The sunny reef on the hill

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by bayview, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. bayview

    bayview Guest

    Ok, at this point I have to admit I'm an addict; and a I give the most thanks to Greg D; for me being able to get my fix on :p; Hope he gets some massive karma in life for helping me out. Also a thanks to Kensington Reefer, Erin, for letting me question him thoroughly at his home and giving me inspiration.

    So here we go ... the sun reef by the bbq and bar :); Live rock added; waiting for the ATS to grow some algae before adding anything. Also want to make sure this is going to work (and for what corals) and make some adjustments. (gets bright shade most the day with 4 hours direct bright sun)
    Only thing left is to get the ac in an greenhouse plastic around it before the middle of summer.
  2. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Interesting. Is this an outdoor reef tank?
  3. Refreshing concept! I would be interested to know how stable the temperature is as the seasons go by and how much energy efficiency this could provide. :)
  4. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Looking good! Glad I was able to help out.

  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Shade cloth is right, be careful with your temperature management. A LONG time ago I experimented with a tank in a south facing room, granted it was only 40g, but it very quickly got to temperatures exceeding 90°
  6. bayview

    bayview Guest

    I could see that with lights and being inside; That's why my large tanks are going to have to go outside; where I live does not have ac and gets hot inside; and my brother might kill me if he sees me start putting holes in his walls ... for chillers; lights; mini-split etc :p ;especially since he is more around now with the tanks and his kids wanting to see them once a month on the min...

    Being outside ; I don't have to worry about floods; and can easily put in a 300 gallon rez; chiller; or window ac to help control temps; It always gets cool at night; so if I have a large enough water volume I hoping for a buffer.

    So I'm not sure it's going to be more energy efficient; but am hoping for some enhanced coral growth; and ease of maintenance;
  7. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Cool project! I'm experimenting with an outdoor refugium now and it seems to be working just fine, but it's not summer yet.

    I'll have to keep tagging along on your project.
  8. bayview

    bayview Guest

    So far seems the 1200 gph return pump is adding the most heat during the day; The heaters are set to 78 and the tank got up to 83 today; going to have to work something out ....
  9. bayview

    bayview Guest

    Stopped by SR tonight; Have to say very impressed; owner gave me some good tips for my outdoor tank as well; Will be back soon ...
  10. melly mel

    melly mel Supporting Member

    Looks like a cool project. Keep us updated on your progress. Where in the 408 are you by?
  11. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    This is a very cool project.

    I very much underestimated the amount of light from a north facing window on my frag tank. I suspect some of my current issues are due to the lose of natural light after moving the tank. You are going to have to be very careful to keep algae under control. This tank seems like a magnet for brown algae.

    Take more pictures!
  12. bayview

    bayview Guest

    I hoping by having the 200 watts of osram 660nm leds on the algee scrubber / refuge keeps the algae down there :)

    It's been only 2 days; more pics will come ... I hoping the algae scrubber breaks in soon but with no input of N & P I might be dreaming ...

    Skimmer is working overdrive ... so far the green algae on the live rock is dying and the Coraline is darkening ...

    Added a 3"x6"x6inch tray behind the tank with a fan; kept the temps from getting high today peaked at 81 goes down to 78 at night ...

    I live up by alum rock park ... have to make sure no animals want to get in the tank as well :p
  13. bayview

    bayview Guest

    Plastic, fans, ac, going in ... Can zip up the tent to keep the 3x6x6" prop tray warm in the winter

    The plastic is knocking down 40% of the light and added some blockage as well

    Have a feeling it's going to be a few months before I can blast the tanks with light like this ...


    What are easiest to take care of macro algae that like 20 hours of light for the fuge ? Prefer that they don't have to be planted ...
  14. bayview

    bayview Guest

    Sure is right on the porch / sun room area; I have some lighting above the tank but have a feeling I will be only turning it on a few days a year if that; I currently half of a 1kw 10k aqua-life halide over it; and 2 vho icecap ballasts greg hooked me up with.

    If anything it's going to need a blue shade cloth :)

    Looks like the test polyp is opening up already
  15. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Chaeto is probably your best bet.

    I also like caulerpa proliferia (unless things changed, one of the rare legal ones in California) mostly due to it's rooting nature, awesome if you have a sandbed because the roots cling to it and don't let it blow all over the place, allowing you to increase flow rate through there. plus it has a sea-grass look. But for sheer size I'd go with chaeto.
  16. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    +1 for chaetomorpha
  17. bayview

    bayview Guest

    Finished it up last weekend ... looks ready for some test fish :p
  18. bayview

    bayview Guest

    hmm well the ATS killed off the last of my chaeto; on another note realized it's going to cost about $500 to put in a UPS for the heaters and return pumps; I usually lose power about 5 times a year with half of those times being for 24 hours plus ...

    Green ats

    hair algae receding off seed rock
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Very cool project!

    No surprise you lost the Chaeto to the ATS. Macros cannot compete.

    You might consider true IR blocking window films. Expensive, but should really reduce the heat problem in your tank.
    Since your tank is outside though, evaporate cooling should be very effective though, and no mold issues.

    You might consider a backup generator that runs off natural gas.
    Sounds like you would need a pretty huge UPS.

    I bet you will still want a lot of royal blue LED over the display to make the colors really pop.
    With just the sun, probably will look "naturally" yellow.
  20. anathema

    anathema Guest

    Fwiw, it might make more sense to run only part of your equipment during a power failure. You may be approaching it from the perspective of providing optimal care from your animals, but I would figure out what the bare minimum requirements are and base a power outage plan from that.

    Depending on what you use for equipment, it shouldn't take much to keep a return pump or powerhead going, and it is perfectly fine for the system to have "very low" flow for 24 hours or even more. Add things in order of importance from there, I'd consider temp control next in line. Once you have a bit of flow going for gas exchange, and a stable temp, the rest of the system can sit idle waiting for the grid to come back.

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