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Aquarium Therapy's main marine display

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  • Aquarium Therapy's main marine display

    Well, after 18 months spent majoring on high tech planted tanks, trying to get my skills in that department up to scratch, I finally went out on Thursday and bought two new acropora corals for our marine display.

    It's been pretty much neglected for the last 18 months in terms of time and love. Water parameters have been maintained plus or minus around what they are meant to be... but in terms of time spent on fiddling, adjusting and appreciating it, there's been woefully little!

    My frustrations with GDA in our main freshwater display is just about driving me back to marine aquaria. Reef aquariums, in my opinion, are WAY easier to keep than high tech planted! With both you need to maintain good, targeted water conditions for the livestock you are keeping. However, with reef aquariums corals grow very much slower than plants, so less pruning (imagine 18 months with only 1 prune in a high tech planted!), and aquascaping techniques are nowhere near as developed... so a reef with a jumble of colour and texture, and a few swimming spots for fish is considered entirely acceptable and beautiful!

    The new acros I bought are pale green, almost white, with pink/ lavender tips. I've seen similar before in shops, but never wanted to fork out the cash for them. I'm not sure if their paleness is natural coloration, or a semi-bleached state from stress.

    Here is the one I've put on the LHS of the tank - top view


    And from the front


    The one on the RHS of the tank:


    And closer:


    (top view didn't work with this one, as too much surface water movement).

    FTS... not at it's best, as the light has only been on about 20 mins, so corals are not fully extended


    LHS


    RHS


    Thanks for looking!
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

  • #2
    That looks spectacular!!

    The main thing that turns me away from marines in the issue with salt water... It's bloody expensive to buy the salt then mix your own and bloody inconvenient to go and collect the water yourself, especially if you have a large tank. What do you use? ASW or NSW?

    Craig

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pleco4me View Post
      That looks spectacular!!

      The main thing that turns me away from marines in the issue with salt water... It's bloody expensive to buy the salt then mix your own and bloody inconvenient to go and collect the water yourself, especially if you have a large tank. What do you use? ASW or NSW?

      Craig
      I use ASW- a mix if RO water & Dupla premium salt. I've found that the best salt I've trialled by a long shot. I buy it in 25kg buckets ($165 retail from a couple of local suppliers, although as a maintenance business we buy it wholesale for about $55 less again). I change 80 liters of water weekly, so a bucket lasts just over 8 weeks. Yes, it is an expense, but hey... Even before we did this as a business I figured since I don't drink, smoke, party wildly or have any other hobbies, it's not really that bad!
      "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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      • #4
        Update... corals at full extension - comparison with shots early this afternoon.

        FTS - afternoon on left, now on right


        And from directly in front


        LHS - afternoon on left, now on right


        RHS - afternoon on left, now on right
        "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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        • #5

          This was a photo I took when I went to collect some yellow shrimps from Neville, trust me, looks way better in real life!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HexaD View Post

            This was a photo I took when I went to collect some yellow shrimps from Neville, trust me, looks way better in real life!
            LOL, thanks, Daniel! I got a surprise when I opened your comment & saw a new photo up!!
            "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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            • #7
              Can you please give us some specs of the tank Neville and perhaps a shot of all the gear in the cabinet?

              I like hearing about all the different equipment people are using (sometimes it's more exciting than the livestock hehe)

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              • #8
                Wow! Very impressive set up.

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                • #9
                  Sure... Although I'd do some of the running gear differently if I was doing the tank again... I've learnt a lot in the 6 or 7 years it's been running!
                  Tank is 160 X 60 X 60. Overflow box in LH back corner, custom designed sump (originally designed with 3 sections... A drawer for a pre filter mat, a fuge section & a section for skimmer & return pump... Fuge no longer running).

                  Return pump is an Eden 140. If you replace the 16mm outlet with a 25mm outlet, you get 3000lph plu out of it easy!

                  Skimmer is a deltec TC 2000. Used to have a deltec APF 6000, but I upgraded when I ran 3 tanks in series from the filter in this tank... The other two tanks have been shut down since building our holding shed, but I've kept the big beastie going.

