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dexter1080

Running a fishtank without any arms or legs

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dexter1080

About me:

Hello. My name is Brendon "Dexter" McCallum, I am a 29-year-old quadriplegic man paralyzed from the shoulders down. I do not have use of my arms or legs. In July of 2007 I was in a diving accident which left me how I am today. I've had a tough time for while and it is definitely a hard road but I do a good job at it. I have caregivers here to help me out but I won't be able to look in the back of the chambers or put my hands in the tank ever.

 

This is going to be a hard hobby it might be quite a roller coaster ride but I am very excited about my new hobby. To tell you the truth, this fish tank has saved my life. For a long time I did not want to continue my life because it is so hard to have this condition. I thought and wanted to end my life regularly. This fish tank has given me goals and inspiration to do something and look forward to it. I am very excited about getting into this hobby.

 

Here's the story about my accident a local radio station interviewed me on. They put the interview up on their website. I shared my story of where I'm at and how I've overcome some pretty tough challenges to get me here today. There is a website Uploaded the show to so you can listen to it online. The website address is www.mwpradio.com and the radio show is called Motivation with a purpose. Go click on the podcast button and you'll see a link that says Brendon McCallum on January 25th 2010.

 

The start up of my tank:

So I took the tank out of the box, put everything together and put it on top of my NEW NEAT stand. I added water, put in the salt and added the sand. I put in about 45 pounds of Fujian White Sand that I got from some guy on eBay. Boy, is it cool too. Beautiful white color. I got 50 pounds of it for $40 shipped! So everything is up and running. I went to the store and picked up live rock. I'm going to start a process of building an amazing reef tank!

 

 

This is a great website and it seems like everyone is great out there. Whoever started this website did a great job. I'm going to have a lot of questions and hopefully everyone won't mind helping me out. If there are any suggestions that you have please let me know. I love getting ideas and feedback.

 

I'm going to upload a few photos along the way and keep a little track record of what I've done. Let me know what you think.

 

Here is the most recent picture that I have of my tank nowadays. I haven't done any modifications at all so it's like it is straight out of the box. I did take out the bio balls and replaced them with Chemipure though.

 

CIMG0174.jpg

Edited by dexter1080
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supraeli

WOW, what a great inspirational story! Congratulations, welcome, and salutations! :welcome:

 

When first reading this, I immediately thought of a variety of issues that have and probably will arise in the future, so kudos to you for getting thus far. I hope this hobby continues to fascinate you, as it has to all the members on this website.

 

I am not sure if I interpreted it correctly, but you said you picked up live rock and clownfish at the same time. This is usually not the best order to do things in, because no matter how cured live rock is, if it is store bought, most likely it will undergo some sort of cycle as it is introduced to a new tank. The clownfish will then likely suffer through this period, and if one happens to die and cause another ammonia spike, it might set in motion a sequence of frustrating events. The best scenario would have been to add all the live rock and live sand together, then the clean up crew which will take care of algae growth, and finally slowly adding livestock.

 

Remember, patience is key in reefkeeping. Add things slowly over time, and continue to moniter water parameters throughout the course of the reef.

 

You're right, nanoreef.com is a treasure trove of information, and the best thing a reefkeeper can do is to continually learn about the complex and fascinating organisms in their simulated marine environment.

 

Can't wait for the pix!

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chrisv

Welcome to the hobby!!

 

the best suggestion that i can give anyone in this hobby is that this is one of those things that takes some patience. the best way to fail is to rush into things.

 

Another great tip is, plan that your fish will be a major part of your tanks clean up crew. If the fish eat the algea you dont have to clean it off of the glass. If i were you i would look into getting a cherub dwarf angel. they stay very small are very active and eat algae all day long.

 

another important tip is to make sure you buy quality equipment. if you buy cheap crap, you will end up replacing it later with the better model and spending more money...

 

it can be quality USED equipment if you prefer to keep things less expensive.

 

when you're planning your tank think about making a complete ecosystem. this means few fish, a big skimmer lots of water flow, lots of snails worms crabs shrimp starfish etc...people overstock 30 gallon tanks and then wonder why they have algae.

 

another good tip (and secret for some reason) is that giant clams pull out tons of dissolved nutrients. if your clam cleans the water, you don't need to as often. (before you get a giant clam, make sure you have the lights for it!!! in a biocube you may pick one of the lower light clams depending on how you have things set up(ie not t. crocea))

 

Good luck and feel free to send me a mssg on here if you run into any roadblocks!!

 

Cheers!

c

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Weetabix7

:welcome: to Nano-Reef.com!!!

There is a lot of good info that you might find helpful under the "Information" tab at the top left of the page.

GL, and we'll try to help you when you need it. :happy:

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brian92
:welcome: Looking forward to pictures and good luck with your reef!!!

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ddelallata

Welcome! Everyone here is nice, until you put a Tang in your nano :)

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merfin70

Welcome to the club, its a huge amount of fun along with a lot of work. Sounds like you are off to a great start though the rock + clowns at the same time concerns me. Hope to see some pics soo. All the best.

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lakshwadeep

:welcome: to nano-reef.com

 

Besides the information tab, I suggest reading each forum here for the "stickied" threads (those under the "Important topics" category).

