My Non Photosynthetic System (NPS)

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by Jaco Schoeman, 8 Dec 2009.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Okey okey... after the long wait for me to get married etc. I can finally post a thread on my new setup. As some of you know I was researching what to do for MONTHS and MONTHS, until I bought that Coral magazine from Lanzo and saw a full NPS system... Then I knew I would do that.

    The tank:

    So, I already had the 1000x500x500 tank, initially set up for keeping an Anemone, as I had made it fully nennie safe. Flow was to be generated by a CLS, and the intakes was custom built in order to keep it safe from any LS being sucked in. Here is a pic or two:

    [​IMG]

    Covered intake box...

    [​IMG]

    Lighting:

    The major advantage of this setup being non photosynthetic is that you actually need NO LIGHT, and lighting is only for viewing. I did however also want to keep other deepwater coral species that might require some light, and even some of the gorgonians required some light. I then bought a Reel Inc 4x 39W T5 unit, and replace the tubes with Geisemann T5's as follows: 1x Aquablue + (15000K) 1x Pure Actinic and two Actinic +. The 15000K and 22000K combo only runs from 16h00 to 17h30 and then I only run the Actinic and Pure Actinic. The advantage of this VERY low lighting is that algae can not survive (an advantage I'll explain later...)

    Here is an image of the Actinic and Pure Actinic doing it's job:

    [​IMG]

    Engine Room:

    For filtration I used the standard Skimmer, DSB, Liverock and filter feeders. I have total of about 25kg's of LR in my DT. As you will see from the photo, it is not as neat as I would like it to be, so this is a area I am working on:

    [​IMG]

    Feeding:

    The MOST important factor of keeping NPS coral is the feeding. Because the coral has NO zooxanthellae algae inside its' body tissue to help feed from, it relies on being a predatory coral and hunting for its' food. The only way it can hunt though in captivity is if the keeper gives them a good supply of food. I have researched a lot of feeding methods, and this is really still a very big developmental issue for me, that I will be working on contstanly.

    Currently I target feed my corals twice a day. I also made a DIY dosing pump, but this had other drawbacks so I ceased to use it. In the morning and evening, I feed about 1/2 teaspoon of Cyclop-Eeze, 2.5ml Zooplankton and 2.5ml Phyto Plankton. Every second day I feed on cube frozen mysis shrimp as well. I target feed each gorgonian, chili coral and sun coral. Once I have more specimens in the tank, I would need to increase feeding as well. Target feeding a gorgonian and chili coral hanign under an arch is not an easy task, so I constructed a simple device for this purpose from hard plastic pipe and a syringe.

    The result is this:

    [​IMG]

    To target feed the sun coral was also a challenge, as the flow easily let the food just blow over it. I then constructed this pip, however I am planning to improve this, as this is veyry bulky and the fish get a bit of a fright from it, unlike the thin little pipe above:

    [​IMG]


    TO BE CONTINUED...
     
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  3. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    wow man looking awesome.
     
  4. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    Are u intending to increase the size of the skimmer u using as feeding lots will make your water very dirty very quickly or will u be doing lotsa water changes?
     
  5. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I have only five NPS coral at the moment;

    One Sun Coral, Moon Coral, Chili Coral and two manella Gorgonians - species I am not sure of as yet. I wanted to keep some Zoanthids, mushrooms, Kenya tree and my favorite metallic green star polyps as well. I would however like to convert to a FULL NPS system later on, but the filter abilities of the above coral would really make me think otherwise.

    My plan is to still get some more sun coral, and specifically a Black Sun Coral, and a Blueberry Gorgonian.

    One of my gorgonians is a nice pink, but this is a bit of a problem child. The polyps on it is so small, that the entire branc and polyp fully extended is only about 1mm thick. This makes feeding VERY difficult, as it would not take Cyclop-Eeze. I thus target feed this with Zoo and Phyto. Here is an image of the very fine little lady:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The other Gorgonian is much bigger, and is really growing a lot with the feeding it gets. It also colored up nicely, and it is amazing to see it eat. I will post a video clip of feeding later on...

    Pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My other favorite is the Chili coral. We often see these babies looking like a dead piece of LR in the petshop, but this one has really grown a lot is extending it's polyps further than ever. It is feeding 24/7!!!

