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RHM10years

RHM10years

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Published by Richard Ross

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Published by: Richard Ross on Jul 05, 2012
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01/09/2014

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Evolution of a 10 Year Old Reef 
Richrd Ross
18
 
spaceunerthehouse.Allthenoise,humiity,anetrituscoullivethereanbothernoone.Iinstallea180gallonsumpana150gallonRubbermaitroughasafreshwaterstorage/ saltwater-mixingbasin.Experiencehastaughtmethatitiscriticaltohavetheabilitytoolargewaterchangesonshortnotice,anthisparticularhegeagainstisasterhassavemyreefseveraltimes.
Hiding the Mess: What’s Changed 
 ThoughIlovethecustomstanancanopy,wetooktheoppor-tunitytomakethetank‘semi’builtintoawallwhenwehatohavetheoorreone.IsaysemibecauseIusetheexistingstan(Ijustpainteit)anuse2x2framingbutinotattachittotheoorarounthetanknortheneighboringbookshelf.Thiswoulallowforeasyremovalofthetankan‘walls’ifwemoveor,shuer,eciewein’twantthetankanymore.Itlookslikeafullbuilt-in,whichIlove,butit’sreallyjustafacae.
19
retrospeCtive
M
yhomereeftankisnow10yearsolanhasbeenanintegralpartofmylifeforoneyearlon-gerthanmyaughter,anIlovethemboth.Overtheyears,myreefsystemhasbeenaninteresting,entertaining,painfulanwonerfulteacher.
bckground nd bsics
Ibecameareefkeeperintheearly1980’swhenalgaecovererockswereconsierecoolanhaircurlersweretheultimateinbio-ltrationmeia.Itookabreakfromthehobbyaftercollegebutgotbackintoitinthelate90’s.AsIexperimenteanworketocatchupwithnewmethoologies,my50gallontankslowlytookoverthelivingroomlikesomesortofcreepinginfection–thereweretop-off,osing,feeing,anmonitoringapparatusesevery-where.Neelesstosay,thoughshelovethetank,mywifewaslessthanpleasewiththesituation,anIagree.Wouln’titbebettertohaveallthatlifesupportconcealesothatthefocuswasontheanimalsratherthantheequipment? Anticipatingthebirthofouraughterin2002,wemovetoalargerhouse,aneveryreefkeeperknowswhatthatmeans–anew,big-ger,bettertank!Isettleonause,150gallontankmainlybecauseittwellalongawallinthelivingroom.IwasaamantthatthetankgointhelivingroombecausethatiswhereIspenmostofmytimeathome.Itwasn’taneasyfeattoputthetankinplace.Weneeetorelocateabathroomoor,butmywifegavetheokayproviethatIkeep“tankcreep”toaminimum.Iinstallethenewbathroomooranatthelastmoment,ecietokeeptheoriginalbath-roomoorinplace,allowingmetohaveunrestricteaccesstothebackofthetankwhichisawesome.
Philosophy
 Themainieabehinthissystemwastomaximizethejoyofwatchinganimalsgrowanthrivebutminimizetherugeryofthemyriaeveryaymaintenancetasksthatactuallyallowtheanimalstogrowanthrive.Waterchangesareonebyopeningvalvesanippingswitches...nomorebucketsanhoses.EverythingthatIcoulmakeautomatic,Ii.Atthispoint,eventheskimmeref-uentllsabucketthatautomaticallyshutsofftheskimmerwhenthebucketisfull.Then,Iipaswitchtopumpthatefuenttothesewer.Ofcourse,automationhasitsownheaaches,buttheabil-itytoleavethetankforworkorvacationforthreeweeksatatimeorjustrelaxallweekenwithouthavingtoworryaboutthetankhasgreatlyenhancemyoverallenjoymentofthereef.
Hiding the Mess
Reefkeepingcreatesitsownetritus;testkits,magneticcleaners,tubesofglue,towels,spareparts,feeingcups,anlotsofotherstuffcovereverysurfaceifleftunchecke.Tocombatthistenencyinthenewhouse,weorereacustomcherrystanancanopytohiethingsbothaboveanbelowthetank. Thebestieawehatoealwiththepotentialmesswastorillaholethroughthelivingroomooranputallthesupportequipment–sump,skimmer,top-off,reactors,etc.–inthe40inch-highcrawl
Just fip  switch nd ll this skimmteis pumped to the sewer. The fot switchturns o the skimmer when the ucketgets ull.
 