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Rehype
:welcome: to the family! :grouphug:

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gulfsurfer101

First of all welcome to this little website and you found the right place to get the help your looking for. I thought I was doing everything right when I joined only to find out I was doing everything wrong and still am. I hope you get you project going and it's a success. It's stories like this that truly inspire me. Were kinda both survivors in a sense. I flipped a car doind 85miles and hour when I was 19 in the mountains while I was in college in South Carolina. I walked out of that car with just a huge briuse where the seatbelt saved my life. It took a few years of really messing up after that and the birth of my daughter to actually find peace. If you ever need anything have one of your care takers shoot me a message and I will offer any help I can.

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MR.FEESH
:welcome: to a great hobby, and N-R.com!!!!!!!!!!!

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cparka23

I hope those clownfish aren't too big and that they were paired before arriving at the store. Sometimes, fish stores sell clowns in pairs, but the fish were never bonded with one another. You end up with two females that way, and then it's a fight to the death (literally).

 

Good luck and welcome

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Jakesaw
About me:

Hello. My name is Dexter, I am a 28-year-old quadriplegic man paralyzed from the shoulders down. I do not have use up my arms or legs. Last July I was in a diving accident which left me how I am today. I've had a tough time for while and it is definitely a hard road but I do a good job at it. I have caregivers and people here to help me out but I won't be able to look in the back of the chambers or put my hands in the tank ever.

 

This is going to be a hard hobby it might be quite a roller coaster ride but I am very excited about my new hobby.

 

The start up my tank:

So I took the tank out of the box, put everything together and put it on top of my new neat stand. I added water, put in the salt and added the sand. I put in about 45 pounds of Fujian White Sand that I got from some guy on eBay. Boy, is it cool too. I got 50 pounds of it for $40 shipped! So everything is up and running, my levels are perfect, so I went to the store and picked up my first live rock and a couple of clown fish. They were excited for their new home!

 

 

This is a great website and it seems like everyone is great out there. Whoever started this website did a great job. I would love to send a small donation if they except them. I'm going to have a lot of questions and hopefully everyone won't mind helping me out. If there are any suggestions that you have please let me know. I love getting feedback.

 

I'm going to upload a few photos and post them here a little bit. Let me know what you think.

 

Dexter, great story

 

I hope ya find success and enjoyment with the Saltwater hobby. Look forward to seeing your tank when you feel like uploading pics.

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P-DUBS

Welcome! You have picked up a very gratifying hobby!

 

Remember guys, Clownfish are in the damsel family and are very hardy fish. So it is very possible they will survive a cycle.

 

Good Luck!

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Atlantis Reef

Welcome to the forum !!!!

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Lalani
:welcome: to NR and to the addiction!

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masterbuilder

Welcome aboard.

 

Here is the best "how to " thread I have found. I used it as an instruction book when I began. It’s a mile long, but it’s worth the hours it takes to read every word. I followed each and every step, it made my entry into nano reefing quite easy and successful. When you have a guide like this its hard to make many mistakes. Good luck.

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?...;hl=submersible

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dexter1080

Still working on a camera for some good pictures. I don't have anything good to use right now.

Edited by dexter1080

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kennyboy019

Hi Dexter, welcome to the site.

 

Looks like your off to a good start, but there is one thing.

You need more rock then that. The general rule of thumb is 1-2lbs per gallon of water. The rock in a saltwater tank is more then just eye candy, it is also the main filtration. Bacteria in the rock breaks down the toxic chemicals that build up. Even if you do not plan on keeping corals or anything too hard the you need at least 1lb per gallon.

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GrandpaFeathers

I run about 9 to 10 lbs in my 12 gallon tank. If i were you, I'd leave that amount of rock, but it'll require more supplemental filtration and work.

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r20crazy

are those freshwater plants? even if they are plastic I would remove them, and 2nd the needing more liverock. that piece you have so far is nicely shaped

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jacks22
I run about 9 to 10 lbs in my 12 gallon tank. If i were you, I'd leave that amount of rock, but it'll require more supplemental filtration and work.

what?

 

Welcome and goodluck with your tank!

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dexter1080

Thanks to everyone for the great feedback. Like I said before I could use anything I can get.

 

As for the clown fish... they didn't come paired. the owner of the store made sure get ones that were. that I rock that I have in their is the first of many. It was just very cool one I saw that I had to pick up. I did put a bunch of live rock in instead of the bio balls. I've heard those things don't do squat.

 

The one question that I have is... it seems like the current in the tank is overpowering the clown fish. I'm not sure if this is hurting them or not. It seems like all they can do is just stay in one place behind the rock. They are having a hard time eating food too. What do I do about that? Is this all right? Or is this something I need to take care of with the Pump that has less power?

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MiddReef

Unless they're literally being blown up against the side of the tank, IMO it's better for fish to have a bit of flow to contend with. Remember, most of the tropical fish we enjoy come from the highly chaotic reef-shelve niche, where they're pummeled by highly turbulent water quite frequently. They're probably just acclimating to the tank, my clown fish seemed to get blown around a lot and looked quite confused when he was first introduced, but once he/she figured out the lay of the land everything settled down and it setup a more formal territory. As far as feeding goes, most people shut off the pumps when you feed the system. This gives everything some time to soak up the food, and also prevents it from just being shunted into your filter area where it will rot and/or become inaccessible. Good luck, please keep us posted!

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dexter1080
As far as feeding goes, most people shut off the pumps when you feed the system. This gives everything some time to soak up the food, and also prevents it from just being shunted into your filter area where it will rot and/or become inaccessible. Good luck, please keep us posted!

 

Wow. great idea. Thank you so much. That makes so much sense.

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