Last weekend, I was invited to URSNY to speak. I took a bunch of pictures...
Rochester N.Y. is in the upper section of the state. There is a lot of farm country for miles and miles, which was very beautiful. Rochester gets a lot of snow being on the east coast, but this is their spring time. URSNY asked me to come speak to their club, and as we drove Saturday morning to Batavia I snapped a few pictures. I checked the weather before packing and it was supposed to be 65F in the daytime, 35F at night. Figuring I'd be indoors I packed tshirts and a pair of jeans. A pullover would have been a smart move on my part. Oops. Friday night when I arrived it was pretty cool, but I survived. Saturday morning, the sky was clear, bright blue and sunny - the perfect day. Sunday morning it was cold, overcast and rainy. Not quite what I would think of as spring. Here's a shot of the landscape.
And of a Douglas Fir tree. They were everywhere, and one of my favorite kinds of trees. I grew up in California, hiked a lot and saw many pine trees. The same when I lived in Switzerland. It was easy to feel comfortable around so much greenery.
This is a house that belongs to KentE.
He has a 450g plywood tank currently, and is building a new one that holds 900 to 1000 gallons in his basement.
His tank looks like a giant toolbox or lunchbox, depending on your perspective. When you open the doors at the top, you can see his Luminarc reflectors that roll back and forth on a light mover. His tank only has two MH bulbs over it. Flow is created with a closed loop system.
The sump holds some livestock, macro algae, a square skimmer, a square calcium reactor, and is lighted with a Luminarc reflector.
A few pictures from the 400g:
Devils Hand fraglet
BTAs (I thought the clowns had chosen to use a Torch as their host)
Btw, check out his view from his house.
Because his focus is upon the new tank currently under contruction, the current tank is not nearly what it could have been. He's planning on cooking all his liverock and setting up the new one with as few pest problems as possible. By starting over, he hopes to enjoy a nice reef again. This time he'll go back to a DSB over a barebottom system. He's got many frags growing in the sump (in the previous post), and an Imperator angelfish swims beneath.
This is Kent's new tank, which is going to hold 1000 gallons. It is 5.5' wide, 9' long, and 30" tall. It's being made of birch plywood and then coated with a resin that can handle up to 1400PSI. I think it'll look amazing when done.
His son crawled underneath, inside the stand. There are no central uprights because of a hump in the concrete foundation. It looks plenty strong to me.
The inside joints are all lined with an angled board to reinforce the 90 degree connections. His last tank was built the same way.
Kent on the right, Scott (bosborn1) to his left.
Here is another tank that has been built and has the resin already completed. It is super shiny, and is a black background. It feels hard to the touch, and very smooth.
This is the front, where the glass will be.
Taken with a flash.
Having already had breakfast, it was time to drive to Batavia where the meeting was to be held. I had two presentations prepared, and between those a frag swap would occur.
Check out the raffle prizes!
Just kidding. Still, a reefer can dream right? These run about $100k, and I was told by one of the people there that this particular car is sold in Fort Worth & Dallas area more than any other place in the U.S.
Mark is their club president, and here he is talking to the attendees.
I gave two presentations. The first one was about sumps. The second one was about how to build one with acrylic. Since I did the presenting, and really what would be the point of a picture of a guy standing by a powerpoint slide, we'll just move on to the frag swap pictures.
I have to say I loved these little frag-holding tanks.
Each were lighted with these PC light fixtures.
A small powerhead maintained circulation and a heater was under the rack.
Another tank contained frags and even a clam!
Frags were brought in a bucket that had levels of eggcrate so that they could be stacked. A bucket held many frags. You can see them stacked in the third picture of this page.
Some were bagged up, already sold.
Glue was for sale as well. (Cyanoacrylate)
Here are some shots of the frags.
What really impressed me was that these were all what I would consider unusual or rare corals, the kind you normally don't see at frag swaps. And this makes them more expensive. The more I looked in the tank, the more I realized I wanted. Since you can't carry any liquid on the plane, I resisted the urge to buy any. Until I saw this one.
