6 Foot Marine Tank (Update 3/2/09)

NicholasC
NicholasC Member Posts: 355
edited October 2009 in Marine / Saltwater Fish
6 Foot Marine Tank Journal By: Nicholas C

Introduction: Some of you may have seen my 6 foot tank with the 45cm barramundi within it, recently he passed away due to unknow reasons and I was there left with a decent sized tank. I contemplated plecos, discus or cichlids but my fascination for marine tanks couldnt be avoided. Over the past week I have been scrubbing, pressure cleaning, hacking away at the tank stand, buying substrate and ordering in fish/coral for the tank. Just got the photos off the SLR so ill post up my journal.

Tank: 72x14x20 (280+ liters)

Lighting: 2x 4 foot fluro, 1x soft daylight, 1x actinic (will be replaced by T5's eventually)

Filtration: 100+ liter custom made acrylic 3 section acrylic sump, 2000LPH pump for protein skimmer and 3000LPH pump for return.

Heating: 300W Aqua one heater

Substrate: 50kgs Limesand, 15kgs Live sand (from old marine tank)

The Plan: The plan is a reef tank combined with both fish and corals, fish such as clownfish, tangs, blennies, gobbies etc. All of which will be reef friendly.

The Pictures:

The tank drained and in need of a clean
MarineTank001.jpg

The old sump, very thin and basic design
MarineTank002.jpg

A nice clean tank, after a pressure clean.
MarineTank004.jpg

The Sump:

The pipe will flow through the first section at the right of the sump. It then flows through the crenelations into the refugium.
MarineTank006.jpg

The refugium then skims the water from the surface into a wetdry filter before folowing into the pumps.
MarineTank008.jpg

Cleaning the substrate (note the painted background):
RIMG0066.jpg

Sump completed, including fittings:
RIMG0067.jpg

Sump light mounted above refugium .
RIMG0069.jpg

After a few days wait, I ordered from Tucunare 600L worth of salt mix, the actinic tube and a handy magnet. This is the current tank status taken minutes ago:

MarineTank009.jpg

Refugium:
MarineTank010.jpg

Protein, wetdry and return pumps:
MarineTank011.jpg

The overflow box:
MarineTank012.jpg

Hope you all like it, ill get some more pictures when i re-rock it. The rock in there is just put in so it doesnt fade away. Should get some limestone soon to use as a base (live rock is just too expensive to fill a 6 footer).

Nic

Comments

  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Sorry bout your Barra <!-- s:sad: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":sad:" title="Sad" /><!-- s:sad: --> <!-- s:cry: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cry.gif" alt=":cry:" title="Crying or Very sad" /><!-- s:cry: -->
    Whoa! That looks complicated..
    Dunno if I could tackle a setup like that <!-- s:drool1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/droool.gif" alt=":drool1:" title="drool1" /><!-- s:drool1: -->
    But I am sure you will have it looking stunning in no time with more rock & fish... <!-- s:thumbright: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumright.gif" alt=":thumbright:" title="thumbright" /><!-- s:thumbright: --> <!-- s:thumbleft: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumleft.gif" alt=":thumbleft:" title="thumbleft" /><!-- s:thumbleft: -->
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • Harlan
    Harlan Member Posts: 403
    thats sweet accept i wouldn't have that aqua one heater theyre crap ive got one on my 200L it keeps the temp within 3 degres of what i set it too so thats not very good im thinking about getting a jager heater soon
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Looks good so far. My liverock for my 4ft cost something like $300 and it is just the two islands, couldn't imagine what a rock wall of live rock would cost..

    Are you gona put caulerpa in the fuge at all?

    Moo,

    Not really complicated at all. You see it in front of you and its pretty easy to do the plumbing and stuff.
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    The plan is to do two slopes cascading down and the middle an open seabed. I can get live rock cheaper but its still expensive stuff. I'll keep you all posted.

    Nic
  • Melon
    Melon Member Posts: 127
    Wow thats gonna be a really awesome tank when its running!
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    Yeah takes alot our of you, ringing around town trying to find the best places. I find it best to cycle with a few like clowns or damsels then when you get the $$$ just buy them all in one hit. It might be a bit harder for some to get all the money as they are expensive but it saves you loosing a few due to territory disputes and prevents your tanks from getting disease from new fish.

    Another thing for the new or starting marine keepers, try to buy from one source or LFS. Some stores may get from Qld, up North or all over the place and many diseases shop A might be ammune to can affect shop B's stock simply because they get from another location.

    As said before i'll keep you all posted on my next move <!-- s:mrgreen: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mrgreen.gif" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green" /><!-- s:mrgreen: -->

    Nic
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Shouldn't put fish in while your cycling.. best off waiting at least a month from when live rock goes in to when a fish goes in at least. Theres enough die off on the rocks to cycle so theres no need for fish at all.
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    The rock was pre established within my old marine tank and just moved. The water and protein levels will be much better in the new tank so nothing will die off from the rock but rather new things grow.

