Rob's Addiction

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by RobMcC, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    Hello - New forum, new tank journal. I moved to the Bay Area on the last day of April this year from the UK with my family. I've been keeping marines on and off for 20 years (for the last 8 years I have continuously had at least one reef tank). Recently I had several marine aquaria in the UK: A 200 gallon full reef, a 60 gallon full reef tank, and several smaller marine tanks. I obviously had to shut down my tanks to move here, which I was gutted about, as they were just maturing nicely :(.

    Like any reef junkie, I’ve been itching to feed my coral habit since moving here, but as I’m only in temporary accommodation I can’t get a full size reef for now. So, as a stop-gap measure I bought a small second aquarium the day after the BAR shop tour, which was good as I reserved some blastomussa at the last two stops…

    Anyway when I picked the tank up, it was a running reef tank with SPS in it. They are just standard brown SPS (seriatopora, pocillopora and montipora – free if anybody wants them) and were in bad way (some had died in between viewing the tank a few days earlier and picking it up). The live rock is also riddled with pest algae (hair algae and valonia mainly), but as the tank was running I couldn’t shut it down to clean it up, so will need to tackle each rock manually.

    The tank is 24” by 24” by 14” and sumped with a weird waterfall return. It came with two mp10s, a bubble magus doser, 150 watt metal halide / T5 combo, which I have swapped out for Hydra 52 LEDs, a warner marine / skimz MF-121 skimmer, an unused reef angel with loads of add-on modules, two heaters and additives etc. I’ve also bought a Tunze auto top-up to go with the tank and a cooling fan should be arriving tomorrow.

    The equipment all seems fine except the skimmer, which is ridiculously loud. Has anybody owned one of these MF-121s and if so, was yours loud and how did you fix it?

    I bought some SPS frags from Cal Reef co and Neptune at the weekend (the SPS already in the tank when I bought it have been removed from the rocks and placed at the back of the tank). All have good polyp extension, so that seems good.

    I also picked up some branching dead rock to help with aquascaping.

    The tank is currently dropping 0.5 dKH per day and I have finally hooked up the doser to stabilise alk and calcium.

    No pictures as of yet (mainly because it is ugly right now), but I’ll try and post up some pics of my previous tanks, fish and corals later if I have time.

    On another note, I just want to say I like how BAR has loads of events and seems very socialable – it was good to meet folks last weekend at the shop tour. :)
     
    Coral reefer and Enderturtle like this.
  2. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    Wow, 98F on the mercury! Tank looks okay. Looks like for once it's good that the AI director is flakey and didn't turn on....

    Anyhow, without pictures this thread will be dull for a while, so here are some pics of some of the fish and corals I had in the UK. Sorry for the photo bomb.


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  3. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    A fine collection you had there!
    Welcome to our place in space
    Happy reefing and best fishes
     
  4. MolaMola

    MolaMola Guest

    Beautiful! What a variety!
    What is that fish peeking out of the barnacle?
     
  5. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Beautiful collection! Lots of gorgeous acans and blastos. That bowerbanki is fantastic! I'm sorry you had to break it down but this gives you the opportunity to do it all over again!

    Looking forward to seeing this tank filled up!

    Sent from my KFJWI using Tapatalk
     
  6. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

    love that anthias on the first couple of pics... the Acans looks sweet too
     
  7. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    They are barnacle blennies, Acanthemblemaria hancocki. They were real characters. They bred fairly readily, but I never raised the fry past 10 days hatching. They'd be ideal for my new tank, but I never saw them in the LFS very regularly, so not sure of their availability here.
     
  8. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Welcome to BAR & the Bay Area! So many beautiful fishes & coral :)

    I just saw ur question on @Enderturtle's tank log about algae. I've had success with AlgaeX (by FaunaMarin). Also look into dipping rock in H2O2... Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2015
  9. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Wow Rob! Your old tank was amazing!

    Did the leopard wrasse eat frozen food?

    Nice coral quality.
     