    [​IMG]

    Then, they beuty of the tank - my SUN CORAL!!!! This is the latest addition and it is amazing to see this open up in the presence of Cyclop-Eeze and Phyto... It is feeding very well and I can even see more polyps opening up and extending.

    The one major advantage / nice factor about sun coral, is that each polyp is an animal on it's own, but within the tissue they have a sort of store room, and when a specific polyp is not getting food, it can draw food from this room to feed from. So even if only one polyp is fed well, all the rest would be able to stay alive for weeks...

    Here she is!!! (my new avatar to be...)

    [​IMG]

    To be continued...
     
  6. Steven

    Steven

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    Hey Jaco
    Tank looking great! Great job on that closed loop;)
     
  7. FransSny

    FransSny

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    looking really nice mr schoeman ! awesome job and challenge you took up there :thumbup:

    BTW: back of the tank looks a bit ...how will I put it ....scratched ? :whistling:
     
  8. danimal

    danimal

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    AWESOME stuff Jaco! LOVE the sun coral! :thumbup:
     
  9. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    awesome stuff man. I would really love to get a Sun coral.
     
  10. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    @ Ziyaad : Yes Ziyaad, as posted I am planning to get a bigger skimmer later on. I am doing 10% water changes but the high nutrient water is not problem at all, in fact, I aim to keep the water "dirty" as this is what NPS coral feed on. Fish pooh is a big food source for them...:p

    @ Steven - Thanks man!!! CLS really worked out great and gives me EXCELLENT flow. I can adjust the flow really nice with it to accomodate my gorgonians especially, as they prefer a little more liniar flow.

    @ Frans - WHAT EVER TREVOR... :razz: Just becuase of the flash... You can't even see it normally.

    @ Danimal - Thanks - It is a beaut huh? Planning on getting about 5 or six more...:p
     
  11. FransSny

    FransSny

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    flash's fault.... blah blah blah. But seriously really wicked tank you have there , congrats on a well researched system.
     
  12. keyaam

    keyaam

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    This system looks awesome. Well done Jaco
     
  13. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Tank looks amazing good luck!
     
  14. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    It's looking really great, I think your aquascaping is brilliant.

    You are going to have to do something about nutrient removal soon as nutrients are going to become a problem, I'm sure.
     
  15. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Bob. Yes, I think nutrients might creep up on me at some stage. Thing is, I dont want to get rid of ALL the nutrients in the tank by running Zeo or same.

    I went to have a chat to Adam Scott regarding my setup and his advise to me was this: "stock a #*$@#* load of fish to gooi the nutrients..."

    He recons that feeding and nutrients is the heartbeat of a system such as this, and that I should just do my weekly water change, and clean the skimmer often.

    I think this again will be a "learn as you go along" thing, and take one challenge at a time. I have no problem to do 10% water change twice a week if needed, but for now all is doing quite well.

    Will defintely ring your bell for advise though... ;)
     
  16. ziyaadb

    ziyaadb

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    Best bet would be to try it.
     
  17. Atilla

    Atilla Sponsor

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    awesim system Jaco!!!!
     
  18. Norries

    Norries

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    Congrats Mr/Mrs Schoeman!

    Nice looking tank Jaco, like your scaping!
     
  19. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

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    Have you thought about doing away with your skimmer and useing a scrubber for nutrient export. I'm not saying this to stir up controversy, but I think it's a very valid means of filtration in this type of tank especially.You are thereby removing DIC's but leaving the DOC's and POC's that you want to feed the corals. I keep easy to keep NPS corals such as scleronephthya and chilli corals in my system without any supplementary feeding, and they are growing.
     
  20. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Hey Mud - yes, you are right. I actually forgot this was on my to do list. I will defintely make that a December project. I would like to have a nice big one though.

    Will defintely study the art of ATS this next few weeks and build one, as this would really help me a lot.

    Thanks for the reminder Mud!!! :thumbup:

    Oh, just another thing - please elaborate on DICS DOCS AND POCS (sounds like nursery rime!!!)
     
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  21. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

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    DIC- Dissolved Inorganic compound such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate. Anything that doesn't contain carbon.

    DOC's- Dissolved Organic Compounds. Natural organic matter(NOM) such as proteins, carbohydrates, which are removed by skimmers.

    POC's Particulate organic matter. The same as DOC's but in particle form. This would include cellular organisms such as phytoplancton.

    I've really simplified hectically. Feel free to add anything important.
     
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