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Postby Kransky » Mon 10 Feb, 2014 10:59 pm

The winner of the January 2014 TOTF competition is: Kit

Kit with his amazing 5' Starphire mixed reef> tank !

Prizes kindly donated by:

Aquablue Distribution


Kit has won:

Ocean Nutrition Foods Prize Pack


You can find out more about this tank in Kits Tank Journal
1) How Long have you been in the hobby ?

Like most people here, I kept freshwater as a child... back then I really had no idea what I was doing...
After a number of years without a tank I decided I start again, this time with marine; that was two years ago.

2a) What size is your winning tank, dimensions and litres?

The tank is 1500 x 600 x 500 (5' x 2' x 20"), a display of around 450L.

2b) Any reasons for that size tank?

I have a space in the foyer of my home that suited a tank perfectly; while a 6' would have fitted, I decided on a 5 as I wanted the look and functionality of an offset tank and cabinet.
I also liked the look of a shallow tank; originally I had planned for 450mm high but in the end settled with 500mm to give me the extra volume.

2c) How long has this tank been setup?

The tank has been running since November 2013. Due to some delays, the tank was filled about 2 months later than I had initially planned.

3a) What is your goal for this tank?

My goal has always been to keep things simple and to go back to basics; and by doing this I hope to achieve an uncomplicated, easily maintainable, and tidy(!) tank.

3b) Have you researched anything specifically to reach this goal?

My first marine tank was an Aqua One AR850; not knowing much about marine tanks at the time I quickly found it's limitations.
Over the course of about a year making many mistakes and learning a lot; I eventually modified the 850 to a point where I successfully kept fish, LPS and SPS with only about 15 mins of maintenance a week!

The Aqua One AR850 taught me a lot about keeping a marine tank, so this formed the basis of my "research" when I planned the tank upgrade.

Having no experience with a sump and plumbing, I did need to put in some time to work this out.

3c) BIggest lesson you've learnt whilst planning/setting up this tank?
It's very important to take the time to understand how or why things work the way they do. Understanding allows you to be flexible and solve the problems you encounter.
When asking or taking advice, it is important to apply your own knowledge and assess whether it is relevant to your situation rather than blindly following what someone has said.

3d) Any tips you'd like to pass on for others to learn from?
I have a few tips:
- Stability is much more important than chasing parameters
- You can't rush stability; it takes time, and rushing often leads to bad things happening.
- My motto: "if in doubt, do a water change" - You can never do too many water changes in this hobby.

4) Do you have a sump and/or refugium? If so, what size?
I have a simple three chamber sump:
- First chamber houses a filter sock and the skimmer
- Second chamber has macro algae and minimal rock (the rock is for a mantis shrimp that lives in my sump)
- Third chamber is the return chamber and Auto Top up.

5) Filtration eg. amount of live rock, sand bed or bare bottom, mechanical filtration etc?
I currently have 20kg of 1-2mm coral sand in the display, this was transferred directly over from my old tank. It's a bit thin in some areas so will add some more sand at a later date.

There is about 30kg of live rock in the display. Other filtration is a filter sock and a skimmer in the sump.

6) Do you have a skimmer? If so, what?
I'm running a KZ Revolution S.

7) Water flow/movement (power heads etc)?
A single Jebao WP40

8) Lighting, type and times?
A Dalua 120cm Blaze S.
A ramp up, full power, ramp down and moonlight cycle of around 13 hours.

9) Other equipment such as auto top-off, Ca reactor etc?
Fish street auto top up unit.

10) Water parameter targets?

11) Additives and conditioners (kalk, phosphate removers etc.)
None at the moment, but will revisit my maintenance regime as the tank becomes more stable.

12) Fish stock
2 x Occellaris Clownfish,
1 x Coral Goby,
1 x Bi colour Blenny,
1 x Kole Tang,
1 x Purple Tang,

13) Coral stock.
Most of my coral is grown from frags and consists mainly of the stock moved from my old tank:
- A variety of LPS: Hammers, frogspawn, torches, Scolly, Blasto.
- A variety of SPS: Birdsnest, Montipora, Acropora, Millepora, Pocillopora

14) Other Inverts.
1 x G. Smithi Mantis living in the sump
1 x Banded coral shrimp in the display
1x trochus snail
1 x strombus snail
5 x naccarius snails
Turbo snails

15) Maintenance such as water changes, cleaning etc?
- I currently perform ~40L weekly water changes - Still trying to streamline this as it's taking a lot longer than it should due to the location of the tank.
- Glass cleaning is about once a month as I have very little algae growing on the glass

16) Acknowledgements, thank-you's and any other comments you would like to make that don't apply elsewhere.
Huge thanks to all the people who have helped me with setting up this tank:
- Cody for assisting me plan the tank and also all his other help along the way.
- Greg (Meller), Vicky (babyreefer), Rodneyri, Dave (bubbleboy), Mitchvon, Danestead and a heap of others who I asked about things through PM.
- Mat (GRK-351) for help with parts and Lukebrown for the macroalgae
- Morgan1985 for the awesome cabinet he built
- AlfD for his generosity when I first started two years ago :thumbsup:
Cols Tank Journal
Cols 4x2.5x2.5
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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby kit » Tue 11 Feb, 2014 12:45 am

Wow! What an honour!
:thumbsup: :) :-D :shock: :alien:
Huge thanks to the TOTF organisers and all those who have helped me with this build!

There are a heap of really impressive tanks on this forum and hopefully one day mine can be even half as nice as some of them!
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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby Alf D » Tue 11 Feb, 2014 7:44 am

Congratulations Chris, well deserved.
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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby chromus » Tue 11 Feb, 2014 1:12 pm

Congrats Chris, there was a few tanks to pick from in the voting this time, all of very high standards, your consistent thorough updates set yours apart.
Did you search RTAW Reefpedia B4 asking your question?

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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby Lukebrown » Tue 11 Feb, 2014 4:23 pm

Yay well done, much deserved :-)
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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby Rod the Reefer » Tue 11 Feb, 2014 4:57 pm

Well done Chris, much deserved. :clap:

Rod. :thumbsup:
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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby some_one » Tue 11 Feb, 2014 8:53 pm

Well deserved :clap:

will be following its progress to see how the tank develops
My 850L SPS Tank Journal -TOTM October 2013, TOTY R/UP 2013

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Re: ToTF January 2014

Postby Thommo01 » Wed 12 Feb, 2014 10:33 am

Well done Kit. A stellar tank off to a great start.
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