Joel's Tank Journal(s)

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Reef Keeper, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Good Fish Tank Photo.JPG


    Thank you for landing on my journal page :D

    NOTE: Since we migrated to this web provider in 2013, all photos have been stripped from Members Journal Page. I'll be loading them manually again, if possible. Never thought I'd have to repost them again.

    Like you Folks, I'm always on the look out for healthy / showy / unusual SPS frags and LPSs for my 100 gallon tank. I'm raising them for the enjoyment and with the intention of putting back into the DBTC program and trading at Swap Meets. :love:

    Currently, I have some Acros, Chalices, Hydnos, Montis, some softies, LPSs, and Softies. My current system is now over 5 years old as of 4/16/2013 and has been healthy. Some of what I have in the main display was summoned from my other 35 gallon tank (which is now a freshwater system) I had for apx 10 years before transferring them to this one such as my Tang, Green Bubble and Candy Canes.

    Note: "Special Thanks" goes out to Jeremy / Tuberider who, initially, helped me lay out the equipment plan for this set up, and who continues to make suggestions and recommendations to keep my tank and critters vital. Thank you Jeremy.

    Lighting: NOW WITH 2 RAPID LED ONYX units total of 56 LEDs (see update and photos A/O 1/26/13) 2 each @ $259. Now I have them positioned better, the algae is under control after finally installing a 9w uv sterilizer.


    2 x 175w Reeflux 20k SE MH - Purchased at & Fired by PFO Pulse Start Magnetic Ballast (it's a beast)- Purchased at Custom (These people really know what their doing) Thx Jeremy.This December, I'm switching over to Ushios 20K+ Aqualife b/c you folks seem to be sold on them; can hardly wait to fire them up :steve:


    2 x 110W URI Super Blue Actinics, Fired by Ice Cap's 660 Ballast
    - Both Purchased at Custom
    This last order, 5-2011, was through Marine Depot, and boy they fire nicely.

    The previous MH light system was awesome, but drew a lot of power. We're already seeing a energy savings and the corals are thriving under the LEDs. $)

    48" 59W T5 Super Blue Actinic
    From Commodity
    (current moon light: waiting for R2 Dual Extreme lunar lights and Controller from Best Pet
    ) Then T5 will be serve as interim light between URI Super Actinics and Lunars.

    R2 Dual Extremes
    and R2 Lunar Controller
    arrived today 8/28/09 - From
    :love: them. Nice shimmering blue LEDs and the R2 Controller is totally adjustable
    in all three modes. Pictures to follow. Saw my Favia night feed (I mean really going at it) for the first time. I'm a happy reefer now.

    Reef Octopus 150NW Protein Skimmer equipped with their OTP2000 pump
    , from Custom
    I upgraded pump with a needle wheel over the pinwheel it came with. Coralvue helped make the upgrade easy. I just received a new OTP2000 pump May 1, 2013, and plan to swap out the original OTP pump the skimmer came with. The plan is to soak the old pump it in vinegar for a couple days and use it for a back up. After five years, the original motor and impeller are fine; and I'm reluctant to swapping them out just yet.

    40 gallon sump
    - Purchased from Pet Club
    not Petco. Note: Petco frequently has super fast Fed-Ex Free Shipping with small orders, which has saved me some money. Petco has a great return policy, a good website and great customer service too, about as good as Dr.s Foster and Smith; and no I am not being paid by anyone to plug any of my equipment.... But I know you knew that.

    7 gallon Hex Fuge with 4" DSB, - Given to me by Jeremy of Coastal Aquatics Lit by Coralife Mini Aqua 9", 9W True Act and 9W 10k PC (grows nice coralline algae on live rock, Chaeto loves it to; and it driving my little buggers wild too) Circulation provided by Maxi-Jet MP1200, rated at 295GPH-20W purchased from Previous 10 gallon DIY Fuge made by Vince of Aquatic World (now out of business), but it leaked, so now it's in the trash: A $200 piece of garbage, (looked good that's all - nuff said).

    TLF Phosban Reactor Purchased from Using BRS GFO large granules.

