View Full Version : Chris' 90G reef

05-08-2011, 09:20 AM
I'm itching in anticipation for collecting my tank tomorrow night so I thought I'd start this thread now to help relieve me a little lol


Here is the tank. The actual height of the tank is higher that 24", its about 27" but to the overflow she measures 24".

The dimentions are 3x2x2.

Anyway, I'm collecting it tomorrow night but I'll not be able to fill her until my new carpet arrives in 2 weeks so I've got time to build a custom sump.

The inside of the cabinet measures more that 3ft wide so I will prob run a 3ft tank in there as a sump, maybe even completely make a custom one from glass panels allowing me to have a 35-40G sump possibly ;)

The plan at the moment is I'm going to make up 30G of SW in my water butt in the shed and another 25G of DI water in my water jugs.

I'll then make get the whole lot into the tank as soon as the carpets laid and start making more until the tank is all but full of new water then let it sit for a few days while I finish building the new sump.

Also at this point I'll get egg crate down where the main part of the reef is going and also get some sand in there :)

Its going to take a while to make the water as my DI unit will only make 25lt in 2 hours lmao.

Once I've got 90G of water in the tank and the sumps ready I'll begin the move.

Plan is to get my 3 15G buckets, one for the fish, one for the corals and one for the rock.

Get each one part filled from the old tank and aclimate them with water from the new tank over about 2 hours.

Because my existing tank is not too old and the new sump recently meant an increase in new water volume of about 40% my water is pretty fresh and not alot different to the new water I'll be making so there shouldn't be too much issues from the transfer.

The rock will then go in first followed by the corals, next the shrimp, hermits and snails then the fish.

Next I will get all the remaining water from the buckets and old tank and sumps to fill the new sump and start the system.

After this I will transfer the lighting and power heads over including the spare powerhead which I have running in the water butt currently.

Lights will be moved next, I have a 2ft T5 unit which is currently running at a 3rd of its capacity over the current tank. this will be placed in the center of the new tank running back to front so only the center 3rd of the tank will be directly light front to back.
I will have the reef centeralised with free swinmming space on both sides and the tank viewable from 3 sides.

I will innitially use my nano skimmer (rated up to 35G) until I can build my new Algae scrubber, prob within the week.

I will however invest in a decent skimmer rated for the size of tank even if I don't end up turning it on like I've found in the current one.

I will slowly add new live rock to the system before adding ANY new fish, better to get ahead with the filteration than play catch up lol

I'm intending on setting up part of the sump as a refugium at some point but no rush, just something I'd like to toy with, either that or a sand bed and mangroves :) :) :)

Anyone got any ideas of anything I've forgotten or missed feel free to comment...


05-08-2011, 10:24 AM
going to go and buy some reef plate and reef rock today to build up a little before the live rock goes in ;)

On and buy me my extra sand too lol

05-08-2011, 11:01 AM
Sounds like you will have a great start. Good luck with it all. Keep us updated.

05-08-2011, 02:37 PM
Looking good so far Chris

05-08-2011, 03:06 PM
Cheers guys :)

I bought 30lbs of sand and about 30lbs of reef rock to put under all my live stuff and bulk it out. I didn't intend buying as much but got carried away when I found some large pieces lol

The plan as before is to have the bulk of the rockwork in the middle of the tank then I will build up live rock around it and along the back of the tank over time.

Can't wait now lol

Oh also bought a 20kilo bucket of reef salt too as I'm not sure I've got enough left to fill her at the mo. I might have but it'll never go wrong having too much thumbs2:

05-08-2011, 06:50 PM
oh oh oh, been looking at LOADS of designs of other peoples sumps and trying to decide how I'm making mine......... By golly I think I've got a plan :22:

Now those of you who followed my original SW thread will have seen my first prototype tank. It was a 2 ft version of what I have now, be it a little less attractive lol

Now that I'm running a seperate sump for my skimmer and algae scrubber I don't really need the little sump on the end of the current tank.

If I was to empty the tank I currently use and put it all into the smaller one for a week or two I'd only really be loosing out on 4inches of display area and about 6 gallons of water.
As a temp measure this won't be a massive issue as I've actually added more than that with the other sump only a matter or days ago.

Basically that will give me a 3ft by 1 foot sump about 16" high for the new tank ;)

The plan is that I'm going to make the first chamber for a skimmer and leave it otherwise empty.

The second and by far the largest chamber, 16-18" approx, will be for my turf aglae scrubber but also at the base if it will be a refugium and deep sand bed.
I'll use the lighting I currently have for my turf scrubber and have extended height glass panels front and rear with cross braces and have the lighting at the top.

Water will be pumped from the final chamber back up about 18inches above the water height then down mesh on both sides into the refugium where there will also be chetomorph and possibly calerpa growing above the DSB.

Water then flows back over into the last chamber again where it gets sent back upto the tank.

Shouldn't end up costing much more that $40 in materials :) :) :)

Tee hee, I'm excited!!!

05-08-2011, 08:25 PM
Right, old tanks been taken down from the attic, cleaned and is now filled and left on my kitchen side to make sure it still holds water!

Will prob do the move on weds night and start measuring up for what size glass panels I need on thursday :) :) :)

As howard Schultz would say.... Onward!!

05-09-2011, 10:43 PM
Collected the new tank tonight and I'm really impressed :):):)

I've been working on a design for the sump, heres a look see...


05-09-2011, 11:37 PM
heres some pics of my inspirations,


05-09-2011, 11:46 PM
Interesting looking examples.

I don't know about you, but when I started to looking into sump designs I was completely caught off guard by how many different approaches you can take to making a sump

They are all pretty straight forward and simple (once you learn how they work that is), just a lot of options you can include

I like your desgin tho. I'm very interested in your algae scrubber, mostly because I've never used one.

Also, what type of substrate were you thinking about for your sump ?

05-10-2011, 12:05 AM
I know what you mean, theres so much to take in!!!

I've had alot of success with the algae scrubber so far even after the odd coral death with the lighting I never suffered any serious algae outbreaks.

Infact I've not had any trace of nitrate or phosphate in 4 months and thats with pretty heavy feeding.

I have a skimmer in the current setup but after innitial bedding in its never been switched back on!!!!!

I'm defo sticking with a scrubber, just going to use everything I've learned from the 4 I've built now and make this a perminant and easy to maintain one.

I'm going to get a fine grain sand for the bed and aim for about 4" depth.
From what I've read below 0.2mm but above 0.050mm grain size is recommended.

Thanks, chris

05-10-2011, 01:07 AM
Sump looks very good Chris! Be careful with the deep sand bed though since it can cause problems if for any reason it gets disturbed

Also I'm curious about the algae scrubber too haha... I'm seriously considering implementing one that's just above my sump and can drip into my sump... not positive yet but most likely will do it after hearing about your success with it.

Tank looks like it's coming together well, can't wait to actually see your sump when it's done!

05-10-2011, 11:53 AM
I would love to see pics of how you build your algea scrubber Chris.

05-10-2011, 05:15 PM
will put loads up ;)

I'll do a step by step when I do it bud!

05-11-2011, 11:26 AM
Step one carried out yesterday..... not without pain lol

I've modified the sump that came with the new tank and made it into a temporary tank for my lot. I did however cut my hand badly while cutting the baffles out!!! I got salt water inside my glove later which hurt to say the least lol

Anyhow, I removed the fish into one bucket, the shrimp to another, the the corals to a large one then lastly the rock to a fourth large bucket.

I swapped the tanks and put it all back, this however took a good few hours.

At the end I noticed there was something in the bottom of the live rock bucket...

It was an Xanthid crab. He's been placed in my make shift fuge at the moment but I intend to put him in a special make hitchhikers holding area in my new sump :) :)

I've got pics but the cammera battery has now died!

Anyway, I've cleaned the old tank up and am measuring the glass I need now so hopefully the sump can be built early next week and the tank started the end of the week!

05-11-2011, 11:47 AM
I'm so looking forward to seeing this tank unfold. Please keep us updated with as much info as you can. I'm hoping to set up a sw tank one day semi-soon and you have some good ideas to share. Cheers.

05-11-2011, 04:25 PM
Ouch! I have had the aweful experience of gashing my calf on a coral reef scuba diving and salt water hurts!!!!

05-11-2011, 08:29 PM
Thanks Taz, I'm looking forward to sharing my experiance. I'm hoping to have a much more "polished" look compared to my last 2 efforts :)

That must have been really sore Sandz. :(

I've measured up all the glass I'm going to need and also drawn the sump design on the outside of the sump with a black marker.

I've only changed the design very slightly from the one I've posted earlier, dropping the last hieght setting baffle making the cheato box part of the last area.

05-12-2011, 05:27 PM
I took all my measurements to the glazier today and he took an interest in the project. Infact he took such an interest that he's asked to come around and look once its made :):):)
He fancies getting marine fish himself but has always been worried about the maintainance side, I've offered to help him if he wants to start a tank. Looks like I've go another fish friend lol

Anyway, he's going to make the baffles for me but due to deadlines with other bits I prob won't get them till tuesday. I won't be able to get my tank placed and start filling with salt water will my new carpet arrives next friday anyway so its no real biggie.

Heres the pics I've got so far;

The temp home

Sump tank temp in the stand, also some of my "reef bones" or dead "live" rock placed in the tank.

The sump design drawn on the tank,

My little hitch hiker crab,

05-15-2011, 04:15 PM
Right, updates time!!!

