The Plan

Its all a bit in reverse order but I just wasnt patient enough.

At the moment I am just operating the tank with only powerheads cirulating the water in the tank adn doing almost daily partial water changes to keep the water clean enough. I have very few animals in almost 170 litres (tank not quite full) so shouldnt be too bad.

The Plan however is quite different.

The Display Tank (DT) will have an overflow box of 800mm of linear overflow. I am not going to use a traditional weir system as I read a linear overflow is more effective on removing just the surface water (where are the dissolved proteins gather). I am using a stainless steel mesh to make sure no critters, snails and bigger chunks of seaweed etc will actually reach the overflow pipes.

The Overflow will be a Safe and Silent (BeanAnimal) type overflow with three pipes. One for full “throttled” syphon, one open channel and one emergency or backup.

These pipes then drain into the Sump.

!st Chamber: Some crushed shells or corals (Special Thanks to coral beach :-)) to take bigger pieces of stuff and detritus. This then overflows into the…

2nd chamber which holds the Protein Skimmer (Boyu DT-1516) which is supposed to be handling 600l Aquaria but I needed something oversized so should be ok hopefully. It was also probably the cheapest I could find. Will see if that was a mistake, I think its mainly down to the needle pump that creates the bubbles so worst case I will replace it with a better type as the design of the skimmer looks good to me (beware I am an absolute amateur)

3rd Chamber: “Refugium” Will also hold either coral sand or fine sand and lots of it (about 150mm) hopefully at some stage some oysters or mussel if I can find to add to the filtration. Hopefully some organism will settle here where they will be undisturbed from predation and distructive clumsy hermits 😉 I am thinking of seavases and hydroids here that would be nice. I think I wont add any light to it to mimic deep water conditions, maybe one spot of marine blue will help, will see.

4rth Chamber is holding the return pump that feeds the water from the sump back into the DT. This Chamber is separated from the 3rd by a bubble trap to ensure (hopefully) that no microbubbles from the skimmer will reach the pump and then the DT.

I want to keep the return flow somewhere around 1500lhr so that the Refugium is as calm as possible and instead have a very high flow in the DT.

The DT will hold a Tunze 6095 that has a max flow of 9500lhr and another small 2000lhr powerhead if needed. This should give it a good stir.

Lighting is via LED as its cheaper in the long run, betterloocking as you get this realistic ripple effect and it obviously intoduced A LOT less heat to the water which is obviously vital in a temperate setup. I am using a TMC GroBeam 1500ND Tile 30W and 2 GroBeam Ultima 600 @ 12W each so 54W LED power. Doesnt sound like a lot but believe me it is bright! They are 6500k which is Daylight spectrum that should hopefully allow macroalgea to grow (fingers crossed)

For this setup I dont use a chiller, My place is quite cool and so far the temperature in the tank has stabilized at 18degrees which is not too bad for now as winter is coming 😉 Will be a different story in the summer.

I think thats it from the technical side.

A lot of inspiration and ideas are taken or adapted from this absolutely mighty blog packed with lots of very scientific information, the shortcomings and the success storys which obviously are worth gold when you take the plunge into this hobby. Thanks Gary http://nativemarine.blogspot.ie/

Here are a few pictures of my plans of my system.

At the moment I have the stand and hood built but I am waiting for the plumbing parts and background foil before I can start assembling the hood to the stand and fit the overflow box and pipes. I only want to move the tank once so thats why I am not filling the tank with lots of rock just yet. Once I have the parts I will drain most of the water, try to move the tank away from the wall then fit plumbing, background foil and hood support and move it back against the wall and level it. Once the backside is finished I can fit the sump and go crazy with finally filling up the tank with rocks and more and more species 🙂

Really I should have completely built and setup the system and then started adding Live but I was just too impatient for that 😉 Its all working out great at the moment just a lot of working with the water changing etc.

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