Friday, September 26, 2008

Progress on the 54 Gallon Tank

It has been a little while since I have been able to post any updates as work has been, well, crazy for me. Between helping with the upcoming Marine Depot Catalog and writing for the Marine Depot Education Center, my time to get the tank going has been limited.

But I have man
aged to get the tank almost ready to go.

To get everyone up to speed on where I am at: the tank is finally being filled with DI water (should be done filling by this afternoon), I ordered my substrate (two 15lb bags of Caribsea Seaflor Fiji Pink Reef Sand and one 10lb bag of Caribsea Arag-alive Indo-Pacific black) and the sand arrived on Tuesday ... I even splurged and picked up the Neptune Systems Moonlights (2 bulb system).

At this point, I h
ave all the equipment needed to get the tank running and will hopefully transfer the live rock into the tank this coming weekend.

The live rock I am using came from a fellow hobbyist who was downsizing their tank. Since they had some left over rock, I decided I would pick it up from them. I actually got the rock back in June but because the tank wasn't yet ready, I ended up putting it into a Rubbermaid Brute trash can with saltwater and a couple of powerheads. The rock had some undesirable algae on it, so I figured the dark timeor as some people call it, "cooking" the rockwould help with this. While this will also affect the amount of coralline algae left on the rock, the bad algae will also (hopefully) die off.

Top Off: With our reef tanks generally being open top tanks, we tend to get a good amount of evaporation from them. I could probably keep up with this by simply dumping in some water daily, but why not automate this?

There are many different choices for auto top off systems, but I have been using the SpectraPure Power Liquid Level Controller for a few years now and have been very happy with it. It has an air-pressured sensor that senses the water level within the sump. When the water level drops, it energizes a plug that a pump is connected to. I use an Aqualifter pump to pull water out of a water jug that then pushes the water into the sump through airline tubing. The only thing I don't like about the LLC is the way the sensor mounts in the sump. It uses suctions cups and anyone who has used suction cups in their fish tanks knows they eventually fail. To prevent this from occurring, I actually super-glued the sensor to an inexpensive algae magnet, now the sensor will not fall off and if I need to move it up or down it is very easy to do.

So with that, hopefully my next posting will be able to po st some pictures of a tank that is up and running and go over some of my ideas of what I want to stock the tank with.