Tank of the Month | UltimateReef.com | 1.13
Angie's (Angiet) 6 x 2 x 2
1 Introduction
FTSWOW what a way to bring in the new year. It fills me with great joy that I am writing this. I still can't believe it if I'm honest.

I have been keeping fish now for about 5 years. I started off with tropicals which was great at the start but I soon got bored with it.

It was about 3 years ago that marines started catching my eye and to my delight my other half bought me my first marine tank. It was a Boyu 550 which tamed me for a while but I soon ran out of space. It was about a year later that we bought a second hand Juwel vision 450 which I was never really happy with due to lack of knowledge about the hobby plus it was covered in scratches.

After I found this great site I kept my head down, learned all I could, asking plenty of questions along the way, which give me the confidence to get my current tank.

Since learning and having a better understanding of it all, the hobby has been so much more rewarding and satisfying. Not only have I learned more about marines but it has made me far more patient which is really important in this hobby as we all know.


2 System Details
The main display is situated where my fireplace used to be as that's the only space we had for it. It was messy, dusty work but was well worth it in the end.

It is a Clearseal 72x24x24 with a weir at the left hand side with the twin standpipe method. It has 12mm glass and black silicone joints.

The original sump was under the main tank in the cupboard which I always had difficulty working on with my bad knees, so I came up with a plan to use my cloak room as a small sump room . It works well and maintainence is a lot easier. I managed to get my hands on a second hand tank to use as my sump at a real good price. The sump is 60x15x18 which fits into the cupboard really well and gives me a good wee amount of water.
After we got the sump up and running I decided I wanted a refugium so I used my old mixing tank which is 36x12x15, an old overflow box I had and a wee pump I got for a few frags. It works really well apart from a few snags which I will share with you all soon, but I am really pleased as it is made from bits I had lying about which is a bonus.


Preparing the room Preparing the room Skimmer
Sump Sump

3 Lighting
The main display is lit with 6 x 80 watt ATI Sunpower unit and a 2 x 54 watt unit as 6 tubes just wasnt enough. It gave a dark shadow accross the back of the tank which wasn't pretty.

I have waterproof bright blue leds which I use for night time viewing. I really love the look of the corals under them and the shimmer is lovely, which is great.

Tube configuration:

Front

  • ATI aquablue special - on at 11:30am
  • ATI blue plus - on at 10:00am
  • ATI purple - on at 11:30am
  • ATI aquablue special - on at 11:30am
  • ATI actinic - on at 10:00am
  • ATI aquablue special - on at 11:30am
  • Narva blue x 54 watt - on at 1:00pm
  • Narva blue x 54 watt - on at 1:00pm

  • Back

    At the minute I quite like the look the tubes are giving me but I will be trying something different soon as I like to experiment and make sure I'm getting the best colours I can.

    Lighting cycle

    All the lights come on as I have indicated and all go out at 6:30pm except for the second and fifth ones which is the blue plus and actinic which go off at 7:30pm.

    After that the blue leds come on for a nice relaxing evening viewing. It amazes me how much the corals glow under them. Its really fascinating. They stay on to 11:30pm.

    4 Circulation
    For circulation in behind the rocks I have 2 tunze power heads going I'm not sure of the exact model, plus the return pipe enters the main display there.

    At the left side of the tank I have a sunsun 12000 lph power head going and at the right hand side I have an mp40W es going. Sometime in the future I would like to upgrade the sunsun to another mp40 when my funds allow as they give off such great random flow and look so neat in the tank.


    LHS RHS

    5 Heating/Cooling
    For heating the tank I have a 300 watt heater in the main display beside the weir and one in the sump.

    I have an atc 300 for monitoring the temperature and anytime the water temp goes over 28"c or under 24"c an awful sounding alarm goes off. Its not the best thing in the world for the job but it will get me by until I upgrade it to something more reliable.

