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Old 11/19/2006, 04:29 AM   #1
louist
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November nTOTM!

Louis' (louist) Cubic Adventure


Introduction:
I am much more of a nature photographer than a marine aquarist. I admit setting up a marine tank so I can photograph the creatures within it. I guess it turned out to be a pretty decent combination since I needed the tank to be at its top condition for the photographs to turn out well. One thing lead to another. Looking back, I have often wondered how I managed to get my self into two very expensive hobbies!


FTS during night time with moonlight.


Top 1/2 of the tank. SPS dominated.


Bottom 1/2 of the tank. Odds and ends that really needs to be moved


For an animated gif of the tank's progress click on the following link:
http://www.zengalleria.com/images/aq...nk_2006_09.gif

Aquarium Profile
This tank is all glass with round front edges. The dimensions are 30 x 30 x 35cm (LxWxH), which is what some people call an "one foot cube". The tank was setup at the end of Feburary 2006 on one side of my computer table.

The initial setup followed from 2 months of research and contemplation. Many of the inspirations were taken from other people's tanks here on RC's nano reef forum. Thanks guys!

Equipment:
Lighting is handled by an Aquamedic Oceanlight pendant 150w 20k running off an OSRAM E-ballast. The light is on for 12 hours a day and the tank is lit with a blue cold cathode light during night time.

The filtration is all handled with 4kg's of LR and filter floss in the HOB Aquaclear 70 filter. The AC70 is also modified into a refugium with some LR rubble and sand bed. After the refugium light blew, it is more of a cryptic fuge rather than a proper refugium.

The tank's water movement come from the AC70 and a single Aquaclear 50 powerhead. Together they put around 2000 l/h for a total of around 66x turnover.

Cooling is facilitated by a 80mm fan that blows across the surface of the water and a Coolworks IceProbe that is installed on the AC70 filter. There's a 100w heater to keep the tank warm during winter.

Modded AC70 showing the baffle


Fan for the light. The velcro serve as a quick release so the fan can be detached from the light for servicing


IceProbe in the AC70


The only supplement I add to the tank is for calcium and alkalinity. All the top up water is kalkwasser, but that isn't enough to keep up with the Ca/Alk demand, so I also add Seachem's Ca and marine buffer.

I feed the tank once a day with 1 cube of frozen mysis that has been rinsed after defrosting. Any creature in the tank that is capable of swallowing will be fed.

I am religious about my weekly 30% water change with artificial seawater. I use Instant Ocean salt with dechlorinated tap water (tap water quality in my area is pretty good).


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Louis Tsai- http://www.zengalleria.com
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:30 AM   #2
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The Corals:
Corals were the driving motivation of my interest in this hobby, and thus I tend to take many photos of them. In the following list, you will rarely see any species name for any of the Acropora genus, since it is impossible to ID these corals by photos alone. Well, not scientifically anyway. In addition, there is little benefit to identifying Acropora sp. at the species level since there isn't a reference text that will provide specific husbandry requirement for each species. Studying the colony's growth form reveals much more information regarding that particular species' requirements.





Tubastraea sp. polyp head and shoulder above the rest




Yellow Funiga sp.


Purple Acropora sp.. The polyps are brown/orange colored


Yellow Acropora sp. with blue tips. Home to 1 pistol shrimp



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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:30 AM   #3
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Blue Acropora sp.


Pink Seriatopra hystrix


Orange encrusting Montipora sp.


Light green with sky blue growth Acropora sp.


Tan color with purple tips and green polyps Acropora sp.




4 frags growing together.


The famous Acropora sp. (dallas warren)



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Louis Tsai- http://www.zengalleria.com
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:31 AM   #4
louist
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Blue Acropora sp.


Green with light blue growth. I am not sure what the final color is


Lime green Montipora sp..


Purple + blue + orange + white Acropora sp.


Shoe brown Montipora sp. with white polyps.


Same as 21, showing purple growth edge


Polyp extension during night time





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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:32 AM   #5
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Louis Tsai- http://www.zengalleria.com
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:34 AM   #6
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Fish:
I have a single fish, a male Synchiropus picturatus (spotted mandarin). He was eating a little frozen brine at the LFS, but I trained him onto frozen mysis over time. In this small tank, the fish is not shy at all, and he even swims in the water column.

Recently, he had a fall out with the powerhead's outlet. As a result, he will pose aggressively towards it and will peck at it every time he swims by.




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Louis Tsai- http://www.zengalleria.com
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:35 AM   #7
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Invertebrate:
I am a big fan of invertebrates. Their unusual life style provides hours of viewing entertainment!

Unfortunately, here in Sydney, Australia, shrimps are hard to come by and cleaner shrimps are around USD$90 each! As a result, I only have a few interesting ones in my tank.

I have 1 Acropora shrimp, 1 green pistol shrimp, 8 hermit crabs, 1 peppermint shrimp, 2 species of snails, 1 abelone (hitchhiker) and a T. squamosa











Acknowledgement
I would like to thank my brother who always waits patiently when I run around in the LFS like a little kid, only to spend an eternity deciding on which pieces to buy.

