RACINJASON - JASON'S BEAUTIFUL SPS DOMINANTED 50g CAD LIGHTS AQUARIUM
First and foremost I am very honored to have my tank
featured, thank you to Mike and everyone at SCR/PR. I have been keeping aquariums since I was 12,
starting with a planted freshwater tank.
I started my first reef tank at age 17, it was a 100g tank with an under-gravel
filter and no sump…enough said. Over the
last 16 years I have had multiple tanks of different sizes and inhabitants
ranging from mixed reef, to macro algae and sea horse, to full SPS.
I set this tank up in February of 2012, it is a 50g CAD
Lights aquarium with low iron glass.
Having faced every nuisance algae and pest over the years, I decided I
was going to be patient and do everything I could to avoid these issues. I built the rock structure out of Coralife
dry rock and Marco Cement. For about a
month I seeded it with bacteria in a Rubbermaid container before moving it to
the tank. Between this and using dry
crushed coral for the substrate I was able to ensure no nuisance algae,
aptasia, or pests of any kind. For
inhabitants I gathered frags from various reefers and dipped everything before
placing in the tank. Setting up the tank
this way was a lesson in patience, it was several months before any coralline
grew and over a year before the frags encrusted and got big enough to
enjoy. I remember almost daily, my
coworkers would come in and ask questions, trying to politely find out why my
tank was so empty and when I was going to add some color. They looked at me
like I had bugs coming out of my ears when I told them that the little sticks
would turn into big colorful bushes!
KEEP IT SIMPLE! I am
a huge believer in this, stability is the key.
I don’t run carbon, GFO, bio-pellets, Zeo or any other additives, I
simply make sure my skimmer is in good working order and I am religious about
weekly water changes. One important
aspect that I think is overlooked by some reefers is to make sure the
parameters of the water change water matches the water in your aquarium. Many people think they are doing good for
their system simply by adding new water, and often times parameters are close
enough that it doesn’t matter and people get away with it. However, there are many times this is not the
case, for example; I’ve used various types
of salt mixes and have seen alkalinity range from 6 to 13dkh . So if you keep your tank at 7dkh and you do a
decent size water change with 13dkh change water you are causing a big enough
alk swing to cause some adverse affects.
For that and many other similar reasons I check temp, salinity, alk and
ph of my change water every time. Even
though I’ve been using the same salt for 2 years I still test alk and ph
because you never know when a manufacturer could change something with a
batch. I wish I had something more profound
to contribute here but that’s really it, I just check parameters a lot, monitor
the coral often and keep things simple and stable.
The tank gets weekly 20% water changes and as I mentioned,
the change water always has the same parameters as my tank water. I supplement calcium and alkalinity via a
dual chamber calcium reactor and a Kalk reactor that is plumbed in with my
ATO. I use very small amounts of kalk
because I have nightmares about ATO malfunction and kalk overdose, the only
reason I even have it in the system at all is to keep PH up in the tank. The calcium reactor works well but is very
small, now that the tank is grown out I have to fill the reactor up with new
media every few weeks, otherwise the effluent doesn’t saturate enough. I see a noticeable drop in alk if I let the
reactor chamber get down to half full or less.
Every 6 months or so I pull the whole sump out, rinse it and give the
skimmer and return pump a good cleaning.
Tank = 50g Cad Lights 24x24x20
Sump= 12g Cad Lights with 10g ATO reservoir
Skimmer= SRO 1000 Internal
Calcium Reactor= Aquamaxx nano with DIY second chamber
Kalk Reactor= Tunze
Lighting = Ecotech Marine Radion Gen 1 with TIR lenses, 2
Kessil 150 14k
Flow = Tunze 6095 x 2
Lighting Schedule= On at 9:00am, off at 5:30pm …100%
intensity while on, Radion set at 14k
Temp 77.5 +- .3
Alk 7-8 dkh
I don’t test for any other parameters, I have found that the
above mentioned (with the exception of magnesium) have the biggest affect on
the health of the aquarium.