Having been fortunate enough to have received a referral
from Bob Fenner, I met with a very nice couple in LaCanada. They were interested in having a Reef Tank built, but there
were two requirements, one; that all the equipment be placed in a room
behind the tank, and two; it had to match an End Table, complete with a
decorative vine detail, that was in their entry way.
So after some discussion as to what they envisioned, what
the best way to accomplish their dream coral reef tank, a few more meetings
and phone calls with an Interior Designer and a Metal Fabricator, combined
with what I felt was the best method of construction and filtration we
decided on the following.
The Stand would be 40" tall and open
( just like the End Table ), and made of 1" tubular metal that in
turn would be Powder Coated so as to protect it from exposure to, and corrosion
from, saltwater. The Canopy would be 12" tall ( to house the Metal Halide
lighting ) and made of Aluminum as it was designed in a manner that the
entire canopy would pivot on two points up off the tank so as to give the
greatest amount of access into the tank. The canopy too would be powder
coated to match the Stand.
The Tank was 3/4" thick Acrylic, 7 foot long, 28" tall,
and 30" from front to back. It would have a black back and an 6" x 12"
Internal Overflow centered on its back.
This being a very large tank I decided that water flow
was the key factor in the filtration systems design. The tank has FIVE
pumps on it ! Two Iwaki 70 RLT ( Japanese ) pumps moving 1500 gph for filter
circulation, and two Viton sealed Spa pumps for Internal circulation, each
generating 3600 gph. The fifth pump was an Iwaki 40RLT driving a Gemini
( ETS ) 800 Downdraft Skimmer.
The main reason for the 10,000 gph plus of water movement
in the tank was to minimize the settling of debri's amoungst the 400 lbs
of Fiji Live Rock, thus decreasing algae problems. Water flow was design
in a manner that included the two Spa pumps for circulation within the
tank. These pumps drew their water directly from the tank and returned
it directly back to the tank. One pump introduced its water on opposite
sides in the back of the tank, the other pump returned its water on opposite
corners in the front of the tank via Sea
Swirls which would create a kaotic movement of water within the tank.
Note the Sea Swirls and their plumbing, containing union
The two Iwaki 70 RLT's were for flow from the tank to
the filter / sump and 1/3 HP chiller and back to the tank. hese pumps returned
their water via Spray Bars that ran along the back bottom of the tank under
the Live Rock
As mentioned ALL the equipment was placed in a small room
behind the tank. The plumbing passed horizontally out of the back of the
tank and went to one of two places, either down into the 70 gallon sump
or elbowed to the right into the Spa pumps.
The lighting consisted of a 6 foot retro-fit system with
three 250 watt 20,000K Metal Halide bulbs, and two 40 watt Actinic flourescents.
Unfortunately just after 200 lbs of Fiji
Live Rock was added it was decided that it was too big for the front entry and
the entire system was dismantled and a new version was placed in another
location within the house.