So I had an idea

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by Flagg37, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I was thinking of how I could do something cool and unique with my next tank (if I can persuade my wife). My thought was to have a suspended rock structure that would attach to the back wall and hang in the middle of the tank. Then I would run it bare bottom and have one light above (like normal) but then have another light below the tank shining upward. I’m thinking of doing mostly branching corals placed both on top and underneath the rock. It’s also a bit of a test to see how much effect gravity has on coral growth vs just growing in the direction of the light.

    I’m thinking a smaller tank, maybe 70 gallons or so. I want to make sure that I can reach in and access the bottom of the rock. I have 2 AP700’s for the lights already.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    I think it sounds like you've adopted some of the Colorado culture and it's got you thinking wacky thoughts!
  3. Ibn

    Ibn Guest

    I think you'd have a tough time keeping it running long term since the bottom will have to be scraped of coralline regularly and you have to make sure that you clear the bottom of debris and detritus. I would reconsider and modify your plans slightly. Move both lights up top for sps and then have nps underneath, reproducing cave like structures with sun, lace, chili, etc. corals instead. You can feed that tank extremely heavily and reap the benefits of both I think.
  4. I've seen it done. I think it's a build on RC. Or maybe Jester6 showed me a pic of it?
  5. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit BOD

    I agree with Eric. Have sensors and sun corals underneath. I see it all the time when diving. Would be Uber cool

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Thinking more about this I think it was Jester6 who showed it to me. A floating shelf.
  7. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I definitely was looking for potential issues so thanks for bringing up the thought about the coralline.

    I had thought about doing a light and dark side and have it be a bit of a yin yang feel. I’m nervous about nps though since I’ve never kept any and people always portray them as difficult. I would be looking for guidance on choice of species and feeding schedule. Having the bare bottom would likely help with this since I can have the pumps periodically stir up anything that settles.
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I've seen it done too, I think it was youtube though (maybe he is also on RC). IIRC the basic plan was to silicone a slab of glass to the back wall (or acrylic, I forget what it was) then he literally built out a shelf where rock went on, but then attached rocks so that you don't see the shelf and there was an area under the the rock that was a fish hangout. My biggest worry would be the torque on the back pane causing stresses that are not too happy, and probably would only do it with acrylic where you could weld pieces on the outside of the tank to stiffen it up.
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Here ya go
  10. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Floating shelf is definitely a cool idea.
    I have occasionally wished I had seen that before I did all of mine.
    A great way to reduce detritus issues.

    I would create a structure that drops in though, to hold it up.
    Probably using fiberglass rods.
    Bottom part under sand, back part painted to match back wall, so hard to see, upper part holding rocks.
    Connecting to the back is iffy, and a drop in structure allows you to change your mind later.

    As far as lights underneath, that would be very fun and different.
    Perhaps a waterproof LED bar you can drop in, in the very back, and remove for cleaning?
    If you use high intensity LEDs, they might bleach any Coraline/algae that tries to grow
    right in front of them, reducing cleaning issues.
  11. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    Yeah, I’ve seen the floating shelf, but what I haven’t seen is anyone trying to grow coral on the bottom side of the shelf with a light shining upwards through the bottom pane of glass on the tank.

    For the support of the shelf I was thinking I’d have an internal acrylic overflow box. Then I’d epoxy a few titanium threaded rods into the back of the rock and drill corresponding holes into the overflow box and connect it with some nuts and washers.
  12. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Needs to be THICK acrylic with that plan. If you accidentally lean on those rocks, could crack the acrylic,
    and all the water would drain out. I guess you could have multiple acrylic layers down near the rocks.
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Here's another

    and 5+ months later, it's still standing :D
  14. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Would be easy to clean the bottom with a magnet as long as you have good access underneath...
    Flagg37 likes this.
  15. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Just thinking more about the lights shining up...
    You usually look down at an angle into the tank.
    That means you are staring down at the lights pointed up at you. Could be very annoying.
    Solvable by having a high tank I guess, but that is a pain.

    Also, any crud that settles on the bottom will be really lit up well and be visually very obvious.
  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    That’s a good point.
  17. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I think I’m thinking of a much smaller rock.

    Also, I was thinking the internal overflow so that if the holes weren’t 100% waterproof (or worst case it cracked like you said) it wouldn’t matter that much.
  18. OnTheReef

    OnTheReef Guest

    That is a very cool look!

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