January 27, 2017 at 7:19 pm #2808JonockParticipant
For many years I’ve kept a wide variety of fish including coldwater, tropicals and Marines. This is my Second ever reef tank, it’s a ‘slight’ upgrade from my previous 30 gallon Jewell Rio.
The Rio was what I term a ‘manual’ tank i.e. it was a beginners tank and had no automation on it with the exception of timers on the lights. This was in my opinion an invaluable way to learn the art of reef keeping (along with much reading and observation) as it showed exactly how much calcium was added and how much buffer to maintain alkalinity (and what happens if too much or too little is added) rather than just measuring and adjusting equipment to attain specific levels of this and that. It had no sump and only fluorescent lighting but it was a nice tank nonetheless.
After keeping that for 4 years and 2 house moves I realised that of all the years I had been keeping fish (and now inverts) I had attained a reasonable amount of knowledge but didn’t really have very much to physically show for it so I decided to build a new tank, one that you couldn’t miss if you came round.
I’d also like to thank my much better half Pascale for putting up with the time taken, mess made, money spent and obsessive behaviour she has had to endure (not to mention my other obsession; carp fishing) over the years. She has endured it all silently without complaint…
When we bought our house we (well more me really) already had the tank in mind, I wanted to find a house that we both liked but that a garage on the side of the house next to the lounge. The intention was to place the tank in the garage and knock a hole through for the main tank. Once we found the right house though, I soon went off that idea and began fixating on knocking the garage down and rebuilding it but as an extension to the lounge so I could fit the tank in the corner and have a bigger room at the same time.
The new system consists of 5 individual tanks; the main tank, the sump, the refugium plus two other tanks about 20 gallons each, one for water changes and one as a freshwater reservoir. The total system volume for the main tank, sump & refugium is estimated to be between 400 and 450 imperial gallons.
The entire system was designed as thoroughly as I could over the period of 6 months with a build time of about 3 months from start to finish. The design was built around several key features: Accessibility of tanks and equipment for maintenance including rear access to the main tank due to its 36” width, functionality of the design – long term, and making it as ‘clumsy’ proof as possible – I’m not a clumsy person but I know that it’s sods law that if things are in a position to be knocked or toppled eventually they are and with all that glass, water and electricity in a confined space I wanted to reduce the risk of such things occurring. I’m also a bit of a stickler for things looking nice so I had quite a challenge hiding all the cabling required to run such a system.
Behind the main tank is the ‘fish room’ which contains all of the equipment, all of the tanks and all the other useful things like a sink and water in and out of the building. This room is also air conditioned using a split 0.67Kw Fujitsu unit, this is essential as the room is small and heats up quite a bit especially in the summer. The air con is only switched on between 12.00pm and 12.00am as if it runs constantly the tank cools too much over night and the heaters come on whacking my electric bill up to even more frightening sums. With the air con not running at night the heaters never ever come on and the tank remains between 27.8˚C and 28.0˚C 24/7.January 27, 2017 at 7:36 pm #2841JonockParticipant
If anyone has any questions for Nick please leave your comments on this thread.January 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm #2858aperturedragonParticipant
WOW, AMAZING TANK! This is something to aspire to! How often do you have to clean it?January 28, 2017 at 8:33 am #2872RobMaddieParticipant
:0! OH SHIT! NOW THATS A TANK
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