Mike's Tank (Picture heavy!)

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Here's my tank thread.

It's my third tank since getting back into the hobby the start of 2013, after a couple years out.

First was a sumped Jewel Rio 125L, I got it from a conman in Wakefield who gave it to me from his dark garage at night, and it was filthy, all hiding the fact it was scratched to bits, literally looked scourered.

Soon after I got a Fluval Roma 200L and took my time sumping that, it was pretty special and took lots of time and money. I removed the horrible plastic plinth, which is needed for structural strenth, but meant the big thick black brace across the middle was going to block out of middle pod of my Maxspect Razor, so I removed it, and braced the tank with glass instead. The tank is 8mm glass and that alone has a safety factor of almost 3 (if I remember right) which should have been fine, but it wouldn't take much of a tug to break it, so I braced the tank using a 10mm strip of glass up the front, and another up the back, and that gives it a safety factor well above most tanks, as the braces are "only just" required. I then drilled two 45mm holes for twin standpipe, built the weir, strenthened the cabinet with an iron frame so that the middle panel could come out making room for the 120L sump, and it was pretty much done, obviously way more to it than that, but it's not my tank anymore, it's Jessica's tank so I'll leave it there...

My new, current tank, is a bargain I got from St.Helens. A couple had it built by http://aquariums.ltd.uk/

The tank had never had a drop of water in it, it was only partially assembled, only one hole drilled, and the doors weren't even fitted. They then split, and decided the tank had to go, so I got a total bargain at £250. Price my tank up on their website now, and it comes in at a few quid shy of £1000 - as I said, bargain.

It's 6x2x1.5 (72x24x18), which is about 500L. There's a 4 foot sump which runs at 140L, and can take 171L, giving me 31L of headroom. The sump was a terrible flawed design which I think the guy who bought it must have done, as it'd have ran at about 4 inches deep, and had a total volume of about 50L, and been impossible for any skimmer, etc to run properly.

So I cut out the rubbish baffles, and added new baffles, 4, (with the final one having a bubble trap sheet), giving 5 chambers in total. The flow and capacities are detailed in photo below.

I drilled the extra hole needed for twin standpipe security and reliability, but as the current hole was so big, and the weir is a diagonal corner one, there was no room for it in the base, so I had to drill in through the back at the top. So the "emergency" overflow comes out of the back, down the back and into the cabinet, see pictures. The 1st (main) standpipe, the ball valved one is huge, at 50mm, and the 50mm ball valve is huge too. The 2nd standpipe is 32mm, which is more than enough for all the flow on it's own, yet it's only ever going to be taking the excess flow if the main one becomes blocked by something.

I added 8 banks of double mains sockets which are wired through the back into the cabinet, using trunking, proper twin and earth, and a master switch round the back leading to a single 13A mains plug. The master switch round the back is fused at 5A, as the tank should never draw that unless something is wrong.

The tank has a lovely hood, which I wanted to keep, having had considered removing the lids from it so that my two 160W Razors could be ventilated, but with the lids up, there was a lot of stray light, and I like tanks where the only light you see is bouncing off your reef and coming through the tank, so I wanted to keep the lids in place.

The razors being LED lighting don't produce nearly as much heat as Metal halides, even though they easily compete on lumen output. But they would get far too hot even with their built in fans if that heat couldn't escape, so I added two 80mm temperature controlled fans into the back of the hood. The temperature probe (simple thermistors) goes into the hotttest part of the razor, and the fan blows air across the vanes of the razor, the heated air - then under slight pressure is forced out of the hood through the gap around the perimeter of the lids, as they sit on little 3mm rubber feet at the front (hinged at the back).

With the fans being termpature controlled, it means they ramp up during the day, as the light from the razors increases, and they back off progressively toward evening as the razors fade down. Even at peak intensity, the razors built in fans don't activate, proving my ventilation method works perfectly.

The tank has two 12,000LPH duel powerheads, one at either end, giving 50x turnover, or there abouts.

The skimmer is a Bubble Magus Curve 5, which is the best skimmer I've ever had, although it's pretty much at it's rated limit, whereas I'd like one rated for a much bigger tank, I'd like a BM Curve 7 or 9. The 9 is a beast, I saw one recently, it's enourmous.

The tank is heated with a 500w Aqua Medic titanium heater connected to an STC-1000 temperature controller. There's 5x 90mm fans blowing across the sump, connected to the cooling side of the controller.

