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Tank of the Month - March 2007

WMAS - Tank of the Month
Stephen and Amy Wilkins

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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.
Name:
Stephen and Amy Wilkins
Location:
Taylorsville
Occupation:
Stephen: Software trainer, Amy: Stay at home mom and substitute preschool teacher
How long have you been in the hobby?
16 Months
How long have you been a member of the club?
13 Months
How did you hear about the WMAS?
Shawn Winterbottom, Amy's Brother

2) Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?
Acrylic / Glass:
Glass
Size in gallons:
55
Dimensions:
21"x12.5"x48
Age: (how long has the system been running)
We’ve had it for 1 yr. and 4 mos., previous owner had it set up for about 2 years.

3) Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.
T-5’s VHO’s (white and actinic blue). The photo-period is 10:00a.m. to 9:00p.m. If we could Change one thing it would a second set of T-5’s or a programmable LAD lighting system.

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.
Our sand bed is about 3 inches, crushed coral and araganite (sp?). Excalibur Protein Skimmer runs The same schedule as our day time lights. We have 2 intake circulation pumps one is 620 gph the Other circulation pump came with the tank and we do not know it’s gph. The sump is 20 G. It has Ceto algae and the reverse daylights are from 9:00p.m to 9:00a.m. Our clean up crew is various Snails and hermit crabs and 2 peppermint shrimp.

5) What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule.
We do a 10% water change about every 6 months. Which means for as long as we’ve had the tank, we’ve done 2. To clean it we use Mag-Float glass cleaner and a razor blade.

6) What additives do you use?
Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other
We use Reef Complete Calcium 2 capfuls every other week. Activated charcoal in a small bag of tulle in the bottom of the sump.

7) Describe your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?
For the fish we use mostly use pellets and sometimes flakes. We feed them a couple of times a week and every so often we put in a little bit of the algae from the sump, mostly for the Yellow Tang. We also put cyclopeeze and phytoplankton occasionally.

8) DIY ie, Calcium reactor, stand / hood, skimmer, sump, ect. Any Do-it-yourself items of interest? Web-sites that you may have referenced?

9) Stand and Canopy
Wood:
Pine - We Think
Color:
Black
Special Characteristics:
Salt water drip stains (already there when we bought it) lol.

10) Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate
Favorite Fish: : Amy’s is the purple fire fish and Stephen’s is the six-line wrasse
Favorite Coral: Amy’s is all of it, she can’t make up her mind and Stephen’s is the yellow cactus.
Favorite Polyps: Green button, green star and zoo’s.
Favorite Sponge: Whatever is surrounding our green button polyps
Favorite Crab: Any crab that isn’t the rock crab!
Favorite Worm: Feather duster
Favorite Clam: No clams :(

11) Can you include a table showing your elemental levels of Ca+, alkalinity, S.G., temperature, pH and other interesting testables?


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?
We learned that water flow is a lot more important than we thought it was. With the new water pump we bought our corals grow faster and seem to be happier. Our challenge is keeping the water topped off and new fish alive. We are very happy that the yellow cactus is finally doing so well. For a long time it wasn’t happy because it kept falling, a little super glue fixed that problem and we are also very happy because it is actually doing well and growing under lights that are not supposed to be able to support it. The best thing of all is that we actually have a salt water aquarium and that our kids haven’t killed it Our biggest wish: a bigger tank!

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