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Aqua Logic Coldwater Tank(s)


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#1
MrAnderson

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so i found this tank:

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it's supposed to be a commercial lobster/seafood tank, but was used by a researcher at my institution for crustacean reasearch. i found it in a dark storeroom in the basement of my building, a dumping ground for the department of biology. i took it up to my lab and now IT ARE MINE! it goes for like $4K so i'm psyched.

it was running at 50degF, half-filled with water, which seemed clear enough. it had a false bottom of eggcrate, below which there were large, horizontally running tubes covered with filter pad and filled with carbon. once i popped off the eggcrate, i realized the tank was absolutely FILTHY. it had been running for at least the last five years, with god knows how long before that without a cleaning. so it was filled with lobster and crab poop, black sludge, mussel and crab shell fragments, etc. it had been running at 50degF when i found it, so i assume it's been doing that the whole time. as a result the water wasn't funky, no nasty growths, etc. just a ton of black sludge.

so today i cleaned it out and took some photos:

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it's an aqua logic al-50. it's a 50 gallon tank with a huge chiller, cooling fan and little giant pump underneath. it's double-layered acrylic, a tank witin a tank so there's no fogging or condensation on the outside. the tank goes a good 5 inches below the cabinet, and is permanently caulked in to place. the bulkheads are drilled in to the center of the bottom, and i need to re-plumb the intake and outlet to get it to the back. the good news is that i should be able to cover the elbows with sand to conceal them. i'm chucking the "filters" and just going biological with a DSB and rock.

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some shots of under the cabinet

chiller:

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pump:

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middle plumbing:

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the plans for now are to simply get the intake and output re-routed, and get a 5" sandbed in there. i'll be ordering the sand tomorrow, and probably put in arag-alive for a 1/4 of it. i think i'll let it run with just sand and water for a few weeks before i start stocking, and also to think about things a bit in terms of setup and what i can actually get my hands on. i may use my faculty staus to try and get some specimens from somewhere like a public aquarium or something (jellyfish? squid?).

if anyone knows a place to get coldwater-specific livestock, please let me know.

thanks for looking

MrA
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#2
jeremai

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if anyone knows a place to get coldwater-specific livestock, please let me know.

thanks for looking

MrA

lol noob

Try the biotopes forum. :P

Why the 5" sand bed?

Oh, and YOU LUCKY BASTARD.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#3
MrAnderson

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the 5" sandbed for two reasons. the first is aesthetic, the bottom of the tank is 5" below what is actually displayed (look at that second pic). the second is because at colder temps, bacterial metabolism is slower than at tropical temps. so i want to make up for slower denitrification rates with added capacity for anaerobic microenvironments.
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#4
jeremai

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Both my coldwater tanks (the contest tank and the empty one I have now) took about five months to cycle, with rebound times after adding livestock stretching to weeks. The general concensus with coldwater tanks thus far has been to not rely on bacterial activity for filtration, but if anyone can do it, you can. :)

Oh, gulfofme.com is close to you, good resource if you want to keep the tank at 50 degrees.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#5
lakshwadeep

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Have you thought about a plenum? 5" looks like it would create some anoxic areas at the bottom.

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#6
MrAnderson

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nah, no plenum. the plus side of the cold temps means that normally slow anaerobic sulfur-reducing bacteria should grow substantially slower - if at all. considering the slow growth in tropical temps, they might just go dormant at 50degF. so i'm not too worried.

as for the denitrification thingy, i was worried about what jeremai mentioned. sooo.... i've already designed PCR primers for the nitrate reductase gene and am going to make a monster plasmid with multiple copies of the gene joined to a wicked high expression promoter. both Paracoccus denitrificans and Pseudomonas denitrificans can be grown in culture, are a major marine denitrifers, and both species are amenable to transformation with plasmids. if it works, the added stoichiometry on the enzyme side of things should make up somewhat for the slow rate of denitrification. viola coldwater denitrification (on paper at least lol).

i dunno. worth a try and not much work, really. worse comes to worse i'll do what public aquariums do with their coldwater setups and make a methanol denitrifier. i'd rather do it with mutant superbugs though.
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#7
jeremai

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Sweet. A buddy of mine helped design the new methanol denitrifier setup for the new stand-alone system at SIO (they've been using skimmers and flow-through from the kelp tank for years), and from the way he described it to me a few months back your mutant bug theory seems much easier, lol. Anything to progress the hobby - good thing you're a scientist, you'll keep good notes.

What kind of rock are you looking at using?

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#8
MrAnderson

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errrr....

i meant to ask you about rock lol. thanks for reminding me.

so, what the heck do you guys use??
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#9
jeremai

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Big, smooth, round lumps of granite and other incredibly dense rock, you can see a bit of it in my sig. For my new tank there's one large piece of limestone, a few 6" or so round chunks of river pebble, a handfull of smaller 1-2" river pebbles and then gravel as a substrate. Home Depot ftw!

