Custom Marine Aquarium Build

by Kevin Kohen on October 28, 2009

Marine Reef Aquarium

Marine Reef Aquarium

With every success in this great hobby of marine aquarium keeping, the quest for mastering another biotope, group of corals, or different fishes is usually the next step.  It seems there is always a new group of corals or fishes that that we would love to own and care for, but cannot house them in our existing aquarium setup.  The next step is normally coming to the realization that we need to set up another aquarium to fuel our passion and quest for understanding.  After reaching this point and maintaining several different aquariums, the time spent on maintenance can be time consuming and overwhelming.  One solution to this dilemma is incorporating a large centralized filtration system which can run multiple aquariums.

Marineland Aquarium

Marineland Aquarium

One of the most exciting times in the hobby for me is researching and planning a new aquarium setup to move onto another challenge.  For many years, I had always wanted to build a “central system” to run multiple aquariums off the same filtration system.  Normally the space involved in trying to do something along these lines has been the prohibiting factor, but a few months ago I had a great idea after looking at Marineland’s new 60 gallon “Cube” (24” x 24” x 24”) aquarium.   Why not take a standard 180 gallon aquarium (72” x 24” x 24”) and have it custom-built with two permanent glass panels which would, in essence, separate the large aquarium into three 24” long compartments?  With the addition of three built-in overflows that reside in the center of each 24” long section and surround the drilled bottom pane of glass, all of the drains and return lines can be hidden from view, making this a perfect fit for having three aquariums in a compact space all utilizing the same water and filtration system!

This was the perfect solution to the space issue.  The three 24” x 24” x 24” sections will utilize the same sump, chiller, skimmer, and media reactor, and will be driven by one larger pump, all of which sits nice and neatly under the standard 72” long wood stand, and will utilize the standard wooden canopy enclosure.

The aquarium should be delivered in the next week or so, so stay tuned for the details on my custom marine aquarium build.

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About the author: Kevin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Wright State University, and is an avid marine life photographer, lifelong aquarist, and marine fish enthusiast. He has worked in the aquarium industry since 1983. He launched the web site in 2000 and designed and oversaw the installation of the Drs. Foster and Smith Aquaculture Coral and Marine Life Facility, which opened in July of 2005. Kevin is currently the Director of LiveAquaria at Drs. Foster and Smith. See more articles by Kevin Kohen.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Custom Fish Tank July 25, 2012 at 4:22 am

Thanks for sharing this post to us. This is really informative in setting up an aquarium especially for beginners. Thumbs up!

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