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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello All,

Newbe here. I am renovating an old house at the moment and am building in a reef aquarium as a seperation wall between my Kitchen and Utility room. It is a fairly Large Tank, Made from Acrylic (Currently in design by myself) and 72" L x 36" H x 24"w. I am looking for assistance with lighting for the Tank. I have not had a marine aquarium now for a number of years and lighting has come a long way. I would usually have used twin 250w metal halides with Marine blues (I have a very Nice Gieseman unit) but i have heard that this may not be required these days with the new high powered and efficient T5 lighting?

I have been designing a DSB sump for the tank and have come up with the attached 3D render. (Not complete yet, first draft)

I am looking to fully computerise the system and am looking for advice both on the design of my Sump and also on the computerisation of the tank system. I have an Apple X-serve running the house and wish to use this for automated control.
I am really grateful for any advise on either the automation as well as my sump.
Kind regards,

Chris
 

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Hello All,

Newbe here. I am renovating an old house at the moment and am building in a reef aquarium as a seperation wall between my Kitchen and Utility room. It is a fairly Large Tank, Made from Acrylic (Currently in design by myself) and 72" L x 36" H x 24"w. I am looking for assistance with lighting for the Tank. I have not had a marine aquarium now for a number of years and lighting has come a long way. I would usually have used twin 250w metal halides with Marine blues (I have a very Nice Gieseman unit) but i have heard that this may not be required these days with the new high powered and efficient T5 lighting?

I have been designing a DSB sump for the tank and have come up with the attached 3D render. (Not complete yet, first draft)

I am looking to fully computerise the system and am looking for advice both on the design of my Sump and also on the computerisation of the tank system. I have an Apple X-serve running the house and wish to use this for automated control.
I am really grateful for any advise on either the automation as well as my sump.
Kind regards,

Chris
I'm liking where your ideas are going and would like to see this all come together on the computerization side of it. As far as the lighting I love my halides, and if you already have the fixture I would stick with it. You can pretty much keep anything you want from a live stock perspective with both t5s or halides these days IMO. It all comes down to what you prefer. Form an automization standpoint Im not very familiar with the apple x-server but what are you seeking to integrate with your home server? Just be able to monitor real time parameters, lighting cycle? I would be interested to know a little more of your expectations on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would like to monitor real time and then when a parameter is out, i wish to be able to adjust it from where ever i am. I travel quite a lot! I would like to be able to Auto top up but also to feed both essential minerals etc. Lighting control basically full control of all the usual day to day things. I will have a Deltec Skimmer external to the sump, hence the hole in Second stage. It will return to the lower DSB 2. I will have carbon and Phosphate reactors side by side also external and will feed and return from the scrubbed section of the sump (Lower centre section under DSB 2.) Finally on the last section i will have a calcium reactor then the water will be fed back to my tank via 2no 32mm returns, one through a UV steriliser and if required 1 through a chiller. I would like to have all these automated to kick in when the tank levels require. You can see the red bar under the Main sump hood? It is basically a dosing bar for things like essential minerals, RO water top up on low level Salinity, phytoplankton dosing etc. The whole lot i would like to automate. I have a 2000ah UPS system that will kick in should i loose power to the house and this will power the server and the tank for at least 5 days. My house is already running Fully on Solar and wind, + wind and Solar charging and maintaining the UPS. This is why my question about halides. If i can get the same result with T5's i will get a longer period on my UPS system and lower overall consumption. But i must admit, i like my halides too, they make the water look real nice!!!!
Thanks,
 

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On the automation standpoint of this it would involve a bit of software and hardware integration. I know that you can use the reefkeeper elite data logging feature to obtain real time parameters via web interface. This will enable you to see your real time parameters on your server or even your iphone (or mobile device of choice, considering it is supported) from anywhere. Google search digital aquatics and look at there reefkeeper elite net system, I think it offers some features you would be interested in. I have been working on personal project for a few weeks now to enable me to input water parameters via a VB.NET interface I created and submit my inputs to a data mart I pre-created with specific table and column names. I then use ADO.NET to open a connection tunnel to the database upon clicking submit parameters in the interface. Then I use OBIEE (oracle business intelligence enterprise edition) as a front end reporting capability to generate table and graphs of trace element consumption over a specified period of time, and even things like calcium and alkalinity stability. In between OBIEE and the database there is a whole repository I have mapped to allow tables to "talk" to each other to generate reports. It would be nice to integrate the ability to automatically dose an element when my software indicated the need, Or even use the something like the Reefkeeper elite to automatically input data into my database. This has taken me some time to get it operational and there are still some bugs that I need to work out but have been too busy lately to tinker with it.
 