20
Don’t miss RHM sponsored Ree-a-Plooz in Cost Mes, Cliorni, Octoer 20-21. (reeploozshow.org)
 Thespaceabovethetankishuge(30inchesby5feet)angoesallthewaytotheceiling.Icaneasilygetmyentiretorsooverthetopofthetank.Thelightsarenowhungfromtheceiling,whichmakesraisinganloweringthemuringworkorlampchangesveryeasy. Thereisastorageshelfononesieofthetankanamagneticstoragestripontheotherforthingslikescissors,tweezers,anboneshears.Thereisalsoaventfantotheoutsieofthehousebuiltintothesiewalltokeephumiityownankeepthelightsfromoverheatingthetankuringhotweather.
aquscping
Itwasimportanttomethatthetankwasn’ta‘wallofrock’ontopofabeofsanbecausenotonlyoIthinksuchsetupsarevisuallyunappealing,buttheyalsoon’tpromotecoralcoverageorwaterow.Evenworse,etrituscancollectuneranbehinrockwalls,anifacoralaccientallyropsbehinthatwall,it’sgoneforeverunlessyouarewillingtoremoveeverythingfromthetank.Mysolutiontoavoiingthe‘wallofrock’wastopurchaseseveralnicelyshape,largepiecesofliverock(oneisover50pouns)anrestthemonsmallerpiecesofliverocktoraisethemoffthebottomofthetank.Ialsogluesometabstotheoverowsanthebackofthetanktohelpholrockworkinplace.Thelargepiecesalreaycamewithswim-throughsanhainterestingshapes.Iarrangetheminsuchawayastominimizeareasoflowowanmaximizecoralplacementsiteswhilegivingvisualepthtotheisplay.Tome,itfeelslikearealreefinthesensethatyouhavetokeeplookingbehincoralstonmorecorals.
Aquascaping: What’s Changed 
 Theaquascapingarrangementhasremaineessentiallythesameovertheentire10yearsthistankhasbeensetup.Iremovetheeepsanbe,aninaitiontothepotentialsafetyimpacts(is-cussebelow),ahugebenetwasreclaimingthevaluablespacethesantookupintheisplaytank.
Wter Motion
 Thewaterowwasoriginallyesignefollowingthebestthink-ingoftheayantheprevailingthoughtwastomaximizeranomow.AnAmpmaster3000isthemainreturnfromthesumpanitfeestwo1-inchSeaSwirlslocateinthefrontcornersofthe
The originl sump, klk rector, top-o reseroir nd skimmte collection re.Note the mess nd slt creep tht no one cres out ecuse it is ll underthe house.The semi uilt-in s it nered completion.visul depth is chieed through creul corl plcement tking into ccountshpe nd color. The purple dig’ nd the yellow turinri re some o the oldestcorls in the system.
tank.AdannerMag9.5onaSQWdinacloseloopentersthetankinthebottom-backcornersanpreventsetritusbuilup.IalsohaveadannerMag7runningaSQWdwithoneoutputtotheabovetankrefugiumantheotherabletobemovearounthetankepeningonwhereIthinkmorecirculationisneee.Finally,twopowerheasonanMVTwavemakereliminateeaspots,anonelargepowerhea,alsoontheMVT,actsasasurgeacrossthetopofthetank.Thatseemslikealot,butin2002,wereallyin’thaveagreatconceptaboutwhat‘alot’ofowactuallymeant.
Water Motion: What’s Changed 
 Theieathatranomowisthekeytocoralgrowthinotseemtopanout,antheieaofmovingtheentiremassofwaterhastakenitsplace.Iamanavocateoftheieaofchangingowoverthecourseoftheay,inawaymimickingthecurrentantialchangesoverthecourseofaayonawilreef.Iwanttheowinmytanktobelaminarforpartoftheay,ranomforpartoftheay,calmforpartoftheay,angoingtheoppositeirectionforyetanotherpartoftheay.Almostallofthewaterpumpsinmysystemarenowonsomesortoftimersotheowinallareasofthetankvariesovertime.

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