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You didn't really want gold fish did you? -new pics 8/5/14

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:11 pm
by Basenji
Introduction:
My boy, Tom (11 yo) had been asking for some time about getting a tank for his room. It started out just wanting some gold fish. He toyed for a while with the idea of not getting fish at all, but going with a lizard or snake, then ended up with wanting a marine tank.

We put it off for quite a while, but he's grown up a lot this year, so we thought that we could do it as his Christmas present. There was obviously no hope of doing it secretly, and I'd much rather do it with him involved as much as possible anyway, so we've got in with a bit of an early start. The plan is to get it all going and cycled up in the shed, and then bring it down to his room around Christmas.

It has all turned into a bit of a project (and possibly getting just a little out of hand), but its starting to take shape.

System Objectives: A small, cost effective, low maintenance, quiet tank to house a few choice small fish, and some easy care corals.

System Type: Live rock, Fish and selected hardy corals

Display System:

Strike up Date: 1/11/09

Display Tank: 2' x 18" x 18", with back 100mm (4") divided off as a sump area.

Display Lighting: Solarmax 4 x HO T5 Fluorescent tubes. (2 x Sylvania Aquastar 10000K + 2 x Sylvania Coralstar Actinic)

Stand: Low-rise entertainment unit.

Hood: Open top

Sump: 100mm section along back of tank.


Refugium: TBD

Refugium Lighting: TBD. None at this stage


Support systems:

System Water: System startup using ASW. Water changes ongoing with NSW or ASW as availability dictates.

Display Water circulation: 2 x JVP 3000 LPH propeller pumps

Return Pump: Maxi-Jet 1200 LPHP

Skimmer: None planned at this stage

Evaporation Top Up:Auto topup (ATJ II) with Williamson Peristaltic Pump


Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: Calcium Chloride solution. Made up as per Randy Holmes-Farley Improved DIY 2-part system.

Alkilinity Addition: Baked sodium bicarbonate solution. Made up as per Randy Holmes-Farley Improved DIY 2-part system.

Other Chemical Maintenance: Combined Magnesium Sulfate / Magnesium Chloride solution. Made up as per Randy Holmes-Farley Improved DIY 2-part system.

Current Water Chemistry: If applicable
Nitrates: -
Phosphates: -
Alkalinity: -
Calcium: -
Salinity / Specific Gravity: 35 ppt
Magnesuim: -


Images:

We originally talked about just getting an all-in-one tank with a sump area at the back, and in hindsight maybe it would have been an easier way to go. But for better or worse, we (or probably more correctly, I decided to build our own, using a fairly standard 2' x 18" tank, and installing a few pieces of glass along the back. Here's the original concept.
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The reality ended up pretty close to that concept.

Tom filling the tank for a freshwater test. Passed with flying colours. I hope he learns to be a little less messy when it comes to water changes with salt water in his room.
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Adding artificial salt. I chose to set up the tank with ASW due to consistent rain around the time that we wanted to fill the tank, and the fact I had run out of supplies of Natural Sea Water. Going forward we'll use a combination of ASW and NSW depending on availability.
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You can't have a tank without the obligatory ATJ Auto Topoff II with Williamson peristalitic pump.
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Solarmax Light fitting:
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End view of tank. Sand in and lights on.
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Ready to rock and roll
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PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:22 pm
by sydneydrewid
congrats :) great to see your son take an interest in this hobby :) good luck :)

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:23 pm
by tOiletduck
Looks unreal Colin, wish i had a tank like this at your sons age. :thumbsup:

Cant wait to see how it turns out. :pirate:

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:25 pm
by jordan
That's cool. i hope my kids will share my interests as well when they get a little older.

PostPosted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:50 pm
by CheezotheClown
I like the simplicity of the design.

I think you have gone for a much better option over an all-in-one type setup.

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 9:21 am
by ryanrid
that is a really cool designed tank! good job, must be great to have your son interested in your hobby too. :thumbsup:

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 9:32 am
by KirTracid
Looks fantastic Colin, I think Tom is going to have alot of fun, I know my boys do and they're similar age. It's looking great.

Are you planning on Tom dosing the two-part or you? That's one hurdle we can't quite cross, so the boys only keep softies (which is probably a good idea anyway for my boy)

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 11:55 am
by Lukey
My one curiosity, how the hell are you gonna move that thing? Or just gonna empty like 80% of the water out to move it, then pour it all back in?

Looks excellent, beautiful tank design! And that's the best way ever to get a reef tank in your home....

"It's for Tom hunny I swear!"
[Two weeks later tank is in lounge room....]

I'm sure he'll enjoy it, very nice design there :D

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 1:38 pm
by Basenji
Thanks for all the comments guys. It has been fun to put together.

KirTracid wrote:Are you planning on Tom dosing the two-part or you? That's one hurdle we can't quite cross, so the boys only keep softies (which is probably a good idea anyway for my boy)

The plan is for Tom to do the dosing. I prepare bottles of the solutions for my own tanks, and it should be straightforward for him to toss in a measured dose (10 ml or so) of each when he feeds the tank. He'll have a checklist to tick off, just like his Dad uses ;)
I don't want to suck the fun out of it for him, so if it becomes a hassle I won't labour the point, and there's a good chance that it will end up being me that has to do it.
But he is adament that he doesn't want fish-only and wants to keep corals, so if that's the case then there isn't really any other way than to learn the discipline of doing the regular routine tasks properly and without fail. He's a great kid and has a pretty analytical mind, so I have every confidence in him, even if it does take a little while to pick up.

