Tank of the Month - August 2007

WMAS - Tank of the Month
Corey Price

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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.
Corey Price
Syracue (not the end of the earth)
Structural engineer
How long have you been in the hobby?
Not long enough. About three years
How long have you been a member of the club?
About two years
How did you hear about the WMAS?
From a LFS who told me not to go to the meetings.

2) Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?
Acrylic / Glass:
Size in gallons:
120 gallons, with 40 gallon breeder downstairs
48"x24"x24" (perfect size to me)
Age: (how long has the system been running)
Over two years

3) Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.
(2)-250W DE MH 14k Phoenix bulbs, (2)-4� actinic VHO�s on the main tank. Lighting period: VHO on at 10 am, off at 1 pm, on again at 7 pm, off at 10 pm. First MH on at 11:30 am, off at 8 pm. Second MH on at 12:30 pm, off at 9:00 pm. RDP refugium with natural light from window.

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.
150 lbs LR, 2� sand bed, Euro-reef CS-2 skimmer, 25 gallon RDP refugium integral in 80 gallon custom acrylic sump. Chaetomorpha is used as the macro-algae in the sump. All sump equipment is downstairs. Circulation provided by modified Sequence Barracuda running the Sequence 5000SEQ22 impeller. Flow thru system is estimated at 3300 gph after total head loss. Standard snails, hermit crabs, emerald crabs, peppermint shrimp, etc. for the main tank.

5) What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule.
Water changes are done once every two to three weeks, usually 10 to 15% of the total system volume of 220 gallons. Presently topped off using RO water and float valve. Auto-top-off with a glug bucket in the works.

6) What additives do you use?
Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other
I dose homemade DIY two-part and nothing else. I�m a big fan of water changes only. Calcium reactor does great work in keeping calcium and alkalinity levels high.

7) Describe your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?
I feed when I can, and use frozen and flake. Flake is the regular choice, with frozen brine/emerald entr�e, and Cyclopeeze as the frozen mainstays. I try to feed small, many times a day due to the currents set up by my return pump.. Lately I�ve been feeding the tank green-water at night.

8) DIY ie, Calcium reactor, stand / hood, skimmer, sump, ect. Any Do-it-yourself items of interest? Web-sites that you may have referenced?
Stand and canopy were built at a local high school community ed class from clear and knotty alder. Calcium reactor is a full DIY project which does really well at maintaining my calcium and alkalinity levels. The calcium reactor I built has been replicated and one is for sale at Aquatic Dreams.

9) Stand and Canopy
Wood: Clear and knotty alder
Dark brown (how do I know?)
Special Characteristics:
42� high, custom built. Used to store fish food and lighting ballasts.

10) Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate
Favorite Fish: Stacie�s is the Flame Angel and Cody�s is the Potter�s Angel. Luckily we were able to buy both of them at the same time and have had no problems with them fighting.
Love the Helfrich�s Firefish and Blue Assessor downstairs- definitely my favorite fishes, and very hardy. My Rabbitfish eats majano, aptasia, Zoanthids, and mushrooms in addition to algae. I love SPS corals and the main tank is dominated by common SPS corals.

11) Can you include a table showing your elemental levels of Ca+, alkalinity, S.G., temperature, pH and other interesting testables?
No. There�s one hanging on my wall that I haven�t kept up on.

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?
1. Use a smaller return pump and a closed loop instead of one large return pump. I am in the process of changing to such a system, and am planning on using an Iwaki pump alternated by a three-way ball valve and pushing eductors.
2. Beware the red Asperigopsis macro-algae. Control it or it will control your tank/sump.
3. Sump configuration is very important if there is a large turnover through it. Get the sump configuration to fit the water circulating through it.
4. I should have looked for good Live Rock with plenty of coralline and paid for it instead of getting the cheapest stuff possible.

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