Palmerc's Softie Reef

Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
Hi all,

It's about time I started a thread on my system so here goes. My tank was started just over three years ago and has undergone a few changes over this period. It is a very simple set-up but has served me well

Current specs.

Tank - 150cm x 60cm x 60cm, with a corner over flow, volume about 500 litres. 10mm glass all round.

Stand - galvanised steel stank 40mm square tubing legs and base, and 50mm tubing supporting the tank.

Sump - 110 x 45 x 50, 190 litres, 3 compartment. Skimmer and heaters are in compartment 1, Middle compartment has a DSB, consists of a mix of some old aragonite I had with silica pool sand. Also has some excess live rock here. Compartment 3 contains the sump return pump

Live rock - 70-80 kg, all Kenyan. Running bare bottom.

Flow - 3 x SEIO M1100

Lighting - 8x54 T5 in a Reef Inmate light fitting. Running mostly Giesseman Aquablue bulbs which state 15000K on the packaging. Need to replace the other three soon as well (also will be Giesseman)\ These are currently 10 000K , and a mix of brands.

Skimmer - Reeftek TS3

RO Unit - The Waterboy Reefmaster (no DI chamber)

Return - Astro 4000 powerhead.

Tank maintenance - Quite slack on this lately but have started doing water changes more regularly again (5-10% weekly). I suppose I get slack when everything seems to be running well, but you can't actually beat the look of a tank after a decent water change so I will try be more diligent.

That also goes for my testing/supplemetation. I test alkalinity quite regularly and calcium less so as I only keep softies so a high, constant calcium level is not too critical IMO. Dose using the Aquilibria range, prefer using the powders to liquid products.

Run aquiPHOS in a stocking to maintain low phosphates (change after 3-4 months), and also aquiCARB in a stocking which I change out every two weeks

For salt I am using the Rio Real Ocean Pro from Eco-Aquatics (also stocked here in Johannesburg by Lifestyle Aquariums. Linden and Pet Masters in Boksburg, not sure of other stockists up here. I really like this salt as it is well priced and mixes up very easily. Was previosuly using the Tropoic Marin Pro Reef and have had absolutely no problems with the Rio Real Ocean since I changed over (about 6 months now).

Livestock:

Current Fish list - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Sixline Wrasse, 3 x Humbug damsels, Midas blenny, 2 x African clowns (allardi), Lawnmower Blenny.

Feed a matchbox sized Nori piece twice daily, and one cube of either frozen Marine Mix, mysis or krill once daily, with a small pinch of Omega One pellet/flake as well once to twice daily.

Corals - Softies only - lovely Sarcophytons, mix of zooanthids, Sinularia, Kenya Tree (huge one, grown from a 3 cm frag), mushrooms, a nice gorgonian (recent addition), GSP's, Briareum, other various unidentified softies. The experts can assist with this when I post the pics.

Inverts - Coral banded shrimp, cleaner shrimp, 3 x brittle stars, 1 x blue starfish, red pistol shrimp and coco worm (also new), 3 x urchins (black spines), numerous snails and hermits (mostly locally collected).

I think that about covers it for the info. Now for some pics.
 
Last edited:

Kanga

Retired Moderator
Joined
7 May 2007
Posts
4,576
Reaction score
23
Location
In the Koeberg blast radius
Sounds stunning clinton, of course now we want pics:thumbup:
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
Just a pic of what it looked like in the beginning. This pic was taken about 3 months after I started stocking. I still have the original Sarc, zooanthids and Briareum in thsi pic.

34142868.jpg


One of my nice Sarcs

Leather2.jpg



FTS from about 12 months ago (before my tank move)

Fullview.jpg


Blue Zooanthids from Umdloti - unfortunatley these just withered away with time so I don't have them anymore, Any Natal reefers keen to collect and send some up to me ?

311205255.jpg
 
Joined
8 May 2007
Posts
2,420
Reaction score
25
Location
Durban
Need to open my eyes. I have never seen blue zoos at umdloti, or any where else on the coast for that matter. Looking great
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
Then about April last ago I did most of my major system renovations to get the system where it is today. Wife wanted the wooden cabinet to go, and I was worried about it cause the wood had started warping and it was looking quite poor anyway.

