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Anyone cut a hole in the wall for their tank?


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One nice thing about not having actually ordered a tank yet is that I can keep changing my plans. :doh:

One of the walls in my office (where my current tank is) is the other side of the wall of the hallway leading to the master bedroom. It also happens to be just opposite of an arch/passthrough to the kitchen. And it is probably the only place in my house that could reasonably be considered a spot for an "in-wall" setup.

I mentioned in passing to my wife last night that I was kinda wanting to cut a 5'x2' hole in that wall and put the tank there.

I received a look somewhere between anger and a sigh with rolling eyes, which means that it might not be out of the realm of possibility. :lol:

The thought going through my head right now is to do a tank with starphire on the back and front, viewable from both the hallway and office, using an overflow on one end. Build up the office side with an enclosed end and canopy so it looks like a "normal" setup from the office, but an in-wall setup from the hallway/kitchen.

My initial tank dimension thoughts were 60x24x24, for around a 150 gallon tank. Now I'm leaning more towards 60x30x24, for around a 180 gallon tank. The extra 6" of depth (front to back) would allow for better aquascaping for two sided viewing.

Wonder how crazy I'm going. :)

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Before you order the tank and set things in motion that might be irreversible, take some time to make certain there are not vent lines or plumbing running through the walls in the area you want to modify. That would be the only thing that would throw a wrench in your plan. Cutting a small section of sheet rock out along the 60-72" that you plan to demo would allow you to PROVE that nothing will be in the way. If you find unfortunate plumbing, you can button it back up and forget the dream.

Also, look to see if you can fun a dedicated 20amp service to the area from your household service panel. That will give you the power you need to run a reef tank without risking overload on a circuit.

I'm jealous!


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There definitely shouldn't be any plumbing in that wall and all of the electric *should* be to the right of where I'm looking at working.

I'm pretty positive that it's not a load bearing wall, as it's internal and has open air above it in the attic, but I'm not absolutely positive that makes it non-load bearing.

As far as electrical...the plug on that wall is one down from the one that I turned into a GFCI plug for my current tank and on the same circuit. So I should be OK for power. But it might be worth looking at getting a dedicated 20amp line while the wall is somewhat open. Wonder what the cost of that would be.

Then there's figuring out how to frame it in...and whether or not I will need to change out some drywall for green board, etc...probably so many little things that I'll end up deciding not to do it... :)

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Even if its load bearing, there are ways around the problem. a 2x12 doubled is used to reinforce load bearing areas. Just takes some umphh to get them in.

Putting the 20 amp service in is a snap IF you can get a 10-12 gauge romex line from the service panel to your tank area. Sometimes it just takes some creativity to snake the wire through the chases and get it where you need it. Plugging it into the service panel is super easy as long as you'll swear you'll turn ALL THE POWER OFF TO THE PANEL before attempting. DO NOT GET FRISKY WITH YOUR SERVICE PANEL LIVE!

Projects like this are HUGE but great fun in my opinion. I am working on a kitchen right now, since this photo was taken, we got the sheetrock, plumbing and electrical finished. My dad and I work on it Friday through Sunday and I am hoping to have it completed by September 1st:


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The electrical is not actually a very long run. The subpanel is in the garage and shares a wall with the office (opposite wall from where I want to setup).

I'd like to avoid having to tear out much of the wall. I don't want to tear it down and restart. That would be putting way too much into this project.

I'd love to be able to cut a hole on the hall side that's no larger than the tank (5x2) and just have to trim it out around the tank. I know the office side will have to be a much larger hole, not only for dealing with framing it out, but also building up the lower portion of the wall to integrate with the stand.

But I'm not even sure I can get away with something so simple on the hall side.

The sad part is...it's not the framing/drywall that bothers me (even though I've never done it before)...it's trying to seamlessly match the texture on the wall for anything I have to tear out. :)

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this should be fairly easy Chris, u can do like ur wanting.cut the hole a 2x4 thickness wide on all 4 sides, then frame a 2x4 in for the tank to set on. One on each side to suppor sheetrock, and one on top. Yes u will hv a thickness of a 2x4 gap, no big deal, throw a piece of sheerock in there that thicknes throw a little mud in and sadnd it down. Then use 3" trim of ur choice around the tank to trim it out and u dont hv to worrie about matching the texture (on the hallway side). Then on the office sid build ur stand how ud like it, and a canopy. Wiring is easy like Mike said, since teh panel is on opposite wall its easy. In the top of the box there will be knock outs, knock one out. Take a 1" bit and drill threw the topplate. same on other side where tank goes. Run wire, If u need help wiring it i could possibly help you. My father is an electrician an we put (2) 20map circuits in for my tank, i didnt wanna have any issues later. I hv the power now. This would make a GREAT build....Dont give up. GO FOR IT!!!! I forgot, u dont hv to cut the sides bigger. u can just slide the 2x4 inbetween the sheetrock. but the top and bottom will hv 2 be cut a 2x4 bigger to stud it out. Also if theres room in the existing pipe going outta the top of panel u can just run a coat hanger dwn it and tape the wire to it and pull it threw to the top. EZ!!!

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Please go to the Resources forum and read my FAQ entry on electricity and house wiring


Oddly, my office seems to be split as far as what circuit it's on. It has a dedicated 20amp circuit that has two outlets. There's a third outlet in the room that's on another circuit. I believe it shares it with the garage. My tank, as currently plugged in, has everything but the lights on one circuit and the lights on the other. The reason that my lights are on a separate circuit is that I could not plug the prior lighting setup (Aquactinics Constellation) into a GFCI outlet. When I put in the new setup I plugged it right into where the old one was. Probably unnecessary now...

Adding a 3rd 20amp circuit to the room just for the aquarium is not a bad idea, and one that I'll consider, but I don't think I'm close to overloading what I have.

I also would not be doing that work myself. I have a healthy respect for electricity. :lol:

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