In 2013, Carter Hurd saw a ZeroEdge aquarium at his local aquatic shop. As with most hobbyists who have had the pleasure of gazing upon one of these, it is generally a bittersweet reaction, for beauty comes at a high price – but that would not stop him.
A determined Carter set out to make something amazing on his own, unable to afford the real one. His first attempt began with an acrylic box that supported the 3.4 gallon curved-glass tank from Meijer (manufactured by Penn-Plax, available from Amazon), and formed both the trough for water, and an enclosure for an additional reservoir, or sump. Unfortunately, this soon warped as it had to support the tank, and Carter discovered the obvious, that water weighs a lot!
In his latest design shown below, is a massive improvement. The display tank sits almost level with the counter; only a small black PVC trough is below. The water flows underneath the tank to the rear drain, which empties into the sump, which is a simple desk waste bin kept below his desk. The entire display is powered by a single 200 gph pump.
The addition of a few drop-in modifications quieted the drain from gurgling, and the siphon break on the return tube made Carters design less likely to flood the room. Carter set up the aquarium to only overflow the front and sides so that he did not need to clean the algae growth off the rear panel.
Kris Estep is also among those who also create beautiful ZeroEdge aquariums, like this 45 gallon reef setup.