This site is a record of my Marine Aquarium. To show how the system is built and maintained, to share it’s inhabitants and from my experience to date, some tips to help others in the hobby. This is my fourth Marine aquarium, having first started back in 1990.
See the 'Blog' for progress/updates.
(Click image to enlarge)
I had several goals for this latest tank:
- The display was not to be a ‘back wall of rock’, but somethimg more interesting
- The rocks should leave more swimming room for the fish & shrimps
- Space should be made to eanble cleaning of the back wall of the display
- No noise from the water as it circulated from diaplay tank to the sump and back again. It must be ‘silent’
- To maximisw water flow by using a 'High Capacity Weir Comb' example
- Lighting was to be LED and T5s. I had previously used halides and T5s (Halides - to much heat/high running costs)
- Water mixing, water changes and top ups, must not involve walking around the house with buckets
- It must be capable of running for two-three weeks without maintenance. Holiday cover
- The sump was to be situated in an external fish room
The main building blocks
The display tank glass and the cabinet/hood were custom made to fit the space available. This cost less than a standard pre-built aquarium. I turned an old shed into the ‘Fish Room’, insulating it and installing power and a water feed/drain. I used a previous display tank as my sump and made/installed separate tanks for RO water and for salt water mixing, The ‘chiller’ was installed externally to the fish room in it’s own weather proof box. The biggest job was installing the feed and return pipes between the display tank in the lounge and the sump in the fish room. It was a five meter horizontal run on the external wall of the house, in it’s own insulated weatherproof covering. Once all was installed I turned my attention to the sump components.
The sump was patitioned to maximise the distance the water had to travel so that all filter media had a strong flow. These partions were then filled with course fitration at the inlet, with fine filtration media between eack key section. Then activated carbon, 8kg sintered glass rings, 16kg Eheim Substrate Pro bio media, 20Kg live rock and bio balls. Two wier combs and two airstones provide additional gas exchange.
The sump also holds:
- Two large return pumps - Jacod DCP-8000 - moving c. 6000 litres / 1580 gallons per hour for each pump.
- Ehime 1200 pump for circulating the water through the external chiller and two UV setrilisers, plus a small pump for the external phosphate reactor
- A TMC Reef DC 1000 skimmer + Overflow Box
- Two 300w heaters
- Auto Top Up valve
- Overflow and Drain outlets
- Salinity & PH monitors
The RO (10 Gal) and saltwater mixing tank (16 Gal) both have their own heaters and the mixing tank has a pump to mix/stir the salt water and an additional pump to send the new salt water into the sump. (No buckets required)