Hello everyone! I am new to the forum, and new to forums in general actually. I am pretty proud of my newest venture so I thought I would post.
I had a 150g full reef tank that suffered from 100* water. Lost it because of a $1 blown fuse. The irony was my spare fuse (which I always have) was busted too, so I thought it was the chiller, and did not have the dollars to buy a new chiller on the spot. I ended up giving the (living) livestock to the LFS. I had no intent to start back up again. It didn't take longer than 2 months for the itch to become overwhelming! So, I started a new project.
I had no intent to try to recreate the previous reef tank, so I went for different. Ordered up a custom tank 48x24x12 and had a center overflow put in, though slight set back from dead center. I plumbed the chiller loop through the bottom. I built a Volcano-like structure around the overflow and out of the water. My over-all design came about as I wanted to house coastal type crabs that spend 50% of their time outside the water. I wanted to keep the rock wet to help simulate their natural environment, and I had no intent to simulate tides, so a waterfall type situation was my choice. From the sump return, I split it off into a 1/4 airline feed that I then split three ways. One fills a small rock reservoir that spills into a small rock basin. The other two feed the right side of the Volcano. One spills down the front and into the water, and the back one, which I made as a very slow drip, basically moistens the rock....as the crabs will spend time on moist rock. Turned out well. Because of placement, it is not loud (intentional) as it is in our living room.
Of course there is no canopy, so I hung two 150w HQI's leaving the tip of the volcano dark. That was also intentional, but I have considered spot-lighting it (like you would a painting). Still going back and forth on feasability and is-it-worth-it considerations, as I liked the idea of the tip of the volcano being dark (like when you see clouds over the tip of a real volcano).
I have a sump underneath and have the light ballasts, chiller, and second pump outside in a waterproof and ventilated "shed." I am particularly proud of the automatic water change set up I plumbed. I have a drain that feeds underground to the drainage ditch and an input from my trash can that I mix the water in. Besides H2O mix time and glass cleaning time, water changes take 3-4 minutes.
This project is fun because it is nothing like anything I have done before on this size of scale, so I am learning so many things along the way! I am not attempting to recreate a particular habitat (I don't have the skills of some of the members here!), so my livestock choices may not be "proper." I am doing SPS and LPS, and depending on the tendancies of the crabs, I would love to get clams in there too, because they are so beautiful from above...which I have the previledge of seeing from above!
As this is my first post, I would love some feedback. Both complimentary and constructively critical. If you happen to not like it, try to be cordial with me on your feedback so I am not discouraged to continue to post!
Thank you in advance for taking a look. I have seen some of the member's tanks here and I am truly humbled. Hopefully you will enjoy taking a look at what I have spent a lot of time on here!
Edited by konolua, 28 March 2010 - 11:24 AM.