Jaco's 3 Story weaning School

Discussion in 'Nano Tanks' started by Jaco Schoeman, 31 May 2010.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hi guys...

    Many of you know that I kept NPS coral, and recently decided to sell all my livestock and tank etc. etc. etc.

    Some of you thought I was "divorcing" the hobby, but you were wrong...;) I have moved onto a new challenge, broadening my reefkeeping knowledge.

    I have built a 3 Story weaning School, where I will be weaning (teaching) mostly mandarin fish and maybe seahorse and pipefish to take prepared frozen food, instead of having to eat live food.

    Initially I thought about breeding mandarin, but I will not have the expertiese yet for that, and only once I am really geared up for it, will attemp it. I am hoping that I can wean broodstock for LuckyFish, and let him do the breeding. Then wean the fry again that comes from that... But he doesn't know that yet, so still need to discuss that with him.

    I have no photos as yet, will post them soom, but let me tell you a bit more about the tank.

    Top Floor (The Penthouse Suite):

    For the display, I have a standard 2foot, divided in two compartments 300x300x300. This will allow me to "train" two fish at a time for now. The tanks have only a very thin layer substrate and one piece of live rock.

    Second Floor (Chefs' Quarters):

    The second story is a full 2foot refugium. In this tanbk I have a mineral mud substrate, and have macro algae growing here. This will be my main copepod and amphipod farm, where many of the mandarin's food will come from, till they take prepared food. Over this tank I have 3x 20W CFL spotlights a 3500K.

    Bottom Floor (The Cleaners Quarters):

    On the bottom floor, is a sump, with a DSB. This DSB has been build and closed entirely, to make it as dark as possible, thus creating a total/semi cryptic zone, for further life filtration. In here, I have the entire DSB covered under live rock rubble.

    I will have no skimmer in this system. My reason for this, is that there will be quite a low bio load on the system, as there are only a few fish and no coral. Skimmers in this setup will also kill huge amounts of live food, which will be crucial for feeding the fish. I will however be dosing live brine shrimp, so there will not be no bio load. The natural / biological filtration should however be able to handle that.

    The main reason behnd doing this, is the fact that the death ratio on mandarin and seahorse are so big in the industry, due to insufficient feeding. A very large system, that is very mature, can host these type of feeders, but generaly they still die after a few months...

    I am hoping to help those that want to keep these fish, and does not have the time to wean them, to be able to keep them, alive and healthy, feeding on frozen foods.

    If you are interested or always wanted to keep mandarins, but couldn't due to feeding issues, please give me an indication. I will start the school shortly, and then have you on the waiting list...;)

    PS: Photos to follow within the next few days, just waiting for the mineral mud cloud to settle...:p
     
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  3. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    You always wanted to do it the more difficult way. :)

    but it does sounds interesting. Why not make the penthouse a 3 compartment 90L? Or will the live food not be enough?
     
  4. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    No, once I see this works, and I have mastered two small tanks, I would like to go huge, as in a 1.2m etc... But I do not want to bite off more than I can chew in the beginning, as there are a lot of learning still involved... Also, it helps in the survival of a delicate species...

    Part of this whole project, will also be to determine the effectiveness of a dedicated refugium with mineral mud and macro algae, as well as a cryptic zone.

    I dont find keeping a mushroom "fun" or educational anymore. I like to attemp and learn as many aspects of the hobby as possible. My brain is like a tube worm... It is open just cathing all the info out there, but every now and then, it witdraws at the speed of light, and I sit and chew on my own thoughts - dangerous time that... :p
     
  5. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    Much respect Jaco, I think you are a saint and saviour to these amazing creatures, Looking forward to hearing how it goes :thumbup:
     
  6. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Very interesting.
     
  7. maj

    maj

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    wow,what a new avenue to pursue in this hobby.
    already a challenge to keep a marine tank,more of a challenge to keep full NPS,but damn u just thought of a harder means to keep a marine tank.

    Goodluck!
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Yes Maj. I must say, that keeping NPS and having to learn about live food, micro organisms etc. as well as the patience and work you have to put in daily, helps a lot to be able to try something like this.

    I also think that I will learn a lot in this new venture. I am really looking forward to the refuge growth and life. This is a nice package deal that will teach me plenty of stuff on a few areas of the hobby.

    GREATLY looking forward to it, although I am gonna miss my suncorals, gorgonians and zoa's... ;)
     
  9. Dane

    Dane

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    Thats awesome jaco - keeping NPS has given you the ultimate background! I really get a fuzzy warm feeling when I hear about people getting into the culturing side of things
     
  10. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Congratulations Jaco - also good luck in taking this huge task upon yourself! I will be holding thumbs that this will work for...
     
  11. aslam

    aslam

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    Hello Jaco,it is great to see reefers like you.All the best and good luck.
     
  12. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Okey guys, the promised photos of the system, and a bit of feedback:

    Penthouse Suite:

    [​IMG]

    Chefs Quarters:

    [​IMG]

    Cleaners Quarters:

    [​IMG]

    I still need to close this up into a cabinet setup, as my wife wants everything to be neat... But for now it'll have to work...

    Then I also got two male Blue Mandarins from DORRY PETS on Friday. Thank you guys, they are healthy!!! Both of the fish started grazing the moment I introduced them. They are so cute, and the wife and kids can't get enough of them...

    Pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    One little drawback I have experienced already, is that I was counting on my local LFS to supply me with live brine shrimp. I went there on Saturday, just for them to tell me they might never stock live brine again... So, I am forced to grow my own cultures now, and will have that breeding setup up and running by the weekend, and post some photos. Just have to do some more research.

    I have in the meantime started culturing brine nauplii and are feeding these daily to the mandarin.

    Life the in refuge is growing nicely now, and I am looking forward to see what goes on there in three months time... ;)
     
  13. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Looking good jaco, just one Q / thought, you know those egss are microscopic.....have you made a plan yet regarding collecting them should spawning occur ?

    Also did you come right with your problem over the weekend....wanted to phone you still but the CT guys kept me VERY busy
     
  14. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Frans, have you not read the entire thread...? ;) I will make sure none of "that" happens in the tank, and that they do not spawn, so no need to worry about eggs now... I am taking it one step at a time, and first want to try my hand at weaning. Then I'm hoping I can supply the likes of you or Marcel with weaned broodstock who are the experts at breeding...


    One day maybe, I might try and breedm but why attempt it if I know guys like you?

    And yes thank you, I think I managed with the "problem"... Google works every time. :thumbup:
     
  15. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Sorry Jaco...been speedreading again !
     
  16. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Very nice setup.
     
  17. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

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    That is an absolute beauty of a setup and those Mandarins are incredibly beautiful! I seriously love mandarins and I hope to be able to keep one in the future.

    Great job dude! I'd love to see this setup in action one day!
     
  18. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks guys!!! They are gems of the ocean.

    Once weaned, I will give one of these to dad, and keep one myeslf. Then after that, I will wean and sell to you guys, then it will be possible to keep them alive and swimming...

    Now, I have done a bit of research on how to grow Brine Shrimp, but does anyone have experience and maybe a tip or two about growing from naupi to adults?
     
  19. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Well done on this great "research" project, we need more reefers like this in SA
     
  20. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Just thought I would share a video of my mandarin eating live brine nauplii...

    Far from being weaned, but we are working on it SLOWLY...

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  21. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    very nice setup so far dude :thumbup:
     
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