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kmooresf

290 gallon SPS reef under Kessils

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Lighting...........

 

Geez.  This was a sore subject for a long time.  I wasn't able to buy lights in the beginning, because I was out of cash.  This was good and bad.  I was SO impatient, but it also gave me a chance to really research all the options.  I knew I wanted LED, but LED was NOT proven at this point and it was very controversial.  

 

I used the old Maxspect G2 110 fixtures that I had on my FOWLER system.  They covered each end nicely. I also used the 36" PC / Metal Halide fixture off of my 65 gallon reef for the center section.  This made quite an annoying color clash for the first 6-7 months.  Ugh.  

 

A pic with the halide off (it turned off right before I took the pic). 

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With the halide on.  

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After a LOT of research............main contenders were AI Sol Blue fixtures.............Ecotech Radions............Maxspect (the one before the razor)............Orphek fixtures (before they were dimmable)............and finally Kessils.  The Kessils ended up winning as they had just come out with the A350's.  I started by replacing just the 36" halide / PC fixture with 3 Kessil A350's.  Two narrow versions and 1 wide version.  

 

I was in a hurry, so I just used a plant trellace to initially hang the lights.  LOL!  Hey, it worked.   ;)

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The tank was officially ALL LED as of Sept 1, 2012.   ;)

 

A couple things I discovered using the Kessils.  First thing is that the Wide versions are NOT going to work on this tank.  The light just doesn't penetrate on this 26" deep tank.  The next thing I noticed is that you can't just put them down the middle of the tank like you normally would.  I have made these big spires, and they are causing MASSIVE shadows..........so the lights get moved quite a bit forward of center to account for this.  Initially, this kind of bummed / freaked me out.  However later, I realize this is awesome!  I can put these lights anywhere I want / need them for coverage.  It doesn't have to be uniform in any way. This worked out very well in the end as I added two more narrows to complete the switch to kessils, and later when I eventually add two more wide versions on the back of the tank.  

 

February 20, 2013..............The tank is now adorned with 5 Kessil A350 narrow's (the wide went to the frag tank).  One year in, and it's now an All KESSIL tank.  I also just happened to hear that Kessil was having a photo contest on Facebook to win the new A360.......This photo won me an A360.   ;)  Thanks Kessil.  

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So, that photo also made me realize how terrible the tank looks with just a bunch of hanging lights that aren't at the same level, they are hung by a plant trellace, etc, etc.  Too messy.  So how do I fix that??  

 

I wen't through a hell of a lot of different idea's / thoughts.  I really didn't want to put a top on the tank.  I like the look of the aquarium.  But it was looking like a canopy was the only answer.  I did however really like how Robert at Neptune had built a floating canopy for his display.  I always admired it when I went to the store and that got me thinking of how I could build my own.  

 

I went through several versions of a light canopy.........ranging from being built of acrylic, to steel, to mesh / chains.  LOL!  I wanted modern, but functional, and it had to hide all that equipment.  Eventually I came up with this design from Google sketch up.  Leaving my Kessils exactly where they already were (this was the difficult part).  

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This design helps with several problems.  One, is that you can see the top of this as you come down the stairs, so I didn't want all the cords and lights to be visible if possible.  Two, it allows me to house all the ballasts, timers, cords, etc from the lights inside the canopy.  This makes it easier to deal with and keeps it neat and tidy.  So I built a canopy.  

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It took me a couple of weeks to build it, and I also decided to add some Ecoxotic "Marine" fixtures to give me a "sunrise / sunset" feature, and fill in some shadowed area's.....especially toward the back of the tank.  That is what the long cut out's are for.  

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I also decided to put the canopy on a pulley system, so I can raise and lower it for maintenance.  SO GLAD I DID THIS!!!  

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Coming together nicely.  We had to match the stain of the stand............NOT easy.   :(

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http://i1138.photobucket.com/albums/n533/kmooresf/IMG_3363_zps29ac0d46.jpg

 

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So, as I usually do, I OVERBUILT the canopy, and it weighs a freakin TON!  Ok, maybe 75lbs, but a lot to be hanging over my glass tank.   :(  But otherwise I am very happy with it.  I had to get some heavy duty climbing cordage so I could hold onto it when raising and lowering.  

 

The canopy continued............

 

Had to find a way to get the kessils hanging naturally, as well as not adding to the height of the canopy, so I can raise it out of the way.  

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Ballast control.  

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Ta Da!!!!! 

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I now have a lower hook as well, that I move the loop to when I want to raise the canopy.  

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Like most things with this tank, the lighting and canopy have continued to evolve...............

