The LMR Nano Reef
I like robots but I also like fish. I used to keep a large sea aquarium and due to moving arround and work I had to get rid of it. Bummer. But now I convinced my wife that we need another one. We have some wasted space in the kitchen so there it will go.
In the bottom niche is Ted. Ted's a gold fish. Guess he has to move eventually since he doesn't like salt water. There's room there for 2 aquariums of 485x350x270 so it will contain under 100 liters of water.
First thing I'm staring on is the light system. I'll try to make a multifunctional one. Suited for both marine and regular tropical aquariums. It's all about color spectrum and intensity. I found a 10 watt high power led rated at 10000Kelvin on ebay. You want your marine aquarium lights anywhere between 10.000K(daylight/white, fish/colors/nice for the eye/soft corals) and 20.0000K (visible blue, stone-corals). In addition 1 watt per liter will do the job (with TL systems, some lighting systems can do with less). I went for little less.
The red and yellow leds can be switched on instead of blue for sweet water tropical aquariums or plants as they like the red spectrum. I will try to program some sequences that will simulate a day and maybe even the seasons in tropical oceans. Something like switch on the blue leds at 06.00 switch on the white leds at 08.00 and switch on the high power led at 10.00 (and vice verse when night time sets in). Why? Because if you want sea life to get turned on you need to screw arround with the light. The clownfish is already a succesfull bread sea creature but most of them don't go funky in aquariums. Let's picaxe them and see if it makes a difference :)
A friend of mine will do the platework (0,5mm rvs). Maybe I'll try and sell some of the frames once they work. :)
The box will be 450x260x20.
Since the aquariums will be build into the niches they will stick some 15cm out of it so I can get my hands in there for cleaning etc. The top one will be equiped with a tunze nano skimmer (handles up to 200 liter reefs). In there will go a symbiotic anemone and 2 clownfish (nemo's) probably. Anemone's can swallow a whole mussel. Very polluting especially in nanoreefs (what goes in must come out). The skimmer should take care of most of it before it releases the clean water to the lower aquarium. In the lower one I'll put some corals and small critters and maybe a small fish (like the mandarin fish). A clamp would be nice to (doopvont). These are all "more" sensitive creatures.
But this will take months from now and I'm not even sure at this point. As soon as I get things setup I add salt water (syntetic salt). Leave that for few weeks and then add live rock, as much as possible. That will cure for at least a month (depending on the quality) before the first fish goes in there. Between every new animal you need a few weeks.
In addition, not so long ago it was deemed impossible to maintain a reef aquarium that contained anything under 200 liters of water. I tried small ones also and they had a point. The more water the better as any variable that changes goes with smaller steps if the volume is bigger. Reef aquariums don't like changes so there you go. I might even hack into the walls to create more volume. (more volume is also more life). If I make the lower aquarium 20cms higher I might well reach 160 liters. Next to the niches I can setup some small aquariums (sumps) that hold up to 50 liters. Wow, 210 liters. Nano is getting bigger already (but trust me bigger is better).
Things to try also;
Monitoring readings (ph/temp etc)
Automated dry food feeder
Automated water treatment (adding minerals etc)
Explaining my wife that bigger is better