I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the good folks here on RC who gave me limitless inspirations on how to burn more cash on my tank


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Louis Tsai- http://www.zengalleria.com
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:52 AM   #8
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Hi,

Your coolworks will work much better if the entire probe actually makes contact with the water.


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Old 11/19/2006, 09:23 AM   #9
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Tank looks absolutely great. I love the mixture of corals in there. How long did it take you to train the mandarin to take prepared food? Any technique or did you just give him brine shrimp with some frozen mysis mxed in?


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Old 11/19/2006, 09:28 AM   #10
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Congrats on TOTM! Nice write-up on your tank. I enjoy looking at the awesome pics.

Great Job!


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Old 11/19/2006, 12:42 PM   #11
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show off!!!!!!! lol just kidding, i cant believe the price of cleaner shrimp, i pay 14 english pounds


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Old 11/19/2006, 02:39 PM   #12
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Super Tank! Your pictures are absolutely fabulous!


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Old 11/19/2006, 03:29 PM   #13
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what do you do for flow? i see one powerhead to the right and the AC70. and did you just make yourself the nano totm? very nice tank!


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Old 11/19/2006, 03:39 PM   #14
louist
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Thanks everyone for your support! I am glad you guys enjoyed the writeup. My idea is that if we want to have our nano tanks considered for the nTOTM, we will have to provide just as good an effort when it comes to th write up! Perhaps the "elves" will consider it in the near future

Quote:
Originally posted by EnFuego
How long did it take you to train the mandarin to take prepared food? Any technique or did you just give him brine shrimp with some frozen mysis mxed in?
EnFuego, the little guy was eating a little brine at the LFS and that's why I even bought him. However, after going into my tank, he wasn't eating with gusto. The training was mainly patience and observing what he was comfortable with. The first step was to get him to realise that the baster was where the food came from. After that it was much easier. At one stage, this tank had a captive bred seahorse, who ate like a pig. That taught the mandarin to be competitive with food and now he will come to the surface as soon as the pumps go out.

Grink Dude: The price of peppermints are OK (~USD$11) but often you need to wait a few month before coming across some at the LFS. Cleaner shrimps (blood and redline) on the other hand are very expensive due to availability.

ezcompany: All the flow are from the AC70 and AC50. Both push ~1000L/h. Did you miss the polling thread?
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=964254


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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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Old 11/19/2006, 04:45 PM   #15
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Beautiful pics!!


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Old 11/19/2006, 04:56 PM   #16
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Awesome tank! Congrats on the nTOTM!


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Old 11/19/2006, 07:22 PM   #17
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Great job Louis! Those are some amazing pictures...


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Old 11/19/2006, 07:50 PM   #18
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great pictures! congratulations on the nTOTM!

i recently got a spotted as well. how did you train it to eat frozen mysis?


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Old 11/19/2006, 09:28 PM   #19
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I stuck this thread to the top.

Beautiful tank and photography, louist!!! Congratulations!


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Old 11/20/2006, 10:20 AM   #20
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I see you beat out all those zoa tanks very nice.

the Pics are amazing!!!!!!!


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I have been cycling my tank for a month now with 75lbs of live rock when do I add the salt????

click the red house to see pics of my old tank....the better pics are at the bottom :D

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Old 11/20/2006, 12:13 PM   #21
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Congrats LouisT!


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Old 11/20/2006, 02:14 PM   #22
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Congrats!! Your tank is amazing...and your photography skills are just as amazing!


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Old 11/20/2006, 02:31 PM   #23
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Congrats, Louis,well deserved!

And, of course, I don;t have to repeat how beautiful your photography is...


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Old 11/21/2006, 08:49 PM   #24
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Beautiful tank and photos!

What kind of camera did you use for the pics?


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Old 11/22/2006, 09:59 PM   #25
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Thanks everyone for your support and kind words I really appreciate it!

Quote:
i recently got a spotted as well. how did you train it to eat frozen mysis?
The little guy was eating frozen brine when he was at the shop. However, after I got him, I still had to put the brine on the rocks since he refuse to eat from the water column. Over time, he learned that food comes from the baster and from that point on I was able to train him to eat from the water column. This took about 2 month though! When he was coinhabiting the tank with a seahorse, he was weaned onto frozen mysis, and I think it was a matter of "monkey see, monkey do" and they would fight over mysis.

Patience and keen observation is important. However, I have seen *many* mandarin on frozen food here in Sydney. No sure why!

Quote:
What kind of camera did you use for the pics?
Jennifer, these photos were all taken with a Canon EOS 10D with the 180 f3.5 macro lens. The super macro's were taken with the MP-E65 lens and most FTS are with the 70-200 2.8 IS. I almost always use a tripod.

I know people out there have even nicer nano tanks than mine! So enter it in the December competition!:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...hreadid=977276


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http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=20070149 - Louis' Pico Come Back (LED mixed reef)
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/index.php - ReefKeeping 2007 April Tank of the Month
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