That's a big reason why the nitrifying bacteria don't get much praise in CW setups, there's just not enough room for them; smooth rocks = no porous surface for heavy colonization.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#10
MrAnderson

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no sand?
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#11
jeremai

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I used sand in my contest tank, but I had a helluva time keeping it clean - between the crabs, the anemones and the limpet there was just too much poop and nothing microscopic to break it down. Since siphoning sand has never been exciting for me, I chose to go with a .5" layer of pea gravel this go-around. I think it's more biotopic, as well - most of the tidepools in San Diego that I remember have gravel bottoms, not sand.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#12
Jamie

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Ditto on the sand, in my experience it has been ugly at best. I have a "rubble" / gravel bottom in my tank. I'm also using only natural filtration, and it's been working for me, even without a dsb. Also, aragonite might look a little out of place, that bright white color isn't found on coldwater beaches, at least not in the pacific northwest. If possible, I would try to get some large flat rocks and cover the bottom with them . Of course then you would still have the issue of the bottom being below the level of the display. You could fill the bottom with aragonite, then do a layer of gravel on top, then you'd get the dsb effect without the ugly whiteness.

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#13
MrAnderson

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well i think i'm going to do an atlantic biotope, and we have plenty of sand so i won't feel bad if i can't cover it all with rock. i remember visiting cape ann (may? whatever) years ago and going out on a dock during low tide. looking down into the water i was astounded to see so many big anemones. they were scattered among the rocks that had tumbled off the jetty and scattered all over the sandy bottom so since that's my only experience that's what i'm thinking. i'm going to stick to atlantic because it's my coast, the shipping from vendors like gulfofme.com is faster, and if i want to collect my own stuff from long island i won't feel bad about putting it in my tank.

at least that's what i'm thinking today lol. it might change tomorrow. the fact that i found this tank is driving this, not because i was thinking of a coldwater tank. as a matter of fact, the 30 breeder in the background was all i had planned on (just a regular reef) until i found this tank on friday.... but now that i have it i'm excited to learn some new saltwater husbandry. i have a lot of catching up and thinking to do...
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#14
jeremai

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Awesome, it would be nice to see some BIG Urticinas and Metridiums carpeting a 50g tank. Welcome to the cold side. :)

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#15
MrAnderson

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THANK YOU!!!

:scarry:

btw... did i mention i found TWO of these tanks??
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#16
jeremai

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:o

ROAD TRIP!!!

omgomgomg

Actually, if you could just rip off the pump and chiller for me, lol.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#17
lakshwadeep

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You could make the other one a Pacific or some other contrasting coldwater biotope.

Edited by lakshwadeep, 28 July 2008 - 10:32 PM.

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#18
kingwintergreen

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did i mention i found TWO of these tanks??


How 'bout a little East Coast vs West Coast business, yo... :slap:

#19
MrAnderson

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fraternal twins:

Posted Image

they're the same model, but one's a little taller lol. the one in the background is the first one i posted and is running full as a leak/equipment test. i'm cleaning the second one and doing a first run for the pump.

ordered sand today, plus the stuff for the 30 breeder reef tank. i got the name of the husbandry person at the ny public aquarium who handles the coldwater stuff, but i just can't get catch them when they're in.
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#20
brian92

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Wow awesome set up

I was reading a magazine article about coldwater aquariums and I saw this 20g or 10g tank that was filled to the brim with Catalina Gobies. I had know idea they got along with eachother, It was quite an amazing tank.
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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#21
jeremai

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I was reading a magazine article about coldwater aquariums and I saw this 20g or 10g tank that was filled to the brim with Catalina Gobies. I had know idea they got along with eachother, It was quite an amazing tank.

They don't, lol.

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#22
brian92

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They don't, lol.


Well at least I can thank Aquarium Fish International Magazine for their crappy info :lol:

Edited by brian92, 30 July 2008 - 12:26 PM.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
My 20 Long
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I am 100% serious, that I believe you are likely a borderline functional, mentally handicapped 14 year old. If that is in fact the case, I apologize.

and Petco ONLINE?....Jesus F_____ Christ.


#23
MrAnderson

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oh and jer - i think what i'm going to do is throw in about 160 lbs of arag-alive, and cycle the tank at room temp (or whatever is is with the pump only on). then when the tank is cycled i'll throw on the chiller. i found the thermostat and it was set at 65degF, but i found the tank running at 50 lol. so i think it may be all or nothing.

then we'll see how the nitrate loads get handled and adjust accordingly.

the second tank looks like it's in better condition, and has a digital controller so maybe that will work better. i figure one will be quarantine/ holding and the other will be display.
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#24
jeremai

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oh and jer - i think what i'm going to do is throw in about 160 lbs of arag-alive, and cycle the tank at room temp (or whatever is is with the pump only on). then when the tank is cycled i'll throw on the chiller. i found the thermostat and it was set at 65degF, but i found the tank running at 50 lol. so i think it may be all or nothing.

then we'll see how the nitrate loads get handled and adjust accordingly.

the second tank looks like it's in better condition, and has a digital controller so maybe that will work better. i figure one will be quarantine/ holding and the other will be display.

Good idea, cycling it warm. Keep an eye on the temp, livestock holding tanks are meant to keep things alive long enough to eat them, sometimes the temp swings too much for long-term display livestock.

What kind of heat exchanger does it use? That looks like copper coil. :eek:

pretty sure jer was referring to the length

 
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#25
MrAnderson

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probably a copper coil, but that's for the refrigerant, no? from what i've seen many reef chillers have them. here's a smaller current prime:

Posted Image
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