Atomic's 800g Inwall Plywood Build


New member

I think you build is nice. The sides and back are nice and strong. No overbuild in my opinion.
You can enjoy having a support for your body when you work in the tank in the future.

The only thing that concerns me a little bit is a possible bowing of your glass window.
Maybe it's just not clear in the pictures, but I don't see any support on the long side of the glass??

My tank is all glass, but it's holded together in a metal frame on the top with welded small bars to keep the glass from bowing. It put in a picture to make it more clear.

Maybe you can weld one or two bars from the glass to the back side to cover this?

Kind regards,

Currently the glass is sitting in a hole up against the 2x6 wall. The wall is a supporting wall that holds the main floor of the house and the roof structure. So the wall shouldn't move. I also was told i only needed 5/8" annealed glass for this front wall but chose to go with 3/4" tempered glass (4x stronger than annealed).

All the being said, I appriciate the suggestion!!! It is a concern of mine and i have considered something like this. I saw a tank the same size as mine yesterday at a fish store in chicago. They also had bars like yours in the middle. Im going to look into the bars as i had only before looked into making it out of wood. The tank in chicago only had 1 1/2" thick side walls where mine will be 5" on the sides and 7" on the back. Do you think the bars that you have above yours could hold your body weight. I might consider this more if I could use them to support my weight as i try to clean the front glass.


New member
Its been a month since i last updated and alot has happen. Good and BADDD.
I cut in back panels, installed overflow boxes, had and employee scratch my glass, and finally did a water test (nothing bad to report thankfully)

I cut all my holes for overflows, returns,and the rear viewing panels. Then epoxied the holes and everything that could come in contact with water on a semi consistent basis. This included the back upper panel of the wall between the tank and the family room and the top of the wall surrounding the tank. Im considering doing another coat before its all said and done also.

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I then picked up more live rock and a total of 700lbs of sand. The Sand fills up a 55g barrel. The live rock fills up 3 55g barrels. I am currently bleaching the rock and ive rinsed out the sand as best I could. Should I bleach the sand also?

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181201-112937" border="0"></a>

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Now to the BAD!!!
One of my employees was doing some touch up painting around the front of the tank. The front plywood needed sanding so he decided to use a palm sander on the wood. He never should have gotten close enough to the glass to scratch it, but somehow he did. He put a swirl about 1/8 inch wide all the way around the whole tank. Its hard to get a picture, but its very noticeable to me!!! I know he didn't mean to do it, but i was sick when i saw it. Ive called up my glass guy and he has a big sander for just this type of thing. So before I fill it up for good, my employee has offered to come on a weekend and fix it for me.

You can see the scratch right in the middle of this picture
<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181116-112338" border="0"></a>

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181116-112353" border="0"></a>
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New member
Last week i got the glass installed on the back viewing area and finished some of the drains and electrical. Im waiting on the internet to get installed in the house to setup my smart things switches.
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Finally I have water!!!!!
I just did a leak test yesterday and after 28 hours things are all good. I hope to have all the plumbing up and running on monday to test the rest of the plumbing.

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seeker of knowledge
Premium Member
Crazy cool to see all the work and prep you've put in.
I'm sure your employee is heart sick. Good to give him a chance to fix it


New member
Crazy cool to see all the work and prep you've put in.
I'm sure your employee is heart sick. Good to give him a chance to fix it

I almost threw up when I saw the scratch. He is a great guy and didnt mean any harm. Im just glad its able to be fixed.


New member
Did you just use clamps or 2x4s to hold the small panes of glass in place? It will be so cool to look through those once you've got it all running. I love to have those alternate viewing angles. Good idea to add them.


New member
Did you just use clamps or 2x4s to hold the small panes of glass in place? It will be so cool to look through those once you've got it all running. I love to have those alternate viewing angles. Good idea to add them.

I just siliconed the small panes in place. I used a 2x4 to hold them up off the bottom of the tank.

Its been almost 10 days with water and 3 days with the pump running. Fresh water test has been a success. My pump did have a bad seal. I replaced it and still have a small leak. hopefully i don't need a new pump. We move into the new house next week. After Christmas ill start with the rock wall.


New member
I got the cabinets installed in the fish room. Im really happy with how much room I have. I hope to paint the cabinets the same color as the stands. That will happen later though.

The Tank ran with fresh water for 3 days. The only leak was a small one in the reeflo hammerhead. I hope i can get it fixed without getting a new pump.

We move into the house this weekend :celeb3::bdaysmile::celeb3:
So ill have much more time in the evenings to work on the tank. I doubt i start the rock wall until after Christmas.


New member

Christmas also gave me a little time to work on the tank this week and evening after the kids go to bed are my fish tank time (unless its wife time :love1:)

I was able to move all the live rock that was outside inside my "safe room". Its a room off my fish room that has 8" of concrete on all sides. In all actuality, it was cheaper to make the room than it was to fill it up with pea gravel to pour the front porch. So i have plenty of storage.

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181218-145616" border="0"></a>

I then put 3 of the 55g barrels in the final resting place.

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181218-221334" border="0"></a>

I then got the back of the tank skinned and the foldable walkboard installed. Also added plugs on the wall on a GFCI. These will be for my powerheads.

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Got some Salt for Christmas!!! (Still need more :facepalm:)
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Finally a FTS in the basement Family room. I still am going to build a bar behind the couch that the 4 bar stool sit behind. This should give eating space during ballgames or watching movies.

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181215-191936" border="0"></a>

Last but not least!!!!! My new MERMAN!!!!!!

Not really, its just me in the tank before I drained the freshwater leak test. 3 weeks and no leaks, not even a hint of bowing in the walls or glass.

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20181222-203350" border="0"></a>

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New member
Great build and the interior room looks beautiful as well.

Yeah my 8x4x4’ plywood is now 8weeks old. Of course I had the obligatory in tank swim pic as well.

Can’t wait to see your aquascape


New member
The Aquascape is complete!!!

Over all im pretty happy. I want to have more open swimming space than most tanks (one reason why i went so big). The Rock wall really allows me to have my corals and still have open space.

I worked on the wall Saturday and realized fast that i didnt have enough rock to finish the islands. So I had to pickup another 200 lbs of dry rock. I also put 8 five gallon buckets of sand in the tank. I might add a little more later as the sand creeps into the back of the rocks.

Time for the pictures!!!!

<a href=""><img src="" alt="20190103-205914" border="0"></a>

Left side. Open water side
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Right Side. Island side
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Top View
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Port holes
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Finally got the last coat of epoxy on the top wood railing around the tank and the walkway. Starting to look really good in the fish room
<a href=""><img src="" alt="20190103-165707" border="0"></a>


seeker of knowledge
Premium Member
video really helps put the size of the tank and amount of open space into perspective. Swimmers should love this.

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
Humongous! I've never seen a tank scaped that way. You wall papered with rock! I look forward to seeing it full of water and life!