The Systems

The Greenhouse

The coral propagation system in the greenhouse consists of a series of tubs and tanks all plumbed together to form a single system with a volume of approximately 600 gallons. Water is pumped from the primary sump into a custom made 72” x 36” x 12” glass tank made by The tank is lit by a DIY LED kit from Rapid LED, built into my old Solaris (RIP) housingd and suspended 30" off the surface of the water. The fixture consists of a mix of white and royal blue LED's running approximately 8 hours a day supplemented with the natural light of the greenhouse. Circulation within the tank is accompished using a mix of Maxi-jet and Hydor Koralia pumps around the perimeter of the tank.

The Raceway

Water from the main glass tank flows into a fiberglass raceway that measures 72" x 24" x 18". The raceway is lit purely by natural sunlight. Water flow is supplemented by a number of Maxijet and Hydor pumps along the walls of the tank.

From the final 50 gallon tub, water flows down a single 2” overflow tube down into a series of three 100 gallon Rubbermaid stock tubs which act as sumps/refugia for the upper tanks. The three tubs make up "posts" that support the upper section of the system. The first of the tubs is filled with 300+lbs of live rock acting as a biological filter for the system and providing living space for a wide variety of invertebrates. From there the water flows into the second tub with another ~200lbs of rock, a 20” deep aragonite sand bed with a layer of macroalgae (primarily Cheatomorpha) growing on it. From this tub, the water flows into the final tub, a water holding tank for the main system pump and the auto-topoff system. The system is topped off by a direct connection, with a float switch, to a Spectrapure 100gpd RO/DI system.

Display Tank

To display some of our captive bred corals (and a few fish) a 125 gallon tank sits on the back counter of the classroom. The tank is lit with 3 Prism LED fixtures from Acan Lighting. I was into the idea of LED's long before the recent surge in LED's and was sad to see my old Solaris fixture get replaced but am glad to be able to show off the newer ,much better, energy efficient lighting technologies.. For water flow I recently added a pair of MP40 pumps from Ecotech Marine to go with a few other pumps that line the back of the aquarium. The filtration in the tank is done via a Berlin approach using 150+lbs of live rock. A single eggcrate rack extends across the entire length of the tank and houses many, many frags.

Fish Breeding

In the prep room next to the classroom, there is a ~140 gallon system consisting of six 15 gallon aquariums each plumbed into a single drain feeding into a 55 gallon sump. The sump is divided into two chambers. The first houses a Euroreef skimmer. The second is filled with 100+ lbs of live rock and an actively growing Chaetomorpha crop, that is harvested regularly for nutrient export. A single return pump (Supreme Mag Drive 1800) pumps the water up to the tanks through ½” PVC. Each tank has an input pipe with a ball valve to regulate the flow of water into the tank. The top row of tanks is lit by DIY LED kits from Rapid LED with dimmers to be able to regulate the light levels in the tanks. The bottom row of tanks are lit by a Current USA T-5 fixture.

Research Tanks

In order to provide space for students to test the effect of various water parameters on coral growth, I set-up a rack with fifteen 10 gallon tanks that can be set-up and run independent of each other allowing for manipulation of a variety of water parameters (pH, calcium, temperature, etc...). Each tank is outfitted with a Maxi-jet 400 or 600 pump, and a 25W or 50W heater. Each rack of five tanks is lit by a single Current USA T-5 fixture with either 4 or 8 bulbs. This set-up has been used by students to test a number of different parameters that our larger system cannot be used for such as temperature, salinity, nutrient loads, etc...