Allen's Aquariums

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Copyright © 2007
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Design - 180 Gallon Reef

The design for this tank evolved from our previous 72 gallon tank enhancing areas where we experienced issues.  This setup consists of a Sump, Refugium, Remote Deep Sand Bed and the Display tank totaling approximately 300 gallons.  On the Display tank we are running 2 closed loops and four 1-1/2" over flows which go to the basement where the Sump, Refugium and Remote Deep Sand Bed reside.

DISPLAY SCHEMATIC - Click here to view a schematic of the display tank.
BASEMENT SCHEMATIC
- Click here to view a schematic of the basement.

SUMP / REFUGIUM- the sump / refugium are combined using a 36" MRC (My Reef Creations) Reef Sump system.  This holds two 300-watt heaters, which are never used as the heat with in the system is high enough, however they are there just in case.  The chiller pump is a MAG-12 using 1" flexible PVC.  Another MAG-12 feeds the RDSB (Remote Deep Sand Bed) tank.  Two 1-1/2" over flows are used to return the water to the sump.  A MAG-5 resides in the sump to feed the skimmer and a Maxi-Jet 1200 feeds the Refugium.  The refugium is lit with a Current USA Orbit 24" Power Compact light and is on at night when the display lights are off.  The assists in balancing pH.
    

3/23/2007 - Sump / Refugium / Skimmer
Reef Sump / Refugium / Skimmer
MRC MR-2R Skimmer
MRC MR-2R Skimmer
3/23/2007 - Remote Deep Sand Bed Tank
Remote Deep Sand Bed tank

RETURN PUMP - the return pump is a Blue Line 70HD with about 11' of head pressure and a bleeder that returns to the sump, if needed.  We currently have the bleeder shut off and the return line is 1" flexible PVC.

SKIMMER - the skimmer, shown above, is a MRC MR-2R and is fed by a MAG-5 which feeds the skimmer and a Blue Line 55HD re-circulates the water through dual Beckett nozzles making the bubbles /foam causing the skimmate.  The output on this skimmer 1-1/2" and returns to the sump.

CHILLER - The chiller is a 1/3HP Aquanetics system and is fed  by a MAG-12.  This chiller struggles to maintain temperature and I blame that partly on where I located it, below the sump.    One thought on this is to relocate the chiller and determine if the water is passing through the skimmer too fast.  Unfortunately the company is no longer in business. 

CONTROLLER - We use a Neptune Systems Aqua Controller III which maintains the lights, temperature, pH and trends by using AquaNotes.  The program that I setup will start shutting down lights if the temperature rises too high, namely if the chiller fails. 

CLOSED LOOPS - Under the main display tank there are two closed loop pumps.  The AGA 180 gallon tank originally came with two over flows, but they seemed intrusive to me and I wanted more flow that I thought the overflows were capable of.  So, I removed them which left me with two 1-1/4" and two 1-7/8" holes in the bottom of the tank.  I decided to use these for the closed loop system.  One of the closed loops utilize a Blue Line 40HD and use one of the 1-7/8" holes for a 1" PVC drain which feed two other holes which house modular pipe to keep water movement under the rock to assist in preventing the detritus (waste) build up in the hard or almost impossible to reach places.  This pump also feeds two Sea-Swirls which move water back and forth in the display tank.  On the second closed loop system a Blue Line 40XHD is used from the other 1-7/8" hole with another 1" PVC drain and water is pushed through an Oceans Motions Super Squirt which gives the tank a wave affect by gradually increasing / decreasing water flow from one side to the other.  All points of exit on these closed loops are controlled by gate valves to increase / decrease the water flow.
Closed Loop Setup - 3/16/2007
Closed Loops - 3/16/2007
3/16/2007 - Closed Loop Drain & Modular Hose
1" Drain / Modular Hose

DISPLAY TANK LIGHTING - the display tank uses three 250W Metal Halide 10,000k lights and four 96W Actinics power through ballasts which reside in the basement.  Two 4" Smart fans sit inside the canopy to help reduce heat build up.  The lights in the display tank turn on gradually with one set of actinics, followed by the second set 15 minutes later and finally the metal halides.  At night the halides turn off, followed by one set of actinics. then the final set of actinics 15 minutes later and finally two blue cold cathode lights 15 minutes later which stay on for two hours.

DISPLAY TANK, CABINET and CANOPY - the display tank is an AGA 180 gallon tank with an AGA cabinet and canopy.  I modified the canopy to accommodate the Metal Halide lighting to get it further away from the tank and also give room to access the tank for feeding / cleaning without having to remove the canopy.
180 Gallon Reef Tank - 3/23/2007
180 Gallon Reed Tank - 3/23/2007