July 2010 - Brendon Cameron (danger)

Congratulations to Brendon Cameron on winning TOTM for July 2010 with his Deltec Driven LED Reef. 

Brendon is known as danger on the RTAW Forums and you can read more about him tank in his Tank Journal .

 

Introduction

I started, like manypeople, keeping fresh water fish around 11 years ago and my fascination withthe ocean, and its colours, quickly took over.

My first marine tankwas setup in 2002 and was a 3 footer serviced by a queen hang on skimmer. Itwas intended to be “fish only” but soon the tank was stocked with a few softiesand LPS. At that time most of my advice and information came from local fishstores and I was confident that I was doing things right. Ironically, it was atCoburg aquarium where I first heard of MASA and it opened my eyes to the extentof marine aquariums.

My previous tank, likethe present, was also a 4ft. It was a good starting point and I learnt a lotalong the way. Challenges in controlling and maintaining things like waterchanges, fresh water top up, and heat retention and relinquishment all providedthe basis of the current tank and its automated systems.

Despite being in itsinfancy, the tank has grown consistently over the last year and has proved veryresilient towards things like higher than ideal water temperatures in thesummer and three significant changes in lighting.




The Tank

The display tank is48”x24”x24” with a custom centre weir that employs the silent durso method,being a 25mm siphon, with 40mm backup durso. The estimated system capacity isaround 550ltrs.

The two main reasons Ichose this size tank were budget and space. When initially choosing the specs,I wanted a tank that could be fully automated and use high-end equipment. Atthe time, anything over a 4ft tank would not have been possible.

Wow, I started thistank in October 2006, and after numerous setbacks with the renovations of ourhouse it finally went wet mid last year. It is now over 4 years in the making!

My stand was a hugepart of this tank. After looking for ideas for a contemporary stand and comingup empty, I decided to design my own. Built by myself and finished by others,it was constructed using a solid pine frame and lined with solid Vic Ash. Thecabinet was later sealed white on the inside and stained “Wenge” on theoutside. I was very excited when it was finally finished. It was almost a yearafter that that the tank itself was finished.

My sump is acryliccustom-made at 750mm long x 350mm wide x 450mm high. It houses my proteinskimmer, return pump and refuge. It is divided into 3 separate chambers. Tohelp eliminate micro bubbles, 3 baffles divide the protein skimmer chamber fromthe return chamber.  The refuge is fedvia a T from the main return line so I can control the flow. 


Filtration

Myfiltration system could be considered by some to be somewhat over complicatedfor a tank of this size. Predominately catered for by live rock, the shallow sandbed and protein skimming, I also utilise a Deltec FR509 fluidised reactorrunning Rowaphos and carbon, and a Deltec NFP509 nitrate reactor. The latter isfully automated byway of a Redox probe controlled by an Aquatronica. A liquidcarbon based food (diluted Vodka) is dosed automatically three times daily andwater flow is controlled via a solenoid valve. As the bacteria feeds/grows andthe ORP drops within the reactor, the solenoid opens allowing more waterinside, raising the ORP. This balancing act continues and controls the nitrate.

I have aDeltec APF-600 Protein skimmer and it’s doing a great job!




Water flow

My main source of water movement in the displaytank comes from:

2 Tunze 6105 Stream 2s at 13,000ltr each; and

2 Tunze 6055 NanoStreams at 5500ltr each.

Total turnover is justover 70x an hour.

Water movement in the sump is provided by:

2 Tunze 6055 Nano Streams at 5500ltr each

 


Lighting

Originally, I used anArcadia series 3 metal halide 2x250w. After significant heat problems I changedmy lighting over and it now consists of an EcoLamps KR-92 LED pendant.

9:00am - Dawn - blue LEDs only

12:00pm - Daytime - high powered white and blueLEDs

5:00pm - Dusk - blue LEDs only

9:00pm - Moonlightonly 




Other equipment

There is an incredibleamount of equipment on this 4ft tank that when I list them all it soundsexcessive for such a small tank. Further to the equipment I’ve already listedabove I have:

Deltec PF-601s Calcium Reactor;

Deltec KM-500 Kalk Stirrer;

Sander Ozoniser 50;

Tunze 3155 Osmolator, automatic fresh watertop-up;

Tunze 8555 – Controls the RO-DI unit,automatically refilling a 20ltr bucket from the mains for fresh water top-ups;

Aquatronica Control Unit with the followingsensors and probes;

4 temperature sensors;

2 water level sensors;

Ethernet;

2 pH probes;

2 Redox Probes;

Density Probe; and

Eheim 1240 Return Pump.


Water parameters?

Like all SPS tanks Itry to keep stable parameters. When last tested they consisted of:

Salinity: 35 ppt (Density Probe confirmed by Refractometer)

Calcium: 430 ppm (Salifert)

Alkalinity: 10.90 dKH (Salifert)

Magnesium: 1350 ppm (Salifert)

Nitrate: undetectable (Salifert)

Phosphate: 0.03 (Hanna Colorimeter)




Additives and conditioners

I’m currently using a couple Zeovitadditives.

Coral Snow dosed 4ml once every other day.

Coral Vitalizer dosed 10ml once every otherday.


Fish

I originally set out to keep my bioload as lowas possible but my SPS looked washed out and very pale. I decided to increasemy fish stock to help. The tank currently consists of:

 

Neocirrhitus armatus - Flame Hawk

Centropyge bispinosa - Coral Beauty Angel

Centropyge loriculus - Flame Angel

Holanthias borbonius - Deep Water Blotched Anithias

Gobiodon okinawae - YellowClown Goby

Amblygobius rainfordi - Rainford Goby

Bodianus bimaculatus - Yellow Candy Hogfish

Pseudocheilinus hexataenia - Sixline Wrasse

Zebrasoma xanthurum - Purple Tang

Macropharyngodon meleagris - Leopard Wrasse

Amphiprion melanopus - Cinnamon Clownfish

Gramma loreto - Royal Gramma

 





Coral

A large amount of SPS ranging from various types of Acropora sp, Monitiporasp, Pocilloporasp, and a few LPS. At last count there were over 75 SPS corals. 


Inverts

Cerith Snails;

Trocus Snails;

3 Strombus Snails;

2 Peppermint Shrimp;  and

1 hitchhiker Mantis Shrimp




Maintenance

My maintenance schedule is generallychecking the automated systems are in place and working like they should.

Manually, on a daily basis, I feed thefish, check the flow through the calcium and nitrate reactors, and have ageneral look over the remaining equipment. Automatically, a 1% water change isconducted each day via a dual head peristaltic pump.

On a weekly basis, I clean the proteinskimmer cup, clean the glass, stir the sand bed, dose the appropriate Zeovitadditives, and test my Alk, Calc, and Phosphate to ensure they are within anacceptable range.

Monthly, I replace the Rowaphos and carbon and top up the kalk reactor. Every 6 months or so I check and clean all the pumps with an acidic cleaner to strip them of any calcium deposits and refill my reactor if needed.


Acknowledgments

Firstly, I’d like to thank the people who putin a huge effort coordinating and running MASA. Without them, I doubt if itcould survive and I would still likely be running my queen protein skimmer.

I really appreciate an award like this withso many great tanks coming through over the last couple of years. I hope thatthe things that I’ve been able to achieve will inspire others to go above andbeyond mine and other “tank of the month” winners. It’s these great tanks thatmake a difference.

I would also like to thank the other members of RTAW that have traded and sold frags. You know who you are, without you my tank would be bare and my wallet too!