Current Tank Conditions
Feb, 2 2009 12:00:00 AM
Tank Temp : 0.0
Tank pH: 0.00

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Current Device Status 300 gallon
BK SkimmerOFF
Refugium LightOFF

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300G Fish Only Tank

No, it is not a typo on my menu bar linking this page. The current 180 gallon fish only tank should have been replaced by a 300 gallon display tank by now, for multiple reasons the move has been delayed. I don’t want to make the changes on the menu bar, which will just further discourage me to set up the larger tank. The current 180 gallon tank was set up in the first floor living room of the house in July 2004 as a reef tank. I took all the coral and metal halide lighting out of the tank when the 150 reef tank in the basement was established in March 2005, it was officially converted to fish only tank and I was happy to get some none-reef friendly fish I always wanted. The system total water volume is approximately 370 gallons, and I have about 30 fish ranging from a 7 inch Queen angel to a 2.5 inch Bicolor Pseudochromis.

The Tank:
I had purchased the tank used in October 2003, before I had made up my mind on moving back to NY, it sat in my mother’s garage for the next six month and served as a temporary holding tank during the our move from Southern California. This is a standard AGA 180 gallon tank with built in corner overflows. The previous owner had drilled five holes for 1” bulkheads on the back pane of the tank for a close loop setup, I think he must been drunk when he drill the holes, they are placed so randomly it could not have been done by someone sober. The tank sits on a stand built from 2x4 framing lumber, with front and two side panels made from ¾” oak veneer plywood and solid oak trim pieces, I tried to mimic the mission style furniture I have in the house, it was the only requirement I had when I submitted the design to the wife for approval. The canopy is also built similarly from the same material, it is about 13’ tall to accommodate metal halides and have three 4” cooling fans in there for air circulation. I planned to replace this tank with a larger tank this summer; this should allow the current fish to have more room to swim, maybe for me to get a few more fish too.

I am currently using two 80W T5 bulbs, one D+D 6000K midday and a D+D actinic 03, driven by a IceCap 660 ballast and reflected by SunLight Supply T5 Parabolic reflectors. These 5 feet long bulbs are really bright being over driven by the IceCap, the color mix from the two bulbs makes all the colors on the fish really “pop” and I can also see shimmering effect in some areas. The lighting period is from 4:30pm to midnight daily.
Water Circulation and Motion:
Tank water drained to the sump located in the basement are pumped back with an Iwaki MD55RLT pump rated at 1,100gph@ 0’ head, it is powered thru a inverter charger and two marine batteries and will last about 6 hours if the power goes out. The water flow from the pump is split into two fixed outlet located within the corner overflows, I estimate each outlet have approximately 350 GPH of flow. Two Tunze 6100 Stream power heads provides additional flow within the tank and is on an APC computer power back up for those unexpected power outages.

The sump is my old 100 gallon acrylic display tank, I took out some of the center and perimeter bracing to provide easier access to the equipment located with in. Approximately 700 gallons per hour of water are drained from the overflows and fed to a pair 75 gallon holding tanks located just above the sump, from there the water goes thru a 40W UV sterilizer, a Reefmania media reactor filled with 12 cups of generic carbon, and with most of the flow is fed to the skimmer. A Bubble King 300 external skimmer from Royal Exclusiv is used in the system. I bought this skimmer used at a great discount but I still don’t feel the skimmer is worth the money; it is too over hyped on the internet as the “best” skimmer. My old Barr Aquatics twin beckett skimmer performed much better for a lot less money.
Bio filtration is provided with approximately 200 pounds of live Tonga branch rock, a shallow sand bed, ranging from 1” to 3” is used in this tank.

Heating and Cooling:
Three 300 watt titanium heaters are located in the sump and being controlled by a Ranco controller at to heat the tank at 78 degrees and turns off at 79 degrees. The system is currently not using any chiller and the water temperatures stays at 82 degrees and below, even on those hot days we have during the summer.

Other Equipment:
I have two 75 gallon holding tanks connected to this system, one is used for soft coral propagation and refugium, it is lit with a Sunlight Supply 6 bulb T5 TEK light and additional circulation provided by a Tunze 6080 powerhead. I have a hand full of Kenya tree coral growing on a egg crate rack in half of the tank, and some cheato on the other side, I hope these will help to export some of the excessive nutrient. The second 75 gallon tank is used to acclimated any new fish I acquire, this area will give them a chance to get used to the water perimeter and food I use before they get moved up the fairly aggressive display tank, a Tunze 6060 Stream powerhead provides additional flow and some live rock are used to provide hiding places for the new fish.
A home made auto top-off system keeps the water level in the sump constant, two float switches activate a relay and solenoid, adding fresh RO\DI water from a 35 gallon reservoir when needed. All top off water is fed to a home made Kalk Reactor before being dripped into the sump to assist in maintain pH, Ca, and Alk levels.
pH level and water temperature is monitored with a Neptune System PX-1000 expansion module connected to the AquaController III Pro on the reef tank. 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…