I bought it, and 7 hours later we finally put it in Scott's tank. The next morning, we bagged it up along with a couple of other pieces from his system, sealed them in a plastic container, placed that in a large ziplock bag, and then wrapped my clothes around it to try to insulate it from the cold. It was in my suitcase for the flight home, and then acclimated late that night to my system. I hope it survives. It is called a Sunset Montipora, one I'd seen in Naka's (MARSH member in Houston) tank earlier this year.
More macros of the frags. This one is called an Australian Rose. I'd never seen it before, but he had a bunch of them for sale.
This one was $90, unless you wanted just a frag of it. I don't recall the exact name (Pavona something); just the price.
A rainbow montipora with a hitchhiker. Uh-oh!
After the event was over, I decided that we had to go look up Gary Majchrzak, another Team RC member. We were looking forward to meeting at the event, but he was unable to attend. Btw, I did meet Guy, another TRC member.
Gary's tank was already shutting down for the night as we got there kind of late, so I only have a couple of shots.
With actinics only
The plumbing leading down to the sump
The sump with an external skimmer. This sump is set up so that he can do a water change with the system running. Water is pumped into the return section (right end), while the water draining down from the reef exits the left side into a nearby sink.
This is his auto-feeder. It drops in food every 12 hours to keep the anthias fed. The food falls into the funnel, down the pipe and into the return section where it is pulled into an Iwaki pump and sent up to the display. He blames this system for his Texas-sized aiptasia. ;)
Once we left, we got something to eat and some beer.
Sunday morning I was up at the crack of 7:30am so we could head up to the Seneca Zoo. The URSNY maintain a reef tank there, and have been doing so since 2002. David Playfair (a former RC regular that had many followers) was one of the guys that got this project going.
Members of the club can make any corrections to what I'm about to describe, but as far as I recall it is a 540g reeftank made of glass. It is installed in a large room that has huge windows to view polar bears on the left and sea lions to the right.
Each Sunday, one or more members go to work on the tank. On the ladder is Guy, the Team RC member I mentioned before.
Because it was relatively early, the actinics were on and taking pictures of fish is nearly impossible with my camera. I tried a few settings, and here are some of the better images. You'll notice the Sohal Tang in many of these pictures because I was hoping to get a good picture somehow.
I had to resort to the flash. That Sohal Tang is just stunning, under actinics as well as under full lighting. It had to be 14" long, easily 1" thick, and ruled that tank. Its scalpel was over 1" long. Is it any surprise this is the Reef Central logo fish? I may photoshop about 7 of them into my reef to get past this craving. :D
Here are some closeups under actinics, and also under MH lighting when they finally kicked on after waiting a while.
Octopus Coral (similar to Frogspawn, but with more dots)
Orange plate coral
This is a really pretty green tabling Acropora milleopora. I don't recall seeing this color before, but apparently many members there have it.
This huge Torch colony was being hosted in by some Ocellaris clownfish.
Sohal - man those streamers are gorgeous!
These huge rose bubble tip anemones hosted a pair of Cinammon Clownfish. The main one used to be 24" wide before the split. It was about 12" wide that morning.
I asked about the tank maintenance. They'd changed 40g that day, and the zoo feeds the reef each day. They have specific rules, such as you can't kill anything in the tank. So aiptasia can't be nuked, and flatworms get to thrive. Kind of crazy, but the signed contract requires that they follow the guidelines. In front of the tank are two permanent binders that have heavily-laminated pages about each animal or coral in the tank.
The sump beneath uses Miracle Mud. The skimmer (not pictured) is a My Reef Creations, running externally at the end of the tank. The Aqua Controller II helps track tank parameters.
Closed loop plumbing; eggcrate keeps jumpers in the tank.
The pumps employ timed gate valves that switch the flow from one side of the tank to the other. Calcium Reactor in the forefront.
A control panel to see what is on or off.
A laptop tracks water parameters around the clock.
I had some time to see more critters. How about a polar bear that just got fed some tasty fish?
The cougar had a crawlspace under its habitat. You make your way through that and you can view them from a glass hut at ground level.
The glass section is to the left of the cougar. It was nicer to take a picture without the fence in the way, right?
And finally a white wolf.
As it was raining, we quickly made our way back to the truck, and I got to eat the "World's Greatest Cheeseburger" before catching a flight back to DFW. Once I got home, my corals were acclimated, my skimmer needed some minor tuning, and all was back to normal again.