The 14 day Upgrade to a 280g Starfire Reef tank
After almost 7 years in the hobby,
I upgraded to a huge tank. 5 years ago, I announced that my 29g
reef was full, and that I was content. Many online friends accused
me of sacriledge, telling me that I had to upgrade. I resisted the temptation
for a while, knowing that expenses would rise in the process. A 55g
set up fell into my lap a few months later, and while I enjoyed
that extra tank, ideas were running through my head about an L-shaped
tank that wrapped around a corner so it could be viewed from the living
room and kitchen. Talking about that tank for over one and a half years,
it never came to fruition. Suddenly a 280g reef set-up became available
in my area and I decided it was time to take the plunge.
Current image (June 30, 2009):
The livestock and live rock from both the 29g and 55g were transplanted into
the larger tank after it was installed and ready - my goal was 14 days.
The diary of these events can be read here Days
1 - 7 and Days 8 - 14
(these are large downloads). On Reef Central, I maintain a diary with
images and answer questions as they occur. The thread
started in August 2004 is currently over 440 pages long and growing. On my site, my personal
log is updated with interesting topics when they occur so as to
avoid being boring. Hopefully these various links will help keep you
up to date with the latest. :)
Return pump - Little Giant (spec
Euro-Reef 12-2 Protein
Skimmer, using (2) Eheim 1262 pumps
Milwaukee pH Controller & Regulator w/ solenoid
3 VorTech pumps
& Refugium, self-built
3 x American DJ PC100/A Power
III regulates the tank's needs
Phosban Reactor with Carbon, changed bi-weekly
2 x 250w Electronic IceCap Metal Halide ballasts
1 x 400w Coralvue Metal Halide ballast
(20,000K Radium bulb)
3 LumenBright large reflectors
2 x 160w URI Actinic VHO with IceCap
3 x 19w 5100K
280g Starfire Glass tank - 72" x 30" x 30"
1/2" thick glass
Dual Overflows in rear corners - 1.5" drains, 1" returns
Euro-braced around edges - no center brace
Drilled for closed loop - unused
Tank is in-wall, viewable from front and side.
The platform was built to support the tank using 2x6s and 2x4s.
3/4" sheet of rigid foam between the tank and plywood-topped platform.
Fish room is 8' x 7', cooled via 8000BTU A/C unit.
2 x IceCap 120mm variable speed fans
3 x 20amp circuits are used to distribute the load.
RO/DI water - 100gpd
5 stage unit
Red Sea Pro Reef Salt
Top-off with RO/DI, 5g per day.
Calcium and Alkalinity provided by Calcium Reactor
Vodka dosed daily for PO4 and NO3 reduction
55g water change bi-monthly.
1/2 sheet of nori daily
Some pellet food in the afternoons
1/4 cup thawed frozen mixture (home
Hammerhead Cleaning magnet
Kent plastic scraper; scrubby foam pad occasionally
Easy Glide Scraper on a Mag Float (used monthly)
Eheim Sludge Extractor (to vacuum up detritus)