Peninsula Reef Tank Build

Peninsula Tank Build – Project Kick-off

This is Part #1 in a series of blog posts about my 225 gallon peninsula tank build.

Whenever I get the itch to start up a new tank I begin to think about where it can go in the house. I weigh the practicality of various locations and then I start to think about the type of tank possible in the location I settle on.

One big factor is that I love to keep my equipment in a large remote location away from the tank, giving me plenty of room for equipment and room to do maintenance.

In my house in Vermont the best spot for a tank and remote equipment room is the basement. It was unfinished when we purchased the house but it was finished it off to serve as my aquarium/man-cave room. I am lucky I have tolerant wife 🙂

Tank #1

The first tank, a 187 gallon aquarium, fit nicely in an alcove next to a wall with a work room on the other side. The work room was a perfect spot for the sump and all the other equipment. I drilled four holes in the wall, two for the returns and two for the drains, and connected the tank to the sump.

A plumber installed a slop sink and an electrician put in a bunch of electrical outlets and switches for the equipment. Additionally, I wanted to plumb a frag tank into the display so a bench was built for the tank and a workspace. This setup works like a charm. I did a bunch of plumbing myself and installed a water change system that allows me to pump water from the sump to the slop sink.

Getting an Itch For Tank #2

Five years after the first tank was setup in Vermont I began to get an itch for another tank. Never before have I had two display tanks but the thought of doing something unique with a second tank was appealing.

I really did like the idea of a large peninsula tank but there were some possible locations for a large cube tank. Decisions, decisions. I had two options. The first was to put the tank adjacent to a wall with a storage room on the other side. A cube tank would work well here since it could tuck nicely into another alcove in the basement.

However, the storage room was not insulated and had no plumbing for an additional slop sink. The other side of the room was an intriguing option for either a cube or peninsula aquarium since the tank could be plumbed to my other equipment room. But the plumbing would be tricky since it would have to pass through the room with our furnace and hot water heater.

Deciding Factors

Even though I wanted a totally separate system with different equipment, a back-up in case one tank crashed, there were some advantages to having a second system in my current equipment room. The main plus was having the slop sink and 55 gallon drums at my disposal for water changes for the new tank. I could easily tap into that system.

I also needed to add another set of outlets and switches for the new tank and it was a short run in this room to the electrical panel.

Despite the tricky plumbing, I decided to put the tank in the spot that would allow me to plumb it to the current equipment room. I also decided to follow my dream of owning a peninsula tank.

Pushing The Button

I reached out to Patrick Pawlowski, who owns Coast To Coast Custom Aquariums, to discuss the new build. Patrick built two other tanks for me and they are works of art. Patrick is a master tank builder so it was a no brainer to use him again for this project.

I ended up going with a 225 gallon peninsula tank with the following dimensions: 72″L x 36″W x 20″T. Stay tuned for more details about the tank and my road trip to pick it up!

Additional Resources

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. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

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.

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