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I was thinking about creating a glass 300 + gal. reef system. I have the possibility of having the filtration system plumbed into a room right behind it (so I can have a large filtration system as well). I was considering either putting the tank into the wall of the filter room or putting it just outside the filter room.
If it is just outside the room – this would allow me view the tank from the long axis as well , but I would have to get a nice stand and canopy, and loose space in the room in which the tank resides. If the tank were built into the wall – I would lose the option for ‘long-axis-viewing’, I would need to create a way to clean the front of the tank by making a removable (or swinging) board above the tank in order to reach it from the front, but I would have more room in the viewing room and I would not have put a lot of money into a fancy looking stand and canopy.
My question is…does anyone have any opinions or thoughts on either of these two options that perhaps I am not considering?
 

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I am going to be buying a house in the spring and this is on my list. My vote is for an in wall version. The finished look from the front is clean. Also this would allow the tank to be in a climate controlled environment. If it is on a stand in front of the room then you have to battle humidity, temp, etc in both rooms. Not to mention the light bleeding would be much less.
 

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While I think in wall looks very nice I think i'd end up going with in room as I would like to view from the sides without having to go to another room. Say you get a fish or coral and it likes the sides or behind some LR there is no chance of viewing it if it's an in wall unless you go to another room. =(

~Fred
 

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I have never had an in-wall tank so I can't speak from experience but here is my sense of it.

There are trade-offs for sure either way. On one hand an in-wall install looks very clean, keeps the noise down in the viewing area, allows for a simple and even ugly stand, allows multiple light mounting options without a nice canopy. Plumbing becomes easier and of course changes to plumbing are way easier. You do lose side viewing although I suspect that 95% or more of your viewing is from the front anyway and side viewing is still possible, just less convenient. Also, if you were mountig lights without an enclosed canopy, you'd not have to worry about the light shining in your eyes when you were sitting down looking at the tank. However, I think that general maintenance and feeding is probably harder. I spent a lot of hours standing in front of the tank with my arms in the tank cleaning the glass, rearranging the LR/coral, hand feeding nori, vacuuming the substrate or whatever. This I think is way easier if you can look straight into the tank and see what you are doing.

I think if I were in your situation, I'd do the in-wall tank since the advantages outweigh the disadvantages...in my opinion.
 
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