Photos of Augsburg's new aquarium facility

Discussion in 'General Reef Discussion' started by capman, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Here's a couple more pictures of Bill's ATS unit before he stops by today and steals it away from me; I mean, picks it up. It'll be bittersweet to see this unit leave. This was a fun project to work on and I'm excited to see how it performs on Bill's lab systems.

    Top-down showing the guts of the unit; just one LED fixture installed.

    [​IMG]

    The scrubber drawer with the super-sized mesh screen; 16"L by 9-ΒΌ"H.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Just to follow up on the ATS unit... Bill drove over yesterday to pick up the ATS unit and he approved. So much so, that he gave the go-ahead (paid for) the remaining three units. I'll be ordering and picking up more materials this week and hopefully start machining parts this Friday.

    While Bill was here, we discussed a few other topics concerning the new lab and I cannot wait to see these set ups once finished. There's still much left to finalize and work to be done, but I can tell that Bill's really excited to see the project when completed.
     
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  3. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Regarding the ATS unit... when I went to pick it up, both of us just sort of wanted to stand there and slide the drawer in at out! The fit is so perfect, and the drawer slides so smoothly.

    I have no doubt that Jason would do a superb job building this sort of thing regardless, but I can really see the benefits of the CNC machine. The pieces are all so perfectly precisely cut, and everything fits together so perfectly, something I think could be hard to accomplish with this degree of accuracy and precision otherwise.
     
  4. acharpenter

    acharpenter Senior Member
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    Did Jason remember to give you the poster Bill?
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Yes, I have the poster. Thanks!
     
  6. stuckey_t

    stuckey_t watermelon chalice hunter
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    I wonder if I can get my old man to give me a tour of this:) Looking good Bill! Hopefully the suggestion of ultraclear glass got through:cool:
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Troy, your dad has been an absolutely fabulous facilitator, helper, coordinator, supporter, and ally in this project. I can't tell you how grateful I am that he has been involved in coordinating all of this both with the construction company building the building (and with the electricians, and the plumber), but also with Custom Aquariums.

    We went over yesterday for an hour and a half to figure out some of the layout details of the 200 square foot support/research space that is directly behind the display tanks (I'll post some photos when I get the chance), and we were over there again today to work out some details with the plumbers and the electrician.

    This is all coming together quite a bit better than had imagined, and a variety of details are all falling into place.

    In addition to the substantial display tanks, it is now clear that I'll be able to fit in several good sized heavy duty shelving units for equipment (e.g. ATS units), for quarantine tanks, for BRT's (black round tubs - for rearing larval fish), for algae culture and copepod culture, etc. It now looks like I'll be able to fit in (1) an 8' x 3' x 8 ft tall heavy duty shelving unit, (2) a 6' x 2' x 8' tall shelving unit, (3) a 5' x 2' x 8' tall shelving unit, (4) some additional shelving on the wall that will hold additional BRT's and algae culture containers, (5) two 189gallon water storage/mixing tanks, and (6) a mini refrigerator-freezer for frozen food, supplements, etc. The layout is working out much better than I had imagined (and I've obsessed over this a LOT).

    And I just learned from the plumber today that one of the two purified water taps in the room is going to be for DI/RO water - the other will be on the normal DI system.

    And there is a CO2 line to supply CO2 to a calcium reactor - I won't have to mess with CO2 tanks in this room. And the electrical supply is to the room is going to be pretty amazing (multiple circuits all on the building's standby backup power system, great outlet placement, lots of outlets, etc).

    And yes, your dad was very definite about the matter of us needing to have ultraclear glass for the display tanks. I didn't actually have first hand experience with ultraclear glass tanks at the time when this decision was being made, but in June I saw a tank with this sort of glass when I was in California, and it really knocked my socks off. It really does make a difference.

    Aside from seeing the space (which I can show you in photos), there won't be a great deal to see until mid November which is when the stands, enclosures, and display tanks are scheduled to arrive. We'll have some of the heavy duty shelving units I'm getting for the support/research room in place before that, but the real action starts in mid November. (Then, classes start up in the new building in January... its going to be a wild ride....)
     
    #47 capman, Aug 10, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  8. MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    Amazing to see how far this has come...and I know how much work you've been putting into it! It's going to be an amazing facility!
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Thanks. There has been a lot going on, and quite frankly my head is spinning sometimes trying to deal with multiple issues at once (not to mention the fact that classes are starting really soon, and we are going to have to move our whole department to the new building at the same time as I'll be needing to get these new systems running).

    I've not been doing a very good job of updating this thread, but will try to add some photos soon.

    Our e-mail exchange some months ago got me re-thinking the mission and hence the layout of support/research room. In particular you got me thinking about what it would take to be equipped to do some larval fish rearing. (Initially the goal would be to work with students to get basic techniques down, and then after a year or two maybe we'd be in a position to start doing some interesting experiments and hypothesis testing.)

    I have a question for you: what are the dimensions of the typical BRTs you use? And are there other sizes that are standard in some other breeding facilities? I'm supposing that, say, a 6 foot x 2ft shelf unit could hold two or three of these per level? Does that sound about right?

