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Old 10/21/2009, 06:02 PM   #1
kinlayan
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Out of Africa (picture intensive)

The big blue and all its magnificent creatures are my inspiration and passion.
From an early age I began to explore the wonders of our Planet’s diverse aquatic life and ecosystems. I have been an Aquarist for around 25 years and am constantly learning so many new and wonderful things about life in our oceans and rivers. This planet should have been called water not earth anyway!
This current thread will show you my latest endeavour……a slightly different take on a reef aquarium.
The Aquarium is 3 m (L) X 2m (W() X 1 m (H) and holds approximately 5000 litres of water and was the replacement for my old aquarium, which was the same volume but significantly different in shape and design.
The aquarium is concrete , fiberglass and one viewing pane made of low iron glass. My previous aquarium was also concrete and fiberglass and this current aquarium will be my third that I have built this way over the years.
The pictures are not always great quality, beacause they were taken with a cellphone and low resolution cameras, but you will get the idea .T
The Aquarium is built in an outside room . I drew up plans of where it was to be located and had to do substantial reinforcing as it was located above my garage and its total weight was going to be around 15 tons when complete with water.


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The front part where the aquarium front and supports are.

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The back of the Aquarium and the engine room for it. I had limited space so I had to use what I had and it wasn’t optimal.


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:07 PM   #2
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After demolishing some walls. We made the skeleton from galvanized steel and constructed the concrete shuttering.

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Old 10/21/2009, 06:26 PM   #3
Carlos Arouche
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Very nice poject... were are you from ?


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:28 PM   #4
kinlayan
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Next came the concrete

05122007064

The curing process took some time then the shutters came off!

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here is a video link of the complete concrete shell with shutters removed
27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:35 PM   #5
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Then it was time to fiberglass the interior. Some piping was already installed in the shuttering and concrete moulding process. For the fibreglass i did 6 coats with matting to make sure i didnt have any pinhole leaks.

18012008084

18012008085


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:36 PM   #6
kinlayan
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Carlos thank you i am from Cape Town, South Africa


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:40 PM   #7
Carlos Arouche
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Uau !! I just visit Johanesburg once...

Very curious to see it running....


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:40 PM   #8
kinlayan
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Then the glass was fitted in - it weighed about 350kg low iron glass laminated to 44mm with a water resistant laminate in between the panes.

28042008166


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:42 PM   #9
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looks like its going to be a top project. Did you have to wait 3 weeks for the concrete to cure before taking the formwork out?


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:44 PM   #10
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Once this was complete it was time for the décor and something a little different.
I am mainly a marine fish fan and so I’m much more experienced with fishes as opposed to corals and invertebrates . My previous aquarium was mainly FOWLR with a few anemones and almost no corals, but this time I wanted to keep a diverse group of creatures in one body of water so I divided the aquarium into 3 sections with fiberglass décor. The two side compartments are to be for small fish and corals similar to coral lagoon area , while the middle section is primarily like reef drop offs and would be where my main fish collection would reside. Many of my fish have been with me for along time - some 15 years plus so I wanted to give them a great home.
The two side compartments would have movable trap doors should I wanted to bring certain fish in or release others into the main section. These compartments would be refugiums, allowing me to keep sessile invertebrates and corals that some of fishes would undoubtedly decimate if they could get to them.

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15052008172


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:45 PM   #11
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Yes atty i waited about 4 weeks, thanks for the compliment!


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:48 PM   #12
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Then I clad the front of the aquarium with an access panel on the front and full access on the rear of the aquarium and started decorating the interior with barnacles and suitable materials. The base rock was ceramic manmade bio rock which would provide the skeleton for my liverock.

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Old 10/21/2009, 06:52 PM   #13
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Then I had to fill to check for leaks anywhere

02062008184


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Old 10/21/2009, 06:54 PM   #14
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Very nice job!


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Old 10/21/2009, 07:34 PM   #15
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I added some liverock from my old aquarium which was still running as I built this one , so it started the maturation process and the first couple of months I used nsw from the research aquarium near my home in Cape Town.
Here is a small video clip of my old Fowlr aquarium with the fish, who are my pride and joy and my reason for doing all of this. I’m not a good photographer or videographer, so excuse the poor quality and shaky video with my cellphone, but it gives an indication of the old aquarium which while beautiful to me, was now already 12 years old and had numerous faults including a crack on the glass which had begun to spread, albeit slowly. It prompted me to build the new aquarium pretty fast!

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Stay tuned – more images to be loaded soon of the new Aquarium


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Old 10/21/2009, 07:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boehm742 View Post
Very nice job!
Thank you


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Old 10/21/2009, 09:19 PM   #17
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very creative build, thank you for sharing

I have a few questions...

1. how did you determine the thickness of cement and reinforcement required for that size tank?

2. did you have to use special materials that are safe for livestock? (cement, fiberglass, etc.)

3. how long must you wait for it to cure before adding livestock?

