Proposed Tank Build...will it work???


New member
Ok this is my first ever tank design but after gathering info non stop for a month I made this...and it took me all day cause i had to do it research some more and learn how to use google sketchup errr anyways i hope it clears things up:

Also any help on how to put up a pic/avatar of my own would be awesome.....

Things I am still working out/worried about:

1) How to connect the powerheads to the bulkheads and the one bulkhead to the hydor flo
2) fearing that the fuge design i have done will have water coming through the outake i got a PH pumping water into that chamber and i made the slots 1 inch shorter then the intake in the hope water would goin those before they even reached the outake slots ........but i am still not sure if this is feasable or if i will have water flowing back through the slots???

(All below is intellectual property of yours truly and should not be copied or duplicated without express always wanted to say that....well it is not copyrighted and i most likely would notmind if you used it but it would just be nice to ask eh??)

(Where applicable all measurements in a: L x W x H fashion)

Tank Bottom: 0 .5”
Tank Walls: 0.5”
Tank False Wall: 0.25”
Baffles: 1st 0.125” 2nd 0.25” 3rd 0.125” Fuge Box: 0.125”

Full Tank (Outside measurements): 24” x 24” x 18” (38.9 Gal.)
Full Tank (Inside measurements): 23” x 23” x 17.5” (34.6 Gal.)
Display Area (Inside measurements): 23” x 16.75” x 17.5” (24.8 Gal.)
Full Back Area (Inside measurements): 23” x 6” x 17.25” (10.3 Gal.)

False Wall: 23” x 0.25” x 17.25”

First Chamber (Inside measurements): 4” x 6” x 17.25”
First Baffle: 6” x 0.125” x 16.25” (allows for 1” clearance from top of false wall)
Second Chamber (Inside measurements): 4” x 6” x 17.25
Second Baffle: 6” x 0.25” 17.25” (allows for no clearance from top of false wall and extra width to accommodate the baffle drilling)
Third Baffle: 6” x 0.125” x 5” (This baffle is spaced 2” from the second Baffle)
Third/Fuge Chamber (Inside measurements): 14.5” x 6” x 17.25” (6.5 Gal. 18.77% of total display area)
Fuge Outtake Protection Box (Inside measurements): 5” x 6” x 3” (1” clearance from top of the false wall)

Intake Slots: 0.25” x 0.25” x 3” (right side of tank leads into first chamber spaced 0.25” apart)
Intake Slots Area (L x W = A): 3” x 0.25” = 0.75 Square Inches x8 slots = 6 Square Inches
Outtake Slots: 0.25” x 0.25” x 2” (left side of tank leads from the fuge chamber spaced 0.25” apart)
Outtake Slots Area (L x W = A): 2” x 0.25” = 0.5 Square Inches x 8 slots = 4 Square Inches
½” Double Threaded Bulkhead Area (Pie x Radius x Radius = Area): 3.14 x 0.25” x 0.25” = 0.19625 Square Inches

1st Double Threaded Bulkhead Placement (Top one on Second Baffle wall): 3”L x 6” H (1/2” Bulkhead needs 1.125” hole drilled with a radius of 0.5625”)
2nd Double Threaded Bulkhead Placement (Bottom one on Second Baffle wall): 3”L x 3” H (1/2” Bulkhead needs 1.125” hole drilled with a radius of 0.5625”)
Space between 2nd and 3rd Bulkhead Holes: 1.875”
3rd Double Threaded Bulkhead Placement (2/3rds up False Wall): 11.5”L x 11.5” H (1/2” Bulkhead needs 1.125” hole drilled with a radius of 0.5625”)

Tunze 9002-
•Recommended for aquariums 10 to 52 gal of salt water
•Dimensions: 4.9" L x 2.1" W x 13.3" H
•Immersion depth: approximately 7" to 8.6"
•Skimmer cup volume: 0.79 gal
•Power consumption: 10W

Maxi Jets (Dimensions do not include attachments or suction cups)
Connections: 3/4" ID hose fits inlet / 1/2" ID hose fits outlet
400 5W 106gph 3.5" L x 2" W x 3.00" H
600 7.5W 160gph 3.5" L x 2" W x 3.00" H
900 8.5W 230gph 3.5" L x 2" W x 3.25" H
1200 20W 295gph 3.5" L x 2" W x 3.25" H

OK and here is the pics:





back diagonal:


top diagonal:

NOW i did not yet insert the powerheads but they will be an MJ 600 and a mj 1200 and theywill be draining water out of chamber 2 after it comes through the eggcrate mod with the filter floss and chemical (purgien or chemi pure) it will at this point also have run through the tunze 9002 in chamber 1 so it will be clean water going back into the tank via the hydor or into the fuge......

