Ok Boy's and Girls, sit back get out some paper towel or any other suitable drool mopper and witness a system that had my jaw dragging on the ground and my eyes popped out of my skull - I kid you not !!!
It was with great enthusiasm and expectation when i recieved a call from Alan saying that we had cracked the nod to go and have a look at Glynn Forman's tank. I had heard a lot about this system from a number of sources and had to see it for myself.
So off we went, camera in hand and salivating at the prospect of finally being able to see it. Glynn greeted us at the door, and as I stepped inside the room where this beauty is housed I was faced with this !!!!!!!!!
OMG, Holy Crap and any other suitable superlative that you want to insert here will do !!!!!! 8000 litres *cough* of unadulterated Reef Beauty..
I looked at Alan, he looked at me and we both started giggling like treasure hunters that had just stumbled across Pandora's box. It took me a couple of minutes to compose myself... Where does one even start describing what I saw..
Ok so lets start with some details of the system. It's been running for about 6 years now. The system is configured in a kinked L formation with the long kinked section seperated with a pane leading into the shortened "L" piece. It's all one system run off a common sump, but the reason for the seperation was to allow Glynn to house a magnificent collection of Non Reef Safe Butterfly and Angel Fish. Best of Both worlds in one room !!!
The tank was custom built (No Kidding ) using 19mm glass and is placed on a tubular steel stand. The cladding matches the rest of the room and kitchen.
All the filtration happens in a room behind the system which houses the sumps and all the technical equipment.
The system itself has been set up into 3 different zones. Wether this was intentional or not I'm not sure but it works well. The left part of the Reef is a mixture of Soft and LPS corals. This blends into the middle, widest portion of the tank which is dominated with SPS corals. Around the bend you are greeted with a Cliff wall specifically housing the non reef safe fish but is inhabited by a variety of coral anyway..
The left Reef Structure..
Close up of this portion of the reef. Note the size of that Clam !!
The centre portion of the reef was the most fascinating for me. Partly because I'm a SPS junkie anyway, but that's not what did it for me. You've all heard that " Slice of the Ocean " cliche' before right ? But this is so much more than a slice, a smorgasboard if you will. One of my biggest challenges when constructing my own Reef was to make it as au naturale as possible. I thought I had achieved it untill I saw this !! For those that have been fortunate to dive a natural reef you will know what I mean. The formation, placement and "Feel" is something that mother nature just gets right. This portion of the reef looks like it was literally picked up out of the ocean and placed there.
Glynn has allowed this portion to run it's course and hasn't intervened with corals allowing them to wage war, fight for territory and grow, like they would in the wild. The downfall is that you sacrifice colour and run the risk of losing prize colonies but the result in this instance is nothing short of spectacular..
I could have stood there for days just looking. The formation of the table acro colonies, the intertwined branches of the Stags and the persistence of the smaller monti and acropora species all fighting for space and territory, whilst at the same time providing a backdrop for such a harmonious biotope was almost poetic. Fish swimming in and out of the natural cave formations and an assortment of inverts to complete the package... Ah man.. I was in reefing heaven..
Amazing formation of this Huge Plating Monti. That Yellow Tang and Regal tang are no babies and they are dwarfed by this colony.
Unfortuneatly my pictures of the " Filtration Room " Didn't come out but I will try and describe how it all works. Hopefully Glynn can come on and provide some more details.
The filter room is a longish, narrow space between the main house and an outbuilding. The gap was roofed and now stands as the filtration hub. Inside are 2 sumps. One houses some live rock and other bits and pieces and has a Live Phytoplankton reactor on it. This is run on a timer and feeds the system at specific times.
The main sump holds approx. 600 litres and contains the return pumps and skimmers. The system is skimmed by two massive Aquamedic T5000 twins. Return pumps are Aquamedic Ocean Runner 6500's.
Just outside the door is a massive 3 HP Aquamedic Titan Chiller that keeps the system cooled.
lighting is provided by a combination of Aquamedic Space light fixtures with Metal Halide and T5's for supplemntal. The Metal Halide bulbs are a combination of 400 W, 250W and 150W.
Glynn performs a 600 litre monthly water change which is done by draining the main sump. One box of salt is added and RO water is mixed in. This is then pumped back to the main system over a period of 2 hours.
In tank circulation is provided by a mixture of Ocean Runner pumps.
It all struck me as rather simple considering the size of the system and I was expecting that it would be a lot more work considering the total water volume. In fact it's probably the same amount of work I do on my 1300 litre system.
Feeding time There are quite a few mouths to feed here.
Glynn was telling us that he had a few set backs and suffered a few fatalities, mainly with his Anthia's and Chromis shoals but there are still pleny of fish around.
These include quite a few Yellow and Regal tangs, Powder blues, Mimic tangs and a Gemmatum. There are quite a few paired clowns in the tank in Bubble Tip anemones, which are clones from the original that has split a few times.
As I post these pics and write this short editorial I'm still gobsmacked by the beauty of this system, and here's the kicker..... It's all coming down in a few months.. WHAT !!! NO !!!!. Sadly it's true... But it's coming down to make way for an even bigger system. I'm not sure of the exact details but I'm led to believe that is will be in the region of 12000 + litres
We will be sure to keep you posted on that one.
My thanks to Glynn for letting us into his home and sharing this truly amazing system with us, it has certainly inspired me to keep the passion of Reef Keeping alive.
This is truely the most inspirational tank i have seen in real life, an Aquamedic show piece of note, for those that have seen the size of my clam, the clam in the picture above must be twice the size.
Again Glynn thank you for hosting us and maybe you will allow us to follow the progress of your new monster system.
Hi Psycho and welcome, it truly is an awsum system and there will be more in the future we are trying to hunt down tanks that have not been featured on forums before. There are truely great tanks in SA that we know nothing about. Might call it reef hunters.
Got it wrong folks, there is plenty knowledge and planning that went into this system. Money does not equate to success in the hobby. I dont disagree to set up a system this size is expensive.........lets face it if i had the space and capital, i would have a monster tank.
The worst part of this system was when i got home and looked at my 2.3m Nano.
Lol, yip the one downfall of seeing this system is how small everything else seems in comparrison.
As far as additives the alk and Ca are maintained with a Calcium Reactor and from what I can understand no addtional supplements are added unless it is needed.
Water change once a month requires 1 box of salt. Glynn uses Aquamedic Instant Ocean.
I would imagine that the biggest expense would be running the lighting and then the chiller in summer.