4. how did you secure the glass to the cement frame?

many thanks,

Elliott


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Old 10/22/2009, 02:47 AM   #18
kinlayan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliott View Post
very creative build, thank you for sharing

I have a few questions...
Sure ill try answer as best i can

1. how did you determine the thickness of cement and reinforcement required for that size tank? [I]The thickness and reinforcement were determined by an building engineer,the reason for so much steel and concrete was not because of just the water but due to the location of the aquarium it sits on concrete slab above my garage, so we had to design two support beams at the base front and rear which themselves were tied into other concrete supports in the house, the aquarium effectively sits on these concrete beams which also transfer the load to the other beams into which they were tied[/I]

2. did you have to use special materials that are safe for livestock? (cement, fiberglass, etc.)yes i had to do my homework, some fibreglass contains fungicides etc so i had to use one which didnt and then make sure it was properly cured before i filled it and i used neutral cure silicone dow corning 895 for the glass pane

3. how long must you wait for it to cure before adding livestock?i let freshwater soak in it for 2 weeks after it had dried for 4 weeks the 4 weeks were not for the fibreglass though(that had cured within a week) but for the silicone to actually start drying it is fairly thick and so while it made a skin it took a long time to cure all the way through, when i filled it with seawater(NSW) it was about another 3 weeks before the first fish went in although i started to fill it with liverock in the first week of filling it with seawater

4. how did you secure the glass to the cement frame?[I]A window frame made of 316 stainless steel and further coated in an epoxy was embedded in the concrete to create a frame into which the glass was fitted on Silicone spacers with shore hardness of around 80 on the base so that the glass was never making contact with the metal frame the gap was then filled with black neutral cure silicone[/I]
Here is picture of the stainless steel frame which has tails tied in to the concrete and then had a different epoxy from the rest of the aquarium applied to it , to make sure it would bond well with the neutral cure silicone.

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I also encased the entire glass in a gasket of neutral cure silicone to prevent any moisture from getting to edges of the glass, this was in addition to the slicone used to seal the glass into the frame.


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many thanks, [I]You are very welcome[/I]

Elliott



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Old 10/22/2009, 07:12 AM   #19
byrdman81
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Awesome design and planning. I love the way you made those corners look with the rock and stuff attatched to it. Subscribed.


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Old 10/22/2009, 08:55 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by byrdman81 View Post
Awesome design and planning. I love the way you made those corners look with the rock and stuff attatched to it. Subscribed.
Agreed. At first I was "what the...", however with the rocks adhered to it, it works. Definitely a unique build....also subscribing.


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Old 10/22/2009, 09:02 AM   #21
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Very cool build!


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Old 10/22/2009, 01:59 PM   #22
leslie hempel
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very cool dude


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Old 10/22/2009, 03:41 PM   #23
kinlayan
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byrdman81 , serpentman,Rennsport and leslie hempel thank you for your encouraging comments

Time to add some more pics!

The aquarium was filled for 1 month with NSW and allowed to cycle before I began putting in my fish. As you can see in the following pics, algae started exploding in certain areas as the aquarium matured and even to this day I’im still battling the bryopsis , strange, because my old aquarium never had any bryopsis - it had derbesia but never bryopsis. In the picture below you can see I added some submersible pumps to the back as the pumps and closed loops were not yet installed


The first fish to go in was my favourite angel my “regal”…. have had for her many years and she is really a special fish. I introduced her first as the other angels are more bossy and I wanted her to claim the territory she wanted and to feel at home before the rest of the gang crashed her space. Next was the Copperband and after that I pretty much started to introduce the fish according to their personalities and types - all the tangs went in at the same time. I had to reduce my numbers as the aggression was high, so I sold some regals and yellows, which while they had cohabited for years together, had now matured and were fighting more intensely.

regal

02082008205


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Old 10/22/2009, 04:47 PM   #24
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On to some of the filtration, I had a very large sander venturi skimmer from the late 80s that is still an excellent skimmer, but a friend of mine who also has an amazing aquarium told me to come and see his Bubble king 300 external and I was amazed at this skimmer and what it was pumping out, I then decided to order the same model to act as a supplement to my sander skimmer . the bubble king is truly amazing it is much smaller needle impeller type skimmer but pumps out far more skimmate than the older tech venturi skimmer but you would never say so when you see the size of the sander.
As you can imagine with building such a large system , some hiccups are going to happen and my BK300 ext arrived like this in the “post”

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Thankfully it wasn’t critically damaged on the body and I was able to repair the stand and get it up and running.

Here is a comparison picture of the 2 skimmers the bk is mounted on a stand and the sander is just about 2 metres tall, the yellow container next to it is a sulphur based denitrator reactor-aquamedic brand that I use sulphur in.

DSC_2221


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Old 10/22/2009, 04:53 PM   #25
kinlayan
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The two main pumps on my system these are the hearts are an Iwaki and Pan world magnetic drive pumps, both very good and reliable had them for years , only thing is they do transfer a fair amount of heat to the water, and so I have to use a climate control which I will go into a bit later

DSC_2219

DSC_2223

Soon I will post more pictures of the filtration , lighting and more importantly the Inhabitants!


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