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Old 08/01/2016, 08:18 AM   #76
Chibils
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Karim - I wanted to say this may be the most ambitious build on RC. Not necessarily in terms of size, but in sheer scope and thought and creativity.

I would ask you to reconsider adding sand, rock, etc. to the "dark zone". I know you're a big fan of mimicking nature in your builds, and I think substrate and rock are necessary "media" for some of the life in a cryptic zone. My old tank had way too high nutrients and way too much food and I'm not proud of that but in the cryptic zones in the back of the tank under rocks where there was no light and plenty of mulm the sand and rocks were alive with worms and tunicates and sponges and dusters and such. It looked like a real reef cryptic zone and it was almost as cool as the reef parts.

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Old 08/01/2016, 08:59 PM   #77
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Thanks Chibils. I'm still considering it.

The poor access concerns me and I think that adding media would increase the chances of something going wrong.

That said, these dark zones aren't exactly cryptic zones in that the flow through them will be quite large at times. In fact, this hidden reef will experience as much flow as the bright reef and will experience the same level of feeding and nutrients. The only difference is the lack of large predators (due to the eggcrate barriers) and the complete darkness.

So, I expect this to be an ideal zone for sponges and invertebrates that depend on
high flow and plentiful food sources.

If I do add media, it would be flattened rocks oriented to allow water to flow around them so that the current flow is not significantly impeded.

During "storm events", these regions will be blasted with very high flow (20K gph+) to clear out debris and force it up and out. Even under quiescent flow, the powerheads will never be completely off to avoid fouling. In my current system, my powerheads' dark internal sections get gummed up by sponges and tunicates because I occasionally turn them off.

I do see value in a true cryptic zone but I'll have to rethink a portion of my surge refugium to serve this function or dedicate a separate stage to it.


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Old 08/01/2016, 09:34 PM   #78
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I understand you will use eggcrate to prevent larger fish from the cryptic zone, but how do you plan on making it dark?

Corey


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Old 08/02/2016, 05:51 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by karimwassef View Post
Thanks Chibils. I'm still considering it.

The poor access concerns me and I think that adding media would increase the chances of something going wrong.

That said, these dark zones aren't exactly cryptic zones in that the flow through them will be quite large at times. In fact, this hidden reef will experience as much flow as the bright reef and will experience the same level of feeding and nutrients. The only difference is the lack of large predators (due to the eggcrate barriers) and the complete darkness.

So, I expect this to be an ideal zone for sponges and invertebrates that depend on
high flow and plentiful food sources.

If I do add media, it would be flattened rocks oriented to allow water to flow around them so that the current flow is not significantly impeded.

During "storm events", these regions will be blasted with very high flow (20K gph+) to clear out debris and force it up and out. Even under quiescent flow, the powerheads will never be completely off to avoid fouling. In my current system, my powerheads' dark internal sections get gummed up by sponges and tunicates because I occasionally turn them off.

I do see value in a true cryptic zone but I'll have to rethink a portion of my surge refugium to serve this function or dedicate a separate stage to it.
The poor access is the biggest problem here. This is a very ambitious design, and you obviously know what you're doing, but I've learned over the years that not being able to access something is a recipe for disaster.

I dont know how you could make that more accessible, but try to figure out a way, even if it just ensuring the eggcrate barriers are not permanent.


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Old 08/02/2016, 06:56 AM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biecacka View Post
I understand you will use eggcrate to prevent larger fish from the cryptic zone, but how do you plan on making it dark?

Corey
It's inherently dark. It's under the reef so above it is the glass ceiling/reef floor covered in 3"-4" of sand and rocks. On the sides is the plywood doors that will be shut. The far back goes against the flow tanks and the far front opens up to the deep reef, so some light may penetrate a foot or so.


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Old 08/02/2016, 07:11 AM   #81
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The poor access is the biggest problem here. This is a very ambitious design, and you obviously know what you're doing, but I've learned over the years that not being able to access something is a recipe for disaster.

I dont know how you could make that more accessible, but try to figure out a way, even if it just ensuring the eggcrate barriers are not permanent.
All the eggcrate will be removable. The only permanent assemblies will be glass to glass. The large sheet that forms the false floor is the impediment here. Sure, I may be able to climb in to the deep zone and reach in 24" from that side. The flow tanks side will also have an opening but that's a 42" drop down to a 90degree bend.

The vast volume under the 6' x 8' glass sheet will have openings but be practically inaccessible, especially in a stocked and living reef.

