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PodRod's Solana Therapy


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#1
PodRod

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Well, I tried to get out of the hobby but it’s like a nasty addition and I just couldn’t stay away. This is my fourth tank and I’m sure it won’t be my last. My first tank was a 12 gal Eclipse – all stock. Thankfully, I made most of my newbie mistakes with that one. I then upgraded to a 24 gal Aquapod with a 70W MH Sunpod. I sold it when I moved out-of-state and purchased another Aquapod with a 150W Sunpod. I sold that tank about 10 months ago and tried to break the habit – it didn’t work, so here’s my latest tank:

Equipment

Solana 34 gallon tank
Solana Stand in black (I tinted the window black to hide power cords/top-off water)
SunPod 20in 250W MH light fixture with Phoenix bulb
Stock skimmer
Stock return pump
Tunze 6025 Nanostream Pump X2
Stealth Heater 100W
Tunze Osmolator (too much evaporation to use the stock top-off bottles)
Tunze Calcium Dispenser (works with the osmolator)
AquaController JR (controls MH light/ballast, LED/Moon lights, temp, fan/chiller)
Temp Probe and PH probe for ACJR
Azoo Fan (double model)
Current Prime Mini Chiller (1/15th HP – not in use since the fan is working great so far)
RO/DI – Kent Marine Deluxe Maxxima 60 Hi-S 60 GPD

The tank was set up on December 1st 2007 using 45 lbs of live rock and 20 lbs of live sand from my neighbor’s breakdown tank. We even moved half her water to my tank. As a result, I had a very short cycle with no surprises. Below are the contents of the tank to date:

Cleaning Crew

6 Red Leg Hermit Crabs
6 Zebra Hermit Crabs
2 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs
1 Emerald Mithrax Crab
2 Blue Porcelain Crab
6 Cerith Snails
6 Trochus Snails
6 Nassarius Snails
2 Onyx Nassarius Snails
6 Nerite Snails

Fish/Live Stock

2 True Percula Clown Fish
1 Six Line Wrasse
1 Pseudochromis Fridmani (Orchid Dottyback)
1 Blood Red Fire Shrimp
2 Maxima Clams 2 inch

Corals

Hammer (4 head)
Palys – Pink Panther
Toadstool – Neon Yellow
Toadstool - Neon Green
Palys – Rainbow
Tonga Mushroom – Rainbow
Acro Tort – Smurf Blue Tip Green (Frag)
Monti Cap – Blue Berry Polyped (Frag)
GSP – Metallic Green
Tonga Hairy Mushroom – BTA Like
GSP – Kelly Green on branching SPS skeleton
Palys – RPEs
RBTA – Actually Pink
Duncan yellow/green (one head – freebie w/purchase) - now has 8 babies
Duncan - blue/yellow mouth, 6 heads
Pink Bird’s Nest frag
Orange Cap Monti frag
Chalice frag
Several zoa frags
3 new Acro frags
Monti - Superman
Monti - Sunrise
Monti - Rainbow

Water Parameters (as of 1/18/08)

Temp 80 (swings from 79.7 to 80.3)
Salinity 1.025
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Calcium 430
KH 10.9
Alk 3.89
Phosphate 0
PH 8.34
Magnesium 1290

Here’s the only pic I have of the tank and yes, there is a clam on the sandbed. He has jumped there 4 times and that is where he has chosen to be. There is a rock under the sand if he so chooses to use it. I placed all the frags with putty this evening and will take better pics over the weekend and post accordingly.

Thanks for reading my set-up. Any suggestions/feedback you have is always welcome.

Attached Thumbnails

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Edited by PodRod, 09 May 2009 - 06:25 AM.


#2
dailydriven911

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Love the tank you made a great choice...I also ditched the ato secton and I'm now using it as a small refugium. How do you like the ACJR? I just ordered one today...
34G Rimless in the works!

#3
PodRod

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Love the tank you made a great choice...I also ditched the ato secton and I'm now using it as a small refugium. How do you like the ACJR? I just ordered one today...


I like the ACJR as much as I like the tank. Now that I have one, I don't think I could ever do without it. Let me know if you want some help with the commands. I'll be happy to share my settings with you.

#4
MrAnderson

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nice setup!

obviously a thorough mind, i see you've got a chiller hooked up even though you don't need it - i love it. can't be too careful!

BTW, Ca and Mg look a little low for those carbonate levels, balanced Ca is around 440ppm... nothing to get worried about right now, but with the clam and stonies in there (particularly multiple M. capricornis, they suck Ca and carbonate out like mad), it might trend downwards at a surprisingly fast rate, therefore it's worth keeping an eye on.

good luck!
my inner strength flowing, I mastered chi kung
ya'll planet of the apes, standing next to king kong

#5
PodRod

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Thanks so much Mr A! I just installed the calcium dispenser so I"m waiting to see if it does the trick. I'm already up to 420 as of this evening but I did not check the Mg. I'll test for it in the morning. Thanks for the heads up!

#6
MrAnderson

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haha, you're already on it - like i said, a thorough mind!!
my inner strength flowing, I mastered chi kung
ya'll planet of the apes, standing next to king kong

#7
PodRod

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Here's some updated pics of the tank and the way I have my ato set up. I finally got my Ca up to 470 and the Mg to 1310. Everything is going well and I'm seeing some nice growth lately. The BTA seems to have found a home it really likes. I'm going to try to persuade it to move to the lower middle rock - we'll see..

While I was out of town earlier this week, my peppermint shrimp went missing. He liked to hang out around the BTA and was always trying to steal food from the BTA's mouth. Well, the BTA was shrunk when I got home and was spitting out his dinner - the carcass of the shrimp!

My duncan is having babies! Hopefully, you can see one of them in the below pic. It actually has 4 babies and seems to be thriving. The duncan was free with a purchase and is actually one of my favorite pieces.

The MH ballast is in the bottom behind the ato water container. I lost the use of extra storage when I removed the shelf and put the power strips in the drawer but I like the nice clean look of having no external equipment.

Feedback/suggestions are always appreciated!

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#8
PodRod

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Urrrgghhh - calcium is back down to 420. I added more calcium hydroxide to the dispenser so I'm hoping that will help. I know a lot of people are having issues with their test kits, but I'm using both the Salifert and API and they are showing the same readings. I'm using Tropic Marin salt so I may switch when this bucket runs out. Any other ideas as to why I can't keep the calcium level up?

#9
Weetabix7

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While Tropic Marin has a reputation for being a good salt, it does have a low Ca level and that may be your culprit. I'm getting ready to try mixing 1/2 TM and 1/2 Oceanic (high Ca level) to see how that works in my own tanks.
I like that BTA.
Do you have problems with the six-line and the pseudo harassing your clowns?

#10
dekand

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Looks great man! Check out mine, it's not quite as far along though ;)

Posted Image


34g Solana - RIP 1/10/12


#11
PodRod

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While Tropic Marin has a reputation for being a good salt, it does have a low Ca level and that may be your culprit. I'm getting ready to try mixing 1/2 TM and 1/2 Oceanic (high Ca level) to see how that works in my own tanks.
I like that BTA.
Do you have problems with the six-line and the pseudo harassing your clowns?


I'm very interested in knowing how the 1/2 and 1/2 works - good idea. As for the six-line and pseudo - no harrassment at all- even at feeding time. The clowns were entered first, then the sixline. I added the pseudo last. I either got lucky or added them in the correct order because they totally ignore each other. I work from home so I watch the tank closely and have never seen any harassing at all. The BTA was for the clowns but they ignore it as well. :)


Looks great man! Check out mine, it's not quite as far along though ;)


Hey Dustin - I've already been following your tank! You're off to a great start and I LOVE the clowns. I'll be following your tank and look forward to more pics...

#12
PodRod

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Bummer - my female clown decided to jump into the back chamber of my tank and she died on the filter sponge. I know this can and does happen with an open top but I just hate to lose a fish. My other clown seems sad and is hiding in the corner of my tank. I plan on replacing her tomorrow - should I purchase a larger clown to keep the male/female size the same or would it be better to purchase a smaller one and let the existing clown be the dominant?

#13
divecj5

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Hey PodRod....just finished reading through your thread. Your tank looks awesome with lots of variety in there. I really like your selection of SPS and all of your corals like nice and happy. Looking forward to seeing it in person sometime in the near future.

When you get the chance, check out my thread sometime. Maybe we can either get together on buying some corals online to save on shipping or set up some trades. I wouldn't mind getting a frag or two of your SPS once it grows out.

#14
Oceanic 30g

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I like it. I am glad to see you went with that lighting option. I like the look and I like to see something different. I have seen a lot of them with the orb.

#15
PodRod

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Adam - thanks so much. You and your wife are welcome over any time. The tank looks a lot different now. I sold all my clams and purchased two new maximas. I've also sold the fox and a few other corals to focus more on sps. I've got some new monti's (superman, sunset, and rainbow) although they are still small frags. I plan on updating my thread today (hopefully). I understand you are quiet the camera man, maybe you can show me how to take a decent pic with my canon rebel xt. I don't even know how to use it :) .

Oceanic 30g - thanks for the compliment! This is my fourth tank and I've always used a SunPod so I decided to stay with it since I like the look/functionality. I like the Orb also but I wanted a 250w.

#16
PodRod

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The tank is coming along and everything seems to be doing fine. I've changed it around some since the last pics so thought I'd give an update. I sold my croceas to my neighbor and got two small maximas, which I like much better. They are not in the fts pic below since it was taken before they arrived. The only problem I have is my orchid dottyback. She loves to tunnel and is constantly spitting sand on some of my corals.

My acan has never colored up so I've found it a new home with Divecj5. I'm sure it will look great in his tank and I'll end up drooling over his pics.

Here's a recent fts and some recent additions:

Attached Thumbnails

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  • rainbow_monti.JPG
  • sunrise_monti.JPG
  • superman_monti.JPG
  • orchid_dottyback__Large_.jpg


#17
divecj5

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Hey PodRod. Finally catching up on reading threads after being away from the computer for the weekend. Great update and I can't wait to see the tank in person (I'll PM you in a second about a good time to come by this week). I really like your selection of SPS, especially the green slimer (looks like in the middle) and the three montis. I hope that I can keep my Superman monti as nice as you have. We will have to talk about flow and lighting when I come over.

I know how you feel about fish that move sand around. I used to have a diamond sifter goby in my 55 gallon tank. It was a great fish for about a month or so. When I first got it, it would generally just stay on the bottom of the tank and sift sand there. Eventually, it found that it preferred to take a mouthful of sand, go to the top of the tank, and sift it right about my zoas and acans. That got a little old so I took it back to the store after trying to catch it for a week. Talk about a skiddish fish :)

I would be more than happy to show you some setting on the XT. I'm sure that it is very similar to my 300D. Doesn't really look like you need much help in the pictures department though...they are all really really colorful and sharp.

#18
divecj5

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Was able to go and see PodRod's tank this afternoon during a lunch break and it is simply stunning. The clarity of the tank, the coral selection, and the rockwork is awesome and looks even better in person. She was so generous and gave me a couple of coral frags as well. I have some zoas, palys, and some chaeto with her name on it when she is ready for some.

Maybe next time I come over I will bring my camera and take some pictures of your tank, process them for you and send them to you. Thanks again.

#19
PodRod

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Was able to go and see PodRod's tank this afternoon during a lunch break and it is simply stunning. The clarity of the tank, the coral selection, and the rockwork is awesome and looks even better in person. She was so generous and gave me a couple of coral frags as well. I have some zoas, palys, and some chaeto with her name on it when she is ready for some.

Maybe next time I come over I will bring my camera and take some pictures of your tank, process them for you and send them to you. Thanks again.


Thanks Adam and it was so nice to finally meet you in person. I appreciate all your help with my camera and, hopefully, I'll be improving my photo skills soon. I hope the frags work out for you and thanks so much for tagging some zoas, palys, and chaeto for me!

#20
Toomin

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nice arrangement of corals.
the tank is really clean too!

#21
nUgZ

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Very nice tank!! Your collection continues to improve. I love the new montis.

#22
PodRod

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nice arrangement of corals.
the tank is really clean too!


Thanks Toomin, I appreciate the compliment. I have an advantage by working from home so I can tinker with the tank while I work :) .


Very nice tank!! Your collection continues to improve. I love the new montis.


Thanks nUgZ - I was really impressed with the quality of the montis. They were starting to lose a little color so I moved them higher in the tank and they are already improving. I have a Phoeniz bulb on order so hopefully that will help as well.

#23
nUgZ

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I use the Phoenix 14k and IMO it's one of the best bulbs available. Great color and excellent PAR.

#24
PodRod

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I got the phoenix bulb today and now I remember why I like it so well. I forgot how it makes the colors pop. I can believe how colorful the tank looks now. Even my six-line is more colorful. He keeps flirting with his reflection on the glass and has been for the last two hours. I think he likes the colors also...

#25
divecj5

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That's awesome....that is how I felt when I put my XM 15k bulb in my Sunpod....I might have to check out the Phoenix the next time I replace my bulb. It seems like I have been getting a lot more growth out of my corals since changing from the stock bulb that comes with the Sunpod.

Look forward to seeing your tank again sometime soon with the new bulb.