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Frenchys reef

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Frenchys reef

Postby cooper666 » Wed 30 Apr, 2014 4:08 pm

INTRO

Hi folks,

I've enjoyed your tank journals for many years and I finally have a aquarium that I feel is worthy of sharing.

I live in the rainforest near Cairns, I love the rainforest and I love the reef. My back yard is a rainforest, complete with a small creek that boasts crystal clear water wich is home to an array of aquatic life including platypus, prawns, rainbow fish and many others. If I can turn my living room into the reef, I shouldn't have any reason to leave the house, right? Sounds like a plan!

I've had several reef tanks over the last 10ish years and I've finally set up at tank that i consider big enough to satisfy my reefing apetite. The main goals for my new reef was to create visual magnificence and house the beasts from an exitsing reef. This setup has to be, thrifty, functional and relatively low maintenance. Perhasps I'm asking too much, we'll see.

I began this aventure by purchasing a second hand aquarium with a wooden stand, hood, sump, skimmer, some lighting and a few pumps and other bits and pieces.

The setup

DISPLAY 6ftx60cmx60cm, bare bottom with corner overflow and 25mm bulkhead in the bottom.
SUMP 4ftx50cmx40cm Total volume of this system is about 750l
FILTRATION Skimmer (marine sources RDC 1800)
DIY Waterfall algae scrubber (a first for me)
LIGHTING Total of 264W Cree LED in 3 cheap light units (50/50 white/blue)
1x 5ft 120w unit with 90degree lenses
2x 72w dimmable with 60 degree lenses
FLOW 3, propellor pumps (Tunze and Jebao) max turnover 50X
COOLING Fans
OTHER Painted timber stand and hood with ruined look.

STOCKING
Nothing fancy here, Lots of softies, few LPS, BTA, Maroon clown pair, Flame hawkfish, Coral beauty, pair of Coral banded shrimp (work in progress, many more to come).

SETUP
I dont really have any setup photos for you but since purchasing the tank and stand I've painted and sealed the stand (didn't really go to plan but it'll do) and painted the back and bottom of the aquarium. I also replaced the bulkhead, built an algae scrubber and installed a couple of computer fans in the stand. I filled the aquarium approximately 2 weeks ago and stocked the tank with some base rock and all of the stuff from my old 3ft reef two days ago.

PHOTOS AND THINGS

Here's the result, things are still settling in but its looking better every day, still have to hide some power heads and get the container of loose shrooms out.

Image


Image

Scrubber and Skimmer. The bulk of the scrubber is just there to keep the lights away from the water, the functional area is actually quite small. I still have to stop all of that light from spewing into my sump and cabinet.

Image


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What a mess, wattage is still low thankfully.
Image
Last edited by cooper666 on Fri 30 Jan, 2015 4:31 pm, edited 7 times in total.
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby Amphibian » Wed 30 Apr, 2014 4:15 pm

hi do you have more details on your algae scrubber, looks interesting

:cheers:
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby Raven » Wed 30 Apr, 2014 4:21 pm

:withyou:
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby cooper666 » Wed 30 Apr, 2014 6:04 pm

The algae scrubber is based on this nifty calculator, courtesy of the algae scrubber forum guys. The input was 4 cubes of feed per day, mine is a double sided waterfall style scrubber.
https://docs.zoho.com/sheet/published.d ... 70ae00412b

I've never used a scrubber before. Origionally I was planning on running a 3 ft fuge with macro algae as a means of nutrient export. I am aware of the inefficiencies of such systems and that 3 ft of macro probably wouldnt do much in the way of nutrient export. I also didn't like the idea of my skimmer being in a highly lit area where all sorts of stuff would grow on it. I've tried carbon dosing a couple of times, it worked, then failed and I'm done with that. I stumbled upon the new design scrubbers somewhere and it looked like it might be a better option than the fuge. People were building small units that leaked no light and apparently they were doing a good job of nutrient reduction. So I decided to give it a go.

My scrubber is the cadillac of scrubbers, built from readily available materials and takes up 10x the room of a very well built unit. It's comprised of a length of 250mm DWV, a 1400 lph pump, a screen for the algae to grow on and 4 x 12w 660nm LED floodlights and a bit of two part epoxy. The pvc pipe acts as a sturdy stand for the lights and the screen, and the algal growth. It should also contain the light withing itself (work in progress) The lights are focused on a 16 x 20 cm section of the screen, which is allocated for most of the algal growth. I cut holes out of the pipe to accomodate the lights (2 lights on each side of the screen) and used 3mm acrylic sheet to protect the lights from the odd airborn droplet of water. The large slot cut into the front of the pipe is to allow easy removal of the screen for cleaning. In the next couple of weeks I'll pull it out and take some explanitory pics.

If it does half of what the hardcore scrubberphiles claim I'll be very happy. If it doesnt work I've wasted $200 which isn't so bad.

I'm still changing water regularly and the skimmer is staying on.
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby cooper666 » Sun 01 Jun, 2014 5:22 pm

Things have settled in a little and I couldn't stop myself from adding to the collection, probably a bit soon but restraint isn't my strong point. My livestock now includes a bi colour angel cleaner wrasse, 9 threadfin cardinals, duncan coral, green zoa's, pom pom xenia and a few trochus and turbo snails.

The angel was a risk which, so far, has been worth while. My favourite fish so far. I've seen it peck at the odd zoa but not make a meal of them. Seems like bad aim, not target feeding.

I Origionally purchased 12 cardinals which have been dying reliably, I have 9 now and probably will have 8 tomorrow.The deaths were a bit of a shock for me, i generally don't loose fish but i've since learned that this is a common issue with this species. Most are feeding well and i've got my fingers crossed for them.

