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Tank birthday, 40 years

619147 Views 5572 Replies 216 Participants Last post by  Paul b
In a couple of weeks my reef will will have reached 40 years old.
Unfortunately I don't remember when I was 40 but I remember when I set it up. I was a skinny 22 year old just back from Viet Nam.
It is still running very well, still using the same reverse UG filter, same dolomite substrait but none of the fish are original. The oldest one, a fireclown is just over 16, all of the older fish died in an accident that was due to my carelessness.
The tank is mostly LPS, gorgonians, giant mushrooms and a few leathers.
There are only three SPS corals, two of which have been with me for a few years and are growing nicely.
I am not sure is any of the original NSW from the Long Island Sound is still in there or any of the original amphipods but maybe much later generations.
I still can't take a decent picture and the tank is not as blue as these pictures but it is what it is.

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Bottles? There's bottles in there! Dam, I never noticed

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I checked it out, it is coming along very nicely. Good luck
Your not going to make me look up the name of that coral are you?
I was married to my wife for 6 months before I remembered her name. I am not good with names but it is one of my 3 SPS corals and it has been in there for a few years.
I am better with fish names, but not much.

One in 100 million tanks get that old.
Well, maybe 2
Two years is great, you beat 90% of the people that start this hobby
OK Now I am afraid to look under the tank, many people are surprised it does not leak :D

Thanks guys, but I know many of you people do some really beautiful work with these tanks, much nicer looking then mine.
Having a great wife for 39 years also helps.
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Wow!she looks younger then your tank.
Thanks she is my trophy wife. She has been going to the gym 4 times a week for about 35 years.
I met her when she was 12 and I went out with her older cousin because I was 18.
After a while as she got a little older we dated and I married her when she was 18.
I picked a good one.
This is her when I married her. How could I pass her up?
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Silicone seems to last forever, they use the stuff on the space shuttle, but then again the thing doesn't go underwater.
I know the way you do things with your tank are defiantly not the normal way,
No, actually everyone else does it abnormally. The way I do things is the way we did it in the beginning. All this other stuff is new. :funny:

1)What size tank is it?
2)What is the fish in your 2nd picture (black and white with spikes)
3)How often do you siphon?
4)Do you stir up the substrate ever or just leave it as is?
5)How often do you clean your equipment?
6)What kind of lights are you using?
7)And finally, What do you feed/supplement the tank with?
1- The tank is 100 gallons 6' long.
2- Dragon wrasse, not reef safe and soon he has to go.
3 -and 4- I don't really siphon but a couple of times a year I create a typhoon by putting a restriction on the end of a diatom filter and blasting the rock and gravel down to the UG filter plate where ever I can reach. I feel that this is the single most important thing that keps the tank running. You can;t do that with a DSB therefore a DSB has a lifespan much shorter than almost any creature we keep.
5-Al I have to clean is the top of the homemade skimmer and I rinse the sponge that feeds the powerhead for the RUGF. I clean the top of the skimmer every week or so and I built it so it easily is removable. The sponge I just squeeze in some salt water every few weeks.
6-The tank went from regular flourescent lights to VHO to PC to MH.
When I get time I want to build LED lights.
I built everything in the tank including the lights, stand, skimmer and many of the rocks. About half of the bottles I made to look like that. They are sanded, broken, glued together again and coral or cement adhered to them, the rest of the bottles I collected underwater.
There are a few articles about the history of the tank and inventions I patented that you will find if you Google my name. Paul Baldassano

One of the bottles that I "built"
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Thanks Geoff. Here is one of the hollow home made rocks during construction and after being in the tank a couple of years.
It has a PVC skelton. About 20% of my rock is homemade the rest I collected in the Caribbean and Hawaii. None of it came from a store. I like my homemade stuff better than store stuff.

The rock that you see above and to the right of the moorish Idol is the rock pictured below.

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What happened to the UG filter? Did you remove it? I never heard of a RUGF crashing.

Here is my tank when it was in smaller glass circa 1972
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I did also.
I like to keep my reading current
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I think that happens to a lot of people.

Here is my homemade venturi skimmer
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I have some older magazines but they were all fresh water. I have about 10 Aquarium fish magazines. Clowns, dominoes and sargeant majors is all that is in them. My mentor was Robert Straughn "The Father of Salt Water Fish Keeping"
"The Salt Water Aquarium in the Home"
He used UG filters exclusively but he used them as a mechanical filter and never grasped the usefullness of it as a medium for bacterial growth and chemical purification of the water.
Here is where I get some of my water from
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Let it sit, it gets clear. The murkynedd is because we here in the north east have a mud bottom, it is not pollution but particles of mud. The bacteria in that mud is beneficial. There is no wall in the sea between here and the Caribbean. The water if fine if you take it from ocean beaches not near rivers or bays.
Get some PVC and build the thing. Mine costs about $10.00 without the two pumps that operate it.
Don't forget, this is not a contest, we have the tanks we ourselfs like

Thanks, I also had to go to the sea to get water and only regular flourescent lights werer used. There was nothing available for salt water, not even ASW or substrait.
The only fish available were dominoes, and sargeant majors and blue devils.

My tank circa 1972

I keep my reading curent

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