    If you buy premium liverock that has been in quarentine (at your LFS or supplier) for a few weeks to a month then the bacteria present within it will easily convert the ammonia present by a few fish.

    Also fish are a great way to cycle a tank, if you are using premium live rock then the die will be minimal. You will then require a source of ammonia ie fish waste.

    Nic
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    I disagree. I only use premium LR from my LFS and theres still an ammonia / nitrate reading through the cycle, although oddly with both my tanks never saw a Nitrite level at all.

    Second point being that you shouldn't even add a CUC until your levels are all 0 for at least a week. Suppose its easier to get away with it in a big tank, but nanos definately not. This point is more for the nano users on here..
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    Yeah i agree with you 100% about nanos, if you wash you hands with soap and stick them in a nano expect to loose a fish <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->

    My opinion/experience of LFS, what they say is premium is more likley to be moderate grade. The true premium stuff should have a beautiful red/pink corraline growth nealy covering it and even contain a few zoathids or morphs. I order my liverock from a specialist where he knows the look of my tank, how i want it and chooses the best pieces.

    I find that sufficiently matured live rock of a high grade (normally achieved by submerged transport) can cycle a tank within 4-7 days. After which caution should still be shown for high stocking levels.

    Nic
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Yeah pretty agreed on your last post.. but still i put a fish in my 2ft after 3 weeks, and for the next like 4 months i kept losing fish and yet my parameters were 100% spot on. No idea whatsoever what happened.. but then i left it for 2 months and still did regular water changes and put in a pygmy angel and it got white spot and velvet.. and i cured both and now hes in my 4ft doing awesome so far.

    With the 4ft i wassn't planning on putting a fish in for 2 months, but i really never liked the look of my 2ft and i was moving corals over 2 - 3 at a time, perhaps every 6 days to let it get used to the added bioload, and seeing as my tank cycled at 2 weeks i had all my corals in by week 4 (I'm in week 5 now) and on the last day of week 4 i put my pygmy angel into the four foot. I will probably leave it for another two weeks before i put a few chromis in though.

    My opinion is still the same.. patience is the key to marine tanks.. and regardless of if the tank cycles in 4 days or 4 weeks.. i wouldn't recommend putting fish in until at least the start of the 5th week like i've done. Provided the waters good, corals are fine. I cycled with some Torch frags that i didn't care about if they died or not during the cycle.. and their still there kickin now.. But what a lot of people don't know is that corals do prefer a tiny bit of nitrate as opposed to none, so cycling with a coral in isn't such a bad deal. Although fish.. no no.
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    UPDATE:

    After rocking the tank to create a good base, which i can later add to i decided to get some fish.

    Added yesterday 1x yellowtail damsel, 1x neon damsel, 3x Green chromis and 3x red chromis (they where sold as chromis but are yet to be identified, I have seen them before just need to remember where <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Happy" /><!-- s:biggrin: --> ).

    The school (note the neon damsel stays within his territory but swims out to meet the school):
    MarineTank025.jpg

    The green chromis:
    MarineTank022.jpg

    Neon Damsel:
    MarineTank013.jpg

    The red chromis? (needs identification)
    MarineTank017.jpg

    Yellow Tail damsel
    MarineTank018.jpg

    Hope you all enjoy.

    Nic
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    The "Red Chromis" is an Anthias, i think their called a Painted Anthias or something.. at least at my LFS. Pretty pricey last i saw as well.

    As for the Damsels, the "Neon Damsel" is actually the Yellow Tail Damsel, the greyish one i think is an Alleni Damsel, which i've just put my name down for some but 50/50 on em..
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    The Yellow-tail demoiselle is Neopomacentrus azysron while the Neon Damsel is Pomacentrus coelestis but many hobbyists call this the yellow tail damsel its a mixed mistake. The true yellow tail is... both lol but just to distinguish i call the Neopomacentrus yellow tail and the other neon as its blue neon colour is what makes it stand out.

    Your right about the Anthias, the term "painted Anthias" is just a term used by LFS to distinguish fish. The species is Nemanthias carberryi http://www.saltcorner.com/sections/zoo/fish/anthias/nemanthias/Ncarberryi.htm and i was sold them as damsel <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> Shows the true knowledge of some pet stores. <!-- s:wink: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=":wink:" title="Wink" /><!-- s:wink: -->

    Nic
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    That grey / yellow one looks like what i was lookin at today..

    I got a female square block anthias today <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    Another update:

    I got the Anthia feeding properly, they go mad for frozen brineshrimp have taken 1 1/2 cubes (all tank inhabitants) so far today. I will need to get a brine shrimp hatchery up and running quick. The Anthia's have a high metabolism and must be fed 3 times a day in order to sustain their bodies properly, but they seem to only feed on live food or frozen expensive stuff <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
    Got 3 new additions, another yellow-tail damsel and a pair of occelaris clownfish. They are really livley and have such great colours under the actinic (blue) fluros. They seem to eye me off either sizing me up or they have already gained knowledge that i feed them <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> <!-- s:mrgreen: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mrgreen.gif" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green" /><!-- s:mrgreen: -->

    MarineTank028.jpg

    MarineTank026.jpg

    MarineTank030.jpg

    Sorry about all the pics but they are a really beautiful fish, the colours are just amazing up-close.

