After a ten year experience in freeshwater I wanted to change and try my hand with a Reef Aquarium, now my present tank is a120 gallon set up in 1997, plus 25 gallon sump, fiber floss prefilter, wet/dry trickle filter, Pro-Twin venturi protein skimmer, two Rio 3500/900 gallon/h for filter water circulation, working alternatively 6h each, plus two 400 gallon/h power head for extra water circulation, canopy contains two 150 watts 10000° Kelvin metal halide lamp ( 8h. photoperiod a day ) plus two 36 w. lamps one attinic and one blue (12h. photoperiod a day ) temperature (heating and cooling) is controlled by an electronic configurable controller, wich pilots a classic bayonet glass heater and a fan just positioned over the surface area working as cooler, I find this system very efficient, due to the incremented water evaporation temperature decreases about 4,5 degrees Fahrenheit this is not too bad considering the inexpensive cost of the system, PH control is done by an Hanna probe mod.981411, water level is kept by an electrified top-off system, water is feed by a reverse osmosis filter through a Kalkwasser dispenser for all evaporation make-up water, it completes the system an automated daily dose programmed water change which work this way : pressing at the start button cycle starts, airy salt water arrives by pump from the salt water reserve to the tank a preset time, then at an other preset time, tank pump circulation stops, water by tank overflow goes down into the sumps, level increases reaching a sump overflow and from here goes into an house drainage,after then the time expires, cycle finishes and pump starts again, the entire process needs 20 minutes, I make water changes every day in a small dose of 0,6 gallon (18 gallons a month ), anyway I can also preset the system to make daily water changes also in my absence; the plan, circuit diagram, filter, kalkwasser dispenser, canopy stand included is DIY, last expedient I did this winter is a gadget planned to save money from the bill of our utility company, it consist in the regeneration of thermal energy produced by linghthing lamps, conveying warm air (that comes out of the canopy due to forced air circulation by a fan inside it) over the tank surface by an insulating form patch panel, ( during winter I use to cover the tank with glass ) this simplifies the job, worm air comes out of the other side of the tank by very small glass opening, the system works very well, in fact during lamps photoperiod according to test done temperature of the tank remains the same without the help of the bayonet glass heater.
Maintenance consist of series of operations to do in the passing of time, my daily operations are :
general control of the tank, feed inhabitants, temperature, ph, replace prefilter fiber floss media, start a cycle of water change, and every two--four days empty and cleaning skimmer cup, cleaning tank glass, check salinity, once a week feed the invertebrate, add small doses of Sera Marinvit-plus Strontium-Complex, once a month replace Calcium Hydrate, I add small doses of Sodium Carbonate and replace in second chamber filter fiber floss media, and every two--three month cleaning detritus built up undergravel and replace dose of granular activated carbon in the sump.
water parameter in my tank as follow:
Temperature kept at 78 degrees Fahrenheit
Specific gravity = 1.024
PH = 8,2 to 8,4
Calcium = 450 ppm
Alkalinity = 8 to 10 dKH
Nitrate = 0
Phosphate = 0,1
Fish once a day with Sera Granumarin and Sera freeze dried Krill, and every two/three days with frozen
Krill and fresh salade, invertebrates once a week with Sera Coraliquid.