The Angled Tank

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

The Angled tank was in the foyer.

 

My 20g angled tank ran for nearly three years, and everyone loved the sloped front panel.  It was taken down when the construction for the 400g remodel commenced.

The angled tank was created as a fun tank to see when you first enter my home.  Here's a series of dated events.  I may edit this page later to make it a little more concise, but for now...

7/19/2007: It's been a while since I've had a cute tank, so last December I decided to build a new one. Once it was done, it sat and waited for me to continue with the project, while I spent my time trying to figure out what I wanted to do.

It is 24" wide, 16" tall, and 12" deep. The front angle was the trickiest part, because I wanted to build it with to glued pieces instead of a heated bend. I remember wishing I'd remembered math class better to get the angle, instead of the guesswork method I employed with paper and pencil.

I saw a similar tank on reefvideos.com, which was my primary motivation.

Wanting a tank in the foyer of my home,it had to be tied into the main reef as well. That way I don't need any more equipment nor worry about parameters as both tanks will remain stable.

I ordered some 3/8" acrylic and used some 1/4" as well just because this isn't a huge tank. I've not verified this yet, but it appears to hold about 20g based on some math and some guessing.

Its dimensions are 24" long, 16" deep, and 18" tall. I made the front panel 6" tall before it slopes back. The top opening is 6.5" wide - I wanted it wider, but as I planned and glued it, I didn't remember to take into account the thickness of the acrylic.

The front angled panel needed to be heated and bent or cut. I decided to go with the cut thinking it would be more accurate. After more sketching and real-life layout, I decided the cut had to be 38 degrees. I made the cut on my tablesaw on the bottom edge as well as the top. I got it pretty darn close.

When gluing, I knew that front seam would be a pain and I was right. It looked like all was going well using the pin method, but when I removed the pins some Weld-On ran down the interior front panel. ARGH.

Plowing forward, I just finished gluing everything, and then decided to try out a scratch removal kit that I had on hand. Amazingly, it did a pretty decent job. It isn't perfect and is just a hair hazy, but it's clear and that's good enough for me.

I wanted the stand to be stone and metal. I found the legs at Ikea for $5 each, and the stone is the sink cut-out from a marble countertop. Perfect!

I drilled the holes in the tank, which I have to say was the biggest hurdle for me for some time. I just couldn't make up my mind how I wanted to drain the water from the tank, but I decided to just git 'er dun.

I painted the PVC black with Krylon Fusion spray paint. It's safe to use.

 

First the wall was drilled where the bulkheads plumbed through. Spaflex travels through a closet to the fishroom. I'll fill the gap around the plumbing with Great Stuff later to keep humidity from seeping into the closet and home.

I decided to use a Mag 7 instead of a Mag 9.5. Ater hooking it up, I may even change it down to a Mag 5.

 

The water drains to the skimmer section of my sump via spaflex.

The painted plumbing was dry and ready for the install.

And the sand was added next.

Here is a close up of the drain pipe. I saw a similar idea recently thanks to Lukinrats, and decided to give it a try with this tank. The drain has a black gutter to act as a surface overflow, and the locline hops over it currently.

After plugging in the Mag 7 to one of the new GFCI-protected waterproof outlets (that was nice to have handy), I turned on #6 on the DJ powerstation. Next I opened the ballvalve slightly.

I had to add another 20g of saltwater to my sump as well.

Here you can see the water coming out of the anti-siphon hole.

Water was added to the tank in a vase standing on a plastic bag to keep the sand from being disturbed.

I totally forgot to add the Durso on the other side of the wall, but that was corrected easily enough.

 

I got the in-line Durso installed, and then got it running. The Mag 7 is more than enough flow. Really it is too much. The drain line is probably 11 feet long and the end is not submerged and still it doesn't drain steadily. Then again, it is brand new plumbing so it probably will slime over in the next week or so.

I found three pieces of LR in my cooking vat that will work in the new tank.

The next day I put in the Houston Black Onyx Percs I got in January, the Rose BTA I got last Thursday, some corals, and a Purple firefish.

While thinking about the lighting situation, I rigged it for now. The Aqua Medic 150w DE fixture is balanced on the metal reflectors that come with it.

 

So here are the final pictures of the tank as of today.

I found the Purple Firefish finally.

The clowns haven't discovered the Rose BTA yet.

Some ricordia

Some zoanthids, including the obligatory Mean Greens.

Some acans

And the mini Carpet anemones I brought home from New York.

 

7/23/2007

 

Another shot of the Rose. Today it moved down the rockwork and stretched out (no bubbles).

I added some Nerite snails from my collection trip to Port Aransas.

I put the Pipefish in this tank and ran to get my camera. As soon as I got back, I saw one of the Mini Carpet Anemones clamped down around the pipefish, so I extracted it from its grasp and removed it from the tank. Whoops!

