The largest tank I have ever owned was a 225 gallon aquarium that measured 72”L x 30”W x 24”T. It seemed like a big tank and I was not gung-ho about going bigger with this new tank. A bigger tank equates to more money for the tank, equipment and livestock and I didn’t want to go overboard.

 

225 gallons seemed like a good size to me so I started to play around with the dimensions. What about the width? Width or depth is so important with a reef tank since it really opens up so many options in terms of aquascaping. I always say you should go as wide as possible and for this tank I wanted it to be 36” across. How cool would that be, I thought, for a peninsula tank.


How about length? I really enjoyed my six foot long 225 gallon tank so that seemed like a good choice for this tank. The only issue would be flow across the six feet. I didn’t want any re-circulating pumps on the viewing panel at the end of the tank so I would need some pretty good pumping power on the other side.

Final Dimensions

When I crunched the numbers for height I came up with a 20 inches (72” x 36” x 20” yields a total volume of 225 gallons). Interesting. I really liked the idea of a semi-shallow/lagoon type of reef tank in terms of the look.

 

Coast To Coast Custom Aquariums

 

As for the glass, I went with ½” Starphire on the two side panels and the end panel with black silicone. For plumbing I settled on two 1-1/2” drains and two 1” returns. The tank will also have euro-bracing. Now, I know a lot of folks like rimless tanks, and they are really sharp looking, but I am an SPS guy and I personally don’t think a rimless tank is practical if you want to keep SPS.

 

Coast To Coast Custom Aquariums

 

SPS need a lot of flow and I just think it would be tough to keep water from splashing over a rimless tank, especially if you want to have random flow with some surge. I also like the extra support you get at the top with euro-bracing, which is a feature I’ve had on all of my custom tanks over the years.

External Overflow

Another feature I always opt for with a custom tank is an external overflow box. Internal overflow boxes protrude out inside the tank and can create some funky dead spots where they are located. With an external overflow you do not have this problem and it is a much cleaner look.

 

Coast To Coast Custom Aquariums

 

I did briefly consider a turn-key, non-custom tank from a couple of different manufactures but in the end they didn’t really have what I was looking for. These peninsula tanks were rimless, had internal overflows and were not wide enough.




 

A custom tank is more expensive but in my view they are worth the investment. But buyer beware, as some manufacturers use cheap foreign glass to cut corners. Choose a reliable builder who can hit a promised deadline. I have had great experiences with Coast To Coast Custom Aquariums so it was a no brainer to use them once again for this project.

 

 

Shop GHL/Royal Exclusiv/Reef Octopus/Pax Bellum Equipment

 

 

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend.

 

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

 

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

 

Happy reef keeping!