Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our New Aquarium: Post #11

We finally got our eco-system up and running. This is the high-falutin' filtration system, used by serious owners of saltwater tanks. The water flows out of the tank via this black overflow box, then is siphoned to the clear box on the back, and from there flows down a tube.
The tube takes it down to a tank under the aquarium. First it enters the section with the blue bio-balls. Those catch a lot of particles and need to be removed and cleaned on occasion. That might get to be old, so eventually we might replace them with live rock rubble.
The water then moves into the main chamber. This houses "miracle mud," live rock rubble, and an algae called cheato (CHAY-toe). Cheato looks and feels just like Easter grass.
Another cool thing about this system is that we can keep the heater down there, which you can see in the closeup below. It was so unsightly in the main tank.
The water continues into a third chamber, which you can't see--it's behind the center support beam. This section holds plain-old polyester fiberfill (quilt batting) and more bio-balls.
Lastly, the water goes into the fourth chamber, out to a pump, up a tube, and back into the aquarium. In the photo below, in the blurry darkness on the right, you can see a white pipe that comes up and around and connects to that bumpy black piece. Everything looks so calm and peaceful, you'd never know that the water is really rushing out of there.
The really amazing thing about this system is that the water travels at a rate of about 500 gallons PER HOUR! And it's only a 55-gallon tank!

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