Coral Room/Greenhouse

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by chas84, 14 Nov 2011.

  1. chas84

    chas84

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    So the move to the new house went well, and the only unfortunate loss was a Fairy Wrasse...

    At the new house there are three 3m x 6m sheds. One of the sheds is positioned so that it gets full sun the whole day. I’d like to explore the option of turning it into a “Coral Room”, by replacing the corrugated sheets with Polycarb sheets. I’d like to have a few large shallow “runs” where I can grow soft corals and LPS. I’m still not 100% sure exactly which corals I want to grow, but I would like to grow a variety of Leathers, Mushrooms and Florida Rics. The “coral room” will also house my RO unit, mixing station etc, as well as a QT setup or two.

    I’d need to explore options to keep the temp stable. I’m thinking if I replace the roof with the polycarb sheets (clear) and then cover the shed with a blue shadecloth, it would already make a significant difference to keep the temp cooler.

    I’d like to get some advice from guys who’ve had/do have a successful “coral room/greenhouse”.
     
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  3. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Tagging :tt2:
     
  4. Blueberry

    Blueberry

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    have a chat to Adee on the forum and Luis from Idol Marine.
     
  5. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    I think temp control will be your biggest problem. But good luck. Will be watching with interest.
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Biggest problem will be overheating. Because tanks getting full sun. And its not as if you can use some controller to switch the lights off.

    Shallow tanks should be better, with good cross flow, with sump drums that is out of direct light. So at least the sumps could help in keeping better temperatures. If sump tank or drums are also in the sun, then they will push the temperature up even more.

    Where in Centurion do you stay? Some areas are colder winter months. I remember my last army days in Valhalla. That place is cold.
     
  7. ReefMaster

    ReefMaster

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    Agree, but with sustainable design for the room with natural ventilation, I think this can help minimise the heatload
     
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  8. chas84

    chas84 Thread Starter

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    Thanks I'll have a chat with them.
     
  9. chas84

    chas84 Thread Starter

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    Yip, temp and electricity costs are my main concerns. I'll only be doing a hobby-level setup, so because it won't generate money I'd like to keep these two as low as possible. It would be awesome if I could rely mainly on natural sunlight to grow the corals, and then have a display tank with a set of fancy lights to show the colors off. This tank would be in the house though.
     
  10. chas84

    chas84 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your input Riaan! Always interesting to listen to your advice.

    Somebody suggested to me the other day that we "double roof" the sheds (he was under the impressions we'd just use them for storage). Then I spoke to a buddy and he said on the farm they used to "double roof" some of the outbuildings and it made a huge difference. This lead me to think along the lines of a clear polycarb roof, with blue shadecloth about 10cm or so over the shed. In other words, the shed will be "under a carport" basically so it won't be as hot as is it were directly in the sun. I read somewhere that the blue shadecloth filters the light and corals grow better under it - makes sense to me.

    I definitely want to have shallow tanks, about 30cm or less, as long as possible and a comfortable width to work in at table height. Do you think if I "sink" the sumps in the ground they will help keep a cool temp? I'd also like to build a scrubber.

    I'm in The Reeds (close to the Blue valley Mall).
     
  11. chas84

    chas84 Thread Starter

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    I'd really like to make the most use of the full sun (with shadecloth) and good ventilation. I did a bit of reading on Bali's climate (many of our popular corals are imported from there), and saw their average temp is 30*C (very similar to our average summer temp) and the sea temp is about 28*C. I'm sure with good planning one would be able to maintain similar temps in summer, and the focus will probably shift to heating in the winter.
     
  12. Blueberry

    Blueberry

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    looking forward to your progress on this
     
  13. robvdv

    robvdv

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    I have a greenhouse: Rob's tank and greenhouse - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    It's great fun, with caveats.

    Rics are very slow. Leathers, Mushrooms, Xenia, macroalgae are very easy and fast.

    Temperature is your biggest challenge. You can't have enough insulation (polystyrene, triple wall poly carb, transparent covers on the tubs, insulate the tubs etc.).
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    yes, but
    not all
    Talk to Louis. There is a Israeli company who invented special shadecloth, blue and other red, that filters the light as needed. Blue is for growth and red for longer stem flowers. Not any shadecloth will do it. I had the link a long time ago, but surely you know how to use Google.

    I go past the Reeds often, should organize a drive by :)

    You got 2 different challenges in my mind. First to keep your cool in the summer, and then to keep your heat in winter.

    also note the angle of the sun in winter months. No point if the tank is in the shade in the winter. Can check out some weather related sites to find the minimum and maximum sun angles before you start. So I reckon you can only use the southern wall inside the little house, as the opposite wall will be in shade (the wall facing north).

    I had a tank with live rock outside in the beginning of this year. And to keep it under 30 in January and February is very difficult. Then when winter started, I had a 300W heater running permanently. Not cool :).
    What to do with empty 1.2 - Marine Aquariums of South Africa
     
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