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Blacjack's system

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Blacjack's system

Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 6:58 pm

I'm yet another reefer who's been following the progress of a few other reefers on the forums. So it's about time I started a bit of a journal. I've had my tank set up for a couple of years now, and a few things have change since I started out. The most important change was to learn as much as I could about this great hobby, and thanks to the people who have shared their knowledge and experience, I've been able to succesfully now keep corals too.

My tank is an Aqua One Euro 90, it's 900mm long, about 500mm deep and the same in height, giving me a capacity of about 200lts. My tank is not drilled, and I didn't like the idea of an overflow box, so I run my tank without a sump or refugium. I used to have a canister filter, an Aqua 0ne CF1000, which I ran for about 12 months, but it sprung a leak whilst I was at work. Luckily I kept the canister filter in a plastic tub, which holds about 25ltrs. I came home by chance and found the tub full of water, just not overflowing. Due to the fact I didn't have water made up for a water change, I had to put this water back into the display. I'm still fighting the algae issues, a little cyano like algae on the substrate.

I also used to have an Aqua C Remora Pro hang on tank skimmer. I found this skimmer to be useless. It didn't skim properly, and I also found that I couldn't clean out the skimmer's base. I did have alot of small feather dusters growing in the skimmer, but not being able to clean it properly, made my decision easy. Take it off the tank.

So now I run skimmerless, and rely heavily on water changes, which I do about 20% weekly. I dose kalk nightly to meet calcium demand, and calcium chloride when needed. I have a DSB, liverock and a little macro algae for filtration. Lighting is by T5's, one is a 2 bulb Aqua Z unit, and the other is the Litemaster 2000, both 3 foot. I like the Litemaster lights, as they are plug in and turn them on. I use ATI bulbs in both units, the blue spezial and blue plus bulbs. Flow is 4 6025 nano streams, at 2500lt/hr each, gives me 50x turnover.

My system is a mixed reef, with the SPS frags coming into the system last. I had to re-aquascape for the SPS for height, which has caused flow problems, but I'll fix that when I upgrade to a new tank. So here's some pics of my livestock.

Softies,

Gorgonian

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Leather

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Colt coral

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Toadstool

Image :furious:
Last edited by blacjack on Thu 19 Nov, 2009 8:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby anthony mazzeri » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:07 pm

That's looking really good. The Colt is very impressive. So no skimmer or filter, just a DSB and 20% weekly water change? Good stuff!
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:09 pm

CON'T LPS,

Duncan's

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Hammer

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Torch

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Pipe organ, this was in poor condition when I bought it.

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Lobophylla

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Trachaphylla

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Image

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Elegance coral, not a good one, but....

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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:12 pm

anthony mazzeri wrote:That's looking really good. The Colt is very impressive. So no skimmer or filter, just a DSB and 20% weekly water change? Good stuff!


Not bad for a freebie ;) I paid for the Toadstool, but was given the rest :spit:

I wasn't happy with the skimmer, so I took it off the tank. There's been no change. Just doing 20% instead of 15% water changes. I will be getting a decent skimmer on my next set up though, I do think the tank would benefit more.

:cheers:

Chris.
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:26 pm

CONT' SPS

I don't know any of the names, but here they are, some pictures taken at night, and my photo skills don't capture the little bit of colour that can be seen. I think with an upgrade of my lights, and a new skimmer, will hopefully make the difference.

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And frags from a bigger colony that STN'd. To strong and direct flow caused this. This was when I was awaiting new holding brackets for the nano's and the nano slumed a little changing the flow.

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And just to experiment, I save 3 very small pieces from this colony. I lost one to my urchin, and the other died when the lights were turned off for a few days, but 1 is doing good. It's encrusted on the putty and has good polyp extension.

Image
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Postby Adam007 » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:33 pm

Wow some fantastic looking livestock there.

Can we see a full tank shot and maybe some equipment shots ? :poke:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:45 pm

This is the first coral I ever had. It came on the live rock, and really hasn't grown much. It survived the cycle at the beginning, and when I had to move the tank. A little but tough toadstool.

