AT AQUARIUM WORLD?
Greetings From Aquarium World
New at Aquarium World:
THE ABYSS PROJECT IS MOSTLY DONE - JUST THE SLOW PROCESS OF FINAL STOCKING GOING ON! The 3600+ pounds of Cypress logs, limbs, and stumps have almost stopped leaching tannins into the water, and clarity is getting better by the week. There are now ALMOST 10000 fish in the display, and it is really interesting to see the behaviors exhibited by the fish. Who would of thought the tinfoil barbs were prone to hunting in an organized pack, even balling up smaller fish like dolphin, porpoise, tuna, and sharks do. Nature at its finest. More fish to come, and a few to remove that are simply not working out well in the new habitat.
Project History: On November 24th, 2009 we started a restoration project on the large "Abyss" aquarium. Over the next couple months we will be restructuring the display into something new and interesting. The entire project is expected to take between six and eighteen months depending on what issues we run into. So after 12+ years it was time for a change, and to address structure maintenance that requires draining of the display. So after almost a year of planning, saving, and brainstorming we have started the project, with a new direction for the aquarium.
The project entails first draining the aquarium,, clamping the windows in place, removing the inhabitants (for those that are wondering, all of the inhabitants of the display have either found new homes in the "Tide Pool" or will be relocated to public aquarium displays), resealing the windows, partial restructuring of portions of the rockwork, major restructuring of other display areas, lots of plumbing work. Then we will rebuild the display area with new decor and cover structures..... yes a lot of work. The display area of this aquarium is 45' X (12'-28'). That's larger than many home swimming pools... Its a big job and will take some time while we are waiting on the new window seals to cure properly. Like any aquarium project, it just takes patience!
The "New Direction" will be to a very large freshwater display featuring only small size fish. We have always wanted to show the true nature and beauty of schooling fish, and after serious contemplation, discussion, and surveying customers have decided to build a large display featuring schooling fish.... imagine a school of over 1000 neon tetras, huge schools of giant danios at the surface, and 1000's of other schooling fish. In all the new display will feature over 20,000 fish! Some have asked why we are making the change, others have claimed we are doing it from a cost basis. The honest answer is that after 12 years, we wanted something different, something that was not common, something that as far as we can determine has either not been done, or is very rare. As for the cost factor, the new display theme will be more expensive to set up than keeping with the old (new animals, decor, etc). Maintenance cost will be almost identical. Sure we wont have the cost of the salt, but have you ever fed 20,000+ animals, or expended the labor to maintain an aquarium with those stocking densities? Our calculations show that the overall expense will be about the same whether we go to the new format, or stay with the old... so we decided to do something new!
Have you ever started a project that was really big, planned for the "big scenario" and what might happen, all the while hoping that the better faster plan will work? Well, We had initially planned to reseal the windows of the abyss tank, maintaining the original grout and inner seal system that upon visual inspection appeared to be in excellent shape. Once we started the physical reseal process we found a couple inclusions in the original tank waterproofing (epoxy coating system) that were very close to the window seal system. Rather than proceed with our original plan, the "big scenario" kicked in. On January 19th we started the removal of the windows (not an easy task.... they are dang heavy and require some "special" equipment) to completely re-surface and re-finish all the window areas and start with what is effectively a new install of the windows. We had hoped we would not need to do this, but it was the right thing to do (otherwise we might have had to do it in as few as a couple years)... If its worth fixing, fix it right! Unfortunately this set our entire timeline back quite a bit (and made a really big mess for a few days). The window areas have now been ground down to bear concrete, new waterproofing and epoxy systems re-installed... And the windows are back in! The new window seals and grout system has been installed, the surface seals have skinned over enough that we can start working on the walls again so we are now back at it. The up side is that the windows are now effectively new as they were almost 13 years ago. The down side is that the complete reseal takes a bit more time to cure. Our new hydrostat test (testing pressure seals) will come around the beginning of March (have to wait for hundreds of pounds of silicone to fully cure). More as it comes (we have added some more pictures).
Well; As they say, expect the unexpected! There have a few delays in the acquisition of some of the decor and coating materials, etc., but those are finally resolved.... aren't huge projects fun (lol). The project is now progressing once again. This is a huge project and we appreciate all those that understand the delays, we wish they weren't there, but they were unavoidable for the most part. Bottom line is we want the job done right so it doesn't have to be done again for many years. One customer likened this project to building a house, you just never know what's going to come up next (he is a home builder by the way).
THE COATING MATERIALS ARE FINALLY HERE!!!! Whoop! We have started the final coating progress after a lengthy delay in material availability and should have the coating process done by next week (that the end of May for those that are watching). All the wood and decor has finally arrived also. We were able to get some of the most incredible wood pieces we have ever seen, including some very large cypress stumps (one we have split to make two pieces that are 9ftx4ftx5ft tall!!). In all we have close to 300 decor items that are going into the display! As soon as the coatings are dry its time to start decorating and prep for filling the tank. If all goes well we should be filling the tank on or around May 31st!
Coatings are all done, the massive mound of rock has been re-positioned (we forgot how old we were, and rock is dang heavy...go figure).
Wood is being mounted and epoxy bolted in place. Next is gravel, floor decor, other decor, and finalize the internal plumbing (hundreds of fittings to glue... in a confined space...good thing we have ventilation fans!) Plumbing should be done on June 3rd. Then we pressurize the system for a quick hydro test and then start filling the tank.
Well the tank has been up and running for a couple of months and now has a bit over 7000 inhabitants in it! We have added several new pictures from the final construction days. The system is stable and the wood is leaching (process where the thousands of pound of Cypress in the tank leaches tannins into the water - makes the water look green with the halide lighting even though it is actually brown ). We are using carbon and ozone to reduce the tannin content in the water and as of August
More as it comes
Here as some photos of the work as it is progressing. We will try to post a timeline that we have posted in the store as soon as we can figure out how to present it on the website (its pretty big!). WE HAVE BEEN WORKING AND TAKING PICTURES, We will post the pictures later, finishing the project is more important than posting pics at this point.
Things to be done: (MOVED FROM ABOVE THE PICTURES NOW THAT ALMOST EVERYTHING IS DONE)