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.