Aquarium Design, Installation and Maintenance, Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaMarine Aquarium Maintenance and Installation, Thousand Oaks, California

300 Gallon Reef Tank


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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 valves.

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.

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MACNA X, Marine Aquarium Conference of North America 1998 The Tenth Annual Marine Aquarium Conference Of North America

Presentation DVD's

September, 27, 28 and 29, 1998
Long Beach, California

Jim Wolf, Tyree, Fenner, Hovanec, Knop, Borneman, Goemans, Leng, Thiel, Pellata, Frakes, Carlson, Sprung, Riddle, Brockmann, Delbeek, Adey.