180 gallon Peninsula Starphire Tank, Stand & Canopy

A 180 gallon volume is considered an average size in the reef tank world, but there is nothing average about this build. 

180 gallon peninsula reef tank by Crystal Dynamic

150 gallon peninsula reef tank by Crystal Dynamic

Aquarium stand side door electric panel

Two factors contribute to the impressive presence of this tank: the extra-tall stand and the peninsula layout.

Maximizing the height of your stand is an often-overlooked lifehack when planning your aquarium. A lot of hobbyists dream of a visually stunning system that makes a statement in the room, and go for 30"+ tall aquariums because they have that oversized presence. However, it is important to note that, within certain limits, a shorter tank on a taller stand makes the same visual impression as a taller tank on a shorter stand. For instance, many of the attendees of MACNA, where this system was displayed, said they thought it was a 225-250 gallon tank, not a 180. 

Why would you want to use this lifehack? The short answer is, to save cost. Taller aquariums are riskier (the water pressure exerted on the glass and seams increases with each additional inch of height), so they must be built with extra reinforcement features that require additional materials, labor, and build time. Upgrading your stand to 40-42" tall takes only a couple hundred dollars, while building a taller aquarium often results in $500+ extra expense.

Reconfiguring your aquarium into a peninsula is another great idea that will allow you to basically get double the tank without double the cost. It requires a bit more planning to find a proper place in your home, but the results are stunning. You can display your coral on both long sides and the shorter side, giving the visitors to your home a walk-around view of the tank. 

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