Gathering Materials and Planning Setup – Nick

   These two weeks have been a bit of a change. Instead of looking at different research articles and various YouTube tutorials, I was actually able to make this vision start to come to life with the addition of the first round of materials. This means that the next phase of my project is beginning.

The first thing that had to happen was getting approved by Dana Jensen that everything on my materials list was necessary and important for the success of my experiment. This process was not very difficult because of all the preparation I had done in the prior weeks regarding my materials list. The first things to arrive are the water filters, power heads, air pumps, and heater/thermometers. Hopefully, on Thursday (10/25), the entire lighting setup will be delivered and I will be able to start to work on the mounting process.  This leads me to the next topic: planning the setup.

My original plan was to create some sort of wooden cart on wheels that would be able to house and advertise the project. This would end up being extremely heavy, bulky, and structurally unsound. However, the new plan is to take two identical lab tables from the physics classroom and put them side by side so that I am able have the needed table space, but also have the ability to adjust the height of the tables for different purposes. This is going to be the most effective way because there won’t be any time or material devoted to assembling some sort of work surface. However, the only problem this brings up is finding a way to mount the lighting setup, which will hopefully be a breeze with the help of Steve Compton and possibly Larry Dech.

The next step in my project is assembling all of these materials and to acclimate the water so that when the corals are ready to be submerged into their new habitat. This means that I will constantly be testing the pH, salinity, alkalinity, nitrogen levels, etc. for the next month or so. This acclimation phase is extremely important because of how delicate the balance must be to maintain these coral specimens. That is why I am working so closely with my mentor, Zack Rago, to keep an eye over all of the levels once the setup phase is complete.


Image result for coral reef tank setup

Image Credits:

Grant Thomas from the Ocean Agency

Gripp, Ryan, et al. “How to Setup a Reef Tank News Reef Builders | The Reef and Marine Aquarium Blog.” Reef Builders | The Reef and Marine Aquarium Blog, 10 Feb. 2016,

1 thought on “Gathering Materials and Planning Setup – Nick

  1. Yuchen Cao

    I’m glad that you are making more progress in setting up the environment for the reefs! I had a chance to see your tanks and they looked ready! As you mentioned, there are a lot of different things to test for when you set up an aquarium. Cate and I are planning to set up a zebrafish tank for our science independent research class and were warned by T. Mariska that copper level might also be an issue, Are you also testing for other kinds of metals in the water? And how do you plan to adjust the various levels of substances in the tank?


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