 

8/11/2007: Day 23

Here are some new pictures. You'll see how the diatoms on the sand are still making it rather ugly, but it has only been a few weeks. I really can't wait for it to look nice again, and its been really hard to stay out of the tank and not mess with it.

I'll have to add some kind of flow after all, though I don't know what I'll use quite yet.

A goby I brought home from the gulf coast. I have a few more and have been thinking about adding them to keep the sand stirred up. They don't seem to fight with each other.

Some acan polyps

This orange ricordia was up on the rock, and then moved down to the sand almost overnight. I don't know how. I started to think maybe it is on a snail shell with a living creature inside, but since it landed here, it hasn't moved.

Favia

Rose anemone with clowns.

Ricordia

Zoas and a Firefish

Mini carpet anemones. I have three now.

Rock anemone from the gulf.

 

8/19/2007:

The cyano & diatom growth on the sand drove me nuts and I almost bought a Korallia 1 today to add some flow, but that pump is just too big and ugly to put in my tank.

So I picked up two electric blue hermits instead.

I siphoned out a horrific area because I just couldn't take it. And decided to open up the valve to the Mag 7 100% to see how the tank would handle it. To my surprise, the tank held steady 1" from the top and didn't overflow. However, with the water level higher than the drain pipe, the surface no longer is skimmed clean. I'll have to give this more thought. I'm toying with the idea of building a new tank with a better design to the top area to add some strength, and drill it down low for a closed loop that would be hidden under sand.

Here are a few more pictures from tonight.

 

8/20/2007:

Today I was able to see how the tank looked with the locline shorter. I might even remove one or two more segments as that seems to make a difference in how the water circulates. The sand is moving around a little, which also seems to clean it up some.

I still need to scoop the dirty stuff together and probably siphon it out. It moves around like ashes, very light but still holding together enough to probably remove most of it without losing sand.

It seems more evenly lit now.

And a few more tiny shots.

8/22/2007:

What do you mean by that? I built the tank last December, and didn't set it up until July. If anything, I'm too darn busy.

A couple of pictures from tonight before the lights cycled off.

Rock anemone (blue-ish tentacles) - My new favorite hermit.

And one more - the shell looks too heavy for this crab, but he drags it around somehow.

 

9/6/2007:

Here are a few pictures from the today. First of all, SNOW!

Those are harmless hydroids.

Two new gorgonians I brought back from Austin.

Some zoanthids that have a blue hue to them, thanks to Aaron.

I found this hermit in my reef, so I moved it over to the nano.

I think the colors in this tank would be nicer if I had a 12,000K DE bulb in there. Maybe I'll get one at MACNA.

 

9/10/2007:

Day 53

I haven't posted too many pictures of the tank because the crud on the sand just ruins the look for me. More flow would probably fix it, but as you've read by now, I just don't want to stick a powerhead in there. I want invisible flow.

So here are two full tank shots. Then I'll add more details about the latest stuff.

I'm amazed that I can't get nice crisp focused pictures through the angled section of acrylic. Holding the lens of the camera against the panel usually gives me the best results, but I got several blurry shots. Here are a couple of decent pictures, but they are smaller for a reason.

The goby posed. I have 3 more in my quarantine tank that I think I'll add to this tank so they can hang out in groups.

This ricordia seem happy and colorful, even though it is only a 10,000K bulb (best guess).

The orange zoanthids (same as the ones pictured above) are the ones I got in Houston last weekend. They are opening up. I'd have to say these are micro zoanthids because the polyps are tiny.

From the front of the tank:

These look amazing under more blue lighting.

The Rose BTA has moved up slightly since I moved the rockwork.

Beneath the Rose, this is what I see

The zoanthids I got from bmwaaron are very content, opened up and spread out.

The mini carpets I put in my tank have split and now there are four on this rock.

I picked up three of the large Nassarius snails. These would be considered jumbo in size compared to the normal ones in the trade.

Ugly sand...

Work that sand, baby!

Here is the Tigertail Cucumber I added to the tank to help clean the sand. He's been lazy, but now that he's got some helpers, I'm hoping for the group effort to pay off.

The Purple Gorgonian is doing well.

The orange one fell down into the rock anemone. I moved it back up, but I don't know how much damage it suffered. I should have puttied it into place, but wanted to use the new stuff I'm getting from Deltec at MACNA this weekend.

Here's another picture of one of the Nassarius snails. It is easily the size of a grape.

 

9/11/2007:

The other exciting item I added today, which you might have noticed in some of the new pictures, is the Banded Serpent Starfish. I really liked it, and thought it would like my little tank. Here are a number of pictures of it.

The mini carpets thought they scored a meal.

They did not.

So hopefully with the new hermits, nassarius, cucumber and starfish added in the past week, the sand will look cleaner so I can look at it and be happy.

 

9/21/2007:

The day I'm leaving for MACNA (9/13), I look into the nano and found my Rose BTA splitting. Normally this would be a time to rejoice, but when I'm leaving town and my tanks for four days, I was very concerned. What if it crawled up into the overflow, and cause the tank to overflow all over the foyer?