    In the summer the tank hit 29"c so I used a fan over the sump which another reefer give me and it helped keep the tank between 26 and 27"c but hopefully by the time this summer comes I'l have a better cooling system set up..
    6 Filtration Methods
    For filtration I have about 65kg of live rock in the main display. The sump is not sectioned off as I did not see the need to, so from where the water enters the sump there is filtersock, then the skimmer which is a deltec sc 2060 which is run by an ehiem compact 5000, then there is an old tmc v2 600 skimmer which the redsea aqua zone plus 100 ozone generator is running through ,then there is 2 uv's , next is an ehiem 1000 that feeds the refugium which holds about 100 ltrs and has cheato growing like mad in it . I have 2 ordinary house hold energy bulbs with a reflector above them plus a tmc aquaray tile which is doing the job nicely, that leads to po4 removal which happens through an old ro unit I bought cheap with new inserts in it for aqua phos xtra which is tee'd off the return . In each bottom pod is 450 mls of aqua phos xtra and in the top pod is 200 mls of carbon. I change one pod at a time every 6 to 7 weeks in rotation so it keeps the po4 level more stable and doesn't strip to much out at the one time.

    I think the sump holds nearly 300 ltrs but I have about 200 ltrs in it.


    Progress Progress

    Progress Progress

    7 Supplementation Methods
    The demands of the corals are met through the use of a doser using the balling light method. The doser that I use is the aquamedic quad doser.

  • The first pump adds the fauna marin calcium plus the trace elements strontium-barium complex and heavy metal complex. Cal=150mls per day.
  • The second one adds fauna marin magnesium chloride hexahydrate. Mg=10mls per day.
  • The third pump I use to top up the tank with ro as I am not a lover of auto top ups.
  • Finally the fourth pump I use for fauna marin carbonate mix plus trace elements iodine. Alk=660mls per day

  • The only other thing I add is a bit of dd reef paste every week to feed the corals.
    8 Monitoring/control systems
    I dont have any fancy gadgets for controling or monitoring I try to test cal, mg, kh and sg every week. The only thing that is monitoring anything is the redsea ozone unit which controls the orp level and the atc 300 just keeps an eye on the temp.

    The doser is controling where the levels are and is topping it up with ro but I have set it of course. The lights are controlled by good old timers.
    9 Feeding
    I feed the fish 3 times a day.

    In the morning about 10am they get two pinches of fauna marin ultra marine soft spirulina pellets. The tangs go mad for them as do the rest of the fish. The pellets are big enough for the tangs but small enough for the chromis and anthias.
    On most days I would give them a few pinches of jbl flakes about 3:30pm but some days if I am really busy this feed is missed.

    In the evening just before the lights go out I put some gamma enriched dried seaweed onto a nori clip plus they get two pinches of new life spectrum thera +a pellets. Two nights a week i would swap this with a mixture of frozen mysis, krill and lobsters eggs. I rinse these in ro water and strain with a wee plastic sieve.

    FTS FTS End on

    End on End on End on

    Blues Reflections SPS

    10 Husbandry
    I try my best to do at least two water changes a month but there has been months that there have been none done as I have four kids and life can be hectic at times.

    I have a waste pipe at the side of my tank which takes the waste water away to a drain just outside my house. it is so much easier than trying to hog 90 ltrs of water about.

    As I have plenty of water in the sump and there is no baffels I dont have to turn the return pump off when I do my water changes which is really handy. I use the old sump under the tank now as my mixing tank. once I have the water mixed and heated I just pump it straight down the emergency pipe into the sump so it can mix with the water already in the system.

    I usually change the carbon every four weeks, I know its pretty useless after a week but this works for me and one of the po4 pods usually get changed about every seven to eight weeks.

    The filtersock usually needs changed about every 4-5 days depending on what one im using as I have a few different types, after I change it I go out the back and turn the dirty one inside out give it a good hose out and put it away until i have a few to stick in the washing machine. I give these good hot cycle then steep in ro. My other half got me a few nylon ones and I have to say these are far easier to clean than the others.

    My skimmer cup gets emptied twice a week and hosed out once a week. The pump that runs the skimmer usually gets a soak about every 6 months in warm water and white vinegar along with the return pumps, uv pump and refugium pump. The power heads in the main tank get done one at a time in rotation as I only have a few spares.

    I usually syphon out any detruis from the floor of the sump every 3 months just so none of the pumps clog up.

    I mix the balling mixtures everytime one runs out. I usually make ten litres of alk at a time so it does me a good wee while.

    Usually about every 3 months I take the light unit down with the help of my hubby and give the acrylic a good clean as alot of salt creep gathers on it. As its an ati unit I try and keep changing the tubes out every 9 months at least.

    In the refugium tank the cheato grows quite quick so I harvest this at least every month and either bin it or give it away.

