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Old 10/15/2014, 10:12 AM   #1
markalot
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Mark's 150 gallon

Howdy,

I had a thread in the general forum but frankly all I care about is SPS, and some of my other corals are getting moved or kicked out as the obsession grows, so I figured a thread in here, away from the masses, might be a good idea.

I've only been in the hobby since February 2012, first with a 40 breeder, then adding a 46 bowfront, and then combining those into this 150.

Latest FTS



Equipment List:

- Marineland/Perfecto 150 gallon (72x18x27) tank with dual corner Durso overflows and glass tops
- 2 - MP40's (one on the 40, new one purchased)
- Ecotech Battery Backup
- 2 - WP25's for flow along the back wall
- Maxspect Razor 300W 16K (43.5"), Razor 160W 16K (27"), BuildMyLED Custom strip (~18K), T5HO (Coral+)
- Trigger Systems Ruby 36S sump (36x15x16)
- Reef Octopus XP-2000 Cone Skimmer
- EHEIM 1262 for the return pump
- Timed Topoff with Kalk
- APEX Controller
- Bubble Magus Doser for Alk and Calcium, manually add Mg

Current params (Salifert kits), stable for over a month now:

8.5 KH
440 CA
1350 Mg

PH 7.9 - 8.1

Nitrates < 1
Phosphate 0 ( I don't believe it)

My first big issue was PH. My controller and lab grade PH probe kept showing PH dropping below 7.7 at night and below 7.6 at least twice. The addition of Kalk in my topoff and running the skimmer intake to a window fixed that issue, plus a break in the weather allowed us to open up more.

After some of the corals started to fade/bleach last month I did some research and found that most success with LED's comes from raising the fixtures up, keeping the whites lower than the blues, and supplementing the light to compensate for the sharp point source issues LED have.

My solution was a custom BuildMyLED strip similar to their 20K but slightly warmer. This fixture helps light the front of the tank while a couple of old T5 2 bulb fixtures help with the back of the tank. After the change I tested PAR and made sure no acro was getting above 300.

Since the change I've been regaining good color in all acros so hopefully I'm on the right track now.

Daily Feeding:

- Assorted Flake Food 3 times a day
- A pinch of Reef Roids, usually in the sump return chamber and stirred up
- A cap of AcroPower + a cap of Kent Coral Accel

I feed frozen once or twice a week, PE Mysis and Cyclopese. I was dosing 2 caps of AcroPower a day but started growing some cyano plus some strange brown stringy stuff that faded rapidly once I reduced the dosage.

My oldest SPS is the big purple stylophora given to me by a local coral shop as a great beginner SPS. It's lived through 2 crashes that killed most of my other corals. My oldest acro is the Green Slimer which lived through AEFW and Bayer treatment when I had an outbreak in my 40 over a year ago. I now dip all new acro arrivals in Bayer thanks to that experience.

I have an obsession with trying to color up unknown frags of acros. My latest 3 here on my fraggle rock:



Other pics...

"Fuzzy Purple" with a colorless Strawberry Shortcake on the left


Newer unknown


"Blue Stag" which has since browned significantly.


Working on improving my blue light photo skills.


So the challenge will be if I can grow these acros and maintain or improve colors. Obviously Birdsnests, Stylos, and Pocillopora have not been an issue, but I have yet to match the colors of some of the better SPS tanks here, so that's my goal. Thanks for looking.


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Old 10/15/2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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looks great I'm jealous


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Old 10/15/2014, 05:21 PM   #3
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Looks Great! How long until you move up to the 500gal? Lol


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Old 10/16/2014, 07:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viper12775 View Post
looks great I'm jealous
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksfishtank View Post
Looks Great! How long until you move up to the 500gal? Lol
This is it, biggest tank that will fit through our 1980 small door house.

Pics of my collection so far. I have a good camera and macro lens but skill is still lacking. I'm also not good at recognizing acro species so if anyone wants to let me know what some of these are I would be most grateful!

Just received 3 frags from Cultivated Reef so I had to move the the bigger fraggle rock.



subulata?


ORA Plum Crazy that I bleached, then browned, and now recovering, all in a months time.


Purple Fuzz (A&M Aquatics) This is my second largest acro after the slimer


Unknown milli, sold as a Rainbow Milli


Strawberry Shortcake (Unique) maybe finally coloring up? I'm not getting my hopes up. at the blue cloves.



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Old 10/16/2014, 07:50 AM   #5
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One of my unknown frag purchases from early this year. Started out green with decent green polyps, grew sideways into an adjacent rock, skin lightened, then appears bleached, and now is a light tan. Tips are brilliant sky blue and nearly impossible to capture with the camera.


Unknown milli. Purchased at the same time from the $15 frag bin. I bleached this as well, now brown with slight hints of red.


UC Rainbow milli (Unique) getting color back (purple coralite edge) after a month in this tank.


Unkown frag purchased at the same time as the milli and blue tip. Acropora turdamungus must be the species because it refuses to do anything but encrust and stay brown.


Another unknown purchased a few weeks ago, this one encrusts fast and has a brilliant metallic green sheen to it.


Purple Stylophora, my very first SPS purchased as a small frag 2 years ago.





