The third anniversary of my 250gal plywood tank
is coming up, and I hope it will last for at least another 3 years, but it is never too early to plan the next big thing.
In a few years, when I am old, bored and rich (in order of diminishing likeliness) I will sell my current home and move into another one. That will mean taking down that aforementioned tank, a large undertaking after which I am going to be fed up and tank-less for some unknown time. Once recovered, I am going to build the "next big thing".
Here are some ideas that are floating through my brain at the moment. It will be a large tank (of course), with energy efficiency being one huge factor.
96x30x28 tall (350 gal). The height and depth are the limits of what I can comfortably handle without snorkel. The length is a sheet of plywood, why cut it shorter?
Plywood is cheap and a great insulator. I don't want to have to heat or cool this tank - with 65-70F room temperature it should stay around 75-78F considering heat from lights and pumps. The plywood would be covered with some marine epoxy (West System?) and AE Sweetwater epoxy paint on top of that. I might re-use the Starphire glass panel from my current 250gal tank. When centered, that will leave some hidden tank space to the left and right.
Instead of canister filters or sumps, I am going for security, simplicity and efficiency. Water pumps on the left and right (hidden) corners will pull the water through filter sponges that are attached to some Sched40 manifolding. Sponges provide huge capacity for mechanical and bio filtration and are relatively easy to pull out and squeeze for cleaning.
No holes in the plywood construction except for an overflow. Any cables, tubes and hoses will go over the rim. Continuous water change with passive overflow for stable conditions. Waste water will be collected and used to grow huge Tomatoes.
Solar tubes will provide the main source of illumination. Adjustable light sensors will activate a) some sort of shades when there is too much light, and b) LED lights when the level falls under some threshold. LEDs will illuminate the tank in the evenings, and they will be mounted on skinny aluminum extrusions installed on drawer slides to push them back for tank maintenance.
Graduated glass bottles will be filled with individual macro nutrients (salts) and water. As the salts dissolve, the concentrated solution will slowly be mixed into tank water. The size of the bottle opening/orifice can be adjusted for slower or faster diffusion. (Still needs to be figured out/tested). Concentrated micros will be dosed via a peristaltic pump. CO2 injection... well of course.
MTS topped with some peat topped with my existing mix of Flourite and Kitty Litter.
Planning to use the room above the tank for Riparium/Paludarium sort of setup. Sliding glass panes in front will keep humidity inside the setup. Plants in aquarium back and on wood will grow out of the tank for some seamless water/land impression.
All just ideas at the moment. Let me know if any of them sound really silly.