Editors note: This month’s Featured Aquarium has three galleries associated with it. To see all of them, click through the links below:
- Gallery #1: System Pictures
- Gallery #2: Pictures courtesy of Avi Cherni
- Gallery #3: Pictures courtesy of Vladi Alon
I live in Israel and have been keeping a reef aquarium since 1997 when I converted a 55-gallon discus aquarium to a reef aquarium.
When we decided to move to a new house I decided on changing to a bigger aquarium, so while my wife was looking at the size and structure of the house, I was looking for a good spot to place the aquarium. The approach on how the aquarium would be built consisted of:
- An aquarium as wide as possible, since I believe the beauty of the aquarium is in it’s depth.
- An in-wall built aquarium.
- An aquarium as high as possible for aesthetic reasons and swimming space for the fish.
- Easy to maintain.
Eventually we decided to locate the aquarium in a storage room with a shared wall with the living room – it could be both seen and easily maintained. Since the storage room’s size is limited due to municipal restrictions and house structure – it defined the size of the aquarium.
During the building of the house the following changes were made to the storage room :
- An opening was made between the living room and the storage room.
- A shelf (Which the aquarium was placed on) was built, and was supported by a metal construction made of a double T support that reached all the way down to the foundations of the house.
- Water and drainage lines were built in.
- Electrical lines were routed to it.
- A ventilation window was built into the outer wall.
The display tank built in the wall is 330-gallons, 63″x35″x35″, made by Yechiel Shamir Quality Aquariums Ltd Israel. The sump is a 50-gallon tank 31″x20″x18″.
The tank was setup in August 2002. Unfortuately, while we were moving from the old apartment to the new house, the electricity in the old apartment was cut off, and when I came two days later all the fish and corals I wanted to move to the new aquarium were dead.
Today, the aquarium is populated mainly by SPS and a few LPS corals and soft corals. In the center I placed a big sarcophyton which is a focal point in the tank.
- Protein skimmer – Aquamedic Turboflotor 5000 twin
- I use 300-lbs of live rocks, most of it was dry rocks from Indonesia
- I use 3″-4″ of live sand, which was added to the aquarium around March, 2003.
- Because of the soft corals I permanently use 1 liter of carbon.
- 2 x Iwaski 6500K 400 watt Metal halide
- 1x Radium 20,000K 400 watt Metal halide
- The Metal halide bulbs are placed in a SpiderLight reflector and are powered by a Metrolight electronic ballast.
- There’s 4 x Actinic Blue T5 80watt bulbs.
In the beginning there were 3 Iwaski 6500K MH, but the lighting was too yellow, so I replaced the center lamp with a Radium 20,000K. I’m considering changing to 3 x 10,000K lamps. The lamps themselves are placed on a Spider Light reflector. All the bulbs are mounted on a structure which allows me to lift them during maintenance and to adjust the height of the bulbs above the water.
- T5 – 1 PM to 1 AM
- Metal halide – 4 PM to 12 PM
Calcium and additives:
- Calcium is added by Calcium reactor – Knop HD-S
- Strontium is added weekly
- Iodine is added 3 times a week
- Buffer is added if alkalinity goes under 10 dkh
- 3 “Totton memp 80/6” pumps (1100 gallon per hour) are for return from the sump to the main tank while also feeding the chiller, protein skimmer, and calcium reactor.
- I added one Rio pump (900-gallon per hour), but I still need to improve the circulation
- Because the temperature in the summer in Israel is around 95F I had to pay special attention to cooling the tank.
- The back room is air conditioned, and I use a Chiller Teco 680.
- An 8″ fan blows air out of the back room; It’s on during the Metal halide lighting period.A 15″ fan blows on the water surface; it works during the T5 lighting period.
- I Change ~13 g of water weekly.
- Once in 3 months I change the carbon.
- I Clean the glass twice a week.
- Calcium ~ 450 ppm
- ALK 10-12 dKH
- Ph 8.0-8.3
- S.G 1.026
- Temp 79 – 82F
- SPS – about 40 sps corals including Acropora, Hydnophora, Pocillopora, Seriatopora, Porites, Montipora…
- Clams – Crocea, Caxima, Derasa
- LPS – Euphyllia ancora, bubble, Blastomossa, Cynarina, Lobophillia, Caulastrea, Favia, Fungia, Galaxea, Urbinaria
- Soft – Sarcophyton, zoanthids, mushrooms, Nephthea
- 2 yellow tang, Purple Tang, Desjardini Tang, Naso lituratus, hippo tang, foxface – lo magnifica, 2 Sixline Wrasse, 2 firefish gobi, ocellaris percula, 2 chromis, longnose hawkfish, arcatus hawkfish, 4 pajama cardinal, 2 anthias, 6 catfish,~ 10 gobiodon.
- 2 Black Cucumbers, 4 conches, brittle stars
- Sebae anemone
- Orange sponge