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  #1  
Old 06-26-2020, 06:25 AM
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Default EternityBC's 450g 12 feet of floating fun

I have always wanted to do one of these tank builds but never seemed to get around to it. Since I hope this is the last time I upgrade my tank (fingers crossed) I figured I would give it a shot. My wife and I have been in the hobby for about 12 years now slowly progressing from a 5 gallon to having multiple 100+ tanks.

This all started when I just finished setting up 125 in the living room last year.



I even had my fish room plumbed into the basement and had everything well underway.






It included a easy inline water change system where I could isolate 20 gallons (bottom Bin) with a 3 way, dump it into the drain, then gravity transfer 20 gallons RODI (top bin) into it within 30 seconds. I would just add salt and then return it into circulation once mixed.

So..........
That was all great except by the time it was setup we had already outgrown the 125 and I didn't want to keep multiple display tanks anymore. So instead of starting the quarantine process with new fish, we made the hard decision to start again and this time we are going BIG. As Big as we can.

That left us with this 144x22x33, and yes it's going to float in the air with the bottom open
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I put together a PVC frame to get an idea of the size.
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Now I wanted to go a lot deeper, but 22" was already right up to the window sills. Having dealt with tall tanks before, the 33 is going to be a pain, but I love the look and the extra water volume, so it will be worth it. It's going to make my aquascaping a little tricky but I have 100 pounds of branch rock that should help.

I have been planning this build on and off for the last year or so and we're about 6 months into the build. We have the tank on the way from Concepts, LVLs in place, and fish room gutted. I will try to post each major step in the next weeks to get up to current date.

Next post, the support beams. 5-1/4 x 18" PSL2.2E Monsters
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125 gallon 6', 33 gallon sump \ refugium
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:55 AM
hillegom hillegom is offline
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Go big or go home?
I want to see the build.
Keep the pics coming
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Old 06-26-2020, 03:39 PM
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WarDog WarDog is offline
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Oh this is going to be good. Can't wait!
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:27 PM
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So the first step was the structural engineer. At 8.6 pounds per gallon we're nearing 4000 pounds just to start, add the glass weight, rock, sand, beams, etc and we're easily approaching 6000. The tank is 3/4 sapphire glass and the bottom can't deflect more than 1.5mm over the 12 foot span.

Now luckily the room sides are directly over the foundation so we came up with a plan to embed two sets of 16 foot LVL beams into the walls on each side.



Now with the structure figured out it was time to try and find someone to build it. This proved a lot harder than you would think, after having a bunch of people look at the job we finally found a company that could pull it off.

And so it began:
The beams were so large they only could be moved by crane.


How do you get two 16 foot 1000 pound beams in the house? Well you cut a hole in the side of it


They had to cut through the floor and make sure the weight was directly transferred onto the foundation:


Each beam was tied together along the full length. Here is a shot from below.


When it was all done we had a floating shelf spanning from wall to wall.


And finally here is a mock up of what we're planning to do on the face of the beam. With the bottom open and lit up with a led strip.
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Old 06-26-2020, 11:43 PM
hillegom hillegom is offline
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that was a lot of work. You will have to stay in that house for a while.
Looks sharp.
I"m glad you had an engineer to help
Tank next.
I am waiting for water Woohoo
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Old 06-27-2020, 03:29 AM
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Incredible, i cant wait to see more.

One of my favorite parts of build threads is peoples creativity and ability to tie it into the home rather than just a tank, on a stand, in a room.

Great work
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for the kind words guys. Sadly no tank yet, it's with the movers and scheduled for delivery on July 6th which has me both terrified and thrilled.

Here it is being built:




3/4 Sapphire all around. Overflow on one side with three 1.5 bulkheads, and two 1" return holes on the other. We put holes along the top back brace to allow for 4-6 gyre to be positioned along the back wall. I plan on putting 2 MP60s and 2 MP40s on the sides.

Since the tank sits almost against the wall I needed to make room for the Gyre magnets and a way to hide all the cables. I put together some recess boxes:


Here are all four done:


Each has a hole in the bottom so I can run cables down below the tank.


Here it is all mudded and painted:
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:00 AM
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Now this...this I must follow
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:06 AM
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Well, small set back...
I put a level on the beams after the construction and everything looked pretty good. Not perfect, but totally passable for standard construction. It was kind of nagging me in the back my mind for a couple months though and it occurred to me I had a laser level. So I shot a line 5 inches above the beams and measured down. Well I'm glad I did. It turns out over the span of 16 feet a tiny bit out of level translates into almost 1/2 of an inch, with more than 1/4" racking corner to corner. So that sucked.

Not wanting to try and bandaid it with foam I decided to bite the bullet and redo the top.

Before I leveled it, I wanted to put as much weight on it as I could to ensure I didn't get much settling.
9 bins of water and 1500 pounds later; I'm pretty sure my neighbors thought I was nuts as I filled these with my garden hose.


A week later, off with the plywood, and of course it had to be glued


Tip: if you ever have to remove PL glue, a heatgun turns it soft enough to easily scrape it right off but use a chemical respirator, I did half of it without one and paid dearly that night.

Now to shim it, I have a planner so I made a jig to plane 1x6s down into long wedges. I ended up making eight 4 foot wedges which where about 1/8" shorter on one side. It was tedious as hell but worked well. Here they're installed:


Grabbed a nice finished birch 3/4 plywood from Windsor and proceed to glue it down only to realize I only had about half the amount of glue I need. That was proceeded by a frantic trip to the hardware store and a ton of clamps to get the curing glue flat. In the end it turned out perfect, less than 1/64 from end to end.


Putting me right back to waiting for the tank
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:40 AM
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Wow already a roller coaster and the tank hasn't arrived!! Good for you man perusing your passion and an understanding wife LOL. I see you used PoCo building supplies! We must be near neighbours I"m in Citadel heights, best of luck going forward.
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