Reef Hunters - March 2008

DragonReef

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I remember a time when sex was safe and motorcycles were dangerous... That got your attention didn't it !!!
But lets reminisce a bit more, about as Bruce Springsteen's song goes " Glory Days "
I remember a time when growing up as a kid, we used to roam the streets till all hours of the night. Riding bicycles
and skateboards, throwing stones on Grumpy nickers (The neighbours) roof and seeing who could fit the most
marshmallows in their mouths... I remember the time when TV started at 18h00 and finished at whatever early
time it did, and staring at the test pattern.
I remember a time when you flicked the light switch on... and the lights came on..
And no, I'm not that old !!! It wasn't that long ago !!!
So what's the reason for the Nostalgia you ask ?
Well this month's Reef Hunters is something different from what we normally look for. It's not that it's a hidden
gem, in fact most of you have seen it already and have drawn huge inspiration from it, as I have.
You see sadly this tank is coming down, after 7 years of existence and will no longer be.
The phone call this time from Alan wasn't about a new Gem, but rather an old treasure and it wasn't met with
the same excitement that we always have for Reef Hunters. The mood this time was one of sadness, kinda like
the thought that another one of life's good things was about to become a memory.
So we've decided to immortalise this tank, in memory at least and capture it in all it's Glory one last time
before we say goodbye to it.
Ladies and Gentleman.. I present Sean Harrisons Supreme Reef Tank !


SeanHarrisonLPS009.jpg
 
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DragonReef

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Breathtaking isn't it..

Sad but true, this tank is coming down due to Sean's shop relocating and it won't be moving to the new shop. Although this tank is situated in an LFS, I don't regard it as a typical LFS setup. Due to the impracticality of having a tank at home, this is Seans own private tank in a sense. A tank that he has nurtured, grown and molly coddled for the last seven years. Seans knows every millimetre of this tank, front to back and knows what makes her breathe.

Ok, so for the benefit for those who have not had the fortune of seeing it in the flesh, lets divulge a bit :)

The total system volume is around 2500 litres, which includes a sump situated under the tank. If memory serves, the Display tank is 3 meters long, 800mm wide and 700mm deep. The tank is constructed from 10mm glass with Euro and Cross bracing.

We will get to some of the equipment specs in a moment, but first up lets look at some of the magnificent livestock.

This Finger leather colony is Huge and dwarfs those Goldies swimming in the background

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The contrast of colour and texture in this system is what really grabs my attention.
The bright Green anchor coral in the middle of this pic really stands out.

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The only SPS in this tank, a gorgeous specimen of plating Montipora Capricornis

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The lighting in the system is provided by a combination of 150W Metal Halides and suplemental T5 lighting, of which Sean has played around with various combinations of bulbs.
 
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DragonReef

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On a side note, we had a bit of a giggle today whilst taking the pics and chatting to Sean as he discussed the various aspects of the system with us.
A while back, about a year ago the tank underwent a major re-aquascape. The rumours were rife that the system had crashed, and that is why everything was pulled out.
Well it didn't crash.. Not even close. The reason for the drastic change was two fold.
Firstly what started out as a beautiful looking blue sponge, eventually became a pest, as bad as bryopsis. The problem that it created was that it grew on EVERYTHING. It started off on the walls and later started encrusting the live rock. It literally overgrew the liverock to the point that the liverock no longer could function as a denityfing mechanism. The only way to fix the problem was to remove the rock.

The second reason was a small, seemingly harmless little fish called a damsel. A tiny little blue devil damsel in that big ole tank. Sean estimates that he had that fish for something like 12 years, always the model citizen. Then one day, for no apparent reason the damsel decided that anarchy was the order of the day and turned into a destructive force of nature... It destroyed colonies of coral in the tank. Nipping, tugging and tearing at the flesh of favia, lobophyillia and anything meaty it could sink it's jaws into. Why ? who know's..
Anyway, try as they might, nets, catchbox you name it he wasn't coming out. Grown men were reduced to tears and lesser men didn't even venture anywhere near the tank. Sean made an offer, " You catch that Bugger and you can have any fish in the tank.. Anything "
There was a Gemmatum in that tank.. Many tried and failed. Alan had already wondered how that Gemmatum would get along with his Achilles.. Yes he too danced with that Blue Devil Damsel.

