40 Breeder to 60 or 95 Gallon Corner Upgrade

reenact12321

New member
I have a ~ 3 year old mixed reef 40 Breeder. This past year I moved it into my house, and due to an unfortunate failure of some containment, lost my fish. So right now, it's just a coral tank.

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With some of my home renovation projects finished, and the looming hulk that is my plywood/2x4 stand, dominating my living room, I wanted to make a change.

I love using sketchup to model things in my home as I don't always have the best sense of space in my head. You can see here how much of an anchor this tank and stand are, especially with large plumbing keeping it far from the wall.

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In particular, I want to move to a corner tank, and go taller/smaller foot print. Part of a larger revamping of my living room,

I have two options I'm considering, both are irregular pentagon corner tanks, they use 3 large panels and 2 smaller ones to create a larger flat viewing front.

pentagon-size.jpg


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  • 60 gallon corner (24"x24" against wall panels, irregular pentagon)
  • 95 gallon corner (30" x 30" wall panels)

The big concerns I have:

1. Not dominating the modestly sized living room with a monster tank

2. Retaining some of the reefscaping real-estate I had in the 40 Breeder (which is why I dropped the 45 corner tanks available from my consideration)

3. Weight. I have an older house with solid joists and one of the walls it's against is load bearing, but a 95 gallon tank is still going to push the weight up over 800 pounds or so.

4. Upgrading equipment where needed to accommodate the tank I choose

Room Balance
To compliment the model I did when starting the living room considerations, I created models in sketchup for these tanks.

I modeled both the 60 and 95

60 Top View
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60 Front View
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95 Top View
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95 Front View
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I would love some feedback people have on the tanks. The stands are just an approximation of course.

2. Real-Estate

This one is pretty simple. I'm curious if people have experience with reef scaping in a corner tank like this, and if a taller tank has any real disadvantages. I'd be drilling some of the rocks to put in pegs and create a taller structure than my rock piles from the 40. Feedback and tips are appreciated.

3. Weight

Like I said above, my home is old (1923) and a lot of solid old growth wood is used, and the tank would be up against a load bearing wall. That said, it is still a cube-ish shape so it doesn't span a lot of floor joists. at 30" wide, the 95 gallon tank would really cross 2 and butt up against the one in the wall. Should I be concerned with sistering/avoiding this kind of load?

4. Equipment

Currently I'm running the following

Tank: 40Breeder
Pump: Mag 9.5
Skimmer: Reef Octopus 110 SS
UV: Turbotwist 9 Watt
Lights: 2 Chinese black boxes with dimmer/timer (Ocean Revive Artics T-247)
Control: Reefkeeper Lite (monitors pH and temp)
Heaters: 2 150W Finnex Titanium heaters

One advantage I have is that there is a flooring patch from a removed vent under that corner. I can cut a hole in one of the patch pieces and run plumbing to a basement sump. I'm thinking to use an internal overflow in the back corner for both drain and return to minimize the footprint against the wall, and keep the tank looking neat.

Obviously that implies a larger pump so the 9.5 is gone unless I can find an auxiliary use for it. Powerheads are also due for an upgrade so I'll keep that in mind.

What other equipment would need to be upgraded and does the 60 vs 94 make a decisive difference in whether equipment makes the cut?

Thoughts on this project would be greatly appreciated, as I don't have a lot of IRL people around me with a critical eye for this kind of thing.

Thanks!
 

Gorgok

New member
I had (technically still have, but its dry) a ~75 corner pentagon of the 2' variety. It was really quite annoying... Too small to do anything useful, and then being 30" or whatever deep means im sleeves in the water to hit the bottom. I think 6" on each side might have been enough to make it better.

With mine, the front to corner distance really was quite bad (maybe as low as 22"). Those dimensions you have (~34 1/2") put the corner to front face about 3/4" longer than the corner to corner of a 24" cube. Scaping it would be pretty much the same as a cube, with a little more room on two faces for some branching. Might be pretty nice actually. Mine would be more like 16" cube...

A basement sump on a pentagon shape is a game changer too. Getting anything decent sized under it is pretty hopeless unless you go custom. I built my own, but even then while i had volume i couldn't fit much in it because chamber sizes just got small.

Also, mine had a tiny hole in the front/center on the top for access. Maybe 8" x 12". Good luck getting through that and to where you want to go without smacking everything on the way there (and then half the things not on the way there when you reflex away from the sharp thing into the other). I hope yours isn't built like that and actually has a very decent sized opening...
 