Lukey wrote:My one curiosity, how the hell are you gonna move that thing? Or just gonna empty like 80% of the water out to move it, then pour it all back in?

Yep, you got it in one. It will be cycled in the shed with just rock and sand. I'll empty the water down to sand level to make it liftable by 2 people, move the tank and re-fill it. That's the theory anyway :thumbsup:

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 1:52 pm
by pebbles
Basenji wrote:The plan is for Tom to do the dosing. I prepare bottles of the solutions for my own tanks, and it should be straightforward for him to toss in a measured dose (10 ml or so) of each when he feeds the tank. He'll have a checklist to tick off, just like his Dad uses ;)


Thats a great idea! Before you know it, he'll be raiding your tank for frags too. :nut:

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 1:54 pm
by Siiri
Tom's tank looks like it's going to be Fab Colin :thumbsup:

I'm so jealous as I wish my boys would have shown some interest in my hobby ... wait until Tom reaches late teens then it's
Party ... Girls ... Party ... XBox ... Party ... Beach ... Party :nut:
Some where in between one is attempting HSC study and the other works long hours so he can pay for Party/Girls/Xbox and his car he couldn't live without :wall:
At least the younger one enjoys Photography with Dad !!!

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 3:28 pm
by RedLineR
That's a really great concept. :thumbsup:

Be interesting to see how it all pans out.

PostPosted: Mon 16 Nov, 2009 4:20 pm
by reefbuilder
Looks really great.

It was my dad who introduced me to this hobby. Has given me years of enjoyment and kept me out of trouble. I think it is a very good hobby for young people to take up. Wish Young Tom the very best with the tank :clap:

PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 10:15 pm
by Basenji
A few pics of the aquascaping we did yesterday.

The rock has been in my Q-tank for a couple of years, so I'm not expecting much (if any) of a cycle. The white rocks are dry Caribsea Honeycomb rock.

Here's Thomas getting his hands wet. An introduction to what I consider to be one of the more difficult aspects of our hobby.
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Hmm ... how's that looking?
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One day later (photo taken tonight). Tank has settled, and I think it's looking really good.
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PostPosted: Thu 19 Nov, 2009 11:56 pm
by CheezotheClown
Not a bad arrangement at all. :clap:

Is the aquascaping going to need redoing when the tank moves?

PostPosted: Fri 20 Nov, 2009 12:48 am
by ladybird
I must say - you've got one cool kid. Lol. My parents and older brother love my tank. But no-one younger than me enjoys it. My little cousin probably would if I put predators in.

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 3:39 pm
by dammit
That is a great idea you've got going. well done on the progress so far. your little fella looks very excited by it all.

can I ask what sort of substrate that is/where you buy it, looks like really really white sand?

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 3:43 pm
by Lukey
It's a new tank with new (I assume) substrate, under some nice lights, of course the sand looks really white. :roflmao:

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 3:56 pm
by blags
Colin, tell Tom he has done a great job aquascaping :clap: :clap:
Looking like a very nice little setup. :thumbsup:

Cheers
Pete

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 5:18 pm
by tommo77
Awesome!

Whats his plans for livestock?

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 6:19 pm
by n0rk
He'll love those dimensions, for a small tank it's just about the perfect size :thumbsup:

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 8:43 pm
by Basenji
dammit wrote:can I ask what sort of substrate that is/where you buy it, looks like really really white sand?

It's Caribsea sugar size aragonite sand.
There are a few MASA partners who sell Caribsea products, and most LFS should be able to get it in.

tommo77 wrote:Whats his plans for livestock?

His focus is mainly on fish. We've talked lots about what fish he wants to get, and at this point, I think that the list (subject to change) is
- a pair of black clown fish
- a flame hawk and
- a blenny of some description.
He's also taken a liking to my flameback angel, but he'll have to save up his pocket money for a fair while before that wish comes true.

He has a couple of chalice corals (Echinophyllia sp/) waiting in my tank at the moment.

Pebbles wrote:Before you know it, he'll be raiding your tank for frags too.

It's started already. Lots of subtle (and not so subtle) hints and requests. Frags I can handle. If colonies start going missing I'll know where to look first.

PostPosted: Sun 22 Nov, 2009 8:49 pm
by blacjack
His tank's looking really good, and it's good he has a great mentor to help him out :thumbsup:

PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2009 12:32 am
by rgh
Well Tom's tank is looking wonderful Colin and I think its great he's taking such a hands on role in setting it up! I'm about to do something similar for Kieran but will probably go with a sump in cupboard underneath tank - I've got to use up some of the tanks and other equipment that's a bit surplus atm!

I'm really looking forward to watching Tom's tank develop!

PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2009 9:44 am
by RedLineR
Mt daughter will be doing the same thing. Followingmy foot steps. hahahaha

PostPosted: Mon 23 Nov, 2009 10:24 am
by stoli
I didn't realise you built the tank Colin! It looks great. A neat setup for a young reefer.

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:20 am
by Tom the Reefer
it is coming along now

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 10:45 am
by pafc64
Its awesome when you can get you Kids involved in things you like & they take an interest & want to do the same. :clap:
And what a bonus another beautiful marine tank :clap:


:cheers:
Rick

PostPosted: Tue 15 Dec, 2009 11:39 am
by saolom
This is a GReat Xmas present! very nice.

PostPosted: Fri 25 Dec, 2009 7:36 pm
by c.jarratt
Updates??