    Everyday I take time and observe the fish and corals just to make sure everyone is going about their usual business and all livestock is happy.
    11 Problems
    When it comes to problems I've had my fare share of these.

    Before I moved the sump I hated changing the filter sock as the down pipe would come off and the place ended up soaked as it was so close to the edge of the sump. It was a push in type of pipe that came with the tank.

    Since setting up the new sump and putting in the refugium the fist problem with this is my doser is really hard to get at through lack of space. The other thing with the fug is the overflow box I am using has to be primed every three days or so and of course I forgot once and abut 100 plus ltrs of water overflowed the night I wasn't in, I felt like packing it in the smell was awful but after we got it cleaned up and water made up a very nice friend let me use his dehumidifier just to help the place dry out which makes it easier to pick yourself up and get on with it.

    When I got the sohal tang I ended up having to rescape half my tank due to a kole tang which harassed him for 2 weeks solid. I ended up using eggcrate to block off half of my tank and the half that the kole tang was in got emptied, I took out all my rock and corals so I could catch him but in a way it was blessing as I now prefer the way the rocks are.

    The other problem I have is with my doser when the electric or anything goes out I have to restart it or it wont start dosing again and I found this out the hard way unfortunately.

    The only other problem I've had really was a really bad amount of bryopsis and hair algae I'm not sure what brought it all on but thankfully it has eased off alot, I now only ever get a wee bit of bryopsis here and there which I just pull out.
    12 Fish
    I tried to pick fish that would all live in different parts of the tank.

    The powder blue is the boss by far then the yellow tang but thankfully they all get on really well with only the odd wee flick of the tails now and again.

    All of the fish are really tame and feed from my hand, I can nearly lift them out they are that tame lol. What makes my kids laugh is when I walk from one side of the tank to the other the fish all swim up and down following me.

    Current fish stock:

    Powder blue tang (Acanthurus leucosternon) Yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) Sailfin tang (Zebrasoma veliferum)
    Naso tang (Naso lituratus) Sohal tang (Acanthurus sohal) 2 clarkii clowns (Amphiprion clarkii)
    6 chromis (Chromis vinidis) 3 regal damsels (Chrysiptera hemicyanea) Peacock wrasse (Macropharyngodon bipartitus)
    Cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) Fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis) 2 Banggai cardinals (Pterapogon kauderni)
    Fiji fox face (Siganus uspi) 2 Fire fish (Nemateleotris magnifica) 2 Bartlett anthias (Pseaudanthias bartlettorum)
    3 Lyretail anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis) Midas blenny (Ecsenius midas)

    Naso tang (<em>Naso lituratus</em>) Sailfin tang (<em>Zebrasoma veliferum</em>)
    Sohal tang (<em>Acanthurus sohal</em>) Powder blue tang (<em>Acanthurus leucosternon</em>) Fire fish (<em>Nemateleotris magnifica</em>)
    clarkii clowns (<em>Amphiprion clarkii</em>) Lyretail anthias (<em>Pseudanthias squamipinnis</em>) Banggai cardinals (<em>Pterapogon kauderni</em>)
    chromis (<em>Chromis vinidis</em>) Powder blue tang (<em>Acanthurus leucosternon</em>) Sohal tang (<em>Acanthurus sohal</em>)
    Midas blenny (<em>Ecsenius midas</em>) Peacock wrasse (<em>Macropharyngodon bipartitus</em>) Fiji fox face (<em>Siganus uspi</em>)

    13 Corals
    I have a few soft corals in there like zoas , mushrooms, they are there from when I first started and have just been spreading. There is a bit of pulsing xenia that i have to keep trimmed as well as it grows so quickly and would over run the tank if I didn't.

    There is a few lps in there to just for a wee bit of movement. My favourite is my fungia plate but I do love the goniopora which is doing well I never expected it to last but so far so good.

    Over here in Northern Ireland its hard to come by nice sps corals we just dont have as much selection as you would see on here from the sponsers. I was lucky enough to get alot of the sps corals from a tank break down and other reefers, if it wasn't for that my tank would be very bare as the nearest half decent shop is an hour or two away.

    I am really happy with the way my corals are doing saying as this is my first try at sps and now a year and a half later they are still here and growing quite well although not as good as the reef kings (rattters) but hopefully some day I shall be Queen lol.


