40 Year Old Tank

SchyffS

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Hi All, i found this article, refered to me by a freind, i cant beleive the success of this dudes tank, i think he rubs stones together to keep it going ;)

I think that with the internet and forums such as these we loose site of the passion of the hobby. We copy anything and everything that looks cool without understanding how it works. No doubt automation is everyones ideal but the simplicity and power of nature cannot be under estimated. Simulate nature cause it has been perfected. The story below is about understanding what we are doing and how it affects our tanks.

A lesson for new and old.

Myself, i have been designing my new tank for the last 2 years and everytime there is a new craze i start rethinking my design to accomodate it. Our tanks should evolve and allowed to settle in. Changes must be made slowly as it has a major knock on effect to the delicate ecosystem that we control.

Happy reading and hope its useful.

Reefkeeping Magazine - Paul Baldassano’s Reef - 40 Years in the Making
 
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He is a regular on reefcentral.com
Search for the user name:
Paul B
 

SchyffS

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Im gonna read his tank thread, wanna understand how is system works.
No problem, i enjoyed sharing this information.
Mostly because i have been trying to understand the "old" filtration systems and why they have not remained popular. Im hoping to have as natural a filter system as possible. But, i am a gadget nut and enjoy all the new toys the same.

@ Boegie, can you find the tank thread of Paul B?
 

SchyffS

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I have been chatting to him alot, the heart of the system is the Reverse Undergravel Filter (RUGF). Also imporant is his Algae Turf Scrubber (ATS). Than a diy 5ft skimmer, running with ozone. No sump at all. Lighitng is metal halide. A bit old school but the system seems to work.
 

SchyffS

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I have been chatting to him alot, the heart of the system is the Reverse Undergravel Filter (RUGF). Also imporant is his Algae Turf Scrubber (ATS). Than a diy 5ft skimmer, running with ozone. No sump at all. Lighitng is metal halide. A bit old school but the system seems to work.
Thanx for the info, from the article i could pick that up and its amazing. The ATS filter is popping up everywhere in succesful reefers tanks. Live Rock and lotsa bacteria is the other factor. His DIY live rock is a revelation to me.
I prefer an alternative method of denitrification over the UGF, a Nitrate reductor has the advantage that it can be tuned to suit your size tank. Im currently running one and its working well for me.
 
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He states over and over that the RUGF the heart of the system. He says that has saved him many times in crashes. Without it I dont know how long the system would run, his running for 35 years, bloody hell.
 

SchyffS

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Thats a long time with a UGF, i wont go that route though. Im gonna try an dmake some of that "pipe" rock, wanna test it myself. Live rock is very expensive from LFS. Ranging from R120/kg to R250/kg depending on type and rand fluctuation. If it costs a 1/3 of that to make it myself then why not?
 
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I would go at least 75% liverock, and the rest diy rock. Lucky you near the coast, as the NSW better than synthetic salt.
 

SchyffS

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Hey Jacquesb, yep I also think so. But not ruling out the main filter the live rock with internal anaerobic pipe system :) and yes his monster 5ft skimmer.
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i think he rubs stones together to keep it going ;)
In that posted article I forgot to mention rubbing the stones together. :blush:

Live rock is very expensive from LFS. Ranging from R120/kg to R250/kg depending on type and rand fluctuation. If it costs a 1/3 of that to make it myself then why not?
I also do build a lot of rock. I collected most of my rock but I like the stuff I build better.
And, I'm cheap. ;)
 
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The rock I like to build is hollow so it benefits anerobic bacteria. I first take a piece of PVC pipe and drill many 1/4" holes in it. Then I go outside and heat the pipe with a propane torch to bend it. You must do this outside because the fumes of burning PVC are toxic and it will sicken you immediately. The object is just to heat it enough to bend it into odd shapes but sometimes it catches fire and you need a hose or bucket of water near by to put it out.
Bend it into different shapes that will fit into your aquascape and if you like, add other pieces at angles and attach with plastic screws or plastic ties.
Wrap plastic window screen around the pipe and secure with a glue gun in many places.
Mis mortor. I use Sakrete Mortor Mix but any mortor will work and smear it on. Most of it will not stick but a little will. Keep it damp and in 2 days add more mortor. You will need to do this 4 or 5 times before it sticks well and you build up a nice looking "rock".
Then keep it damp for a few days and put it in water for a month to cure.
The top picture is the rock under construction and the bottom picture is the completed rock after it has been in my tank.
This rock is 3' long (one meter)

Rock.jpg

You can see that rock here above and to the right of the moorish Idol.
CopyofDSC00922.jpg


Here is one of the columns that is holding up my entire rockwork off the gravel. It is all cement.

Gonopora011.jpg


This bottle is built from cement and shells.

Bottle-1.jpg
 
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