I've still not got my new carpet for the dining room where the tank will live but have temp filled it with SW in situ in the middle of the living room floor lol

I've bought 10lbs of new live rock and put it in the new tank and my little skimmer (rated for 40G) is slurping away under the new tank and is actually taking quite alot out lol

I've stolen a little of the rock from the old tank but not alot and have moved it over too.

I've been moving water back and forth between the two tanks regularly using a 2lt jug. Been moving between 6 and 10lt at a time. The old tank is still running the cheato and Algae scrubber and the new tank is running the skimmer.
In theory all the water should get through both systems in a period of time as I'm keeping mixing the two till I can move the tank.

As soon as the carpet is fitted I will completely drain the new tank (got my water butt emptied and got enough buckets to do it :) ) then I'll get the tank moved and refilled asap.

Other Jobs I've done are, making up the power strips and started mounting them on the back of the stand, cleaning the large glass panels I've got to protect around the sump and just generally checking the logistics for the move.

I'm still waiting to recieve the glass to make up the sump though so as soon as that arrives the new tank will have to be skimmerless for a day or two to let me build that!

I can't wait lol

Thanks, chris

Oh, I've also been looking into fish and corals I'd like once the new tank has settled and I've picked out a few. I'd like frogspawn and hammerhead corals next and prob a yellow tang and another clown :)

05-16-2011, 09:27 PM
Update time :) :) :)

Glass collected today. I had to drain down the tank alot to remove the front brace on the stand to take the sump out.


Had a right old time playing with the silicone, especially trying to build the top part which sticks out the top and will house the scrubber!!!


The glazier unfortunately did one of the pieces a bit small (150mm lol) however I can work with it so its ok :)

All done though and will leave to dry 48hrs while I fit the carpet and move the tank etc ready to set it all up on thursday night!


Can't wait :) :) :)

05-16-2011, 09:40 PM
Looks like some good progress Chris

Removing that brace must have been a pain to do.

Are you re-framing the stand, or are your going to just replace the brace ?

05-16-2011, 09:48 PM
I just screwed the brace back in, had to lift the weight of the glass tank, about 30lbs of rock, sand and about 20G of water with one hand to get the brace back into position though lmao

I'm getting my friend round to help me move the tank on Weds night so he can lift it for me to remove and replace the brace again. Not doing that myself again... no way!

05-17-2011, 10:05 PM
Another Quick update...

Power points added to the back of the stand,


I've made up waterproof connections for below the sump height just incase!!!

Heres the sump in all its glory, looks like a franken sump lol


Heres where my power will come out,


And as you can see, the new carpet is here..... I've not received my kicker/strecher yet so couldn't fit it though Grrrrr. 2-3 days delivery my ***!


05-17-2011, 10:12 PM
All excitement in the Fraser household tonight,


The fridge has never looked so clean, thank you muchly wife O mine xxx

Added condensation trays to parts of the sump, will cut holes for my inlet and outlet into them. Some collection of evaporation is better than nothing lol


Anyway, plan now is that iff my carpet fitting tool arrives tomorrow I will fit the carpet straight after work, start draining the tank, collect her from work, collect my mate on the way home, we'll move the tank, fit the sump, refill and start the transfer.

If the tool doesn't arrive I'm going to fit only the area where the tank will sit and still set the sump etc up., just won't transferr the stock incase I need to drain down for any reason lol
I can fit the rest of the room with the tank there, just means the 3x2 area under the tank won't have been streched, no biggie until the tank moves then car just lift and adjust the carpet then :)


05-17-2011, 11:32 PM
I like the condensation tray idea. thumbs2:

I might have to try your idea out for myself

05-18-2011, 01:56 AM
I often wonder why people don't use glass lids for their sumps, and in a lot of cases, their display tanks. Surely it would save a lot of condensation escaping. I have glass lids on my 55 fw and there is always a lot of water pooling on the lids. I would hate for that to be escaping into the room.

05-18-2011, 06:15 AM
Temperature control is the main reason for not using lids Taz.

I'm going to run mine with the lids most of the year but in July/Aug/Sept I'm going to remove the ones in the sump just incase.
I've got Glass lids for the tank too and will prob be using one or both of them.

If the room hits over 30deg then condensation is the only thing thats gonna stop a spike in the tank.

the other 9 months of the year I'm gonna save myself a fair bit of topup lol

05-18-2011, 09:26 AM
Fair call. I didn't think about that. There would only be about 3 times a year that we got over 30 degrees. Lol.

05-18-2011, 11:49 AM
same here lmao

05-18-2011, 02:20 PM
Sump looks fantastic chris!! Really love the ingenuity of the design! can't wait to see her get filled up and everything in the tank ready to go!

05-18-2011, 04:18 PM
Cheers buddy :)

I'm just this minute in the door from work.

I'm about to fit the carpet then after dinner the transfer begins.

I'm going to keep going tonight until I've completed the transfer and also made the new scrubber. I hope to be finished by 2 am because I've got a 5 mile run to work tomorrow at 8am eek!!!

05-18-2011, 05:31 PM
I love the dedication! Can't wait to see it man! Definitely looking forward to the scrubber. Do you plan to have it run off a separate pump or off a T line from the return?


05-18-2011, 11:45 PM
Right..... Finished for tonight lol

I've done everything I wanted to, one of my pulsing xenias is looking worse for wear that I'd hoped though :( :( :(

I've just put the old algae scrubber in as a temp measure for now as I really don't have time tonight for making a new one lol.

It will work though for the time being.

I did have one accident where I knocked my scrubbers lights in the sump and blew both the bulbs and the fuse. I'm now running a single 14w bulb instead of the 90w from before It better than nothing but I'm going to look for a better solution over the weekend.

Heres some quick pics before I go to bed :)


05-18-2011, 11:47 PM

Good night ladys and gents lol

05-19-2011, 01:11 AM
wow what an exciting day.

05-19-2011, 08:50 PM
Todays update :)

Firstly everyone seems fine, the corals are all lively so early indicators look good :)

The water has cleared up lovely and all the fish are exploring and playing.

I came down to find a molt from my cleaner shrimp so it can't be too bad in there lol

I've tidyed the algae scrubber up a little bit will build the propper new one at the weekend. I did nip out and get replacement bulbs for the ones I sent to a watery end last night lol

Anyhoo, heres some pics of the progress


05-19-2011, 08:51 PM

05-19-2011, 08:52 PM

05-19-2011, 08:53 PM

05-19-2011, 09:54 PM
Looks beautiful chris. Thanks for sharing.

05-19-2011, 10:58 PM
Your tank is really looking good

Can't wait for your next set of pics

05-21-2011, 06:34 AM
thanks guys :)

little update, no pics though :(

Got some more pieces of live rock, this time we got them based purely for asthetics. We got a piece to finish off the main structure of the reef. The cave in the middle now has a complete arch round it.
The second new bit is right at the top back and adds a little height.

The third and final piece of new rock, my fave piece. This is a standing stone at the base of the reef. Its placed at the front left in the sand with about 3inches gap between it and the actuall reef. I like it lol

We also tested the water to see if we could push the boat out and buy a new fish.

Ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Phos 0
Mag 1380
Cal 440
temp 23-24deg
PH 8.3

Sod it.... lets buy a fish thumbs2:

So we went back to the LFS and had a good look around, we decided it was between an orange spot goby and a scopas tang.

I really liked them both, as did the wife. She wanted both there and then. I was a little more cautious and said we can have one today then one in a fortnight. so we spoke to the owner and asked how easy it was for him to get both fish back in. He said alot easier to get the gobys that scopas.

Decision made then lol

We are now the proud owners of a lovely little scopas tang and will get a goby next month if he's in stock if not we'll order one.

Pics to follow later, he's a lovely looking fish :1luvu:

05-21-2011, 11:21 AM
I'm really liking the sump design. I definitely recommend anyone with a decent size reef tank to go with an ATS (algae turf scrubber). A lot of the members in my local reef club have been using them (both manufactured and DIY) with great results. I can't recall reading about any negatives about using them. There's a large fish store that uses the king of turf scrubbers as their main filtration; I wish I had the link to their video as it's amazing to see.

05-21-2011, 11:59 AM
The only downsides with the algae scrubber come with poor maintainance, thats pretty much the same with anything though!

I'm running a second experiment now..... NSW (natural salt water)

Alot of reefers on the Brit forum I use simply get their water from the sea and do a very quick mechanical filteration to remove debris.

I've collected 20G of it a min ago to go in my water butt any will collect more later.

They guys using it have all had very positive experiances with it so I'm hoping to follow suit. I will always have some salts in the shed should I need to make up some synthetic but using live rock, deep sand bed and an algae scrubber points to an eco system reef so why not go the whole hog ;)

To that end I went and bought the new return pump to increase water flow in the sump (ehiem compact 5000+) and got the orange spot goby too (obviously I can do more WC's so increasing the stocking by another 1 should be fine).

Will post pics tonight, chris

05-21-2011, 12:46 PM
I just love setting up the rock and getting everything where you want it. One of the many fun parts of setting up a new tank

I'm glad you found good pcs of rock.

Now I'm really looking forward to more pics

I've also read a lot about using seawater collected from the ocean in reef tanks. Not really an option for me (living 2,000 Kms away from the ocean) but I'll be really interested in what you think about it

05-21-2011, 01:16 PM
Yea should be interesting to see what happens :)

I waded out until I was up to my knees and collected the water using a jug and 3 25lt drums.
Was actually much quicker and easier than making it too!!!

