Tank of the Month - August

August 2005 - Tank of the Month
Brad Syphus


Check out the PowerPoint presentation on Brad's tank by clicking here!

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: Brad Syphus
Location: 5545 Walden Meadows Drive, Murray, Utah, 84123
Occupation: Co-owner, Tite-Line Tile Inc.
How long have you been in the hobby? 27 months
How long have you been a member of the club? Since Nov, 2003
How did you hear about the WMAS? Learned about it from a friend

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: 65 gal Tall
Dimensions: 36L x 18W x 24H
Age: (how long has the system been running) 27 months

3) Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.

Lighting consists of Two 150 w hqi de aqua medic oceanlight pendants. Bulbs are AB 20k
Two 39 w Tek T-5 lights running two 10k AB bulbs Total watts 378 watts

Lighting period is from 10 am to 10:30 pm every day.

My halide bulbs are 4 months old, and when it is time to change I am going to go with the
Pheonix 14k bulb for better par and growth. And will change my T-5 bulbs to actinic 20k

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.

My filtration system includes a 3 inch sand bed with 110 lbs of live rock, no plenum, no refugium. I have a 15 gallon sump that houses a filter sock and a Euro-reef CS8-2 skimmer 24/7 A Mag 9.5 for my return pump and two Seio m620's for water movement in my tank.

Many different crabs and snails for cleanup crew
I also run a red sea 100 mv ozoniser generator through my skimmer with a setpoint of 385mv
and I run it at 80% 24/7 and also use activated carbon for water clarity.
I also use a Millwaukee SMS 22 meter to moniter my ph

5) What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule.

My maintenance is every sunday morning, 10 gallon waterchange, clean all the glass except the back, clean overflow box, change prefilter sponge in overflow, clean skimmer , change filter sock and change carbon. I use oceanic salt and add kent superbuffer to suppliment alk.
I clean my orp probe and microwave my dryer beads for my ozoniser, clean my lights and fans in my canopy. It usually takes me around 90 minutes to do all this. Then usually around thursday I clean my glass and my skimmer cup again.

6) What additives do you use? Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other

I dose with Bi-onics A & B every morning wed thru sat and do not dose sun thru tues. I have found that using oceanic salt, I do not need to dose for the entire week. Two drops of Lugols every other week. I will also use some Kent Coral-Vite for trace elements.

7) Describe your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?

I have a lot of fish (15), so I feed quite often. I use all the different frozen cubes, marine cuisine, brine shrimp , mysis shrimp, emerald entree, cyclopeez, DT's phyto and oyster eggs for the coral.
I feed three various cubes a night and flake food when I get home from work. I will also give my tangs a quater of a sheet of nori a day.

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 only DIY I have is my canopy that I had special built 18 inches high with no top and back so I could install my pendants and fans and T-5's inside. My wife did not want wires hanging from the ceiling. I had the canopy built but I installed the lights and fans.

9) Stand and Canopy

Wood: Pine
Color: Natural

10) Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate

Favorite Fish: They are all my favorites except my maroon clown fish
Favorite Coral: My mushrooms, and my sun coral
Favorite Polyps: Pink
Favorite Sponge: Blue

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?

The main thing I would do different would have been to have a larger tank and have it pre-drilled. Overflow boxes are an accident just waiting to happen and is to this day my main concern. I went to a cpr overflow box with a aqua-lifter pump to get rid of the U-tubes, but the trouble with this overflow box is that the aqua pump is only reliable for about 6 monts and you need to change filters on them or they will last even less then six months. I always have to keep an eye on it.
So far I have been lucky, and no disasters, but my wife hates it when I have to work out of town, she dreads having to take care of it.