Photos of Augsburg's new aquarium facility

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

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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Indeed. It's pretty crazy.

    The college (oops.... we are Augsburg University now, as of Sept) is making a pretty big thing of this as a pretty high profile part of the new building.

    With this comes the responsibility on my part to have these systems be successful.
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    The new tanks arrive a month from yesterday.
     
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    capman

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    My wonderful former student Nate (Natemcnasty on the forum) stopped by this evening and helped me decide on a bunch of things having to do with plumbing and lighting and overall layout of sumps and pumps and such. It is amazing how much it can help to have someone to bounce ideas off of, especially when it is someone who is smart and knowledgable, and has lots of good ideas to suggest!

    My lighting dilemma for the big tank pretty much got settled in my mind after only about 5 minutes of talking about this with Nate - I'd been obsessing over this for days!
     
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    capman

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    [​IMG]

    So... things are starting to get increasingly real. These two 184 gallon water storage/mixing tanks just arrived today for the new aquarium room.

    They are bigger in person than I had imagined based on their dimensions! But, there is a carefully planned and measured space for them in the new aquarium room.

    One will normally be used to have a reserve supply of deionized of RO water on hand (to guard against possible issues with the purification units - such water is used continuously for topoff on reef tanks and is critical). The plan for the other will be to always have fresh artificial seawater mixed up for either routine of emergency water changes. One tank full would allow about a 50% water change on either of our new systems. At times we might mix up new saltwater in both tanks.

    Thanks go to Fritz for pointing out that we really needed to get large storage tanks for these purposes.
     
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    capman

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    The really cool thing here (and the reason for choosing this particular size of water storage tank): Once we mark off different precise fill levels for particular volumes, we'll be able to make new batches of salt water by just dumping in (slowly) whole boxes of Instant Ocean or some other salt mix. No (or little) precise measuring of salt, no partial boxes of salt sitting around and absorbing moisture from the air (and having components precipitating out), and no (or relatively little) need to be fiddling with salinity adjustments when making up a new batch.
     
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  6. acharpenter

    acharpenter Senior Member
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    I totally understand the convenience factor of this and hope to get something similar set up with my new set up.
     
  7. Riley

    Riley I contributed!
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    I'm curious - Why did you go with open top tanks vs the usual closed tanks with a fill lid? Ease of adding salt? Most volume per space available?
     
  8. marty9876

    marty9876 Banned
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    Ease of cleaning was my first thought. Nothing like wiggling my fat butt into the top of my 175g cylinder mixing vessel to scrub out the Instant Ocean love residue.
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Riley,

    Both you and Marty are correct.

    My first thought was cleaning. I simply didn't want to have to deal with cleaning a big container with poor access to the bottom.

    But also space is really tight. I was originally going to go with round open top tanks of the same capacity (probably a bit better in terms of mixing salt - no corners so the same size mixing pump can give more complete mixing), but these tall, square tanks pack the gallons into a limited amount of floor space more efficiently (with some room for shelves above for storage).

    These tanks I got are 30" x 30" x 48". This doesn't sound quite so huge until you are standing right next to them! Holy cow, these are big.

    Fritz had initially shown me his large shipping container tubs (Titan tubs) that he was using in the back room at Saltwater Empire. I initially planned on using something like that, but these tubs I got are more compact and don't require a heavy duty shelving unit like he was using.
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    THE NEW TANKS AND STANDS/ENCLOSURES ARE ARRIVING AND BEING SET IN PLACE IN EXACTLY 2 WEEKS!
     
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    capman

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    Regarding lids: These big tanks I got actually have full flat lids that sit in the top lips of the tubs.
     
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    capman

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    [​IMG]

    New science building is almost finished. Exterior is basically all done (including landscaping), the fencing that kept people from wandering through the construction site has been gone for at least a week or two, and work on finishing the interior seems to be happening fast and furiously. The construction company "hands over the keys" to the building to Augsburg Nov 15.

    For comparison, this was about a year ago (from a slightly different angle):
    [​IMG]
     
    #72 capman, Nov 1, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  13. SantaMonicaHelp

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    Good to see it's almost finished! I can't wait to see the final result.

    -Kamran
     
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    capman

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    Well, the building is almost finished, but the adventure with the aquarium systems is just about to step into high gear. A lot has to happen before that aspect of things is finished!
     
