Sunday, July 23, 2006

Relaunching the Journal

So it's been awhile since I've updated anything on my tank.
Back in 2004, I started into the hobby with a used 55 overflow wet/dry system I bought off my boss for $100. You can see the old journal here: 55 Gallon Tank

So alot has happened in the last two years with my tank. The most noteworthy is that we have moved twice! In that time, I've managed to upgrade to a 75 Gallon seen here, add a 20gallon refugeum, and Odyssea MH lights, and a closed loop current system.

The 55 Gallon, was using an old design for a tank. Apparently, it was thought back in the day that a wet-dry system was ideal. So they designed them into the tank itself. However, it turns out that a wet-dry system actually introduces alot of Nitrates and Phosphates into your system. Not something you want. So after about the first 12 months the tank was getting overrun by "red hair algae" and/or "red slime algae". You can see pics on the old site. So I fought with that and became extremly discouraged from the hobby. However, I did not quit! I knew I could get a tank stable!

Then came the first move. We moved into a nice house, and decided to put the tank in the living room where there was a spare closet right next to the where the tank would be, and it'd be ideal to have all my tank equipment! Seen here:

I used the move as an excuse to upgrade the tank size and get rid of the old 'problem' tank.
I upgraded to this 75 gallon, with 20 gal refugeum, and stand.

So now I had everything set. However, I was still getting horrible algea. Hair aglea everywhere! My phosphates were outrageous and I couldn't figure out why the tank was doing so poorly.

I did often water changes and was mixing with fresh R/O water I was making myself! I was keeping things pretty good as far as water conditions. Yet I was still getting massive algea growth. So here you can also see I have sent in the reinforcements. I think I got like 150 little hermit crabs and astra snails to help me clean that tank up! It helped like you wouldn't believe.

So you might wonder how it got this bad! Well, the first mistake was putting the tank in a room no one uses. It was in the front room of our house that wasn't lived in. So honestly, it got neglected because noone was ever in the room!
So I learned that lesson!

After about 6 months, the wife and I ended up buying a house, and had to move the tank yet again!

So during THIS move, I got the closed loop plumbing installed, and added a pump that'd improve circulation.

Also, the tank would now be in the main living area of the house and would get all the love it
So the latest home for the tank is here, in front of some bookshelves in the living room of the new house! The shelves allow me some extra room under the tank for all the things that go there.

As you can see the crabs and snails did wonders for the algea!!

I am running the refugeum's light 24 hours a day, and have the closed loop pump running about 8 hours a day. 4 in the morning before the lights come on, and 4 in the evening before the lights go off. ( just for some randomness )

The MH and Actinic CF are on timers and are around 9 hours of day time. Moon lights run 24/7.
Now I am using the Odyssea light system. I haven't seen many positive comments on it or even anyone who even likes it, but I will tell you. They are awesome, cheap, and easy to customize. I'll go into all that on another post.

So that brings us to today. Currently, the system isn't running a skimmer, although I have one installed, and all it needs is to be turned on. However, the refugeum is doing such a great job, I don't need to skim!

My tempeture is running too high these days. ( 80 degrees F! ) I blame that as the leading cause of death for my Croatia Clam I have had since the early days of the tank. ( 2 years! )
It just died about a week ago, and you can still see it's white shell. I keep it there as a tombstone of sorts. Poor guy.. So now I'm getting a chiller. More on that when it comes.

So check back to this blog, I hope to update it more often with progress on the new tank.

tank started to get this really bad "red hair slime algea". Oh it was horrible, and you can see photos on the Old site. deserved!


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