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RobZilla04

Active member
I'd opt for the 95g. Reason being 40g to 65g won't be very noticeable. Additionally you really open yourself up to a wider range of livestock with a 95g.

Best of luck.
 

reenact12321

New member
I'm thinking the 95 is the way to go.

For the basement sump, A 40 Breeder (I'll buy new, not trying to juggle the old tank), partitioned with glass for the socks, skimmer, and fuge I think should be a nice fit.

I want to minimize head pressure, so a workbench in the basement with my equipment on it will reduce it by a few feet, and make it more pleasant to work on. I'm leaning toward Pan World 200 pump to overcome the head pressure and give a nice turnover to the tank.

Does anyone know what the diameter should be for drain and return on a pump of that size/95 gallon system?

I was thinking it was a 2" drain, and a 1" return.
 

reenact12321

New member
Gorgok,

Thanks for the thorough thoughts. The tank I'm looking at is a bit smaller than the actual drawing I borrowed from custom aquariums webpage, but it's that 3:2 panel style, the actual front to corner distance would be significantly less than 34", but should still be manageable with the 30x30 wide tank (vs the 38 x 38 pictured).

My stand will be custom made by me, and the opening will definitely be a consideration since I am not a small person. However, the goal for it to be mainly a pipe chase and storage for supplies since the sump would be downstairs.

I'm thinking in addition to the plumbing for the actual tank, a small bin with a drain or some other drain I could link my siphon into would be super helpful for maintenance, as avoiding hauling buckets through my whole house was half the appeal of doing all of this.
 

reenact12321

New member
I started outlining a stand frame. It might be slightly overbuilt, but i think it should have no chance of being too weak. I thought a completely open front would be too wide, and framing it in from each side would have left only 15" to get inside. While it's only a pipe chase, I figured a post in the middle and 2, 12" openings would be easier to get at.

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Notes would be appreciated.

Obviously, since it's going in my living room, I'll build a prettier skin/door for it.
 

RobZilla04

Active member
If those are 2x4's then yes, WAY over built.

There is no problem with go forward with that much support if it helps you sleep at night. As far as the openings, from experience bigger is better. For maintenance and getting the sump in there to begin with. You want to take into account the worst possible scenario. Say you need to remove the sump. If you originally put it from the top down, it'll never come out with the tank on top. What a nightmare it would be to have to drain and move the tank just to get the sump out.
 

reenact12321

New member
I started with a design I'd had for the 24" tank and just added more boards, probably could spare a 2x4 from the 4 on each side and still sleep soundly. 800 pounds is a lot, but it isn't going anywhere once it's in place.

Again, the access shouldn't be too big of an issue as I won't have an sump in there, just access to the plumbing to the basement, and some supplies.
 

reenact12321

New member
Does anyone have a suggestion of how to migrate live rock but also build a structure? I have a lot of random pieces in sort of a pile, and there's a lot of good build up on them, some have coral, some have lots of other little critters, not to mention the established bio filter.

Obviously I'll be adding rock as I will be going to a larger tank, and I'll want to go more vertical.

Is there a good way to drill and glue these rocks together as they're being moved over? or to build a structure out of new dead rock that they can be integrated into?
 

Gorgok

New member
You would have to keep in mind how big a structure you can fit into the opening of the tank. That is where my tanks 8x12" opening really caused a pain. Basically had to piece by piece assemble anything down into the tank.

Otherwise, epoxy putty or superglue can be used to build a solid structure. I like using superglue on dry base rock as you can rapidly set it and reinforce it with the fine dust off the rocks.
 

reenact12321

New member
I decided to mock up a frame for a 30 x 30 tank just to see how it fits in the room.

qe8G6wr.jpg


I really think it will help set the tank a bit back further in the room. As you can see, the 40 as it is today really juts out.

I want to take my time with this build and do a really nice furniture grade stand.

My house is older and has a lot of craftsman design elements so I I designed a skin for it that matches some of that style. I may try to put some glass panels in there, but if I get to a point where it is to troublesome, I'll do paneled doors like a cabinet.

qYzxKrv.jpg


Some fake drawers for aesthetics, and voila.
 

reenact12321

New member
I wanted to shop around a bit for the glass. Custom Aquariums are about an hour from me, so pick up is an option if I time everything right. Their wide front pentagon design is attractive, and between 600 - 800 depending on the size and option, I didn't think it was a terrible price, but I was curious about bowfronts and pricing of other manufacturers.

Aquatics Unlimited, near me in the Milwaukee area, use a newer vendor called Aquavim for their custom orders. According to Aquavim's (tragically unreadable) website they start at about $1800 for a tank in the 100 gallon family..... So I think I'll pass.