ORA green tip birdsnest. Wife's favorite but it grows annoyingly fast.


Ponape Birdsnest, my favorite Seriatopora. Great color, stays compact.


Thanks for looking.


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Old 10/16/2014, 08:35 AM   #6
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Wow Mark, reefing only since 2012, you've figured out things very fast! SPS looks great, looks very healthy and great colours.

Like the picture with the foxface in it flashing his spines!


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Old 10/16/2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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Wow Mark, reefing only since 2012, you've figured out things very fast! SPS looks great, looks very healthy and great colours.

Like the picture with the foxface in it flashing his spines!
Hey thanks, much appreciated, and I hope you're right but I think I still have a long way to go. I keep catching myself almost doing something stupid.

I never wanted a Foxface, the pictures never did anything for me but I have a ton of bubble algae and not enough patience, so I got one and amazingly he took to eating bubble algae right away. In hindsight it was yet another dumb decision but this one worked out, and I love his personality.

My luck he will start eating other things once the bubbles are all gone.


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Old 10/16/2014, 10:02 PM   #8
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A couple more frags I didn't post before. I believe i have these id'ed but never 100% positive.

Acropora jacquelineae from A&M


Acropora sarmentosa



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Old 10/16/2014, 10:38 PM   #9
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Looks good!


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Old 10/17/2014, 04:14 PM   #10
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Tank is looking great!

What % are you running your Razor? Are you using the 90 degree stock optics?


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Old 10/17/2014, 04:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Looks good!
Thanks Tryder!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ritter6788 View Post
Tank is looking great!

What % are you running your Razor? Are you using the 90 degree stock optics?
Thanks Ritter. Right now I'm 13" above the glass tops and running 75%A 85%B for 6 hours with a slow ramp on either side. I supplement with a newer BML strip in front (75%) and T5's in back. Raising it way up helped the bleached corals recover quickly and I'm still reading 300-310 on the acros up top, 250 - 275 down on the front, near the sandbed, so I've kind of equalized the PAR spread, though I'm not sure this is the best idea.


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Old 10/17/2014, 04:31 PM   #12
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Here's a view of the top, including my custom all natural 2x4 light legs.




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Old 10/17/2014, 05:03 PM   #13
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Very nice tank!


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Old 10/17/2014, 05:20 PM   #14
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Very nice tank!
Thanks.


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Old 10/18/2014, 08:26 AM   #15
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Hey Mark. That is a awesome tank you have there. I'll be joining the ride for sure


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Old 10/18/2014, 08:33 AM   #16
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Thanks Rory, glad to have you along.


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Old 10/18/2014, 08:44 AM   #17
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I probably won't be much help, just soaking up any useful info


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Old 10/18/2014, 09:30 AM   #18
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Off to a great start with all those SPS frags Mark I'm looking forward to watching you color those little puppies up mate - and you will

The display colors look great overall, i rudely messed with your pic to get a better idea what things looked like - hope you don't mind.




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Old 10/18/2014, 10:08 AM   #19
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Thanks Biggles, that photo looks great, how the heck did you do that? My post processing skills need work. I was using a free program called RawTherapee but have since started using Adobe Lightroom.


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Old 10/18/2014, 10:41 AM   #20
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Excellent!!! By the sounds of it you have truly been bitten by the SPS bug and certainly your tank is showing it. Great pics and your corals look very healthy and are showing signs that you have a great handle on things in your system.
GREAT JOB!!!


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Old 10/18/2014, 09:12 PM   #21
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Excellent!!! By the sounds of it you have truly been bitten by the SPS bug and certainly your tank is showing it. Great pics and your corals look very healthy and are showing signs that you have a great handle on things in your system.
GREAT JOB!!!
Thanks!


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Old 10/18/2014, 09:22 PM   #22
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Some beautiful pieces of SPS. Very good colors and polyps extension.


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Old 10/19/2014, 07:20 AM   #23
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Tried some topdown shots and mostly failed, with a few exceptions. The color from the top is so much better than from the front, maybe because I just have normal glass? I've got a porthole thing coming from Avast marine which should help.









I think the bubble algae looks better from the top as well.


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Old 10/19/2014, 07:40 AM   #24
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Tried some topdown shots and mostly failed, with a few exceptions. The color from the top is so much better than from the front, maybe because I just have normal glass? I've got a porthole thing coming from Avast marine which should help.
Until you have something to let you shove the camera 'underwater' such as your porthole thing it's difficult to get sharp top downs. I use a 1/2 gallon flat bottomed acrylic bug/fish tank for my top down box. It's 5"x7" with 5" high sides so i can basically get to any coral for a good closeup. I did have to shell out $3.50 for it but sometimes you just pay the big bucks to get professional equipment on a budget...........
Make sure you go stupid with that porthole as soon as you get please Mark as you have a very nice collection of beautiful colonies in waiting to grow out and color up


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Old 10/19/2014, 07:49 AM   #25
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Make sure you go stupid with that porthole as soon as you get please Mark as you have a very nice collection of beautiful colonies in waiting to grow out and color up
I don't think I'll have any problem going full stupid once I get it. Only question is, will I accidentally drop the camera in the water?


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