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Discussion in 'Tank Spotlight Award' started by daddio, Aug 14, 2018.
Bay Area Reefers Tank Spotlight #2
Hello BAR, thanks to @Newjack I have the opportunity to share my reef tank and how I got started in this fantastic hobby. As you know, reef tanks don’t just pop up over night, and to acquire all the desired equipment you usually don’t go out and buy it all at once. The equipment and corals you’ll find in my system have been collected throughout the last 11 years.
My introduction to the tropical fish hobby was when I was about 5 years old. My family had goldfish, a beta and a dojo loach in large round bowl in the kitchen, which was eventually upgraded to a 10 gallon tank. I can remember the hang on the back heater and the floss and charcoal filter powered by an air stone. I have fond memories of trips to the fish store to buy live brine shrimp from Waterline Tropical Fish off Central Expressway in Mountain View. The shop always had a familiar smell that was oddly welcoming and then there was the excitement of seeing new fish and the hopes we might possibly bring one or two home.
When I was in junior high I got my first tank which I solely maintained. A 30 gallon glass with a Whisper power filter and a Red Oscar. I thought it was the best fish ever at the time. All was great for a while, until the tank sprang a leak in the seam. Luckily the leak was slow enough that I had time to order a new tank. My parents helped me buy an 85 gallon S&S plexi tank. Then my father and I built the stand and canopy out of pine and stained it. The filtration was initially a Fluval 304, but later upgraded to a used closed loop LifeGuard Canister filter system with separate chambers for mechanical, biological, and an inline heater.
My Oscar moved into the 85 gallon, and over time I added more than 20 South American cichlids. It evolved into a planted a community tank and eventually African Cichlids.
After I graduated High School, and learned how to fabricate with acrylic, I built a 125 gallon reef tank and custom sump with metal halides. My uncle built an Oak stand in his friend’s cabinet shop. Back then, I was getting most of my corals from SeaScape in Mountain View when it was owned by Warick and later Rick. After attending a few years at local junior colleges, I took the 125 tank down as I headed off to UC Davis where I ended up meeting my wife.
I did keep a 35 gallon fresh water tank while at UCD, but my reefing hobby took a break from 2002 to 2007. A friend gave us a 14 gallon biocube as a wedding gift. Together we set it up in our living room as a nano reef. We had it on a 18” stand which was great entertainment for our cats. A year or so later we upgraded to a 29 gallon biocube, and then eventually bought our 90 gallon bow front system with a cherry stand and canopy. We set the tank up in the kitchen so we could enjoy it while we ate. The 90 was a very successful reef tank and went through a lot of upgrades throughout the 7 years we ran it. Many different skimmers, return pumps and lights were tested out. It came with power compacts, which we later upgraded to metal halides. Then after LEDs had been out on the market awhile, we eventually installed 3 Kessil A360we lights inside the canopy. The corals grew fantastic under the Kessils. Our reef started to out grow our tank. I could no longer reach the sides and some of the front to do a proper algae removal.
See our 90 Gallon Build Thread/Tank Journal: http://www.bareefers.org/forum/threads/matt-asias-90-gal-bowfront.19742/
When a used rimless tank became available that would give us more tank real-estate, we decided to go for another upgrade. Before setting the new system up I did a major refurbishment on the stand and tank. With all the other projects and things going on in life it took more than a year before I had a chance to get started. Eventually we had a baby on the way and there is nothing more motivating than knowing you better hurry because you’re about to have no time at all once the baby arrives. Although, I didn’t hit the deadline, I did get most of it complete and we had water in the tank two months after our baby was born.
See our DSA Neo 105 Build Thread/Tank Journal: http://www.bareefers.org/forum/threads/our-dsa-neo-105-build.19947/
Main display: 105 gallon rimless starfire glass (DSA NEO 105 Deep Sea Aquatics)
Bean Animal overflow with dual returns (¾” full syphon, 1” durso, 1” emergency, ¾” return line that is T’d inside the overflow chamber) The return T can be easily removed with a union to reach all the parts of the bean animal if needed.
Lighting: 2 Kessil AP700s
Stand: DSA NEO stand originally purchased with tank. I custom painted the stand black with a mix of metallic gold. Overall it gives a dark brown look and you can see the metallic in bright light.
Sump: Home built custom acrylic sump with three 8” diameter filter socks (400-micron mesh)
Skimmer: Vertex Omega 180i protein skimmer
Return pump: Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon RD3 Speedy 80watt (DC variable speed)
Water circulation: 2 Ecotech VorTech MP40 QD
Doser: 2 Neptune DoS units
Auto top-off: Tunze ATO
Monitoring: Neptune Systems APEX Controller
The tank is setup as a mixed reef. Some of it is sectioned into areas like euphyllia garden, chalice tree scape, zoa garden, mushroom and SPS areas. Then there is bleed over, where there are various types of coral placed wherever I could fit them due to lack of space. The rockscapes are DIY and were build in my garage using EMACO and liverock with encrusted corals from the 90 gallon.
The fish in the tank are comprised of three Yellow Tangs, one Blue Hippo Tang, one Purple Tang, two Spotcinctous Clowns, two Bengai Cardinals, one Pigmy Angel, one Eibli Angel, one Falco Hawk Fish and an Anthias.
I was able to find a frag tank with the same style stand as our display tank. Over the last year I’ve refurbished the stand with a matching paint job. Since getting nominated for the spotlight this last month it’s been a great motivator to finish plumbing the frag tank into the display tank sump. The tank is 20”x 20” x 8” with a Kessil A360we and a small Jaebo wave maker for some pulsing waterflow. This little tank worked out to be a great place to put the pair of Picasso Clowns that we won at the Coral Farmers Market from the BAR booth. Thank you to @Kim Pattison (Kimmie’s Clown Fish) for donating these clowns and always supporting BAR! Also in the tank is a Midas Blenny.
Here's a few tank pics:
I’d like to thank all the BAR members and BOD members for making this club what it is today. I feel that I’ve grown as a hobbyist since I’ve become a BAR member. The club shares a wealth of information as well as livestock with its members and I can’t thank you all enough for that.
Just in case you missed it, here’s a link to @Newjack’s Tank Spotlight #1
~Matt and Asia
one sweet reef. Great job guys!
I like the back story.
That is a lot of tangs. How do you keep the peace?
Thanks for sharing your reef. It is sooo clean!
Such a beautiful tank, even better in person.
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They pretty much get along if they’re fed. When we introduced them all, they came from multiple tanks, so we had the outside the tank covered in mirror for several days. We also put them all in at nighttime. When we removed the mirrors they all got along. Maybe they were glad to have half the number of tangs to contend with!
Love the chalice rock
+1 on liking the back story. Nice to know it was not "poof", instant great tank.
How do you keep plating corals so nice looking?
Mine grow huge and over power things, so I try to prune, but they crack or look all ratty.
That's a good question. I too, snap them off then I glue the pieces on a little higher or lower to create shelves or glue to a frag plug for later use. The rough edges round out pretty quickly over a month or two (fast a for coral).
There was that thread about the black sand. Did you always have black (I mean in the 90)?
No black sand in the 90. This black sand come from Vincent. I washed the heck out of it. The only thing I don’t like about the black sand is that some of the particles are ferrous so magnets will get sand particles stuck to them. Don’t drop an MP40 wetside in the sand or you’ll have to take it all apart.
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Sounds almost like you know that from experience.
Tank is growing in beautifully! Well done.
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing
wow. nice and clean setup. That is a showcase sump! how high do you run your AP700 on that small of a footprint? Yes...love the back story as well. Besides, being a fellow UCD Alumnus couple times over, can't go wrong with that!