Our 400 Gallon In Wall Natural Sun-Lit Reef

jdpiii3

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Hi guys my enjoyment for aquariums started over 30 years ago as a child, when I would help my father care for his aquariums aquarium equipment has come a long way since then.
My first personal aquarium was 37 gallons, over the years I had 155 fresh water African Cichlid tank and a 10 year old 150 reef. After the passing of my father 3 years ago I neglected my 150 reef, the system stared to grow nuisance algae many of my fish and coral started to die. The cost of running the metal halide lighting and VHO bulbs and chiller were getting out of hand, I couldn’t justify the expense with the way the system looked.
So one morning I came up with a crazy idea and explained it to my wife. “How about we knock down this wall and build a 400 gallon natural sun-lit reef tank? I’ll move the washer and drier into the garage plus using natural sunlight for the tank our electric bill will go down†Her response, “Do it!â€
So on to the build, The first step in the build had to be can I move the garage around enough to make room for the washer & drier, workout equipment, workbench and my Z06. I still think this part of the build was the hardest part. I had to cut through the cinderblock wall and trench out a new washer drain plus had to move the hot & cold water supply and electric for the washer & drier. I had to build a new workbench, new shelves and move workout equipment around. Two weeks later I had it all done.
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jdpiii3

jdpiii3

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Now that I completed the relocation of the washer and drier it was now time to start the build inside. When we started to take the wall down we were able to expose the drain vent for the washer, we had to relocate that. That line is now used to do water changes on the new system plus the skimmer drains right into the sewer line as well.
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jdpiii3

jdpiii3

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Now time for the stand construction, I was thinking going with a steel stand the cost to have one build was crazy. So I decided to go with wood, I build the stand with 2x4’s and 2x6’s all glued and screwed.
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jdpiii3

jdpiii3

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Solar lighting; I decided to use Sun-Dome, they were the only company that had a pitched 21†dome plus they build the domes to Miami/ Dade hurricane specs.
I did most of the work with the install of the domes but I did have a professional installer come in to cut the roof and install the domes. Total costs of the domes were about $1100. And they come with a 10 year warranty.
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Koral King: Rare Corals for Sale
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jdpiii3

jdpiii3

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Now here are a couple videos of the system
July Video
[video=youtube_share;1aPHGFYh8j4]http://youtu.be/1aPHGFYh8j4?hd=1[/video]

April Video
[video=youtube_share;ZwwONujNdlk]http://youtu.be/ZwwONujNdlk?hd=1[/video]

December Video

[video=youtube_share;p5eNzU4KWeM]http://youtu.be/p5eNzU4KWeM?t=2s[/video]
 
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jdpiii3

jdpiii3

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During the build my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer it has spread to her liver and both lungs. She had major surgery to remove the tumor she has been in chemotherapy 3 days a week since November. The build has taken a back seat. We still work on the tank when time permits.

So many areas of the build still need a lot of work.

Some of my daily care of the system include

Water Changes

Daily 1-2% gallon water changes

Dose

I’ve been dosing 50ml of vinegar daily
Tropic Marin Bio Calcium // AquaVitro Fuel

Feeding

Reef Nutrition // Phyto Feast // Arcti Pods // Oyster Feast
Rods Food, Nori, mysis , all with a Selcon soak

Current Water parameters

S.G. 1.0255 - 1.026 Ph 8.1-8.3 // NH3-4 0.00// NO2 0.0 //NO3 0.0 //PO4 0.0 //Mg 1450 //Ca 490 // Alk 9.4
 
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Steelerfan747

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During the build my wife was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer it has spread to her liver and both lungs. She had major surgery to remove the tumor she has been in chemotherapy 3 days a week since November. The build has taken a back seat. We still work on the tank when time permits.

So many areas of the build still need a lot of work.

Some of my daily care of the system include

Water Changes

Daily 1-2% gallon water changes

Dose

I’ve been dosing 50ml of vinegar daily
Tropic Marin Bio Calcium // AquaVitro Fuel

Feeding

Reef Nutrition // Phyto Feast // Arcti Pods // Oyster Feast
Rods Food, Nori, mysis , all with a Selcon soak

Current Water parameters

S.G. 1.0255 - 1.026 Ph 8.1-8.3 // NH3-4 0.00// NO2 0.0 //NO3 0.0 //PO4 0.0 //Mg 1450 //Ca 490 // Alk 9.4

I an so sorry to hear that but I am sure she will be fine. I will keep the both of you in my prayers. I am sure both of you will be able to enjoy the tank for many many years in good health. I don't know what your faith is but the bible teaches that God has a plan for all of us and that wert are to be still and know that he is God. Lean not on your own understanding but in all ways acknowledge God and he shall set your paths straight. God bless.

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Steelerfan747

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On a different note, when ever you have the chance I would look into auto dosers to help you save some time. By the way hours do you like the natural sunlight?

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