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Unread 11/07/2007, 03:30 PM   #1
Paradox009
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My 150 Cuttle Farm Army Reef! (Picture Intense)

Id like to share my new-ish 150 gallon tank. This was a large creative project for me to meet my aesthetic tastes with the functionality of a reef/cuttlefish system. The cuttlefish I am currently keeping are sepia Bandensis.

The latest trend in aesthetics for tanks seem to be these euro rimless streamlined style tanks. Ive always been attracted to the old, mysterious and mad scientist look. A vintage car vs a Ferrari I guess.
I built everything except for the skimmer and pumps. Nothing to quality of some DIY projects Ive seen on RC. Im much more limited in funds and equipment to build in regards to the quality that Ive seen here. I cut all the wood in my bathroom and with a hand powered chop saw!

Im a Horrible Photographer so forgive the bad Picks!





The Hood slides open for easy access to the tank.


Heres a close up of the detail and trim I added to the corners of the tank.


My aquascaping was created in a way to give a lot of shaded areas for the cuttlefish. I made Rock towers and cave with shelf rock on top to hold higher light corals and create different levels of shadowing towards the bottom of the tank.







More abut the setup and the cuttlefish in my next post...

For greater detail on the tank and cuttle projects, click on my red house. (site not updated completely though!)

For info on detailed care for cephs, please goto tonmo.com. If you decide on keeping cephs, ensure you know what your in for!


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!

Last edited by Paradox009; 11/07/2007 at 04:28 PM.
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Unread 11/07/2007, 03:41 PM   #2
Paradox009
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For my setup, I am attempting a slightly lower temperature range of 73-78. This will make the cuttlefish more comfortable and have a longer life span for elevated temperatures will cause stress and increase their metabolism. To do this, I have plumbed all pumps externally including the skimmer and return pump. In tank circulation is done through a wavy sea wave maker and vortech pump.

My tank design can be seen below.



Not traditionally used in a reef, I have added a wet dry system. This is to aid in the added bioload of the cuttlefish and my less then advised amount of Live rock. To prevent it from being a nitrate factory, it is designed to easily be rinsed periodically.



Plumbing a small nursery for the cuttlefish is vital to early stages of keeping cuttlefish. They are very small (approx 1/4 inch) when hatched and need to be observed to ensure they are eating.



Also plumbed into the tank, fed by a gravity from the overflow is a removable food section. For hatchings, I keep live mysids.



To make my life easier and not require carrying buckets of water, I have installed a 20 Gallon Top off resevoir in which I add kalk. It is run by a Buchler Pump. It is lit with a red light so it looks like my tank runs off of bloood!




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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!
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Unread 11/07/2007, 03:45 PM   #3
chrissreef
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I don't see any cuttle fish!! where's the MOD?!? =P

oh, nice tank toooooo!! Very nice rock placement (how'd you do it?), nice tank and... what's the filtration like? (bah, you beat me to the last one)

ps - I have a project for you if you liked cutting wood with a chop saw!


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Unread 11/07/2007, 03:48 PM   #4
Philby
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Your stand and canopy are beautiful - and I really like the sliding open design of your canopy - got any details on how that was accomplished?

I'm interested to see how your coral react to the lower water temp (well lower than most people typically run reefs)


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Unread 11/07/2007, 03:53 PM   #5
Paradox009
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And now for the Cuttlefish!

Currently I have 7 hatchings about 3 weeks old originally from a clutch of 8 eggs. I had one mysterious death after a water change. 7 out of 8 is very good considering the dismal survival rate Bandensis are known to have.



Here you can see the cuttle still in the egg.




Fresh Hatchling




[IMG][/IMG]


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!
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Unread 11/07/2007, 04:07 PM   #6
Paradox009
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Quote:
Originally posted by Philby
Your stand and canopy are beautiful - and I really like the sliding open design of your canopy - got any details on how that was accomplished?

I'm interested to see how your coral react to the lower water temp (well lower than most people typically run reefs)

The sliding canopy is very simple. I just made two halves for a canopy that fit perfectly to the tank. The outer frame of the hood has a lip that goes 1/2 inch lower then the top of the tank which gives it a 'guide' to slide out. Fortunately, on each end of the tank, there is a wall and a cabinet that the halves will stop at. This holds them from falling over once they are slid open too far. It wouldnt have been too hard to put some sort of sliding guard to prevent them from falling if needed.


In regards to the lower temperatures, Ive done as much reading as I can on the topic in terms of coral health. There is still a ongoing debate in appropriate temperatures and its ranges, but I have found many reefers keep very successful SPS tanks with similar ranges, including a few local SF bay area tanks. The general 'view' is that growth may be slower due to a lower metabolism. So far Ive only purchased frags, but all seem to be doing well still after 4-5 months.


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Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!
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Unread 11/07/2007, 04:16 PM   #7
Paradox009
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Quote:
Originally posted by chrissreef
I don't see any cuttle fish!! where's the MOD?!? =P

oh, nice tank toooooo!! Very nice rock placement (how'd you do it?), nice tank and... what's the filtration like? (bah, you beat me to the last one)

ps - I have a project for you if you liked cutting wood with a chop saw!
The rock structures were epoxy and glued together. I used aquamedic and gorrilla glue. Aquamedic epoxy was used if i needed to form a perfect connecction between two rocks. I then used gorrilla glue (sprinkled with sand) to enforce the bond. The gorrilla glue will set in about an hour, allowing the live rock to stay 'alive' during the process. All the top rocks containing the frags of sps are not attached, so I can easily move them for fragging or re-arranging.

