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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to use this thread to document my tank build, but first, the design...

I would like some opinions and critique on the designs I have come up with for my 150 gallon tank. First, I'd like you to introduce you to my problem. I picked up a 150 cheap, its in great shape, the only problem is it has an overflow plumbed into the right side of the tank. So really, I have two options: 1) just ignore the fact that there is an overflow in the side and use a regular stand, or 2) build a stand using the concept of a room divider tank stand to conceal the overflow.

I have three concepts of tank stands I sketched up. Two of them apply the room divider concept to hide the plumbing. They are more concepts that actual designs b/c they don't encompass much functionality. For example, I have no way to easily feed the fish short of removing the canopy. I was more or less attempting to visualize my ideas and if I liked them, I would engineer them to be more functional later.

This was my first concept, the stand is sturdy but not functional. I wanted to see this concept as a model so once again, I didn't stress making it work, just making it look.



This next one is more functional, but the hood would need to be re-engineered. I have a few quirks with it too. I like the idea of the design, along with the first concept I posted, but I am worried working on the plumbing may be an issue if I enclose it as I have proposed.





And finally the design I'm leaning more towards is just a basic stand and canopy and letting the plumbing be exposed. It is a 2" bulkhead, so it's pretty big, but I don't think it will make it look very bad if its left out to view, it would be against a wall anyways. Might even make it look kinda cool, or not. This was modeled similarly to the 110 tall tank stand I have.





To sum it up, the first two stands are concepts in which I may build on, but it may prove they make the tank less functional, and the stand more expensive. The first design I know shows 2x4s, but I will be building whatever stand I decide on out of .75x3.5 boards. That's what commercial stands use, I don't see why I can't make it work.

If anyone could provide some opinions on design, structural integrity, or any other related information to my new build I would appreciate the input.
 

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What you end up doing in terms of design is up to your tastes. A couple of pointers: design the canopy tall enough to accept the lights you want. Six foot canopies tend to be a bit floppy, so thing about having the lid in two sections or with just a small access port for daily feeding. I think that a glass lid under the canopy is the way to go, because otherwise the lights and the wood end up suffering moisture problems.
 

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pistolpete said:
What you end up doing in terms of design is up to your tastes. A couple of pointers: design the canopy tall enough to accept the lights you want. Six foot canopies tend to be a bit floppy, so thing about having the lid in two sections or with just a small access port for daily feeding. I think that a glass lid under the canopy is the way to go, because otherwise the lights and the wood end up suffering moisture problems.
I would agree here. I have a 4' and even that canopy is slighly unstable. For a 6', you would want extra framing, and I completely agree with the idea of glass lids. Having said that, I REALLY like your second design, and if I do a four footer with canisters, I will definitely be stealing that design from you.

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
pistolpete

I am only slightly concerned about the stability of the 6' canopy. My 110 is 4' and has a canopy identical to this, I modeled #3 after it, but added a few extra supports to help brace it. That may be one of those brace-as-you-build type of things.

sjnovakovich

Thanks. The only complaint I have about that design is the trim that covers the trim on the tank, sticks out 3/4" more than the lip at the bottom and on the canopy. If I chose this design, I would modify it so that all trim extends out the same distance on all sides of the stand. Also, if you, or anybody does copy this, I forgot to add long supports right underneath the tank backing the vertical supports, this is very important.

I whipped up another design, this one uses the same canopy as #3 but I used 2x4s to frame the stand.



 

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A tank is rigid horizontally, much like a beam. So you don't really need all that support in the middle. a single 2x4 upright in the middle (front and back) and 2x4's in an "L" configuration in each corner is plenty. lateral bracing is also important, so the skin needs to be well attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More designs...

I reduced the number of 2x4s required and modified the doors.



 

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As for using 1 X ? material, the cabinet builders can do that because they have the equipment necessary to join everything rigidly with very tight tolerances. That was my concern when building mine... 2 X 4 framing is overkill from compression strength perspective. The bigger concern to me was lateral strength. I didn't want to risk the entire cabinet scissoring and collapsing under it's own weight....

As for the design... A room divider tank setup is awesome from a purely visual perspective. The problem is obviously the difficulty of arranging the rocks to where everything can be viewed from either side.

One other thing I will mention (assuming this is a glass tank). You could always remove the existing overflow & plug the holes with bulkheads. Drill the back glass & install a overflow similar to the one's sold by glass-holes.com.

Drilling glass is not nearly as dramatic as people think. Particularly when drilling the back panel...

