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Old 12-29-2016, 12:02 AM
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Myka Myka is offline
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Default 2017 Winter Featured Tank - ReeferFulton!


Congratulations to Jon and Naomi for achieving TOTQ! Check out their beautiful 145-gallon custom reef aquarium!




Tell us about your aquarium keeping history/how you got to this level of reef keeping/what or who got you into reef keeping?


Well, the adventure into reef keeping began in Calgary about 7 years ago. After having freshwater tanks most of my life my wife and I saw a complete, running Bio-Cube setup for sale. All it had in it was a little Frogspawn and a Clownfish, but that was all it took to get us hooked. We ran that tank for about 1 year before selling it and moving to Victoria.
For the first year in Victoria we went without a tank, but the urge was there the whole time. Finally we caved in and went for a used 110-gallon cube setup. Well what we learned really quickly was that the tank is usually the cheapest part of the whole system, haha! I sold my motorcycle and started investing in some high end reef gear. I met some very knowledgeable reefers in Victoria who passed along advice and cheap frags. Even after this, something just wasn’t right in my tank - I had decent growth but the colour was definitely lacking. I tried all sorts of remedies unsuccessfully and I became discouraged after such an investment.
After one year I was near pulling the plug on the hobby when a great deal came up on a used tank built by Concept Aquariums that was a perfect size for my house. I snatched up that tank and began a complete redo of everything reef tank related. That tank went live in March of 2014 and my goal was to keep the maintenance simple and easy. With the lessons I learned on my first big tank the new tank was designed with a very large stand - you can never have too much room under your tank! Right from the start of this new tank we were much happier - the layout of the rock work and the ease of maintenance made a world of difference. Our corals looked much happier and colored up over the first few months.




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Tank
145-gallon Concept Aquariums euro-braced Starphire 48 x 28 x 25” with rear (near) coast to coast overflow.
Simple Herbie-style plumbing with a gate valve to control flow.


Equipment list
2 Ebo-Jager heaters
Eheim 1262 return pump set at wide open
4 Jebo powerheads
GEO 612 Calcium reactor fed via return pump plumbing
Apex system including auto-feeder.


I incorporated a 46-gallon tank under the stand to serve as a top off tank and water change tank. The RO/DI unit feeds directly into this tank, so no more hauling 5-gallon buckets around. On the other end of the stand are all my electronic type items which I tried to keep away from the moisture as much as possible.


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What do you use for "big three" dosing? How much per day? Which salt mix?
I have used Instant Ocean salt since day one. I supplement a little calcium into each water change batch to make up for the low calcium in the salt mix. “Big 3” are maintained via the Geo calcium reactor using TLF brand reactor media.


Lighting details, photo-period, bulbs used
Tank is setup with 2 GHL Mitras LED fixtures running blue and UV LEDs at 100%, and white LEDs at 50% for a 7 hour photo-period. In additon to the LEDs, I am running 6 SunBlaster T5 fixtures using ATI bulbs Blue Plus, Purple Plus, Coral Plus, and Actinic. The T5s also run for 7hrs duration.


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Tank parameters including the brand of test kit for each test (how often tested)
I use Salifert test kits. I keep my testing very simple. I test for alkalinity at least once per week. I check calcium levels maybe once a month. Each water change batch is checked with a Vertex refractometer. I look for the alklainity to be in the 8-10 dKH range. If its outside that range, I monitor more often and make adjustments as needed.


Methodology (carbon dosing, brand method like Zeovit, plenum, DSB, additives such as AcroPower amino acids, etc). If following a brand method, what do you dose, how often/much? Biopellets - how much? Amino acids, which brand, how much?
My method is keep it simple. I dose Lugol’s Solution at 2 drops daily and for the past 6 months have been dosing 1 tsp of Vitamin C powder daily. To my water change water I add 2 tbsp of Brightwell’s Potassion-P powder. I’m trying my best to stay away from too many additives. I like to try one at a time for at least 6 months before saying whether or not there have been improvements.

Maintenance habits like water changes (how much how often?), changing of medias like carbon, phosphate media (brands, how much, how often?), cleaning of skimmer cup/pumps/filter pads or socks, etc.
For the first year the tank ran I did a 30% water change each week. I was having algae issues and overcame this via water changes. After that I have religiously done 40-gallon water changes every two weeks. The skimmer cup is cleaned at least once every week. Carbon is sitting in a bag in the sump and is changed around three times per year. Pumps and equipment are cleaned in vinegar twice per year. Each water change is done via siphoning out from the display into the kitchen sink. Then the new saltwater is pumped directly into the sump from the water change tank. The sump bottom is cleaned each water change day. I change RO/DI prefilters and carbon filters twice per year and the membrane once a year. DI resin is changed when most of the blue color has come out.

Tank inhabitants (corals & fish) ...any interesting stories about critters?
Sailfin Tang
Yellow Tang
Clownfish
Potter’s Wrasse
Yellow Coris Wrasse
Ruby Head Fairy Wrasse
Cleaner Wrasse
Lubbock’s Fairy Wrasse
Dusky Wrasse


Well, interesting and funny stories... I have a bad habit of accidentally dropping my wrasse on the floor when first putting them into my tank. I dropped the Potter’s Wrasse and also my Flame Wrasse a few years back.
Also one time I saw my Cleaner Wrasse and it looked like he turned all brown. I thought he was stuck in the rock work and was dying. So I grabbed a screw driver and quickly busted the rock apart to free the wrasse …it turns out he likes to sleep in those little holes in the rock! Either way I felt like I had saved him!


- - - -

What's the secret to your success?
Keep it simple and only try one suggestion at a time.


What do think hinders people from success?
I think trying to take everyone’s advise all at once is the biggest obstacle. A lot of people get caught up in trying to find a quick fix for their tank.


What's the biggest mistake you ever made, or learning experience?
The biggest thing I learned starting the first tank was that it is important to have a system that is simple to maintain and easy to do water changes on. I am lazy and would have given up a long time ago if this new tank was difficult to maintain. Design a water change method that is effective and easy to stick to.


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Do you dive? Which reefs have you seen?
No.
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Last edited by Myka; 01-28-2017 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:04 PM
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Congrats! Beautiful tank!
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Old 02-04-2017, 03:52 PM
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Congratulations
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:31 PM
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Congratulations! Potter's looks stunning.
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:52 PM
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Congrats!
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:06 PM
OscarMeyer OscarMeyer is offline
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Beautiful tank!
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:06 PM
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Looking great Jon and Naomi! Coral colours are looking awesome, keep it up!
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:57 PM
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Congrats and awesome tank!
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:39 PM
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Congrats, Jon! Well deserved!
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:51 PM
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thanks everyone for the congrats , could not have done it without this forum and the friends ive made .. thanks again
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