I took a few pictures, and rushed to the airport. And hoped for the best.

When I got home late Sunday night, the lights were already out. Still, I had to check. And you'll notice the sand is a lot cleaner now.

Here's the new baby. Not so tiny, when you see the clown in it.

 

Here's a great shot of that rogue hermit I found in my main reef.

Some surviving Pavona coral, even after cooking the rock in total darkness for over a month. Somehow some areas survived and are now returning. So much for no SPS in this tank.

The Tigertail cucumber is actually traveling through the rock, pooping out sand at the opposite side. This is the mouth end.

A Nerite snail, one of many I brought home from the gulf coast collection trip.

The cute little mini carpets are still the same, four to this rock. Aiptasia in the background.

 

10/31/2007:

Time for some updates.

First of all, my blue centered Ricordia is walking around the tank. Turns out it was connected to an empty shell that a hermit chose to move into. I have a hard enough time growing these things, and this guy is schlepping my ric all over the tank.

I thought this hitchhiker featherduster was pretty.

The gobies in the tank are fun to watch as the zip around the tank.

The two Gorgonians seem to be doing pretty well.

I love the Neon Blue Hermit crab.

This is a tiny tiny Trochus snail. Maybe 1/4" long.

The mini carpet anemones are moving around the tank because the hermits keep flipping their rock, which they abandon.

 

11/17/2007:

Please excuse the cyano bloom....

This is the Money Cowrie I got in Oklahoma while coming home from the CRASE conference.

This is Jelly, one of a pair of clowns in the tank.

Here are several critters in a single shot.

And the rock anemone was elongated and the trunk reminds me of a palm tree for some reason.

 

11/20/2007:

Day 123

Full tank shot.

End of Tank shot.

Some of the zoanthids visible from the front.

This purple Gorgonian is growing well. I'll have to look back through this thread to see how much it has grown, but it seems like it may have doubled in size.

I like the eyes on this hermit for some reason. They are almost cartoon-like.

Another hermit with electric blue stripes.

While hard to see, these are Orange Ball Anemones. Look closely and you'll see the balls at the tip of each tentacle. They are tiny 1/4" to 1/2" wide hitchhikers, and have never done any harm in my tanks.

The mini carpets continue to do well, but haven't split lately.

The gobies are funny fish. As I scrape the coralline off the acrylic, they get right in the way, even between the scraper and the wall of the tank. I actually have to be careful not to hurt them.

The Money Cowrie may end up being a real boon for this tank. I'm not positive yet, but I get the impression that it actually eats cyano bacteria.

Look closely at the membrane covering part of the shell. It appears like those little branches are picking up and retaining red dots. Could it be cyano? Beats me. I'll keep an eye on the animal to see if it keeps the red or if it fades away.

My tank didn't have any cyano until I started running AZNO3 in my system to lower nitrates. This tank is part of my 280g reef, in that it drains from this tank into the main sump. All the water is shared so that I wouldn't need more gear to run this nano.

My nitrates were 60ppm before, and now they are under 5ppm. While dosing the tank with that product, the skimmer has to run. And week after week I tested phophate and it was 0. So my guess is my tank has this as a result or byproduct of the AZNO3.

It isn't really detrimental but it is ugly. I've siphoned it out twice already, but will probably run Chemi-Clean or Red Slime Control to get rid of it once and for all. Either of those products have to be dosed with the skimmer off for a 2 or 3 days.

The cowry is Cypraea (Monetaria) caputserpentis, the Snake Head Cowry.  When I bought it, it crawled up the bag out of the water for the trip from Norman, OK to my home. And during acclimation, it crawl up to the dry area. Fortunately for me, it has not crawled out of my open-top tank!

What I'll keep doing for now is watching it closely, and can continue to take macro shots to show if it is changing its appearance. The membrane that covers the shell has these feelers, sweepers or mouths. I don't know what they do or what they are for. I know the snail itself has a mouth because I can observe it eating on the sand and the glass, but if the membrane also has some way to trap food that might be how the red stuff was trapped. Or maybe it caught some cyclop-eeze food in its system.

I also appreciate the idea, as I've been referring to it as a Money Cowrie. Snake Head Cowrie - I wonder why that name was given to it, especially if it is a cyano eater. If it is, it is worth every penny I paid for it.

 

12/6/2007:

A few pictures of the tank.

Full tank shot.

Silly mini carpets are gather along the top of the tank now.

12/21/2007:

1/12/2008:

a few things that come to mind:

The front glass never gets dirty. I think the light can't hit it due to the angle. The front 4" panel however gets covered with coralline. So I had to scrape that off and it wasn't fun.

The Purple Firefish is in my sump again. I don't know how that happens since I never see him at the surface. I'm guessing he either sleeps to close to the drain, or he's chasing some food and fwuup! he's cruisin' south.