 

I added some Magenta / 453nm stunner strips that fit nicely next to the Marine fixtures.  I also decided that the back of the tank had so much space / potential for more SPS, but the Marine fixtures are designed to sit close to, or on top of the tank.  With the canopy, they are hung 10" off the glass and 12" off the water............so they are growing LPS and chalice' nicely, but I would like to put more SPS back there.  I have an A350 wide over the frag tank............I also have an A360wide that I won from kessil............hmmmmmmmmm.  I know........I'll add them to the back.......one on each side of the overflow.  It will be easy right??  

 

So I called some friends and went to work modifying the canopy once more.  Of coarse it was NOT at all easy this time, but it eventually worked.  

 

So Dan (Tr1gger) happens to pretty much be my neighbor (actually about 2 miles away) and he has helped me out on many occasions.  Thanks Dan.  He took some pics of that mess of a project.  

 

This is me thinking............Do I really want to drill into my beautiful finished canopy??  REALLY?? Oh, and that's not another kessil, it's just my head.   ;)

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This required that we drill two 6" holes with the hole saw..........then use the plunge router on each..........sand, and then re-stain it all to match.  Abby is always ready to help.  

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This used to be so organized.   :(

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What a mess.  

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We did however manage to get it all done, and back up in one day.  I think we got it hung around midnight?  Thanks  again Dan!  

 

Another problem I was having, was the glare from the lights when standing in front of the tank.  It was a bit much.  Really bad from the couch. I had a hard time coming up with a way to make shades that would look ok, and be functional.  This was ultimately what I cam up with.  Aluminum sheet metal bent to shape.  Easy peasy.   ;)  They stay in place without being secured, so it's easy to remove them when needed.  I only used a half circle because the full circle was causing the same glare reflecting off the back.  So the half circle is perfect.   ;)

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You might not be able to notice the difference with the two new kessils, but look at the sand near the back.  It is lit up now, and in person the lighting adds a ton of depth.  Very cool.  7 kessils now.  HOLY COW!!  

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wow!!!! that looks really good!!! nice job man

 

 

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!

 

 

Very nicely done, that is a tank to be very proud of.

 

 

Thanks very much. I am very proud of this tank.  I have high hopes for it as it grows in.  

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The "business" side of the tank these days.  

 

The linear design is very functional.  It does however act as a sounding board for vibration.  I filled the shelving with liquid foam insulation, and it helped a lot.  If your standing in the hall directly above it though.........You can hear it humming.  But you can't hear it in the tank room.   ;)

 

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For the curious..........It's a 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertable.  351 Windsor.....recently upgraded to a 4 barrel Holly Carb.  The money I used on the tank was supposed to refurbish the cougar.  Doh!!  It will be the next project when this tank has run it's coarse.   ;)  Or when I win the lottery. ;)

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Have I mentioned I LOVE this skimmer??  Super quiet, and pulls an amazing amount of thick skim out.  It get's cleaned every two or three days.  

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Calcium reactor went online a couple months ago.  It has really stabilized the Alk!! WOO HOO!  

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Nice thread, Kris. Very well together well with lots of descriptions and reasoning's for your decisions.

 

Its kind of nice knowing I have had some SMALL part in this gorgeous tank. Always ready to help! :)

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Nice thread, Kris. Very well together well with lots of descriptions and reasoning's for your decisions.

 

Its kind of nice knowing I have had some SMALL part in this gorgeous tank. Always ready to help! :)

Thanks Dan.  It makes the hobby a lot more fun when you can share it with others that appreciate reef tanks.  I have so many people come by that barely notice it.  It freaks me out a bit.  LOL!  

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I will keep on saying this tank rocks. Been awhile since Ive been over but man oh man I can stare at this tank for hours 

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Wow! Great set-up!

Thanks!  

 

I will keep on saying this tank rocks. Been awhile since Ive been over but man oh man I can stare at this tank for hours 

It has been awhile Bob.  Time to come by again.  You will be happy to see a few of the corals you passed my way.  They are looking good.  

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nice , if your around I can swing by this weekend

I'm around Bob, give me a shout.  

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Well, life has been a little crazy lately, so I haven't had much time to update.  However I was able to take some time today to make a new video of the tank.  Thought I would share.  Hope you like.  Thanks.   ;)

 

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Gorgeous man. Awesome build.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

Thanks Kym, I appreciate it.

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Ah man, the video is not available in my country... wait what country does it think I am in ;)

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All I can say is wow.......... that is one amazing tank and setup as a whole. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE TOTAL COST BUT IT WAS WELL WORTH IT WITH THIS AS THE END PRODUCT.......amazing

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

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Ah man, the video is not available in my country... wait what country does it think I am in ;)

Saying the same for me as well

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk

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