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Old 07/25/2006, 09:14 PM   #1
Aquabucket
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Cool Skimmerless 40G Breeder ~ Specs & Pics.

I decided its time to start a thread about my latest tank ~ my 40 gallon mixed reef. Hope you enjoy it!

Tank Specs:

40 Gallon Breeder ~ started 12/7/05 (Many of the Corals and LR were transferred from my previous tank, an 18 month old 30G).

Mechanical filtration: ~ modified HOB AqauClear 200 with airstone injection, activated carbon, polyfilter, and an in-tank surface skimmer.

Total turnover ~ 1440 GPH

Biological filtration ~ 30lbs of LR from Fiji, Marshall Islands, and Tonga. Various types of macro algae.

Lighting ~ 4 x 39watt T5s, 2 x 10,000K, 1 x 03 actinic, 1 x
blue plus.

Livestock:

Fish ~ 3 Yellow-lined Cardinalfish, Orange-tail Blue Damsel, Yellow Watchman Goby.

Corals ~ Blastomussa Merleti, Merulina, Hydnophora, Acropora, Lobophyllia, Pavona, Branching Hammer, Candy cane, Torch, Fox, Pipe Organ (3 types), Sun Coral, Galaxia, Bubble, Kenya Tree, Nepthia (2 types), Toadstool Leather, Star Polyps (3 types), Daisy Polyps, Pulsing Xenia and various colored zoos.

Other inverts ~ Derasa Clam, Yellow Gorgonian, Zebra Hermits, Blue-leg Hermits, Astrea snails, Nassarius snails, Nerite snails, Hawaiian feather duster, Various sponges, feather dusters and many small Brittle Stars.

Notes ~ This is a mixed reef with an emphasis on keeping LPS and softies. I decided to stop stocking acropora after a mass heat induced die-off due to a power surge shutting off my AC. I fugured it could happen again so why risk it. All my LPS and softies survived the heat wave. The tanks lighting was cut down form 6 x 39 watt T5s to 4 in Jan. of 06. Although my T5s do not have individual reflectors I found that 6 bullbs were too much for many of the corals I like to keep. This is a skimmerless system like the others I posted in the past. I am still adding corals to the top of the LR along the back. I am waiting to aquire certain specimens this fall. Related links to previous threads provided below:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=486097
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=560160

Pictures:



Yellow Gorgonian, Blastomussa, Hammer,Feather Duster, Sun Coral, Torch, and Riccordia


Green Bubble Coral, Pipe Oragn, Red Lobophyllia, and Daisy Polyps


Green Toadstool under Actinics


Yellow-lined Cardinals and Green Bubble Coral under Actinics


Red Lobophyllia under Actinics


I look forward to hearing your comments, questions and suggestions!

More pictures including growth pics coming soon!


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Old 07/25/2006, 09:20 PM   #2
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Very clean looking tank! What fixture do you have those T5's in? I also have a Toadstool under T5s and it has never looked like that!


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Old 07/25/2006, 09:26 PM   #3
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Positively gorgeous small setup!


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Old 07/25/2006, 09:31 PM   #4
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Littleg182 ~ Thanks! Its a cheap Catalina fixture I aquired off e-bay 2 years ago. I modified it quite a bit though. It now has remote ballasts and SLS rubber sealed endcaps. I am not runnig them on individual reflectors. The toadstool grew from a thumbnail sized frag I aquired about a year and a half ago.

Kirk_M ~ Thanks for the kind words!


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Old 07/25/2006, 11:07 PM   #5
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I really like the set up! I too have a sumpless 40 breeder (have a website for it!). My tank is a softie dedicated with clams, but man looking at your bubble coral I am SO tempted to get one. I have to admit I cringed a little knowing your system did not have a skimmer, but pictures do not lie.. well they can but your pictures say otherwise, your tank is fantastic!

I am curious to know of your duties with the tank like water changes, dosings, etc?


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Old 07/26/2006, 12:36 AM   #6
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Electrobes ~ Thanks! I try to do a 15% water change every 2 weeks. I also change my carbon and polyfilter after each WC. I add 5ml each of a 2 part additive every other day. I also add magnesium when needed. I don't feed my corals, clam or filter feeders since the tank is skimmerless. Basting the LR and stirring up the sand frequently keeps those things happy.

I had enough time to take another shot as my Sun coral frags began to open. These came from fragging a large colony at work. These leftover pieces were glued down a few weeks ago. I hope to have them open all day long by Christmas. I discovered that each new polyp will stay open during the day. As these new polyps get bigger and I continue to feed them the other polyps begin to open during the day as well. I feed them almost every day.