(I think this was an excuse just to get me to move the tank to a different part of the house. Only 2 m away but a whole days work to move.)

Theactualdistance.jpg


Moving tank after draining water, liverock, livestock and most of the in tank DSB

Helpersemptyingthesubstrate.jpg


1) New sump installed (had one of the Exotics ones, these are really not very good for what we use them for.

P1010353-1.jpg



2) New Stand, covered with frosted perspec attached with strip magnets.

Stand-coveredallsides.jpg




2) Upgraded lighting from 4x54 W inside hood, to 8 x 54 W in a Reef Innate fitting - no more hood over the tank

T5x8.jpg

Light fitting installed

FullTankShot171007.jpg




3) Replaced my 2 x AM Turbo Flotor Sl 1000's with Reeftek TS 3 - what a huge difference this had made

Sump171007.jpg


Close-up of the skimmate collected
SkimateTS3171007.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b106/palmerc/Sump171007.jpg


That's all for now. Will post the most up to date photo's tomorrow evening.
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
Need to open my eyes. I have never seen blue zoos at umdloti, or any where else on the coast for that matter. Looking great
I collected them right by the main swimming beach, perhaps a touch to the left as you face the sea. There was a nice huge rock full there last year.
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
You have my sympathies, it is not something I want to do too soon in the future. I had to do an emergency run to Exotics before they closed to buy salt water as I was about 200 litres short (bigger sump and some wastage). Got there 5 minutes before they closed, so luckily I had no livestock losses.
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
Cool Clinton! Looking forward to seeing the pictures of the tank AFTER the move! Did your soft-corals get a light-shock after you doubled the amount of light over the tank?
No, the softies did not experience any light shock (except my green mushrooms do not open up as they did before, even though they are quite low down) as all the new bulbs were all the Aquablues 15 000K. So the new lighting was not that much more intense, just more of it. I did also only run six bulbs for a while then added the final two so I suppose this helped as well.
 
Last edited:

Mike

Retired Moderator
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
7,859
Reaction score
31
Location
the Motherland
Clinton, great looking tank, very nice zoo's, i expect the green muchrooms will come out soon enough, nice one.
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
Looking good Clinton...do you prefer the BB to the DSB?

That's a difficult one. I prefer the look of a substrate (does not necessarily have to be a DSB in the main display) but also realised how much stuff does settle in it over time. when I removed my DSB the water was mud brown (also my hermits struggle to get a foothold on bare glass)

The in tank DSB was extremely effective though, and I think because of it's size the gunk in the substrate actually did not cause any problems as it was being broken down very quickly.

Now my DSB is very small compared to previously, but because there is less detritus settling it can cope with the bioload.

If I just had a thin layer of substrate in my tank (say 2-3 cm) for aesthetics then I think this may put a little too much strain on my smaller DSB and I might start experiencing problems down the line

In short I would say if you have a large DSB relative to water volume then go with substrate, if a smallish one then it might be better to have no substrate.

Clinton
 
Joined
6 May 2007
Posts
3,008
Reaction score
17
Location
Empangeni
You think a 500x600 dsb in a 1000l system will handle a substrare? I really hate the look of BB ut I hate GHA more....
 
Joined
6 May 2007
Posts
3,008
Reaction score
17
Location
Empangeni
I will have a 500x600x150 in sump DSB and probably about 1480x850x50 in tank SSB, I will be using Aragamax so grainsize is IMO perfect. I wonder if the SSB will help with denutrification(sp) anyways sorry for the Hi-jack clinton...
 
Joined
12 May 2007
Posts
642
Reaction score
7
Location
Edenvale, Johannesburg
You think a 500x600 dsb in a 1000l system will handle a substrare? I really hate the look of BB ut I hate GHA more....
The key issue is bioload (not water volume) in relation to DSB surface area. The bioload (no of fish esp) and therefore waste generated generally increases as the size of the tank increases and the DSB size should also increase proportionately.

Unfortunately I don't think there is any data available on the minimum DSB surface area required say per cm/g of livestock for effective nitrate reduction, but IMO you can get by with a smaller DSB if you have no substrate (because it is easier to keep clean) compared to a tank with a thin layer of substrate.

Other factors though also play a role such as skimming and cultivation of macroalgae so it is really difficult to give an answer one way or the other.
 

Top