Blog Archives

The Tank is Running!


After a long weekend everything has been moved into the new tank. 🙂 Time to rest.

300 Gallon Reef Tank

300 Gallon Saltwater Reef Tank

300 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium

300 Gallon Reef Aquarium

The Achilles Tang likes the tank and the arch!

Big Saltwater Aquarium

Just the actinic lights on. Notice the clownfish living in the clam.

Large Saltwater Aquarium

Notice the Apex controller display unit mounted up top. I love being able to see the pH & temp so easily.

Tank Update!!!


It’s time for a tank update, lot of stuff happening! I should have probably broke this up into a couple different posts but I’ve not been on the computer much lately and still have lots of work to do.

Here are a couple update photos of the 300 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank acting as the temporary home for our fish.  We actually really enjoy watching the fish and corals from above. The clams are very neat to look at too! So far the fish and corals haven’t protested the temp setup.

300 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium - Temp with 90 Gallon Refugium

Temp Saltwater Aquarium - 300 Gallon Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Squamosa Clams in Temp Rubbermaid Stock Tank

Squamosa Clam

Squamosa Clam

LPS Coral, Mushrooms, SPS

In the fish room, behind the display tank, I have set up a metal rack to hold the 90 gallon refugium and 90 gallon salt mixing tank. The refugium will go up high and have a drain that drops down into the display tank (to the right). Hopefully the refuge will produce lots of bugs for the fish to eat. 🙂 We’ve also painted everything white in the fish room with Kilz primer, added some can lights, and put in a small sink and hookup for the RO/DI unit.

Metal Rack 90 Gallon Refugium & Salt Mix Stand

Saltwater Aquarium Sink

Just got the ATO (Automatic Top Off) up and running this evening. I used a small pump and a 10 gallon tank for top-off water. I also got my APEX controller back up and running on the temp system.

Auto Top Off (ATO) 10 Gallon Reservoir Tank

While building the stand we ran three new lines to the breaker box, one for lights, one for pumps, and one for the refugium area. I’m really happy to have the aquarium system on its own set of breakers.

Moving the display tank…

6 guys, a trailer, suction cups, straps and an hour of grunting we had the tank moved. We think the tank weighs around 600+ lbs. (.5 inch glass with a bit of re-enforcement glass in the bottom). Luckily everything went well although we did bust off a fitting on the bottom for one of the returns. I think I might actually cut out one overflow (right side), deleting the broken return, and rely on my VorTech MP40s to create the majority of the flow/turnover in the tank. Originally I thought I would get a lot of flow from the return pumps (2 – Mag Drive 24s) but that just didn’t happen.

Moving a Large Aquarium with Suction Cups

Strapping down the tank on the trailer

Moving a Saltwater Aquarium

Moving of the Fish Tank

After a bit more thought and my wife’s “Not to scale” disclaimer drawings (lol) we had the stand figured out. Here’s where we are now.

Saltwater Aquarium Plans/Drawings

300 Gallon Saltwater Display Tank in Progress

Saltwater Tank Canopy Doors

(tops to be installed soon!)

Next time around we should have the tops installed, tank painted and the right side overflow removed… 😉 Time for some sleep.

Neptune Apex Email Notifications


I modified my APEX Controller’s email alarm setting today. 🙂 By default there is some code to notify if your temps fall above or below a certain range. There isn’t however code to tell you if one of your specific power bars/strips loses power.  I found this out yesterday as the breaker had flipped to one of the power bar’s electrical source. Everything runs normal expect what’s plugged into that power bar. The controller will however email you if the whole system/brain loses power.  So, I added the following code (in green) to the email alarm outlet so that I may be notified if there is a power failure to any of the plugged in power bars. EB8’s are Energy Bar 8 plugs.

Set OFF
If Temp > 80.0 Then ON
If Temp < 74.5 Then ON
If Power EB8_3 OFF 000 Then ON
If Power EB8_4 OFF 000 Then ON
If Power EB8_5 OFF 000 Then ON
There are probably a few other good things to get notifications about so I will look though the forums to find additional code.

Neptune Systems Energy Bar 8


Apex Energy Bar 8

Installed two more energy bars for my Apex AquaController over the 4th of July break.  After mounting and plugging them in I began to program each outlet starting with lights, chiller & heater then eventually moving on to Cal, Alk & Mag dosing pumps.  I am really happy to get all of these components “online” with each other. I was also able to take a lot of timers and extension cords out of the system, another big plus!

Aquarium Controller – Neptune Apex


Neptune AquaController Apex System Display Unit

A couple of weeks ago I installed a Neptune System Apex AquaController unit and I must say that I am very happy with it, but for $500 I hope I would be.  I haven’t quit started to hook up my pumps and lights to the energy bar yet but the monitoring probes (temp, pH & ORP) have been working well. I also really like the iPhone app that makes my system accessible and controllable from anywhere with a signal. 🙂 The email and text alerts work very well too! I really like the scalability options, should make upgrading to another system fairly easy.

After reading the owner’s manual and doing the math it became clear that I needed two more energy bars to plug all my accessories in. I currently pull power from three different circuits so each would require it’s own energy bar (controllable power strip). I also would like to get the wireless unit to control my Ecotech VorTech MP40 pumps. So about another $500 should take care of my aquarium controlling needs… I hope.

%d bloggers like this: