az egészségbiztosítás hordozhatóságáról és elszámoltathatóság törvény hipaa gyermek egészségügyi Szövetség óra után

Reeflections: A Three Foot Square Challenge

A Three Foot Square Challenge By: John Laurenson

It is an honor to be featured in the Reef Hobbyist Online Reeflections Column, especially considering I’m following reef keepers like JB NY, steveweast, and others. I often visit their Web sites and envy their tanks. I often sit in awe when I read and see the effort and thought they have put into their systems. My little reef tank covers less than a 3-foot square piece of floor in my condo and doesn’t seem comparatively worthy.

The tank is a 45 g ½ barrel shaped tank as shown below. The stand and hood extends from the floor to the ceiling, curved to match the tank, and has been made to look like a wall extension. The stand and hood are covered with aluminum laminate. All support equipment is compactly installed either under or above the tank.

Being an engineer and a “Rube Goldberg” inventor, I love tinkering with new ideas and tweaking old ones. I continue to modify my reef tank support system in an effort to make it easier for me to maintain a clean stable environment for reef life with minimal daily input. I frequently need to leave my system unattended for a week at a time.

For additional details about my system not shown here can be viewed on my Web Site.

Transitions in thinking…

I set up my system about 2 1/2 years ago. This was my first real attempt at salt water but I had a lot of preconceived filtration ideas carried over from freshwater aquariums. I decided the best approach for processing waste biologically was to do it inside the tank substrate.

I designed a DSB plenum system that was more responsive by allowing regular wasting by flushing to the drain. I called it CPW (controlled plenum wasting) to describe it. The concept was to stimulate bacteria growth within the DSB so that waste could be more efficiently processed and keep the DSB from going sour. Many reef keeper have had great success using DSB’s, I did not. After about a year it was becoming difficult to keep SPS when using this process because of phosphate and nitrogen waste being released back into the water column and nuisance macro algae growth was difficult to control. Later, when I removed the DSB, it showed heavy calcium clumping and several large black anoxic pockets. Flux from the substrate may have caused my SPS coral to RTN.

After a number of months fighting excess nutrients, I started to believe that exporting waste (detritus) before it started to biologically break down made more sense. Also detritus exporting is more easily accomplished without substrate in the tank. After a lot of thought, I spent two days changing the system and applied some different waste export methods. I also pick up a tinge of humility in the process. Following are several methods describing what I have found that seems to work well on my system for the last 18 months in keeping excess nutrients under control with minimal effort. I am sure many reef keepers will find my support system and filtration export methods interesting and maybe even a little controversial.

My present approach to exporting waste…

1. Heavy Short Pulse Circulation – To reduce energy consumption from a large pump running all the time, I use a high flow pulse recirculation system. Every 6 hours for 15 minutes a high flow rate pump is turned on giving over 50 times turn over per hour. Virtually all detritus on the tank bottom is put into suspension by the strong flow rate so that is can flow into the filter. It has eliminated my need to manually remove waste off the bottom.

2. Fine Bubble Flotation Filtration – During heavy pulse recirculation an air pump is turned on diffusing air near the pumps inlet for 2 – (1 minute) periods. The air injection floods the tank with fine bubbles for a few minutes. The bubbles attach to floating waste particles and assist in floating out the waste and exporting it to the over flow weir. The fine bubbles also causes the SPS coral to release a lot of slime as the bubbles attach to it and floating it off.

3. NPR – (Nitrogen / Phosphate Ranching to stimulate phosphate and nitrogen laden bacteria growth for exporting) I regularly dose small quantities of vodka, ½ ml per 25-gallon tank capacity, which supplies a clean carbon source that promotes bacteria growth. As the bacterium biomass grows, by using excess nitrogen and phosphate nutrients, the floss and skimmer remove it.

4. Filter Floss Exporting – The vodka is dosed into filter bags which is filled with filter floss. A highly concentrated bacteria slime bloom grows within the floss after a few hours as it is fed by the high waste laden water flowing through it. The bacteria slime starts to die and slough off in about 24 hours, so I remove and replace the bacteria laden floss 8 hours after dosing vodka. The floss removed is loaded with bacteria slime. Floss is never kept in the system more than two days so that it does not become a nitrate factory.

5. Vodka dosing is done daily, until P is non detectable in the water column and/or nuisance algae is eliminated, and then less often to maintain low P. This helps me to maintain low phosphates throughout the system and it also keeps the tank nuisance algae free.

6. An over sized skimmer is required to keep up with bacteria removal when dosing. I modified my ER to improve performance. It works well and removes nearly a gallon per week of black goop that drains into a gallon milk jug.

7. And just as important regular semi weekly 25% water changes.

My basic maintenance has been reduced a 10 minute job every other day; feed the fish, clean the tank front, dose vodka, and remove dirty floss. Once a week I empty the gallon jug and clean the tank with a magnetic pad. Everything else is automated with my computer and X-10 controllers. Hopefully I will never need to rebuild the system again. I have had to leave the tank unfed and unattended for over 5 days with no adverse affects.

In reef keeping, every system is unique with it’s own demands. The bioload is different for every system. There is no single best way to keep a system. I don’t advocate anyone use my methods. They are detailed to stimulate thought. The often bantering conversations on the Internet’s reef keeping forums with other members has given me an advanced degree in reef keeping in a few short years. I am continuously amazed at the depth knowledge of many members. Give me another 10 years and I might get my PHD in reef keeping.

Support Equipment

Stand Construction – Plywood construction using 2 sheets 3/4” plywood glued to make a 1-1/2″ structure. Plywood inside is covered with plastic laminate.









Lighting – DIY Hood and reflector:
(2) DE 250 watt Metal Halides(10k: 9am – 4pm and 15k: 8am – 8pm)

(2) 75 Watt 24” actinic VHO (7am – 12pm)
(2) LED moonbeams – on 24 hours

Filtration – Modified Berlin: Liverock, Bare bottom

1. Modified ER-5-2 Skimmer that runs 24/7
2. Nylon mesh Filter bags in sump
a. bag #1-1 Cup of carbon w/ Floss on top
b. bag #2-1 Cup of Zeolite rock w/ floss on top
3. Periodic Vodka dosing
a. 1 ml of Vodka dosed into filter floss daily
b. Floss removed within 12 hours and disposed of
3. Strong Pulse recirculation to re-suspend settled detritus
4. Fine bubble air injection to float detritus to surface, feed SPS and softies, and remove excess SPS slime

1. Continuous 350 gph into tank over flowing into sump
2. High rate closed loop– 2000 gph,
3. Closed loop is pulsed for 15 min / 6 hours

Inhabitants – …too many
Yellow Tang, Purple Tang, Lawnmower blenny, Long Nose Hawk, Clown Wrasse, Copperband Butterfly, Flame Angel, Betta and a Mated Pair of Percula Clowns that breed once a month.

Water Parameters

Temperature: 79 degrees F +/- 2.0
Salinity: 1.026 or 35ppt
pH: low 8.1 high 8.3
No3: undetectable
No2: undetectable
NH4: undetectable
Po4: barely detectable
Ca: 450ppm
Alk: 11 DKH
Mg: 1300ppm
Other System Components

Sump: 15 gals
(1) Dolphin AmpMaster 3000 closed surge recirculation
(1) Sedra 9000 Needle Wheel Skimmer Recirculation
(1) Sedra 3500 Skimmer feed
(1) Sedra 5000 Tank feed
Calcium reactor:
(2) pH CO2 controller

I use low energy fans for evaporative cooling. The fans evaporate about 2.5 g per day. I make up this water by adding RO/DI water through a Calcium reactor and Kalk reactor set in series. The 6.5 ph Calcium Reactor out put runs through my Kalk reactor to increase pH and pick up additional calcium in the process.

This allow me to use a single industrial stainless steel needle valve to control the RO/DI feed water to about 1 drop per second. It maintains a very consistent drip rate, very stable calcium and alk, and keeps up with calcium demand. The tank pH stabilizes around 8.3, calcium around 450, and Alk 10 to 12.

(1) Modified ER 5-2 made external
(2) Sedra 9000 pinwheel recirculation added
(3) 18” by 6” dia cast acrylic extension added

Kalk reactor DIY – Holds 7 days of Kalk powder:
(1) Feed output from Calcium Reactor
(2) 6.5 pH input
(3) Auto mix every hour

Phosphate reactor – Rowaphos media

Water Temperature control:
(1) fan sump
(2) fan tank top
(3) fan ceiling exhaust

(4) controlled by tank water temperature controller set 79 F

RO-DI unit – 5-stage unit that produces 75 gal/day
Pump and Light Controller – X-10 Computer program on MAC

A 25% water change is made every two weeks using Reef Crystal Salt, which has increased calcium and trace elements. No additional additives are added to the system other than some magnesium pellets in the Calcium reactor.

Cleaning the skimmer:
Once a week. The skimmate drains into a gallon plastic milk jug, which fills up about once a week.

Feeding is normally performed every other day and consists of various frozen mysis, brine shrimp, plankton, squid, oysters, dry plankton, dry flake algae, Cyclops-eeze, all enriched with Reef Plus amino acids. I use a very simple feeder which allows dry and frozen food to be released over 15 minutes. It is made using a plastic medicine bottle. It has two 1/4” holes drilled into the cap, the bottom cut off and turned upside down. It is attached to a weighted holder that allows it to sit on top of the tank with the cap extended into the water.

Humidity and heat control:
The tank stand is enclosed and extends to the ceiling. A quiet bathroom fan is installed in the ceiling, which ventilates the stand 24/7 of heat, humidity, and skimmate odor.

Inspirations that got me into reef keeping…
When I was a 9-year-old kid in Chicago the milkman (milk use to delivered to homes) gave me a 7.5 gallon aquarium with a couple of guppies. After a few months I lost interest in the aquarium and hide it in the corner of the attic, with water and the fish still in it. A few months later on a cold winter day I looked into the tank with little water remaining and saw my two guppies and a bunch of little guppies. I have been hooked on aquariums ever since and had at least one aquarium set up wherever I have lived for a long time.

Like many of us, I have been drawn to these fascinating containers of water with life like a magnet. From a couple of guppies, to dozens of different tanks raising tropical fish, to building a Koi ponds that flowed thru my home and office, to trips to Japan to stock them, to diving on reefs off my sailboat, to a reef tanks, and always dreaming about a bigger and better natural looking pond or reef tank. If they had an AA group (Aquariums Anonymous) I’d be a charter member.

Favorite coral & fish
Favorite fish… The first fish I bought for my tank was from PetWorld , a common Yellow Tang. Since then it has grown from the size of a quarter to 6” across. He’s boss of the tank or maybe she’s the boss of the tank. For two days to a week he will beat the h#ll out of any new addition to simply say, “I run this tank and don’t forget the pecking order”; then he quickly becomes everyone’s best buddy again. He even tries to join in when my Clowns mate.

Favorite coral… I have been bitten with the SPS challenge.

Future Plans
My little taste of the ocean is enough for right now, but like all reef keepers it doesn’t stop me from always dreaming about a bigger and better reef system design.

In your mind, what does Ethical Reefkeeping mean and what roles do we all play as hobbyist?

Ethical Reef keeping starts by learning to keep whatever you purchase alive, progresses to enjoying the propagation marine life and hopefully moves on to a higher appreciation and new respect for the ocean’s reefs.

Any advice for others?
Read every book on the topic you can.

Monitor and become involved in the numerous reef-keeping forums.
Find Web sites that have the most beautiful reef tanks and copy the best ideas and methods of those that have succeeded.
Join a local club and ask for help.
Don’t be discouraged with failures or mistakes; everyone with a reef system has made them and most more than once.
Be patient, you will hear this said a hundred times, “nothing good happens quickly in a reef tank”. It’s true…except for maybe a water change when things start to go wrong.

Rather than spend money on additives, spend it on salt and an RO/DI system to do regular water changes.
Think of your tank as a big black box. What ever you put into has to be removed or it will eventually become unbalanced. If you don’t keep nutrient imports and exports balanced, the system may fail.
Enjoy and have fun…it’s only a hobby.
And most important, if you get a chance, be a “milkman” in some kids life.