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On a side note does your solar/wind system charge to the UPC when your house is not consuming its full energy production or does it always dedicate a percentage of power generation to keep the UPC at full charge?
 

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Welcome to TRT!!

:wavey:

what type of critters are you planning on keeping in the display? just wondering why have the DSB, and then the phosphate reactors? you are just fighting one with the other.

i am a huge fan of settling tanks instead of live sumps or any of the like.

was the last system you had during the DSB days? trying to figure out your information base.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ReefkeeperSR,

There is 2 separate systems. 1 Solar / Wind system is grid tied, the second is only for the 2000ah batteries. Batteries are a back up fr the entire system but also power my central heating pumps. When batteries are fully charged, power is diverted to a dump load. Dump load is an immersion heater in the heat store.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Geof,

The Phosphate reactor is purely there for maturing the tank, to help deal with high phosephate in the early days. Chances are it will not be required as i plan to run the sump for 3 to 6 months feeding the beds prior to introduction of the main display tank. Stock is currently undecided.

No i have never used the DSB method before, but i would like to make he set up as natural as possible and i felt this was the best way forward. I am not sure what you mean by a settling tank. This is why i posted looking for information and innovative idea's. I have the freedom or a blank canvas so am well open to idea's.

I am led to believe that a well matured DSB will actually reduce the amount of maintenance required. I am not against maintenance but would prefer to view the beauty instead of constant cleaning.

If there is any better ideas on how to proceed i am very open to idea's. Please, fire away!!!

Thanks
 

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Geof,

The Phosphate reactor is purely there for maturing the tank, to help deal with high phosephate in the early days. Chances are it will not be required as i plan to run the sump for 3 to 6 months feeding the beds prior to introduction of the main display tank. Stock is currently undecided.

No i have never used the DSB method before, but i would like to make he set up as natural as possible and i felt this was the best way forward. I am not sure what you mean by a settling tank. This is why i posted looking for information and innovative idea's. I have the freedom or a blank canvas so am well open to idea's.

I am led to believe that a well matured DSB will actually reduce the amount of maintenance required. I am not against maintenance but would prefer to view the beauty instead of constant cleaning.

If there is any better ideas on how to proceed i am very open to idea's. Please, fire away!!!

Thanks


Natural????

for reef crest or lagoonal system?
 

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Not sure!!! Probably reef crest. both fish and inverts.
if your going to do a reef crest you will want high flow, and low nutrients, that is hard to do with sand, because it all gets blown around, crushed coral would be better, but I prefer the fauxsand bed, that is Epoxy and sand mixed together with sand sprinkled on top, looks great, and dose not get blown around at all, also you don't have to vacuum it, except for the "dead" spots ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Crushed Coral is what i planed for the base of my actual tank, either that or live rock pieces, you know the mush that is left when a supplier has had his rock curing for a long time.. Thats why 2 seciton of the sump, Hi flow under the DSB, choked flow into the DSB, thefore hopefully sand not being blown around. Thats the idea anyway. Flow will come from the tank 1no 50mm and 1no 28mm. 50mm to the base of sump and 28mm choked into the Top DSB. 28mm out let from the main tank to skim surface. Dont know where on the tank to return to though. I will have 2 returns, 1 through a cooler if required and the other was to go through a UV steriliser. Not 100%sure this is the correct way to go but its what i was looking at.
 

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If you are worried about power consumption with the lights why not look into LED's instead, if you get the right set up you can keep anything and keep it running on a lot less power. I know there is a lack of long term knowledge when it comes to the effects of LED's on an aquarium but I think they are the future!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Krak,

This is somehing i have just been looking at more for effects that for the complete lighting system. I have found the systems with the dimable ballast so that you can set them to simulate sunrise and sunset, but also storms etc and have the wave maker kick in at the same time. I had a look at the GHL Profilax system. I am not sure it does everything i require though. Looks a good system all the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for that, i am looking for suggestions on that one too. Powerheads. Mounter internally or externally?
 
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