Sample Build

Building a Custom Tank:

The cabinet for your new aquarium can be inbuilt or custom-sized and painted any color to fit with your decor. For this sample installation, we will look at a built-in cabinet in a home from start to finish.

A built-in custom cabinet.
A built-in custom cabinet with openings for a display tank with lighting above and a combination sump below.

Notice that the shelf for the aquarium is strongly braced and power is provided through a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the wall to the rear.

The sump to be installed. A custom sump.
 The custom sump provides space for a freshwater top-off and a small refugium, as well as areas for a sizeable protein skimmer and standard sized filter socks. The acrylic sump is made to order to fit in the space provided. Here, the freshwater top-off can be seen next to the chamber for the return. This will be plumbed into the display tank later.


Putting together a new marine aquarium can be a very complex task with many different parts that all need to work well together so that the ecosystem can flourish. Trust us to help you select the best equipment for your needs, from determining the right amount of live rock and live sand to help your corals and livestock flourish to sizing the right protein skimmer to keep your water quality excellent.

Jorge even mixes his own saltwater so that you will have the perfect salinity while your new tank cycles. And with more than five years experience plumbing tanks, he knows just how much PVC piping to bring and where to put valves for optimal performance. Trust us to figure out just what you need to meet your budget.

Two trucks of supplies. Lots of supplies.
 Delivered in style, saltwater included!
So many choices to make!
Jorge considers pipe length. Nice pipes.
Jorge considers the proper length for a pipe. Jorge's plumbing is efficient and fits in small spaces optimally.


    Although this particular display tank is not custom and includes the usual black dividers to hide the return piping, we are happy to provide custom tanks with return piping cut through the glass for even more display area. As always, our glass tanks are handled with care and checked for damage at all steps of the process.

     Moving the display tank. Carrying the display tank. Setting the display tank in place.
    The display tank is transported inside and placed on the reinforced shelf designed for it.


      Once everything is plumbed to perfection, the tank can be aquascaped with the initial live rock and live sand. Jorge makes certain that everything is stable before beginning to fill the tank with saltwater. At this point, everything is in place and the piping can be checked against leaks.



       Sump filling Jorge sets up lights.
      The protein skimmer has been set in place, and all of the pipes have been checked. A media reactor is also included, off to the right side. The sump fills as the tank does. While the water flows into the tank and sump, Jorge sets up the app-controlled LED lights that will make the tank a beautiful environment for fish and corals.


      The job is finished for the day, and the tank is allowed to cycle for a few weeks to help the ecosystem achieve the right chemistry before livestock is added. Though the water looks cloudy, the sediment will settle out within a couple of hours.

       Finished work


      And then, a few months later, everything is lively and beautiful!

      Six months later.