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non tempered tanks?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by shoggoth43, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm finally looking at a 120 or possibly a 180 tank. The problem is A) the cost as a new 180 here is several hundred dollars and B) pretty much any of the tanks I can find here at retail are tempered bottom. If I spend for the overflow equipped models I can get them non tempered but now they're drilled in odd locations compared to what I want to do.

    So what brands are available in non tempered?

    Barring that, so to speak, does anyone know of any custom tank makers in the new england area that might be able to get me a tank of that size at a decent price?

    -
    S
     
  2. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    It is just my opinion ... but I'd encourage you to consider the 120 ...

    I have the 180 and while I love it, the only difference between the 180 and a 120 is six inches front to back ...

    But that six inches is critical when it comes to routine maintenance ... I'm not a small guy, but even with arms as long as mine, I can not reach the substrate at the rear of the tank in my 180 ... so a lot of maintenance means wet armpits as I almost go diving when doing anything at the back of the tank ...

    I really wanted the extra six inches of depth because I perceived it would make a huge visual difference ... many many years later, I am not sure that it really makes that much of a visual difference ...

    So my recommendation is to spend a little less money on the 120 and a little more money on the pre-drilled tank ... I think those tradeoffs will make you very happy ...

    Greg
     
  3. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    footprint

    What is readily available retail here is:

    120 = 48x24x24
    125 = 72x18x22ish
    150 = 48x24x30
    180 = 72x24x24

    So in this case it's a marked difference between 18" vs 24" front to back which might not be pretty dramatic but also a case of 2 extra linear feet which is definitely apparent. It's more a case of just how much money to dump on that extra 2 feet.

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    S
     
  4. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Then in your area ... inquire about 125 gallon aquariums ...

    Different brands have different specifications and I will bet that your local distributors are using brands that a 125 gallon aquarium will give you the same width and height of the 180, but only be 18 inches deep (front to back) ...

    I don't want to nitpick ... but simply point out the honest functional difficulties that a 180 gallon tank creates in the context of maintenance - few people can perform functional maintenance at the substrate level in the rear of the tank (their arms are just not that long ) ... and that becomes a very long term operating issue for anyone that chooses the 180 gallon tank ...

    I've steered dozens of friends to the 120 (or 125 depending upon brand and region ) gallon tank over the last decade and I have never had a complaint. However, dozens of friends have chosen the 180 (just like I did ) and have come back to me and told me that I was probably right and that they should have chosen the smaller tank ...

    Don't get me wrong, I love my 180 gallon tank and am very happy that I chose it ... but I also know that when it comes time to perform maintenance that I am going to change shirts and my arms are going to be wet up to my shoulders as I essentially go diving to get to the back of the tank ...

    Best of wishes and luck with whatever choice you make ...

    Greg
     
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    No worries. The last "big" tank I had was a 75 gallon several years ago so I'm expecting this to be a whole new experience. I ruled out the >24" deep tanks for just the reason you described. I don't want to have to get out the ladder and snorkel. I can reach the back/bottom of a 24x24 tank with my fingers in the store ( barely ) but I'll have a couple inches of substrate in there and a rag on a stick device should suffice for the more typical maintenance woes.

    One thing I liked about the 75 was that it had the 18" width but I was always left with that problem where I could pretty much stick ONE sword on the side and it "ate" the whole tank over there. It seemed like I needed just a "little bit more" front to back and things would fit so much better. That and it seemed like there was barely enough room for the other angels in the tank to escape when one or two got unruly so the extra 6" might provide some extra elbow room as it were. I pretty much expect to lose at least a 24" cube of space if I have a mated pair in there at some point.

    I'm a bit intimidated by the size jump compared to my current 40g tanks, but I don't have the cash to do the slow migration upgrade route of 75/90 -> 120 -> 180 or whatever so I'll need to jump in and go with it despite the known frustrations I'll smack into. I suppose Craigslist or similar might be an option but the idea of a large tank of unknown history letting that much water onto the floor in the middle of the night is not something I want to think about. Not that a new tank negates that concern but it seems less likely.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to hunt around and see if there are any brands that aren't tempered or I'll have to forego the built in drains/feeds idea since I can't see an over the sides option being aesthetically viable. Maybe I can get an overflow version without the built in overflows installed/drilled so the glass isn't tempered and won't have extra holes in the bottom I have to plug.

