40 Year Old Tank

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by SchyffS, 13 Jul 2010.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B

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    My mandarins are usually out but this tiny, almost white pipefish rarely shows up.
     
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  3. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Today I am making a typhoon in my tank using a diatom filter. I do this once or twice a year to stir up the gravel as much as I can right down to the UG filter plates. The fish seem to like it but the corals always look mad, they will get over it.
    In my tank this needs to be done as I run water in reverse through the gravel and if I didn't occasionally do this, the gravel would clog.

    This is from an older typhoon a few years ago as I see I had my old lights then. Today I am only using one diatom filter but in my reef, two are really needed. I just don't have the time today.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Paul B

    Paul B

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    I just bot back from a great day of boating. Those are my favorite kind of days. It was low tide so of course I went collecting. Amphipods are much more numerous last month but I got a nice haul. Maybe a few hundred but I didn't count them. I also collected some mud (for the bacteria) and some mud snails (by accident) My fish are smiling and all is good.

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  5. Paul B

    Paul B

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    This is the first page of my log book. I also found a book that I started writing at that time. I was listing the fish that I kept and wrote a page or so for each fish. The pictures were drawings that I did at the time. It's a little out dated now. Remember this was before just about anyone carried salt water fish and there were no salt water medications or any information. We had to figure out everything through guesswork. I noticed most of my notes were about diseases.

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    I found it interesting that I had a Moorish Idol and a copperband butterfly in 1976

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  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    That is a long time ago.
     
  7. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Not for me. :001_cool:

    I think it is interesting. I read it and laugh at the medications I tried.

    I have not seen this book in decades.

    I probably used medications I was taking as there were absolutely no salt water fish medications. I think we may have had copper but that's it. The log is full of trial and errors and plenty of dead fish.

    Sergeant Majors, blue devils, and dominoes' were the only fish available then. I used copper in my tank almost continuously as all fish had parasites and all of them were on the verge of dying. I see I was using my diatom filter then as I do now and I was trying very hard to cultivate algae. Remember the "corals": were just dead pieces that I bought in a furniture store for decoration.


    This was the only publication.
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  8. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Someone asked me a question about how I keep my tank immune, and I responded with this:

    Actually my system always had an infusion of bacteria and mud. I am not sure the tiny percent of NSW I use is of any consequence. I have not even collected any in probably 8 months. I do add a little mud and did last week. But I am not sure that would do anything for the fishes immune system. I do that for the bacteria in the substrate to control nitrates. Does it do anything? I have no idea. I think the big secret is not the mud or NSW. I think it is the natural food with the live bacteria and possibly parasites associated with it. Many of us fail to feed properly. Just because a commercial food comes in a nice package with an angelfish on the front and is very expensive does not mean it is a good food. It could be, but most foods state right on the package
    "irradiated to kill harmful bacteria and parasites" To me, that is a No no. We need to get live bacteria and parasites into our tank and the live bacteria should be in their food every day.
    But before we expose the fish to parasites, they should be in excellent condition and spawning or making spawning jestures. DaveK and many people feel this is unattainable. I think they just don't understand how simple it really is. All it takes is some whole foods such as clams and live foods almost every day such as live blackworms. That is all you need. Clams are filter feeders and accumulate tons of minerals including calcium which is missing from many foods. They also contain bacteria as do live worms.
    Fish in the sea eat live food at "every" meal. Fish in the sea are exposed to parasites "every day". That is what keeps their immune system ready to kill any parasite that attacks it. If you quarantine for a long period of time the fish will lose it's parasite immunity. Fish come to us already immune from the sea and they probably already have parasites. They are natural and normal and needed by the fish to even have an immune system.
    We are in the dark ages when it comes to fish diseases. There are just as many tank crashes now as there was in the 70s. Just search on this or any other forum as to how many tanks crashed even if they were quarantined. You don't have to listen to me, just look it up.
    In the 1900s my Grand Parents came here through Ellis Island. If they were found to be sick, they were quarantined.
    I can put any parasite or bacteria infected fish in my reef, and do, and nothing will happen.
    That's not magic or due to mud. That is because my fish are eating correctly. They are eating foods with live bacteria and parasites.
    When I went to Viet Nam I lived in the jungle for the entire year, I never came out. I took an anti malaria pill every day or I was almost certain to get malaria. The Vietnamese people who were born there didn't have any pills and they rarely got malaria. That is because they were bitten every day by malaria carrying mosquitoes and were immune. As long as they had food to eat and were in good shape, they were fine. If they got severely wounded or something else happened to them, they may have died from malaria just as my fish may die from parasites if the heater broke or a Supermodel dropped her hair Goo into my tank.
    All my paired fish are spawning. That means they are as healthy as they can be which is the first step in revving up their immune system. If fish can't or won't spawn (or at least make spawning jestures because they are alone) they are not healthy and their immune system will not make antibodies against parasites. This is not rocket science but we make it difficult. Just look at what fish eat in the sea. Did you ever see a wild fish eating flakes or pellets?
    Most people on here are smarter than I am. All I have is more experience which means that I made all the mistakes and killed more fish than Starkist Tuna. In a long lifetime I learned how to get and keep fish healthy and it is extreamly simple. I write about it al the time and even wrote a book because I got tired of posting the same thing.
    Everyone says my tank is an enigma. It is only an enigma because I found out that the correct food will make the fish immune. Immune means I can put anything in the tank and any bacteria or parasites will just make my fish stronger. Is that a bad thing?
    Here is one article I wrote about immunity. I am sure you saw it. http://www.saltwatersmarts.com/marine-fish-heal-through-slime-3962/
    If I were you, I would start feeding my fish, every day with something live like blackworms. Earthworms work as well. Then I would feed only whole foods such as clams. Not squid, shrimp, fish fillets or scallop as those are only the muscle of the creature. They need the guts and a clam is almost all guts. In the sea fish eat nothing but whole creatures, bones and all. Don't feed any dry foods. In a few weeks your fish should be in breeding condition. Their colors will pop and they will probably bite you when you stick your hand in there. Your paired fish will spawn.
    That is the secret to keeping fish healthy. Immunity from parasites is harder especially if you quarantined your fish for a long time. But that can come in time.
    Just my opinion of course.