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Tanks inhabitants,

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My urchin,

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Some sponges,

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And one of the things that make it worthwhile, a Tunicate survivng and growing ;) It's located under the hammer, and is never irritated when the hammer touches it. The hammer sheids this little fella pretty well.

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The reason why my snail population keeps growing :thumbsup:

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I have about 50 baby snails in my system, so when they get to a decent size, if they survive, I'll gladly give some away.

FTS, a little old, as on the right side, the skimmer is still present.

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Stitched together from left to right,

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Image

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Postby Dunny » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:49 pm

And here it is...the tank journal :thumbsup:

Great stuff mate...good to see some pics of your tank and inhabitants. Looks great

Keep the pics coming

:cheers:
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Postby BluE SnipeR » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:54 pm

You got some healthy hungry corals there mate, Polyps are massive on everything. :clap:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:56 pm

Adam007 wrote:Wow some fantastic looking livestock there.

Can we see a full tank shot and maybe some equipment shots ? :poke:


Well the equipment at the moment is the tank, lights and nano streams :roflmao:

When I started out, the LFS had no idea on how to set up for marine, and so when I bought my tank, it's more for freshwater. The lights were purchased seperately, the Aqua Z you have to put it together yourself :wall: not what I wanted. The litemaster on the other hand was what I was after. I do have a 4 bulb DElighting T5 set-up, but I haven't set it up. Flow is the nano's. That's about it.

This is how I do my top-off's for evap,

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The stand is an old welders stand, that I got of my uncle. I wasn't expecting to have this tank set up for as long as it has. Circumstances have changed which has seen this tank mature a little more. I thought I would have this tank set up 6 months, it's now been about 18 months :nut:

My wife and I have just purchased a house, so I'll be setting up a Aqua One UFO880 as a holding tank, which no doubt will probably be up and running for at least 12months. I'll have to renovate this house before I build a tank though :konk:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 7:58 pm

Dunny wrote:And here it is...the tank journal :thumbsup:

Great stuff mate...good to see some pics of your tank and inhabitants. Looks great

Keep the pics coming

:cheers:


Yeah I finally got around to it :roflmao:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 8:01 pm

BluE SnipeR wrote:You got some healthy hungry corals there mate, Polyps are massive on everything. :clap:


Hungry's not the word for it ;) I usually try to feed all the LPS once a week. I make my own food for the fish and coral. I simply buy a marinara mix of seafood, fresh would be better, and blend it up in a small mixer. Rinse the food in RO/DI water, then freeze it. I try to blend it fine so the fish and little corals can feed easily, and I use krill for the cati. They all want more after feeding, especially the Lobo, it's polyps really extend well after it's been fed :nut:
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Postby Dunny » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 8:13 pm

Love the elegance..looks like a really good specimen to me
:thumbsup:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 8:23 pm

This was life in the canister filter before the leak. I used to run carbon and rowa phos in the canister, and it was cleaned weekly without fail. They collect a lot of crap, hence the weekly cleaning.

Here's the inside of the canister,

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This is how the canister was set up under the tank,

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Side shot of the old skimmer,

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I use ATJ's method for mixing bulk kalkwasser, including the same recipe. I add 2ltr's a night, and this meets the calcium and alk needs of the tank. I add a little bi-carb soda to keep up alk as well. It's all set up in our spare bedroom :roflmao:

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I used to use 60 ltr garbage bins for mixing up my saltwater, but when I found algae was starting to take hold in my tank, I tested the water in the bin and found it to be the source of Po4, 10ppm was the highest I tested, but I think the last batch I used was 2ppm :wall: :wall: :wall:

So here's the solution, cleaned every 3-4 water changes,

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RO/DI unit purchased from Peter at PSI Filters, great service :thumbsup:
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I didn't purchase this unit untill 1 month before I decided that I wanted to keep SPS. I think it does make a difference using the purified water, and I'm glad I went with it.

