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Need help with 48" high tank

Discussion in 'Articles' started by BILLYZ, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. BILLYZ

    BILLYZ Junior Poster

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    I am planning on a 96"lx36"dx48"h planted tank. I understand through reading other posts that this will be difficult. Lighting issues as well as well as accessablity will make for a challenging daily routine. I'm up for it. I'm looking for advice on set up. I am planning on adding fish after the plants are established. I have had my mind on this size tank for quite a while and really want it to work. Any help would be appreciated.
    Someone on another forum gave me the link to the Esquire House Tank. That has brought me to the Barr Report.
    I'm not sure if Tom will read this thread.
    If anyone can answer , I have a few questions.
    How was the planting done, tools or did someone climb in? What type of tools are used in the maintanance regarding trimming , sand vacuming , etc?
    I could use as much info on how to care for a large tank as possible.
    Thank you,
    Billy
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Planting is done with the water level very low, as works best for most tanks. That's the only question I can answer. But, a question for you: why do you want such a deep tank? What kind of fish are you planning on keeping that require that deep a tank? A tank with the same volume of water, but only 30 inches deep, for example, would be much, much easier to maintain, and much cheaper to build, plus it would be less susceptible to catastrophic failure.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Honestly, you shoukld do the tnk 96x 36H and 48 D, this dimesion will make the tank look much better.

    Height is not a good quality truthfully , depth front to back is and makes the tank look bigger.

    The view have much more potential.

    A lot of folks wnat to the taller tanks to save on space or so they can have a better view of their fish, this is not so obvious, but you see them better with depth in the tank, the environment looks more natural also.

    You can do a lot more aquascaping wise also.

    And of course the more obvious issues, 36" is about the limits you really want to work on in a tank that you need to prune.

    When you drain it 1/2 way, you have about 18" of water and can easily lean in and trim etc, lighting is also easier. If you have 48 to work with, you must dive in and hang, not easy, 24" deep water is also hard to prune in.

    It;s a big deal and I cannot tell you enough that you shoyuld really never get much over 36 if you plan on having a nice planted garden in there as a general rule.

    You can, but the work load is more and the over all impression and look will be better with the other dimension.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. BILLYZ

    BILLYZ Junior Poster

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    Point taken. My only other option is 96x36x36. The tank will be installed in a wall with only the front and 1 side for viewing. I have no room to go out or over, just up and down.
    So the other foot really makes that much difference? I was hoping they made some sort of pruning device that would reach all the way down 48".
    I was looking for a wall of water , so to speak, with this tank. I am planning on tetras and discus.
    From all the help in the different forums it seems with a tank 48"H, I would be over my head. 96x36x36 would end up costing less. I think the tank builders consider that a standard size. Thank you for your suggestion. Any other help would be greatly appreciated.
    Billy
     
  5. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    Aquatic Gardener Tool

    I use the above tool for trimming. Works very well in a 24" tank.

    The 27" version of this tool, plus the length of your arm, should let you reach the bottom of the tank, but I imagine it would be difficult to control with any degree of precision.

    You could always go with low maintenance plants that don't need precise trimming - crypts, java fern, bolbitis, mosses, hairgrass foreground. Trimming stem plants in a 48" tank would be a nightmare.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've spent a lot of time recently in a 48" deep tank.
    I also have the tools etc, but they are of limited use when it comes to more practical matters like balancing your self in rather precarious positions etc.

    Go with 36x36 if you cannot go that other dimension.

    96x36x36 is still a deep tank and a large system.
    I'd also suggest 4 x 400 w MH's for lighting, electronic ballast, 6500K bulbs and 8 x 54 w T5.

    You will need an overflow(have this into the wall rather than taking up tank space), 2 intakes for the lower just above the gravel layer for a couple of canister mechanical filters ( a pair of Ocean Clear filters perhaps ) that return on a closed loop. the overflow will lead to a large sump/wet/dry that's sealed( just the Dry section, not the entire sump). Also a nice large 2" drain near the gravel line also. That should take about 10 minutes to drain 1/2 the tank.

    You need to have a refill plumbed directly into the tank and perhaps a RO system with reservior if you want lower KH.

    I'd use a top of the line Iwaski pump for return and another for the dual OC canister filters. You might consider a glass tank instead of Acrylic also.

    CO2: use a pair of venturi's 3/4" fed right into the return, use 600GPH powerheads to drive each of these.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. BILLYZ

    BILLYZ Junior Poster

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    I had planned on Acrylic. What are your comments on the pros and cons? Do you Prefer the glass.?
     
  8. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Glass is much heavier than acrylic.

    Acrylic is clearer unless you go with starfire glass.

    I believe acrylic also keeps heat inside the tank better than glass.

    Acrylic scratches easily, glass does not.

    Arcylic can have features such as bent corners (glass can as well at smaller size tank I believe).

    If it were me, I would probably go with glass. Mostly due to the scratches that develop over time on acrylic. But if the tank was on the second floor perhaps I would do acrylic.l
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have a preference for glass.
    It looks better to my eye.

    Acrylic can be buffed out for smaller haze like scrathes, glass really can't.
    Acrylic is going to be cheaper at this size.
    It's going to be much lighter and easier to set the tank in.
    Stronger and less chance of breaking it.
    I really do not like more than about 30-36" tall for glass.

    so therer are other considerations beside just the look.
    Over time, and if the setting can occur with Glass, many are happier with that.
    Low iron glass, it does not have to be that star fire glass, (I've done tanks with and without that and never could tell much difference once the tank was set up)
    can be used for the front and side panel for an added cost.

    I think if you plan on staying at the home etc for the rest of your life type of thing, no baseballs flying around etc, safe location for the tank, you can do that and be very pleased.

    You might consider on site construction.
    Depends on where it's located.

    I will say it certainly will be more $$$ wise, but that might not deter you.

    With larger systems, I tend to use open tops and go more light a natural rock with Glass panels placed around the in door pond. It's cheaper, more unique and lots easier to work on. Or a series of tanks all linked together in block units.

    I just personally would not do anything over about 30" deep and would use glass in all cases given a choice for a single tank.

    But that's just myself.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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