My scopas really taken to the new tank, what a lovely looking fish!

05-21-2011, 09:05 PM
Heres a vid of the sump with the updated algae scrubber.

Not quite perfect yet bud starting to take the shape I wanted it to.

I need to get more sand, a smaller profile of heater and find something to attach to my mesh to weight it down at the bottom... Hmmm!

Anyway, without further adoo;


05-22-2011, 12:09 AM
That really clears up al lot for us sw newbies. Thanks for taking the time and effort to let us all know how it works.

05-22-2011, 04:17 PM
Thanks bud, I'm just learning too so its good to be able to pass even a little of what I've gathered so far onto others.

I collected another 75lt of NSW today (got soaked this time lol) and it was high tide and the sea was rather choppy. I found a good sheltered place from the worst of the waves but ended up collecting more debris than yesterdays water.

I'm going to have to rig up some sort of mechanical filteration inside the water butt to collect the debris for me. Shouldn't be too hard. Bit of hose, sponge and a soda bottle :)

Will be putting a little bit of sponge on the inside to the butt tap aswell to ensure no bits come out when dispensing.

I may even set up the nano skimmer in there too just to see if it pulls much out... Hmmm, interesting!!

Anyway, my tank is looking really good. All corals healthy and fish all settled.

Will post a couple of pics later on with a proper fish and coral update thumbs2:


05-22-2011, 08:14 PM
Right.... Where to begin lol

The skimmer has stopped pulling anything out really so thats a sign I've got over the worst of anything kicked up by the move.

I've turned it off temporarly as I believe corals do better in water with more DOC's and I also believe the algae scrubber and DSB will be able to keep up with nitrate and phos given a chance.

I've yet to change out any real amount of water for NSW however topped the tank back up with about 10lt of it after slowly aclimating the orange spot goby yesterday.

My aptasia has come back on the peice of rock with the zoa's, I thought it had been killed off with the lemon juice but looks like I didn't kill it :( :( :(

I've put a pepermint shrimp top of my to do list.

Photo bucket is playing up so I've not been able to upload the new pics, will do that tomorrow night now.

Things to do still are as follows;

1. Buy smaller heater for sump
2. Get a little more sand for DSB
3. See if the Marine specialist has and live additions for my sandbed and also extra copepods.
4. Extra light in sump for Chetomorph.

I plan to do a 10% WC with the sea water on Weds night as that will be the 7 day point for the tank.

Here are my water params as off 5 mins ago,

Ammo 0
Trite 0
Trate 0 thumbs2:
Phos 0 :19:
PH 8.3
Temp 24deg
Mag 1470
Calc 470

Will update all these weekly as I progress and we'll hopefully be able to follow the changes that way.

Apart from that nothing to report, little bit of diatoms but doubt it will last long.


05-22-2011, 10:58 PM
I've been playing with the flow from the new ehiem and trying to match it with the overflow whilst trying to keep it as quiet and safe as possible.

I've got it up to an indicated 4700lt which at the headheight according to ehiems graphs is 2700lt. Not bad.

I've got it so the lower of my two returns is fully submerged and drawing most of the water but the higher one is drawing prob 5%.

As the lower one is being restricted the higher one could take the full flow if the bottom one were to block (very unlikely), the only downside would be the air it would also draw would make a little splashing in the sump lol

I've now got a fair amount of water going through the sump so I'm happy the tank is getting the filtration it needs.


05-23-2011, 02:07 AM
Chris, if you need to upload pictures in a hurry use Tinypic. It's very fast and gives you a multitude of links (including a forum layout already img tagged!), which you can use in case photobucket goes down. Just do a google (or bing, or yahoo!) search for Tinypic. The first link will be what you want.

Back on topic, I see your water perameters are great! That's awesome to hear.

05-23-2011, 08:30 PM
Thanks for the link buddy, bookmarked it for next time PB is playing up.

Heres a little update with pics :)

Everyones fine and corals healthy, all the fish are playing and using the whole tank so really happy with the results thus far!


05-23-2011, 08:33 PM

05-23-2011, 08:34 PM

05-23-2011, 08:35 PM

05-23-2011, 08:42 PM
Looking good Chris, your water really cleared up nicely

Love the tang as well

05-23-2011, 09:08 PM
Thanks Cliff, I'm well chuffed how clear the water is!

The tank is just stunning, wish I get him to keep still lol.
One of the first fish I've gone back to see a dozen times before buying, watched him feed about 4 times too!!!

Have a vid and pics of the orange spot goby still to upload, will try and get them done later.

Thanks for looking and commenting :l24:

05-24-2011, 12:15 AM
You guys are really making my hip pocket hurt. I reckon if I told my wife I wanted to start a sw tank there would be big trouble too. Maybe one day.

05-24-2011, 02:17 AM
Tank looks awesome man! Lovin the LR structure and the tang is fantastic! Great photos haha always my favorite part of the journals

05-24-2011, 06:11 AM
Taz, get the wife on side thumbs2:

I got a little tank to experiment then let her pic alot of asthetic stuff, she's now worse for the hobby than I am!!!

Not only is she atively encouraging me with the SW she's pretty much taken over maintainance of the 80G planted and she's selectively breeding platys across 3 tanks lol

We've got a couple of little pin tail maragold mickey mouse platys now though, can't wait to try and breed a load of them later on!

Cheers for the comment hockey head, I can honestly say this tank has turned out better than I'd hoped with regards the rockwork etc, just hope it stays this way :22:

05-28-2011, 04:06 PM
Wee update just now,

Found that my cheato wasn't really getting enough light from the algae scrubber lights. I've now added a light just for the cheato :)

Took pics so will post later.


Oh lol

I've got another fishy too!!!! Got another little clown aclimating as we speak, how could I forget nemos little buddy pmsl.

Will add pics of him later on too.

I've got a feeling the tanks are going to take a little bit of a back seat over the next few weeks/months as we have found a house we are looking to buy.
Not the property I posted on here the other night, something alot more ready to move into.

We are about 3k short on the deposit at the mo but if I can get my spare car sold for a reduced price i should have half that and we could save the rest in 2 pay days I reckon.

Anyway, that means no new fish or corals for a couple of month but we can manage for the sake of getting our new house lol

Thanks, chris

05-28-2011, 11:04 PM
Good luck with the house.
Let us know how you go.

05-29-2011, 04:52 PM
Best of luck with the house Chris!! Now get some pics up on here!!!!!

06-04-2011, 07:13 AM
whoops, been forgetting to post pics again :(

Sorry guys lol

Will post pics tomorrow night, promise!

Not really got anything to update, no changes this week. Everybody healthy and no signs of algae.

Got a phone call yesterday though, the jawfish we booked is now ready :)
Collecting him tomorrow. Can't wait!!!

06-04-2011, 08:24 AM
oh and we're up to 2 10% water changes with Natural Salt Water now.

Going well :)

06-06-2011, 08:06 PM
got my jaw fish, 4 blue leg hermits and 4 new turbo snails yesterday :)

Everythings good as before.... got a treat for you all though;




06-06-2011, 10:42 PM
Cool video Chris

I love seeing these guys building there home in a tank.

06-07-2011, 12:30 AM
Awesome video man! What kind of fish was that taking all the sand? I think it's some kind of goby but what kind?

06-07-2011, 06:18 AM
He's an orange spot goby.

Kermit his name is lol

He's exposed so much of the egg crate under my rockwork I'm going to have to invest in a deeped sand bed!!! The little monkey!

06-11-2011, 03:16 PM
oh oh...... the wifes at it again!!!!

We went back to our new favourite shop, just to have a look at tell them how the jawfish is getting along........

The outcome is we now have a long nose butterfly, 4 more turbo snails and a few bucks worth of new corals (250 or about $400 worth)!

Aclimating now so will post pics when settled in!

06-12-2011, 04:09 PM
update time!!!!

I'll just jump straight in with the pics

Oh, forgot to say I chucked some more of my ocean rock in, had it lying about and thought it might be a good time to build the reef up a little!


06-12-2011, 04:10 PM

06-12-2011, 04:11 PM

06-12-2011, 04:12 PM

06-12-2011, 04:13 PM

06-12-2011, 04:16 PM

06-12-2011, 04:17 PM

Lastly my brine shrimp breeder!

06-12-2011, 09:24 PM
You got some really good pics Chris

Glad to see the tank is still doing great

06-12-2011, 10:11 PM
Thanks buddy :)

Was a little concerned earlier as the tang seems to be trying to be dominant over the butterfly, butterflys not too bothered so we'll see what happens!

06-13-2011, 01:25 PM
Tank looks awesome man!! Love the brine breeder tank haha hows that working for you?

06-13-2011, 06:07 PM
Thanks buddy :)

The brine shrimp are strong in numbers I tell you lol

I put a small amount of eggs in the tank along with an air stone and heater.

20lt/5G of sea water went in and 48hrs later millions of brine shrimp!!!

I swap water over from it to the tank then put the same amount of tank water back in after.

All the fish seem really happy eatting the live brine shrimp, the clowns, damsels and gramma especially love it!!!!

I'm going to see how long I can sustain the colony without having to put more eggs in. I did put a turbo snail in after the eggs hatched to eat any waste and non vaible eggs.

06-13-2011, 09:34 PM
Gotcha gotcha and the turbo snail was a great idea! Let me know how long you are able to sustain the living group since I'm on the edge of trying this myself but don't wanna have to keep dumping eggs into it to keep the cycle going

06-21-2011, 06:52 PM
Ah update..........

