NPS Dedicated Tank - Take 2

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by Jaco Schoeman, 10 Dec 2010.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Okey, I have finally gotten around to post my new tank specs...

    I tried the mixed reef thing for a couple of months, but my heart lies with NPS Coral. I then decided about 2 or 3 months ago to get rid of all things that need light, and go to where my heart lies...

    So, I would like to introduce you to my second attemp at a dedicated Non Photosynthetic System. I learnt alot from my previous mistakes, and have also grown alot in knowledge and wisdom since then (last year this time...)

    This tank is quite young, and there are still a great deal of improvement planned ahead - as and when finances allow for it.

    So without further ado; let me introduce you to my latest NPS Dedicated Tank...

    Tank Spec:

    Dimensions: 700 x 450 x450
    Sump:610 x 310 x 310

    The reason for the smaller tank is quite simple; $$$!!! However much I would like to have a 3000litre tank, dealing with 80% water change weekly and also the flow required for such tank, skimmer size etc would just be too costly for me.

    Filtration Methods:

    * I have built my own DIY Recirculating skimmer, that really works well and is a key part of my system. The reason I opted for a recirculating skimmer, is that all the water from the tank will go directly into the skimmer reaction chamber, thus only clean(er) water will flow back into the system. The skimmer is set to run only for 12hours a day, and switches off with the return pump. The tank is thus without filtration for 12hours in which I feed, this gives the NPS coral enough time to feed as much as possible, and then the water is cleaned before it can go off in the DT and cause NH4 and NO3 problems.

    * I do at least 10% water change twice a week. That gives me an 80% water change per month, and I have found this water change is key to helping to deal with the high amount of food I feed, and it helps reduce nitrates.

    * I have a DSB made from playsand, and onto of the DSB I have Arag Alive and also mineral mud. With this I have some cheato to assist me further with nutrients and also help the pod population thrive, as pods are also crucial in assisting with food waste.

    * I have around 15kg's of LR in the tank that are very healthy and is covered in life.

    Lighting:

    Because I only keep non photosynthetic coral I do not require any light at all. I do however run one 24W Actinic T5 just for viewing purposes, and I am modifying a Cree LED unit of mine that will give a bit more aesthetic to the tank. I only switch the lights on when I get home at night, or when I need to do something in the tank. This has helped alot with algae as I do feed alot, and algae may get the better of the situation with other lower Kelvin ligths present.

    Feeding:

    My main course for the evening is live brine nauplii. I am amazed to see the health of my coral since I have been feeding them live brine nauplii. This is something I did not do on my previous tank, and I am almost confident that this is quote key to a healthy NPS System. I do however supplement the live brine with Cyclop-Eeze; a name that has come up on every article or website I have read of people keeping NPS. Cyclop-Eeze really does also help alot with the coral health, and the reaction from the coral when cyclop-eeze is introduced to the tank is uncomparable to any other food. Then for the smaller polyped corals I feed Reef Snow, and Tropic Marin's Phyton and Zooton. Aminomega is also mixed with the food in small quantities.

    At the moment, I feed daily, every evening. I am however busy experimenting with DIY auto feeders in a few ways. I will elaborate on the path I have chosen once I have done all my experiments. The plan is however that I will manually feed the coral between 17h00 and 18h00 in the evenings. Then the tank will be fed as soon as lights go out and fish go sleepy sleepy. I will then feed throughout the night until around 05h00 am, at which time the skimmer and the return pump will kick in to "clean" the water.

    The amounts of food varies from type of food, but also will be adjusted as the tank is stocked. The more coral there is, the more mouths to feed, and the more food I will administer.

    Flow:

    One of the most important aspects about NPS is the flow. Too much and the polyps cannot grab the food particles rushing past it, yet too slow and the polyps will not expand to feed. Also, good flow assists to remove wasted food that might be on the coral tissue, and cause nutrient build up.

    I have two pumps, one 3300 l/ph SunSun and one Seio Prop at the same volume. They are carefully adjusted and the corals were placed accordingly. I would however like to upgrade to two Nano Stream Tunze pumps, as they are smaller and the flow they generate is IMO a little better - but for now the combination of flow works very well.

    Stocking Plans:

    I already have many different NPS species, but ultimately I would like to have at least one of each. My focus would be more towards Gorgonians. Fishwise I do not have any fish in yet, as I would like to go all deepwater species.

    My first introduction of fish would however be Sunburst Anthias (2). Then I would like to have a Golden Angel, and one Odontanthias Borbonius as the ultimate fish. If I can get some Ventralis (Longfin) Anthias that would also be great, but a tank that size will not be stocked with more than about 6 fish in total.

    So, that is the read-up of the tank... I will now post some photo's as this is what you are here to see right?

    FULL TANK SHOT:

    [​IMG]

    FROM THE RIGHT SIDE:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    FROM THE LEFT SIDE:

    [​IMG]

    TUBASTREA MICRANTHA (Black Suncoral)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    TUBASTREA FAULKNERI

    [​IMG]

    This coral has was from the very first tank I had and I got it as a baby with only three heads. My father has been taking care of it so kudo's to him!!! Please note the before picture taken one year ago and the current photo taken last night...


    BEFORE (December 2009) 3 heads

    [​IMG]

    AFTER (December 2010) 16 heads

    [​IMG]


    More pics to follow...
     
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  3. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Other Corals

    I recently picked up Dendronepthya from a fellow reefer. Even though this looks like it is in good condition, it is in fact not. I am hoping that I will be able to save it;

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here is another pink Dendronepthya that was a hitch hiker on a Gorgonian my dad got, also standing with one polyp in the grave - so also hoping I can save it...

