When planning your tank, nothing is ever too much. On my previous setups, almost immediately after the tank was fully working I noticed some kind of mistake. I don’t know about you but this has always happened to me. One of the great advantages of internet forums is the ability to communicate with thousands of reefers and share experiences. Many mistakes that we make when conceiving an aquarium have already happened to other reefers, so they can easily help you.
I understand it isn’t easy to spread your ideas to other people, especially when you are writing in forums. The adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” really is apropos to this subject. This is why I´d like to introduce you a very useful tool when you are planning your aquarium – Google SketchUp. What is Google SketchUp?
It’s a free downloadable program, used for creating 3D models. You can make objects as small as a pump or as big as your entire fishroom. Heck… some SketchUp designers are even able to reproduce large buildings or entire cities. Of course, I’m not expecting the average reader to be able to do such a herculean task. The software is very user-friendly, and it doesn’t require any great designer skills. I can speak for myself because I’m the worst guy on earth regarding drawing and I was able to produce some nice sketches with this program. Additionally, the software comes with a small tutorial which will help you to get familiarized with all the tools. There are also a lot of tutorials on the internet about Google ShetchUp.
Even in some local forums you can already find libraries with objects that can be inserted directly in your sketch, like skimmers, power heads or lightning fixtures.
Another great advantage is that you can print your drawings and give them to your aquarium designer or to your carpenter, so they can see exactly what you’re thinking of. Finally, if you have great designing skills you can also easily persuade your wife/husband of “How nice our future tank will fit in our living room”. You can find it here: Google SketchUp Have fun planning your aquarium! I would like to acknowledge Andrew (aka V1…rotate) for sharing his images