The 7 X 2.5 X 2ft tank resides in a smallish room of its own, which is located directly behind the living room wall (this was designed into the house plans). This room has an exhaust fan running at all times except when the air conditioner is running (which isn’t too often now that I have a chiller). Without the exhaust fan the humidity in the room gets unbearable!
The wall cut-out is 6 X 2ft to give room to hide the ugly but necessary things (tunze streams, return plumbing etc). That way all you see from the living room is reef / fish. Livestock includes various hard/soft corals, blue linka starfish, about few hermit crabs and snails. Fish include a yellow tang, blue tang, bicolour angel, cherub angel, coral beauty, 2 X B&W clowns, 2 X orange clowns, some chromis and a bi-colour gobie.
The sump is a rainwater tank with a hinged lid (sunk 1/3 of the way into the ground) which holds around 400L. Within this tank there’s a home made beckett skimmer, some float switches and return / skimmer pumps.
Cooling is via a 1HP Halea chiller set at around 27deg C and this is supplemented by a sump fan and a fan blowing across the top of the tank. I also have a split a/c in the room which is purely an emergency backup to the chiller. The fans are controlled by a butchered up digital thermostat that Jaycar sell which lets me set on/off temperatures. I wouldn’t call it perfect but it switches on/off the fans within about 1.5°C.
Auto freshwater top up is via a float switch in sump which runs 2 inline solenoids fed into an R/O unit. I also have a separate float valve set above the normal level as a “safety backup” to avoid freshwater flooding!
For alkalinity and calcium I dose dissolved bi-carb and dissolved calcium chloride via an auqametic dual doser. I try and aim to keep my alkalinity at around 7-10dkh and calcium at around 420 – 430ppm.
I change about 600L of water every 4 weeks. I collect NSW and store about 7000L at a time via a 3500L tank up the corner of the backyard, a few 1000L cubes and 500L bunnings tanks. This is 3500L tank plumbed to the sump for easy water changes. I use to collect water via a 640L carting tank and an old 4 stroke pump but with a new pump and some co-operation from the neighbours behind me I pump it straight up from the local beach via 170m of 25mm poly pipe. It takes me a day to collect around a years supply of water which is a lot quicker that the old method of running back and forth with a ute/trailer. One of the drawbacks with the local beach water is I can only pump on tides above 3m and the quality can be a bit average it times so its case if trying to time it all right with the weather and being home at the right time (generally mid year is best).
I have recently added a 300L round tub to the system which sits next to the sump outside under the eves. The 300l tub has some frag’s up top and calerpa down the bottom and it lit by 2 X 20w p/c’s running 12hrs/day and also gets some supplimentry sunlight of about 1-2 hrs/day . Without the chiller this would not be possible in the summertime!
|Tank dimensions||7L X 2W X 2.5H feet (=approx 950 L), with corner overflow, 400L outside sump / 300L calerpa/frag tank also outside|
|Pumps||Internal: 2 X Tunz 6100’s
Return: Lugana16 (this drives the chiller and 4ft tank as well)
|Lighting||Daylight: 3 X 120W BS led units (60/40 ratio white/blue) 2 X 20w 20k flood leds (dawn/dusk)
Moonlight: 1 X white 1w led (dimmed ..more like .01w)
|Skimmer||homemade approx 4ft long with beckett venturi|
|Cooling||Halea 1HP chiller
24v fan in the sump
fan blowing across the top of the tank
split a/c as backup
|Freshwater topup||Auto via a float switch in sump (runs 2 inline solenoids fed into a R/O unit)|
|Additives||bi-carb for alkalinity and calcium chloride for calcium dosed via an aquamedic dual doser|
|Water changes||NSW – 600L every 4 weeks|
|Livestock||Corals: pocillopora / turbinara / acropra / galaxia / fungia / heliofungua / birdsnest / various brain corals / hammer / leather / Duncan corals
Inverts: Clams / blue linka starfish / red starfish / a few hermit crabs / 1000’s of snails / coral banded shrimp / Anemone
Fish: yellow tang / blue tang / bi colour angel / coral beauty / Cherub Angel / Pair of B&W clowns / Pair of orange clowns/ bi colour gobie