There's a 7W LED light fixed into the cabinet to light the Cheato section of the sump, it's working very well, but I've got a bigger 12W LED light, which concentrates on the red and blue spectrums that photosynthasis uses, so that should be good!

There's a Bubble Magus Mini 70 reactor running Rowaphos too, I wish I'd got the Mini 100 though now....

The return pump is a cheap £30 2,300?LPH jobby from allpondsolutions. It's pretty quiet, but does draw 55W, which is a lot for it's rated flow, you get what you pay for! The return plumbing is 32mm ridgid pipe and it takes a little over 2 seconds to give me a Litre, so I'm getting over 1,600LPH actual delivery, which is more than enough and tumbles my cheato ball nicely.

There's far too much stock to list right now, but I will list it!

So here's for some pictures. (Uploading...)


Last Edit: Mar 20, 2014 2:38:48 pm by i-CONICA
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HK_Fuey

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Reply #1

Just stunning.  Great job Mike.
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NasoUK

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Reply #2

Stunning mike

T-Bone Tyrone

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Reply #3

That has come on soo quick. Looks awesome and I bet there are still plenty of corals you have in mind.
I should really sort this out!!

Mike

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Reply #4

Thanks guys.

Yeah there is, but they're mainly SPS, to add "abstract" structure as they grow. They'll all be frags, as I want them to grow in place, rather than be a shape already. So I need to get nutrients under more control, hence the new bigger/better led bulb for the cheato, and better 2 stage rinsing of foods. Then when I get the Peristaltic dosing pump for my birthday, that should stabilize the cal/alk further. Then it'll be worth adding the extra SPS.

I lost that Seriatopora caliendrum in the picture, it happened very suddenly, it was my first SPS loss, the red Montipora plate is fine... My D-D phosphate kit expired, so I ordered a refill set, but when they arrived, their date was only that month (last month), so they were useless too, so the supplier was waiting for new stock from D-D, which took about 6 weeks, it turned out, most of the D-D phosphate kits in all the LFSs are/were out of date. Every LFS I went into, I checked and pointed it out to the staff...

Anyway, it meant I didn't really test for Phosphate for about 6 weeks, the only not-out-of-date kit I had was a Salifert one, but that shows crystal clear anyway. So that, and the instability of me dosing calcium and alkalinity weekly, killed the Seriatopora, but I've learned from it and am improving the situation so it hopefully never happens again. If some of it survives, I might be able to frag it anyway. There's a guy who frags SPS from single individual polyps, so maybe it's possible!

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Jessica

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Reply #5

Ahhhh about time Mike!! Such a lovely tank! :D

T-Bone Tyrone

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Reply #6

that's the best thing about frags, they grow to your tank conditions, the flow in your tank will have an effect in the corals shape.

plating corals will scroll up tighter in high flow, but will open up and grow flatter in lower flow areas, would prolly grow quicker in low flow too.

you should have mentioned about the D&D test (if you did previously I didn't see sorry) I'd have sent you mine, and you caould used or decant some and send back when you were done, I have only used a few times, and haven't been testing lately cause of lack of corals and proposed upgrade!

Rob
I should really sort this out!!

T-Bone Tyrone

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Reply #7

Oh yea, this kinda post the "back to top" button is handy.
I should really sort this out!!

Mike

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Reply #8

Here's a couple extra pictures. :)

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Ryan AC

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Reply #9

That nems come along great hasn't it.

I agree your tanks come along very quickly, looks amazing you must be really proud of it, keep up the good work. :)

Jessica

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Reply #10

Is that my grumpy clarkii in the nem

Mike

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Reply #11

looks amazing you must be really proud of it, keep up the good work. :)

Thanks, it's easy to "get used to it", but sometimes I do have to stand back, look at the tank, the sump, the way everything is put together and be mighty pleased with myself. It's by far the best reef tank I've ever owned, both the tank's construction/setup and the reefscape itself.

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Mike

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Reply #12

Is that my grumpy clarkii in the nem

Yep, it's the biggest of the two. Looks very comfortable in there doesn't it. The smallest of the 3 which I kept is probably equal in size now, it's shot up!
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Steveanem

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Reply #13

Looks the business mate. Excellent tank thread too very interesting.

Mike

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Reply #14

Thanks bud. :)

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