Photograph by Blane Perun

Coral Farm Framing

This concrete cutting wheel and blade were a fairly expensive rental and certainly is not a precision finishing tool, but a necessary step to cut the remaining portion of the window frame to make way for the door. The below photos highlight the vault ceiling and the shelf reserved for ballast and recessed lighting.

In conjunction with wanting a comfortable and presentable work environment I

chose to do recessed lighting in contrast to hanging shop lights. In the evening the fluorescent provide great indirect light and most likely won’t shock the corals and interrupt with evening feeding of a polyp extension.

A second benefit is the width of the shelving will permit plenty of room to hide ballast for supplementary illumination. You can see a space reserved on the opposite facing wall, this is reserved for an exhaust fan, on the opposite side of the room, and I’ll be running a Modine vented natural gas heater. Both units will run off the same circuit. I have another independent circuit dedicated to the upper shelf perimeter of the room for ballast and the indirect light. In addition there will be three other circuits that will provide power to the room for all accessories.

Each circuit is tied into a main GFI for safety, a must for this type of environment. As mentioned on the page previous you can see the ceiling baffles aim to preserve the roof shingles for years to come. The investment is minimal but crucial in this type of humid application. The next step was insulation, as discussed previously building a room in contrast to a traditional greenhouse I have the opportunity to insulate and preserve both heat and cold which will help temperature stabilization and energy cost over the course of the years to come. Limited to space, I chose R13 for the walls and R19 for the ceiling, had the facility been larger I would have went with the maximum capacity.

The above right photo and to the picture to the left show the OSB beginning to be mounted around the room. I chose to split up building materials in regards to the ceiling and the walls. Along the walls to the height of and including the shelf for the recessed lighting I chose to use FRP, a fiberglass composite that’s both water and mildew resistant you will usually find behind the scenes in labs and public aquariums. Behind the FRP, I chose to use OSB instead of green board. The FRP will be sealed with joints and silicone preventing moisture.

Blane Perun

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Whale in Ocean