Tank of the Month - October

October 2005 - Tank of the Month
Dave & Kym Madsen

Check out the PowerPoint presentation on Dave and Kym'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: David and Kym Madsen
Location: 860 West 675 North Tremonton Utah
Occupation: Locomotive Engineer
How long have you been in the hobby? (Approximately 24 years) I had a 39 gallon fresh water tank as far back as 1979. In 1997 I was introduced to salt water and jumped in feet first and purchased a 55 gallon tank (predator tank; eels, triggers, etc.) a 90 gallon Reef Tank and then my 220 Gallon
How long have you been a member of the club? 1 year
How did you hear about the WMAS? A member that saw me selling a 180 on KSL.Com, Dont recall who.

2)      Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?

Acrylic / Glass: Glass Tank
Size in gallons: 220 gallons
Dimensions: 24x72x30
Age: (how long has the system been running) 12 Years

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

We have 4- 72 160 watt VHO (2- atinics, 2-10k) That fire up at 7:00 am until 10:00 am then sun from front room window until 5:00 pm, then they light up again until 10:30 PM

We have 4- 400 watt MH (2-10K & 2-20K) that fire up one at a time at around 6:00 pm and burn until 10:00 PM
Summery 8 hours at 640 watts and 2240 watts for 4 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.

Our tank has a 4 sand bed on top a 2 plenum

We run a Berlin XL counter-current skimmer 24/7,  powered by an Iwaki 1200 GPH pump that also runs one sea swirl.

We have a Dart 1200GPH that is the main return pump. It circulates water to a 46 Gallon Sea Horse/ Refugium and also runs another sea swirl.

We also have a closed loop system that is a powered by 2 Little Giant pumps. One 850 GPH, the other 1385 GPH. One moves water east to west for 3 Hours then the other one moves water the opposite for 3 hours.

The Sea Horse/ Refugium is sort of a reverse daylight. Its lit from 6:00 PM till 2:00 AM

Clean up crew consist of 3-Pepperment Shrimp, 2- skunk cleaner shrimp, 100+/-  snails and Hermit crabs and a few Emerald crabs

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

40 gallon water changes are only done about every 3 months unless a problem occurs.

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

We add kalkwasser as our entire make up water 3-5 gallons a day

We add Iodine on occasions

And we have a calcium reactor that is hooked up to a pH monitor

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

We feed more now than we use to (small amount once a day) (Sea-Horses twice) and I am still not sold on feeding a lot as I went years without feeding my 90 and didnt encounter near the  algae problems I do now, But I have a much greater Bio load now.

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

We built the famous Shane Heil Kalkwasser Reactor with a medical dosing pump

Our two-pump closed loop is rather different than most.

9)      Stand and Canopy

Wood: Light Oak
Color: Light Oak
Special Characteristics: Our Stand is taller than most so the center of the tank is at eye level ( I particularly like this about our system)

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

Favorite Fish:  Spotted Mandarin Goby and Sea Horses
Favorite Coral:  Green Brain
Favorite Polyps:  Pink Pom-Poms
Favorite Sponge:  No favorite
Favorite Crab:  No favorite
Favorite Worm:  No favorite
Favorite Clam:  Blue Maxima

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

Calcium = 460 ppm
Alkalinity = 4.30 dkh
Specific Gravity = 1.024
Temperature = 76-80
PH= 8.0 - 8.3

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?

One experience I had that taught me a lesson was I bought a chiller for $500.00 +. It never worked worth a darn. Then one day while we were away for the weekend it decided to go junk   putting a layer of oil in my tank, which, in turn killed quite a few corals and fish.

LESSON LEARNED = fans cool tanks as good if not better than chillers, dont cost nearly as much, and do not kill all the inhabitants when they quit!!!