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    capman

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    A few photos from October 23

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    capman

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  17. Jonty

    Jonty I contributed!
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    I really like the grey shelving can you tell me where it is sourced from?
    Could you also explain the RO/Di setup and the two tanks on the floor?
     
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    capman

    capman I contributed!
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    The story of the RO water purification system:

    About two or two and a half years ago we were having a series of pretty intense planning meetings with the architects where we would go through all the rooms in the building that were relevant to us, making all sorts of decisions on all sorts of things (typically, 15 minutes allocated to each room - intense planning meetings). At one of those meetings the architects wanted to know what sorts of water would be needed in each of the lab spaces, the options being tap water, purified water, or ultra purified water (I can't recall what they called the last two options, but basically they were DI water vs. DI/RO water). In our less than 5 minute conversation on this I basically said, "well, with reef aquaria we want water with the lowest levels of nutrients we can manage".

    So, that brief conversation resulted in this purification system being installed. I had no idea it was going to be something so big. It takes a lot of floor space that I was not planning on being occupied this way, but it looks like a pretty cool system, well worth the floor space. I don't know much about it yet, but I'm told the tall grey tank is carbon filtration (the plumber estimated that we'd probably need to call out Culligan for yearly exchange). The big blue tank is a roughly 20 gallon pressurized RO storage tank, I'm told. The RO water from this system goes to a special tap to the left of the sink in this room. There is also a DI water tap at the sink. I'm told this system has a 100 gallon per day capacity. This is a level of luxury and convenience I had not expected (well, I expected the DI tap, but didn't know how the RO system was going to be implemented).



    Regarding the grey shelving: This is the heavy duty "boltless shelving" sold by globalindustrial.com (this, and the other shelving unit in the room too, is assembled just with a rubber mallet). I chose this shelving because it is supposed to have the highest capacity of any of the shelving units with a 3 foot depth that they sell. The capacity is supposed to be 2600 lb per shelf, and the idea is to have some tanks with a fair bit of gallons on this shelf unit. It comes with 5 shelves but they told me it would be fine to set it up with only three. The vertical panel on the end is the decking for one of the unused shelf levels, which the plumbers used to create a panel for the installation of the water purification system.

    I actually like the beige shelving unit that I have in the room a lot better, as it turns out (this is a shelf unit we had been using for years in our store room - now repurposed in the new aquarium room), as it is built from heavier gauge steel, and the legs are rectangular tubes, and this shelving unit is overall more rigid and has some cross bracing.

    I feel I really ought to add some cross bracing on the grey shelving unit at the far end back by the wall to the right of the sink countertop - maybe some criss-crossed cables? Maybe also running lengthwise in the back, though there is pretty decent rigidity in that direction.

    Also, I fear that the thinner gauge steel used for the uprights of this grey "boltless shelving" is going to have more potential for more rapid weakening due to rust, particularly at their bases.

    I'm thinking maybe I ought to be adding some extra rust proofing of some sort at the bases of the uprights, since occasional saltwater spills are going to be inevitable. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
    #78 capman, Nov 3, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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    capman

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    I will add: Space is getting a little tight in the back room, and I'm not thrilled with how that free standing shelf in the middle of the room intrudes into the space. But that shelf will be needed to hold black round tub fish larva rearing systems, and on the second shelf, tanks for copepod culture, as well as a place to put the algal turf scrubbers for the big tank. Also, I need the space on the floor under the shelf for chillers, and for some sump compartments.

    The space in front of the sink, and between the beige and grey shelving units is being kept open.

    And note: The white built-in shelves to the left of the sink are high capacity shelves where I should be able to put tanks for copepod culture, and possibly even a black round tub system (I need to verify the weight limits before doing this though).
     
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    capman

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    Here's a look at the events today, on Nov 15, 2017, with the delivery of the tanks and stands for our new marine aquarium systems.

    I'll add more photos after this initial setup by Custom Aquariums is done tomorrow.

    The big tank is 6ft x 4ft x 2 ft high. The smaller tanks are either 2ft x 3 ft x 17" high or 2ft x 3ft x 2ft high.

    The stand for the big tank, when up on its side, being moved in to the room, shows just how large the footprint of that tank is.

    There are sliding wooden panels that go above and below the tanks. These are not currently in place in the photos from Nov 15 (well, one panel can be seen in one of the photos).

    Stay tuned for more photos from the second day of setup.

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