Filtration for this tank is mechanical and biological. The system utilizes (3) 7" mesh filter stocks, Reef Octopus SRO-5000INT skimmer, BRS Jumbo Reactor with GAC, and dedicated doser for vinegar. The ultimate goal is to rely mostly on biological filtration through diverse microfauna throughout the system without stripping the water of essential nutrients. This is not designed to be a ULNS system, but to mimic a reef as closely as possible. There is, however, an additional reactor installed in the system for GFO in the case of extremely elevated phosphorus levels.
From the beginning, this tank was destined to be an SPS dominate system. Metal halides were the obvious choice, however, this tank was to be setup in an office and monitored remotely. Due to heat buildup, lack of control, and increased evaporation, lighting needed to be efficient and powerful. T5HO was the second choice, but these also produce heat and to correctly illuminate a tank this size meant a lot of bulbs that would need to be replaced twice a year. The final decision was to go with Ecotech Radion XR30w Pros due to coverage, efficiency, and PAR output. Since I hate spotlighting and shadows, 6 units were placed over this tank using the Multi Light RMS. Although I was guaranteed the 96" light bar would be adequate to hold 6 radions without bowing, it was not and needed to be reinforced with a 96" aluminum square tube bolted to the top of the rail. Currently, the light schedule is an adaptation of cakemanPA's lighting schedule from a Reef Central thread on radion graphs. Control is via a Ecotech Reeflink due to the ability to acclimate and create a "moving" sun. at some point control of lighting may be converted to the Apex for simplicity.
Reef Central Radion Graph Thread:
From the beginning this tank was to be a rimless peninsula design with nothing around the peninsula to distract from the beauty within. I had imagined that the return from two Red Dragon 50w pumps (1300 gph each) and two Ecotech Vortech MP60's at one end would create enough of a gyre to turn over water at the far end of the tank. Once setup, though, I realized that as SPS started to grow, the "gyre" flow would likely not be enough and as a result two additional MP60's were placed on the peninsula end of the tank. This brings total flow to 2600 gph through returns and 7500 gph for each vortech (32600 gph or 85x turnover capability). Vortechs are connected to Apex via the WMX module and running ReefCrest at 80% flow.
As SPS growth inhibits flow throughout the tank, it may become necessary to develop a closed loop system that plumbs through the euro-bracing around the top of the tank.
Currently, the system is setup to dose alkalinity, magnesium, calcium, and vinegar. Trace elements to be maintained by daily automatic water changes of 2-5 gallons. In the unlikelihood that additional additives are needed, two spare dosing units have been set up.
The tank is fed half a teaspoon of Rod's Food (Carnivore and Herbivore) twice a day during the week, and Neptune Systems Crossover diet 3 times daily on the weekends via automated feeders connected to the Apex system. As this is an office tank, no one is on site to feed during the weekend.
Future plans are to outfit a small dorm fridge with dosers and feed small quantities of refrigerated foods hourly.
I wanted this tank to be as easy as possible to maintain so many of the systems are automated. Maintenance is coordinated and tracked via Aquaticlog and handled by a local company (Wet Pets by Steve) in Norman, OK.
Change filter socks
Empty skimmer cup
Top off dosing containers
Remove and clean skimmer cup and swabbie
Vacuum detritus from sump