View Full Version : Tank of the Month - December 2002
12/09/2002, 07:56 AM
This month we are featuring Martin Lakin's (AcroporaUK) awesome 370 gallon mixed coral reef tank:
More details can be found here (http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-12/totm/index.htm) or by clicking on the picture above.
12/09/2002, 08:31 AM
:eek2: Very nice, indeed. On my way to look at more.
12/09/2002, 09:45 AM
Some of us can only dream. Very nice tank and set up.
12/09/2002, 10:49 AM
Nice tank. Geez, and I'm panicking about the cost of setting up my new 135.
12/09/2002, 11:18 AM
Fascinating set up. I was amazed that you had 7 tangs in your sump! along with a few other fish.
That PS looks really big, and I'm not even sure what that phosphate reactor is for. (I assume it is to remove them, right?)
Your lighting solution is interesting. Why do you have to draw a shade at night, if it is dark?
Beautiful set up, thanks for sharing your personal thoughts about your reef as well as reef-keeping in general!
12/09/2002, 12:04 PM
Thanks for your kind comments, just want to add a few things,
The phosphate reactor is to remove phosphate.
The blind which is drawn at night on the sky light has a number of functions.
Firstly it keeps the tank dark in the summer mornings, which would normally start to illuminate the tank at say 4.00 in the morning. Secondly, it helps keep the heat in during the winter nights.
12/09/2002, 02:02 PM
I hate this idea of tank of the month thing...and you people that have big tank and good lighting...makes me frustrated cuz I can't have a tank like that YET.....;)
Nicely done...great tank and corals...really cool set up...awsome.
12/09/2002, 02:14 PM
how long do you have the moorish idol???
12/09/2002, 02:18 PM
Did your foxfaces ever fight?
12/09/2002, 03:30 PM
Very sharp tank. Can you please explain the bracing method? I love the look.
12/09/2002, 03:53 PM
If the tank is 74" x 24" x 24" then how could it be 4 foot 6X 2 foot X 5 foot 6?
12/09/2002, 03:57 PM
Could you confirm the dimensions of the tank again? Because it looks like there might be mistake, or my math is off. :confused:
12/09/2002, 05:26 PM
Oops! Sounds like an editor error (mine) on the dimensions. Let me double-check things.
12/09/2002, 05:41 PM
Yep, my mistake. The correct dimensions are: 66"L x 24"H x 54"D. This makes it approximately 370 gallons (not including the sumps).
12/09/2002, 06:21 PM
why is the new tank of the month already on-line but the magazine not? i really donÂ´t understand. i need reefkeeping on-line magazine. ehehhe. great tank btw
12/09/2002, 06:29 PM
Beautiful tank ... Great setup, well planned. You managed to put together an awesome looking mix of soft and hard corals. The setup is great, love how you have that whole wall of electrical equipment. Shows that you definately were thinking about this setup.
Great tank of the month.
12/09/2002, 06:29 PM
Eduardo: we still have a couple of pages to be built. I am keeping my fingers crossed that both of our other webmasters are Ok, since I haven't heard from them in days. Sorry for the delay.
12/09/2002, 07:54 PM
Congratulations Martin, you have a very beautiful slice of the ocean in your house... Your attention to detail is amazing...
12/10/2002, 12:26 AM
What kind of light are you putting over your sump where you grow the frags on the Mcflurry sticks?
12/10/2002, 12:28 AM
Love your tank, also love the last paragraph on the page.
12/10/2002, 09:08 AM
Looking great as always :D :cool: :smokin:
12/10/2002, 09:37 AM
Awesome tank. My, that does seem like a lot of fishes in only a 300. j/k. :D
Excellent demonstration of husbandry and the application of it with technology in the article about the tank.
12/10/2002, 03:45 PM
Awesome tank. I wish there is a full front view of the tank since it is built into the living room wall I believe.
Congratulations Martin! I really enjoyed reading about your tank and your thoughts on reefkeeping.
You have a very deserving setup. You should feel very proud.
12/11/2002, 03:02 PM
Great tank and write-up! The electrical setup is fantastic. Excellent choice for Tank Of The Month. Congratulations and keep up the good work :)
12/11/2002, 04:10 PM
Congrats. and great tank.
Will we see this soon on Rc Homepage.
12/11/2002, 04:33 PM
Another wonderful, and inspiring tank.:D
12/11/2002, 10:51 PM
Wow. I hope that one day I can have a tank that even half-way resembles that. I am sure going to try. Great write up too. Very interesting.
12/11/2002, 11:30 PM
370 gallons of pure beauty!!! Very stunning!!! I love the colors....
I see some major fragalation in place for the next week, heehee.... That big branching acro is AMAZING!!!
I really love the back view with the shelves and such, very creative!!!
12/11/2002, 11:56 PM
This tank inspires me.
Very well planned and organized.
Your efforts are reflected in your well deserved tank of the month.
