New Member Introduction - Our journey thus far

Discussion in 'New Members' started by athol@irender.co.za, 23 May 2011.

  1. athol@irender.co.za

    athol@irender.co.za

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    183
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Centurion
    Great portal guys and girls, and glad to introduce myself to all the fellow reefers.

    I am Athol Phillips, and I reside in Centurion with my lovely wife Shirley. I am a Business Owner of a company called iRender which specializes in providing Software Design Solutions to the Architectural and Interior Design market. This includes SketchUp, AutoCAD and the Artlantis Rendering application.

    OUR JOURNEY THUS FAR

    We previously ran a Fresh Water (bath water) tank for a few years until we relocated to a new home. We decide to take our set up with us to the new location because we have always wanted to switch to a marine tank. Well, eighteen months passed, and our old empty DT stood in our entrance hall catching moths and dust. In November last year, my good lady gave me an ultimatum, sell the whole DT, or go marine tomorrow. I took the plunge and we got cracking with all the new requirements.

    At the time we started with the new marine set up, I was pleased to learn that Dorrey Pets had just relocated their premises to Centurion, which was great news for me. The service that I have received from both Lanzo and Dewald has been most professional. They also have the cleanest DT's that I have seen in any LFS so far.

    We did not rush into the process, but rather adopted a slow and calculated step by step set up of the new environment, which has paid off hands down.

    [​IMG]
    Early days - just added Salt Water and some Live Rock

    Our DT is 1,800x800x600 - about 800 litres including the three compartment sump below. I have run a fair size DSP from start up, and also implemented a Reef Octopus 160 Extreme In-Sump with Bubble Plate Skimmer which has performed well to date.

    About a month ago, we were hit with our first Cyno Bacteria outbreak. I dosed Phosphate-E for 5 x days, and this seemed to help. I then added a Seio 1500 Superflow Pump to increase the flow in the DT. This helped a lot to resolve the Cyno Bacteria problem.

    Since day one, I have battled with high Nitrate and high Phosphate levels. Two weeks ago, I purchased a Reef Octopus N/P Pellet Reactor 110 from Dorrey Pets, and as with everything I do, I introduced this new unit slowly into the system, adding only 125 g of Bio Pellets per week. So far, the results look promising.

    GO BIG OR GO HOME

    Working in the IT environment, I enjoy marrying IT with my new hobby. So when I stumbled across the Profilux III EX Controller, I had no choice but to raid the bank account and purchase the unit. Although I have only touched the surface as regards all the functionality this unit has to offer, I cannot wait to explore its full potential, i.e. Thunder storms, Automatic Water Change via Dosing Pumps etc.

    [​IMG]

    SALT WATER PLANT

    It only took me a few months to get tired of mopping up the kitchen floor due to the 25 litre drums of RO/DI water overflowing because I forgot to switch the unit off. The schlep of having to carry heavy drums of top up water to the DT became very tiresome, and I needed to find an easier solution. With some guidance from fellow reefer Jean van Niekerk, I sourced all the components to build my own 250 litre Salt Water / 250 litre RO/DI Water Plant. Although I have automated the RO/DI top up to replace evaporated water using an Optical Level Sensor connected to my Profilux III EX unit, my next step will be to implement an automated daily Water Change. I am still considering a few options for the Pumps, and part of the process may include LiterMeter Pumps, but have not made a final call on this equipment yet.

    [​IMG]

    LIVE STOCK, ROCK AND CORALS

    To date, we have the following tank inhabitants: View pics on Facebook

    CORAL: -

    x1 - Open Brain Coral (doing very well)
    x1 - Doughnut Coral LPS (doing very well)
    x2 - Bubble Coral (doing extremely well)
    x1 - Kenya Tree (took a knock, but slowly recovering)
    x3 - Pulsing Xenia (battling with them at the moment)
    x1 - Zoanthid (but something has devoured this one)
    x1 - Cluster of Mushrooms (doing well)
    x1 - Clam (doing well)
    x1 - Anemone Red Base (doing very well)
    x1 - Tongue Slipper Coral (doing well)
    x1 - Gorgonia (not doing great at all)
    x1 - Plate Coral - (doing well)
    x1 - Goniopora Flower Pot Coral

    FISH: -

    x2 - Captive Bred Ocelaris Clowns
    x2 - Fire Fish
    x1 - Sailfin Tang
    x1 - Sufin
    x2 - Cleaner Shrimp (one has subsequently gone to Fish Heaven)
    x1 - Coral Beauty (also moved on to Fish Heaven)
    x1 - Fox Face
    x1 - Coral Banded Shrimp (Boxer Shrimp)
    x5 - Banggai (but have since been reduced to a single mating pair)
    x2 - Algae Eating Snails
    x1 - Dendrophyllia Turret Coral (Returned to LFS)

    ROCK: -

    5.4 kg Fiji Rock
    8 kg CaribSea South Sea Base Rock
    Aragonite Sand Bed 2 inches thick

    [​IMG]