Just gotta wait for the SPS to colour up a bit more :poke: I just can't capture the colours in photo's, but I think that when they do colour up, they'll be nice pieces.
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 8:31 pm

Dunny wrote:Love the elegance..looks like a really good specimen to me
:thumbsup:


I re-read what I wrote :nut: I meant a poor pic. It's an amazing coral, I love it. Here's something I'm impressed with also,

The little side piece is a completely seperate skeleton. The flesh is all that joins these 2 pieces together.

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This took me about 15 minutes to get this shot :o but it was worth it

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:cheers:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 8:49 pm

Here's a fuuny picture I got after doing a water change. I was siphoning out some algae and stirred up the substrate a little,

Doing a little fishing,
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I hate these worms. Here's a pretty good pic,

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They are a bristle worm, but also a fire worm. I have a Goniopora, which I haven't posted, as it's nearly dead. It was doing well, untill 1 night when I had the lights turned out, I noticed this worm thing wrap itself around my goni, and strike it for lack of a better description, after feeding the goni. It took over 2 weeks for polyp extension, but it was very limited. I continued to feed the goni, but it's a losing battle, and since I had hernia operation a month ago, none of the corals have been directly feed. It shows in the goni. It will be my first loss for corals.

I've lost a few other things over the years, so I'll share my experience,

This was my Orange tree sponge. This had a real stand out colour, but after 6 months, it started to go south, so I removed it before it completely crashed. I had 11000 ltr/hr flow in the tank, 3500ltr pointed at the sponge, and yet still couldn't blow of the mucas that formed. I used the return from the canister to blow at the sponge, but maybe all the micro bubbles that came from turning it off and on again, led to it's demise.

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This was my favourite fish, and I plan on getting another latter on. I will cover the tank with something to stop carpet surfing.

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I've lost other fish as well, mainly when I started out. I didn't realise at first that they were getting sucked into the intake of the powerheads that I used to use. I have no photo's of those fish though. All in all, Ive been pretty lucky, considering what I knew when I started out, and was told I wouldn't be able to keep marine animals alive :pirate:
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Postby BluE SnipeR » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 9:48 pm

blacjack wrote:
BluE SnipeR wrote:You got some healthy hungry corals there mate, Polyps are massive on everything. :clap:


Hungry's not the word for it ;) I usually try to feed all the LPS once a week. I make my own food for the fish and coral. I simply buy a marinara mix of seafood, fresh would be better, and blend it up in a small mixer. Rinse the food in RO/DI water, then freeze it. I try to blend it fine so the fish and little corals can feed easily, and I use krill for the cati. They all want more after feeding, especially the Lobo, it's polyps really extend well after it's been fed :nut:


Sorry Chris
What I meant is that your corals have great PE, meaning that they are healthy and eating well, Its a good thing.
Corals in bad condition will never have that kind of PE. :thumbsup:
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Postby amashun » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 10:19 pm

:o looking good Chris, just wondering, where did i see this tank before :roflmao:
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Postby Rod the Reefer » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 10:34 pm

:clap: :clap: :clap:

Hey Chris, about time you got your TJ up!

Everything is looking very healthy. I love the Colt! I don't think your Pipe organ has long on this earth though. They are very tricky to keep, I had a very healthy specimen for years and then suddenly it went down hill real fast.

Can't wait for more updates!

Rod. :thumbsup:
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Postby AuS MaDDoG » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 10:54 pm

:clap: :clap:
Tanks looking great blacjack, and some nice photos!! I too like the look of that colt coral. Keep the updates coming.

