Tank of the Month - December 2006

WMAS - Tank of the Month
Suzy and Rob Applegarth

Downloads: (right click and select "save target as" for better results)
A high speed connection is recommend for all downloads.
Presentation (1.01MB)*

Hi, Future Tank of the month WMAS member! Thank you for allowing us to showcase your tank on our website. To assist you in your write up, we have compiled a list of things to consider:

1) Your name, location and occupation. Include how long you have been an aquarist, how long you have been a WMAS member and how you heard of our club.
Suzy and Rob Applegarth
I am a RN, Rob is a Respiratory Therapist
How long have you been in the hobby?
30+ Years
How long have you been a member of the club?
We missed the first few meetings! 10+ years?
How did you hear about the WMAS?
Flyer at The old Aquarium

2) Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?
Acrylic / Glass:
Size in gallons:
Age: (how long has the system been running)
5 Years

3) Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.
2 Home Depot porch lights, and PC 50/50s. The porch lights provide enough light, but are a bit yellow. I have tried many different types of lighting and this works best. Lights are on a timer, about 12 hrs/day.

4) Describe your filtration system. Include: How deep is your sand bed, plenum, your skimmer size and model and how long you run it, your circulation pumps (how many and their size in gallons per hour), your sump/refugium including Reverse Daylight, biowheels and skilters, HOT systems, clean up crew.
We filter our tanks the way mother nature does!
We use this tank full of algae to filter the entire system, around 250 gallons. None of the tanks have a DSB, except the planted tank. I am trying to get a mangrove to grow! Trees need substrate, I think? Circulation is provided by the return from the tank above it, no pump required! The entire system does have a sump. We use it to hide our heaters and return pumps.
This tank has no clean up crew. That would be just crazy!
No skimmer, no skilter, no biowheels.....

5) What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule.
I do not do routine water changes, but I do add a lot of home grown phytoplankton, so I do need to remove water and add FW to keep the salinity at 35 ppm. Maintenence includes trimming and training the algae, and scraping the coraline of the glass

6) What additives do you use?
Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other
I have to add Iron freq, Calcium, bicarb and iodine. I add Calcium Nitrate rarely to encourage the algae to process more phosphate. I use a dry product I found because it is really cheap! I also have been recently adding Kents Essential elements, just 'cause I wonder if my algae needs some funky thing?

7) Describe your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?
I feed my herbivores nori continuously. It is always on their magfloat. I feed my large fish large shrimp, crab, and squid from the grocery store, only every other day or so. The entire system gets live unicellular algae quite frequently. My seahorses get FW and SW mysis, depending on their belly size!

8) DIY ie, Calcium reactor, stand / hood, skimmer, sump, ect. Any Do-it-yourself items of interest? Web-sites that you may have referenced?
The entire system is DIY, the system I dreamed about for years before I built it. It is custom made for a 5 foot tall female! I have a room behind the tanks for foo-foo, and another for my live cultures.
My favorite websites are the EDU ones. I do check my site's forum frequently, and I am addicted to Utahreefs. I tried to quit one day, and I got a raging headache and started hurling! I must check it at least 3 x's a day to avoid terrible withdrawal symptoms!

9) Stand and Canopy


Special Characteristics:
Ain't got no stinkin' canopy!

10) Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate
Favorite Fish: Ooday, my antenata lionfish
Favorite Coral: Corals are background foo-foo for fish so my favorites are the plastic ones?
Favorite Polyps: Sun!
Favorite Sponge: Pink!
Favorite Crab: Copepods are cooler!

11) Can you include a table showing your elemental levels of Ca+, alkalinity, S.G., temperature, pH and other interesting testables?
Hmmm. I do test weekly, but i don't keep a good log. I try to keep Iron, Nitrate at a testable level, meaning there is some! Calcium I shoot for 400, Alkalinity 11ish...
I run our temp a bit lower than some. I keep it in the low 70ís. I find I have less issues with disease when the temp is lower. My fish are still very active.

12) What experiences and challenges have you had with the tank? Any lessons learned? Is there anything you do differently than others (or differently than previously)? If so, why?
Challenges with this tank have been researching viable information. There are so many myths and misleading references about alga in our hobby, in my experience. I do many things differently than other reef tank types, but my tank is different than other reef tanks! It is not what most consider cool, but I got bored with regular tanks long ago.....
My favorite part of our hobby is on the micro level. I love to grow live cultures of shrimp, copepods, algae,ect. I have grown many different species and think that is the fun part! I am the only one I know that has grown red phytoplankton....
*You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the presentation.  If you don't have Adobe Acrobat you can download it free from www.adobe.com.  For best results save the documents to your local computer by right clicking on the file you want to download a select "save target as...".