Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 02:15
Keeping everything organized electrically makes it easier to turn things on and off and plug things into safe dry outlets.
I knew I'd be using the American DJ switches again, as they are very handy for turning on and off specific plugs even if your hands are wet. But where to put them where they'd stay dry and be easily accessible was the question. It wasn't long before I decided that I wanted to place a Frag Tank on top of this power tower, but wanted to do so in a way that would avoid any water damage due to drips and splashes.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:53
I asked them for my dream tank, and they built it.
The 400g Starphire glass tank is 84" long by 36" wide by 30" tall, and has a full width external overflow at one end that is completely hidden by a black acrylic panel. All the seams are bonded with black silicone. Black trim wrap the base and top rim of the tank. I wanted euro-bracing and no cross braces. The external overflow has four 1.5" drains. This is the lst custom-made Marineland tank built. I used a powdercoated steel stand to maximize space underneath for better access.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:46
I needed a sump, and since this is what I do best, I built one. :)
The sump is 58" x 31.5" x 17" using 3/8" cast acrylic. The refugium zone is the full length of the sump, 6" wide and lit with a LED fixture made by Unique LED Lighting. The layout is simple, basically three zones: Skimmer section with bubble tower or 7" filter sock when the need arises, the refugium zone, and the large return zone for the heaters and reactors. Two 1.5" bulkheads with 5" strainers feed the twin Sequence Dart pumps.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:40
Topping off around the clock is the best way to keep salinity stable, and doing so from a reservoir avoids any risk of excessive additions of RO water.
The ATO reservoir measures 22" x 15.5" x 32" and is made with 3/8" cast acrylic. The only opening is a sliding access door at the top corner, just above a float valve. The container holds RO/Di water and I am very careful not to let anything pollute the water since cleaning it out would be extremely challenging. The 150gpd Boosted RO/DI system feeds water directly into the reservoir so I never have to lift a jug of water ever.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:31
I love having full access to the reef, and a rolling light rack is my favorite way to create that kind of space.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:23
Flow is provided from several angles to create streams of water movement.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:11
Things pertaining to the room's design
Had I known it would take me nearly seven months to build and set up the new tank, I probably would have hired some professionals, but I'd worked in construction years ago, and knew how to do much of the work myself. Plus, I do like to DIY my projects . A lot of blood, sweat and money went into the construction of the fishroom, and I have the scars to prove it.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 01:05
After years of using lumber to support my aquariums, I opted to free up space beneath the 400g with a steel stand. This one was designed to support the full weight of the tank, and it included a walkboard for easy of maintenance.
The steel stand was an absolute necessity with the new aquarium. For almost six years, the 280g reef was supported with 2x6 boards and two sides were blocked by the wall. This time, full access was my goal, from all four sides. Steel takes less space, is stronger and looks nicer.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 00:54
Water testing is a necessity for a happy reef.
Water tests are performed often. Specific key areas may be checked or tested daily or every few days, but the full battery of tests are done once or twice a month. When those are completed, that is when I update my spreadsheet and post it on the site.
Submitted by melev on Tue, 11/29/2016 - 00:50
Here's a simple summation of my 400g reef