Phone call at work......

Wife: Tank power is off and carpet is soaked, any idea why???

Me: Ummmmm..... What?

Wife: Theres no power to the tank at all, everythings off. The carpet is wet as far as 5 feet from the tank. The fish are fine though, corals are all retracted but thats cos the lights are off.

Me: I'm coming home!!!!!

Basically what has happened is the connection from the pump to the tank has started leaking because of the position of my scrubber I have the hose running behind the tank.

The water has run down the outside of hose and all over the floor behind the tank.

The water level in the last chamber has run down to the point where the pump has been sucking air.

The really really lucky thing is that I have an airpump sitting on the floor for my brine shrimp tank. This got soaked and tripped my RCD.
If this hadn't happened my ehiem 5000+ may have been seriously damaged and that would have cost a little more lol

Because of this and a few other things I am taking the oppertunity to slightly redesign the sump.

Due to the positioning of the scrubber it has so far been a nightmare to clean the mesh. I have decided to bite the bullet and remove it from the sump.

The scrubber is going to be external to the sump and mounted next to the tank on a side board. It will be fully enclosed inside a plastic tub and run 4 lights. The cheto will also go in there.

The mesh bottomed cheato area in chamber 3 will now be used for floss.

The DSB will now be unlit however the second sump (scrubber) will be light 18 hours a day 6pm to mid day with an overlap of 2 hours each way with the tank lighting (10am to 8pm).

Oh, I've now used a jubilee clip on the return hose and also the hose now drops into the tank. Any minor leak will only run straight into chamber 1 of sump from now on.

The good thing I suppose is the inside of the sump will be cleaner as its not going to be light lol

Will post pics/vids when complete!


06-21-2011, 10:16 PM
Yikes! Tank leaks/overflow/any loss of water to the ground are always sucky issues:/ glad to hear you at least know what the issue is! My question is are you using hard plummed PVC? Or some type of flex hose type stuff? If you're running the hose stuff I assumed you just had to re-position and it wasn't long enough or to much tension on it?

Well anyways good to hear eveything in the tank is fine!

06-21-2011, 10:22 PM
Well, this kinda of stuff happens to the best of us Chris.

Good thing you were able to come home and deal with it right away

06-26-2011, 07:02 PM
Quick update time....

After the horrible events of earlier in the week things are calmed down :)

I'm running the scrubber externally now and the DSB is in darkness. From what I've read this is better anyway!

With things settled down alot I've had the time to start looking at the different corals in detail and see whats going on in the tank.

I've noticed my branching porties wasn't opening up much and realised its needing much more light.

In response to this I've played around with the rock structure and have got the porties right up high and most of the softies down low.

I'll play around with it as and when needed but there seem to be no dramas at the mo.

Maybe I should have thought about it more and gone with one type of coral (softie, lps, sps leather) however seeing the holding tanks in the LFS with every different type makes the wife excited so thats how we've ended with a coral community lol

Fish wise all is looking good.

The Scopa tang has settled down and if friends with the long nose butterfly.

My orange spot goby is good friends with cleaner shrimp, sitting letting him clean him daily lol

I caught a glimpse of the "freebie" fish I got with my corals again. He looks the spitting image of a neon goby only red?!?!? Cool :):)

Noticed a few baby starfish the other day knocking about on the glass... Ace!

Lastly, I've removed the hitch hiker crab from the sump and put it in a new tank of its own just incase he was eatting pods in my sump lol

Think thats it for now..... oh.... pic ;)


06-27-2011, 02:18 PM
Tank looks good man! Love the structure

06-27-2011, 04:58 PM
Cheers buddy.

Can't wait for the newer rock to colour up a bit.

I've turned another bulb on today so I'm up to running 5 24w bulbs.

Will let things settle for a bit then maybe add the 6th :)

I'm now on the look out for a couple of pieces of live rock but I've got a particular shape in mind so it might take a while lmao

06-27-2011, 09:10 PM
I like how you have a cave structure in the rock.

Sometimes you just have to try a coral in a few different spots in you tank before you get just the right amount of flow and light that they like. At least that's what I found with a few of my corals

07-10-2011, 07:07 AM
quickie update, pics later once the lights come on!

Where to start....



Since the flood and building the new scrubber the amount of algae I've been harvesting has been amazing. The new scrubber is tops lol
The only downside with the new one is I've made it dificult to remove the mesh again. I've ordered a hose coupler which when fitted will allow me easy removal of the mesh again for cleaning.


I'm still running the nano skimmer in the tank. With the scrubber running I've still never seen Nit or Phos so I'm not overly fussed about upgrading in a hurry. From research I think if I upgraded the skimmer my water may end up too clean removing all the DOC's.
What I have done however is drill a hole in the collection cup and insert a hose into it draining into a bottle in my stand. This means I only need empty it once a week as opposed to daily with my heavy feedings lol


I've been getting a little jelous looking at all the lovely pics of other peoples reefs looking nice and ocean like with the blue.
I'm running 4 daylight bulbs and 2 light blue but it looks yellow in comparison with others. I've ordered acnitics to replace a few of my existing bulbs.
Now when I started this tank I used my 2ft light over the right hand side running front to back. I thought this would be fine as I only intended having the reef in the right. As time has gone on I've found the reef is expanding and I've ordered a new unit the same to go on the left!!!
I'll have 12x 24w t5HO to play with.
I considdered just getting a single 3ft one to run across the tank but this is actually cheaper as I already own the first set and also gives me more flexable options.


I've noticed a gradual dissapearance of the waste foods etc on the surface of the DSB. I stiill haven't seen any traces of life in there either but I believe this to be a sign.


I've added a filter sock to my sump return. This has allowed me to remove the filter floss from chamber 3 and has allowed me to start culturing brine shrimp in chmber 2 above the dsb.
I've simply put a floating plastic breeding trap in the second chamber.
The eggs are sat in the bottom of this and as they hatch the baby brine should float out and be taken into the display.


Nothing new to report with the fish tbh.
I visited a friend who has a nem and his clowns are hosting it which has made me want one but I'm nervous of it moving and harming corals so I'm leaving it for now lol.


Nothing really to report about my older corals. All seem to be doing well with the exception of the GSP which never seemed to recover from the move. There are still some polyps coming out on it but not many. I'm reluctant to remove it while its still partly alive though in the hope it MIGHT come back lol

Of all the corals the one with the biggest growth though has got to be my medusa which has expanded to about 3 or 4 times the size in the last 4 weeks :)

I went to see a man about a dog yesterday..... came back with a couple of lovely frags.

I've started collecting some SPS corals after buying the porties last month.
I got some nice acro frags and staghorn too. I also got 2 small frags of a red plating monti. One of which I accidentally broke into smaller chunks when I got home (blush) but hope something may survive of it.

I think I may have been bitten by the SPS bug, that most evil of afflictions.

Anyway, I will post some pics this afternoon once my lights are back on.

Thanks for reading, chris

07-10-2011, 09:24 PM
pics as promised guys :)

Pulsing xenia must have caught a meal :)

07-10-2011, 09:25 PM

07-10-2011, 09:25 PM

07-10-2011, 09:26 PM

07-10-2011, 09:28 PM

07-10-2011, 09:31 PM

As you can see the colouration isn't exactly the best but once my new bits arrive we should start seeing some great results.

Will be leaving it till after my holiday to add the new lighting though.
We've gone and booked a holiday in fuerteventura for a week leaving in 9 days. My friend who works in our LFS is going to feed and topup for evaporation so all is well :)

07-10-2011, 10:18 PM
Once those SPS settle in to there new home, you will be amazed at how fast they can grow.

I always like seeing pics of your tank Chris, great set-up

07-13-2011, 07:53 PM
Thanks clive :)

I've noticed alot more polyp extension on my sps today so looks like they're starting to settle in a bit.

Did a 15G WC last night with NSW aswell.

My Acnitic bulbs (or at least 3 of them) arrived today so I'm now running 3 acnitic and 3 daylight (6500k) bulbs. Hopefully my new unit will arrive soon along with the other 3 bulbs. Will be running 6 acnitic and 6 daylight.



You can't actually see alot of difference in the pics but the difference in reality is awesome lol

Also in the post was my hose connection (to make the scrubber easier to clean), my caravan water pump (to make an RO auto top up) and also my 12dc power supply (water top up also).

Will hopefully get the rest of the bits and build it when I get back from my hols....... did I mention I'm going to lie on a beach in the pacific off the African coast??? thumbs2:

07-14-2011, 12:38 AM
tank looks great man!! love the new coral additions!!!

07-14-2011, 04:26 PM
tanks buddy :)

07-14-2011, 10:54 PM
Chris I couldnt respond for a day because I couldnt find the words. That tank is breathtaking. Great job!

07-15-2011, 06:10 AM

Thanks so much, you don't know how lovely it is to hear :19:

07-15-2011, 11:35 PM
More than deserved, again great photos!

07-30-2011, 09:10 AM
little update with pics to follow.

While we were on holiday somethings happened to the butterfly, I think he got damaged by a powerhead or something and he has not been feeding.

My friend had been keeping an eye and noticed it on the second day. He setup a quarantine tank for me with the stuff I left him and treated him with a little melafix. He seemed to be recovering a little however has taken a turn for the worse..... RIP Dart the longnose butterfly :(

To that end though I wasn't going to let the loss get me down.

