Luc Vogels's 300+ gallon CoralCare Reef

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Luc Vogels

Luc Vogels

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Tank looks.amazing Luc. Looking at it after it was refilled with corals one wouldn't guess it's a "new" tank.
What lights u going with this time ;)
I reinstalled the original prototypes from 2015 but I exchanged the LED pcb and optics so they are similar to the performance of the CoralCare 2018 Version :) .

Amazing!!
Thanks!

Do you have an equipment list?
Yes of course.

Display tank:
4 Philips CoralCare Lamps
3 Tunze 6105 streamers and one Tunze stream 3
controlled via a Tunze 7095

Filtration system garage
Bubbleking Super marine 250 skimmer
Jebao 12k returnpump
Jebao 6k fragtank returnpump
2 vertex filters (carbon and phosphate remover)
Theiling rollermat filter
DIY calcium reactor based on the principle of DasTaCo
DIY 12 channel dosing system
Apex controller with various accessories such as FMM kits, level sensors, VDM etc etc.
4 CoralCare lamps above fragtank
2 Tunze 6105 in fragtank
 

ksed

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You are using a calcium reactor and dosing as well?
Is the reactor not enough to keep up with demand?
 
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Luc Vogels

Luc Vogels

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beautiful tank, but why no recent pics, but instead pics from last year?
I am getting there :). I needed to cover almost two years of progress which I did not share in this topic yet.

You are using a calcium reactor and dosing as well?
Is the reactor not enough to keep up with demand?
I maintain my alkalinity with a calcium reactor and this one is large enough to maintain stable values. The dosing pumps are used to dose all kinds of trace elements. I will make a list of what I am currently dosing.
 
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After polishing the tank it was time to rebuild the cabinet in the living room.
Due to the system expansion in the garage it was no longer needed to reserve filter space below and next to the aquarium . So in the living room I kept the amount of electronics to a minimum and only placed a 24V and 230V bus to power the lighting, pumps and ventilation.



(24V supply and separate 230V group directly from the metering cabinet).


and a new interior for the cabinet next to the tank (which is now used for storing groceries :) ).


and after finalizing (part of the) pipework (connecting the tank to the system in the garage)



Below the tank I have also created some more storage space.
This is now used for the fancy glasses and tableware (hence this will be used once a year during Christmas ;) )



and the final result (with finished cabinet, aquarium and flooring) :



And what do you think?
I liked the old floor, but this is an amazing room regardless
 
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Luc Vogels

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Hereby a thread update of my more recent aquarium activities.
I made a start to a new challenging project --> An automated phyto and zoo plankton system.

The main goal is to automate all coral and fish food supply.
The final goal is to introduce a new school of Anthias fish which you normally need to feed at least 4 times a day.
With my present day activities this is not an achievable goal; but by automation this might be achievable!

The idea is to breed three types of Phytoplankton. This population is used to feed 2 different species of zoo plankton.
The two species of Zoo plankton will be dosed directly into the aquarium (about 10 times a day). This ensures a continues (live) food supply for the fish and corals.
This food production should be a continuous process --> dosing of phyto to zoo plankton, refill of reactors, dosing trace mix for the phyto, dosing in aquarium, ensuring stable salinity etc etc. This requires a lot of valves, float switches and dosing technique which is a challenge to control.

I made a start by creating a new location for the reactors.
My wife stated the in house space allocated to this hobby hit its boundary.. but she never mentioned something about space near/outside of the house. So I made use of this loop hole and created a small cabinet next to the house ;).






The top shelf will be used for the electronics and the bottom area to house the reactors.

I have also start building an initial version of the reactors but now (a few weeks later) I already experienced some design flaws hence they need to be updated.



The reactors are about 1 meter in height and have a content of 7 liters.
The bottom part has a cone shape to minimize any build up of filth.
For the same reason i also chosen to place the air intake on the center bottom part.
On the top side I have included connectors to insert and remove liquids (used to supply trace element and to extract the plankton). I have also added a float switch to determine a maximum level when the reactors are refilled.
Finally I also added a air release to prevent pressure buildup in the reactor.


The reactors house a 20mm hollow plexiglass pipe which contains a bright LED strip (+ heatsink).
I have used blue and red LED's because they are most efficienct for the phyto photo active process.
Each channel can be controller with a DIY regulator.


Yes I know.. the buttons are not in the center :). This was the only way to fit everything in the (to small) housing.

And finally an image of the location of the first 3 reactors.. they fit :).

To be continued!!
 
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Luc Vogels

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Some more images about the progress :)

On this image you can see the cone shape of the reactor a bit better.
This is all made with standard DIY PVC components



Also some initial pictures of the new control cabinet.
The cabinet houses various modules which can operate valves and dosingpumps.
This are intended for the dosage/exchange of trace elements and (phyto) plankton.
While I was busy with this control cabinet I also took the opportunity to add a power backup system for my flowpumps.
The flow pumps all run on the same centralized power supply.
With the aid of some relais contact and sensing circuit a backup power sources kicks in the moment the mains power is lost. This backup power supply consists out of 2 12V car batteries which manage for an additional 6 hours of energy.
Pictures from the backup supply will follow in a later post.









And some images of the reactor in operation


 

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I finished the installation of my DIY calcium reactor.
The reactor now holds about 25 kilogram of media and keeps the Kh/Calcium levels extremely stable.

Something about the reactor:

The system runs on a 8-bit Atmel microcontroller and steers 3 channels (1 dosingpump, 1 C02 valve, and the circulation pump).
All control decisions are based on two inputs; A potentiometer to set the speed of the dosingpump (ml/hour) and a float switch to read the c02 saturation status in the chamber.
By knowing when you enable the outputs and reading back the status of the float switch you can determine if the system is working properly.

A simple example.. if you enable the C02 valve you expect that the saturation chamber is getting filled with c02 (and eventually hit the float switch so it changes state).
If this does not occur within a few minutes we know that the c02 bottle is empty.
Another example... We detected that the saturation state of the chamber is reached... then we wait i.e. 5 minutes so the c02 level in the chamber should be reduced.
If we check after 5 minutes that the state of the float switch is not changed, we know that the c02 valve is still open --> malfunctioning valve

based on these simple rules (and some additional logic to prevent false triggers during e.g. startup) the system works reliable and maintenance free.

The noticed that the new reactor of pacific sun also use the same principles.

Hi Luc nice setup you got there. Looks great! I'm also preparing to build a calcium reactor and was wondering how you connected the valves and the co2 hose connector at the bottom of the reactors in a watertight way since it is not a flat surface. Did you glue it or used some kind of rubber washer for sealing? Hope you can share some details.

I also live in Holland so maybe you willing to share the store you bought the parts?

Thanks and keep posting updates
 
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