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Old 02/12/2009, 05:09 PM   #1
jdhuyvetter
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Gone Solar Too

For the the two people on Reef Central that missed the original "Gone Solar" here is the link

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...readid=1457056

I didn't want to hijack that thread, so I started my own. Last summer, I had my first (of more to come) $500 power bill. Decided I needed to make a major lighting change. I set up an experimental LED tank. Loved it for SPS and softies, SPS didn't look too good. I found this thread by "Hobogato" and decided this is what I wanted to do. So... I contacted the local solatube installer and found out that I wasn't the first in my area. He had done one tank about a year and a half ago, but forgot the guys name. After a couple of months I was mentioning that to a friend of mine and he said and he told me he knew the guy. Turns out, he was a member of our new (and still somewhat disorganized) club. I went to look at his tank. Between his tank a Hobogato's thread, I was sold.

So, long story, short....Solatubes are being installed tomorrow.

The last two months, I have been gearing up for tomorrow. Previously, my saltwater consisted of two separate systems. A 125 gallon softie tank with a 30 gallon sump. A 300 gallon mixed reef (mostly SPS) with a 55 gallon tank (sump). Plumbed into this "sump" was a 125 gallon softie/frag tank, 2x40 gallon breeder tanks (one SPS frag and one was a refugium) and a 25 gallon acrylic tank that I just had frag plugs curing.

I also had a freshwater discus/plant tank (150 gallons) that was in a separate room, but shared the same wall as the 125 softie/frag tank. The 300 gallon shared the same wall as the 55 gallon "sump" which was in the closet of the back bedroom. (See pics later)

So, I drained the freshwater tank and put all of the fish and plants in vats for a week. Moved the softie tank into the 150. Next weekend, moved the freshwater into the what was the softie tank. Step one complete...both saltwater show tanks now share the same common wall with the "fish room".

Next, I traded a bunch of frags for a 150 gallon acrylic holding tanks that had the partitions cut out. I have a friend that does acrylic work. So, I traded him a bunch of frags and .... instant custom sump/refugium. One of the local stores moved. I traded them a bunch of frags for an 8 foot acrylic tank that they did not have room for a the new location. Too big for me, but I had another friend that was setting up a bunch of 6 feet long frag tanks. He had one left to set up and decideded he wanted the 8-foot acrylic....so we traded.

Last step, replace the lighting. 300 currently has 2x250watt HQI, 5x150watt HQI, 2 x 160 watt VHO actinic supplements. All fixtures are 6 feet long (8 feet tank). So I took 2, 130 watt PC fixtures and turned them sideways to light the ends of the tank. Four, 14-inch solatubes are being put in tomorrow to replace the main lighting. I'll be adding 24-inch, 130 watt PC retrofits between the tubes to supplement actinics.

I'll post pics as I complete sections.


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"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank

Last edited by jdhuyvetter; 02/12/2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 02/12/2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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Freshwater tank after moving it to the old "softie tank" Plant haven't fully bounced back yet.

[IMG]Freshwater tank[/IMG]

New Softie Tank

[IMG]softie tank[/IMG]

Reason for the softie tank (eats favia!)

[IMG]reason for the softie tank[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/12/2009, 05:16 PM   #3
jdhuyvetter
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The old filtration/frag/sump/refugium set up.

55 gallon sump is in the closet to the right (with the chiller) Had to keep the doors open. 125 gallon softie frag tank with protein skimmers on the ends (draining into the overflows). Bottom row is 25 gallon acrylic and 40 gallon refugium. 40 gallon SPS frag tank is on a separate stand to the left

[IMG]old softie frag tank[/IMG]

40 gallon frag tank (being drained). Note calcium reactor on same stand.

[IMG]old frag tank[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/12/2009, 05:20 PM   #4
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New Sump/Refugium

[IMG]new sump[/IMG]

New frag tank

[IMG]Frag Tank[/IMG]

After the solar tubes are installed, I will be taking one of the 6-feet long HQI fixtures to light this tank. Right now, it is lit with a 30-inch HQI fixture, a 48-inch PC fixture, a 30-inch PC fixture and an 18-inch flourescent fixture. Basically, everything that was on the old set up plus what I dug out of the garage.


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/12/2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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Full tank shot before I fragged the sick acro colony (center top)

[IMG]FTS[/IMG]

Current left side shot

[IMG]left side[/IMG]

Current middle shot

[IMG]middle[/IMG]

Current right side shot

[IMG]right side[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/12/2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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so very cool


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Old 02/13/2009, 11:53 AM   #7
jdhuyvetter
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Well, ran into a little problem. The bottom chord of the truss is in the way. The tubes come down over the front third of the tank. I wanted them centered or slightly toward the back third. So, we are going to angle the bottom of the tube slightly.


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/13/2009, 12:00 PM   #8
jdhuyvetter
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Hole in my ceiling

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

[IMG]tubes going in[/IMG]

Off center, have to angle the ends (or cut the roof joist, boo)

[IMG]off center[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/13/2009, 12:03 PM   #9
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I was so pumped that they were going in that I forgot to take par readings before I started pulling lights. My old readings were 1250 at the water line directly under my 250w HQI (back of tank) and 375 directly under my 150w HQI (front of tank). I wanted to take them at different depths (I did, but never wrote them down)


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 10:28 AM   #10
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The old lighting system. Tank is 8 feet long, but the fixtures are only 6 feet. So, I had 24-inch long (2x65w) PC fixtures turned sideways at each end of the tank to light the ends.

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 10:41 AM   #11
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looks really good man, keep it up would love to come by a see the tank some time just moved to N ft myers a few months ago.