My new lights arrived while I was away so I've now got lighting over the full tank, this allowed me to play with the rockwork and space the corals out more.... The downside to this meant the tank looked brighter but bare lol

Only thing to do was phone a guy I know who was looking to shift his corals go go back to FOWLR.

Yesterday I picked up a massive (14" when fully out) leather which has been hosting 2 clowns. The clowns wouldn't let him take the coral out without a fight so as a consiquence I now have 4 clowns lmao

I also picked up a duncan, large colony of frogspawn and some purple star polyps. I got this for the massive sum of 80. Would have been twice that for the leather alone in an LFS!

I'm collecting the last bits to make my auto water topup later too :)

Will post pics this evening.

As always thanks for reading guys :)

07-30-2011, 07:17 PM
Pics as promised...... oh and I gave in and bought the wife a pressie today.

A Sargassum trigger :) oh and also a sand sifting star...... lovely :)


New Duncan

My faithfull cleaner

My original two clowns

07-30-2011, 07:18 PM




07-30-2011, 07:20 PM

The lazy goby!

07-30-2011, 07:21 PM

07-31-2011, 12:08 AM
Looking good Chris

Have you considered some different SPS for the upper level of your tank. You can find some brightly color acros or branching monties that can really add even more color to the tank. But then again, I think every tank needs more SPS in it :hmm3grin2orange:

You could really take advantage of the new light now :ssuprised:

07-31-2011, 09:54 AM
Thanks Cliff.

We were talking and we have got to the point now where we've learned what the different corals are (within reason), learned what we like and also are pretty happy with the way the tank is filling out.

Up to now its been a case of browse and see what there is then buy some but from here on in its going to be identifying what we want and looking for it :)

We, as you suggest, are looking for some bright SPS and I'm also fancying some bright orange/blue/green/purple zoas.

I'd love some of the brighter acro's :)

Little update from yesterday.

Spent a little time building my auto topup last night while trying my best NOT to watch Moulin Rouge with the wife lmao

So far I've wired it all up temporarily and tested it (success :) ) and have begun putting it all into the encolsure. I need to nip into town in a bit and look at a way to mount the float switches into the sump.

My first thoughts were to simply stick a bracket into chamber and fix it but I'm now leaning more towards something removable that can be taken out to clean.

Maybe L brackets on a perspex sheet simply clamped to the glass?!?

We'll have to see I suppose lol

08-15-2011, 07:57 PM
quick update guys!!!

corals wise not alot to report. Everything was ticking over but not alot happening until I got my Alk test kit and found out my alk level was on the low side.

alk was down under 5. On the way back up to 7/8 and things seeming healthier.

got some moonlight LEDs at last.... happy with that lol

fish wise I had to get rid of the newer pair of clowns :(

they were fighting with my existing clowns to the point my little one got thrown out of the water!!!

The new ones now live in my LFS coral tank and my 2 are happy again!

I got a freebie from the LFS though, orange spot shrimp goby :) He's settled in with my orange spot sand sifting goby and they are good friends.

My latest params are....

temp 25c
SG 1024
PH 8.3
ammo 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0.2..... yes 0.2!!!!
Phos 0
mag 1380
calc 420
Alk 6.7

Planning a rescape at the weekend too :)

anyway... pics :)

my new fish



I need to play with the camera settings, the colourings are just not right in these pics!!

08-15-2011, 07:59 PM


Aptasia coming back and annoying my zoas, must remember to treat them this week as my peppermint shrimps are doing NOTHING!!!


08-15-2011, 08:00 PM




08-15-2011, 08:03 PM

new goby and old one in background



08-15-2011, 08:04 PM



my favourite algae, plating coraline!!!

08-15-2011, 08:05 PM

sexy little weed!



08-15-2011, 08:07 PM


tilt your screen to see the polyps.... photobucket doesn't like rotating!


08-15-2011, 08:08 PM
Sarg the Sargassum Trigger :)


Anyway, thanks for looking guys.....

Stay tuned for a nice little update/rescape this weekend...... probibly!

08-15-2011, 08:38 PM
Thanks for the pics Chris

Everthing is looking good

I really like the trigger

08-15-2011, 08:43 PM
Cheers cliff. Can't wait till I've got the rescape done now!!

got wind of someone thats got 30lbs of liverock for sale around the corner from me. Thinking of buying it to give me rock to play with to prebuild some of my tower before saturday :)

Can just keep it in my water butt with a heater until sat.

Any leftover rock after sat can either live in the sump and a few peices in the water butt can't hurt :)

08-19-2011, 06:16 AM
Did my rescape early..... I have more rock than I thought lol

Finished it LATE last night so pics will have to wait.

I now have a scape I am MUCH happier with and also my sump is practically bursting with extra live rock. Infact if I had one more single piece I'd have needed to change the scape or get rid!

I'm so excited about finding homes for all my corals tonight :)
(they're all lined up on pieces of egg crate at the front of the tank just now!)

08-19-2011, 10:15 PM
rescaping is always fun! especially when you get to reposition the corals!! Gotta get some pictures up though man!

08-19-2011, 10:33 PM
Ahhhh, got seriously side tracked tonight lol

Corals are placed though so a quick clean up and removal of debris then pics :)

08-21-2011, 05:34 AM
Lookin awesome!

08-21-2011, 08:24 AM
Just wait till later today then gem ;)

08-21-2011, 04:52 PM
nnneeedddd.... ppiiiicccctttuuurreeessss!!! lol

08-21-2011, 07:52 PM
here at last!!!!!

Please ignore the Cyano on the sand. It is dying slowly I just cannot be bothered manually removing it lol

Also my leather is sulking in this pic, its been out all day which I'm surprised about considdering all the moving about and changes in flow its had.... poor thing deserves a rest!


Tilt to view... can't get photobucket to play ball lol


Instead of using the suction cup I'm now hanging my nori into the tank, I just pull the line up to replace it to save having to put my hands in a feeding time.

08-21-2011, 07:55 PM
Looks really dark here... dam camera lol


The tank that the SPS came from was in the middle of a hair algae outbreak... rather than remove it I left it at the base of the frags. I am confident that my hermits, snails, tang and algae scrubber will be more than enough to not worry :)

Tilt to view

08-21-2011, 07:56 PM

08-21-2011, 07:57 PM

tilt to view!!!

08-21-2011, 08:02 PM

Apart from the dramatic rescape and new corals where are we???

My alkalinity is up at 7.5. I'm slowly slowly going to bring it up nearer 9 but aim to keep it there after.

I've added my timer relay to my self built electrical unit.

its basically a feed button for my return pump and algae scrubber pump set at 10 mins. My powerheads stay on to move the food around, make the fish work for it lol

I'm still breeding brine shrimp as food but am doing them in a 1/2 gallon bottle on my kitchen window sill. I just feed a turkey basters worth a couple of times a day and put some tank water back in. So far 2 weeks and the amount of brine shrimp seem to be maintaining!!!

Apart from that I think I'm happy fish and coral wise.

I'm just going to let things stabalise for a while and see what happens, maybe enjoy the tank instead of making it a constant job lol

Thanks fop looking guys!

08-21-2011, 08:43 PM
Nice man love the rescape... I'm on the edge of trying to do my own brine shrimp set up to switch up my fishs' diet haha

Can you give me a step by step of how you set it up/what you use to maintain it?

Thanks man

08-21-2011, 08:55 PM
Absolutely amazing tank! I love your rockwork.Corals and fish look great. Keep up the good work with the tank!thumbs2:

08-21-2011, 09:01 PM
Those are some nice additions Chris

SPS can really take up a lot of dKH from the water (onces they settle in and start growing), just be ready for a small adjustment to your dosing. You might need it, at least I did once I started adding SPS to my 90 gallon and they all started to grow.

Keep a close eye on your Cal and Mag while your adjusting your dKH. As your dKG rises, your Cal can drop.

Thanks for posting some pics Chris. I always look forward to your pic up-dates

08-21-2011, 09:07 PM
ok, heres chris' master class ;)

what you will need...

1x empty glass bottle
1x bottle of brine shrimp eggs
1x turkey baster
1x air pump
1x length of airline

basically I filled the bottle about 3/4 full of SW.

Added about a teaspoons worth of eggs.

Put the airline in the bottom and turned the pump up till theres about 2 bubbles a second (basically all the water moving).

I then put the turkey baster in the hole at the top so it keeps the airline in position.

placed bottle on windowsill and wait.

The eggs will eventually settle in the area of lowest flow in the bottle, just when walking past I give it a little shake to get them moving... not sure if its important.

36-48 hours later you will notice the eggs at the bottom and also LOADS of little shrimp in the water column. if you turn the air down to get a look at them you will see they almost vibrate to move :)

From there I use the baster to give a few squirts of the mixture into the tank a few times a day to feed and put the same amount of water back in the bottle.

Job done......

Feeding the shrimp????

My first go at these after about 7 days what there was in the bottle died off. I'd used alot by then so wasn't fussed. I was not adding tank water back in at this point.

Next time I managed about 11 days but by then I'd used them all up :)

This time I was taking cheato out of my sump and gave it a little squeeze over a glass, got some "green water" from it. I poured this in to see.

I'm only on day 2 since hatching so we'll see.

Phyto is a known source of food for them, not sure what else. Would require reading up.