I know the 92 Gallon corner bowfronts have been out of production for a long time,

Does anyone else have a suggestion for a corner tank manufacturer that goes that big (bowfront or triangle or pentagon)?
 

RobZilla04

Active member
The bow front corners do come available on Craigslist and other forums periodically. Tough to say how long it would take for one to come around near you though. Custom builds are pricey.

Lots of manufacturers around out there so I'd imagine if you put in the effort you can find one (or someone to build one) out there somewhere. Just the added cost of shipping to consider.
 

reenact12321

New member
I looked up the dimensions of the old 92 gallon corners and something didn't add up for this 30x8.75x24H Tank. Doing some basic geometry, the actual water volume is right around 68 gallons..... Lifetime/Custom Aquariums is a little fast and loose with the "model gallons" term they say compares to competitors similarly named tanks.

The old 92 corners are 34x 25 high and the bow adds a lot of volume, pretty close to the mark. (1/4 of a 34r x 25h cylinder)

Still, their prices blow away anything at aquavin or other competitors.

Their 36 x 10.5 x 24H pentagon is much closer to 100, and its about 600 on the nose base price.
 

reenact12321

New member
The next decision I have to make is plumbing.


Option 1: Lifetime pushes their sleek H2Overflow and siphon-proof returns, but it's all side plumbed. Their "stealthbox" (externalized overflow box for the pipe inside the tank) is pretty small, 4" width, but that means the tank will have to be 4" off the wall. Not a lot. For either tank, I figure the 1200 GPH overflow should be plenty, and a 3/4" return. All said and done, the drilling and plumbing they offer is around $250.

Option 2: They will drill the bottom and reinforce with a 8" glass plate, at $75 per hole, i can silicone in an overflow box, and do a traditional corner overflow. Total price $150

Options 3: (This is the DIY forum after all) I try to do the drilling myself and reinforce with a glass plate. I've never drilled glass before, but since it's guaranteed not tempered, I know it can be done.

Advice would be appreciated.
 

reenact12321

New member
70 Gallon Corner Build

70 Gallon Corner Build

Despite it only being around 70 real gallons, I am thinking I will stick with the 30x30x corner. I mocked up what the 100 gallon would look like and I think it's a bit monstrous in my little living room
KWH31Lt.jpg


The ~70 (they call it a 95) just seems to fit a bit better
SUthgQ3.jpg


I'm also thinking the back mounted overflow will be worth the saved internal space. (Not to mention I can't seem to find anyone selling the rounded corner overflow wall pieces)

So with the real gallons being ~70 gallons, what would be stock suggestions with a coral heavy tank in mind?

I'm thinking:

- a mated pair of Carpenter's flasher wrasses (I'll have a lid inside the hood)
- Kole Tang
- Shrimp Goby
- Midas Blenny
- Fox Face (?)

I'd love to have a Sargassum, but I assume they'll probably eat one of the above? Assuming one of those is not part of the equation, either a royal gramma or some fire fish.
 

bblumberg

New member
I had (technically still have, but its dry) a ~75 corner pentagon of the 2' variety. It was really quite annoying... Too small to do anything useful, and then being 30" or whatever deep means im sleeves in the water to hit the bottom. I think 6" on each side might have been enough to make it better.

With mine, the front to corner distance really was quite bad (maybe as low as 22"). Those dimensions you have (~34 1/2") put the corner to front face about 3/4" longer than the corner to corner of a 24" cube. Scaping it would be pretty much the same as a cube, with a little more room on two faces for some branching. Might be pretty nice actually. Mine would be more like 16" cube...

A basement sump on a pentagon shape is a game changer too. Getting anything decent sized under it is pretty hopeless unless you go custom. I built my own, but even then while i had volume i couldn't fit much in it because chamber sizes just got small.

Also, mine had a tiny hole in the front/center on the top for access. Maybe 8" x 12". Good luck getting through that and to where you want to go without smacking everything on the way there (and then half the things not on the way there when you reflex away from the sharp thing into the other). I hope yours isn't built like that and actually has a very decent sized opening...

I have a 75g corner pentagon (24 x 24 x 30" tall) in my breakfast room and share Gorgok's sentiments. It can be made to work and look decent, but it is a pain to work in and I need to remove the canopy to do much more than feed the fish or change water (or add a coral to the higher points in the tank). Overall, I greatly prefer my other rectangular tanks. If I had it to do over again, I would not have purchased this tank. You might be happier with either a larger pentagon (and I'd avoid Clear for Life which mine is) or even a 1/4 cylinder if you like that look.
 
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