Even though its not the best here is a pic of my Sun coral frags:




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Old 07/26/2006, 06:17 AM   #7
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How are you going to feed the sun corals if you don't feed your corals, clams, or filter feeders because your tank is skimmerless? I am HIGHLY wanting to keep some sun corals but didn't want to lower the tank water's quality with the feedings. How often are you feeding the sun corals at work, and with what? Thanks!


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Old 07/26/2006, 06:32 AM   #8
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You got me there! I meant in general ~ I don't add things like phyto, cyclop-eeze, marine snow, etc... Of course I feed my Sun Corals just like I feed my fish. I feed them mysis and finely chopped scallops. The frags at work get fed 3 times a week. I use a spot feeder to target each polyp. It only takes a few seconds. I feed my fish at the other end of the tank first to keep them at bay.


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Old 07/26/2006, 07:19 AM   #9
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impressed as always =)


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Old 07/26/2006, 08:39 AM   #10
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Wow! I always do love to see pics and set-up of smaller set-ups that prove it can be done and done so cleanly and healthy looking! Way to go! It really is nice to look at! Let's see more pics please, preferably more of the whole set-up from different angles, ...


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Old 07/26/2006, 08:46 AM   #11
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Your tank looks awsome! I always find it funny how small a 40Gb looks in a picture , yes they are not huge, but I have one as my main tank and it looks alot bigger than those in the pictures do, must be all the nice corals!


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Old 07/26/2006, 09:14 AM   #12
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aquabucket and electrobes : when you use and regularly change a POLYFILTER you dont need a skimmer ..it does a better job of removing organics.it's just not practical on a larger tank...but on a 4o breeder -no problem.


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Old 07/26/2006, 09:16 AM   #13
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positively stunning! aquabucket, that is one of the best tanks i've ever seen


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Old 07/26/2006, 09:44 AM   #14
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Thanks for the nice comments everyone!!

Quote:
Originally posted by hottuna
aquabucket and electrobes : when you use and regularly change a POLYFILTER you dont need a skimmer ..it does a better job of removing organics.it's just not practical on a larger tank...but on a 4o breeder -no problem.
I did not know that! Using a polyfilter is something that I started just a few months ago. The polyfilter is located at the top stage of of my HOB chamber. Slip tied to the bottom of the filter basket is an airstone, above that there is a large bag of carbon and the polyfilter rests on top of that and seals off the chamber preventing loads of micro bubbles from entering the tank. The polyfilter turns brown like the color of skim-mate after a week or so. The air bubbles seem to do a good job of forcing some organics into the polyfilter. I'll have to take some pics on how I modified the HOB.


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Old 07/26/2006, 11:16 AM   #15
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Because you are not running a skimmer...make sure to harvest the macro. Look into xenia as a nutrient export as well.

I would suggest running a phosban reactor...i would run carbon, purigen, and a little bit of rowa. The purigen will absorb nutrients and help wih redox, and is cheaper than polyfilters...the carbon will take care of the chemical warfare...and rowa will save you from cleaning the glass everyday.

Again only use a little bit of rowa as the softies will not like a 0 po4 level.

As for polyfilters being a sub for skimmers.... they can help, but never will replace. Skimmers remove a broader range of organics and particulate matter from the water. Because polyfilters trap detritus etc... without a skimmer they ideally need to be changed out daily to not increase no3 & no4

hth

eric&flint


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Old 07/26/2006, 11:40 AM   #16
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Flint&Eric ~ Thanks for taking the time to comment! Many of the things you mentioned have been covered in the previous threads I linked to earlier. I have been running skimmerless systems for 5 years now. I also realize the limits of a polyfilter as it can only remove larger particles from the system while many particles can easily pass around it. I know that it is in no way as efficient as a quality skimmer. Any quality skimmer strip the water of even the smallest of particles. As far as running an iron based media to remove phosphate for me there is no need to. My glass can go days without cleaning ~ many times more than a week.

Later today I will post a pic showing the clarity of my water. The pic will zoom in on a subject at the opposite end of the tank. In other words I will take a pic of something zoomed in through 3 feet of water.


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Old 07/26/2006, 08:04 PM   #17
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AquaB, you make me want to get a small tank like that, and try it out, you make it look so easy, I don't think I could do that WITH a skimmer, ...


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Old 07/26/2006, 09:26 PM   #18
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skeeter-doc ~ Thanks for the nice comments!

