I'd ask my friends to come and see, An Anemone garden with me...

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Bruce Spiegelman, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. I'd ask my friends to come and see
    An Anemone garden with me
    I'd like to be under the sea
    In an Anenome' garden in the shade.

    Bare bones Anemone propagation tank.

    In the beginning I had decided to keep my 25 gallon Innovative Marine Lagoon up and running after I quit using it as a frag tank to host some Anemones that i was going to propagate. It seemed a shame to take down a small seasoned tank that took little to maintain.

    Well that idea went out the window last week when I closed a deal with a guy for 25 Black Widow Anemones. It became apparent that not only am I a masochistic idiot, but that I was going to need a bigger tank.

    So I spent all day running down used frag tanks and finally found a great deal on a 48 X 24 X 12 Aquarium Masters tank. It came with a Skimz 39 sump, a DC12000 return pump and a 48" Dimmable ATO six bulb fixture and the major selling point on it was he delivered it from San Jose. :)

    It's a simple reeftank with a corner overflow and a 2 holes drilled in the bottom with a Durso drain.

    For now I will probably use some black eggcrate to allow for a couple of frag racks on one end.

    The bulk of the tank will be for nems and will be bare bottom and as simple and maintenance free as I can make it. There's currently (2) 4 X 8 marine pure bricks in the sump that were pulled from another sump and from the old frag tank. Also about a gallon of Marine Pure Balls. I jump started the tank with Dr. Tim's and Dr. Tim's ammonia treatment.

    The weird thing hanging in the middle is my first stab at suspending a Powerhead in the center of the tank. I dislike (for may reasons) using a cover on powerheads and I figure if I suspend the powerheads they will be Anemone safe without having to cover them. Still not happy with this system, but it's a work in progress and hopefully the idea is sound.

    The idea is to make this tank as easy and maintenance free as I can. No rock, no sand, no filter socks or skimmer. Will add a refugium section in the sump as well. Any other ideas to make upkeep simple are welcome. IMG_5612.JPG IMG_5613.JPG IMG_5614.JPG IMG_5612.JPG IMG_5613.JPG IMG_5614.JPG IMG_5612.JPG IMG_5613.JPG
    iCon likes this.
  2. jorahx4

    jorahx4 Supporting Member

    How do you go about making the tank "mature" so quickly? So it's stable for that many anemones.

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  3. I am speeding up the cycle by adding "bottled" nitrifying bacteria and giving it a huge amount of bio-habitat with the Marine Pure bricks. They act as super "live rock." Then I use Dr. Tim's ammonia solution in order to feed the tank precisely. The idea is to quickly build a population of good bacteria and speed through the cycling process. Now I, and many others here and elsewhere, have done this numerous times and it works well in most cases for fish and some corals, but it's still risky for things like SPS and invertebrates to rush things too quickly. My plan is to put the new nems into the old tank for about a month still and then I should be fine.
  4. kinetic

    kinetic Supporting Member

    Nems will often let go of rock and float around... right into the powerhead. Even healthy ones in the beginning. If you want to be safe, I would put some mesh guard anyway.

    From my experience and talking to other nem keepers, gyre pumps do well with even flow that nems like, and the new Gyre pumps make nice looking mesh (not foam) guards.

    My BTA let go once and face planted into my mesh guard for a few hours. But it was healthy. Either way, it could’ve been chopped and made my tank soup.
  5. Yeah. I was actually thinking of putting a plastic basket around it just in case, but frankly it's getting too cumbersome. One of those ideas that just isn't working out in practice. The Gyres (and I have two of them right now) are perfect for a Nem tank, but they have the same issue with the covering as others. It's not the looks that bother me although I hate it when they get covered in gunk and algae -- it's the loss of performance.
  6. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    That’s an awesome tank...Love the dimensions! IME, nems will keep wandering until their foot is securely lodged somewhere. I’d venture to say that one would find its way into a suspended power head somehow. They’ll release and float into the ph or overflow drain. I’ve got piles of LR rubble which they seem to like. Extraction is easy if they need to undergo the knife (filet knife is my pick). I saw someone using those Marine Pure spheres as a “floor”, so that might be an option?

    For power heads, what about Vortechs? The foam guards have saved a nem or two, and I keep them near the surface to minimize the potential for a run in. The covers are relatively easy to keep clean but, yes, it does require a tiny bit of maintenance.

    If feeding the tank, what will cleanup any expelled food?

    What about halides? I’ve seen the best color under 20k Radiums.

    Egg crate seems to spell maintenance, but why no skimmer? I’d hesitate to run any saltwater system without one.