In my experience, that means that it will simply be whatever it will be. If something falls in, it will just be there permanently. If a coral or fish dies or gets stuck, that's the way it stays & decomposes. It's basically a large cavity, so it's function won't be impeded. I just have to accept that it is what it is. I have this now with my current tank with some very inaccessible regions cause by coral overgrowth. I've lost numerous frags back there and outside of a robotic assistant on a tether, I found no solutions. So, there's a little graveyard there and some of the fish use it as a hiding/sleeping bed.

A potential solution is to create a window cutout in the false floor (or several) so that these glass windows (or panels) can be removed in extreme cases. This adds even more complexity and cost and most critically - more risk. I tried to eliminate every component or design element that isn't absolutely necessary because each is a potential problem of its own.

Unless the cavern channels are blocked up or full of sand, I'm not sure why I would need to get under there. The openings are large, so it would take a decade of sponge growth to plug it up. That's what the storms are for - to blow out any buildup. The sand and sediment is the more likely issue and that why a large bottom bulkhead to suck water directly out of that region may be a good idea. But under 42" of pressure, that better be one heck of a solid bulkhead. It would be a weak point in the design given the stresses on it and that may require a reinforced bottom (more cost and complexity and risk). So accepting things as they are may be a reasonable compromise. At least that's how I ended up here .


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Old 08/02/2016, 07:16 AM   #82
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Thank you all for helping me. It's a difficult design, so all constructive thoughts and comments are welcome.


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Old 08/02/2016, 08:35 PM   #83
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So I was confused, I didn't realize the bottom (floating bottom) was glass. That makes sense now.

Corey


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Old 08/02/2016, 09:48 PM   #84
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Yes. The false floor that spans the entire width creates a structural support element that allows the use of a thinner glass than the full depth would normally require.

Basically, the 18" removed from the total height leaves 24" for the shallow reef above.


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Old 08/03/2016, 03:23 AM   #85
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Yes. The false floor that spans the entire width creates a structural support element that allows the use of a thinner glass than the full depth would normally require.

Basically, the 18" removed from the total height leaves 24" for the shallow reef above.
Karim, it seems that you could use pvc or some other non-glass medium for the false bottom. There is really no need to use glass and since it will be covered with sand/rock anyway, you'll never really see it when the system is up and running. If you use some type of plastic (or similar) there is far less concern of breakage due to rocks falling, etc. Regardless you'll want to place a fair number of support pillars/beams underneath to try and keep pressure relatively even. This will be very cool to watch unfold.


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Old 08/03/2016, 07:10 AM   #86
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I plan to use an eggcrate floor over the glass to avoid point stresses. The choice of glass in glass was to reinforce the structural integrity of the tank.

This design evolved from a 24" shallow Starphire tank with a large surface area. With eurobrace, I was originally planning on going with a 1/2" glass (remember, it was shallow). At that time, the circulating flow had two channels (left and right).

Then, I saw a drop off tank and I fell in love with the combination of deep and shallow. But it was hard to justify the extra cost of glass just for a little span of deep water. I looked at L cut glass, different thickness glass... Even combining different tanks... None of it looked very nice. I was particularly concerned with stresses on the inner corner of the large L sheets.

I considered pushing the depth to 32" and adding a false floor for an 8" drop off to try to limit the thickness of the glass and reach some compromise where I have a little drop off. This grew to 12" and four flow channels with thicker glass, and then pushing the 3/4" glass to its safe limits, the cavern grew to 18".

So you can see how this view morphed over the last 18 months.


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Old 08/03/2016, 07:21 AM   #87
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On a separate note. We are going to sell our house as we buy the new one. The current tank (700gal system) in a wall built in 380g and resides in the garage. I've been thinking (and discussing with the wife) how to "move".

I don't want to tear it down. I'd really like to sell the house to someone who will appreciate the reef too - maybe with a two year maintenance program from a local pet shop. My wife thinks that's impossible and no one would pay for the reef as part of the house. There aren't enough "nuts like me" buying houses. I still think it's a viable option. What do you think?

Other options were ...

to sell the house but rent the garage back for some time until I can make a move and completely remove it.

To move the life to a third party tank - friend, pets store and leave it there until I'm ready.

Build a temporary holding tank in a warehouse (or dad's garage) with a pond frame or Rubbermaid tanks and then transfer the life to it gradually before selling.

