Fantasy Tanks

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    OK this one could be lots of fun or it could crash spectacularly:laugh: but lets give it a go.

    Your great Aunt Maud, who you didn’t know existed, has sadly passed away in a tragic hang gliding accident aged 103 and left you £25 million. You have spoken to your partner, bought them a large diamond, Ferrari and a house and they has given you permission for your ultimate system……………….

    So what does it look like, do you want a reef, seahorses with leafy sea dragons, a Galapagos Island biotope, a black smoker tank or maybe some ornate cuttlefish. Size isn’t important, it can be a nano or a swimming pool, it can be a cube, a cylinder or any shape you like. Tell us why you would like this system.

    BUT;) this is the Advanced Discussion area, so the ‘I’d have an Olympic sized swimming pool and fill it with corals and Clarion angelfish’ won’t wash, you will need to do some work:)- How do you propose to set it up (L/R, custom artificial, plastic corals), what lights, how do you heat it, what corals- how do you mount them and at what level, what fish, how do you monitor and maintain the levels, what circulation, water changes, how many and what with, lighting, filtration, what and how much CUC, do you have an cheato bed, mangroves- how big, what lighting. Maybe an algae turf scrubber is for you. In fact you need to think about and plan your ultimate system so it works.

    This is your ultimate system, the world is your edible bi-valve mollusc, you decide how you want it and how to run it (BTW employing Julian Sprung to look after it for you ISN’T acceptable:laugh:). Be prepared to be questioned about your choices by other members. You may want to ask for advice from other members about aspects of the system.

    Remember these are fantasy tanks, be inventive, push the envelope, but it has to be achievable and realistic.

    We all know we quietly fantasise about our ultimate tanks, now is your chance to see if you can design one that is really workable (and ask other all the experts on here to help in your fantasy) and you never know Aunt Maud could be booking that holiday as you read:thumbsup:


    My ultimate system, be it rather stretched reality, or dream, is a pretty simple idea.

    A Red Sea biotope, viewable from 3 sides, with a large, deep, stepped buttress of rock, overhanging a vast area of bare sand. Clouds of anthias/half&half chromis towards the top, and all manner of butterflies, angels, wrasses, and surgeons flitting in and out of the rockwork.

    The very top would be a surge platform, where sohals would be in their element, and a walkway out along the buttress would give a panoramic view down the sides, and onto the sand. Further down, the sandbed would be home to blue-spot stingrays, and myriad wrasses – possibly garden eels (and if I’m allowed to dream, a Humphead wrasse) The open water would be punctuated with shoals of fusiliers.

    No live corals, just large faux plates in concentric rings for the Addis to hide under.

    System details:

    Size: anything really- you could scale this from a nano to a quarry.
    Circulation – wave machine facing the buttress – 1-2 feet crests should do it. Additional circulation provided by return pumps and many industrial fans for cross circ.
    Lighting – lots of natural light – buttress facing south – supplemented with 6.5k MH (2000w)
    Filtration – FSBs for biolifter, pressurised sand beds for detritus, vast refugia, industrial skimmers
    Rockwork – resin/epoxy coated concrete for base, plating both natural and resin and coloured to suit. No LR – no nasties.
    Quarantine – vast and rigorous – industrial scale
    Power – much use of renewables – wind/solar
    Substrate – the finest oolite.
    No visible equipment

    Looking forward to reading of other ideas – once again, good shout Haydn.


    Great topic, but 25m is too much, my first thought was to go HUGE but I have no idea about commercial / industrial size filtration and maintenance, so the next option is to scale it down and go for a feature tank.

    my idea would be for a tank in the entrance lobby of my big new custom house (paid for with my 25m) a staircase would run up both sides and along the back giving views of all sides and multiple
    levels. perhaps a bridge style link so it is viewable from another room.

    This is what I was thinking, you can’t see the link to the room at the back in this photo, the tank would be 360 viewable and I would have some comfy chairs round the back to sit and stair for hours.



    15x5x3 foot (what can i say i am anal about numbers!)

    Acryllic, with secret weir

    Sps which is almost exclusively acro, with a little stylo and some monti on its own island. Lots of stag and table acro. Scaped very open but only parts of it like chingchais, as i would like some cove and cut through sections so some acro is hidden unless you look carefully.

