Tank Dimensions / Manufacturer Recommendations?


Reefing newb
So before asking my questions, the following is my background. I had a Marineland tank (48x24x30) 150 gallons, they classified it as deep dimension. After owning the tank for roughly eight months I come home from work to a disaster. Roughly only 5 inches of water remained in the tank and rest was drained onto the floor. Based on my proof to the insurance company, since the glass is not fractured or damage it looks like a seal gave out on the bottom glass. The damage to the home was roughly $10,000; in addition had a $2,600 bill for drying services. Lastly, I am out a fish tank and all the damaged tank goods / killed livestock associated with the tank, which is now going through a subrogation claim with the Marineland's insurance company. At this point my homeowners insurance has fulfilled my claim, and now comes the longer journey for the subrogation claim.

From this experience, I try to remind myself that glass aquariums are not bad and this is a rare type of accident. Being that hot water heaters or air condensers can leak, but yet we still have them. Its just a bad situation, and with every appliance we use comes with some risk. When I was younger, I grew up with 2-3 55g tanks in the house... had no issue at all.

With that being said, I would like to avoid this situation again. First off, and mainly a personal preference, I do not want a deep dimension tank anymore. I rather have a 72" length tank for two reasons: (1) aesthetics of the tank/rock work, (2) distribute the weight of the contents over a larger surface area. My next tank will be roughly 150-180 gallons, with two overflows inside the tank.

Does anyone have recommendations or vendors they prefer? Glass vs Acrylic? What type of setup has worked best for you considering the the larger volume of water? Any general recommendations?

I appreciate the feedback!
Get a glass tank. The acrylic tanks are hard to clean. You need to buy all special cleaning tools just to not scratch it. Im sorry to hear your losses, it must be really hard to get back in to it. :-(
I suggest glass as well. Acrylic scratches just by looking at it funny. ;) I am so sorry for your losses through that ordeal. What a pain in the booty! Glad you're getting back in the hobby. I can't wait to see your new system. There are a lot of good ideas around here for distributing the weight of the tank on the floor, making sure it's level, and that the floor can handle the weight as well. Good luck!
I know you are probably apprehensive but i find Marineland aquariums to be good quality products and have had 5+ tanks (new and used) from them in the past (i did a lot of fw stuff when i was younger). Aqueon is another good manufacturer i am familiar with. In my area there is a custom manufacturer (miracleaquariums.com) and I'm sure there is something nearby for you - you just have to do your research.

However, you may want to shop around in terms of LFS who do a lot of aquarium customization work and often they will source an aquarium for you and do the customizing work (drilling holes, putting in an overflow, sourcing/building a stand).

Reefcentral (forum) has a thread on large tanks - you may want to check it out for ideas. There are some amazing build threads in there. Dennis (d2mini) has one of the best build threads on this forum. Miracle aquariums has links to different customer setups - you may also get some ideas there.

Large Reef Tanks - Reef Central Online Community

In terms of the specifics of the tank i would recommend

- go with 72" - more so on the aesthetics than the concerns regarding weight. Plus a tall tank (30" or more) is a pain to maintain - I can tell you that from personal experience.

- if you go 72" than i would suggest at least 180g. At that size there isn't much of a footprint difference between 100g (72x18x18) and 180 (72x24x24) - just 6 inches. You just need to make sure your "spot" can support the weight.

- rimless tank - this is just a question of aesthetics

- dual overflows - this is a classic setup (one on each end) but you may want to think about a center custom overflow. I just think overflows are ugly and its easier to hide a center overflow behind the rockwork,

- invest in a water detection setup. you can get water detectors or get a controller with a water detection module. with a controller - it can even send you emails if it detects water. may be a bit of a peace of mind for you.

- glass unless you have some very unique ideas on shape. if you are going with a regular rectangular box setup - i really don't see why you want acrylic. like everyone says - they scratch super easy and with every scratch your value drops.

I would suggest taking your time and speak to different LFS/reefers in your area and get different suggestions on setups.

have fun and good luck!
Great feedback and information. I have the same impressions everyone has mentioned.

Good idea with the center overflow, I will certainly do my research... as I do not plan on making a big tank purchase without my subrogation claim settled. That is why I wanted to hear your feedback :D

My home has concrete foundation, so I would assume that "spot" would support any range of tanks (assuming the stand is certified for that weight).

Thanks again....
You may also look into a coast-to-coast overflow. I think it fits in better with less distraction, while also providing better skimming capabilities. Take a lake, one with a 4 foot wide damn, the other 40. If there's an oil spill, the wider damn allows a thinner cascade for the same gph (in a lake, gps) than the narrower, resulting in more water from the surface, where our proteins build up, rather than under the surface, like would be the case of single or even dual overflows.
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Yup, it doesn't get better (functionally) than a coast to coast with BeanAnimal Failsafe Overflow System. Skims and flows like nobody's business!!!!

You can do it internal or external. Go custom with Deep Sea Aquatics, Reef Savvy, Miracles, just to name a few.
Wow, the coast to coast overflow looks very interesting and noninvasive. I was looking at reef savvy the other day.

If I do go with a custom tank, what type of glass qualities do you recommend? Meaning thickness and blend of glass? I never really thought of those qualities before.

Thanks again, great information.
Like Dennis said , Deep Sea makes a really nice tank (which is who I have), Reef Savvy is amazing , Planet Aquariums makes a really nice tank too and sometimes they are quite a bit cheaper than Deep Sea.
Keep it in mind that the seams are exposed to pressure not from footprint size but from depth. A Deep Dimension tank has no more or less pressure on the seams than any other tank the same height....

But, with that said, you prefer the aesthetics of the regular dimension tanks so THAT is what you should have!!!

And sorry to hear about the disaster, don't know if my hobby would survive that....