    And this:
    The proper food "with" it's associated live bacteria. Not a varied diet, but a diet that the fish need. Bacteria is the key. Fish are not like us. We can live and "spawn" no matter what condition we are in. Our immune system will also function if we are near starvation. A fishes system is different and those systems will not work. I didn't make this up, you can Google a fishes immune system. There is so much new information now about the health giving properties in gut bacteria in us, and fish. But the fish needs to be in great condition through whole foods with the guts and bacteria.
    My tank had flatworms a couple of years back. It may be on this thread. They didn't do anything to the corals and in a month or two got bored and disappeared. I have also never dipped a coral in insecticide or anything else and never had a problem. Maybe I am lucky or maybe it comes from the mud I add. I really don't know why my tank is not afflicted with those things.
    A quarantined system functions because the fish are sterile, their environment is sterile and their guts are sterile. This is like the boy in the bubble. It can work but it is un natural and un healthy. If those fish are subject to almost anything, they will die as they have no immunity. Immunity is not only to protect the fish but the process of being immune also enhances other functions in fish. Fish in the sea are "always" pregnant. That is their normal state. Are your fish pregnant? That is the reason most fish don't spawn in captivity. They are sterile and have no immunity. Most fish are in horrible health. Fish should be pregnant, never get sick and live for their normal lifespan which in some fish is 25 or 30 years. Most gobies and smaller fish should live at least 10 or 12 years. If they are not, why not?
    If you lived in a town where virtually everyone died in their teens would you want to live there?
    I don't make a lot of friends with my theories. Most people think inside that old box. But gradually the thinking is changing. People are wondering why there are so many disease problems in a hobby that is 45 years old. Just go on the disease thread and be horrified.
    That upper pipefish is always pregnant. Always. That is the condition all fish are supposed to be in and it is very simple. He eats live new born brine shrimp every day in a feeder I designed. I can train him to eat cornflakes, apple pie or beef jerky. But I want to see pregnant. immune fish and that is what I am seeing.

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    The normal shape of a female mandarin.
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    Spawning clown gobies.
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    Watchman with eggs.
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    Spawning Manatees....OK,, Maybe not

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  9. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Target feeding my Clingfish. I target feed everything. The clingfish takes a little time to chew.

     
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  10. Paul B

    Paul B

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    I have too many bristleworms and too many big bristleworms. They are not normally a problem unless they crawl into bed with you but they are a problem to certain invertebrates. Especially ones that shed like crabs and shrimp. I also have lost baby clams to them many times. My large arrow crab recently shed and I still can't find him, but I know it was bristle worms as I can tell by their smile. The worms wait behind a rock and trip the helpless crab when he walks by.

