January 2005 - Tank of the Month
Connie Perkins

 Check out the PowerPoint presentation on Connie'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: Connie Perkins
Location: West Jordan
Occupation: Medical Office Manager / Mom – this one is my favorite job
How long have you been in the hobby? 5 years
How long have you been a member of the club? 1 year
How did you hear about the WMAS? Looking for club in my area started looking on the web.

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: 120
Dimensions: 48 x 24 x 24
Age: (how long has the system been running) 10 months / I had a 45 gallon for three year and transferred it to the new system.

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

I run 3 250 10K bulbs for 12 hour every day. They come on at 9 am go off at 9 pm. I have two Blue lines on the outer sides and a whiter bulb in the middle. My refugium is running RD for 12 hours a day. I also run a moon light for 12 hours.

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 sand bed is 6 inches deep both in the display and the ref/sump I have 150 lbs of live rock and 5 different macros in the ref. I have 10 lbs of live rock in my sump for extra filtration. I also run a fiber mesh 24/7 which is changed weekly. My ref/sump has its own clean up crew of 25 hermits, 1 sand sifting star, 25 snails, and one crab with only half its legs.. Keep reading, I explain this later. My main tank clean up crew consists of 5 cucumbers, 5 stars, 75 hermits, 100 snails, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banned shrimp, and a fire shrimp. I have a DIY spray bar for my return which is powered by a Iwaki 40 RLXT which has a return rate of 1400 gallons per hour. Three 1200 maxi-jets which are hidden in the rock that run off a Tsunami wave timer to change the current every 15 mins. I run my skimmer 24/7.

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

I run carbon 24/7 (for smell) I use filter floss 24/7 which is changed weekly, I only do a water change every two to three months. I run an auto top off and use only R/O water.

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

I dose 5 oz of B-ionic 3 to 4 times per week. I really need a reactor.

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

My fish only get fed if they take the food from my hands. The reason for this is when I am at the tank the fish are all out and at attention. None of them hide. I can also pet almost all of my fish even when I am not feeding. It makes them more of a pet then just something to watch swim. I make my own mix which contains: Blood worms, brine, squid, clams, silver sides, mysis, Cyclopeez, seaweed, and garlic extreme. I feed everyday but Sunday and only once per day. 2 to 3 times per week I feed 3 diff sizes of golden pearls, phytoplankton and feed my tangs fresh food from the ref 4 times per week.

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

I did do all my own plumping under the tank from the overflow and made my spray bar. My light bracket was made by a friend. My stand I made but am embarrassed to admit it. Some things are better left to a pro. It was a quick fix just to cover the front. It has a pull away front so I can access the entire set up within seconds. Eric @ Marine Aquatics is going to redo wood work after the holidays.

9) Stand and Canopy
Wood: Oak
Color: Oak
Special Characteristics: I bought my tank from Ryan Wilden off the board.

10) Interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate

Favorite Fish: Purple tang He hated me when I first got him. It took two weeks for him to even come out when I was by the tank but now he comes up just to get a daily rub down from me..
Favorite Coral: Small frag I got from Danny Luek. It is not much now but in a year it will be a show piece. Members or fellow fish geeks seem to like my purple tri-color. For those not in the hobby everyone seems to have a favorite and it is very seldom the same one. Its fun to see how everyone can find beauty in something different especially when they don’t know the price.
Favorite Polyps: The ones I got from Jason (reptoreef). They are stunning.
Favorite Sponge: Red ball, it is growing not shrinking as everyone said it would.
Favorite Crab: I have a little guy in my sump that I did not want in my main tank. I pulled off all but one leg from one side trying to get him out of the main tank and he still manages to get around.. I respect him for that, so he is my favorite..
Favorite Worm: Tube, I have has him for over 3 years. He has only eaten two purple fire fish in that time. Not bad….
Favorite Clam: I have 6 and really like them all.

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

I do not run a heater or a chiller. Since my top is open, my tank stays at 78 pretty much year round.

Side note: I really do not know a whole lot about the chemistry of this whole thing. I only know what the test kits say it supposed to be and how it fix it if my levels are not right on. I really think you take the fun out of things by over analyzing them. Besides, I have JFinch for that. I must say that the members of this board are the reason for the success of my tank. I have had more people willing to come to my house and spend hours trying to teach me how & why thing work. You really could not ask for a great bunch of people. I am really proud to say I am a member of this fish geek club.

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?

I keep my system heavily stocked with fish and skim excessively to ensure they do not overload my system. I like a lot of movement thus a lot of fish. My list includes:

1 Purple Tang 1 Kole Tang
1 Hawk Fish 1 Coral Beauty
1 Cortez Angle 1 Bangii Cardinal
1 Royal Gramma 1 Purple Pseudo Chromis
5 Reef Chromis 5 Bartlett Anthias
2 Oc Clowns 1 Orange Spotted Blenny

I think I might also have a barnacle blenny but have not seen him much. He could have become food…

I did nothing the way I was supposed to. I started with a 45 gallon that was not drilled and got my first piece of live rock form the boys at the Aquarium. Matt got me a piece that had a small ( very small ) coral on it and that was it. I did not do all my rock work first. I added it all as I went also. I would buy a few corals and a few pieces of rock at the same time. After time I had a 45 gallon that could not fit one more piece, I added a 35 gallon tank to the closet and ordered 75 lbs from the Florida keys. Then I put up my 120. I already had all the rock ready to go. I had no cycle period at all.