Need Help -> I Want To Go To A Large Tank

Black Mammoth

Premium Member
Hello Everyone,

I posted this in the large tank forum, but no responses yet. I would like to get more exposure as I have found a great deal on a tank. Sorry for the cross forum post.

I want a 6' tank. I'm thinking anywhere from 180 to 300ish. Most likely a 240 or so. I don't think I want to go smaller than a 180g.

Currently I have a 75g. Anyway, when I first started I bought a used system and I really didn't know what I was getting in to. I knew the basic hardware and concepts, but that was about it. I have about a years worth of experience and I have had good success. In the meantime I have upgraded components, made my own stuff, and I've been pretty happy with the results.

Here is my problem. I'm building a house and I have the perfect spot for an in wall tank. Unfortunately due to housing costs where I live, I'm house poor. I don't have the 5k to 10k to do everything at once.

Is it possible to piece meal a big setup? For example, I would like to get a large tank and put in my exisiting system; basically transfer everything from 75g in to this large tank. I would use my undersize equipment until I can afford everything. So for example:

Buy a 180g tank and put it in the wall. Use my 90lbs of rock, ASM G2 modded, T5 lights, Tunze, etc etc in this new tank. After I get more dough, add the proper amount of live rock and sand. Then upgrade the skimmer....then the chiller and lights and so on.

I know that my equipment isn't sufficient to run a large tank...but would it be sufficient to continue and support the 75g bioload in a large tank? I would think it would be OK, but I thought I would get the opinions from the experts :)



I want to play a game
I don't think you will have any problems. Of course everything is dependant. Everyone I know, including myself, is constantly upgrading their equipment. Just make sure you have enough flow to avoid dead spots.


New member
Maybee right off the bat invest in a Mag 9+ for a closed loop HOB for temp solution to the water flow issue. Other than that I think you can take your time to get the rest.


Super Rad Member
Premium Member
yes i think you can get away w/it.

since you dont have all the money in the beginning i'd just buy the tank and sump first w/a return pump. the tunze that you have in your 75 should be fine for the 6ft tank.

not sure if you're going closed loop or not but if so you can just have the holes drilled and put the plumbing in place and just close it off w/ball valves if you cant buy the CL pump yet.

i finished setting up my 225 recently and even though you didnt ask this is what i would do if i was to do an in wall.

270gal. 72"x36"wx24"h glass w/starphire front(necessary for that deep of a tank imo)

external overflow(because internal overflows are usually acrylic and a pain to clean and an eyesore as well)
w/closed loop if you're gonna get a chiller(not sure what the weather is like over there) then you can ditch the tunzes and have no equipment in the tank.

3-250W mh in lumenarcs and maybe some actinic supplementaion depending on your taste(most energy efficient)

and w/the rockwork if you have a 36" deep tank can be awesome. the rocks you have from your 75 gal can make a nice little island in the center and you can get away w/one MH until you upgrade, your fish will also have a lot of swimming room.

these are just my suggestions and what i'd do if i was doing an inwall. good luck!

Benny Z

In Memoriam
imho, wait until you have everything. i would just move the 75g setup as-is and go ahead and get the new large tank framed in during construction, but leave it empty until you have everything. what's the rush? that's what i keep telling myself anyway. :)

i've found that it has given me time to really research and plan my new system and mull it over for a while. use the time to read everything you can in the large tank will get so many new ideas. about everything. all the time.

Black Mammoth

Premium Member
To clarify...

I'm in the planning stages. I'm trying to figure out if I should have the builder put the tank in the wall now while I'm building....or if I should just wait...but that requires me tearing out a while and doing it later :) It's easier just to get the tank now and plan the rest of it for the next 6mo to a year.


New member
I think you can piece meal it, just don't overload your tank with fish and live marine animals until you can provide better skimming and bigger equipment.

Congrats on you new house!

I am so jealous of the in wall system. Some day.


Benny Z

In Memoriam
i would definately have the builders frame it in during construction. it shouldn't cost all that much. they should frame it just like a window is framed. i used 2x8 headers sandwhiching osb.

i'm not knocking out a wall, but am framing a new wall around an existing space in my basement, creating a fish room behind the tank.