I went to cairns marine with the intention of purchasing about 20 snails. I swore louldy when the told me that trochus were $20 each and Turbo's were $10 each. I left with 2 trochus and 5 turbos. Have I been robbed or does that sound right?

I'm having alot of trouble getting good photo's so heres a few bad shots.


Image

Image

Image

Image
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef - Algae scrubber update

Postby cooper666 » Sun 08 Jun, 2014 3:45 pm

The scrubber has been running for approximately 2 months now and it appears to be doing what it should. These photos were taken during its third clean, maintenance has been very low, cleaning every 3 weeks or so. It has only been growing green hair algae for the last week, apparently this is desirable. The scrubber lights are on for 9hr a day, I tried 12 and the centre of the screen turned yellow which is visible in the photos. I've cut the lights back to 9hr again.

Image


Image

I've added a couple of overlaping plastic curtains to the body of the scrubber, this has tamed the light leaks a fair bit. The screen and pipe slide out easily, there are no screw fitting on the plumbing which also helps to miminize the hassle of cleaning the screen.

Although the scrubber is doing it's thing, Iv'e really no idea wheather it's doing anything to reduce the nutrients in my tank. I have low level nutrients in my tank which, although undetectable, are fuelling algae growth on the glass and rocks. The algal growth in the display has been a pretty typical of a fresh tank - Diatoms, then green hairy stuff and i'm not sure what's coming next, more robust green hair? What I can say with certainty is that the algal growth in the display has slowed right down over the last 2 weeks which coincides with the appearance of green hairy growth on the scrubber.

Heres a couple more pics of the display.

Image

Image

That's all I've got for now, more to come.
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby Herp » Sun 08 Jun, 2014 4:21 pm

cooper666 wrote: a screen for the algae to grow on


Hey Cooper666

Does it have to be any particular type of screen?
And what screen did you use?

I've been toying with the idea of a scrubber, will be following this for sure :)

Regards
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Re: Frenchys reef - Algae scrubber update

Postby cooper666 » Sun 08 Jun, 2014 4:34 pm

The screen is called plastic canvas, I baught it from spotlight in the knitting section. The stuff that i used is grade 10, grade 7 is the most appropriate (so I'm told). You have to rough it up with something, I used a saw blade.
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef - Algae scrubber update

Postby cooper666 » Sat 26 Jul, 2014 7:44 pm

I've added a few more corals and shifted the rock work around a little, I'm much happier with the scape this time.
Image
Image


The algae scrubber is growing green hair algae extremely well, so are the rocks in my display :) A new fast growing stringy brown nasty slime has appeared also. The corals all seem healthy, so I’m not too concerned about the algae in the tank. I live in hope that one day the ecology of the tank will mature and take care of this problem for me.

Image
Image
Image

I only have 5 cardinals left of the original 12. During the first two weeks after introduction these fish died like flies. The survivors, however, are tough as nails. My maroon clown, during feeding, chomped one beneath its eye and carried it around the tank proudly for a couple of minutes before spitting it out. The damage was nasty, the eye, gill cover and jaw were mangled. This apparently ruined cardinal continued feeding immediately. One week later it is as good as gold. I will only buy more of these fish if they are of exceptionally quality. The initial die off did not sit well with me.

I went to cairns marine today and took home a bta and a red trachy no photos yet. The stock was amazing! Fluro orange hammer, gold stem hammers, awesome scollys and very colourful acans. If you’re in the area it’s well worth a visit. My budget really let me down today. I could have slaughtered my bank balance if it wasn’t for sensibility.
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby carloed » Mon 08 Sep, 2014 11:13 pm

Hello thanks for the reply, I will do what you have advised,
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Re: Frenchys reef - 9 months old pic update

Postby cooper666 » Fri 30 Jan, 2015 5:12 pm

Hi all, It's been about six months since I last update my journal and I decided it was time to put up a few more pics.

My tank is about 9 months old now and things have matured. This tank has not been without its problems I had a massive infestation of zoa nudi's and horrible algal blooms ranging from green hair algae which covered all of my rocks to a horrible brown filamentous algae that filled about two thirds of the tanks volume at one stage. I was very frustrated and I wish I had taken photos of this awful situation but couldn't force myself to do it. I also siphoned my cleaner wrasse down the drain by accident :bawling: Just the other day my circuit breaker tripped when I wasn't at home and the tank was without power for eight hours. Amazingly everything was fine.

I've also learned that my angel will eat and kill any LPS that's not loaded with stinging tentacles, It smashed my trachys and I now know that there is a whole range of nice corals that I cant keep with this fish.

About one month ago I had a big win when I purchased a yellow coris wrasse and a blue tang. Between the tang and myself with a toothbrush we pretty well eradicated the algae. The coris wrass slaughtered the nudi's and my zoa's look good again.

When I purchased the wrasse I didn't realize that they slept in the sand, not a very clever purchase considering that my tank had no substrate at the time :wall: This poor fish had a very rough first night and I felt like a monster. The next day I put a container of aragonite in the tank, It took the fish about 30 seconds to find it and call it home.

Anyways here's a few pics

Full tank shot

Image

Which way is up

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Long shot

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My new cat

Image

The clowns domain - I'm not allowed to add anything to this area. If I do the clowns tear it up immediately.

Image

Thanks for watching, that's all for now.
Last edited by cooper666 on Fri 30 Jan, 2015 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
My tank - Frenchys Reef viewtopic.php?f=148&t=257945
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Re: Frenchys reef

Postby kodez » Fri 30 Jan, 2015 7:18 pm

Tanks looking nice. My clowns are the same, anything near there rock is fair game,
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