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That Fish Place Coral system upgrades – Part 1

Dave here.

Back in January, I posted a blog about some of the changes and upgrades to the fish room here in our retail store.  Over the past few weeks we have gotten back to working on our upgrades, and I wanted to start a series of blogs to let folks know what is going on.

Behind the scenes we have been completely revamping our coral holding systems, at the center of which is a whole new coral propagation system.  We have had some coral holding systems in or warehouse for several years, primarily used for holding extra stock, and for some small scale coral propagation.  Some of  these holding systems are being converted into a dedicated coral propagation system. This is a project that we are very excited about.

Along with the new coral propagation system, we are also working on some upgrades to the coral holding systems in the retail store.  The first upgrade is the lighting on the main coral tray.  For those of you that have never visited our retail location, the main coral tray is a pretty cool, and quite unique, aquarium.  The tray is a 20 foot long, 4 foot wide, acrylic aquarium that can be viewed from both the top and sides.  It is one of the largest tanks of this style in the world; I have never seen another like it.

The Coral Tray has been refitted with new Sunlight Supply ballasts and fixtures.  The reflectors are the large Lumenmax models, and they are powered by Sunlight Supply’s Galaxy electronic metal halide ballasts.  There are 4 of these fixtures on the tank, running 400watt 20K XM metal halide bulbs.  The 4 fixtures are mounted to a moving rail system, which allows each fixture to travel over a 4 foot area.  Along with looking good, and satisfying the gadget geek inside of me, the system is also very energy efficient due to the electronic ballasts and moving rail system.  The huge tray is now being lit by only four 400watt halides (Plus a stationary Aquatic Life HID fixture mounted to one end).

In this first blog about the coral propagation system, I can only give you a sneak peak of the system; it is still a couple weeks away from completion.  The plan is to get this initial system online, then over time add additional systems as we acquire and establish our brood stock and grow out protocols.

The coral propagation system will consist of four 120 gallon raceways that are connected to a main sump that will contain the protein skimmer.  There will also be a brood stock tank that will recirculate on the main sump as well.  As you can see in the pictures, we are well into the plumbing and electrical systems of the prop room. Next will be the lighting systems, then we will fill and test the water flow in the system.  More blog entries will follow as the system gets closer to operation.  Hope  you enjoy the pictures of the progress so far.



About Dave Acland

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After graduating from Coastal Carolina University with a BS in Marine Science in 1996, I started my professional career in 1997 as an aquarist at Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, SC. This was an amazing experience, in which I gained invaluable hands on training in exhibit design and construction, as well as husbandry skills for a wide range of animals. In 2000 I started working at That Fish Place as one of the staff Marine Biologists, with the responsibility of maintaining one of the largest retail fish holding systems in the world. I presently hold the position of Director of Aquatic Science, where I oversee the operation of our 35,000 gallon retail aquarium systems, and provide technical support for our mail-order and retail store customer service staff. As an aquatic product specialist, I also provide support for our purchasing and marketing departments, as well as contribute web content and analysis. As a Hobbyist I acquired my love of aquariums from my father who was keeping a large aquarium in early 70’s, and set up my first aquarium when I was 12 years old. I have now been keeping aquariums for over 35 years, and through this time have kept more aquariums and types of fish than I can remember. I set up my first Saltwater aquarium in 1992, which led me down the path I still follow today.