I hope this makes sense now and is doable

again all criticism welcome...



calculations from:

measurements at:


Finnex tank back design:

CPR Aquafuge:


Premium Member
my first thoughts are

A) if you have any evap, the overflow from the tank to the "sump" area will not work since your wall between the overlow and the power heads is too high. I'd either raise it up so the gap's on the bottom, or drop the top further down.

B) looks like you have a LOT of flow going through the fuge area if you're using a mj1200 and mj900. That's 525gph. Generally you want about 3-5x your tank volume turnover in the fuge, so if your tank is ~24g (display), look at a max of 125gph through the fuge. As for attaching the MJ's to the bulkheads, I don't think you need to even use bulkheads. you might use a test bucket and a scrap of acrylic and see if you can use a piece of 1/2" ID tubing and just use a plastic clamp on the opposite side of the pump to hold it in place.

Are you trying to get overflow action from both sets of teeth, or are the teeth in the fuge section supposed to let water out?

I guess I'm just throwing ideas out there to help! :D


Premium Member
also, you have to have a certain amount of posts first before putting a custom avatar on.. but the option is under "My RC" and "my options" I believe.


New member
thanks dzwadow:

first, I am not sure what you mean by evap being an issue?? my firrst baffle is i inch down from the top of the false wall....are you trying to say that is not enough ????
I do not want to have the space at the bottom of the baffle for I want it to be able to spill over the first baffle and into some floss and purgien that I will have witting in the second chamber (suspended above the PH's by a eggcrate mod)

Also I think I did not explain myself well because I am planning on having the mj 600 beingn pump[ed through the bnottom baffle in the 2nd fuge wall and going into the fuge area.............Now the mj 1200 will be going through the top bulkhead in the baffle wall then it will be connected to the bulkhead in the falsewall leading out into the display tank (powering a hydor flo)
Sooooooooooo it will only be 160Gph going through the fuge
area not 525

thanks again for the help



Premium Member
gotcha. Now it makes more sense. Now, you're pushing 160gph into the fuge, and 295 from the "sump" area into the display. There's no "vacuum" to suck water in through the teeth on the fuge side, so they'll be pushing water out, right?

As for the evap.. the evap will actually happen in your pump chamber not the first chamber, so I was incorrect. You might get some "stagnant" water though in the first chamber since it'll just churn at the top and go over the wall. That's why i was kind of suggesting a bottom slot since it'll make the water go down then to the pumps so the area actually gets some flow. I guess I don't know what you're using the first chamber for? If it's just a spot for water to flow, you could put your pumps in there instead and make your fuge area bigger...

Maybe someone else will chime in w/ some other ideas as well.


New member
Ahhh the first area will have a tunze 9002 protein skimmer in it so that will have a PH in it that i think will pull the water down and then push it back out...thus delivering water that has been through as skimmer to the second chamber

In the second chamber the water will be drawn down through the floss then purgien (or chemi pure elite) and thus clean water will be either pumped back inot the display via the 1200 or into the fuge via the 600..............

Does this sound right???

And does the 1 inch clearence i have left for the first baffle work ???

I amde the false wall 1/4" shorter then the tank height on someones advice that this will ensure that if anything gets clogged the water will flow back into the tank and not onto the floor.......does this sound right??

Again thanks for all the help....

Cheer s

And again, anyone feel free to chime in with suggestions or whatnot...



New member
Oh yeah and I am HOPEING that I will have only return out of the slots in the fuge area that is why I made them shorter then the ones for the first chamber ...................this (in my mind) would help make sure that water only went out these slots and not in them??? does that make sense????

I hope that the difference in length between intake and outtake slots and the fact that the 600 will be pushing water into this fuge area will ensure that water only leaves via those slots ............................PLease someone confirm the truth of this line of thinking (of the falsity)



New member
Tiny change.............

I changed the height of the first baffle wall ........I did this in order to allow for more clearence between the top of the baffle and the top of the false wall.....I thought this would help in case of evaporation or anything ....just would make it easier to get water to the second chamber....make sense???

New dimensions:
First Baffle: 6” x 0.125” x 15.25” (allows for 2” clearance from top of false wall)



New member
Very nicely planned out. I recently built a DIY 34g AIO similar to the Solano. Mine is used as a FW planted tank. Here is what I learned from the experience and operation of it for one month.

1) My cube measures 20"x20"x20" and is made of 1/4" glass. No bowing no concerns regarding structure.
2) Make sure the false wall is shorter/lower than the aquarium sides so that if there is blockage in an intake water will not flow over the aquarium sides.
3) Don't keep track of your costs or time invested!
4) While my cube was constructed with glass I used acryllic for the filtration section (easier to cut and drill).
5) Make sure your proposed equipment and your hand will fit in the filtration area. I made mine 4.5" wide due to my large hands.
6) Krylon Fusion paint works great for your false wall. Paint it prior to installing in the tank.
7) I would use as big a return pump as possible so that you don't end up putting Koralias in the display area.

Hope this helps, good luck.