    (I imagine there might be limited usefulness in putting these on a second level up too high - I guess higher tubs could be used for copepod culture though).
     
  10. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    One thing I've been doing recently is working a lot on rockwork, drilling lots of rocks to sort of create a tinker toy set sort of thing - when I set up the tanks I'll be using the rocks in conjunction with frameworks I'll be building out of CPVC pipe. The different sizes of CPVC pipe slip pretty perfectly into each other, so stands can be made out of larger diameter pipe, with uprights of smaller diameter (in most cases 1/2") and in most cases I'm drilling my rocks with 1/2" holes so they can slip over the pipes, or I can use short lengths of pipe to join rocks, and I can insert short lengths of pipe into rocks to serve as a way to mount corals. (Yes, 1/2" holes are sort of large, but they can be camouflaged easily). With this system the entire rockwork of the tank will be easily disassembled if desired (well, until corals get big and cement rocks together....).

    I've also built a 3 foot x 2 ft high free standing rock wall that will sit in the back middle of the 6 foot x 4 foot tank, about a foot from the back of the tank. The back is a smooth piece of 1/4" polycarbonate that will be rigged up with slots to allow me to slide other pieces of polycarbonate down to close off the back of the tank (e.g. to aid in catching fish). Otherwise though the wall will create sort of a raceway for really active fish, and will give fish that might have aggressive tendencies more opportunity to get away and out of sight from each other (I really want to see if we can get blue tangs to spawn in this tank!).

    Here are a few teaser photos of the wall - built out of a CPVC stand and uprights, a polycarbonate sheet, epoxy resin and epoxy putty, and natural rocks and gravel. I'll post a whole set showing the construction process when I get the chance:

    [​IMG]

    The big rocks at the bottom are just propped against the wall to conceal the uprights that connect the wall to the stand.

    And the wall has been built with about 25 - 30 holes in rocks or in the sculpted epoxy where I can insert short lengths of 1/2" CPVC pipe. This will not only provide a way to reversibly mount coral colonies, but also will allow additional small rocks (e.g. with corals attached) to be placed on the wall.

    This next photo shows the wall with bits of pipe stuck in all the different possible locations (I would never use all of these locations at once, unless maybe I wanted to use the wall as a frag rack), but they will give lots of options for coral (and small rock) placement:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Note that it will be super easy to camouflage the CPVC pipes by coating them with the brown epoxy resin, and sprinkling with gravel if desired.

    This wall turned out to be a much bigger project than I had initially planned, but has turned into what will be a major feature of the rockwork in the tank.

    OK, need to go now - will give much more detail on the wall another time.
     
    #50 capman, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  11. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    I really should be working on building some of the plumbing in advance, but drilling rocks takes less mental energy than figuring out the plumbing (sort of in the abstract, without the actual tanks in front of me) and drilling rocks is very satisfying...
     
  12. Jonty

    Jonty I contributed!
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    Wall looks great, I wish I had the motivation to do something like this.
     
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  13. MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    I had BRTs stacked and ultimately did not like the outcome; I think they work better with a single level and life support underneath. The current fashion is tubs made out of fiberglass because they are easier to sterilize than any other material. Andy Rhyne's lab at Roger William's University is pioneering the current system design, dubbed MOLARS. I think there was a picture of that system in the CORAL Magazine article about breeding Anthias at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha by Tim Morrissey? I can put you in touch with Andy...will do that now! You should also look at the QT system that they refined and implemented - https://www.reef2rainforest.com/2017/02/10/bucket-transfer-qt-method/
     
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  14. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Thanks.

    Offhand, do you know the typical widths of these tubs? (I'm wrestling with some awkward room layout dilemmas at the moment). Or maybe I can get that information from Andy Rhyne directly.

    (And I'm realizing I really ought to have subscribed to Coral magazine some time ago...I've been meaning to for some time.)
     
  15. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    I have been doing a terrible job of updating this thread with photos and stuff, but all I can say is, holy cow, a lot of stuff is happening fast (and even more is needing to be happening fast) as the reality of this thing gets ever closer. We are only two months away from having the tanks and stands delivered.

    The big protein skimmer and the calcium reactor from Bill Wann got shipped yesterday, so we should have those by the end of the week.
     
  16. Riley

    Riley I contributed!
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    I think you're really going to like the new skimmer and reactor.

    The rock wall came out great.
     
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  17. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    I've been negligent about posting photos here, so here are some updates. These photos were taken in late August and early September.

    The building has really come along. Just a few weeks after these photos were taken the landscaping all went in, and at the moment it looks like a finished building on the outside:
    [​IMG]

    Note: The colorful panels on the building are giving respect to Augsburg's connection to Norway, having been founded by Norwegian immigrants almost 150 years ago. Do a Google image search for, say, Trondheim, Norway, and you'll find photos of colorful buildings painted colors like this.
    [​IMG]

    Now, the aquarium room (as of August 2017):

    The brown paper cutouts show sizes and locations of tanks and tank stands, heavy duty shelving units, the big protein skimmer, and water storage and mixing tanks. The white cutouts were tentative locations for sump compartments (not quite right in these photos - I still have some things to figure out, which will be easier once I have the sumps in hand....). Some details of the shelving units in the back room over by the window are still being figured out.

