sure you'll be able to build a sturdy, LEVEL stand sitting right over the drain light that? And as others have said, won't access to the drain be blocked by the stand if the basement floods?

On the other hand, sure must be convenient to have a floor drain to drain to during water changes 8)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rhinox said:
Just wanted to post to say, in some basements the floor is sloped around/towards the drain in order to get water to go down the drain and not just sit there. Are you sure you'll be able to build a sturdy, LEVEL stand sitting right over the drain light that? And as others have said, won't access to the drain be blocked by the stand if the basement floods?

On the other hand, sure must be convenient to have a floor drain to drain to during water changes 8)
Yes the floor is sloped towards the drain, and I will be able to build a level stand there. I'll be using shim blocks to keep the stand level and sturdy. There will be shims under every vertical support if it is not level touching the floor. If the basement floods I'll be very pissed off as I just spent a pretty decent chunk of change waterproofing it and installing a sump pump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
Consider Green E board for the tank enclosure. This is a water proof white cement board with a paintable surface. That way you will not end up with water damage no matter what you do. Not to be confused with green board which is a moisture resistant drywall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,747 Posts
cool. Keep us updated on the progress. I'll be following along waiting for updates and pics :popcorn: I like all the computer generated models, seems like something I'd be doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,179 Posts
jschwab45212 said:
I thought about rotating the tank 90 degrees and making it into a room divider between the rec room and making a 4th small room like between the stairs and the laundry room but this will just make both rooms look much smaller and that room will be too small by itself to really do anything with.
I see potential for a maintenance/fish room...room dividers are awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I started on the stand build for the 120 today. Got all the framing for the stand done, It's perfectly square and level, it was a pain to get it there though, literally, my finger has the scar. Drill slipped on a screw head and decided to try and screw in my index finger nail to the wood, split my nail open. I still have to add the 1/2 inch plywood top, waterproofing (Kilz), and 1/2 inch Styrofoam cushion. Once the wall framing is a little further along I can move it into place and truly level it with shims for the slope of the floor. I set it in place and checked and it's perfectly level front to back but the right to left is about an inch low on the right side.

In case your wondering the stand will be 40" to the bottom of the tank which puts the top of the tank at 65" I wanted it taller to be more at eye level than having to look down at it all the time. I used 2 supports in the front on the long side for dry walling purposes I read that you only really need a support every 2 ft. Which is why there is only 1 in the back and also easier access to under the tank for equipment storage and in case later I want to add a sump.

Bottom of stand and supports


Completed framing of the stand


Eventually it will reside here
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kinda little far in advance, but it's cool to think about. Gimme some ideas for equipment and stocking.

Right now my plans are to use an Ac110 HOB power filter along with a Eheim 2075 canister filter, couple 200W heaters, couple Koralia 550 power heads, a 4x54W T5 light, the eco-complete planted substrate, live plants and a couple pieces of large real driftwood. Was thinking I wanted a trio or so of Jack Dempseys along with a few others but not really made up my mind on the stocking yet. My 125 used to be a Malawi Mbuna tank, thinking I want to switch continents, but the Malawis are the most colorful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Made some progress on the build today. Got the wall built on the side and the back, set the tank in place, and made the legs for it to level it out. I also secured it to the side and back walls. Finished the framing for the walls over top of the tank also. The rest of the basement framing is almost complete, I have completed all the drop framing for the ducting and support beam, all I have left on that is framing out for the water and gas meters and a closet door for under the stairs. Next comes electrical, anything special I should do for the tank besides GFCI outlets?



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
the only thing i would worry about with that is water changes and where you may have to walk to/across with your buckets...unless you have a cool way of cyphoning in and out the water.

:thumb:

i'm starting a double stack of 55's in the garage. i think i'll just put a fresh bucket of room temp water in the garage. let is stand for a day in order to have some chlorine evaporate...then put it in. though this may be a wives tale.

hope your project is making you happy.

sincerely,~ jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
you can use your tank for the final leveling. Fill it with about 1/8 inch of water and then shim until you have it all even. If it has a rim then fill exactly to the bottom rim.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
well over the weekend I was waiting around without much to do as I am out of basement funds at the moment and I had a few pieces of wood left so I decided to make a rack for my sump and a stand for a 20 gallon tall tank I will use as a hospital/quarantine tank once the 120 is up and running. The 20 currently houses my blue rams as I took down my 28 nano cube to trade it for a 120 gallon tank (sweet trade if you ask me).

Platform for sump and other equipment, the wet/dry I ordered is 30" long and the platform is 40 inches to allow if I want to add an additional canister filter or something else later. It will have a plywood top, just haven't got there yet.




Hospital/quarantine (or currently blue rams house)


 
1 - 20 of 50 Posts
Top