One other good idea would be doing 3 bottles. One each day with a single days amount. 2 days to hatch and feed them all at 1 day old :)

Anyway. Thats my story..... goodnight ;)

08-21-2011, 09:10 PM
Thanks guys, really appreciate all your support :)

I'm going to be keeping a really close eye cliff, already had the alk scare so its test test test from now on ;)

08-21-2011, 10:31 PM
Awesome! Thanks for learning me lol I think I'm gonna give this a shot and maybe between the two of us we can figure something out that works well

08-28-2011, 08:54 PM
Right, little update time...

I'll start with params...

ammo 0
NO2 0
NO3 0
Phos 0
PH 8.3
Temp 25C
Calc 400
Mag 1350
Alk is now up to 9.2

Alk has been sitting steady now for 3 days, I've found my ballance of sodium bicarbonate in my RO topup me thinks. Will keep a track to see if I need to adjust as time goes on.

Next Fish!

Was going to enter a period of stability.... not new additions he says.....

Until the wife noticed a bi colour blenny in our LFS!


We now have a cute little blenny, Moray. We think when he sits in his little hole in the rockwork he reminds us of a moray eel lol

also the region we live in is called moray ;)


again, no plans for ANY new additions. Basically I want to let the tank stabilise for a while.....

Until the wife saw some nice little green zoas on a nice shaped piece of rock..... so we now have some new zoas lol

CUC/mobile inverts

Again, plan is NO new inverts or cuc. I want to leave things be.....

Well, when the zoas went in the bag of water the guy in the lfs noticed a snail popped out under it in the bag lol
I said, oh well.... I'll buy a snail too.... he said, its ok.... this ones on me!!!

Also we noticed some sort of shrimp fry in his coral tank.... quite a few really little fry, possibly peppermint fry. When aclimating my coral we noticed at least 5 of them in our jug :)

When I moved the coral into the tank I checked the water before throwing it out. I expected them to be in there.... they were gone..... They must have jumped into the Zoas lmao

Well, I saw one run out from under the zoas yesterday (5 days after introduction). I think theres a few alive, wonder how long they'll survive?!?!

Next, Equipment

I really really really want to leave things alone, I really really really want to have a period of stability!!!!

So, inkeeping with this weeks trend I am ripping my sump to bits (smashing some glass up and stuff) and moving my algae scrubber into the sump again when it started life in this bulid.

I am removing the glass structure which originally held it. The idea was great but it was a nightmare to access to clean. I even knocked my lights into the sump once!!!!!

I have now got a dremel hobby tool which I can use to cut bits and pieces up to build it and I have a day with no kids running about!

This will be a scrubber over the live rock and sandbed but will be removable to clean etc. Hopefully this time it will be a design that stays lmao.

So, thats where I'm at today lol

I've got a local guy popping round tomorrow to borrow my nano skimmer till his new one arrives.
he did ask if I was selling it but I'm wanting to keep it incase I set up a quarantine tank. Don't mind him having it until his new one arrives though.

Ummm.... think thats it... I think!!!!

Oh... FOOD!!!!!!

I have been feeding king prawns that were left over from a BBQ. Frozen prawns though lol.. not old cooked ones dripping in sauce.

Anyway, I was nearly out and while shopping I bought some seafood mix. Squid, mussles, king prawn and about 4 other things.

I used some tank water and blended it all up so some was almost liquidised and there were some larger chunks of the squid and prawn for the trigger.

I made 6 rolls of it by using shrink wrap and making tube shapes.

I've refrozen it for future use. Gave some earlier and WOW!!!!

Its awesome for both the fish and corals. Straight away every fish went mad for it. Even the clowns who haven't been impressed with anything other that live brine shrimp for ages.

Also the cloud of stuff (too small for the fish) that got thrown around the tank by the powerheads made the corals go daft!!!

The polyps on everything were right out, the brains and trumpets send out tenticles and everything looked almost buzzing lol

Looks like I've got enough to last 6 months there and it only cost £3.50 and 20 mins of work!

Woop woop.

Oh oh oh, and also lol

we went to asda (walmart) and bought some Nori from the sushi bit. Exactly the same as the LFS but bigger packet..... 1/4 the price!


Will take some pictures of the tank, food and new scrubber tomorrow at some point.


08-29-2011, 08:17 PM
Heres a link to my new video :)


08-30-2011, 07:32 PM
New powerhead collected from a friend today. Pluged it in and decided it is too powerfull to have on full time.

I've put it on a timer coming on and off at intervals.

When it first came on I noticed quite alot of detrius lifted so happy with the result so far!!!

Now time to do a params check

Ammo 0.25

Nitrate 10

Phos 0.1

This is where I baled out and stopped testing.....

I checked the ammo 3 times. I am going to purchase a new ammo test kit tomorrow incase I'm wrong/the kit is wrong however I'm inclined to trust it :(

Although I have had the kit for 14 months?!?!? is it that???? Fingers crossed!

I've NEVER seen any ammo in the tank since the original cycle and this is the first time I can say I've read any real levels nitrate or phosphate too!!!!

I'm upset to say the least!!!!

There have been no deaths in the tank, all fish and corals seem healthy.

I've changed so many things in the tank in the last while I suppose I had it coming but its worrying to say the least!!!

I've got the algae scrubber running and I've only fed once today so I guess I'm just going to have to ride it out.

With a little luck I'll see a reduction over the next few days and be out of the woods before long but its gonna be a nerve racking few days.

Will check my params in the water butt and look at doing a water change later on tonight.

Anyone got experiance using prime on a reef tank????

If this seems like a rambling its because I'm typing the post and running away or googling things then continuing the same post lol
(I may answer my own questions paragraph by paragraph)

Right, had a little think and remembered what I have in my arsenal.....



Thank **** for prime lol

Going by what seachem claim one capfull will detoxify ammonia in 200lt of water up to 1mg/l
In my 400 ish liters that would detoxify 0.5mg/l but I've got 0.25 ish.

I've dosed a cap full to detoxify and will keep an eye on things!!!

My heart rate has relaxed somewhat lol

I was having a good look at the corals... I'd expect my SPS especially to be looking bad given the params.... they're looking good lol

My torch is sulking though.... I've seen her do this before a few times so I don't take much from this.

Anyway. sorry for the mental ramble. hopefully my future posts will be a little more relaxed lmao.


08-30-2011, 08:20 PM
might be ur test kit honestly man, sps are usually a dead give away especially if it is ammo

good to hear you got things settled for the time being though!

08-30-2011, 09:27 PM
Cheers man. I'm praying it is the kit lol

One thing I did notice was sitting in the living room straight afterwards and looking though to the tank (about 12 ft away) I noticed the water was a little cloudy (looking through the full 3ft length).

An hour later (after the prime) it looked alot clearer!!!!!

Might just be me, might have been just settled after feeding etc?!?!?

God knows lol

08-30-2011, 10:03 PM
Maybe there was a spike when you stirred up the detritus? I'm more or less guessing hear but it could have released it into the water column if it usually just sits there until you siphon it out? Either way good luck with solving it!

08-31-2011, 05:30 PM
Right, bought a new ammo test kit....

Same result today. 0.25mg/l


Now I'm wondering what can be the cause.

The big 3 to me are.....

The moving of the rock 2 weeks ago. Now not sure why I'd only be seeing this 2 weeks later.... must be something happened closer to now.

The next one could be the introduction of new food to the tank. I basically took a mixed bag of frozen sea food and blended it and froze it. Feeding shrimp, squid, muscles etc.

The third one is the movement of the algae scrubber into the sump.... This is what I am currently thinking is the cause!

Now before the move the sump was an unlit DSB. I had a very minimal amount to live rock in there, nothing more.
2 weeks ago I filled the sump with liverock. It is litterally bursting with it. The rock came from my display so I do not believe this has caused much if anything.
On Monday I moved the scrubber.

The sump is now light 18 hours a day. The DSB itself still doesn't recieve the light because of the rock and cheato covering it and also my reflectors are aimed to keep the light on the mesh as much as possible.

What I have thought is though that before, the sump being dark, there were LOADS of tiny white sponges everywhere. These are all over the glass, return hose, pretty much everywhere.... with the sudden light they might be dying on mass causing the spike!!!!


I dosed prime into the tank again to bind the ammo and detoxify it so my bio filter can catch up.

I'm undecided if I should skip a feeding of the fish today? On the one hand any food adds to the bio load. On the other I don't want to weaken the fish during this time.....

Any ideas?


08-31-2011, 11:04 PM
I'd skip the feeding today since they'll be ok missing a days worth of meals but if the extra food is the source then you'll just add to your problem..

As far as the cause of it you might be seeing an overload from when you moved the rocks possibly? The BB you have maybe couldn't handle all the gunk that was kicked up and you haven't seen it now because it's been able to deal with the initial blast but is now tired (sounds silly but it BB is anything like algae it needs a resting period to digest everything it's taken in)

However I didn't read the end of your post, these sponges are almost definitely causing the spike, decaying matter of sponges and nems are two of the most vial things I've come across so far.

I had the same issue, my sump was dark and then I started my scrubber which shone light on new parts and sponges started dying, i scraped em off the side and the smelled terrible (usually a good sign theyre gone haha)

09-01-2011, 10:49 AM
I touched a few of the sponges last night and they simply fell off!!!

I'm 90% sure thats the prob now!

I'm going to put a little floss on my return pump tonight and scrape the glass in the sump to try and remove as many as I can.....

Think thats the best idea?!?!?!? hope so lol

09-01-2011, 11:22 AM
gdluck getting that sorted chris..

love reading this journal.. very interesting to follow the progress and also a good source for learning about sw.