12/12/2002, 12:01 AM
From Rochester, NY, to Rochester, UK ::thumbsup:
12/12/2002, 08:47 AM
Beautiful tank indeed. I couldn't help notcing that you have 15 TANGS as well as a Morish Idol in that set-up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woah! Very colorful and seems very stable and healthy.
12/12/2002, 10:01 AM
I cannot tell you how helpful these tank of the month articles are.
I havent had a tank set up since college, I worked at a lfs back then. So much has changed in 7 years. The one thing that I know is to research before you start one of these back up. You have to decide what you want and then figure out all of the equipment you will need. My family doesn't understand that after we filled the tank we don't go to the lfs and pick out some fish, and that was 6 weeks ago...
The December tank was very impressive, and the description was well written thanks a lot. [I have never seen a tank that nice in person]
12/12/2002, 06:17 PM
Your tank is Bloody Spectacular!
(my attempt at sounding Brittish):D
Extremely well done! I have yet to see something that beutiful in a marine institute and I live in S. Florida
I too would like to see some pics of the full front of the tank and a pic of your frag setup on the wine glasses and Mcflurry stics or an illustration at least if possible
I dream of one like that myself someday!!!:beer:
12/13/2002, 05:41 AM
Fantastic tank...nice to hear from someone else on the board from the UK, I'm down on the south coast in Bournemouth with my humble 15g nano
A setup like that blows away anything that is on offer at the new Bournemouth Oceanarium.
12/13/2002, 05:58 AM
your tank is a work of art and you should be proud of the criation, I can only hope to be as sussesfull as you have been, but you have put a lot of love and hours towards your great creation.
thanks for the great write up and well done.
12/13/2002, 07:18 PM
Your tanks looks great, I love it! Congratulations!
You don't happen to have any pics of the MI though do you?
12/13/2002, 09:59 PM
I'll third the request for a picture from the front.
Nice to see a tank such as yours from the UK. years of dedication for this hobby is evident, well thought out set-up, nice mix of colors, well written discription. certainly worthy of Tank of the Month !
12/15/2002, 10:36 AM
Were you having problems with phosphates then started using the RowaPhos or did you always use it? Anyone else using RowaPhos and are you pleased with the results?
12/15/2002, 07:56 PM
Awesome tank!!!!!!! I am having to start all over due to an ice storm here in NC and pics like this are the reason I don't give up :-)
12/17/2002, 02:24 PM
Hi all reefers
Sorry for not responding earlier, but I have been very busy over the last few days.
First of all, thank you all for your kind comments.
To answer your queries:
1. The moorish idle has only been in the tank for about 2 months, so its still early days.
2. The fox faces were removed from the tank, long ago, they grew large very quickly and when they started to eat the soft corals they were removed. When they were first introduced they fought one another and one died, but the others eventually became compatable.
3. The sump has a single 250w 10K MH light.
4. This tank has never had problems with phosphate, but then again it has always had phosphate remover (Rowaphos). I am rather surprised how little comment has been made about the phosphate remover, as I see that this is one of the main reasons why the tanks has been sucessful.
5. My friend Jeremy Simmonds from STM Sevenoakes, has taken some more fantastic pictures of the tank.
go to the set of pictures 'Reef Tank Dec 2002'
Hope this helps, any more queries, please let me know.
12/17/2002, 03:02 PM
Thank you so much for that link to the other pictures. Now I feel much more satisfied. :D
I'd never even heard of a phosphate reactor until I saw yours. Keeping things simple (that should read : INEXPENSIVE), I simply dose 10cc of both parts of B-Ionic every day, so I've not tried a Calcium reactor yet, nor have I attempted Kalkwasser. So yours is yet another expensive addition for my future super tank. <grin>
When I saw picture #2 on that link, I thought it was a huge carpet anemone. (It is yellow in color.) But after seeing it a few more times, I'm guessing that is a giant leather, right?
Those pictures are excellent quality. It would be really nice if by chance they could have captions perhaps. Or maybe you could write a short description and insert the link for each picture here on RC. I know, I know... you have enough work taking care of your great tank as it is, but I have to tell ya, I'm hear to learn. So get busy! :D :D :D
And thank you for answering my question about the sump lighting, not to mention that picture that lets us see it a little better up close. I like that you found a way to make use of only 250w MHs over this tank (and under)... I read so often about 400w bulbs, so it is nice to know it is very much possible to successfully run a tank that doesn't require the highest wattage available.
Did you ever incorporate that new sump (the white one), or is that still in progress?
12/17/2002, 09:56 PM
Truly awesome! An inspiration for my soon-to-be little 125.
12/18/2002, 04:25 AM
Just to respond to the query about the aditional sump, yes it is on line now, adding another 350 gallons. Nothing to add other connected to the original sump, with a turm over of 500 gallons per hr, totally enclosed in 2" polystyrene, may put some living rock into it at some time in the future.
**corrected spelling errors** :D Skipper
I have 2 other questions if you would be so kind -
1. How did you catch the foxfaxes with all that cover?
2. How often do you need to scrape your glass to keep algae off of it?
Thanks again and a great inspiration.
