Aku's Lagoon

Finland, Tampere
Timeline

Introduction

I'm Aku, passionate reefer from Finland and besides using this website for recording the overview and development of my reef tank, I want to share all the up's and down's I'm encountering during my salty journey so you might avoid doing the same mistakes as I do and can copy the successful parts.

I've been keeping aquariums since 90's when I was a little kid, but since 2010 I've lost my heart to the world of saltwater reef aquariums. The current tank I have is the 3rd reef tank I've established and so far largest aquarium I've owned. My hobby also extends outside my apartment and I'm active member of our local aquarium society.

Feel free to have a look of my reef system and ask about anything you might wonder. I'm happy to answer your questions the best I can.

Sincerely,
Aku

Photos

Videos See all Videos

Measurements

6.9
Alkalinity
Magnesium
540
Calcium
34
Salinity
25
Temperature
Phosphate
7.7
pH
1.7
Strontium
Iodine
Nitrate

Inhabitants

26 Fish

6 Blue/Green Reef Chromis Chromis viridis
2 Clarkii Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii
Engineer Goby Pholidichthys leucotaenia
Green Wrasse Halichoeres chloropterus
Kaudern's Cardinal Pterapogon kauderni
Kole Yellow Eye Tang Ctenochaetus strigosus
9 Lyretail Anthias Pseudanthias squamipinnis
Matted Filefish Acreichthys tomentosus
Orchid Dottyback Pseudochromis fridmani
Scopas Tang Zebrasoma scopas
Tail Spot Blenny Ecsenius stigmatura
Yellow Clown Goby Gobiodon okinawae

2 Corals

2 Acan Brain Coral Acanthastrea echinata

25 Invertebrate

Banded Coral Shrimp Stenopus hispidus
3 Blue Legged Hermit Crab Clibanarius tricolor
Blue Tuxedo Urchin Mespilia globulus
Blue Tuxedo Urchin Mespilia globulus
Brittle Sea Star Ophiocoma echinata
Bulb Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
Collector Urchin Tripneustes gratilla
6 Crowned turban shell Lunella coronata
Fighting Conch Strombus spp.
2 Fighting Conch Strombus spp.
Indo-pacific Beach Star Archaster typicus
Peppermint Shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni complex
Pink Cucumber Holothuria edulis
3 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab Paguristes cadenati
Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus bellulus

Equipment

Dosing See more

Strontium (Aqualight) · Magnesium chloride · Sodium bicarbonate

Auto Dosing

50 ml
Calcium Chloride
5 ml every 2.4 hours
3,300 ml
Kalkwasser
165 ml every 1.2 hours
260 ml
NaCl free salt
26 ml every 2.4 hours
650 ml
Sodium bicarbonate
65 ml every 2.4 hours

Feeding See more

KoralSea K-Phyto · Garlic - addition to food · Dr Bassleer Matrine · Fauna Marin Min S

On average you perform a 12.5% water change every 28 days.

0% total water change in September.

Diary Entries View all Diary Entries

Scopas has a lot of white spots. Squamipinnis added week ago also had some spots which seem to have transferred to scopas.
Alk measured with old Salifert = 6.3 dKH and with new Salifert = 8.0 dKH.
Alk measured with Salifert = 8 dKH and with Royal Nature = 10,1 dKH. Salifert 6,7 dKH control solution is measured as 9,1 dKH with Royal Nature test. Also sample for Marin Lab taken.

Adde
Fish are fine and healthy. LPS corals were obviously stressed by the alkalinity spike of 12 dKH, but thing seems to be better when I gradually got it drop to 10 dKH. While also noticing the calsium to
Scopas seems to have some white spots. I'll start a regimen of garlic-enchanted Dr Bassleers Matrine - food.
Measured magnesium levels for long time and seems to be 1200 mg/l. I think I'm gonna start adding that again as part of balling method dosing.

87 activities in the last year

Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       
                                                                                                       

Inspiration & Goals

The concept of my current tank came to my head few years before starting the build. My philosophy for large reef tank was to have:

- Enough lightning, flow and filtration systems to support most photosynthetic corals (SPS, LPS etc...)
- Lot's of room in the stand for easy maintenance activities
- Easy maintenance: Water change tank, large top-off water tank, large sump to have room for future equipment growth. I think low maintenance effort is the key for long term success where maintenance motivation can change, so I try to plan everything as easy to maintain as possible
- Large bottom surface with open aquascape to have "lagoon" - like scaping. Shallow tank would force the rockwork to be quite low and provide lot's of depth effect and horizontal growth space for corals.
- Bar counter. To have beer at the tank. Because why not?

The tank itself is second hand aquarium, which was not actually the kind I was planning to have in my new apartment. But in the end, it turned out to be way better than the original plan. Original plan was to have tank with square shape bottom to center point of my apartment. This one was a bit bigger than my original plan, the original placement was not an option. This one went to back corner of my living room, which in the end I'm happy with.

Ultimate goal is to have easily sustained and stable growing coral garden which I could enjoy for years.

Disasters & Regrets

My so far largest failure with the current tank was to change from automated flake food feeding to granulate food. The granulate food itself was top quality and much better than the flake food, but my method of transfer was destructive: I didn't drop the volume of feeding enough and didn't understand how the amount of energy load for the system actually increased.

I fed the granulates for 1 - 2 months before I realized, I've been overfeeding the tank. Lot's of food sank to the bottom substrate and degraded there without properly being used by reef fauna. What I first noticed was that cyanobacteria growth increased a month or two after changing the food. Next what happened was that some SPS-corals (mostly Acroporas) started to have dead tissue and some specimens died away. The situation got so bad I lost maybe half of my corals during the process. My PO4 - and NO3 - values increased even after stopping the granulate feeding probably due to buffer effect where nutrients are stored in rocks and substrate and leach into water long time after nutrient load is taken away.

It took me almost 6 months of patient waiting and regular maintenance for tank to recover from this episode. Overfeeding is usually considered as a starting aquarist mistake, but you can still apparently fall for it after years of aquarium keeping if you're not careful!