:cheers:
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Postby blacjack » Sun 27 Apr, 2008 11:27 pm

I thought that's you meant Thai, and I agree they are healthy :thumbsup: Speaking of which, this is the polyp extension on the SPS frag's even after fragging, because of the STN event to main colony. Photo taken at night,

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G'day Rod and Tony, I thought it was about time to share :roflmao: The colt's a great coral. The stronger the flow, the better it seams to like it, and the best part, was it's a freebie :pirate: I spent about $300 on corals and bits and pieces, and the bloke who sold me the stuff said he couldn't sell it, so he threw it in for me :thumbsup:

The pipe organ is a one those corals I should not have bought. My wife loves the colour, but it's polyps weren't extended when we bought it. I know that's not the best way to buy them, but the misses wanted it. It has has some growth, but my urchin keeps dis-lodging it.I'll have to putty it down.

G'day Adrian, where would you have seen my tank :poke: :roflmao:
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Postby amashun » Mon 28 Apr, 2008 2:55 pm

Can't remember CWright, opps sorry, i meant BlackJack
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Postby sjp770 » Mon 28 Apr, 2008 3:54 pm

Good to see you have a journal up and going!
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Postby blacjack » Mon 28 Apr, 2008 6:50 pm

Yeah, it's about time. I'll update it occasionally, as not much is really going on at the moment. I am fighting with a little cyano, but it's not a real drama.

I've got to get my butt into gear and start washing some sand ready for when I move house. I want to set up a QT, so I can add a couple more fish, and if I find some more corals I like, I'll be able to buy them, instead of just walking past them.
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Postby blacjack » Mon 28 Apr, 2008 6:51 pm

amashun wrote:Can't remember CWright, opps sorry, i meant BlackJack


:roflmao: Mmmm can't say it without getting in trouble ;)
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Postby blacjack » Mon 28 Apr, 2008 10:55 pm

I performed my weekly water change tonight. Like I stated earlier, I've got some cyano type of slimey algae at the moment. So I scratched the sand into a pile and scooped out what I could. I decided to siphon the remants, and 20mm of sand later :o I think I got a fair bit of it. Tough stuff what ever it is.

I feed all my LPS last night, my favourite of all corals due to the interaction I can have with them. Unfortunately I came across a little battle between my Lobo and a fireworm. The Lobo didn't have a good hold on the prawn, and the fireworm, little bugga was winning the fight, untill my intervention :nono:

SO here it is, I hate these worms when they start to get big, even though this one is still a little small, it's a possible trouble maker, so it's gone.

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Here's the best close up I've been able to get of the feeding polyp's of a Lobo, it's damn hard to get the colours, as the green stands out and drowns the other colours.

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Here's the best I could get to should when the coral is looking for food.

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Since I'm posting pic's of corals, here's what my Trachies look like when they have had a feed of mysis shrimp.

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Feeding these corals is easy, but they move around a bit after being feed. Not as in get up and move, but can literally reposition themselves in regards to which way they are facing :roflmao: I plan to get more Trachie's in the future, if I can get the colours I like and for the right price.

Hope you enjoy.
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Postby Dunny » Tue 29 Apr, 2008 12:46 am

Very nice, do you feed after lights out?
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Postby blacjack » Tue 29 Apr, 2008 7:20 pm

Dunny wrote:Very nice, do you feed after lights out?


It's much easier as the fish don't try to steal as much food :pirate: The brain coral's really extend their polyp's the most at night, though the hammer does the opposite. So what I try to do, is feed most just after lights out, and save a bit of food for the Lobo', so when it's polyps come out, I can feed it then, which is usually 1/2 hour after lights out. Once feed, that's when the polyp's really come out ;)

I use a turkey baster to feed all but the Cati and Lobo, so any food that's not caught by the corals, is cleaned up by the damsel. It's the only time the poor little bugga isn't getting chased by the tang :konk:
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Postby craig » Tue 27 May, 2008 12:03 pm

Mate, your tank's health is great, awesome biodiversity!
Great to see a tank were the live rock looks live! Nice work!
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Postby anthony mazzeri » Tue 27 May, 2008 12:57 pm

I agree with all the others, looking good and healthy and diverse. :thumbsup:

So are you saying those fireworms are just taking the coral's food or actually attacking the corals like the Goni?
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