Home 20,000 Gallon Reef Tank, 75,000L – COOLEST THING I’VE EVER MADE: EP5
It’s the largest privately-owned reef tank in north america. It holds 20,160 gallons total. Easily couple of miles of piping in this house. My name is Bill. I own a laboratory equipment company, but I really like to build stuff. I just wake up middle of the night decide I want to make something and start figuring out how to do it. When I was a kid I built flamethrowers. I mean working flamethrowers, cars, just anything you know I can build. I’m one of those people that if I can build it, I’ll build it before I go out and buy it. Like this router here for instance. I pretty much designed it on a piece of paper one day; machined everything out, programmed the computer and control systems I want a one with an automatic tool changer, so this one changes tools automatically and everything. But the coolest thing is my 20,000 gallon homemade aquarium. The tank is 24 feet long it’s 10 feet high and 10 feet from front to back. It holds 20,160 gallons total, which is the largest privately-owned reef tank in north america. We designed the house around the tank. I just wanted a wall of fish. I would say easily couple of miles of piping in this house. Right now we’re probably about what it cost to build somewhere between $500,000 to $700,000. The windows are actually acrylic not glass. This is actually a chunk of it. It’s two-and-a-half inches thick. Each one of the windows weighs about 2,000 pounds. It took about 12 people to install each window. This is the control panel, kind of controls the whole show here. All custom done you know I programmed it and everything. I had to figure out everything as I went, so I designed everything, and figure out how to build it all. We’re actually underneath the fish tank in the filtration room. These are protein skimmers, these actually remove all waste from the water that the fish generate. Basically, I custom built these myself. The body is PVC and then we weld it and glue it all together. This is the reverse osmosis system. It take the water that comes in and it removes all the impurities in it. I mean there are commercially available units like this but they didn’t really have the features that I wanted, so I just built it from scratch. This is a behind the tank itself. That’s the back wall of the aquarium. We have 12 400 watt metal halide lights. We have to have very very bright light for the coral to grow. The electric bill is a huge expense. It runs me about twelve hundred dollars a month just to run electricity for the tank itself. The tank is so massive that the only way to clean the tank is to actually dive in there and take care of it. Every week it takes me about 10 minutes to clean the glass and I can spend some other time cleaning up after them in there. The biggest reason why I like fish tanks it’s not really so much to fish I mean I like to fish I like the corals and things like that but I like to challenge keeping them alive. It’s something that I can’t master. If I can master something quickly then I lose interested and I get bored. We’re interested in building a really big tank next time. Like four times the size of this one, just to see what it’ll do. My twenty thousand gallon homemade aquarium is the coolest thing I’ve ever made.