Starting in October of 2009, after almost 4 years away, and after long deliberation and bugging, of my now wife, I took the jump back into the saltwater aquarium life! Due to apartment lease policies, I was limited in tank size to 25 gallons. We figured this was close enough and proceeded to “hide” the tank with a large clothing box for the next 2 years living at this residence when apartment inspection time came around. The photo above is at about 3 months old.
When building this tank, I started with the FULL intention of getting a large tank in the future. So all the equipment, though barely fitting into the stand, is rated for tanks over 100 gallons: the protein skimmer, the calcium reactor, and the phosban reactor. In terms of equipment, maintenance, and dosing I started from the beginning and to date this tank has been nothing but a success. Dosing both calcium reactor and kalkwasser, about 600 gph thru a wet/dry trickle filter sump.
The only significant algae bloom I had was a cyano bloom, at about 6 months, as seen in these pics.
As you can see the bloom started on the rocks and worked its way to the sand. Based on experience I never panicked… I increased water changes volume and frequency, added more snails for cleanup crew, and up the circulation to 800 gph. The algae bloom was gone in about 2 weeks.
At about a year later, 2010, the tank looked like this…
The long tentacle anemone pictured above at it’s maximum size was about 12″ across! The maroon clown was in heaven, but as my experience has been with ANY anemone even near the sand, the clown would dig and shift the sand, in a way to “control” the anemone. This meant the long tentacle anemone had to be replaced. I traded it for a ritteri!
In addition, since the last pic, I’ve added more fish, upped the circulation to about 960 gph, and upgraded my lighting to a single DE HQI Metal Halide 250w with two 24w antics….which is why the tank above pic looks so dark compared to the pics below.
And taken last week, August 12th 2011, the tank looked like this…
The same blue tang and maroon clown since I started the tank, one spot fox face, two purple dart fish, one green stripe mandarin dragonet, one sea hare, 5 turbo snails, 5 nassarius snails, and a ton of baby nassarius and turbo snails. I added fish slowly, monitoring water parameters carefully to make sure not to overload the tank. All the inhabitants have been happy for over 6 months now, and eat a lot!
…And the show piece of the tank…my 10″ across ritteri anemone!