    [​IMG]

    On the righthand side is a white sponge, but if you look closer to the left you will notice what looks to me like a Rhizo. Now taking into consideration the average price for a Rhizo is $500 U.S I also hope that I can let this survive, as he also was a hitch hiker with the pink Dendro, so he is also not in the best of health...

    [​IMG]

    Chilli Coral

    [​IMG]

    Purple Lace Coral / Distichopora

    [​IMG]

    Menella Gorgonian:

    [​IMG]


    Red Finger Gorgonian - also another coral I am trying to save from a fellow reefer how knew nothing from NPS needs...

    [​IMG]

    Sponges:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tube Anemone's owned more than one year old now:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. bugsy

    bugsy

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    very nice
     
  5. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Pride and joy!!!

    And here is my pride and joy... Some of you may recall my traffic insident last year coming from Lanzo... Well, the one suncoral spawned and left hundreds of suncorals on the liverock and pipe work.

    I am pleased to announce they are all still alive and growing!!!

    These are only some of my propogated Suncoral Babies:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh and I missed these too, propogated Chili Coral also more than one year with me and my father...

    [​IMG]
     
  6. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Very nice setup - pretty unique idea

    Will that Tube anemone be ok with so little lighting ?
     
  7. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    :)

    Tube anemone's are invertabrates. They were "wrongly" labelled anemone's as they do not even come from the same family. Mushrooms are closer relatives to Anemone's than Tube Anemone's are.

    The closest relative to Tube Anemone's are tubeworms / feather duster worms.

    Tube Anemone's have been found over 100 meters deep on the ocean bed, so I think they will do just fine... ;)
     
  8. rakabos

    rakabos

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    wow ok thats news to me and a lot of other people who read it im sure
     
  9. Achilles

    Achilles

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    very well done , it is hard to keep nps without compromising on water quality!
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2010
  10. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Wow, thanks, very interesting.
     
  11. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    A bit lazy today? ;) Was in the first post but here it is again ust for you :thumbup:

    Feeding:

    My main course for the evening is live brine nauplii. I am amazed to see the health of my coral since I have been feeding them live brine nauplii. This is something I did not do on my previous tank, and I am almost confident that this is quote key to a healthy NPS System. I do however supplement the live brine with Cyclop-Eeze; a name that has come up on every article or website I have read of people keeping NPS. Cyclop-Eeze really does also help alot with the coral health, and the reaction from the coral when cyclop-eeze is introduced to the tank is uncomparable to any other food. Then for the smaller polyped corals I feed Reef Snow, and Tropic Marin's Phyton and Zooton. Aminomega is also mixed with the food in small quantities.

    At the moment, I feed daily, every evening. I am however busy experimenting with DIY auto feeders in a few ways. I will elaborate on the path I have chosen once I have done all my experiments. The plan is however that I will manually feed the coral between 17h00 and 18h00 in the evenings. Then the tank will be fed as soon as lights go out and fish go sleepy sleepy. I will then feed throughout the night until around 05h00 am, at which time the skimmer and the return pump will kick in to "clean" the water.

    The amounts of food varies from type of food, but also will be adjusted as the tank is stocked. The more coral there is, the more mouths to feed, and the more food I will administer.
     
  12. Achilles

    Achilles

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    hehe yep i was lazy i just skimmed and looked at the great pics, but quite an achievement spawning suncorals when few can even keep them alive long term
     
  13. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thank Achilles...

    To answer both your questions;

    1) Yes, feeding this amount of food and keeping the water in good condition is difficult. You also cannot just skimmer 24/7 and run many other filtration methods, as you would deprive the tank of actual food. So I found my method works well for now.

    2) Suncorals can spawn in two instances; one being very happy and healthy, and the other is in distress just before the mother colony would die... The latter was the case with me, but I must admit it is not so easy keeping suncorals the size of match heads alive... ;)

    Again, my dad has to get most of the credit for that!!!
     
  14. Quintus

    Quintus the irish aXeman

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    Jaco, you are THE MASTER!:notworthy:
     
  15. poiromaniax

    poiromaniax MASA Contributor

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    Awesome Jaco!

    Fantastic Job youve done here, and an awesome write up :thumbup:

    Is it true that the tube anemones will eat small fish? I have always wanted one but have been to scared to get because of this....
     
  16. seank

    seank

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    Eish Jaco. I still envy you every time I see you with NPS systems. It is really awesome and would not mind trying my hand at that one day.

    Awesome is all I can say
     
  17. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Amazing system!!!
    That piture with the propogated chilli corals and small sun corals is unbelievable.
     
  18. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Well done Jaco! :thumbup:
     
  19. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Awesome Jaco, well done so far. Looks great ;)
     
  20. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Poiro, from research I have picked up that the sting from Aiptasia nematocyst cells are more potent than that of tube anemone's...

    I have had bangai cardinals swim through them, without any ill effect... I have had a shimp swim through them and not stung by them...

    If you say small, then baby fish yes, but anything over 4cm should be fine IMO unless you have a HUGE tube anemone...

    Fish also generally stay away from the tube nennie, so their reputation of being such varocious killers is a bit over the top... I say tube nennies is a great addition to your tank - just keep them away from coral, as their sting on coral may be a bit more damaging...;)
     
  21. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thank you so much for all the great compliments guys...:blush:

    Will keep you updated on this journey as I go along...
     
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