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    S
     
    #5 shoggoth43, Dec 30, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2009
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi S,

    Have made any irrevocable decisions yet, as always I have a couple of possibilities, especially if you are diy type with a sense of humor. :D If significant others are involved a real sense of humor on their parts is helpful.:eek:

    Biollante
     
  7. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hey B.

    Nope, no decisions yet on my part. Got whacked with some hefty bills recently so the tank is on hold and I'm still trying to decide. 4-5 notes on an 18" tank or the 8-10 C notes on a 24" tank with 6' length. Retail cost is devastating and far higher than I thought it would be. Craigslist would probably drop that price quite a bit, but then I have no idea on the tank lineage so it's a risk. I'm considering checking around for a local custom shop to see if it's more of a transport cost driving things way up, and then I "might" be able to get a rimless tank out of it as well but that'll probably be astronomical at that point, but look very nice....

    So what do you have for suggestions? My wife has not responded favorably to the idea of my friend and I building a custom tank thus far.

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    S
     
  8. BigFlusher

    BigFlusher Prolific Poster

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    Uh-Oh Wife Problems!

    Uh wife problems. very bad!:D

    I know darn well what Biollante is going to recommend and I seriously doubt the wife is going to go for it...:eek:

    Biollante builds tanks and I mean from scratch. ;)

    The funny thing is there has never been a serious problem and they are not just great, very functional aquariums, they really are great cabinetry.

    Joe
    (Yes I am employed by the evil plant monster):)
    (Yes I am going to take a lot of crap for sucking up):(
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    We'll see what he comes up with for suggestions. :D

    Depending on the photos he's got that could work too for convincing, but it's a LOT easier to say buy this from this person and it looks like the photo. I'm also starting to rethink the bottom drain. They'd be easier and all that, but my recent 1" U tube pipe over the side and the bit of hose seems easy enough to do. Put a small overflow on it for some wet/dry filtration and then just a couple Koralia/Vortec units and I've got a solid design with no holes in it which also has its plusses. Less potential leaks to consider, which is always nice too.

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    S
     
  10. BigFlusher

    BigFlusher Prolific Poster

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    Unless a commercially produced aquarium specifically says the bottom is not tempered, I would not drill the bottom. ;)

    When in doubt drill the back side. I tend to like the over flow boxes toward the top and drain at the bottom with replacement water plumbed via the return (using the return pump).

    I am one of the ones working on getting Biollante online. There are some pretty good pictures as well as videos of building a couple of tanks and raceways.

    We were not smart enough to get a videographer to get good video of the installation of the commercial CO2 and replumb of the houses for the aquaria, so we editing a group of videos and stills to try to make up for our bad. What we come up with should be good enough to convince your wife that never under any circumstance should you even be allowed to think about anything Biollante has done or suggests... ever. :D

    Joe
     
  11. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Do keep me posted with the links...

    FWIW I'm down to three possible choices.

    1 ) 72" x 18" 125 Gallon somewhere in the 4-500$ range unless I can talk them down

    2 ) 60" x 18" 120 Gallon ( taller ) at roughly 300$

    3 ) 48" x 24" 150 Gallon at roughly 450$

    2 and 3 are on sale. 3 is a much bigger beast in person empty than it appears in the other store when setup.

    AFAIK, all are tempered but I'm thinking of doing the overflow at the top and then just running a vortec or similar for suplemental flow. Fewer holes = fewer leaks, in theory.

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    S
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Plywood Excels!

    Hi,

    I confess I like taller tanks, always have, I do not have a good reason. :eek:

    Having said that, I believe for planted tanks, wider is better, 18 inches is in this humble potted plants opinion, is simply too narrow for some of the robust plants that a larger tank temps us into purchasing.

    I understand the concerns for reach and maintenance; we just have to be creative. :cool:

    I really do recommend drilling the aquarium and the use of overflows and some kind of a sump. Once folks have experienced these, they rarely go back. Most commercial aquariums use tempered glass only on the bottom. Perfecto is one that does not use tempered glass at all which is nice. As far as leaks, that is why we have bulkheads and silicone my friend. This is where plywood excels.:D

    At the pre-installation stage is a good time for figuring water change water in, water out, pumps drains storage. ;)

    As too pictures I have a bunch and some video as well. Soon I hope to be able to go online with all of it, I promise to show the good, the not so good and the downright stupid. As I have said before the legal life of an evil plant monster is complicated. :rolleyes:

    Biollante
     
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