Natural lighting,heating and cooling

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by jontheron, 19 Nov 2014.

  1. jontheron

    jontheron

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    Hi all reef nutters

    I have been thinking of upgrading to a larger system a much larger system

    My only problem is I hate the thought of having to fork out thousands every month to keep it going

    My plan is to use as much of natures awesomeness as possible

    Has anyone ever built an "Eco friendly or low consumption " marine tank and how was it done

    My thoughts are :
    Lighting-skylights with reflective tubes supplemented with LEDs when needed
    Heating-a solar geyser design or similar alternative
    Cooling-a underground water tank cooled by the water mains
    And if cost allows to run everything els off solar power

    Any thoughts,advice and recommendations would be much appreciated
     
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  3. jimilutz

    jimilutz

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    I think the problem with natural lighting is that it simulates the shallow reef biome which is generally very brown in colour. Our artificial lighting simulates a slightly deeper biome with more blue light which makes the colours more vibrant.
    I have a 80l prototype in my garage running off 50w excluding the heater. I have outfitted all the equipment in 24v except for the skimmer (couldn't find a small 24v one). My intention is to run it off solar when I get around to buying panels/batteries.
     
  4. CameL

    CameL

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    You need to chat to @dallasg, he has some great ideas about using gas geysers to heat large tanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Yep, as @JIMultz said it would look quite brown as our synthetic light brings out the colours better.
    So maybe have only blue leds in your led unit to accompany the natural sunlight
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    I would be interested to see if it's cost effective to use solar to power everything
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Well i completely disagree with the sunlight and colour , in winter you will need to supplement depending on your setup just look at adee sunlight reef here on Masa or reef central, anyone who has visited his tank here can say the same.

    Also all the aussie reefs are shallow and some have sps out of water at low tide and the colours are amazing. I am moving to solar tubes in the new year.

    Geothermal cooling here can work well, IIRC the avg ground temp here is 23deg so one can regulate a ground chiller with a titanium heat exchanger and pvc tubing, i tested this a year or 2 ago for an experiment and worked pretty well. As for economic heating i am still refining my gas geyser heating system.

    There are solar panels now that are at R9 a watt and can be very cost effective.

    Hope this helps
     
  8. TaahirS

    TaahirS MASA Contributor

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    Ok, I eat my words, I just googled adees sunlight reef.
    Wow! Never knew that it could look that good with sunlight
     
  9. jimilutz

    jimilutz

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. jontheron

    jontheron Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]

    That's a pic of a sunlit tank I just found

    I think the couloirs are awsome

    Looks like this might not be just a pipe dream woo hoo
     
  11. Porra

    Porra

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    Hi @dallasg I have just read your post on wanting to change to solar tubes for natural lighting. I own the JHB branch of Sundowner Skylights and would gladly/like to help you with this project as I have been toying with this idea for my own tank.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    there are plenty sunlit tanks on RC and UR, RF etc
    i have seen people with LEDS and 400W MH with brown corals
     
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  13. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    @Porra drop me a pm with pricelist :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. jontheron

    jontheron Thread Starter

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    Please also send me a price list @Porra
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  15. King_Triton

    King_Triton

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  16. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    We need more solar tube tanks in SA...keen to follow progress dallas...porra nice to know a solar tube company has its heart in reefing also.
     
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  17. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    Can you explain a bit more about geothermal cooling. I do remember reading up on it a long time back but could not get my head wrapped around it back then.
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    basically its heat exchange, you have a titanium coil in your sump you then run tubing from that through a pump, then in to a hole 6 ft deep filled with a damp clay soil, inside the tube you can use water, but something like Ethylene glycol is a better option. then a thermostat controls the pump, when tank to hot it turns on circulating the Ethylene glycol through the heat exchanger and transferring the heat out the sump and down to the cooler 6ft hole
     
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