09-01-2011, 06:32 PM
Thanks buddy. Its been a hell of a learning curve lol


Still reading ammo however I'm seeing a reduced reading. Now about halfway between the 0 and 0.25!

Not out of the woods but on the mend!

Gave another dose of prime to keep the ammo detoxified as best I can.

My torch and Duncan corals are looking a little perkier so I think they may have felt the raise on tuesday before I detoxified it!

More relaxed about it now lol

Bleedin sponges!

09-02-2011, 02:42 PM
Same reading today. Not going down.... but also not going up thumbs2:

Hopefully will see a drop over the weekend.

Another dose of prime it is!!!

09-03-2011, 03:42 PM
Right, little update!!!

Went up to my marine LFS today, 2 1/2 hour round trip.

We went with the intention of only having a look and an ice cream coke float (they have a little 5 table cafe run by the wife).

I bought some Epo putty while I was there, I have tried Milliput, D-D putty, TMC putty and the Epo putty now.

The milliput was OK, you cannot use too much as it removes oxygen from the water. Little cloudy.

The D-D stuff was just awfull!!! Using only a tiny amount in a bucket made the water REALLY cloudy. The putty lost all its elasticity being mixed and was almost falling to bits in my hand.
All the corals I afixed with it fell off or moved. I'd let some cure for an hour outside the tank before using but it was still crap!
Over a week later some bits of it were still not hard!!!

The TMC stuff was the same!

The Epo stuff was brilliant. Very little clouding. Stayed in one piece when I wanted to. Felt really stiff to work. Held everything well and went quite far.
Only complaint I would have is it was so hard to work that I needed alot of pressure on corals/rock to get it to stick. Once it sticks it doesn't move though!!!!

Anyway... I also found a file fish there.... had to have him lol

On the actual tank front. My ammo level has now dropped to between 0.25 and 0. I've kept adding prime to keep things detoxified but looks like I've passed the worst!

It was defo the sponges that caused the spike!!!!

Now, last thing I need to mention...

Been reading alot of Ron Shimeks stuff lately.

Something really stuck with me and is bothering me.

I've always run my tanks, especially my FW stuff at the lower end of the spectrum. Now when starting this tank I decided to go for around 25deg C.
The tank pretty much runs at 24 with the lights off and 25 with them on.
Now I've got pretty healthy looking corals but have not seen alot of growth.
Some of this I put down to taking time to see changes but there are some corals I've had for a long time look the same as the day I bought them.

My trumpet for instance will take 100 years to double in size (2 heads lol) at this rate.

reading this;

has made me think it'd be better if I go for 27 deg now instead. Will raise the temp slowly over the next week and see where that leads me!


09-03-2011, 04:53 PM
Hmm interesting information on the temp... I've been running my tank at about 80.4 and thinking it's been too high haha, let me know if you notice any difference between the different temperatures.

Also can we get a pic of the file fish?? They're so cool looking haha and it's great to hear that you got your ammonia situation under control!

09-03-2011, 05:00 PM
Cheers bud.

Will try and get a pic or two tonight.

Priority though will be sorting my car out and finding all the docs, hopefully I sell it tomorrow.

Found a lovely Acro in the LFS, its even got a wee acro crab! Told the guy I'd phone and reserve it if the car sells lol

Will keep you posted bud!

09-03-2011, 05:05 PM
acro crab!! the coolest haha best of luck with the car!

09-05-2011, 12:55 PM
guy never turned up to see the car.... no emails no phone calls!! Grrrrrrr!

Ah well. My first acro crab will have to wait :(

got the week off this week and I've got my daughter :)

Means while she is at school each day I can potter about!

Todays project was to make permanent brackets to hold my float switches on the tank. I will do a little thread on it later.... infact I may make a full how too this week on DIY auto topups :)

I also did a 10% WC on the tank and cleaned as many of the old sponges out of my sump.

Hopefully improving water quality.... hopefully lol

My new little file fish has been a busy wee boy. He's had a go at my aips already. Will give him a few days to settle and see how big an aip he will eat. Might have to use aiptasi x on some of the bigger ones.


09-06-2011, 02:19 AM
you should definitely do a tut on the ato system... would love to see what you've done with it!

09-06-2011, 07:10 AM
Will sort one out this week :)

I would have done it today but the wifes gona and taken the day off too....

To her its nice and romantic getting the day together, for me it scuppers my whole plans for the week! lol

09-06-2011, 07:07 PM
hahahahaha i hear ya my gf is the same way when she wants to take a day trip somewhere i'm like damn well i'll have to tinker another time haha

all well and good though hows the brine shrimp experiment coming? any sustained stock yet or still going with the eggs?

09-06-2011, 07:15 PM
To be honest bud with the ammo spike going on last week, the rescape the week before etc etc I kind of let the experiment fizz out...

I fed them all and have an empty vessle :(

Will crank it up again tomorrow and see where it leads!

You tried it yet?

09-06-2011, 07:39 PM
I have the eggs but I'm trying to figure out what I wanna do right now, a sustained thing or just something to switch up the diet of the fish

09-06-2011, 07:42 PM
just start off a little culture then have a play later.

09-06-2011, 08:22 PM
Updated vid


09-06-2011, 09:04 PM
lookin good man! love the variety of corals you have in there

09-07-2011, 10:30 AM
Auto top up how 2 made :)


10-04-2011, 09:57 PM
just a little update...

got a new coral at the weekend, details to follow.

I've changed out some of my bulbs for a more blue effect.... WOW!!!

I've had to start dosing calcium :(

and since cranking the temp up to 27deg C i've lost some pulsing xenia however my branching and plating montis have taken off massivley and everything else seems to have responded well.

Pics to follow and maybe even a vid or two once I figure out the new camera! :)

10-04-2011, 11:44 PM
damn you and your picless teaser updates! haha glad to hear the montis liked the change!

10-05-2011, 12:38 PM
heres a wee taster ;)


10-06-2011, 02:09 AM
looks great man! love all the corals

10-27-2011, 07:55 AM
Been away for nearly 3 weeks and not seen the tank :(

The wife has been keeping up my daily calc dosing, weekly parameters checks and dosing bicarb into the ATO on sunday nights.

She says the corals are looking good, although my scopas tang has fragged some more of my sps lmao

Can't wait to go home tomorrow and see the tank thumbs2:

10-27-2011, 07:59 AM
Oh, I bought some things since I've been down here :)

Will leave the surprise till sat or sunday night lol

10-27-2011, 08:03 AM
Curious Chris, is the poor wife hualing bucket's of water for ya while your away? My memorie may be off but did you not extoll the vertues of real seawater??? To be honest, gosh I wish I could!!!


10-28-2011, 06:06 PM
Na, I made it easy for her.

I left 80lt of NSW in a bucket next to the tank.

All she needed to do was move the ATO pump into it and syphon some off the display when it needed a little WC :) Leave the ATO to add new NSW for her!

01-22-2012, 11:20 PM
Hows the tank doin man? Can I get (I demand) a FTS when you get a chance (as soon as you read this post) lol

01-23-2012, 01:14 PM
I shall oblige tonight buddy :)

Basically things have been on cruise since last update.

Some of the SPS I rescued from that guy have recovered and grow, some has died off :(

We are moving house in less than 2 weeks to a house over 3 hours away so been planning and plotting for the move.

Fingers crossed I can get the tank settled without any losses.
I am planning on turning my focus to collecting some lps frags and growing them out for a year or two in the new house then to build a massive "show" tank when we buy a house. Only planning to be in the next place 2 years while we save the deposit for our dream house :)

The joys of a new, well paid job lmao

01-23-2012, 06:56 PM
The joys of a new, well paid job lmao

Congrats man! Good luck with the move, I think I'm close to getting to the point where'd I'd be extremely nervous about moving my tank, which sucks b/c I'll most likely be moving it out with me when I leave the parents nest next year when I graduate college lol

But good luck moving I'm sure you're more than ready and that'd definitely be an awesome center piece to have a massive LPS tank! I fully expect to see pics tonight by the way ;)

01-23-2012, 09:25 PM

Went into the drawer and both batterys for both cameras are flat...

asked the wife and she said she knew they were dead! Since when is it my job to charge them when others use them, and even if it was how would I know to charge them when nobody tells me!!!

Will get a pic tomorrow buddy :(

01-24-2012, 01:25 AM
Now I'm angry... you won't like me when I'm angry *begins to turn green and smash things*

No worries man get em charged up and start the photo op tomorrow lol

01-24-2012, 07:04 PM
Right, as promised!!!

Please remember the SPS in the main was bought in a poor condition, what is left has stopped stripping and is overall healthy now.
Plan is to frag the good bits once we're moved and settled to see if I can grow some healthy bits :)

The tank has loads of Aiptasia at the moment but I have a few plans for this, just keeping it from damaging the corals at the moment where I can.

Heres a few pics and a link to the full 70+ picture album.




Oh and..... I've read its nearly impossible to breed turbo snails....
I've got hundreds of all sizes from grain of sand size right up to nearly adult!



01-24-2012, 07:22 PM
Awesome pics man! I've been paging through the photobucket and the tank is looking fantastic! I also have little turbos all over the place haha... like EVERYWHERE when the lights go out they come out of the wood work... errrr the rock work lol

What type of coral is the massive carpet nem looking thing? Some type of leather?

01-24-2012, 07:43 PM
yea its a Sarcophyton leather, very similar to the mushroom leather but there is no stalk, like a carpeting leather.

