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In Wall Fish Tank Forum


A discussion about aquariums that are built into walls.






It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 2:43 pm

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What is a Wall Aquarium?



Beautiful through wall aquarium.

    A wall aquarium is a fish tank that is installed inside a wall, on a shelf or half-wall. The In-Wall configuration is the most difficult set-up but is the most appealing. Consider this. It takes up no floor space. All the wires etc are completely hidden. A see-through tank looks gorgeous and changes the feel of a room. It doesn't even need a rectangular picture-frame. Consider a port hole or company logo outline. After you add up the pros and cons you realize that an inside the wall aquarium is worth the extra initial effort.



Stunning tank built into the wall.

How difficult is installing a tank into your wall?


    If you are handy, it is not too hard. In advance you will need some basic knowledge of how the wall is built, electrical and maybe plumbing. Make a plan. What type of filter are you using? You will need some clearance on the sides of the tank. Don't worry about seeing through the tank into the wall, all you will see is the reflection of inside the aquarium. Leave yourself at least 5” to 6” above to access the tank and more if possible. Are you covering the access point under trim?
    If you are opening an existing wall try to determine if it's load bearing. If it is or you're not sure, you will have to add some additional supports before you cut any wall studs. This can be achieved by putting a few vertical studs and a header under the ceiling to take the load while you cut into the existing wall. Once your opening is cut out, the top, sides and bottom of your opening should be braced with studs to transfer weight around the opening. Next make a super flat base with plywood and shims. You can have the tank overhanging the wall as long as you have 1 ½” of plywood (2 pieces of ¾”) underneath fastened securely to the wall studding.
    You will need to run electrical to one of the top corners. Not the center because it can get in the way of the light. You must use a GFI outlet because of the potential shock hazard. A typical tank will have 4 devices that plug in so use a splitter or additional outlets.
    For ease of maintenance you can plumb a drain under the tank and water intakes above. You must use both hot and cold so you can regulate temperature when you filling it. Install a float valve to ensure that it does not overflow. It should be made of metal with a plastic ball, not all plastic. Good luck!



Common 'Through the wall' configuration
with access hidden under trim.


Side A, no access.Side B, entry under trim.