The beautiful Electric Blue Hermit Crab is no more. I don't know if another crab killed him or what, but his shell has been empty for some time. Maybe they don't do well in 79F to 80F water, I'm not sure. I didn't have him long enough to accept his death as natural.

The Rose BTAs are huge. Ridiculously so. I really need to extract one if I want to put anything else in the tank, but haven't been willing to tackle that project.

The light still isn't hanging from the ceiling yet, because I have not been able to find the one connection I want for free. Like everyone else, I'm going to have to buy it. And then like everyone else, a guy will tell me the day after that he's got one that I could have had for nothing.

Latest addition: 15 Astreas

 

2/3/2008:

Here are a couple of pictures from tonight.

The RBTAs are really hogging up the whole tank.

They are beautiful though, but with the tank being so small, they dominate the entire system.

I moved some Fungia babies into the nano. There are three on the stony skeleton, and perhaps in the milder flow they will do better than my main reef.

Two future additions that are currently in quarantine:

The tank really stays very stable and doesn't need much cleaning, with it tied into the main reef's sump. I clean the front glass maybe once a week, usually just to get the bubbles out of my line of sight since some stick to the front angled glass.

Each night I'm squirting in 2 or 3ml of thawed fish food (mini mysis and cyclop-eeze). I never feed the anemones. Those little clowns love their home, but I've not seen them feed the RBTAs either.

 

2/8/2008:

New clam in the tank.

Two shots of the Duncan. It is huge! Probably 2.5" in diameter.

And another of the new teardrop Maxima

http://www.melevsreef.com/video/angled_0208.wmv 27.5 megs (Please Right Click & Save As to your harddrive. Thanks)

 

2/29/2008:

So here's the latest.

And now I'll have a fire sale.

 

3/18/2008:

Here's what I came home with today. Two beautiful Maximas.

You can see all three clams next to each other in this picture of the angled tank with the light on.

 

Look what I found at Ikea for .49 yesterday. Gotta love the Clearance section.

Once they are installed, you'll know what they are for. I'm not saying anything yet.

3/19/2008:

Topdown shots!

and an updated picture of the Duncan.

 

4/13/2008:

There isn't a lot to update, other than I changed the flow from a Koralia Nano to a VorTech MD-20 in Wave mode.

The two tiny clams were pulled out because the Gobies were apparently nipping at them, so they are safely in my reef.

The tank needs a serious cleaning.

 

4/24/2008:

Time for another update, I see.

Today I received an order from www.Zoanuts.com with 20 ricordia. These have been acclimated and glued to various rocks in the angled tank, and I'll be posting pictures later when the lights are on and they look happy.

One of the naked gobies swam face first into one of the mini carpet anemones last night, and while I was feeding the tank it somehow escaped. However, today I saw a huge cocoon next to my acans, and a hermit was right in the middle of it. I couldn't tell what I was looking at, but soon two huge Nassarius snails emerged into the same spot and I'm assuming that clean up crew just erased the goby's existence entirely, as if it never ever was in my tank before. Crazy.

The Tigertail cucumber fragged itself yesterday.

Here are those pretty acans, before the carnage that occurred overnight. You can even see one of those gobies off to the right. I'm down to one now.

 

Here's a picture of the cocoon. The clean up crew was long gone.

Check out the new ricordia; the lights are on and they look soo pretty!

 

5/15/2008:

There isn't a lot to report. The other naked goby is in Goby Heaven for some reason, and I'm thinking about pulling out one of the RBTAs just to recapture some real estate.

The ricordia look great, nice and puffy. And I placed this micro-chalice in the tank.

 

6/1/2008:

For several months, I had some metal rods I'd purchased at Ikea for .49 on clearance, and had a plan in mind. What I needed was time and motivation at once, but that rarely happens.

Tonight, Evan and his girlfriend came over to hang out. Our plan was to just visit and do nothing but eat dinner. After coming back from Carino's, I was motivated to get one little project done.

My goal was to use those rods as a modern way to hang the light fixture, and with Evan's help, it got done at last. The rods are 5/8" thick, and had to penetrate sheetrock twice, as I needed it to go through the wall and into the closet. This allowed me to secure the rods into some plywood. One thing I knew, it was going to be very hard to drill through all three layers and keep everything perfectly straight, and that proved true.

The rods were cut to the length necessary using a metal blade and a jigsaw.

The next hurdle was to fish the cable wire through one tube into the closet and back out the other tube and down to the light fixture again. I wanted a continuous loop so I could adjust both the height and keep it perfectly level, and that worked out nicely. The rods are very snug in the wood and aren't going anywhere. The sheetrock keeps them level, and the board was screwed snugly to the wall to keep everything stable.

After it was hanging in place, I replaced the aged bulb with a new 150w 10,000 Coralife bulb I had in my bulb stash. The old bulb was very weak, so I'm expecting the livestock to really benefit from the increased PAR. Since it is new, I reduced the lighting period to 6 hours (2pm to 8pm) from 9 hours (1pm to 10pm).