    I designed a few traps for the worms and I normally catch 4 or 5 a night. But now most of my tiny hermit crabs grew into golf ball size creatures and if I look at my tank at night I find 4 of them with the bristle worm trap on their shoulders carrying it around the tank. This is annoying because the trap only works when it is on the gravel. The crabs are all fighting with each other, taking turns trying to get the clam bait out of the trap. Now I am looking for a bowling ball I can use as a weight to keep the crabs from carrying the trap. AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH
     
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  11. r0ckf1re

    r0ckf1re

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    Lmao

    Sent from my EVA-L09 using Tapatalk
     
  12. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Tank is doing well, everything is happy and healthy. Cleaning the algae scrubber every couple of weeks is a pain and a little time consuming. The water cooled LED lights are still functioning as I expected.
    Clingfish and bangai cardinals seem happy.
    The biggest feeder is by far the copperband. That thing will eat all the food I put in there by himself if I didn't target feed everything.
    Almost all the gorgonians are growing out of the water and if I get time I will trim them and glue the pieces someplace.
    I am also thinking (not to seriously) of removing the algae trough and scraping it out. There is no algae in it as it is filled with small corals and tube worms. I would assume it is a great nursery for the numerous amphipods I have in there. I only collected amphipods twice this year and I hope to go collecting maybe once more. If not I at least want to collect some more mud, but I can get that from the shore anywhere without going to a tide pool.
    The reverse undergravel filter is the oldest thing in the tank and was in there from the start. I still think of that as the heart of my system and if I started a new tank tomorrow (not likely) I would add a reverse undergravel filter.
    What's not to like? Of course I doubt I could still get dolomite.
    I wonder what will happen to this tank when I finally take it down. It has to come down at some point because I am not exactly 16 any more.
    I was also thinking (again not very seriously) about removing my skimmer temporally to fill with vinegar and clean. That has only happened once many years ago. It is bolted to my stand so it is not really a five minute job.
    Recently I re-designed and re-built the venture valve and this new one (which costs about a buck) works much better. I have 3 air pumps running my skimmer because it is about 5' tall and there is to much back pressure for the venture to suck enough air in so I supplement it with air pumps and I couldn't find one strong enough. I also use it with Ozone but I run it full power and removed the sensor from the tank as it wasn't doing anything anyway.
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  13. Paul B

    Paul B

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    Today I went to my favorite LFS again. While there I say this beautiful lipstick tang and the way she was looking at me with those pouty lips, I almost went home with her. But then I thought, this thing will probably live for 20 years. At that time I will be in my 80s, probably senile, blind and have a weak bladder. How am I supposed to catch her then because I will want to give her away before I croak.

    So I didn't buy her. Instead, I got another crab. He waltzed over to my existing crab, carefully put his arms around her, pulled her closer, and tried to rip her face off.

    But now that they have been formally introduced, they settled down to share filter feeding next to each other.



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  14. CameL

    CameL

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    I love the humorous spin you put on your posts. Always fun reading what you have to say.
     
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  15. Paul B

    Paul B

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    One of the pitfalls of having shoulder surgery is that it is difficult to do any tank maintenance that requires two hands. I can feed the tank, clean the glass and the skimmer cup but that's about it.

    My algae scrubber is so full that the algae is sloughing off the thing and falling into the tank. In my set up, there is a pump in the tank that supplies water to the scrubber, then the water flows into a pipe that feeds my reverse undergravel filter.

    The amount of algae is preventing the water from traveling into the UG filter as it is overflowing that pipe and going straight into the tank.

    I can't raise my right are right now to clean it but I managed to clear some of the algae with a screwdriver.

    I won't be able to reach up to it for a few weeks when my shoulder gets better so I will have to live with this for a while. It is not the end of the world, just a little annoyance.

    This is an older picture of the scrubber.



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  16. Paul B

    Paul B

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    I just decided (possibly stupidly) to feed my corals yeast. I feed it to my worms and they are always smiling but now my tank is all cloudy from yeast. So either the tank will crash or It will make one heck of a salty loaf of bread.
    When I get bored, I sometimes do stupid things. :banghead:
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2016
  17. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  18. reef addict

    reef addict

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    How is the Tank doing? yeast interesting? hope no wipe out..
     
  19. CameL

    CameL

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    I thought yeast was a carbon source, so kinda like carbon dosing. If it's cloudy maybe it's a bacterial bloom.
     
  20. PsyXe

    PsyXe African fancy gumdrop coral croucher

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    The real PaulB, on our forum? How did I miss this? Man, I love your writing style and articles :D
     
  21. Paul B

    Paul B

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    The tank is doing better than my wildest dreams. Well, maybe not my wildest dreams as they involve 2 Supermodels, a bowling ball and some asparagus, but it is doing very well considering it is a little old. The yeast was absorbed by the corals, sponges and bacteria and the tank is crystal clear.
    Reef Addict. A wipe out!!! My tank can't wipe out, I use a reverse undergravel filter that is immune from wipeouts. :w00t: I could remove all the water and replace it with damp sawdust that a duck billed platypus just puked on and my corals would laugh. Probably out loud.
    I am doing an experiment that involves more yeast along with a couple of other things. If it crashes now, it had one heck of a run. :001_cool:

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    Last edited: 13 Nov 2016
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