    Apparent sizes are really deceptive here. For example, the big piece of brown paper (with the white pieces on top) farthest to the back left in this first photo is the footprint of the 6 foot x 4 foot x 2 foot high tank - a big tank, though does not look that big in this photo. See notes below each of the photos for more information.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    The brown paper in the front is the footprint of the 2-level tank stand that will hold two rows of three tanks each, each of the 6 tanks with a 2 foot x 3 foot footprint.

    The big grey and blue tanks were sort of a surprise for me - I had no idea there were going to be these big things taking up so much floor space. They are parts of the RO water system though that is being built into this space. The grey tank is the carbon chamber (which I guess we'll need to call Culligan to change out yearly), while the blue tank is a 100 gallon storage tank. And amazingly (and a surprise to me) we will have RO water on tap (the tap on the wall to the left of the sink). We will also have a DI water tap on the sink itself.



    [​IMG]
    It does not look like it in this photo due to the perspective, but that tank in the front left is going to be a big tank - 6' x 4' x 2' high.



    [​IMG]
    The round thing nearest us in this photo is the footprint for the big protein skimmer built by Bill Wann. The big rectangle (in two parts, but actually will be one object) is the footprint for a 6' x 2' x 8' high heavy duty shelving unit, for fish and copepod rearing tanks and tubs, and for algal turf scrubbers for the big tank. Chillers and some sump compartments will be on the floor under this big shelving unit.

    Behind the protein skimmer will be another large shelving unit (probably with a 5' x 2 ' footprint -we'll see how everything fits.... it is a matter of inches here.....
    On the back wall in this photo will be two 185 gallon tanks for water mixing and storage - shown here as tall cylindrical tanks, but I'm probably going to get 3' cube shaped polyethylene tanks instead (next time I have access to the room, I need to make measurements to verify that this will work - the floor drain might well be a problem). A small refirgerator/freezer (for frozen foods for animals, for food supplements, etc) will also go on that wall - details of the exact layout are yet to be finalized (but probably will involve another 6' x 2' x 8' tall shelving unit).



    [​IMG]
    The heavy duty shelving unit on the wall to the right of the door could hold a BRT (black round tub) with sump underneath, for larval fish rearing. Or could be used for storing heavy things like salt.


    [​IMG]
    The brown paper shows the footprint of an 8' x 3' x 8' high heavy duty shelving unit (2600 pound capacity per shelf) that will hold a quarantine tank, a staging area tank for teaching, two algal turf scrubbers, a large 7' x 2' x 1' high multicompartment tank on an upper shelf (in a former life this was a sump that David Grigor built for us years ago), and some sumps and chillers on the floor.

    It does not look like it in this photo, but this will be a really large shelving unit.



    [​IMG]
    The water tap under the cabinet on the wall (to the left of the sink) will be for RO water.

    I'm thinking of installing some shelves over the countertop to the right of the sink for algae culture (to feed copepods and rotifers, to feed larval fish). This is more space than it seems, but it still might not turn out to be enough space for algae culture. We'll see.



    [​IMG]

    Looking out the window, and out the door in the back of the room, that is the skyway you see in the outdoor shots of the building.

    Behind me (sort of) is the footprint for the 6' x 4' x 2 ' high tank. Water reservoirs (one for each system) for topoff water will be beneath this big tank.

    In the foreground is the footprint of the 6' x 3' stand that will hold two rows of three tanks, one above the other, each tank having a 2' x 3' footprint.

    The big tank will be something like 350 gallons or so, while the stand with 6 display tanks in the foreground will hold something like 450 gallons total (rough approximations). There will be a lot more water in the back room, so I think we'll have in the general neighborhood of 1000 gallons of saltwater (or more) here altogether.
     
    #57 capman, Oct 8, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  18. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Soaking previously used rocks (that had been removed from tanks and sat dry for years) to let prior growth rot off before using them in the new tanks. Most of these rocks have been drilled with 1/2" holes (in some cases one hole, but some rocks would tolerated as many as 6 or 7 holes at different angles and positions) to create a tinker toy set of sorts for use with 1/2" CPVC for lots of flexibility in construction (some holes not used for structural purposes will be camouflaged later, others will be used for mounting corals):

    [​IMG]
    (Strange reflection of a trash can!)

    Some of these rocks have been in this tank for a month already, others were just added. They will be soaking like this (with some water changing hopefully) for about another month.
     
  19. OP
    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Visit from two guys from Custom Aquariums. The guy on the left is one of the guys who will be delivering the aquaria and stands and enclosures and putting them in place in just over a month. The guy one the right is a TCMAS member who you know who now works for Custom Aquariums:

    [​IMG]


    And one reason for them stopping by (in addition to checking out the site, the elevators, the loading dock, etc) was to drop off samples of the modular sumps we will be using. Having these in advance will make it easier for me to figure out some of the plumbing prior to the arrival of the tanks:
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    Wow this is one heck of an upgrade! They make a cream for all the smile wrinkles you'll be getting (o;
     
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