    Look forward to seeing your little project progress!
  7. It's not the maintenance on the vortech guards that bothers me at all. It's the loss of performance. The guard make it harder for the vortech to pull water through and they have to work much harder. You can hear this if you turn the pump up and listen. Mine seem to run much hotter with the guards as well. I have an extra vortech that I'll probably end up using since I can't finds a better solution nonetheless. My project this weekend is to try to make a permanent guard out of plastic mesh and an acrylic square.

    Two reasons I went with ATI's instead of Halides. This tank is three feet from my desk and Halides get hot. My office tens to get to warm anyway. Also, this set-up came with the ATI at a very cheap price -- so that's what i'm using. You are right though that Nems look awesome under Halides.

    I will be feeding the Nems regularly so there will be a large crew of Trochus, Turbos and a few shrimp. I still haven't figured out if conchs actually require a sandbed. Other than that I'll vacuum the bare bottom regularly. This along with a large refugium will in theory (?) be plenty.

    Do you think a skimmer is necessary in a fishless tank? Frankly the innovative marine skimmers are pretty much worthless so I've basically run my 120 and the 25 lagoon skimmerless for a couple of years now -- and they are overstocked.
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  8. yellojello

    yellojello Supporting Member

    Maybe try gutter guard tube to surround nem and rock until it settles. But yet I know you can't really force the settling space long term.
  9. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Sounds like the plan is for no rock.

    @Bruce Spiegelman - Great points and all make sense. I’d do the same. Not sure about the necessity of a skimmer, but I wouldn’t be disciplined enough to keep a fishless tank, well...Fishless? Regular feedings push me toward thinking a decent skimmer is a good idea, even in a fishless setup.

    Also, agree with loss of performance. I haven’t had to dial them up much as I’m using an MP40 on a 36” tank, so it’s still plenty of flow even with the foam guard.
  10. rye22

    rye22 Supporting Member

    I'm currently housing my anemones temporarily in a 5 gal tank. Chamber has marine pure balls and I have a HOG algae scrubber on the back. Nems seem happy and not moving, it's been about 2 months. I will be moving to innovative marine 25 g lagoon as soon as tank is cycled.

    *also i want to add that i have about 20+ nassarius baby snails that bred from other tank. This allows me to feed tank somehat heavily and snails pick up the rest.

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  11. I've wrestled with this as well -- the tendency is to toss a dozen bay clowns into a tank with this many Nems. :) We'll see how it goes once it's all cooking. I figure at some point I'll grab a good used skimmer in either case.

    And I know this is somewhat silly, but I watch my nems in a bare-bottom tank and feel kind of bad for them. :
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  12. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    I like the idea of having a cage around a suspended pump. Maybe put a seaswirl sort of device in the corner and build a cage around it? I didn’t like the vortech covers at all. They got so nasty so fast.

    I don’t think a skimmer is necessary these days to keep nutrients low. But what will you export mechanism be without a skimmer? You can’t carbon dose without one. So will there be a fuge or ATS? Or just lots of live rock and/or water changes? I know you’re trying to keep it low maintenance...water changes are the opposite of that. And you will be feeding the nems...

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  13. Julius Chen

    Julius Chen Supporting Member

    @Gablami what is ATS?

    I am planning my next setup, and nutrient export with least water change is my goal.
  14. In place of live rock there are two 4" X 8" MarinePure bricks as well as a gallon of MarinePure balls. I haven't looked it up, but that should be equivalent to over 100#'s of Live Rock. In addition there's about five gallons of space for a Chaeto Rufugium. I'll add a Chaeto rector as well.

    And ok -- I'll add a skimmer this week. :) That seems like a bad idea the more and more we discuss it.
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  15. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    With a fuge and chaeto reactor I don’t think you’ll need a skimmer. Why not see what happens first?

    Julius, an ATS is an algae turf scrubber. Good for tight spaces that can’t fit a sufficiently sized fuge.

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  16. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    :D If you weren’t feeding the tank, I’d give the no skimmer route a try. With substantial feedings for so many nems, this seems like a good choice!

    I picked up one of these used for around 140 shipped IIRC. Very happy with it considering all things. Even got a dash of fancy red pvc in my sump now!
  17. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    My experience with captive bred clownfish is they will steal the nems’ food out from their mouths, unlike wild clowns that actually feed the nems. I imagine as a nem farmer you’re going to want to stuff the nems with food and not worry about the fish bio-load on top of that.
  18. Nice setup, just joined BAR, in a couple months once my tank is ready I'd love to buy one of those Black Widow nems!
  19. Unless I go out and buy more it'll be a while till I have any available for trade or sale. I figure I need a breeding (splitting? Cutable?) population of at least thirty to keep them cranking out. That's figuring they will split or be cut 2-3 times per year. That gives me 75 nems a year assuming no tank crash :)
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  20. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster Staff Member

    Bruce aka Black widow whisper

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