12/19/2002, 06:35 AM
In response to your queries:
1. There is only one way to catch fish from my tank and that is to use a trap, its an all glass tank about 15" long 10" high and 10" wide, the end pane of glass has been replaced with one which can be raised up and down in runners, like a guillotine. cannot remember how to spell it. If is doesn't work immediately, the fish soon get used to going into it at feeding time.
2. The glass is cleaned at the moment about every 4 days.
Hope this helps
12/20/2002, 06:08 AM
Originally posted by AcroporaUK
4. This tank has never had problems with phosphate, but then again it has always had phosphate remover (Rowaphos). I am rather surprised how little comment has been made about the phosphate remover, as I see that this is one of the main reasons why the tanks has been sucessful. Martin .
Actually, I was hoping you could go into details about the Phosphate reactor.... :)
Did you build it yourself and how does it work exactly?
12/21/2002, 01:19 PM
Your tank is stunning! Another great pick for TOTM!!! :thumbsup:
12/22/2002, 06:30 PM
Martin, Fantastic example of what can be done with lot's of knowledge, initiative, patience, effort & money (Damn - the neat stuff always costs $$ doesn't it:))
Please Please go into more details about your phosphate remover unit. I've never seen one before and I'm in the process of battling microalgae currently. Just what I need!
12/23/2002, 03:42 AM
JUst thought I would give you some more details on the phospahte reactor (remover) as there seems to be a few queries.
Approx dimentions 4" x 4" x 3' may be 4' high, made out of Perspex
Water pumped to the bottom of the reactor through a 10mm rigid tube, pasted in the corner.
Water flows out of a 1" ABS pipe at the top.
The next bit isn't easy to explain, but two pieces of perspex are stuck to the botom, at opposing angles, to stop any dead spots.
The bottom has a good handfull of toy glass marbles to help spread the water. Above the marbles the is a layer of open celled foam.
I have found that the foam is necessary as turning the pump off, originally, sometimes drew Rowaphos up into the 10mm tube, and turning the pump back on, was not always possible to clear the blockage.
At the top of the reactor, there is another layer of foam and floss.
Hope this helps
Two pieces of
12/23/2002, 07:18 PM
Hi Martin, Thanks very much for the explaination concerning your DIY phosphate reactor.
Two more questions though:
1. What flow rate are you aiming for. Looks as though the OEM recommends a low flow rate?
2. "Two pieces of" What?? You started a new sentance just after your Sig...
12/26/2002, 05:03 PM
Great setup! I enjoyed the tour.
12/31/2002, 01:54 PM
McFlurry spoons, very cool.
That whole setup is some serious stuff there. AWESOME!!!!!!!!
Do you have any diagrams on how you built this ?
"I have also created internal shelves out of 10mm glass to support a structure at higher levels in the tank, and avoided filling the entire tank with rock. This enables me to maximize the water capacity and available swimming space for the fish."
01/09/2003, 06:36 AM
Hi with regard to your query on how I built the internal shelves.
The are supported by two upside down T shaped stands, two pieces of glass, one about 6" x 6" siliconed to another piece 6" x say 10". Then the shelf just sits on top of this. All glass components are 10mm thick.
Hope this helps
02/03/2003, 06:24 PM
that is a beautiful tank indeed, i bet you're quite proud of it... along with making me quite jealous! :D
09/16/2004, 03:33 PM
I loved almost the whole article that you wrote and it is very inspirational to all the new tank enthusiasts. The last paragraph makes me feel as if you think that you were never in the category of beginner. Everyone that is starting their adventure with a new tank has to get used to all the testing, maintenance, upgrades, and all the peculiar things that go on. I see that you have over 30 years experience and you know what you are doing but I would find it hard to believe that you yourself did not make some mistakes in the begining. I have the luxury of having a friend that own an aquarium shop so I get a lot of advice from experienced people about what I need to do. I also like to do some experimenting on my own cause my saying is " If it works in the ocean there must be a way of making it work in an aquarium" This is proved by my daring addition of a Stars and stripes puffer into my reef tank. Of course I would not try to add a shark or something like that into it but I have the mindset to try new things. I am finding that there are certain corals that the puffer will bother and others that simply have no interest to him at all. I am jealous of your tank set up and someday I hope to be able to match it. I can not even think of tackling suck a project until I own my own home. I would hate to think of moving such a large tank as that if I were to move. I am thoroughly impressed and want to know if you by any chance have any updates on what you have done to your tank since your last post. Thank you very much for all of your good advice. The comments about the last paragraph are there just because everyone starts out partially blind to everything that a reef tank entails. The only advice I would give to someone so far about starting a tank of their own would be, Make sure you have time for it. Its not something that you set up and looks pretty. They require a lot of supervision, time, money and a lot more. I am new at this and I suggest that if you dont know someone already then get to be friends with your LFS. Pay attention to their tanks. Visit them repeatedly before taking any major advice. If you see different Corals, fish or Anenome in the same display tanks all the time then they are probably not very good at reef tanks themselves. I dont think that a good display reef tank should have replacements in it all the time.
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