Some of the locline was removed since it was blocking the light. With the new VorTech MP20 pump, there is plenty of flow and no reason to divert the return line's flow through so much locline.

Speaking of the VorTech, that new board came in handy.

Nice to be able to check something off my list of things to do finally.

 

 

 

So far so good. They look a little bit see-through to me yet very colorful, but I think the new lightbulb will resolve that. The foyer is so bright now, I can't believe it. The RBTAs hid in the rockwork all day, so I decided to reduce the light period down to only 5 hours a day for the next few days to avoid cooking the corals.

Here are a number of them, although it looks better as a huge image.

150w MH lights the tank. Fortunately, that is about it. The only other power that tank needs is the return pump, which is currently a Mag 5, but I'm about to build a manifold and when I do, it will be a shared Sequence Dart pump to run a number of items including this tank.

I'm doing a little math here, but don't know if it is right.

VorTech - 7w
MH - 150w
Mag 5 - 45w

.007 x 24 = .168 (kwatts per day)
.150 x 8 hrs = 1.2 (kwatts per day)
.045 x 24 hrs = 1.08 (kwatts per day)

Those numbers add up to 73 kWh monthly x $.124375 which equals $9.13 per month. So for about $10 a month, this tank is powered. The filtration is part of the 280g reef system, so I'm not including that.
Anything that reduces power consumption is a good thing.

While doing some math in my 280g thread, it got me to thinking about how much it costs to run indiviual items. The VorTech pump costs me $0.62 a month to provide the wave action I'm seeing.

$4.48 is the light, and $4.02 is the return pump.

Two versions, the second one is larger and better resoluton:

http://www.melevsreef.com/video/mp20_wave.wmv (4.5 megs, right click & save as)

http://www.melevsreef.com/video/mp20_waveHD.wmv (45 megs, right click & save as)

6/4/2008:

The Rose BTA split last night. I took a few pictures today of the four, where yesterday there were two.

One interesting phenomena that occurs when taking pictures in a tank in wave mode. If I point the camera at a spot and just hold it there, I can see the color of the image shift from red back to white. I'm guessing that occurs because the water depth has changed as well as the angle of water's surface changing.

Here are two images in row, and you'll be able to see the difference.

So not only do I have deal with camera settings, now I have to deal with timing?!

7/21/2008:

I don't have any real news to update, but here are a couple of pictures.

One of the mini carpet anemones on the VorTech pump shroud.

My new blood red favia that isn't so red quite yet, but might be later.

That's it. Lots of coralline is growing, and the ricordia are still doing well. Imagine that!

 

7/31/2008:

About a month ago, I added one of the new rocks from www.aqua-mags.com
More info here: http://www.aqua-mags.com/product.php#

It holds on with two magnets, and is quite light. It's got a little coralling growing on it now.

As you can see above, it allows me to create a cave-like area for the RBTA to poke out from.

Favia

Lobophyllia, I think - looks like it may be trying to form a new head on the back side.

Fungia plate

Pink Branching Hammer, and a little bit of Duncan

Red Favia - kinda

From above

Acan lord

Hermit crab

Even my valonia has coralline growing on it.

 

8/29/2008:

Here's a full tank shot from today. As you can see, it's collecting coralline like crazy.

 

9/16/2008:

This tank is lit with a single 150w 10,000K ReefLux bulb. Thus the colors are not as vivid as we would like.

My single RBTA, with a pair of "black onyx" clowns. Hmm.

Blood Red Favia

Various Ricordia

Some Eagle Eyes

Pink Hammer coral

Mini carpets, looking so cute. Super sticky fish killers. LOL

Micro chalice

Favia and Lobophytum

Patch of Acans.

 

10/12/2008:

News...

I was very surprised to see the Houston Black Onyx Percs that I brought to Ft Worth in January 07 spreading the cheer yesterday evening. These clowns are about 2.5 years old, tank raised by a MARSH member. They don't look at all black like the parents we were shown, but I still love my little guys. They live in the angled tank when you first walk into my home.

This is the very first clutch of eggs they've ever laid, so I'm expecting as they practice, they'll get better at it. :P

A few are on the underside of the mag-rock, although it may be hard to see them.

Also, the one emerald crab in my reef is certifiably psycho. He lost an arm/pincher months ago. I figured he'd molt a few times and grow another one. About a week ago I was looking in the tank, and saw him on top of a rock. While I watched, he reached over across his body, and ripped one of his legs off. He's down to four legs and a claw. I don't have a clue why; it certainly isn't due to a lack of available food. The suicidal crab probably won't be around much longer at this rate.

 

10/15/2008:

Today, the eggs turned almost black. I guess they really are Onyx babies.

1

 

10/18/2008:

Time for an update. I'm testing out a borrowed Nikon D70 with stock lens, and all of these pictures were taken with it. Remember, this tank is lit with a single 150w 10,000K bulb, so it lacks the blue to make things pop.