    2 Drew's Dosing Pumps From Bulk Reef Supply. One for dosing Alkalinity and the other for dosing Calcium.

    1/4 H/P Eco Plus Chiller. Purchased from Plant Lighting - Will say P.L.H. had the best deal on these when I made my purchase. The chiller in not terribly noisy, and although I estimate it to cost me apx $20 or so per month to operate it, I haven't noticed the difference in my bill largely, because I don't run the actinics at the same time as I run the Halides (in cost cutting mode and tank doesn't seem to miss em on at the same time...) The Chiller was being powered by a Via Aqua 3600 Circulation Pump - Purchased at
    The pump moves approximately 1057 GPH, uses 80 Watts and has been extremely reliable and very quiet. (Replaced this chiller pump with Eheim 1262 in 2012)

    Main Circulation Pump
    was a Ocean Rummer 3500 made by Aqua Medics
    (Had to installed new return pump Jan 02, 2011- went with Eheim 1262 and loving i)t.

    In tank circulation pumps
    were Koralia 2 #4s and 1 #3
    (REPLACED WITH JEBAO WP-25 on 3/6/14 - was leaking voltage after 5 years) .

    UV Sterilizer - CoraVue 9W added on 3/20/13
    to help control new algae blooms from the new LEDs added 1/27/13. I wish I would have added this years ago. I think the unit is functioning well and is a good purchase / addition to the system. I seem to be able to finally stay a step ahead in my maintenance schedule. I have it coupled to a Maxijet 400. Fosters and Smith has / had them for $99 with free shipping and no sales tax.

    If your interested in the other circulation pumps I'm using, feel free to ask on this thread. Note: Nothing special to write home about Maxi-jets.

    This year, I also added a BRS 5 Stage Plus 75 GPD R/O system $199 to my mixing area, and an a dyi auto top off system to the sump.

    I 've been only using R/O for water changes and top offs. As of Jan 2015, I make 25% WCs once a month in stead of the twice a month and the system seems to prefer it . I just started using Coralife marine salt which was under $45 for 200 gallon box of salt. It mixes up fast, is clear and doesn't precipitate in the barrel or fall out of suspension like Reef Crystals or Salinity does. Since I dose with ALK, CA, and MG anyway why should I spend more on salts. My critters never have looked better.

    The Top Off system consists of a BPA Free 5 gallon container using an (REPLACED WITH TUNZE Osmolator 3500 3/14. (The was leaking Voltage within 6 months of service) float switch along with a Maxijet 1200 powerhead. The system is using approximately 5 gallons of top off water a month, or apx 2 quarts every 3 days.

    In the past, I was feeding Fish and Corals with SF BAY Plankton, Hikari Mysis, H2 Ocean Pro Varity frozen cubes, Seaweed for Sunshine, Rotifers, EOS Phytoplanton, Cyclopez, occasionally Reef Nutrition's Oyster Feast. I rotate feeding them from time to time.

    As of Jan 2015, I'm feeding SF Bay Rotifers, SF Bay Mysis, SF BAY Emerald Entree and SF BAY Marine Cuisine; and unseasoned Seaweed sheets.

    I'm checking Trace Elements and water quality a few times a year (I don't like surprises)
    I like using API for ALK and PH test kits, and Salifert for CA and MG testing.

    The tank had apx a 2" DSB (apx 170lbs), now only 1/2 that,
    apx 200 lbs of aged live rock a few fish 1 of which I've had >15 years (Yellow Tank- Sunshine):

    Fish Family:

    Yellow Tang (Purchased 12/1998)
    1 Blue Damsel
    1 Pink Damsel ( a real nipper)
    1 Sargent Convict Damsel (mean)
    1 Blue/Green Chromis
    2 Black and White Ocellaris (donated by Screebo)

    That's it (glad I did this exercise, UPDATE, so I have it all in one place now yea). Update photos for 2015 can be found further ahead.

    Feel Free to surf my page / posts from time to time, as I've been posting decent photos, and sometimes :) useful information.

    , I am interested in meeting "Tank Buddies (?)"at the meetings, so we can discuss caring for each others' tanks when we are on vacation or ill (that kind of stuff).
    I have someone very good and well trained by me when I travel, whose taken care of my tanks for years now, but you never know, people move and that kind of stuff. So I'm interested in meeting like minded persons. Word of caution: My wife is very particular (even more than I am) who she would consider; hopefully you are too.

    Thanks again for landing here and for your post(s).