I have been getting quite a few PMs about the AquaClear HOB and the surface skimmer in particular. To make things easy for everyone I will post a link to them and a pic of how I modified one to run quietly. The unit out of the box works poorly and makes a lot of noise.

Link to the surface skimmer atachment from Hagen:
http://www.petstore.com/ps_viewitem....roduct=HG10240

How Hagen suggests you set it up:


My modified version:


Its important to make 3/8" holes were indicated to make it run quietly and smoothly as the water levels vary! I used a hot soddering iron. It works much faster then a drill and there is less of a chance in breaking the tube.

I am kind of bummed out because my camera decided to act up again. Now I can't get my old computer to read the floppy disks the pics get recorded on. I am going to try a different computer tomorrow. Hope it works or I can solve this problem because I took some nice pics today. I guess thats what happens when you use a 9 year old camera and computer. In the meantime there are some pics in my gallery that I took a few days ago that you can look at if you want.


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Old 07/26/2006, 11:25 PM   #19
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Not bad set up at all. The funny thing is that I am a bit on the flip side of you when it comes to filtration. I pretty much only use a skimmer, except like you I also do water changes... 10% once a week.

I also have a lot less flow than you... I use an AC 500 (nothing in it aside from the heater, use it for flow for the way it does it is to my liking), an MJ-900, and my skimmer (which you can barely count). This all equals to about 880-900 gph... 22-23 turnover at best.

As for clean up crew I gave up on the snails, my blue legged hermits keep eating them, so I just rely on them, at least they do a good job. I actually have a fighting conch who seems to be doing a good job at scavenging as well. Speaking of I need more...

I do envy your lighting... though I would never leave the use of a halide I do regret the lack of corralline on my rocks. I have 2X39 watt T5's for the actinics (One true actinic and one blue plus) and I love them. I can't bear the thought of not having my shimmerings in the tank

I tried going to your site... do you not have your tank in there?


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Old 07/26/2006, 11:55 PM   #20
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Couldn't you do that mod with PVC instead of the U tube thing that comes with the AC? BTW, nice tank. I'm doing a sumpless, skimmerless 55 gallon.


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Old 07/27/2006, 12:26 AM   #21
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Electrobes ~

I here you about the snails. I have very few Astreas left and decided just to keep mainly hermits with Astrea shells on their backs. I know they can be trouble sometimes but I just like hermits better than snails. My Nassarius snails stand up to them pretty well though.

My website is very outdated. I left it up because it is a good resource for collecting your own fish. Back then I was living in South Florida and had a permit to collect and sell baitfish. It turns out that fish such as the Dollar Sunfish, American-Flag fish, Blue-fin Killies and several others shown on my site were desired tropicals so I made some cash on the side to help support my hobby. I also collected many secies of SW fish and had 7 tanks and a brackish pond going at the time.

Some of my in-tank goby pictures from back then can still be seen on the Goby Research Institute's site:

http://www.gobiidae.com/species_page...sorporator.htm
http://www.gobiidae.com/species_page..._smaragdus.htm (scroll down)

Nano_reeflover ~

Thanks for the comments! PVC would work very well! Its just that I had an old AquaClear with a blown impeller lying around. It ended up in my old cooler full of aquarium parts for couple of years before I found a use for it. It came in handy at the time as I wanted to keep everything uniform and transparent. This little surface skimmer is a very important part of my system. It really helps with regard to light penitration and clearing up the tank.


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Old 07/27/2006, 08:02 AM   #22
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After following your other thread, figured I better have a look here also. Very beautiful pics and corals.

Have to like that surface skimmer modification.


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Old 07/27/2006, 08:20 AM   #23
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aquabucket: the point of the polyfilter is not mechanical filtration..it removes/absobs organics just as well as any skimmer...i've heard some on these boards say that their skimmers dont skim too well after adding a fresh polyfilter.if your after mechanical filtration try a pleated cartridge filter like rainbow,magnum,ocean clear...they will remove the finest of particles...or just good old filter pads in the back of some outside filter..


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Old 07/27/2006, 12:54 PM   #24
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Well I just tried making your skimmer mod with 3/4'' PVC and all the fittings are perfect for the AC. I'm not going to keep mine, I did it just to see if all the pieces fit and they do!


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Old 07/27/2006, 01:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nano_reeflover
Well I just tried making your skimmer mod with 3/4'' PVC and all the fittings are perfect for the AC. I'm not going to keep mine, I did it just to see if all the pieces fit and they do!

Any pics, links or more info on how you did this mod? Also does the lower side on "U" has to be that deep?


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