New member
I was thinking of starphire glass (spelling???) for the sides and front and reg glass for the bottom and back

the false wall and baffles would be in acrylic

I was going to use a thinner glass then 1/2" for the main tank then I heard that it would be to thin and I wanted to be safe so I uped it to the 1/2"
I found this scale:

that implies for my height if I want to go braceless i should be using 1/2"

Any thoughts

Oh and thanks for the help and tips so far

Cheer s


Premium Member
sounds like the safe idea! I have a 24x24x18h cube, but I euro braced 3 sides w/ 2" strips of glass, and I used 1/4. I'm sure I'm right on the cusp of cutting it close, but even on the back where i don't have it euro braced, it doesn't bow. But if I had to do it over again, I'd do it w/ @ least 3/8 euro braced, 1/2 non. Just make sure you're really good w/ your silicone, make it look perty! An easy way to do that is to put masking tape a little way away from your edges and after you do your siliconing and finger smear, pull the masking tape and you'll have nice clean corners.


Premium Member
IF you pull the masking tape, you either need to do it before the silicone gets a skin (appx 7 minutes) or wait until it is completely cured and use a razor to cut the tape out, and pull it off.

Just my .02


New member
Ok thanks for the hints/tips

Soooooooooo it sounds as if this tank should work as major issues right???

I am going to leave this thread open for a week then I think I am going to make the plunge and get it done so PLEASE please bring up any flaws in design or ideas on how to improve what i am doing in the next few days cause I would hate to find out I messed up on the basic design only after making it .......

Agaiun thanks for all the help so far



Premium Member
Another tip, practice a three plane corner on a small piece of scrap. Ask the glass store for some straight edges scraps if you need to, but practice a time or two and see if you can get the hang of it. Good luck!


Premium Member
Assuming you are using 1/2 inch glass, then the measurements of the panes should be:

Front: 24" x 18"
Sides: 23" x 18"
Back: 24" x 18"

And the glass should be cut to 1/32" tollerances not 1/16" You really need to make this an issue with the glass cutters.

Also they should Machine finish and polish the edges for a nice finish. If the Local glass shop can't do it, I'm sure they can sub it out, if you can't get it subbed, then let me know, I'll shoot you a link to a place.

Ah heck here's the link.

They can also temper the bottom pane if you'd like to spend the bucks, and or they can drill holes in the back and then temper after. Etc. I'm not sure on shipping, but I'm sure it's a killer.

Good luck!


New member
ok a few questions

1: whats a a three plane corner
2:what are the advantages/disadvantages of getting the bottom panel tempered (or any panels for that matter)
3: Will tempering Staphire glass cut down on the visibliity at all?
4: what do you mean by cutting the glass to 1/32" tollerances??? sorry to be such a noob but what the hell is a tolerance

Thanks for all the info yet again (lifting me slowly out of my ignorance)




Premium Member
1. Three plane corner is the bottom (1 plane) meeting the side (2 plane) and the back or front (3rd plane) This can be really tricky.

Also some people want the bottom tempered, as this will increase it's strength. You really don't need the bottom starphire as that's a waste of money. The front, and sides are the only sides that really need to be starphire. The back and the bottom should be the same thickness, but regular float glass, because you don't look through them. The cost savings will be significant.

Also if you use the link above, I bet they can drill any holes in the back or bottom that you like and then temper the glass after the holes are cut, then you get the best of both worlds. Drilled, and tempered for strength. But you absolutely don't need to have it tempered, or drilled. That's just for your information. And with 1/2 inch glass in the size of tank you're describing, tempering would only be to help you sleep at night. I think the tank will be sufficiently strong without tempering.

As for tollerances, That simply means that a 1/2 inch peg won't fit into a 1/4 inch hole. In other words, most glass cutters that only cut for windows and the occasional table top, will be satisfied if their cuts come within 1/16" of your specifications. This gap may be too big to span with silicone. You should require them to cut and polish the glass to 1/32" tolerance. Meaning if you tell them 24 inches it could be 23 31/32" and be ok, or 24 1/32" and that would be ok. Because if the bottom pane is less 1/32" and the front is plus 1/32" then you're looking at a difference of 1/16" that has to be filled with silicone. I hope that makes sense.

If not let me know.


New member
No no that makes perfect sense......thanks for clearing it up

thats good to know about the glass cutters and the tolerance thing I never thought of that before.



Active member
If I understand correctly you will have 3 pumps in the back. Thats a lot of eletricity and heat for a small system, but not much flow in the tank. I would try to eliminate at least one of the pumps. Then have the Tunze empty into the tank so it adds to the flow. For the main pump I would use a larger one. A neat trick that works well on this size tank is to modify a SCWD and make two returns come out of the back section on oposite sides. To modify them I drill them out for more flow and then shorten the spigots. A little creativity goes a long way here. I have set up several 12 and 24 gallon JBJ Nano cubes this way and it really provides a nice alternating flow.
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