    Joel / Reef Keeper

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/Full Moon IMG_3055 copy.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/Good Tank Shoot .JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_2847_0.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_2921.JPG >/attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_3218.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/Night Shot-New.JPG
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  2. Elite

    Elite Guest

    twice a week?? If my tank lucky, it gets wc twice a month.

    BTW, nice looking tank man...
  3. A_Lee

    A_Lee Guest

    Hey Joel, sounds like you've got a nice set-up going for you.
    The link you provided doesn't seem to work for me though ... I'm not sure if it is just me or what :~
    Which fish have you you had for ten years!?
    Kudos to you for performing 10% water changes twice a week! :) I'd be all over that if I had the time. Right now I am doing 10% weekly, and it works great. I can only imagine what benefits entail changing water twice a week :D
  4. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Hi Anthony,

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Gallery link. I don't think it was you. I reattached the link, and it seems to be working for now.

    I have had the Yellow Tang (Sunshine) coming up on 10 years now.

    Since I have the time, I do them twice weekly, but when I'm on vacation, they can go 2-3 weeks with one good 30-40 gallon change. I come home to a little cyano and algae, but it cleans right up with a 25-30 gallon wc.

    SPSs grow like mad and every one comments on how clean the tank is (the time and effort pays off) When I get lazy or busy, a 10% wc works well too. While the benefits are there, the cost, time and effort is demanding but worth it.

    Thank you for your post and interest. Keep enjoying.
  5. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    What chemical tests do you take before the water changes? And after?

    I test dkh, MG, Ca, NO3- just before and the day after my weekly change. Still fine tuning the dosing of the first three.
  6. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Hi Richard,

    It was good meeting you at the Swap Meet.

    It's pretty much the same routine for me as yours. I check salinty, and Ph too.

    In the past, I would check for PO4, SiO2, O2 and Iodine, but I don't have to anymore unless things start looking funny in there.

    I am looking for a good and inexpensive Stronium test kit recommendation. I think Seachem has one, but it's like 40-50 dollars. I dose Stronium at half the dose once a week, to be on the safe safe, and get good results, but I would like to get a base-line and go from there....

  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Any particular reason you have the top completely covered?
  8. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Hi Mike,

    Yes. There are a few reasons: Care to take some guesses?


    P.s. I can't begin to tell you how much I admire your posts and contributions to the boards. I'm a fan.

    I'm only making you take a guess at your question to challenge you; and not to mess with you. I'll be happy to answer if you took a stab at it and gave up. Part of me, thinks that maybe you think this isn't such a good idea to cover it up. Not sure. Can't tell by the tenor of the post.

    Please let me know if you are still drawing a blank and if you think this is a bad idea. FWIW, I think it makes great sense.

  9. Elite

    Elite Guest

    A lot of people don't cover the top because of air exchange and you lose a lot of light if you don't clean the cover regularly. Eventhough you clean it daily, you still losing light. That's why eurobrace tank is pretty popular. If you have fish that like to jump, you can get a net from HD to cover the top.
  10. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    If I had to guess I'd say you had a fish or two that's known for jumping or perhaps you want to keep evaporation down.
  11. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Yeah there are so many way to run a fish tank. IMO, there is no wrong way as long as it works well for you..
    Happy reefing :)..
  12. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    I received a PM from sfboarders about my cabinet that I think I want to share on this thread. I don't think he will mind. So here's sfboarder's question, and my reply, should anyone have the same question, as this will save me time from having to respond to the question again....

    --- sfboarders has sent you a new private message

    Hi Joel, You have a nice looking tank! Just wondering where you got your
    cabinet and canopy built at. Thanks, John (sfboarders)


    Hi John,

    This would be a good post for you to have asked me about on a new thread, because lots of folks ask and I don't want to be repeating myself. But, since you're asking. I'll tell you this much:

    This person use to make cabinets for a LFS before retiring and moving to Vegas. I actually gave him all the dimensions and design plans including wood type color dye for him to build the stand and canopy for me. I knew what I wanted and he was impressed, capable; and his wife told me he built one for himself too because he liked the designs so much.

    He took almost a year to make it for me and really hung me up, but I tolerated him and the matter because he was as good as he was....

    The one condition he had me agree to, was that I not reveal who he was, because he only built stuff for this one store and now that he is retired, and I had begged him so much shortly after retiring, that he reluctantly agreed to build it.

