This is a 300l all-glass aquarium. No reinforcment is there to block the light, glass is 10mm.
It was done locally for (very) cheap. I got what I paid for ! The glass gives you a head-ache if you look a bit sideway, the gluing job is awful, but, hey, it was cheap.
Sump is built-in with an overflow on the whole width of the tank.
An Aquamer (French Mailing list) friend generously did some 3D modeling for me. Thanks Chris ! He has a good Aquarium project, visit his web page.
return is provided by two Eheim 1060 pumps. Each is rated
at 2200 l/h. They are alternated evry 6 hours by an
The flow is directed from the front of the tank to the back using PVC plumbing.
The major flow is provided by two Tunze Turbelle 7410P. They are rated up to 4000 l/h. Out of the box they are provided with a driver that creates pulsations between 700 and 4000 l/h.You can only set the minimum rate with it, not the maximum rate
I installed the Tunze Powertimer 7092. It allows me to alternate between the pumps every 3 hours, to set maximum and minimum rate for each pump, the time at each rate and a night mode with a supplied photo cell.
At the end this is the result :
with a Tunze 3115 skimmer. I was enough as my live rocks
cured pretty fast and I achieved a good biological
balance pretty fast. But then I broke the aquarium when I
moved and I lost that balance !. There the skimmer wasn't
enough anymore. So I bought the only skimmer that I could
find in Dubai : another Tunze 3150 !
They are a hell to set-up and they are not strong enough.
So I decided to build the real thing.
|I took the plans from MARS and built two. One for me, one for another reefer in Dubai (yep, I'm not alone anymore !). I waited to be in France to buid it so that I could have the right tools. I also couldn't find any clear PVC or acrilic in Dubai.|
|This is the construction phase.|
|This is what it looks like in the end !|
|This is the modified Eheim venturi.|
When I came back from France I didnt waste any minute and put it into action. Boy, it was needed !
|The way it is fixed is very temporary (but for how long ?). I'm using plastic ties, rope and a piece of tubing to hold it in place ! I have to buy some plexyglass and nylon screws.|
|The bubble density and size is quite good for an Eheim venturi !|
picture shows the scum after just 15mn of operations
after I put this skimmer to work !
The cup is filled in two days.
This really is a great skimer. If it is cleaned once a month (I just tested the results) it will produce a great foam.
using a Deltec Aquastat 1000 float-switch for water to-off.
It's automatic, it's safe and it's trouble free.
It's working directly with 220V so I can plug whatever I want to it.
the 12V camping (good for for foodsftuff) pump I'm using.
I have to plug it to the Float-switch through a walkman (multi-voltage) transformer.
It pours water coming out af a RO unit in the tank, through the kalkreaktor.
We all know that our beloved corals need calcium.
So I started to add kalkwasser (a calcium hydroxyde solution). What a pain ! Preparing, dripping, removing, preparing again, dripping...forgetting...
I knew there was a way around : the calcium reactor.
When you say calcium reactor, the first one that comes to mind is the one that works by disolving calcium carbonate (aragonite) with CO2. It works well, but it is expensive (CO2 system, needle valve, pH metre, solenoid valve, reactor...). There are some good DIY plans around, but it remains pretty expensive. Also, playing with CO2 in a reef is not so risk free (algaes love it , but not the pH). Moreover, I wanted to stick as much as possible to the Berlin method.
I was stuck with my calcium hydroxide. One reactor exists
and was designed by Peter Wilkens (cf. The Reef Aquarium
vol. 1 and The Modern Coral Reel Aquarium Vol.1) but it
is not really commercially available and uses magnetic
One DIY plan was available on the excellent MARS web site, but it was using that magnetic stirer and it had some other problems. Until recently where the design was heavily modified ! You can find it here, but beware, it's in French !
I had to order most of the parts in France (I really have to thank a friend who went to buy everything for me and my girlfriend who brought it back in her suitcase) because, as usual, I can't find much here, and build it. It took me roughly an hour.
using the float-switch pump. As the water level drops in
the sump the pump is turned on. It adds fresh-reverse-osmosed
water at the bottom of the reactor and, as it is air-tight,
it pushes fresh kalkwasser mix out from the top. No risk
of sending a saturated solution !
The water pump is plugged to a timer that turns on every 4 hours for 15mn. It stirs the calcium hydroxyde at the bottom. As the pump takes the water at a low level, it prevents the saturated mix from rising too high.
As the bottom is circular, there is NO paste that form after some time, and there is NO need to use a magnetic stirer.
with one 250W Osram TS-250/D daylight bulb and 2 Blue
Then I replaced the MH bulb with an Aqualine Bushke 10000K bulb, and the tubes by Osram 67. The MH effect is much better (less yellowish)and the tubes really make the corals glow in the dark !
After a year of service (which is long for a 10000K bulb), I eplaced it by an AquaConnect bulb whis is supposed to last a bit longer and to be at 11700K. The results are not that great, I will see in the long run.
Here is the next "BIG" project on my setup : building a Refugium.
It won't only be a refugium.
It will be more like a refugium / food factory / algae filter / mangrove filter / seahorse tank.
Here is my temporary design :
|Size of the refugium tank||Between 40 and 60 liters. Hung slightly abovethe main tank.|
have a spare 150W MH balast and reflector. I just want to
buy a low-cost Osram /D bulb (around 5500K). I will have
my local carpenter build a similar pendant hood as the
one used on the main tank. It will look much nicer that
Well... NO 150 Daylight bulbs in Dubai... So I'll see what I'll order in France. Maybe a 20,000K...
know that I can find some mangroves locally (wild ones !
they won't be coming from a shop !). I'm thinking of
taking some mud as well, if I can find any !
No time to look for that yet. But I found an excellent spot while snorkeling in the region for what looks like beautyful live sand.
found, I hope ! I don't know what specie it will be.
I may have someone in Gouadeloupe who could send me some seeds.
source as those in the main tank : Indonesia, if people
are still doing business with them.
Along with the live sand I found live rocks with all sorts of animals, algaes and coraline on them. They are free and readily available. What more could I ask for ?
|Superior algae||The shops here are getting a bigger variety of algaes now, including a few red species. They will be better than caulerpa.|
|Water circulation||A 150 to 300 l/h pump will be gently pushing water from the main tank's back sump to the refugium. I don't want a strong current to indispose any of the organisms in it ! An overflow will do the return to the main tank.|
|Habitants||Worms, snails, sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, shrimps, seahorses...|
Last modification : June 12, 1999