Full tank shot (FTS)

Acans

Pink Hammer

Favia

Mag-Rock on back of tank, RBTA stretching upwards

Mini Carpet Anemones (note the air bubbles for a size comparison

Purple Monster frag - not purple

Shot from above of a frag from Servo, but instead it ended up being a shot about ripples. I like it; they are produced from the VorTech in Wave Mode.

 

11/19/2008:

Picture update

So in the past few weeks, I added some new corals. Several are from Zoanuts.com.

Here's a picture that came out nicely.

And my red striped one continues to do well

Here's a Red Planet acro that I brought home from Connecticut.

A frag of Pink Lemonade from the Dallas Coral Farmers Market.

Ryan's super hairy A. millepora looks much better than this picture, but because of its location in the angled tank, I just can't get a good shot.

This is a "Becker Tort" that I got from Steve Tyree at the D-CFM

The tank seems to be doing quite well. The clowns are laying a clutch of eggs like clockwork, and the RBTA is growing a little larger each week.

I got some blue LED lighting from Current USA, which I need to figure out how to secure to my tank. That will help a lot with the coloration of the corals, now that I've had a chance to hold them over the tank myself.

 

I pulled out the new 90mm macro lens for these.

A micro chalice. The polyps are tiny. Alien Eye Echinopora lamellosa

 

12/07/2008:

Last night, I was looking in my angled tank and saw a number of fat & sassy Red Planaria - too many in fact. I stumbled across a tiny few (maybe 6) dots many months ago, and was really shocked to see them. I tried to kid myself into thinking they were figments of my imagination, and I willed myself to ignore them.

So over time, via fission they have increased their little population somewhat, and with my desires to feed my acans I noticed the flatworms were getting too healthy. Disgusted, I decided I was going to treat that tank now before they became a real problem.

The perk of the 20g is that it is plumbed into the main system's filtration. I turned off its return pump, isolating it from the main system, and went in search of Flatworm eXit. Checking my usual bin of medications, I was surprised to find none. Then in my test kit bin, I found a bottle that looked like it had been chewed up by a dog. The solution was yellow with age, and the label was almost unreadable. Still, it was half full.

I dropped 20 drops in my angled tank, and waited 5 minutes. When I checked the tank, many of the planaria were floating in the current, caught on thin gossamer threads. Since some were still moving across the sand, I added 5 more drops to make sure they too got a good dose. I went out to the garage in search of an empty bucket, some airline tubing and some rigid tubing - so I could siphon them out of the tank.

When I got back, I saw the female clownfish out of the anemone, gobbling up the flatworms! How cool is that? I let her eat between 60 and 80% of them, then siphoned out any I could find.

About 10 minutes later, I turned the return pump back on, and let the main system filter out what little bit of medication was in the water. Done!

Super easy, and somewhat fun to watch.

12/8/2008: I noticed last night how cool my little tank looked with just blue LEDs. The way the corals burst with color reminded me of the NightSea vision article we had last month, and so I tried to do something similar with my Nikon D70s, the CurrentUSA blue LED fixture, and Photoshop 7

I hope you find them appealing. They are leaning toward being more artistic than real, but I didn't stray too much from the original images.

Blood red favia

Mini carpets glowing green (upper left), acans (lower left)

Duncan polyp

Eagle eye Zoanthids

Branching pink hammer coral

Zoanthids sp.

RBTA and clown

Reef shot

Acans and more (lit from the front of the tank) - top down shot

Zoas and ricordea

 

12/17/2008:

I'm not sure what was going on in my tank at the time, but for some reason all of the hermits were going vertical.

Some acans, and a patch of cyano bacteria to spoil the shot.

I've not really been happy with how the Duncans look in this tank (which is the coral in the foreground), but looking at the picture, it doesn't seem unhappy.

And the clowns posed briefly.

Several corals are growing on the back wall thanks to the geniuses at aqua-mags.com

 

1/15/2009:

I'm going to be posting some new pictures of this tank in the next couple of weeks. Just a quick update: I got a battery backup for the MP20 pump. That way if there is a power outage, circulation will continue until I can get that resolved.

 

1/31/2009:

Here are some recent pictures of the tank. There are days I just want to drain it and start anew, because it just looks so dirty to me, but I've resisted the urge.

There is some cyano, but because I dose vodka to my system, I've not used any cyano removers in over 7 months.

The Rose BTA has grown from a tiny little anemone posted many months ago. The clowns lay eggs like clockwork.

I got this very fuzzy gorgonian at our last club meeting.

Here's one of two peppermint shrimp in the tank.

A pretty rainbow acan

More acans

Pink Lemonade frag

Ryan's gorgeous milli

 

2/12/2009:

Here's the tank picture I promised.

Using my PAR meter (here's a shot of it when I was taking measurments in Austin)...

I took a few PAR measurements of the tank, directly under the 150w DE 10,000K bulb.

A few spots in the tank. The PAR is much weaker in the front of the angle, since the light isn't aimed at that area.

