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Brick Tanks - Are they really worth the extra bucks?


renman303

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Since the tank I originally wanted to build is a no-go, I am going to purchase a 215 gallon tank to put against a wall. Probabaly from DSA. The reef ready tank has two overflows, one in each back corner. It's 1/2" thick glass. It has center braces. It's $1100. The same 215 gallon tank in "brick" form is a massive 3/4" thick tank with no braces, large single center overflow. It's $2300.

Is not having bracing and a center overflow worth $1200? Or should I put this money into lights, skimmer, calcium reactor?...

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Since the tank I originally wanted to build is a no-go, I am going to purchase a 215 gallon tank to put against a wall. Probabaly from DSA. The reef ready tank has two overflows, one in each back corner. It's 1/2" thick glass. It has center braces. It's $1100. The same 215 gallon tank in "brick" form is a massive 3/4" thick tank with no braces, large single center overflow. It's $2300.

Is not having bracing and a center overflow worth $1200? Or should I put this money into lights, skimmer, calcium reactor?...

I have an Oceanic 135 with dual overflows and regret it. I wish I had a single center chamber with dual drains/returns or something like StarFire has. His tank basically uses the whole back wall as an overflow so there is no visable overflow boxes in the tank. I cant really explain it correctly so maybe he or another member will chime in.

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Since the tank I originally wanted to build is a no-go, I am going to purchase a 215 gallon tank to put against a wall. Probabaly from DSA. The reef ready tank has two overflows, one in each back corner. It's 1/2" thick glass. It has center braces. It's $1100. The same 215 gallon tank in "brick" form is a massive 3/4" thick tank with no braces, large single center overflow. It's $2300.

Is not having bracing and a center overflow worth $1200? Or should I put this money into lights, skimmer, calcium reactor?...

I know Cmanning has a 215 brick but I believe her's has two overflows, one per each back corner.

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Honestly at that price I would talk to Kingfish or Rivercity aquatics about a AGE tank. Im not sure what the price it but It got to be close or a little more then that and you can get it custom sizes and starfire, then put the overflow where ever you want.

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Since the tank I originally wanted to build is a no-go, I am going to purchase a 215 gallon tank to put against a wall. Probabaly from DSA. The reef ready tank has two overflows, one in each back corner. It's 1/2" thick glass. It has center braces. It's $1100. The same 215 gallon tank in "brick" form is a massive 3/4" thick tank with no braces, large single center overflow. It's $2300.

Is not having bracing and a center overflow worth $1200? Or should I put this money into lights, skimmer, calcium reactor?...

Center overflow - I can't say..seems like a tank with just one center overflow might have dead spots in the front corners.

Center brace? -- that I know all about. Lived the nightmare.. Just say no.- and then stop reading here..

Ok - since you're still reading, and I am feeling particularly chatty (coffee... ahhh)...

I can't say exactly how much (dollar amt) it's worth or not.. but I can tell you this:

If I spend 600 to 800 on a plastic tube with some 50 dollar pumps attached... (the skimmer I am about to buy) some people would think I am completely nutzo.

( I almost do..)

But: for the grief it's going to save me -- it's worth every penny.

I guess this part is all educational. - So take things slow - go to several people who own big tank homes, and see if you can find one (200 gallon or larger) who

will talk to you about the pro's/cons he has experienced with his "center brace(s)".

Glass braces have a different (and interesting) effect related to the fact that glass transmits heat very fast because of it's density.

Just what you need over a tank you are trying to keep at a "cool 80" is a hot piece of glass. (just kiddin here pardner).

Think of it as a glass-topped stove burner.. just upside-down.. (like fried fish on a coral stick?)... OK, ok - just kiddin around (grin).

The high - Watt Halide bulbs you are going to need on this size tank are going to be really transmitting a lot of heat into that center brace if it's glass.

Of course - it will act like a heat sink and transmit some of it into the walls it contacts, and they in turn on into the water as well.

Also - the glass brace will grow algae on it's underside, (insanely fast) and need pretty constant attention (picture yourself reaching into the water with a large scraper

trying to scrape the algae off the underside of the center brace.. and yes, your entire arm is submersed form the armpit to the wrist in order to do this...

(and) you are up on a ladder and leaning on the glass front panel to rach all the way to the back part to get it done..not good).

I can't tell you how much a hated this all the years I ran my reef tanks with center braces. ( there were times I thought I was going to actually break the front glass

while trying this "center brace cleaning act").

It's not so bad on a small tank.. On a tank 24 inches front to back , up on a ladder to reach across the top.. with the halides "cooking the skin" on your face/arm

while you do it..(and have someone else "watching" to see if you got all the glass clean because you are in such a twisted postion that you can't

see for yourself what you are doing)-- it's a complete pain.

Never mind the fact that my fully submerged arm kept twisting upward to get at the bottom of the glass and knocking coral and rocks out of position near the

back wall of the tank)..My grief turned to despair..then spite.. followed by outright hatred of center braced tanks.

It's all about grief..or the lack thereof...(this hobby is supposed to be fun, right?)

.. But -- that's just me. :)

Have you hunted for a used Oceanic 215 brick ? I know they are somewhat rare, but it does happen.

Talk to store owners - they are in the know about the larger systems customers who are breaking down their tanks,

(instead of buying a tank new).. - if you take your time, you can probably come up with a hell of a deal.

There was a guy not too long ago somewhere out by Lake Travis who broke down and sold TWO 400 gallon monster tanks..

They went REAL cheap - compared to retail.

(I went to all the stores in the Austin area talking to the owners, and telling them I was in the market for a used brick style, because I could not afford a new one

and lo, and behold after a few months, I got a hit). That's how we got ours. It's the Oceanic 215 dual overflow we got for only 600.

(Yes we actually had to go to the guys house and haul it ourselves) - but it was worth it.

If you look long/hard enough and let enough of the right people know you are looking for it..you will find it.

Aquarium shop owners who take tanks on consignment usually don't want to haul these bricks into the store because of their weight. -But they do

keep tabs on where they are, who owns them, and when they get ready to part with them.

See - usually guys "upgrading" to 500s have these 215's -- what do they do with them? they sit in the "garage" - just waiting for you,

or they try to pawn them off on a LFS..

Since these are not really what I would call "custom" tanks (Oceanic "Ultimate" Series) - then they are not as rare (used) as people would have you think.

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tough call, really what you want.

I think with a single overflow you can get returns and pumps in to cover that.

I have a 84x24x24 tank with dual overflows that I am gonna sell because while it would make most people happy I want something a little bit different in our new entry way and a single overflow.

To each their own, we spend enough money as it is so what's a little more if you really like the brinck set up

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