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ToTM June 2015

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ToTM June 2015

Postby Kransky » Thu 16 Jul, 2015 11:33 pm

The winner of the June 2015 TOTM competition is:

sparker with his amazing Mixed reef tank !

Prizes kindly donated by:

Aquablue Distribution


Sam has won:

Ocean Nutrition Foods Prize Pack


You can find out more about this tank in Sams Tank Journal

1) How long have you been in the hobby?
A staggering 2 years now! Time flies, still so much to learn though

2a) What size is your winning tank, dimensions and litres?
Tank is 6x2.5x2 = 850litres

2b) Any reasons for that size tank?
Fitted the space I had for the tank at the time well and was big enough to hold some decent sized fish (coming from a red sea max 130, that was a primary aim)

2c) How long has this tank been setup?
18 months now

3a) What is your goal for this tank?
This tank is still a learning exercise, I have plans for to go to a fairly large setup next, but want to learn as much as I can about the basics, the advanced, the equipment and of course various livestock before going all out. Of course, there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained from others in the hobby and sites like this are pure gold in sourcing local information.

3b) Have you researched anything specifically to reach this goal?
With this tank I am constantly trying to get the tank to run itself. Obviously I don’t want to sit back and do nothing (I’ll still double check everything is working as it should), but the aim is to have the tank in a position where it can be left unattended for a weekend or even a week or two with no input from humans required. Not sure if I would trust that completely just yet, but thankfully I have a few friends that would be willing to drop by and check on things for me if I did need to be away from it for any reason.

3c) Biggest lesson you've learnt whilst planning/setting up this tank?
Manual water changes are a joke.. Seriously, my back thanks me everyday I stopped that! But seriously, probably to prepare yourself for the highs and the lows. It is inevitable that something will get to you about your tank. Just gotta ride the rollercoaster and get through the rough patches.

3d) Any tips you'd like to pass on for others to learn from?
Think of things you like LEAST about maintaining your tank and brainstorm ideas of ways to make that automated or at least easier. You’d be surprised at what can be achieved. This will only scale up as the bug bites and your tanks get bigger and bigger.

4) Do you have a sump and/or refugium? If so, what size?
I have a racetrack style sump that is 3x2x1.5 feet in size. It is jam packed with gear now! I used to have a refugium, but in the quest for more space for equipment – I moved to a santa monica turf scrubber which is working well

5) Filtration eg. amount of live rock, sand bed or bare bottom, mechanical filtration etc?
I have about 80kg of live rock, sand bottom. I also run filter socks.

6) Do you have a skimmer? If so, what?
Currently run a RLSS R8i with avast neck cleaner and direct plumbing to the drain, but am looking at what I could upgrade with. Have purchased a used RE/Vertex to run for a bit to test the waters before making a big purchase (plus Im trying to hold off till I upgrade tank, but that is seeming to be a good 3-4 years off yet)

7) Water flow/movement (power heads etc)?
I seem to keep adding pumps to the display and turning the speed down. I like the idea of more chaotic angles of flow rather than one or two pumps sending a huge jet down the middle of the tank. Currently have 2 Tunze 6105’s, 2 Tunze 6055’s and 2 Vortech Mp40’s

8) Lighting, type and times?
Lighting is another one that I have started to play with a bit. Originally had 4 GHL Mitras over the tank, I added 8x80w T5 tubes for a mid-day blast of light for a few hours, recently removed one mitras and the T5’s to experiment with a mid-day blast from a couple of 250w metal halides. Have to admit I am totally inspired by local reefer and DIY extraordinaire, Tim who has the most awesome LED/T5/Halide DIY light I have ever seen.

9) Other equipment such as auto top-off, Ca reactor etc?
Skimmer, GFO and Carbon reactors, nitrate reactor, ozone generators, C02 scrubber, cal reactor, turf scrubber, ATO and dose a tiny amount of each: strontium/potassium, mag, alk, iodine, and whatever else is taking my fancy or testing low at the time. I dose mag as my tank consumes a heap of it, dose a little alk as my nitrate reactor brings the cal reactor just off balance and the others to keep levels where I want them. (like I said, it is a very busy sump!)

10) Water parameter targets?
I wouldn't say I target the following, but more just try to keep things consistent:
SG: 1.025
Temp: 25.6
Alk: 180ppm
Cal: 420ppm
Magnesium: 1250ppm
Phosphate: 0.05ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 2-5ppm
PH: 8.1

11) Additives and conditioners (kalk, phosphate removers etc.)
Mentioned above in the other equipment section 

12) Fish stock
2x Picasso clowns
2x Banggai cardinals
6x Lyretail Anthias (1 male, 5 females)
4x Blue/green Chromis
4x Great Barrier Reef Chromis
7x Glass Cardinals
1x Foxface
1x Indian Blenny
1x Candy Yellow Hogfish
1x Purple Tang
1x Lipstick Blonde Tang
1x Kole Tang
1x Flame Hawkfish
1x Tigerpyge Angelfish (Lemon peel X Eibli Hybrid)
1x Femininus Wrasse
That’s a lot of fish….. LOL

13) Coral stock.
Mixed LPS/SPS. Getting more and more SPS after losing a little interest after suffering a big loss to brown jelly and having something eat all of my scollies… Got an amazing St. Thomas morph which to be honest, is probably my showpiece!

14) Other Inverts.
A couple of maxima clams, have had BTA’s and a carpet, but currently anemone free. A bunch of snails, stars, worms etc. that everyone has 

15) Maintenance such as water changes, cleaning etc?
Water changes are managed through my litremetre 3 setup which pumps a small amount 144 times a day from my IBC’s, to my main tank, then from my main tank to my red sea max 130, then from my rsm130 to the drain. Probably the single best thing I have done (and I had a fairly hassle free remote control water change setup before!).
As for other maintenance, I change filter socks and clean the glass every 3-4 days, top up dosing containers every few months, clean skimmer and sump out about every 6 months (probably should do this more often). I do a quick test of parameters usually each week and do a full extended test of everything every month or two.

16) Acknowledgements, thank-you's and any other comments you would like to make that don't apply elsewhere.
Lots of people to thank, I’ll try to keep it just to the main ones though. First and foremost, Dave at DeerPark Aquarium is single-handedly the best resource about all things reefing I know of. The guy is super knowledgeable and always willing to help out. Wouldn't have gotten ¼ of this far without his help over the years. A big shout out to my mate Aaron who puts up with me chatting reefing pretty much every day with him. We bounce ideas of each other and continually challenge each other to push for that next level, cheers mate. A big shout out to some massive inspirations for me also, Rod the Reefer and Ken McDonald. I easily lose a day or two every few months reading through their journals, so thank you! And lastly, a massive thanks to my wife who not only allows me to spend so much time and money in the hobby – but actually encourages me to do so! Even caught her bragging to a work colleague about our tank the other day which was a cool feeling.

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Re: ToTM June 2015

Postby coral1 » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 8:58 am

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: ToTM June 2015

Postby Rod the Reefer » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 3:26 pm

Woo Hoo, well deserved.

Rod. :thumbsup:
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Re: ToTM June 2015

Postby CT_Reefer » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 4:30 pm

Really like your tank Sam.
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Re: ToTM June 2015

Postby terbit » Fri 17 Jul, 2015 8:33 pm

Congrats Sam
Great looking tank well deserved win :thumbsup:
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