Current Tank Conditions
Feb, 2 2009 12:00:00 AM
Tank Temp : 0.0
Tank pH: 0.00
Ca Reactor pH: 0.00
Tank ORP: 0
Tank Conductivity: 0.0

Chart Last 24 Hours
Chart Last 3 Days
Chart last 7 days

Current Device Status 150 gallon
Metal Halide 1OFF
Metal Halide 2OFF
Actinic SupplementOFF
CO2 Control ValveOFF
Kalk Reactor MotorOFF
Top Off Water ValveOFF
Chiller Feed PumpOFF
Top Off Switch 1OFF
Top Off Switch 2OFF
High Sump Level WarningOFF
Cooling FanOFF
UV SterilizerOFF
Main Return PumpOFF

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150 Gallon In Wall Reef Tank

The tank was set up in February 2005 as a second tank in the house since the 180 gallon tank in the living room was getting full with all the fish I been buying. We decided to make the front half of our basement into a TV\Family room and also add a bathroom in the same area, putting an in wall tank with access from the fish room located just on the other side of this space was one of major consideration in designing the layout of the family room.

The Tank:
This tank is built by InterAmerican and was purchased used from a couplein NJ that found the hobby no longer interesting for them. I been told the front and two side panels are “Starphire” glass, the glass does appear to be clearer than regular float glass used on the AGA tanks, but I am not 100% sure about the authenticity of the claim after I received my latest tank I had custom built by a different tank builder. The dimension of the tank is 48” long x 30” wide x 24” tall with two internal overflow boxes located at the rear corners of the tank. These dimensions makes a very desirable reef tank to equip, illuminated and up keep based on my experiences with numerous tanks in the 75-180 gallon range. I built a tall stand with 2X4 framing lumber and ¾” thick plywood, nothing great to look at but it was easy and cheap to put together, but most importantlyit is solid and serve the purpose. Due to the tall stand height, I had to add a “cat-walk” on theback side of the stand so I can easily work in the tank without using a stepladder.

The primary lighting is provided by two 250 watt matal halide system, supplemented with two VHO actinic bulbs. Each MH system consist of a PFO HQI ballast (M80), driving a XM 10K mogul based bulb, and housed in a Diamond Luminarc reflector. The Luminarc reflectors are one of the most efficient reflectors avilible in the market and lights up the 48”x30” footprint really well, they are however, a bit bulky.
The lighting schedules are as follow:
3:30pm VHO comes on as dawn effect
5:20pm First MH turns on
5:30pm Second MH turns on
6:00pm VHO turns off
10:30pm VHO turns on for dusk effect
10:50pm First MH shuts off
11:00pm Second MH shuts off
1:00am VHO turns off
The total lighting period is 9.5 hours with each MH on for 5.5 hours, this lighting scheme is enough to produce satisfactory growth while reducing the electrical consumption and heat created. The MH light bulbs was changed at approximately 15 months of age and the last set of VHO was changed after 20 months of use. I like the XM 10K bulbs for its price and PAR output, the color could be a little bluer but that’s why we use actinics anyway.

Water Circulation and Motion:
Tank water drained to the sump is pumped back with an Iwaki MD40RLXT pump rated at 1,350gph@ 0’ head. The water flow from the pump is split into two fixed outlets located on the back of the tank, each outlet have a Penductor nozzle which uses the pressure to further increase the flow at the exit of the nozzle.
A close loop utilizing a Sequence Dart pump draws water from a 1.5 inch bulkhead located in the center back pane of the tank, 8 inches up from the bottom. The water flows back to the tank via two 1” Sea Swirls mounted on the front corners of the tank, and two 1” PVC pipes with nozzles located in the back corners to blast the bottom of the tank.
More motions are provided during the light on periods with a Tunze WaveBox controlled by a photocell. The WaveBox is one of the best ways to provide water motion through out the entire tank using very little power.

The sump is a standard 30 gallon AGA tank modified to provide a holding area for support equipment and additional water volume, it is located below the display tank. Approximately 800 gallons per hour of water are drained from the overflows and fed to a manifold, from there the water goes thru a 40W UV sterilizer, a Deltec media reactor filled with 4 to 5 cups of generic carbon, a PhosBan reactor filled with 2 cups of PhosBan, and the remaining water is fed to the skimmer.
An H&S A250-1260x2 skimmer is used in the system since I don’t believe you can “over” skim a tank. Most ratings listed by the skimmer manufacturer are over rated, not capable of providing good skimming capacity for a well-stocked tank. I have tried a few high-end needle wheel type skimmers and this H&S skimmer is in my opinion is the best one for the money I have experianced.
Bio filtration is provided with approximately 200 pounds of live rock, they are mostly “Tonga Kaelini”, with the remaining sold to me as Marshall Island and Fiji premium. No sand is used in this tank, making this my first “bare bottom” tank. I am looking forward to add sand into this tank when I get a chance to do the tank over again.

Heating and Cooling:
Two 200 watt heaters are located in the sump, they are controlled by the AquaController IIIP to heat the tank at 78 degrees and turns off at 79 degrees. A CustomSealife 1/3 HP chiller located in my backyard is used to cool the tank, it is set to turn on at 82 degrees and turn off at 80.3 degrees. The chiller is controlled by the AquaController IIIP and fed by an Iwaki MD30RLXT pump.

Other Equipment:
An auto top-off system keeps the water level in the sump constant, two float switches signals the AquaController IIIP and it turns on and off a solenoid valve, adding fresh RO\DI water from the 35 gallon reservoir when needed. All top off water is fed to a Precision Marine Kalk Reactor before being dripped into the sump to assist in maintain pH, Ca, and Alk levels.
Tank water pH level, ORP (Oxygen Reduction Potential), COND (Conductivity, used to determin water salinity) and water temperature are monitored with a Neptune System AquaController III Pro. This is one of the best toy I have bought in this hobby. The controller provides a “real time” tank conditions and controlled appliances status to my website and is displayed on the left side bar of this page.

More to come