In the end, the tank was stripped of all the sponge covered rock, the damsel was netted out after virtually everything was removed and new rock was added. All the livestock was put back in and within a couple of weeks the tank had settled down again.

A few more pics :D

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An anemone that lives in the Shade of the Big Monti Tree.. Note the blue sponge growing on the right in the foreground.

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For Alfie :)

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Another huge Euphyllia that has been fragged many, many times.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.. Cinderella your slipper coral..

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DragonReef

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The fish load in this tank is fairly low for a system this size. It's been one of Seans philosophy's that he has maintained for years. Less Fish = less waste = healthier tank :)
You have to stand next to the tank for a while though, to really see what there is. With so many caves and crevices and the huge colonies of coral it creates plenty of hiding places. You might see a scooter blenny pop it's head out from time to time before disappearing again, same for the manderin.
Quite a few fish have come and gone over the years but the stocking level has remained fairly constant.
The goldies add a nice splash of colour and due to the space mimic closely what they would look like in the wild.

Check out this monster Toadstool.

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The red lobo started out as a brown ugly duckling that nobody wanted..

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And some more showing contrast.

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Awesome Favia

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Sean, my friend you are a legend. Your tank has always provided inspiration and I never grew tired of looking at it.
I'm sure you are dreading the day when you have to switch the pumps and lights off ( If Eskom doesn't beat you too it :p )
I will always remember this tank and treasure the memories, along with those happy childhood ones that I have for those gloomy days when life gets me down and I need a pick me up.
 
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DragonReef

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Check it out boy's and girls :D
 

Mike

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Stunning, thanks for bringing this tank to us, and please pass on our thanks to Sean for letting you into his house and show us the tank, no engine room pics?
 

sunburst

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Always been one of my favorites. Now that i think of it, it was one of Shaun's earlier tanks that inspired me to try LPS. Each and Every one of his tanks has raised the bar and set new levels of excellence. A well deserved achievement. To Shaun and all at Northlands Pets :3:
 

Warr7207

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Wicked tank, can't believe the size of some of those corals. Very nice and it will be well, missed tank. :thumbup1: When are they breaking it down ? Love to go and see it.
 

neilharris

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:thumbup: Looks like a stunner!!!!! Any chance of seeing what makes it tick? THat blue sponge is a pita... Seen a few tanks that have been destroyed by it. I wonder how awsome it would be if he did not have to rip at appart...

WELL DONE!!
 
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Mike

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:thumbup: Looks like a stunner!!!!! Any chance of seeing what makes it tick? THat blue sponge is a pita... Seen a few tanks that have been destroyed by it. I wonder how awsome it would be if he did not have to rip at appart...

WELL DONE!!
i didn't see that, the blue ear sponge, bloody evil stuff that:(
 

Alan

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This is one awsum system, although it is the end of this tank, they will be doing a new display in the new shop with most of the present live stock. Alot of the stock at the moment has come from Sean's personal tank when he had it at home. So quite a few pieces are over the 12yrs of age.
This was the tank that swung me over from Discus to marines some 5 odd yrs ago. I wonder how many people over the past years have been lured into the marine hobby by this tank?
 

seank

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Just saw this now, well done on amazing system Shaun and family members of Northlands Pets. Hope your new system will be just as awesome......

Thank you Dragon and Mods for this amazing thread
 

Kanga

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An amazing tank I always stare at it when I go there:thumbup:

Well done Sean and co, it truly is a pleasure to know that there are true aquarists amongst the LFS;)
 

moz

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Another amazing tank in SA.
 

Alan

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Live stock all going into new display, equipment and tank for sale.
 

jacquesb

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WOW! I too, have only seen this thread now! WOW! I have never been to Northlands in Durbs (not that I can get there easily, though ;-) - BUT, GEEZ, it MUST HAVE BEEN AMAZING to see this tank in real life!

Some other questions -
- what does Sean use for water flow?
- what filtration does he have? (what about a sump pic? And pics of the skimmer/s and other reactors that Sean uses?)
- what is Sean's feeding regime? And what does he doze?
- does Sean have a refugium that feeds the tank?

I am BLOWN AWAY!

Brilliant, and congrats Sean!
 

viper357

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Calm down Jacques, you gonna give yourself a hernia :lol:
 

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