This frag from Servo is loving life. It is hot pink with blue tips, and has long hairy polyps. The PAR range varies greatly, due to the wave motion from the VorTech pump.

 

3/23/2009:

For the past few days, I've had the light off over this tank to hopefully remove the cyano bacteria bloom that has been taking over. Tomorrow the light comes back on.

Today, as the sun was lighting up the foyer, I saw the Fungia all puffed up like a beachball again, so here are a few pictures of it. I think the coral does this in hopes of moving. Also, this is a very strange coral, in that it really is two fungias on one skeletal mass. Neither wants to give up its purchase of the structure, so it looks pretty odd every day.

It doesn't do it daily, but yes it does it during the lights out period when it is in the mood. The red favia behind it used to be where the fungia is now, and since it kept stinging it, I swapped their locations to protect it from further damage.

The fungia has two mouths. And yet the other one that came from the same original plate is in my 280g looks beautiful and perfect. It too turned into a beach ball once or twice, but wasn't in any position for me to photograph it.

 

5/4/2009:

Full tank shot for May 09. This tank will be turning 2 years old in July.

Here are some close ups. Lots of life in this tank, some of which needs pruning or general clean up.

And my favorite from today.

Brown Jelly Disease

I've had a very boring brown acan in this tank for a long time, and have had it in my possession for at least three years. It's just not a nice piece, and I was just recently trying to figure out where to move it to because it is eating up real estate and doesn't add to the tank.

I discovered that it was starting to be affected with Brown Jelly disease. This is a type of brown-to-clear gel that smothers the coral as it kills it. There usually isn't a lot you can do for a coral in this state other than to siphon off the badly affected area to avoid letting it land on other stuff. Here are some pictures.

In the first picture, you can see how the left side is devoid of tissue. Hermits were already there to pick it clean.

The rusty brown area is what is breaking up; the opaque area is the newly infected area, and the furthest point is still alive but in distress. Those white patches are new.

So it looks like nature decided for me what to do with this coral.

5/23/2009:

It's tiny. Maybe 2"?

 

5/32/2009:

Day 681

It's the end of of the month, and this thread needed a new FTS.

Note, most of the Caulerpa is finally gone. I don't know why it is going away, but I'm very pleased to see less of it. Could the three emerald crabs I added be the reason? I don't know.

6/14/2009:

A few days ago, we had a major storm blow through the area, and my tanks were without power. Within an hour, I decided to pull out the generator and hook everything up so my livestock would remain safe. The power ended up being out from midnight until 9:15am!

Coincidentally, the power supply to one of the Vortechs in my 280g tank burned up, so I opted to borrow the one from this tank to get that pump running again, and installed a Maxijet in the angled tank simply because it was the easiest solution from my choices given.

In doing so, I noticed the Rose BTA was going out of its way to annoy me. I have some SPS frags on Frag-Mags that it was touching daily, slowly but surely killing their tissue.

I moved two frags out of its reach again, which spoils the view of the tank a bit. They are going to just have to move to a different location entirely, like my main tank I guess.

Sometimes I wished I'd just made the angled tank one rock and the Rose BTA, and nothing else. The simplicity would probably be just as effective. But like everyone else, I can't help putting more and more corals in this system.

After I fed the clowns some pellet food, the Rose closed up in hopes of snagging some food apparently. Ah, space at last. It wasn't long before that was gone again.

Here's a June Full Tank Shot (FTS)

While I had the camera out, I took a few more macro shots. Taking pictures with macro through an angled tank without a tripod is almost impossible, at least with my Nikon D70s and a Tamron 90mm lens. Here's the new Favia I picked up recently.

It had a couple of cool zoanthid hitchhikers, which was even more of a reason to buy it. Tiny, but pretty.

This milli had to be moved because the RBTA was touching it. The tips are a little bit blue.

This is my not-so-purple Purple Monster.

I've always loved the look of these zoas. They are nicknamed Eagle Eyes.

The red favia.

A zoa garden.

And some of my acans.

 

6/21/2009:

The Mystery Wrasse has been in quarantine for four weeks, and seems healthy and happy. I've got it acclimating to the angled tank now, and hope that it will enjoy its new home. I'm a bit concerned about the anemones, and hope it won't be an issue for this gorgeous fish.

The Mystery Wrasse did a good job avoiding the Rose BTA and the 27 mini carpet anemones. It's like a landmine in there and I can only hope it'll steer clear of those little guys. (I've been giving these to DFWMAS members that are part of the COOP (coral sharing program), so the risk factor is lessening a little bit.)

It did stay in the back of the tank, so this was the best shot I could get.

