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Old 12-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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If you are illiterate, do not read any further...

Hello all. In accordance with the Welcome message sent to new forum members, I thought I would introduce myself here.

I am an engineering technologist, currently in the process of designing a tank system (my first) for my home. I have been a diver for many years, predominately in the coastal waters of Washington, BC and Alaska. My interest in aquariums is just an extension of that interest. Initially, I was considering a tank to showcase local life, but the creatures here tend to be large, and keeping a low-temperature seawater tank is an imposing challenge. Accordingly, I have chosen to design a tank which can eventually support any ecosystem, but which I will initially use with tropical animals.

In the interest of realism, my design has a few novel features which, while making the whole endeavour more expensive, make for an interesting design exercise. The display tank itself will be on the order of 280 gallons, with additional water volume in the sump and other systems bringing the total water volume to just under 400. The heart of the system is a programmable automation controller which will monitor and control all parameters such as lighting, water flow, feeding, water changes, etc. The most significant non-standard feature will be the tidal flow - my tank design incorporates large diffusers on either end of a semi-elliptical display tank through which water will be pumped at a variable (and reversible) rate, corresponding to the natural semi-diurnal tidal cycle. The flow is produced by three variable speed pumps (3 phase motors running off of VFDs). At maximum flood/ebb I expect to be able to reproduce a laminar 1 knot current across the entire tank.

In a similar vein, I will control the amount of light in the tank to simulate a natural sunrise / sunset cycle, as well as simulating rain with an additional rainflow pump / sprinkler array. I also thought about simulating wave surge, but have not yet been able to figure out how to do so effectively. I'm still working on it.

Anyway, I know my way around the technical stuff, but still didn't know squat about fishkeeping before I started reading up on it at the inception of this project. During the course of my research, I found a number of threads on this particular website which were of considerable help, so I decided to join the forum. Hopefully, with the assistance of the considerable wealth of knowledge on this board, I will eventually have a thriving, successful marine ecosystem living in a unique and innovative environment of my own design.

Cheers.

-Sean
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
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Sounds good, and well thought out!
Salt or freshwater??
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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Welcome to AA say what now? lol jk.. sounds like a plan to me
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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Sounds good, and well thought out!
Salt or freshwater??
I'm thinking salt. The effort and expense involved in the complex tank setup would be wasted otherwise.
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Old 12-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #6
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I'm thinking salt. The effort and expense involved in the complex tank setup would be wasted otherwise.
Personal preference would decide what is a waste and what is not right?

All in all, sounds like you know exactly what you want to do, and having a well thought out and executed plan is a large step forward towards the end goal of your saltwater aquarium.

Good luck and i hope you succeed in your overall plans.
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Old 12-04-2009, 04:14 PM   #7
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sounds well thought out, keep us ported as you progress. welcome!
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:33 PM   #8
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I'm thinking salt. The effort and expense involved in the complex tank setup would be wasted otherwise.
i dont understand? are you saying fw is a waste?
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Old 12-04-2009, 08:44 PM   #9
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i dont understand? are you saying fw is a waste?
No. I'm saying that constructing a fully automated ecosystem which is capable of managing temperature, feeding, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, CO2, O2, algae, proteins and water changes, and which simulates, among other parameters, oceanic tidal flow and wave surge, is most appropriately used with a salt water system which would otherwise be the most difficult system to manage without the automation.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:38 AM   #10
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No. I'm saying that constructing a fully automated ecosystem which is capable of managing temperature, feeding, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, CO2, O2, algae, proteins and water changes,...
An automated system that will manage all those things, eh? Can't say you don't have goals!
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