Ray's 125G Softie Tank

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by magnetar68, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    Posting a little video showing where my tank is now. This tank was a cuttlefish tank for about a year then a seahorse tank for a few years. Now it's your basic reef tank with mainly softies. I have had the corals for a long time, but the fish have been added more recently.

    treylane, Rostato, bee505 and 2 others like this.
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Welcome back to the more conventional reefing world!
  3. tankguy

    tankguy Supporting Member

    Everyone seems happy
  4. Wow.

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  5. Can you please help me with nutrient or what salt to use ? I always test levels and check measurements but I know I'm not doing something right.

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  6. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Lovely polyp extension
  7. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    I honestly have a very simple setup. I used to be into automating everything and always checking the levels of everything, but then work got really busy, so I moved into super simple mode. Mike (Coral Reefer) helps me maintain my tank, but I designed the tank and sump, setup everything initially, and do all of the dosing.

    A lot of what I did was in the initial design, but here is how my tank works:
    • Basic Parameters
      • Salinity ~1.023 S.G.
      • pH ~8.3
      • Alk ~7-8 dKh
      • Ca ~380 ppm
      • Mg ~1200 ppm (Check only a few times per year)
      • Nitrate 0 ppm
      • Phosphate ~0.25 ppm (API Test, so not very accurate, but it is on the low end of the color gradient)
    • I designed the tank from scratch myself with some key points that help make things a little easier:
      • ~150G total water volume -- the larger volume makes things a little easier (to a point I guess)
      • A very quiet overflow (I just like quiet, but I think the fish like quiet too)
      • A large sump, and a very large refugium. I think the refugium is the key to 0 nitrates and lower phosphates. There is a high-flow section that runs through the Chaeto and a low-flow section for the skimmer that provides more contact time for the skimmer
      • I have an relatively expensive and over-sized skimmer (ATB 840v2 rated for ~250G).
      • 1" or so Sandbed with ~2mm sand
    • I choose animals that do not require perfection.
      • The corals are mainly softies and overall don't have a high CaCO3 load.
      • The fish all eat flakes and frozen or life in the tank (for the Mandarin Dragonet).
      • I have a relatively light fish load for my setup which helps keep things under control
    • I overfeed, which is bad for tank chemistry, but I think fat fish are healthy fish and it helps curb bad behavior.
    • In terms of products, I don't use much:
      • Seachem Aquavitro Salinity Salt at about 1.023-1.025
        • This is what Mike uses. If I do my own water changes, I use E.S.V. B-Ionic Seawater System. It's very expensive but there is 0 residue and I can make a crystal clear batch in a few minutes
      • BRS ROX 0.8 Carbon
      • BRS Two-part Alkalinity, Calcium Chloride, and Magnesium
      • I don't dose anything else (No Trace Elements, No Iodine, nothing else, no Vodka or other Carbon)
        • I used to run Biopellets when I had the cuttlefish, but so far I have been fine without it
        • I don't usually run GFO
        • I don't use filter socks except to polish the water after the gravel vacuuming
    • In terms of maintenance, I don't do too much:
      • 30ml of BRS Alkalinity (Dissolved Soda Ash) and 30ml of Calcium Chloride on Sunday, Wed, and Friday
      • Empty the Skimmer once per week
      • 40G Water changes every 4-6 weeks with a gravel vacuum (Mike does that) (total water volume is probably 150G, so that's about 25%)
      • Change 1 cup of Carbon when I do the water change
      • Once every couple of months I pull out half of the Chaeto macro algae in the refugium (see pic)
      • Twice a year I slowly bump up the Magnesium over a couple of weeks to 1250ppm with many 30ml dosings of BRS Magnesium Sulfate Mix
    That's it.

    Here is a pic of the sump (the light on the left is for visibility only, the one on the right is on a timer and run opposite the tank lights) and all of the Chaeto I get every couple of months:


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  8. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Hey Ray
    What's the green fluffy on the bottom right inside?
  9. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    The refugium is mainly filled with Chaeto but there is some smaller rock chunks in the bottom of the refugium. I think the coraline algae on the plastic makes it look like something else.
  10. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Nice detailed write up ray.
  11. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Sorry, I was unclear
    I meant in the display tank, under the right side monster leather. The green, maybe hairy mushrooms?behind the purple gorgonian.
  12. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    Yes, Green Hairy Mushroom. The large toadstool on the left was a frag I got from you. As are the two green fingers.
  13. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Grow them, love them!
    Well done, sir
  14. roostertech

    roostertech Guest

    Love those massive softies. How big were they when you got them?
  15. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    about the size of a quarter.

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  16. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Great tank!
    I am a big fan of softies.
  17. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I had a 120g softie, winner take all, type of tank, and that thing just naturally flowed great together, those green hairy mushrooms had their place, monster elephant ear mushrooms in another, colt coral just acting like a massive tree off to the side. Reef safe fish? pfffbt who cares! dwarf angels of all types!
    DEATH BY SNU SNU likes this.
  18. You, sir, are my new favorite tank journal! Marked!!!
  19. Mike can I pick your brain sometime?
  20. magnetar68

    magnetar68 Supporting Member

    I am going to do some work on the tank soon. This is the before pic. Will be a few months at least before the after pic.
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