    Nic
  • SilverCichlid
    SilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    <!-- s:nemo: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_nemo.gif" alt=":nemo:" title="nemo" /><!-- s:nemo: --> <!-- s:nemo: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_nemo.gif" alt=":nemo:" title="nemo" /><!-- s:nemo: --> <!-- s:nemo: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_nemo.gif" alt=":nemo:" title="nemo" /><!-- s:nemo: --> Awesome Nemo's Nic! <!-- s:drool1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/droool.gif" alt=":drool1:" title="drool1" /><!-- s:drool1: --> Beauuuutiful
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Did you know Clownfish are also a type of Damsel?
  • Harlan
    Harlan Member Posts: 403
  • 321clayt
    321clayt Member Posts: 766
    When I had a marine tank set up I put a small amount of brine shrimp eggs straight into the water and they hatched fine fish loved them. Dont put to much in though I had a 6ft set up and first time round put a tea spoon full in couple of days later the tank was full of shrimp took the fish ages to eat them all lol.
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    Update:

    Got some pics of the coral banded shrimp, goniapora and the new rockscape.

    MarineTank040.jpg

    Tank Left:
    MarineTank038.jpg

    Tank Right:
    MarineTank039.jpg

    Goniapora:
    MarineTank034.jpg

    Coral Banded Shrimp:
    MarineTank036.jpg

    Nic
  • Harlan
    Harlan Member Posts: 403
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Amazing tank Nic...nice job..Thanks for sharing it with us.
    Just love nemo, but who doesn't, Oh and your shrimp is gorgeous
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • SilverCichlid
    SilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    Loooooove that shrimp! <!-- s:drool2: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/drool.gif" alt=":drool2:" title="drool2" /><!-- s:drool2: -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Nice Nic,

    Watch out for that Goni though.. i'd be surprised if its still alive in 6 months time. For some reason.. our tanks don't have quite what Goniopora need so they don't generally live longer than 6 months.. but i think theres a few guys in the states who are researching them at the moment.
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    Ive seen them last around 1 year, but a lot of the best coral doesnt last too long.

    Nic
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Im pretty sure that a guy called David Saxby in the states has a Goniopora in his tank (amongst about 200 more different types lol)

    You can watch his INCREDABLE tank on youtube. The video is nine minutes long!! Thats how many creatures hes got.
    <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OLRubZGWXiY">http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OLRubZGWXiY</a><!-- m -->

    You tank is getting pretty cool too by the way. <!-- s:thumbright: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumright.gif" alt=":thumbright:" title="thumbright" /><!-- s:thumbright: -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Myself and a mate both have the same kind, not the same as Nics though.. and they both after about 6 or so months started losing polyps. Mines lost 2 so far i think, and Zacks doesn't have very many left if any at all as far as i can remember.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Hey nic,

    Hows your Goni going?

    And hows your tank going? Updates <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->

    <!-- s:dance5: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/DancingMonster.gif" alt=":dance5:" title="dance5" /><!-- s:dance5: -->
  • sthn75
    sthn75 Moderator Posts: 3,487
    Gosh!!!! I just really really dislike pics of marine tanks & marine fish!!!!! Makes me soooo want one <!-- s:laugh1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/rofl.gif" alt=":laugh1:" title="laugh1" /><!-- s:laugh1: --> <!-- s:laugh1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/rofl.gif" alt=":laugh1:" title="laugh1" /><!-- s:laugh1: --> <!-- s:laugh1: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/rofl.gif" alt=":laugh1:" title="laugh1" /><!-- s:laugh1: -->

    Your tank is looking great Nic & the fish are simply gorgeous.

    My new good lfs has recently just started stocking marine fish & I <!-- s:drool2: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/drool.gif" alt=":drool2:" title="drool2" /><!-- s:drool2: --> <!-- s:drool2: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/drool.gif" alt=":drool2:" title="drool2" /><!-- s:drool2: --> <!-- s:drool2: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/drool.gif" alt=":drool2:" title="drool2" /><!-- s:drool2: --> <!-- s:drool2: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/drool.gif" alt=":drool2:" title="drool2" /><!-- s:drool2: --> <!-- s:drool2: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/drool.gif" alt=":drool2:" title="drool2" /><!-- s:drool2: --> everytime I go in there
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    I keep going back to that Video of David Saxby's Reef Aquarium..
    It hypnotizes me everytime..<!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • pepsi111
    pepsi111 Member Posts: 359
    thats kool im looking ford to more pics