Its crazy the amount of snails you get eh? I think its due to the scrubber.

If you don't have any already get some tube worms, they thrive in a scrubbed tank :)

Can't wait to get this tank moved and settled. Will be getting rid of all the unsightly bits on the corals. think it will look 100% times better!

Hows things with you anyway bud? you behaving?

01-24-2012, 07:51 PM
I have no idea what it's due to but whatever it is I'm ok with it lol they're pretty cool and yea I had a couple little tube worms and saw your corner of the tank with all the feather dusters and it looks really cool! I think I may have lost mine in the heat spike over the summer :/

I've been good, just wrapped up school in December now I'm on my co-op working rotation until august which means I get to make real money until august haha given most of it goes away to pay for my last year of school but it still gives me some money to play with haha other than that things have been real good... and me? behave? ha! never lol

Hbu? Hows the new job going and the move?

01-24-2012, 09:07 PM
Thats good news bud, you'll enjoy being able to treat yourself a little at least ;)

My last day of work in the Airforce tomorrow, not starting the new job for a month :)

Can't wait though, nearly 10 years since I had a civillian job lmao

01-25-2012, 12:09 AM
Wow very cool I know we're getting off topic but what'd you do for the airforce?

01-25-2012, 07:12 AM
I was/am am electrical engineer.

Used to work with airfield and aircraft support equipment, Generators, Hydraulic rigs etc.
More recently I have been working in support of what's called the RAF Regiment, they are an infantry unit who carry out airfield defence.
For them I do vehicle electrics and set-up electrics for power and lighting at outposts etc.
This has led me to do patrols outside the main operating bases in Afghanistan and get involved with convoy protection and even helping train in counter IED stuff.

Certainly different to what I saw myself doing when I was in school lol

The new job will see me travelling all over the world doing overhauls on my firms equipment on land and sea based oil rigs and drill ships.
Hopefully get some down time when I'm in Brazil, Australia and the Red sea etc ;)

01-25-2012, 01:06 PM
Very cool man very cool... nice to see we have a couple other engineers on here (if I remember right it's me you and I think two others lol)

Have fun with the travel though! I'm sure you'll see all kinds of cool places

01-25-2012, 05:47 PM
what sort of engineering is it you do again?

01-25-2012, 06:16 PM
Electrical also

01-25-2012, 06:53 PM
Sweet :) :) :)

Why did you BUY an ATO then? ;)

01-25-2012, 06:58 PM
Lol cuz I'm a lazy college kid still! Haha, on a side note that's getting taken back and the controller unit is just going to take care of that lol

01-25-2012, 07:00 PM
Your tank is looking great Chris

Good luck with the new job

01-25-2012, 08:17 PM
Sweet, theres nothing more satisfying than getting your equipment running like a dream Hockeyhead!

Thanks Cliff. I'm really not happy with the way the tank looks if I'm honest.
I thing getting rid of the aiptasia will go a long way to improving how I feel about it though.
I look at tanks like yours and some of the others on here and the reef forums and it makes me feel blue. I suppose you are never truely happy with your own work lmao

Really looking forward to the new job now :)

5 weeks of house moving and new baby first though.... seems a world away!

01-25-2012, 09:55 PM
I look at tanks like yours and some of the others on here and the reef forums and it makes me feel blue. I suppose you are never truely happy with your own work lmao

Wow thanks man... o wait you weren't talking about my algae over run mess of a tank? O... I see... well this is awkward hahaha

I definitely hear ya on the tank envy thing haha I can be satisfied by my own work but we have a couple SW giants on here that I strive to emulate haha... have you tried a peppermint shrimp yet for the aiptasia problem? The one I have took care of them all no problem and I haven't seen another one since.

01-25-2012, 10:18 PM
so far I've tried.....

Long nose butterfly,
File fish,
3 peppermint shrimps,
2 bergia nudibranches.

I do have a plan however...... is a long shot but I have a plan lol

01-25-2012, 10:51 PM
Ok you've got my attention what's the plan?

01-25-2012, 11:32 PM
going to get a small tank, say 5G.

Couple of pieces or rock and aiptasia.

I'm going to harrass the heck out of the aips and get them spreading like mad in the tank.

Then I'm going to use my source to get some bergia nudibranches.

Unlike last time where I got 2 and put them in the main tank never to be seen again, this time they will go in this holding system and breed them out.

Once their numbers are climbing start putting them in the main system a few at a time and hope to build a colony.

They are not cheap hence why I only bought 2 the first time... this time thinking 5 if I can get them!

01-26-2012, 01:13 AM
Hmmm I see, any idea how they reproduce? It sounds like a really good plan I'm just not sure if they'll reproduce like you want lol I'm sure given the right food source and lack of preds they'll do it eventually though lol

01-26-2012, 07:12 AM
they are egg layers.

A friend of mine has them breeding. :)

01-26-2012, 01:01 PM
Ok I see very cool man, definitely put up some pics when you get things rolling

01-26-2012, 03:13 PM
will do defo :)

03-03-2012, 04:00 PM
any updates man? (read I want to see pictures now!! lol)

03-05-2012, 08:02 PM
Absolute nightmare mate, still got no internet at home (5 weeks)

As soon as we get online I will get pics up.

Just stealing 5 mins online at a friends just now!

03-19-2012, 05:35 PM
good news, finally our home phone is sorted and we have internet....

Bad news is I am currently on a training course and not at home to do pictures etc lol

Anyway, I think I should do a little update anyway.

I lost my orange spot goby in the move (sand sifting one), he made a dash for freedom on the floor :(
I also lost one of my 2 blue damsels, they decided to turn on each other and one lost, badly.
Apart from that it all went smoothly :)

I've got a new sand sifting goby, a blue cheek one. He's a wee stunner :)

Corals wise I ended up loosing a duncan in the move. When we set everything up I couldn't find the duncan?!?!?!? it appeared 2 days later poking out of the sand. I'd burried it :(
Its never fully recovered, the heads just retreated further and further.

On the whole its all looking good and healthy though.

Now I'm back on cruise control with the tank. What to do then????

Do I mess with things even though they are working???? Nope

Do I get another tank alongside this one??? Nope

Do I buy more fish???? I think my stocking is fine for the size of tank so... nope!

Do I add more corals??? Well, over time I want some butttttttttttttt.....

I'm upgrading :)

I found someone selling a 6x2x2 (180G) tank near me and its perfect!

So I'm going to (slowly) swap this one out for the 180!!!

I'm collecting it when I get back. All I need to do it put in a weir, sort out a sump (or two) and hey presto.
I have all the other equipment I need already!

Can't wait!

03-19-2012, 07:20 PM
That's exciting! Now that I have hi-speed at home (albeit a little unpredictably :sconfused: )...I can start looking at everyone's pictures again...

Your tank looks great...and upgrading will be fun!

03-19-2012, 07:44 PM
Nice man glad to hear things went relatively smoothly (in terms of how smoothly they can go haha)

Gotta get some pictures up asap!!! And congrats on the new find! New big tanks are always fun, new chance to re-plumb/redesign a little but still have the same live stock and level of mature tank with some new parts!!! :)

03-29-2012, 06:32 AM
Whoo hoooo!!!!!

Got a phone call from one of my LFS (I say local, its 180 miles away from my house) and he's got a jawfish for me!

Guess I'll be heading up there on sunday for a day out :) :) :)

03-29-2012, 08:00 AM
Where is it?

Old Marine
03-29-2012, 10:24 AM
Waiting patiently for pictures.

03-29-2012, 04:37 PM
Waiting patiently for pictures.

I'm 400 miles from my tank at the mo so you'll have to wait a wee bitty longer lol

Where is it?

Planet ocean up in Connon Bridge. They were voted runner up for BEST marine store in the UK last year!

They close at 4 on sunday, I have to drop my Daughter off at her mums at 7 (can't drop her earlier as her mums working in Elgin will 6.30) then its another 2+ hours down to mine. We're slap bang between Aberdeen and Dundee.

The poor fish will be 5 hours in a bag!

03-29-2012, 05:04 PM
Sounds a good place! I know where elgin is, I stayed for four weeks up at macduff helping at the marine centre there. Banff and whitehills are quite nice too

03-29-2012, 06:58 PM
Nice can't wait to see the lil guy

03-29-2012, 07:31 PM
Sounds a good place! I know where elgin is, I stayed for four weeks up at macduff helping at the marine centre there. Banff and whitehills are quite nice too

I love the McDuff aquarium. If you look on my youtube (same user name as here) I have a few vids of my last visit.

Hockey, I can't wait to see him either lol

I'll be aclimating him late sunday, training (helecopter dunker drills) monday through the day and collecting the new tank monday night....

Will be tuesday evening at the earliest till I get pics!

03-29-2012, 10:40 PM
I will need to have a look at your vids! The aquarium is amazing! I travelled 200miles to work there for 4 weeks! Amazing experience!

04-01-2012, 09:36 PM
Right, I collected the jawfish and he is just into the tank after drip aclimating.
Lights are off so pics will be tuesday (collecting new tank tomorrow).

So the Jawfish is a wee cracker.... so are his new friends I also bought lmao

I got a Banana Wrasse, another cleaner shrimp and an Orange Nano Starfish while I was there.

Bonus!!! Good pickings for a 300mile round trip???

I've been eyeing up some fish for when the new tank is stabalised and got some awesome ideas now for the new setup.

Can't wait to get started now!