So step by step here is my minature world:
The water drains from the display and enters a 55 gallon drum. This drum has a airstone hooked up to an outside air pump. Other than that it has nothing else, no light no pumps. Call it a settling station or the deep sea if you will. It is 48inches tall. I syphon out the bottom every three months: (They are wrapped in insulation because with that much water in the basement heating it is a problem)
The water flow from this drum to another drum. The interesting thing is the first drum is full of sponges. The side are completely cover by them. This second drum has no sponges what-so-ever but is covered in tube worms, every inch. This second drum also has no light or pumps. There is a surface drain that drains to the protein skimmer and another that drains to an old trickle filter:
The water then goes through the protein skimmer, actually three skimmers on the sytem:
Then into an old trickle filter that the bio balls have been replaced by a pile of LR
rubble. Half of the rubble is summerged the other half is exposed. This is where the heating and cooling take place. Another feed by-passes the skimmer and feeds a plate that basically rains on to the rubble.
The water then flows to a 50 gallon sump where it flows through a bed of Cheato:
The water then gets pumped in four directions.
Then goes into a 30 gallon deep sand (about 6 inches) bed/macro algae sump, then back into the cheato sump. I keep the macros sparse as this is suppose to duplicate a sea grass bed:
The other feed go to a carbon reactor and back into the trickle filter. I have recently added a Bio-Pellet reactor to help control the Nitrates.
The other half gets pumped up to the display on the first floor.
I have tried to duplicate most of the ocean's enviroments that I believe contribute to a whole system. Until I treated for red bugs I had tons of pods and even needle point sized schools of pods/somethings in the fuges. They would school in these large masses. I hope they rebuild themselves.
My cheato fuge
is lit 24/7 and my macro fuge
is 12/12. I keep some invertibrates in there (a Hawaiian red reef lobster and coral bandit shrimp) so I feel they need the light and dark cycle. Both have enough light to support LPS
. Some may call this overkill but I want the algae growing at full potential.
Lastly, there is a Tunze wavebox in there (go ahead and try to find it) and another tunze 6105 and a Korella 3 both hidden in the rockwork giving me the flow I need.