I knew right from the start, the marine reef aquariums would have to be custom made along with the stands. For the cost, I figured I can go with all glass, and began looking for a local aquarium builder. As far as the stands, I just went with a simple wood structure, covered with flat paneling that I painted. In retrospect Ishould have covered the stand with FRP to ease on the reef aquarium maintenance.
I began gutting a room in my basement for the coral reef project. I wanted the experience to be a dedicated to the theme of the reef aquarium.
Running dedicated circuits was a must, and looking back I should have installed Ground Fault Interrupters but at the time I did not. I finally got in touch with a custom tank builder and soon had several meeting to discuss the aquarium dimensions.
The coral project was ready to begin. Aside from the electrical work for the reef aquarium, I did have to pour cement to level a small section of my basement floor, which was concave for run off to a drain. I purchased the self leveling type, and allowed for the full curing time. After which the layer seemed to crack very easily so I totally removed it all and began the process again with a normal portland and a bull float.
As far as the reef aquarium, I came up with a staggered design for overall impact on viewing. There were five main aquariums and one sump to be built. Overall the reef aquarium would be about 500 gallons.
The lower aquarium reef slope and upper reef slope dropped about 6 inches each from the aquarium reef crest; the back reef and lagoon followed suit. By dropping each and staggering the front three, it gave the appearance of a wall of aquarium reef spanning some 4.5 feet high and little over 6 feet long. The Lagoon returned on to make an “L” shape combined with the back reef off the aquarium reef crest.