    Bubble SPS
    Zoas Gonipora Mushrooms
    Lobo SPS Fungia

    Xenia Acan

    14 Invertebrates
    I dont have a big mixture of clean up crew but I'm happy with what I do have. Shrimp wise I have three different types this is because I had bought 2 peppermints for a few aips I had.

    The rest of the cuc are just the usual ones for cleaning the sand and rocks. I have been tempted to get more but I was put off when I thought maybe there wouldn't be enough food for them all so I have just built them up slowly as I got more fish.

    Long spined urchin Royal urchin 10 hermit crabs
    2 halloween hermits 6 turbo snails 1 mexican turbo snail
    2 cleaner shrimps 2 blood shrimps 1 peppermint shrimp
    1 sand sifting starfish 1 conch 1 brittle starfish


    Sand sifting Starfish Clam Blood shrimp

    Urchin Cleaner shrimp Urchin

    15 Final Thoughts
    This hobby is like a roller coster ride one minute things are great and then the next thing is something wrong happens to bring us down. The main thing is learn to get back up and get on with things, even though its easier said than done.

    I'm really chuffed that my tank has won totm even though part of me questions is it worthy as there is so many stunning tanks on here and mine still has alot of growing out to do.


    SPS SPS
    SPS SPS SPS
    SPS SPS SPS
    SPS

    16 Acknowledgments
    I would like to say a big thank you to my other half (davyl) for helping me when I just havent been physically strong enough for certain wee jobs that have needed to be done along the way and for putting up with my moaning when something has gone wrong lol.

    I am also greatful to everyone on here who has helped me out when one thing or another has happened and especially to all my friends on the NIRC who helped pull me out of a couple of holes.

    Click me!


    If you would like to read the build thread click here

    Please leave your comments and questions on the Tank of the Month thread at UltimateReef.com.


    Fact File
    Water Parameters
    Temperature: 25.7
    pH: 8.2
    Salinity: 35
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 2
    Phosphate: 0.03
    Calcium: 420
    KH: 8.5
    Magnesium: 1350
    Iodine: not tested
    Redox: 400

    Equipment
    Skimmer: Deltec sc 2060
    Control System: None
    Lights VHOs: 6x80 watt sunpower plus 2x54 watt t5
    Pumps: Mp40, 2 x tunzes, sunsun
    Top up: doser tops up
    Heaters: 2x300w elite
    RO Unit: Osmotics 6 stage 100gpd
    Chiller/Cooler: clip on fan and open windows
    Ultra Violet: 2 x V2 vecton 400 & 600
    Phosphate reactor: old ro unit and pods tee'd off return4
    Carbon reactor: ro pod tee'd off return
    Dosing Pump: Aquamedic quad doser

    System Specifications
    Tank Dimensions: 72x24x24 inches
    Sump Dimensions: 60x15x18
    System Volume: 950 litres after displacement


    Quick Fire Questions
    1. Do you subscribe to any publications? No.
    2. Whose is your favourite tank? Rattters.
    3. What books do you recommend? 50 shades of grey.
    4. Who has been your inspiration? Rattters again.
    5. Who do you turn to for advice? Ultimate Reef and NIRC.
    6. What's been the greatest purchase you've made? Doser.
    7. If you could change one thing on the tank, what would it be? Right hand side scape.
    8. What do your family think of this? They love it.
    9. What do you do for a living? Stay at home mum.
    10. What other hobbies do you have? Baking, playing x-box, reading.
    11. What single piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of taking up reef keeping on this scale? Learn all you can, take your time and preparation.
    12. Chicken or egg? Chicken.
    13. Dream fish? Achilles.
    14. Anything, invented or otherwise, that you'd love to be able to get your hands on? A decent set of tongs that would be strong enough to lift rocks and corals without breaking.
    15. What camera/kit do you use? Iphone.
    16. Which is your favourite forum on UR & why? Members tanks.
    17. Favourite music Sometimes dance and sometimes ub40.
    18. What car do you drive? Honda accord executive SE 1.8 i


    Written by, and, photography by Angiet (Angiet).
    Image copyright with photographer - if you wish to use an image please contact the photographer.
    This article may not be reproduced or copied without the express permission of the UR.Com Board owner or the UR.Com TOTM Co-ordinator. Published on January 1st, 2013 at UltimateReef.com

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