I got two false percula clown fish in 2010 in a 14G bio cube that was in the living room by the couch. I liked the bio cube because of how "neat" it looked as lighting and filtration were integrated. But as I started to get more interested in corals, invertebrates, etc, I started modifying the cube and it became a hot mess of wires. Not to mention dosing bottles and top off water laying around.
I then upgraded to a larger 20 odd gallon tank with an outside canister and led lighting, this gave the necessary room for the clowns to keep growing and get a few shrimps in the tank. And gave me an experience with an open top aquarium and the related evaporation and dead fish on the floor. But still it was a mess of wires, tubes etc... That ended up distracting the viewer from the content.
When I decided to upgrade to a larger tank that would be a forever home for my two clowns and other inhabitants, the priority was that it would not be an eyesore in the house. I wanted a tank that was in an attractive, integrated piece of furniture and integrated in my living area. Although I have loved the open top aquarium, it prevented me from owning some fish I wanted, so this time I reverted to a cover.
I found Aquavim online after hours of research looking at custom tanks and cabinet, it seemed the best value, although they had mixed review. I decided to take my chances and I am very satisfied with the tank construction and the stand, I was not completely satisfied with the sump, however the reality is a corner tank is very limiting in that matter. After a few months of thinkerring, I have finally found the right place to fit the skimmer in the sump and am happier with the sump.
I am using this site as a personal diary for the tank, so sometimes I might post things that may make no sense to anyone but me, but I hope my experience can benefit others as well.
I have three Kessil 360N running on this tank. They are controlled through the VDM module of the Apex and are following the sun table. I also have the lunar simulator with 5 LEDs running from the Apex.
The left and right lights are controlled separately from the center light. This to allow different color temperature between the lights, I run the center light at the bluer end of the spectrum for esthetic reasons. I find I get better coloration of the corals that way.
The lighting goes through 6 cycles during the day:
Dawn: during this cycle the light ramps up from 13 to 20% intensity and ramps the color from 0 (blue) to 10% (120 minutes)
Sunrise: left and right lights ramp from 20 to 60 % intensity and 10 to 80 % color (120 minutes)
Weather: all three lights go through the Apex weather cycle, with maximum intensity set at 60% and cloud events 20 % of the time at 60% intensity. Color is 100% for the left and right lamps and 20% for the center.
Sundown: all three lights go through a ramp down from 60 to 20% intensity and the left and right lights go from 80% to 10 % color while the center light goes from 20% to 10%(120min)
Dusk: lights ramps down from 20 to 13 % intensity and 10 to 0 % color. (120 min)
Flow in the aquarium is achieved through three controllable Tunze pumps that are all controlled through the Apex.
Two pumps are located in the display tank: a Turbelle nanostream 6055 and a Comline Wavebox 6208. I was told the Wavebox was not designed for a quarter cylinder installation, but so far it seems to be creating a nice wave. It is operated with the Turbelle nano with five different program cycling randomly throughout the day.
The third pump is a controllable Turbelle silence 1073 pump that is used as the return pump. It is operated with 4 different programs that cycle randomly all day. You can't tell the pump is running, it is how silent it is.
I bought my first Tunze products in 2011 and never looked back. The products are functional, look good and perform superbly, they are worth the premium price.
My priority was to move my existing livestock from my 20 odd gallon to this new tank. This will be the forever house for my current clown fish.
Here is the full plan:
I currently have
- two false perculae I have owned since they were juvenile
- 4 sexy shrimps
- 3 cleaner shrimp (skunk)
- one pistole shrimp (candy cane)
- one tricnacda clam
- one bristle star
- one electric blue hermit
- 2 fighting conch
- 2 Kaudern's Cardinal (tank raised male plus female) (in quarantine)
I want to add
- 2 red blood shrimp
- one firefish (or pair if possible)
- one blue dragonet (ora hopefully)
- 1 tuxedo urchin
- 3 orchid dotty back (ora hopefully)
- one watchmen goby (pair if possible)
- one kole tang
I am using the Red Sea Reef Foundation line on this tank. The Reef Foundation A,B,C and NoPo:X are dosed automatically, the reef color products are dosed weekly. I am also dosing Reef energy every evening (will see how long that lasts!).
Inspiration & Goals
My inspiration in this tank is to enjoy the process of planning, selecting, nurturing and growing its different inhabitants, I will not put fish or invertebrate that cannot complete their life in a tank of this size. This unfortunately means I cannot have some of the tangs I was thinking of initially was looking at introducing.
My goal is to make sustainable acquisitions by focusing on tank raised fish and coral.
Words of Wisdom
Don't buy anything cheap, you will end up replacing it twice before buying the expensive product you wanted initially, Be patient, save your money and buy the best quality product to perform the task.
Space, function, design, inter connectivity not price, should guide your decision.
I the same sense, don't buy a fish or a coral because it is cheap or you wanted to add something to your tank and it is all that was available. The reality is one day you will run out of space in your tank and will be stuck with things you don't actually like. Be patient, plan, do your research, enjoy the process.