.... It doesn't have to be pretty- just needs to not die for a year while the new house and tank is being built

With such a big move, what would you do?


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Old 08/03/2016, 08:00 AM   #88
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I would build the new home first if that is a possibility (unless finances require the sale of the existing home first).

I think that aquariums, like swimming pools, are an albatross for most home sales. Sometimes you find the right buyer, but most wives lay down the law when it comes to men's toys.

If you have to leave your tankmates with someone else for a while you would probably do best leaving them with a local fish store or breeder; someone who is not bothered if your tankmates die while you're bulding your dream home. A friend would feel mortified if anything happened. That's a terrible burden to put on anyone. People on the commercial end tend to learn to live with deaths and move on.

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Old 08/03/2016, 09:11 AM   #89
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I'm not sure if you would be able to find a buyer that is as big into this hobby. Even though there might be someone out there that would enjoy it if it came with free maintenance but even then thats a long shot. But if you could atleast find someone that would let you leave the tank up until you are ready to move the live stock that would be gold.

Personally I would set up shop at my parents house with some Rubbermaid tanks and transfer it over. That way you can take your time and not have to buy all the corals and fish over. But then again my fish are like my dogs and I would probably like to keep the same kinds of coral I already have acquired over the years or at least keep a descent frag of each coral if I wanted to start over. I personal wouldn't move it to a third party since I don't know if people will care for my pets the same as I would as far as feeding and water parameters.


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Old 08/03/2016, 06:57 PM   #90
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Arghhh!! You're saying that my wife is right!? Say it ain't so...


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Old 08/04/2016, 04:59 AM   #91
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Arghhh!! You're saying that my wife is right!? Say it ain't so...
Unfortunately she is correct. You'll be more than hard pressed to find a buyer that wants the tank in the house at all, let alone taking up part/most of your garage. You'll be best served to move everything into a temporary solution that you can maintain. It'll be a challenge for sure but at least then the responsibility falls on you and nobody else will feel bad if things go south at all. Besides, if you were trusting someone else with all of your creatures, it's added stress on you to wonder about it constantly.


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Old 08/04/2016, 12:19 PM   #92
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Unfortunately she is correct. You'll be more than hard pressed to find a buyer that wants the tank in the house at all, let alone taking up part/most of your garage. You'll be best served to move everything into a temporary solution that you can maintain. It'll be a challenge for sure but at least then the responsibility falls on you and nobody else will feel bad if things go south at all. Besides, if you were trusting someone else with all of your creatures, it's added stress on you to wonder about it constantly.
My tank is about half the size of your display Karim, and I'm planning on tearing it down before the house is listed. I think for most people it would be a big negative, and a positive for only the nut jobs on this forum.


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Old 08/04/2016, 12:47 PM   #93
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Old 08/04/2016, 01:21 PM   #94
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Arghhh!! You're saying that my wife is right!? Say it ain't so...
Shhhhh...you don't have to tell her that LOL


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Old 08/04/2016, 09:26 PM   #95
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This fellow just went through the big-tank selling house thing:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...8&postcount=10


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Old 08/19/2016, 06:50 PM   #96
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ok. On the topic of cooling the greenhouse, I was looking at wet pads (fabric curtains with their bottoms in a trough of water) with evaporative cooling to bring down the inlet air temp:




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Old 08/19/2016, 07:07 PM   #97
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ok. On the topic of cooling the greenhouse, I was looking at wet pads (fabric curtains with their bottoms in a trough of water) with evaporative cooling to bring down the inlet air temp:

Will the wet pads be system water?


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Old 08/19/2016, 07:19 PM   #98
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Are you cooling the air for your comfort or you cooling the system water? I used two 1HP fans on my 20' by 40' green house. It was fine for a commercial growout system, but would be noisey for a sunroom attached to your house.


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Old 08/19/2016, 09:51 PM   #99
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It's not system water. It's freshwater to cool the air. At least right now, that's the concept.

The air will be sucked up and to a separate area to vent.


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Old 08/19/2016, 10:20 PM   #100
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It's not system water. It's freshwater to cool the air. At least right now, that's the concept.

The air will be sucked up and to a separate area to vent.

I suggest you use system water in your wet pads. The specific heat content of air is minuscule compared to the specific heat content of water. Meaning it will take many, many more BTU of cooling for system water than for sunroom air. The only possible downside would be salt scale on your drip pads. If you ran sufficient volum, I can't see salt scale as a problem.


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