  10. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    As I should have said before,
    My you have a major "problem" and you've come to the right place!
    We can help you
     
  11. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    Yep, I had three and all ate frozen food. All bought as females, but my the time I shut the tank down one had changed to a male.
     
  12. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    thanks for the tip.
     
  13. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    yep - major problem :eek:
     
  14. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    I'm traveling back to the U.S today after 10 days working abroad; I hope my tank is okay... If it is, I might be able to go to the frag swap for a bit
     
  15. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    Well, strangely I lost a few LPS during my work away, but all my SPS look better than ever. I guess the LPS really missed the heavy feeding I usually do. Sadly the LPS I lost were mainly very nice blastos. :(

    I use carbon dosing (both biopellets and my own liquid mix) on my tank, so I think it does need heavy feeding not to be stripped of nutrients.

    Good news is my equipment from my old tank has finally arrived at the port of LA and has cleared customs - yay. Just got to buy a house now.......:eek:
     
  16. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Guest

    ....care to enlighten or this a secret potion....;)

    .....sorry to hear about the loss....:(
     
  17. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I'm wondering what the equipment could be!

    I hear Germans are 5 years ahead of us in Reef Keeping. Better equipment, different strategies for running their reef tanks. Give us some advice if you know of any improvements!
     
  18. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    The losses weren't heavy, but I'm thinking it was maybe a pest now as they were all in the same location...

    Regarding the carbon source, no, it's a secret ;)

    Only joking, actually I have to experiment a bit and change the formula, as previously I used it on a very heavily fed 200G tank with a huge skimmer (rated for a 500G tank [and one of the items waiting at Port of LA]). First issue is this formula doesn't seem to work on a 28 gallon tank the same ... Basically I used to use a mix of sucrose and sodium ascorbate as a carbon source, with added sodium nitrate/potassium nitrate/potassium chloride to avoid the potassium depletion issues when using bacteria to remove phosphate and also remove the nitrate rate-limiting factor and target nitrate at 1 to 2ppm and potassium at 400 ppm. Problem is I don't get the same effect as on my old tank as you have to reach steady state of usage and carefully measure the various elements to get the dosage balanced (I can't seem to find reasonably pure potassium nitrate or potassium chloride here in the US either - ebay redirects to EU sources).

    Second issue is, there appears to be a lot of fungal spores in the air in the Bay Area compared to where I moved from, so I need to change from sugar-based to vodka-based solution to avoid contamination and yeast/bacterial growth. Taking all that into account I need to work out the usage in my tank and therefore the mix ratio.

    I may have to wait to implement fully when/if I upgrade, as it is much easier in a big tank.

    Regarding equipment, it is nothing special, just my skimmer, various LEDs, a load of Tunze circulation pumps and controller, and a powerful DC return pump.

    You do get very high-end stuff in Germany, but in the UK at least, most folks use the same brands as here. I do like the look of the Panta Rhei circulation pump :) and maybe a dastaco for alk/cal upkeep. Just gotta win the lottery now.
     
  19. RobMcC

    RobMcC Guest

    Well, this tank had been running for a week at my old house (I couldn't move it at the same time as everything, due t time contraints) and I returned to the yesterday to pack it up fearing the worst, but everything looked fine - phew.

    Anyway, I packed it all up yesterday afternoon and finished putting the last coral back in the tank at my new home late last night - I haven't checked the tank yet to see if everything has gone okay. I really hope it has, as I have many nice SPS...

    This was the last FTS before I broke it down (very blue, as my lights a re on a timer and I had no PC with me to change the schedule). Apologies - as the tank is only 10" deep all shots have to be from above or at an angle...

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    This tank will be getting shut soon anyway, as I bought a new bigger tank on Craigslist -woo hoo. I will start a new thread on here soon.
     
    Kmooresf and bee505 like this.
  20. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Is that here in Cali or not?
    That blasts and symphilia collection is gob smacking!
    And if I may ask where in our Bay Area
     

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