My "Lazy Reefer" tank

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by treylane, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. treylane

    treylane Guest

    Well, the tank is settling in now, and I've run out of excuses for not posting about it. So here goes:

    I've been keeping reef tanks for over 6 years now, working my way up from a 3g nano up through various sizes, and eventually to my last tank, a 200g sps-dominated reef. I found out in February that I'd be moving from San Diego to the bay area. By this point, I'd had my fill of huge, high-maintenance tanks, so I sold off the bulk of my hard-won collection, tore down the tank, and begged tank space from my friends to store all the fish/corals I couldn't part with while I moved and got the new tank set up.

    In order to be able to get the tank set up as quickly as possible, I ordered it before even having a new place to live lined up, so it was a matter of picking the dimensions I wanted to see in a tank, and just hoping it'd fit in our new house! The goal with the new tank was to make sure the maintenance didn't get out of control. To do that, it had to be too small to house certain critters, or certain combinations of critters. I eventually decided on a 42x28x20 starphire peninsula tank from LeeMar. Keeping it under 4' means that it can house only a few, small fish. It's not very tall, so the rockwork can't be too elaborate. The width allowed for two different viewing panels, with quite different perspectives into the little glass box.

    Everything was pretty stressful, moving, dealing with new jobs, bouncing back and forth between cities, waiting for the new tank to be finished, and hoping all my livestock was doing alright, 500 miles away. Then I got the call - there'd been a freak accident, and all my fish were dead, including my beloved pair of spawning black Ocellaris clowns. The female was my very first saltwater fish, and had been through a lot with me. This was heartbreaking, I checked to see if there was some way I could cancel the tank order. The glass had been cut, the deposit had been cashed, it was too late to back out. So onwards it was.

    A few weeks after we'd moved, and finally had the majority of the boxes unpacked, the tank was ready. I headed down to socal, grabbed a uhaul, and brought it up. Getting it into the house was a little challenging, as the stand is ~30" wide, and the doorway to the house is 28" wide! I called the movers who helped us unpack our moving truck, and they hauled it up and over the balcony, through the patio doors. The stand spent its first week on a furniture dolly so we could move it around the house every day or two, looking for the right spot. It eventually landed at the end of the kitchen. The overflow box is on the wrong side, but can't have everything.

    The tank in its final resting place, with myself and the cat supervising:

    It took a few weeks to get it plumbed and running, and I headed back down to socal to pick up what was left of my livestock, and my newly completed sump. I've moved my larger tanks several times, so the experience came in handy here. No casualties from the trip! Once I got everything put back together, I was still missing some "height" to the rockwork, so I went out hunting for something special. A quick trip to Neptune Aquatics produced some of the nicest pieces of LR I've ever seen! Finally the tank was starting to look complete!

    The tank has been up and running for about 2 months at this point. I'm basically starting all over as far as what kinds of corals I'm keeping, so there will be a definite "frag tank" look to it for awhile.
    - Photosynthetic: zoas, lps, and poci/stylo/seriatopora
    - Fish: 3 highfin gobies, 1 mimic filefish, 1 yellow tilefish, 1 carib blue tang, 6ish nano gobies
    - Inverts: 12 sexy shrimps, 18" spiny brittle star, tiger pistol, purple sebae/malu anemone
    - Non-Photos: several scratch+dent dendros that had been neglected by previous reefers, balanophyllia, swiftia gorgonian
    - Algae - Halimedia, Caulerpa paspaloides, and plenty of diatoms/cyano to boot!

    Aquacontroller 3, Two Part Solution with Drew's Dosers, 2x tunze 6105, 1x tunze 6025, 2x250w MH, ATB Small Cone skimmer, Eheim 1262 return.

    I'll be adding photos as time goes on, but for now, VIDEO!:
  2. badbread

    badbread Guest

    Very cool! Awesome how you can view the tank from all angles and it's not up against the wall.
  3. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    That is one sexy tank :-D
  4. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    Real nice. I like the 2 island look with the tilefish patrolling the channel, the different colored sand, all the sexies on the anenome and the diversity with the macro on the side (hope it doesn't take over). Nice job!
  5. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Beautiful tank, Jess.
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Guest

    Wow that's some epic tale of how you got here to the current tank (something I would do... although I'd probably babble on and make it 10x as long :D). Interesting that you were almost ready to quit because you lost your fish, I still have my first fish ever (A tomato clown), although I keep her more for posterity sakes than I really want to keep her... plus I can't seem to shake people saying I absolutely HAVE to keep all the anemones.. *sigh*..

    Anyways I really like the stand, very nice finished look. You cat seems to like it too, luckily for me my cats have shown no interest in my fish related goods.

    Also,why so many sexy shrimp? Just have a thing for shrimp? :D
  7. mpoletti

    mpoletti Guest

    Great to see you active here as well Jessica :)
  8. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Nice tank!
  9. adolfo425

    adolfo425 Guest

    Very nice tank.
  10. treylane

    treylane Guest

    Thanks for all the kind words!

    There's a pile of sexy shrimps for a few reasons. First, my anemone survived even though the clowns didn't, and I wanted something other than another pair of clowns to host in the nem, sexy shrimps are just kinda funny to watch, and I'm a sucker for trying anything new-for-me, or offbeat. Sometimes things work out (pink urchin) and sometimes they don't (seagrass filefish).

    I'm pretty far from a macroalgae expert, but I've kept various caulerpas, and halimedia before. It's no big deal to reach in and tear out a fistful now and then. I'm going for a more "wild" kind of look with this tank, so I can pretend it's all messy and overgrown on purpose :p. I'm a bit more concerned about the bryopsis attached to this frag I picked up at baymac yesterday!
  11. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    I picked up a great rock at Neptunes recently too. I would have set up my hex away from the wall more if I had known how nice it is to see all sides. Yours in particular is nice from the different angles. Thanks for the video.
  12. bluevoodoo

    bluevoodoo Guest

    Very nice tank
  13. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    oh nooo! just read about the freak accident and the loss of the fish =( Sorry to hear.

    That's an awesome tank! I'm thinking of turning my tank into an island tank as well. Can't wait to see all your stuff up and running!

    Do you have it up against the kitchen island? Or is it free standing?
  14. treylane

    treylane Guest

    It's up against the kitchen counter/bar/whatever, so while it's technically viewable from all four sides, I think of it as a 3-sided / peninsula tank.
  15. treylane

    treylane Guest

    Ugh, rusty on the pix, but some to share:

  16. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    I think im in love with those gobies
  17. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    awesome tank! keep up the good work :)
    Pics don't look to rusty unless your comparing yourself to National Geographic.
  18. desertreefer

    desertreefer Guest

    man those are the best gobies ever............Do they all share the same shrimp?
    nice tank..................more pics please
  19. adolfo425

    adolfo425 Guest

    Wow nice tank and great pictures. I love how all 3 gobies are swimming together.
  20. treylane

    treylane Guest

    Yeah, all 3 gobies are sharing the same shrimp, which I've had for a few years now. I started with two pairs, but lost one right away (transport stress I guess)... every other time I've had this happen, the pair of gobies will go out of their way to kill the odd man out, but for some unknown reason this time they're (barely) tolerating the spare.

    I like these shrimpgobies best because they stay small (big watchman gobies tend to get MEAN), don't sift sand, and are hardy once they survive the first couple weeks. Yashia gobies are roughly identical in behavior/care reqs, but tend to be pricier.

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