March 2005 - Tank of the Month
Jon Finch

 Check out the PowerPoint presentation on Jon'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.
Jon Finch
Location: American Fork
Occupation: Chemical Engineer
How long have you been in the hobby? Off and on since 1992.
How long have you been a member of the club? 2 yrs
How did you hear about the WMAS? Google

2) Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?
Acrylic / Glass:
Size in gallons: 125 gallon
Dimensions: 6 ft x 18 in x 22 in
Age: (how long has the system been running): 1 yr

3) Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.
There are two 250 watt 10K metal halides, one on each side. One 400 watt 20K metal halide in the center. Two 6 ft vho actinics. The two outside metal halides (10K) are on for 10 hrs, the center halide (20K) is on for 6 hrs and the VHOs are on for 12 hrs. I wonder like, everyone else does, what spectrum will make my corals look best. Iím currently happy with my lighting choices.

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.
I have a 2 inch sand bed in the main display consisting mainly of Caribsea aragonite seafloor with a small amount of GSL oolitic sand. There is about 130 lbs of Tongan and Fijian live rock and the normal assorted bag of snails and crabs. I operate a DIY Beckett skimmer which is powered by an Iwaki 40 pump. I also have a 20 gallon refugium which is operated reverse daylight style. I also have two Maxijet 1200 powerheads on a DIY wavemaker timer. The return pump is a Velocity T4. I occasionally run activated carbon.

5) What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule.
Water changes occur about once a month and consist of 30 gallons of Instant Ocean. I clean the glass about every other day. Clean the skimmer once a week (which is not enough!). And harvest macro algae when needed.

6) What additives do you use? Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other
I have a calcium reactor that supplies most of my calcium and alkalinity needs. I also dose kalkwasser to help elevate my pH. I very seldom dose iodine and other trace element mixes. I believe that most of my trace element needs are provided by the food I feed. I have had to add magnesium once in the past year.

7) Describe your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?
I feed once a day in the evening just before the lights go out. I feed a variety of frozen foods (Marine Cuisine, Plankton, Cylcopese, Golden Pearls, etc.). I also feed brine shrimp caught from the Great Salt Lake. Occasionally, Iíll feed live phytoplankton, but I add a little shot of Tahitian Blend frozen phyto paste with every meal.

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

* The stand and canopy are made from birch and beech woods.
* I drilled my tank for overflows and built the overflow boxes.
* All of my lighting is DIY including the ballasts, ballast box and polished aluminum reflector.
* Moonlights
* The sump and refugium.
* Large Beckett head skimmer and auto shut-off waste collector.
* Kalkwasser reactor (including DIY peristaltic pump and controls)
* Calcium reactor
* Make-up water auto top off
* Wavemaker
* Activated carbon filter

9) Stand and Canopy
Birch and beech
Color: Light blond
Special Characteristics: The canopy opens nicely for easy access to the lights and corals.

10) Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate
Favorite Fish:
Kole Tang
Favorite Coral: Blue A. millepora grown from a frag from Kahuna.
Favorite Polyps: Brownish/purple with green center daisy polyps (unidentified stoloniferan)
Favorite Sponge: Spongbob Squarepants
Favorite Crab: Iíve got a HUGE green mithrix (emerald)
Favorite Worm:
Favorite Clam: Large Durasa from Connie.

11) Can you include a table showing your elemental levels of Ca+, alkalinity, S.G., temperature, pH and other interesting testables?
78 Ė 80 F
Salinity: 1.026 sg
pH: 7.9 Ė 8.1
Calcium: 370 - 420 ppm
Alkalinity: 3 - 4 meq/l
Magnesium: 1200 - 1400 ppm
Nitrate: trace
Phosphate: nil

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 have recently struggled to keep the pH above 8.2 with this tank. I used kalkwasser for all calcium and alkalinity needs until about 5 months ago when it would no longer keep up. At that time I added a calcium reactor to take up the slack, but found that I still needed the kalkwasser to keep the pH elevated.