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Sharing my experience setting up outdoor tank


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  • SRC Member

Dear reefers, I would like to start a thread to share my experience of setting up an outdoor tank. When I was having this idea 5 months back (due to limited space to setup an indoor tank), I was searching thru cg for inputs and comments but there was limited thread on this topic. Hence hopefully this thread that I’m about to start will be helpful for anyone thinking about setting up an outdoor tank. It’s purely sharing of my experience, far from perfection comparing to any professionals




My indoor 322 at old house


I’ve a indoor 322 prior to moving to this new ground unit condo. For an outdoor tank, I would say be more patience is needed and do more planning. To no surprise, there are also additional external environmental considerations to take note on top of the usuals for indoor tanks. Hence “site survey” is the first thing to do before many other things. Find the most ideal location (there will not be a perfect spot and in some cases limited options) that’s well shielded from rain and sunshine. It’s important to take note sunrise/set and seasonal rainfall changes across the year (to some degree).



Ideal spot on the left, Patio facing a great greenery view.


Fortunately I’m able to identified an ideal spot after 2 months of observing (wet and dry) weather conditions. Next is to consider the max allowable space and hence tank size tanking into considerations of sun and rain exposure. For my case it fits a 422 before tank starts to fill up with rain water . When it comes to tank build quality vs cost, I’ll have to take some risk to compromise “popping” of cabinet laminate. Constructing an outdoor quality wooden cabinet of 2m x 1m x 60cm is beyond my budget (>S$2K). For those that can afford it, got for it . As a preventive measure (or at least delay the damage ), I implemented the following to minimise the degradation impact. Disclaimer, I’m also experimenting this


1) Used 2mm polycarbonate sheet from Dama to shield the laminate from harmful uv from sun and potential rain splash.


2) Strengthen the joints by gluing aluminium L brackets to hopefully avoid “popping” (pardon the the scorch taps, too lazy to remove after dry up).



Polycarbonate sheet that looks like normal transparent plastics. The dark brown joint it the L bracket.



Look of the tank


The other challenge will be AC power. Typical patio or balcony will not have many (or none) power points for heavy duty usage. For my case there is only one !! I’ve asked the electrician how much can this source... average +/- 1000W. Calculating the total amount of power, I’m really at the brink with all necessary equipment in. Contingency plan will be to tap on lighting power points (if available) to source for low power equipments.


There are pros and cons of sunshine, while many might worry about algae and electricity bills.. it has its merit of natural sunlight mimic the real sea environment. For my case, it gets 3-4 hours of morning sun which is ideal where I don’t have to turn on my lights, offsetting some electricity bill.



Morning sun shining into live stocks, growing well. You can see the background reflect of the sky on the right too


If you have a water point at the outdoor area, perfect ! Then your wc will be a lot more simpler. For my case, I’ve a water point Arthur patio area that I’ve hooked up my RODI just beside the tank.


Thanks quite a long intro . Thanks for reading so far and hope you find it useful thus far. Next update will touch more on the tank setup itself.


Happy reefing




Sent from Singapore Reef Club mobile app

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  • SRC Member

Thanks for sharing! I think outdoor tanks are really interesting & hope to see more successful tanks like this considering the sun we get in our region is ideal for growing corals!

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  • SRC Supporter

Seen the tank in person and definitely doing well. Do share some videos :)


This is a good thread for reference for handling the elements (rain, UV from sunlight etc). 

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/mysliceofnature/






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Welcome back. This is part 2 of my outdoor tank setup sharing.

First to share the key equipment list and tank parameters. This is a relatively new tank of only 5 months old.

Here are the list of major equipment of my 422 tank:

Apex EL system
Nyos 160 skimmer
3 Hydra AI 52HD, Aluminium profile from Prestech
Teco 1000 chiller (set at 26.8 degrees)
2 return pumps Jebao DCP 6500
Skimz Calcium Reactor CM157
Reactor for Rowaphos
Nero 5 wave marker
Jebao RW15 wave maker
Smart ATO with optical sensor for auto top off
5 boxes of maxspect media

Current Tank parameters:
KH 7
Mg 1300
CA 400
NO3 Po4 0.06 ppm


Here’s a picture of my 2 ft sump tank. Pls pardon for the messiness

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hahaha.bro think I caught a glance of Ur tank when I was at this development..

|| Tank: 5x2x2.5 || Sump 3.5x1.5.1.5 || Lights: DeLighting 2x80w Aquable Special T5 ||

|| Return: 2 x ehiem 1264 || Skimmer: Skimz SM251 ||

|| CR: deltec denitrator || ATO with custom make reservior tank||

|| FR: TLF running Rowas ,UV ||

|| Wavemaker: Jebao RE20& RW15|| Chiller: Daikin 1HP Compressor ||

|| Monitor 1: American Marine Pinpoint Temperature monitor ||

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