I experimented a lot with different rock construction. I tried using fiberglass rods, making my own agrocrete, and even making foam structures. All in which I abandoned and found it simpler to just use the method I just described.

"ps - I have a project for you if you liked cutting wood with a chop saw! "

After weeks of cutting wood manually with a block and saw, I finnally dished out the money and purchased a real mans powered miter saw! Unfortunately, this was after most of the tank was finished and my right arm was 3 times as muscular as my left!


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!
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Unread 11/07/2007, 04:37 PM   #8
doliver
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I absolutely LOVE the aquascape. Any Marcorocks-type stuff or is it all natural rock?


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Unread 11/07/2007, 04:39 PM   #9
seapug
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Super-cool setup and rockwork. Please keep us posted with pics of the cuttles as they grow!


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Unread 11/07/2007, 04:47 PM   #10
Paradox009
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Thanks for the kind words.

Its all natural live rock of different types.


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!
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Unread 11/07/2007, 05:18 PM   #11
seapug
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I assume you're familiar with Paxton Gate in the Mission, right? Seems right up your alley.


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Current Tank Info: 200 gallon custom Marineland DD peninsular tank. LPS dominated mixed reef. Previous 90 gallon mixed reef TOTM April 2009.
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Unread 11/07/2007, 05:36 PM   #12
Paradox009
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Seapug - very funny you say that for I sell giant preserved squid sculptures at Paxton's Gate!


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!

Last edited by Paradox009; 11/07/2007 at 06:04 PM.
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Unread 11/07/2007, 07:14 PM   #13
mg426
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Nice job !!!


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Unread 11/07/2007, 07:54 PM   #14
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You're quite the artist, I'm very impressed.


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Unread 11/07/2007, 09:07 PM   #15
seapug
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paradox009
Seapug - very funny you say that for I sell giant preserved squid sculptures at Paxton's Gate!
HA! I knew it! I love that place. My wife used to live right down the street from Paxton Gate when we first started dating (I lived in LA at the time). I go there every time I'm in SF. Unfortunately it's been a couple years....


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Unread 11/07/2007, 10:27 PM   #16
Hormigaquatica
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Nice setup! Love the canopy too..
Where did you pick up the Cuttlefish eggs?


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Unread 11/07/2007, 10:36 PM   #17
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Refreshingly different Nice one.


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Unread 11/07/2007, 11:28 PM   #18
Paradox009
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Thanks again for the nice words..

The eggs are difficult to find, but they pop up every now and then. Theres a cuttlefish availability thread on tonmo.com. Your best bet is to follow this thread closely.


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!
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Unread 11/07/2007, 11:32 PM   #19
chem-e
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Nicely done. I particularly like the aquascaping, but the overall design is unique in itself.


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Unread 11/07/2007, 11:46 PM   #20
Purple Haze
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Cuttlefish and SPS? Quite unique.

How do, or will, the CF respond to the high flow?


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Unread 11/07/2007, 11:48 PM   #21
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Holy crap thats awesome! Everything looks like you've really done your research!


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Unread 11/08/2007, 12:05 AM   #22
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Very cool.....I really dig the cuttlefish.


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Unread 11/08/2007, 12:07 AM   #23
Paradox009
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Purple Haze - Flow currently is mainly from a vortech on the left side of the tank. I plan to add a 2nd one to the other end shortly. With two, I can lower the flow of each to about 3/4 the power. With the design of the vortechs, there is a lot of flow, but it is very dispersed. With the new models coming with foams guards, Im not too worried.

My previous cuttle farm was a 50 gallon with multiple maxijet 1200s which in my opinion have stronger, more directed flow and suction. The cuttles didnt mind the strong flow and often 'played' in it. The problem however came with the suction. I had a couple incidents and one death in which the suction would pull them against the guard. I added an extra guard to the intake of the powerhead and did not have any issues after this.

With the two Vortechs and my return attached to a wavy sea, I will good and random flow. Im hoping this combination will do well for both the SPS and cuttlefish.

I am more concerned about finding the happy medium between lighting for the cuttles may not like the full intensities of the halides. To balance this, I have made a lot of shade creating aquascaping, acquired a few monti caps and tabling acros and will have halide lighting on limited times. The rest of the time, T5s will provide the lighting. In the 50 gallon, I used 175 watt halides with a 24 inch tall tank. The 150 has 250 watters and rests 8 inches above a 28 inch tall tank.

There is still not much information regarding raising and breeding cuttlefish. Im hoping this current setup will be similar to the a natural reef setting in which they naturally reside.

However, I cannot deny that this is also an attempt to combine two of my own passions which are reefing and cuttlefish.


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150 Gallon Cuttle-Farm reef
Click on the Red house to see my Cuttle Reef!

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon CuttleFarm Army!!!

Last edited by Paradox009; 11/08/2007 at 12:57 AM.
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Unread 11/08/2007, 02:14 AM   #24
Purple Haze
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If shade become a problem, I hear Marcorocks has some large shelf base rock that might give you the added shade you seek.

Might be a better alternative to letting caps and tables grow out.

How long before the cuttlefish grow large enough to incorporate them into the main display?


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Unread 11/08/2007, 03:27 AM   #25
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I saw Flamboyant Cuttlefish on the importer list a few weeks ago and it got me thinking about a cuttle tank... I miss my mantis shrimp nano... maybe one of these would be even cooler.


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