The Lopez's Tank - by Steve Lopez
There is no sump, refugium or skimmer. However I did run a skimmer for the first 2 years. There are 2 Maxi jet power heads for circulation. For mechanical filtration I use an Emperor dual bio wheel with the bio wheels twice removed. More simply put I removed the bio wheels after about 2 years. I employ a plenum for the bulk of the biological filtration. The plenum was made by Richard Brown owner of Corals And Clams.
I use special reef grade aragonite sand per Richard Brown's instructions. There is roughly 60 pounds of live rock that was purchased from various shops throughout the valley. I added roughly 20 pounds of aragonite rock that was gathered from the West Desert of Utah.
For lighting there are 2 55 watt 100% white power compact bulbs and 1 40 watt 100% actinic bulb. The lights create just enough heat that the tank maintains right around 80 degrees throughout the year. The tank temp. is accomplished with an average house temp. of 70 degrees year round. Since the tank maintains this temp. it has no need for a heater, chiller or fans. There is a glass top on the tank as well. The lights coupled with the natural light through our front room window seem to keep tank inhabitants happy.
Crawlers, sliders and swimmers include but are not limited to the following: brittle star, several hermit crabs and snails, yellow tang, tank raised Banggai cardinal, 2 false Percula clowns, pink skunk clown, blue cleaner wrasse, quite a few doodads, a plethora of whatchamacallits and several thingamajigs.
As far as corals and mushrooms there are a couple kinds of blastamosa, green tree, green star and pink star, woods and yellow polyps, really cool tie dye looking buttons, green buttons, brown buttons even buttons with chicken pox, yellow, brown and light colored toad stool leathers, finger leather, small orange colony buttons, small brown colony buttons, green fuzzy or metallic mushrooms, purple fuzzy mushrooms, pagoda cup coral, frog spawn, candy coral, brain coral, pom pom xenia, gorgonian, green striped and green and purple blotchy mushrooms, feather duster, light colored clauvularia, purple mushrooms.
For tank maintenance I clean the power filter and power heads about every 3 months, 10% water change every month (yeah right), evap. top off usually twice each week, feed Microvert or frozen brine or such twice each week to corals, feed fish and add b-ionic calcium and alkalinity each day. I clean the glass whenever I feel like playing with the magnetic scraper. I like when you pull the outside magnet away from the glass and the inside one floats away. Then you put the outside one back and watch the inside one come right back. I can do that for hours. You just have to watch those fingers (oops kinda got off track).
Some misc. info: I use R.O. water, instant ocean sea salt. I used tap water with de-chlorinator until I found out this was bad. So I put myself in time out and as soon as I got out I used R.O. ever since.
My tank is very low tech and very simply ran. It enables me to be as interactive as I want, such as fragging or such. It also allows me to just step back and simply enjoy looking at it whenever I want to.
One of the things I like about the hobby is that it takes us back to the days when people bartered. You know , goats for chickens or cows for horses. The difference being that it's marine life that we're trading. I love to frag trade or share coral. I appreciate you guy's in the WMAS for all the knowledge you've shared. With out it my tank wouldn't be crap or I mean it would be crap. Can I say crap on here?
By the way this is the shortened down version of info about my tank and how I feel about having one. If you ever want to hear more just ask me. You'll be sorry (ha ha).
Having said all that I'll end this thing with a quote from that great philosopher Porky Pig and say........ You guessed it.