    You may want to ask Mario (Xcaret) on BAR's to design something for you. I've seen his work and it passes muster. He lives in San Francisco, and he is active on the boards. He builds stuff and sells it on Craig's list and maybe Ebay (not sure about the Ebay part) He is serious reefer too.

    Sorry that I could not give you the answer you were looking for.

    I prefer posting on the boards unless it starts getting personal.

    Happy reefing.

  13. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

  14. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    BINGO (right on both accounts)

    Mike gets to pick a prize from the top shelf. :star:

    Hi Phong: Points well taken. H) I took the lighting loss into consideration, and for what I'm paying for them and to run 'em, I agree with you that a person would want to get the most bang for the buck. If you saw the lighting picture above, you'll see I have a lot of fire power, and they are really close to the surface (not too close, but close enough). Also, wanted to point out, because the pictures don't show my custom sump in detail, that it has some simple but amazing aeration capabilities; and the lids on the main tank have apx 2 inch cut-outs in them too. I don't think there is a dead zone anywhere in the main tank either. The tank was custom made and came with the covers. I like them because they keep the 41x T/O - 4100 GPH flow from splashing back onto the halides. Sure I have to clean those buggers a lot, but I don't mind. I think they are unique and serve a good purpose too. Another reason I keep them on is, should the halides burst or shatter, the glass wont go into the tank (or other foreign matter). There is probably another reason to mention, but I can't think of it now. (oh yea: the covers reduce the noise level too).

    Last thing, I want I'd like to say to you both is I really admire your posts, pictures and intellect> I follow your posts and see how you think. That's why I left the door open for your perspectives. I think I'm making the right choice here, but want you to know I am always open to your point of views.

    Happy reefing to you.

  15. screebo

    screebo Guest

    Very nice set-up, Joel. I can see you LOVE technology and are able to demonstrate the results of applying science to art. Are you telling me I need to learn about testing for Stronium? Holy Cow! I knew it would come to this! :bigsmile:
  16. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Hi John,

    Here's a link to my "Mini Forum...."

    Thanks for posting,

    Reef Keeper
  17. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    NEW SPSs ADDED 08/30/09 (photos to follow)

    Ponape B-Nest - Tyree LE

    Atlantic Green Body Purple Polyp B-Nest

    Acro Secale (tri color)

    Larry Jackson (40+ year Frag Lineage)

    Atlantic Green Polyp B-Nest - ORA

    C-Quarium Unknown (?)

    Pink B-Nest

    Green Slimer - Solomon Islands (20-30+ year Frag linage)

    Thank you Jeremy

    "My aquarium in going to the 'birds'...."

    Photo: Solomon Islands

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/Solomon_Isles.jpg
  18. wait... lol....oh there is definitely "WRONG WAYS"
    but no "one" way that is "Right"

    Nice tank,
    I see some Leafy sea dragons" where was that pic taken?
    Is that your tank?
  19. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Hey Will,

    Top of the class man H) : Not to take anything away from anyone else but Elite's point is well taken too.

    Leafy Sea Dragons - That was taken this May 2009 a the Monterey Bay Aquarium shortly after the Sea Horse Exhibit opened.

    If anyone is following this string, can you try ID'ng these two new additions...?

    The Red one looks like a knuckled / mounding Monti with grayish purple short polyps over the red (almost brick colored tissue (At first I thought this to be Montipora Turgescens, but I'm probably wrong).

    The Turquoise one looks like a Acro (more stony then fleshy) that has purple tips where there is new growth is and small to medium polyps.

    If anyone cares to take a poke at it, I'd be appreciative. I got these two today at OTA. They are nicer looking in seeing in person.

    Someone, I, think Jim, was asking me how's my 2nd Gen Quadricolor (that divided last week) is doing
    , on a different thread, and I said I would post pictures. I fed the 1st Gen and 2nd Gen today for the first time since they divided. Both sucked down the their shrimp meat like it was all you can eat at a Hawaiian Luau (photos taken while feeding. The little one looks like a shrimp dumpling). I'm a happy Reefer; and they're well too. :love:


    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_3032.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_3036.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_3039.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_3042.JPG
  20. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    The top piece looks like Montipora nodosa.

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