Just food for thought... New tanks are a blast! The design is my most enjoyable part besides the fish of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think the overflow in it is actually from glass holes. Sure looks like it to me. I thought about plugging it up, but then I would just have an unsightly spot there and have an additional overflow in the back. I figured I'll just work with what I have.

On the room divider discussion, this wouldn't actually be a room divider, it would be in a corner. I was just using the concept of a tank divider stand.

What do people usually do for an overflow connection to the sump? I already have to get a new bulkhead b/c the previous owner chopped the PVC off right at the bulkhead with the slip still cemented in there. Pretty much unusable now. I was going to use 2" PVC, but it just seems like that would create a problem if I ever moved the tank, I don't want to have to cut it off if I do. My 110 uses corrugated hose, is that even possible with a 2" bulkhead?
 

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RRasco..

Can you post some pics? I could help alot more with a visual reference...
 

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Off topic question but ---- What software are you using??
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep, Google SketchUp, the free version. Super easy, especially if you have any CAD experience, which I have very minimal of.
 

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I like the new door design with the false middle vertical brace. :thumb: Especially when I look at my FX5 sitting outside the stand because it doesn't fit through the store bought stand. :x
 

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I think the overflow in it is actually from glass holes. Sure looks like it to me. I thought about plugging it up, but then I would just have an unsightly spot there and have an additional overflow in the back. I figured I'll just work with what I have.
So it IS plumbed through the back glass already.. Ok. I agree - you can't cover that up. Two big black bulkheads on the side glass would be undesirable.

On the room divider discussion, this wouldn't actually be a room divider, it would be in a corner. I was just using the concept of a tank divider stand.
Gotcha. Good. That is alot easier to accomadate.

What do people usually do for an overflow connection to the sump?
I have a glass-holes.com 1500 GPH overflow. I used 2" vinyl food grade corrugated hose to attach the overflow box to the sump. It has twin 1.5" drains.

I already have to get a new bulkhead b/c the previous owner chopped the PVC off right at the bulkhead with the slip still cemented in there.
If it is a glass-holes overflow, you will need to get street L's from them to replace the one's in your overflow.

Pretty much unusable now. I was going to use 2" PVC, but it just seems like that would create a problem if I ever moved the tank, I don't want to have to cut it off if I do. My 110 uses corrugated hose, is that even possible with a 2" bulkhead?
Are you sure it is 2" PVC? 1.5" PVC pipe has an OD of approximately 2" in diameter. As for the flex hose, yes. You can buy 2" flexible hose that will fit the OD of 1.5" PVC pipe. I would call around to industrial hose dealers in your area & ask them for food grade, highly flexible, corrugated vinyl hose. That is how I located mine for my 180.

As for concealing the plumbing on that one end you could always just paint the glass. ? I would run the returns over the tank frame pointing to the end opposite of the overflow...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought I posted pics of the tank, guess not. The tank is drilled on the right side, not the back. I was saying I don't want to have a plugged bulkhead on the right and then have an overflow on the back as well. Might as well just run with what I got.

I'm pretty sure it's 2", that's what the guy who sold it to me said and he installs/service tanks for a living. However, he could be wrong. I saw the tank setup and it had what appeared to be 2" PVC to it. I have to replace the bulkhead as it is b/c they cut the pipe off without leaving me anything to solvent to. It is a thread/slip bulkhead with a strainer on the inside. I measured and it would have been 2" OD for the PVC being inserted into the slip end. I'll take a picture with the measure tape next to it.

I was considering the thread/thread bulkhead so I can use the street elbow and remove the plumbing if necessary. However, that might not be very feasible given it will have an unknown length and shape of PVC cemented to it. Hence why I would prefer a hose.

Oh, and both sides and the back of the tank are already painted. I plan to scrape off the left side at a minimum, maybe the right side.


 

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One suuuuweeeetttt tank.
 

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I would remove the bulkhead & measure the diameter of the hole that is in the glass first...

Is the overflow glued to the tank wall? It is hard to tell from the photo.

If it were me, I would replace what is currently in there with a 750 GPH glass-hole overflow & specify to them the diameter of the hole that is in the glass & have them size the bulkhead to that hole diameter. Their overflows have durso capabilities built in & are quiet. What you have there now is going to be noisy due to the way it is designed.

I would also run the return lines to the opposite end, returning the water back toward the overflow along the length of the surface of the tank.

If the PVC that was glued into the bulkhead had an OD of 2" then it was 1.5" PVC pipe. 1.5" bulkhead would be my bet. The diameter of the hole in the glass is all that matters anyway.

I will find you a link to the hose I was mentioning...
 
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