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Old 02/14/2009, 10:49 AM   #12
jdhuyvetter
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A few random pics from the top down. Pics are from this morning between 10:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. No actinic supplements yet. Just natural sunlight (slightly filtered)


Unkown Coral...any ideas?
[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

Aquarium City Red Millepora

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

Unknown Acro. Got as a frag. Have high hopes for this one!

Photobucket

My new clam

Photobucket

Part of my Acan "collection"

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 10:53 AM   #13
jdhuyvetter
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[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

My rock anemone had babies!!!

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 11:42 AM   #14
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simply incredible. excellent tank, and you are definitely a reefaholic my friend


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"that is enough skimmate to ruin lives." - GSMguy

Current Tank Info: 220g Display, 70g sump, 35g frag, 50g fuge, 2x250w MH, 1x400w MH, 2x80w T5, 2x140w VHO Actinic
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Old 02/14/2009, 11:56 AM   #15
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Can we pleeeaaaaassse have a full tank shot!?


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40 Breeder DIY external overflow, closed loop, skimmer, sump, dosers,....

Current Tank Info: 29gal reef w 20 gal sump/40gal reef w 20gal sump
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Old 02/14/2009, 12:23 PM   #16
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OK, but not very good. As of 1:15 p.m. today. (There is a two week old FTS at the top of the thread).

I have decided to drop the tubes about 7 inches. Far right tube is disconnected (hence the dark side of the tank). The actinic supplements will not be here until Wednesday. So next weekends project is to install those lights. I will be framing out tomorrow. The chords you see are the recirc pumps. Main filter is running. The hole in the wall is for the old power chords. I had so much drain on the breaker, that I had an electrician come in and add a breaker that was dedicated to this tanks lights only. Those plugs are in the closet behind the tank.

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 12:59 PM   #17
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nice, so the lights will be completely boxed in around the top?

I think that will make it much easier for you to photograph.

paint it all white inside if you do, might see some more light bounced into the tank that way.


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Current Tank Info: 220g Display, 70g sump, 35g frag, 50g fuge, 2x250w MH, 1x400w MH, 2x80w T5, 2x140w VHO Actinic
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Old 02/14/2009, 01:25 PM   #18
jdhuyvetter
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Quote:
Originally posted by specialkb
looks really good man, keep it up would love to come by a see the tank some time just moved to N ft myers a few months ago.
Are you in the SWFMAS club? Come by anytime you like.

Jeff


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 02:26 PM   #19
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Sweet tank. Have you calculated how long it will take for the solatubes to pay for themselves?


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40 Breeder DIY external overflow, closed loop, skimmer, sump, dosers,....

Current Tank Info: 29gal reef w 20 gal sump/40gal reef w 20gal sump
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Old 02/14/2009, 02:38 PM   #20
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Nice setup jdhuyvetter. I'm looking forward to seeing it all come together and PAR readings when you can get to them.


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Old 02/14/2009, 02:46 PM   #21
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18-24 months. My whole system had 1500 watts of HQI, 650 watts of PC, 800 watts of VHO and 210 watts of standard flourescent (3160 total watts). That is 2 main tanks, frag tanks, and refugiums. About 710 gallons total volume. The combined system has 1050 watts of HQI, 1120 watts of VHO. 585 watts of PC and 144 watts of standard flourescent. (700 gallons total). Yes, that's only a total drop of about 260 watts. but, my photo period will be way less. Old system was running 10 HQI bulbs an average of about 8 hours each. New set up has 5, all on the frag system. I plan on running the 250's 4 hours only and the 150's 6 to 8 hours. PC's will only run 4-6 hours a day as opposed to 8-10 hours now. No change to the VHO's and the standard flourescents.


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 02:47 PM   #22
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That estimate is based on power consumption only. Does not factor in the cost of replacement HQI bulbs. That by itself will take a couple months off.


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 02:54 PM   #23
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Your lucky your able to do this. My tank is on the first floor of a two story house so this isn't an option for me.
I do plan on building a frag system on the second story of a garage though. I'll use solar for a growth tank and then use a T-5 tank to color up before trade/sale.

Who did your sump/fuge? I see your using a DSB but I don't understand the reason for the plastic barrier and egg crate under it.

I'm also curious about the three levels of egg crate just before the return section.


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Old 02/14/2009, 03:02 PM   #24
jdhuyvetter
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A friend of mine here does acrylic and glass work. I traded for a 150 gallon holding tank and then he did the baffles.

Not really a DSB. It's only about 2.5 inches thick. I've got chaeto and caulerpa growing on top. The reason for the gap is water flow. I have a series of small holes drilled at the bottom of the baffle to allow a little bit of water flow under the sand. Did that on my last refugium and it worked really well. No gunk build up and the pods and little shrimp loved it. Had thousands of them.

The egg crate in the return is for filter media. Right now, the bottom section is empty. The middle section contains filter bags with carbon and phosban. The upper section is where the skimmer overflow dumps. I've got plain old filter floss on that section.


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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Old 02/14/2009, 03:10 PM   #25
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Better shot of the sump in action. I'm swapping out the frag light today. So, the sump will get cleaned tomorrow with my water change. I use the bio balls as a bubble trap. No micro bubbles in the main tanks. There are three pumps, one for the main tank, one for the softie tank and one for the frag tank. My reason was twofold. I already had the pumps and therefore didn't have to spend money to get a new bigger pump...and...I can isolate anyone of the three main tanks without having to shut the system down.

[IMG]Photobucket[/IMG]


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Be kind to animals.....kiss a shark!

"Great things happen when you start to add more light. The heavens open, angels sing and there is Peace on Earth" RockDoc

Current Tank Info: 300 gallon stony reef, 300 gallon softie tank, 120 gallon FW/Orchid tank
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