The majority of the tanks are 180ltr all-glass construction and are mounted in 4 banks, each 3 rows high and with 45 tanks in each row. Each tank has it's own high capacity internal filter as well as water and air supplies and waste outlet. Between batches each tank can be completely drained in a matter of seconds and allowed to refill automatically in preparation for new arrivals.
Top-up water is supplied at the correct temperature from a 2500ltr hot tank which is kept at a constant 26°C. Most of the heat for this tank is supplied by our solar installation, but during the winter it can be supplemented by oil heating, or in a real emergency, electricity. Due to the efficiency of the insulation no additional tank heating is required.
In today's world of internal or external 'Power' filters some might think it strange that we still use air-driven box filters in each off our tanks. However these units, designed and manufactured by ourselves, have some very positive features. They each have a media capacity of about 4ltr, are 100% reliable, (no moving parts), use incredibly little energy and are very simply to clean and service, and can if necessary be sterilised.
Obviously with hundreds of filters we need a massive volume of air, but the familiar aquarium air pumps are out of the question for several reasons. Not only are they expensive to operate in terms of pence-per-litre, but with reciprocating parts are unreliable for long tern continuous operation.
The solution is a 'Blower', or to be more precise, 4 of them, each one capable of delivering thousands of litres of air every minute and running at full power 24/7 for years on end. Resembling a miniature Jet Engine these devices use high-speed turbines to compress vast quantities of air, yet use less electricity than a standard light bulb. As the finely balanced turbines rotate in high-precision bearing's there is no vibration and very little wear. Only the bearings need periodic replacement, perhaps every 15 - 20 years.