    Around 70 or 80 fish- wrasse, tangs, anthias etc (nothing daft tbh)

    Few carpet nems, some massive show stopping lobophillia on the sand

    Filtration would be algae bed around 20sq ft which would have 6 sections to harvest one weekly, 2 300 supermarine bk skimmers would cope

    Supplimrntation is a hybrid

    Calcium reactor contant day (40-50%)
    Kalkwasser constant night to keep ph even (10-15%)
    Balling classic constant to offer a degree of water change and the ability to balance elements and dose elements (35-50%)
    All using expensive adjustable stepper motor peris

    Lighting possibly 12 x orphek atlantik

    In line water change tank of 1000l though the idea is not to with any regularity

    Tbf i reckon 100k would do this so my dream is moderate as dreams go, however it would take more than 5 and the bonus though given i would need to buy a fairly sizeable house to house it and the filtration room, the odds of which would need bruce almighty- given i dont do the lottery!


    Qt and treatment of fish yes (no idea how though), but yes the design of fish room is complete with a large scale fish qt, and most importantly coral qt and treatment

    The tank is in wall, but is located in the fish room, complete with air con which i would hope will largeley eliminate heating, and cerrainly cooling

    Nothing fancy for me, everything controlled by timers from argos (expensive timers reset or fail, inc aquarium computers, cheap argoo timers pro ably more often, i just keep a stock of 3 for £15 knocking around)

    Same crack for atu, cheap float switch (in the kbowledge they can stick on or off easily), backed up by the fact its on a mechanical timer and using a suitably sized peri to limit any overfilling (this is how i do it now and see no need to go fancy, fancy tackle breaks, cheap tackle breaks, only geniune quality would be bought no matter what the dream!)

    6 mp60 would provide circulation (if its done in glass (acryllic maybe tunze or panta reih)

    It would have a generator with whatever that thing you need to stop your generator electrocuting the repair man trying to restore your power, which would kick in automstically (located descreetly in the garden.

    Sink etc in the fish room

    Big ro system with multi membrane and di resin to keep tds consistently zero with routine changes.
    Stored in ibc which is on steel frame and pipes/valves to whichever apperatus (balling muxing vessels (which are piped straight to the dosing container), atu tank, water change tank , ro washing station (test kits etc)

    Lockable storage cabinet for reagents

    Return pump undecided but would be efficency vs price on a like for like flow between abyzz multi ted dragon dc or say 2 blue eco 250 (i think)

    There are 2 big sumps on this, on a racking system. Sump 1 – skimmers then algae then weir, to sump 2, algae again, live rock refuge, return area.
    Exsact sizes not figured (there is planning ahead and then there is dreaming!)

    Tbh i dont think there is much i havent thought about hadyn

    Even the lighting is on electrically operated lifting gear for access


    Excellent start guys:worship: now how about putting meat on the bones- how will you heat/cool it, how do you deal with the condensation. On the deep tanks what lighting are you going to use. I assume you will be using a weir, what happens to the water when the power is off. How will you supply water to the circulation pumps with water. Only one person has suggested NSW, I assume the rest of you are going to use RO, my current system (2500L) evaporates 15-20L per day, how are you going to maintain your water level. Interestingly none of you have suggested computer control of the levels. How will you decorate the deep tanks, how will you place corals. Only Manta has suggested quarantine, are the rest of you just putting the stock straight in the display.

    Lots of questions but this is the Advanced Discussions forum- did you think it was going to be that easy:laugh:


    Everything will be backed up to its own emergency generator so no chance of a failure I would think you could utilise a ground source heat pump in lieu of heaters but this would need a decent control system. This would also be liked to the opening skylight to prevent overheating.

    i don’t think evaporation top up would be much different to a normal size tank, water level sensors and a pump from an RO tank.

    my lighting would be natural light and overhead supplementary lighting, I would also think I could fix spotlights to the underside of the stairs to provide feature lighting to the bottom.

    stocking is interesting as you are going to have to add a massive bioload regularly when setting up or the tank will seem bare, I think a quarantine could easily be set up in the basement along with the filtration, however if I’m going to be buying £100,000 worth of fish I should be able to negotiate that the supplier quarantines and treats the fish in advice.

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