    LESSONS LEARNT SO FAR

    • Find yourself a professional LFS, and build a mutually beneficial and rewarding business relationship with them. This marine hobby is not for sissies, so be prepared to spend a lot of that hard earned cash on your new addiction. If you support your LFS, they are more likely to offer you a Customer Loyalty Discount, and believe me, every cent you can save helps. You will also be able to develop a "relationship of trust". I recently purchased a Dendrophyllia Turret Coral from an out of town LFS just because I liked its bright red colouring. I was told by the LFS salesman that it was a "low maintenance" coral, only to find out a week later after doing some research on the Internet, that this specimen was indeed a "high maintenance" coral requiring a lot of attention and patience. I was fortunate enough to return the said coral to the LFS for a Full Refund for which I was most grateful. Moral of the story: "Find a coral you fancy, and then research everything you possibly can about its care etc before you purchase it, even if you have to go back to the LFS a week later.
    • Research, research, research.... everybody has a different opinion and solution to your current problem. I have found the Internet to be a great source of information for any topic relating to this hobby.
    • Patience, and more patience... Take your time with every facet of your marine project... DO NOT RUSH INTO IT....
    • Be prepared for losses... it comes with the territory...just make sure you learn from each loss so as not to repeat the same mistake again.
    • Don't be afraid to ask questions... Even the gurus were once all Newby's
    GETTING CREATIVE WITH PLATE CORAL

    [​IMG]
    Purchased some Reef Glue and modified my Plate Coral to look like a thatched beach umbrella...

    Well, that's our experience thus far...still have so much to learn !!!

    Time to get back to the business of earning a living so that I can afford my next expensive piece of kit for this new addiction of ours.

    I look forward to interfacing with the Members of this Forum, and hope to learn a lot from you all.

    Warmest regards

    ATHOL PHILLIPS
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2011
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. Cassim

    Cassim

    Joined:
    9 Nov 2010
    Posts:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newcastle
    welcometomasa
     
  4. Evo R

    Evo R

    Joined:
    8 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    33
    Location:
    Mosselbay
    masahello
     
  5. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    3,054
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    Jukskei Park, JHB
    Welcome. Looking nice. Even though the plate coral on the stick looks cool, it will not be happy. It needs to be placed on a sandy bottom for when it expands.
     
  6. Xereo

    Xereo

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    1,154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cape Town
    WOW.. Welcome to masa :) :thumbup:
     
  7. athol@irender.co.za

    athol@irender.co.za Thread Starter

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    183
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Centurion
    Plate Coral Umbrella

    Hi Marius
    Thanks for the heads up on the Plate Coral. I will relocate him to the sand bed right now.
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    Welcome!!! System looking cool, and I love the creativity with the plate - LOL!!! :thumbup:

    What is wrong with it? Have you got pictures of it to post here? What are you feeding. I also see a suncoral in there - how's that doing? Or was it "THAT" suncoral we spoke about?
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2011
  9. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    7 May 2007
    Posts:
    14,540
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Gonubie East London
    welcome..
     
  10. athol@irender.co.za

    athol@irender.co.za Thread Starter

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    183
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Centurion
    Yip, the Dendrophyllia Turret is the one that we spoke about which only spent a week with us before I returned it to the out of town LFS.
     
  11. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,984
    Likes Received:
    779
    Welcome to the forum. Agree with Marius, although it's a cool idea, that coral definitely needs to be on the sand. :)
    It would be nice if you posted the pics on the forum, not everybody has a facebook account or access to facebook.
     
  12. athol@irender.co.za

    athol@irender.co.za Thread Starter

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2009
    Posts:
    183
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Centurion
    Sorry, the Gorgonia is actually not a Gorgonia at all. It was wrongly named by the out of town LFS when they sold it to me.
     
  13. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    So they called a Turret Coral a gorgonia? EPIC FAIL!!!:lol:
     
  14. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    30 Nov 2007
    Posts:
    9,482
    Likes Received:
    118
    Location:
    A Beautiful place!
    Welcome to MASA Athol and Shirley, glad you guys joined us. Great setup you got there :)
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2011
  15. seank

    seank

    Joined:
    24 May 2007
    Posts:
    11,984
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    North of Durban and South of Mozambique
    Welcome Athol and Wife. Hope you enjoy the journey :thumbup:

    Btw, you have a leak :p
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,974
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    KZN
    LOL @ Sean. Welcome to MASA.
     
  17. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Johannesburg (Alberton)
    Hi Athol. So glad to see you joined and started posting!!

    Your tank is coming along nicely.. You certainly took it very slow..

    Welcome to MASA and enjoy the fantastic journey.:thumbup:
     
  18. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Johannesburg (Alberton)
    Pity about that "Sun Coral" They are lovely when healthy and eating properly!!
     
  19. Michael B

    Michael B

    Joined:
    20 Jun 2010
    Posts:
    804
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Boksburg
    Great introduction & welcome to MASA
     
  20. Dewald@Dorry

    Dewald@Dorry

    Joined:
    20 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,204
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Johannesburg (Alberton)
    OO ja and also forgot to mention, a very good in detail introduction!! Well done!
     
  21. Tremayn

    Tremayn

    Joined:
    21 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    5,226
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Lenasia
    Welcome :) .. Lol I was wondering what that UFO looking thing was
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Member Introduction journey Forum Date
New Member Introduction New Members 15 Mar 2010
10% Discount to all MASA Members Pet Lovers Emporium 1 Nov 2016
New member looking to start what looks like awesome hobby New Members 3 Sep 2016
New member from Stellenbosch New Members 23 Jul 2016
New member New Members 18 May 2016
New member needing advice on how to list a sale of a tank and hardware General Discussions and Advice 7 Mar 2016
Old member resurfacing... New Members 19 Feb 2016