                  Tank has 4 holes in back for 2 closed loop circulating pumps, which are aquabee 6000lph pumps. Also have 2 vortech MP10's at back for more movement at top (for sps)

                  Currently tank has a deltec APH600 calcium reactor on it. That's about to come off & be replaced with a kamoer dosing system to add all my supplements plus calcium & carbonates.

                  Tank has an Aquatronica controller monitoring tank pH, reactor pH, salinity, temp & redox, and controlling the lights & a centrifugal extraction fan mounted in the ceiling that removes hot air produced by the teco TC20 chiller mounted on RHS of cabinet.

                  Lighting is Giesemann Infiniti 2 X 250W halides (giesemann krystal globes) & 4 X 54W T5 HO (1 power chrome aquapink, 2 power chrome pure actinic & 1 power chrome actinic plus).

                  Heater is integrated in teco chiller.

                  And that's about it.... Will post pics in a few mins if the boss lets me!
                  "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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                  • #10
                    Well... she wasn't completely happy, but I have her permission! (Our computer lives in my 2 year old daughter's room, so I'm in here will the little angel is sleeping peacefully).

                    I forgot to mention that I added some shields to the Giesemann light unit, to prevent the terrible glare you got when sitting on the lounge in front of the tank.

                    pic 1 - you can see the front of my filter (it's a big square with two chambers at the back not visible), Deltec skimmer & calcium reactor on the right.


                    Pic 2 - Jumble of wires (I wish I was better with keeping billions of cords tidy), lots and lots of power points, aquatronica control power board, & circulation pumps for closed loop on floor at back of cabinet. In compartment on RHS you can see CO2 bottle in front (for calcium reactor), & teco chiller behind that.


                    Pic 3 - Giesemann Infiniti with added shields to reduce glare


                    Pic 4 - behind cabinet you can see the ducting coming out of the rear to exhaust hot air from the chiller.


                    Pic 5 - also behind tank, you can vaguely see the closed loop fittings and hoses


                    Pic 6 - exhaust ducting continues up the wall and into the ceiling where a centrifugal fan (that's right, the most powerful standard exhaust fan couldn't pull enough hot air out of the cabinet when the chiller was running) extracts the hot air from the chiller
                    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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                    • #11
                      Thanks so much for the extra pics and information! How does the exhaust fan go noise wise?

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                      • #12
                        It's not too bad. At night in our bedroom in summer you can hear a very faint whoosh... Equivalent to the noise of ducted evap cooling. The fan has a length of ducting on the venting side as well as on the suction side, which I believe considerably reduces noise.
                        "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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                        • #13
                          Beautiful tank, always loved a nice marine tank, Im just to lazy to get one up to that level, have considered a FO setup nano, with a clown....may do it eventually

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                          • #14
                            Unfortunately this tank has been neglected for some time... a good 12 months, I'd guess. Looking at the pics above from July last year, the beautiful big centre rock has become overgrown with 'star polyps' (they've become a weed in my tank), as has the back wall and a lot of other live rock. They've killed off all of the blastomussa (one of my favourite corals) that was at the top of the centre display rock. Also, a lot of the ground level coral has become overgrown with zooanthids.
                            Pic from July last year:


                            And now:


                            Also, a fair amount of the acro is growing at the surface of the tank, which means that the tips die and flatten... and a fair amount more is about to reach that point:



                            So... It's time for a re-scape! This is a major (12 hour or so) job. I've got some new live rock on order, and when it comes in, I'll be looking at making a day for it (groan).
                            "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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                            • #15
                              In November 2013 (I think on the 3rd) We finally did the re-scape on this tank.

                              Here it is pulled down, with about 1/3 of the reef rock removed and about 3/4 of the coral removed.


                              And here is is re-scaped, with lots of new coral added in - pics taken a couple of weeks later, when tank has had some time to settle.


                              Finally, here are some photos taken today... check out the growth on some of the SPS (you can see small frags glued to some of the rocks with the white epoxy putty around their bases.... they've now grown down over the putty, as well as grown off in lots of directions too! and lots of other corals are looking healthy, vibrant and fully extended/ expanded!

                              Front view:


                              Side view:
                              "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig..."

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