 

Twelve Step Program for Marine Reef Addiction

1. Admit we are powerless over aquariums—that our lives have become unmanageable
2. Come to believe that nature is greater than ourselves and can restore our systems to sanity
3. Made a decision to turn our aquariums over to the will of nature
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of left–over and un-used supplies
5. Admitted to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our addiction
6. Entirely ready to have nature, filters and water changes remove all defects
7. Humbly asked life fish stores to exchange and remove our shortcoming livestock
8. Made a list of all livestock we harmed and became willing to learn everything about them
9. Made direct appeals to fellow reefers for frags wherever possible
10. Continue to take inventory and when possible establish another aquarium system
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with nature as we understood it, praying only for knowledge of reefs and the power to re-create them
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to reef addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
Typed up by Acolin June 2009

 

Here's a shot of the new wrasse. He's still pretty skittish for some reason. I guess the angled slope from in there is less forgiving than a common rectangular box.

 

7/19/2009:

Random picture from today...

 

UPDATE:

Day 730

My tank turns two years old today!

It is in the tiny entry way/foyer of my home. It holds about 20g of water, with an angled from panel to look down upon many of the corals. Here's a picture of it from June 2008 when I installed the light fixture finally.

Current inhabitants
Clean up crew:
3 Emerald Crabs
1 Tigertail Cucumber
2 Tongan Nassarius snails
5 Astreas
1 Fighting Conch

Fish
2 Black Onyx perculas (that look like normal Occellaris
1 Mystery Wrasse

Corals
2 Favias
2 Hammers
6 zoanthids
3 Acans
2 Gorgonians
27 Mini Carpet Anemones
4 Ricordea
Fungia blob
Xenia-like coral
Unknown Daisy Polyp - "princess polyps" perhaps?
Porites
Acropora sp - Pink Lemonade
Acropora sp - Red Planet
Acropora sp - Purple Monster
2 Acropora sp unknown
2 A. millepora
M. capricornis
Montipora unknown
Montipora sp - Elkhorn

Inverts
Rose Bubble Tip Anemone
Xmas Tree worms

Lighting
150w DE 10,000K Coralife
2 pm to 8 pm daily

Feeding
Pellet food shaken in each afternoon

Maintenance
Water changes are every two months (when I work on the 280g)
Vodka dosed daily (to the 280g system, which this tank is tied into)
Panels scraped about once a month to reduce coralline spots
Vortech pump cleaned about once every six weeks
The angled panel stays algae free and rarely needs to be cleaned at all.

Here are a few images of the tank's transition over the past couple of years.

July 19, 2007

March 17, 2008

June 4, 2008

August 29, 2008

January 31, 2009

May 4, 2009

May 31, 2009

July 18, 2009

The MP20's power supply went out, and for now I'm using a MaxiJet to provide flow in the tank. This has changed how the RBTA expands in the tank. I did some cleaning today, and will post a newer picture of the display soon.

 

Here are the promised pictures.

 

When I bought it, it was (still is) a tiny fish. If it gets too big for the tank, I'll very likely move it to my 280g. For now, it seems like a perfect fit, and an interesting addition to that tank.

The RBTA has been burning a couple of SPS corals that I have 'aqua-magged' to the back panel of the tank. I keep trying to move them out of its reach... I'm going to have to move them to the main tank I guess.

9/12/2009:

Here are a few pictures from tonight. I think this tank needs a new bulb already, as the corals seem to really be lacking light. Then again, the RBTA is taking up a lot of real estate, casting shadows over stuff below.

Papa tending to the clutch of eggs from today.

Full tank shot

 

9/19/2009:

I bought a new 14,000K Phoenix bulb from Marine Depot. I've only heard good things about this bulb for a long time now, and decided to try it over my little tank before caving in to going with T5s. When you look at the picture above and the one I'm posting now, you'll see the difference quickly. No color manipulation, btw.

 

PAR:

I decided to pull out the Apogee meter anyway, even though it is way premature. Might was well see what the numbers are now versus 100 hours from now, right?

I got a few measurements and then suddenly the meter reads "Error 4" and won't work anymore. I guess I need to ship it back to Apogee to find out what's wrong with it, because I can't find any help in the booklet nor on their site.

Before it broke, I got these measurements:

944 - at the surface, sensor above the water line (bulb 6" from the water)
680 - at the surface, sensor just under the water's surface
302 - at 6" beneath the water line
160 - at 12" beneath the water line
85 - along the front of the tank (to be expected)

It was around 225 or so in the center of the RBTA before the meter failed.

No, this tank has no top, and that Wrasse hasn't tried to jump yet. He likes to stay low in the tank, which isn't helpful for picture taking in this particular tank. The sloped front makes it hard to focus on him (or anything).

 

10/2/2009:

The RBTA is really owning this tank. It actually looks small in this picture.

 

11/18/2009:

I remember when the clownfish was hanging out both ends of the tiny RBTA, leaving no room for her mate. Now look at their home.

It's really to the point that I'm just letting the RBTA take over the tank, and whatever survives wins. I've said it often: this tank would be just as pretty with only the anemone, the rock it is on, some sand and the clownfish. I need to completely abandon the idea of adding anything else to it.

 

3/14/2010:

 

This tank was taken down in July 2010 when the 280g leak required a major remodel.