RSS How do you create flow in a 20,000 gallon reef tank?

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  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    Much in the same way you light up a 20,000 gallon reef tank, creating flow in such a massive water feature relies on the whole gamut of water motion technologies. Just about every kind of water movement device is employed on the Long Island Reef tank and the way they each generate their unique type of water movement/flow/displacement is a useful tutorial on how to do the same in small and large home aquariums alike.

    It goes without saying that there is a massive turnover of water from the filtration system itself, as well as all the water coming from the two different protein skimmers and other media filtering devices, but we’re not really counting these components as part of the overall “water movement system”.

    [​IMG]The first part of the water system that is barely noticeable to viewers of this 20 feet of reef tank is the row of water oscillating devices flanking the front of the aquarium. Much like the bank of “accessory” 400w metal halides mounted here, the flow is pointed downwards towards the reef tank. Each of these wavemakers are one inch seawswirls, all powered by a massive one to two horsepower pump feeding them in a closed loop configuration. On smaller tanks seaswirls have a decent effect on distributing water jets to different parts of the aquarium but the flow from the seaswirls on this tank is very noticeable on the corals facing the front viewing pane.

    [​IMG]What would a 20,000 gallon reef tank be if it didn’t have at least one, super massive surge device? The 20,000 gallon slice of reef in Long Island is definitely ‘in the club’ with a huge siphon surge device modeled after the design that was popularized by Bruce Carlson. This huge ‘Carlson’ Surge Device (CSD) fills up with almost 200 gallons of water that surges out every 10 minutes through a 4 inch diameter tube.

    Like the wavemakers mounted to the front of the tank, the huge surge device creates periodic water flow but this pipe moves a LOT of water at once, with the forcefully ejected 200 gallons of water carrying enough energy to displace water through nearly half of the entire aquarium.  [​IMG]But what reef tank would be complete without some well proportioned propeller pumps? The 20,000 gallon reef tank has two extra large prop pumps, one of them being a one of a kind device powered by an external motor, and the other being a massive, original HydroWizard. We’re not talking the HydroWizard small, or the HydroWizard medium, but the massive, carbon-fiber reinforced HydroWizard.

    This massive water mover of a HydroWizard is positioned in the back right corner of the reef display and it is used to create more mass water movement by being pointed along the back of the reefscape, helping to keep things clean and detritus-free even where you can’t see. This is a perfect placement for this huge water mover which pushes 50,000 gallons per hour while consuming a paltry 350 watts, and the humongous power supply lets you know that this is not at all an aquarium toy.

    [​IMG]The list of the of wavemakers, pumps and surge devices that are used to create great water flow for this stony coral dominated reef aquarium display is truly astounding. we couldn’t even begin to tell you how much the total flow rate of water movement they all create, but judging from the look of the corals and the really clean rockscape, we would hazard to say it’s “enough”.
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