TOTM April 2021

This month we feature an aquarium belonging to @Dazz07

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I started my very first fish only tank when I started high school in 2008 and had my tank running for around 2 years, it was all trial and error but eventually got the hang of things but shut down being a youngster I was not able to give the tank what it needed. In 2017 I got my first TL550 which came along with a hammer, some mushrooms and green star polyps, that is when the coral bug really bit me, before I knew it my tank was full.

I prefer the smaller tanks they just seem to stand out more for me, maintenance is easier and cheaper to run.

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In December 2019 I thought I had learnt a lot and made enough mistakes so I sold everything and decided to start fresh as I was moving to a new house and thought it was a great opportunity (using the same tank). I bought new rock and planned my scape for weeks trying to think of what corals I wanted to keep and where I would be placing them etc because my previous tank there was no plan I just dumped in and hoped the corals all got along which obviously was not the case so learning from all my mistakes I decided to put my best efforts into the tank this time around and plan it properly. My tank still has the normal standard chambers in the back, only this time I removed the lid of the tank to add a new light. I have overcome a lot with my tank already such as bryopsis as well as green cyano.

Filtration:

Chamber one the inlet I have normal black filter sponge. next chamber I have only my skimmer (Tunze 9004). My biological filtration consists of small pieces of live rock in small nylon bags that sit in the 3rd chamber of my tank and in the 4th my return pump only .
I don’t run any chemical filtration, not that I haven’t tried it before but my tank runs perfectly fine without it.

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viper357

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CIRCULATION / WATERFLOW:

Being a Tl550 my tank is simple but I do have a lot of flow , return I am running a 1500L/H boyu pump
My flow consists of 2 x 4000L/H sun sun pumps set on its lowest .

I honestly have a cheap little setup. I would love to change my flow pumps to something that will give a more random flow and not the same constant current.

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LIGHTING:

A description of the lights you use over both your display tank and sump/refugium, how often do you change the bulbs, a list of bulb wattages and kelvin ratings, your opinion on the different kelvin ratings and if particular bulbs enhance the reef in any way, a schedule of your photoperiod, growth rates experiences with different bulbs/brands.

For as long as I have had my tank running I have been using my 90W Pharos unit which consists of 24 cree Leds , royal blues , violet, cool whites and warm whites. My lights come on at 6 am and slowly increase throughout the day by 17:30 to 18:30 my tank full is at full 100% spectrum and by 22.00 my lights will be on 5% blue only . I know it might seem like a weird lighting schedule but this has worked for me for the past year, now the reason I do it like this is because if my lights reach full spec by lets say 14.00pm and start ramping down by the time I get home in the evenings my corals will have already puffed up and extended their polyps etc and I only see them when they start relaxing for the evening. So now when I get home at 17:30 all my corals are fully open and looking beautiful that way I can see everything is happy and my tank is running smooth.

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OTHER EQUIPMENT:

Like I said before I have a very simple setup , I run 1 x 150w heater . I also have 1 battery operated air pump that automatically kicks in when the lights go out (loadshedding), other than that I do everything manually.

MAINTENANCE:

I do a 25L water change without fail every single Sunday, I only use salt mix (seachem vibrant) but recently been using Poseidon’s lair salt mix. I clean my skimmer cup with every water change and wash all my sponges in my first chamber too. I clean my glass every Wednesday even if it doesn’t look dirty, I just love that crystal clear look. I remove all my pumps every 6 months including my skimmer giving them all a good clean. Every second month or so I will do bigger water change up to 50L where I will siphon out my rear chambers to get the loose detritus out.

ADDITIVES AND FEEDING:

Currently I am adding 5ML of seachem fuel and do a target feed using reef roids every Wednesday evening, I repeat the same process on a Sunday before my water change except I add my fuel after my water change. I manually dose calcium and KH every day using Aquaforest calcium and KH Buffer. My fish I feed twice a day, spirulina flakes in the morning so they can get their greens and then mysis shrimp in the evening, both by ocean nutrition. Once every 2 or 3 months I will run a course of chemi-clean, this stuff just gives my tank a nice little clean up. Lastly, I add 30ML of fresh phyto plankton every day that I order from Reef Magic.

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CORALS:

Where do I start?
• Montipora, ( digitata ) ,
• Candy cane, (Caulastrea furcata)
• Stylophora ,
• Goniopora ,
• Acan, (Acanthastrea echinata) ,
• Favites,
• Birdsnest, (Seriatopora hystrix) ,
• Zoas,(Zoanthus ),
• Blastomussa ,
• Star polyps ,
• lephastrea ,
• leptoseris.
• Euphyllia divisa (frog spawn and hammer)
• Acropora,
• Long tentacle pin cushion
• mushrooms

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viper357

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FISH:

3 x lyre tail anthias (locally caught)
1 x blue chromis
1 x purple fire fish
1 x convict tang (locally caught)

I am not a big fan of keeping fish, I do however love my coral.

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OTHER LIVESTOCK:

I don’t have much of a variety, I’ve got 3 turbo snails and about 5 local snails that do a brilliant job on keeping everything clean, I had a bubble tip anemone but keeping one in a small tank like mine is not a good idea.
My rear chambers have a few serpent stars and some fan worms.

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TANK SPECIFICATIONS and WATER PARAMETERS:

* Tank Dimensions: 510x670x570 (LxBxH)
* Display Tank Volume: ...
* Total System Volume: ...128(L)

* Temperature: 26’C
* pH: don’t test
* Salinity: 1.025/1.026
* Ammonia: don’t test
* Nitrite: don’t test
* Nitrate: don’t test
* Phosphate: don’t test
* Calcium: 420 ppm
* KH: 8-9 DKH
* Magnesium:
* Redox: Don’t test

I know there is a lot of things I don’t test and with my tank being so small it is very risky because small changes could cause major losses, I am however confident in how I am currently my tank.

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CONCLUSION:

I still consider myself a newbie with the hobby evolving all the time one will never know everything, the only thing I would change about my tank is my aragonite, the sugar fine aragonite is a nightmare. the only advice I would give to someone who wants to start a tank is plan it don’t rush it, don’t just take anyone’s advice just because they have a tank doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about. Do research on anything you think about adding, be it a new fish or coral. There is no time for short cuts in this hobby, the 2 most important things to me is lighting and skimmer, get them right straight from the start.
STABILITY IS KEY!
Thank you to everyone who always takes the time to look at my thread, watches my YouTube videos, and helps me where I go wrong.

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This man has been an inspiration to me for long. Esp with his YouTube channel and blogs on his tank. Always go to my dad and say "we had a boyu tank exactly like his but nowhere near his" :m23: congrats Darren on your tank, hopefully one day I'll be able to come see the tank when I'm down in El again
Thank you bro so much !!! Really appreciate it ! Your tank is looking amazing too !!! And ofcourse your always welcome!
 
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@Dazz07 nice to see what a simple no frills setup can produce. You don't have to have all the gear in the world and a super expensive system to have an epic looking tank. Well done buddy!
Thank you so much bud I really appreciate it ! Dont get me wrong if I could get the fancy stuff I would , but i suppose manual feeding and dosing ect is what makes the hobby fun , it gets boring when you don't actually have to make an effort to try make it look pretty , really appreciate it bud
 

RiaanP

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Wow, nice little tank.
 
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