235 Gallons and One Bullet In The Chamber

The second update on my new 235g tank including how my Russian Roulette luck is holding out

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Comments for this article (65)

  • Matt says:

    @ Tom Duck – I know what you’re talking about… Unfortunately for most marine loving tank owners the method is out of reach… This will mostly be down to time constraints, cash and to a lesser degree (I’d imagine) inclination as its a very involved process… Not everyone is a ‘Reef Junkie’ and Its fair to say that just about everyone is busy, watching the money fly out the door on a daily basis and probably just want to sit and look at their slice of ocean at the end of the day… 🙂

    Not refuting your information as correct… It is however unlikely to become widespread practice as the realities of life for most won’t allow for it! Me included 😉

  • Bedlamer says:

    @ Matt. I’ve read a stat that only 5% of hobbyists quarantine their livestock. I would agree with you that it won’t become widespread—but it is because people are too impatient to wait 2 months to add their new fish to the tank and nothing more. I and others would like to see the practice become more widespread in the hobby. I think it would lead to less tank disasters that people suffer in the hobby. You speak of time restraints like there is a deadline for adding them. Unless someone is terminally ill or something and just has to see their new fish in their tank as their dying wish—how is there a time constraint? I think if I were in such a dire position I would not be worried about my tank anymore. It is really no extra work to set up a QT than doing water changes on it, feeding the fish, and having a good look at them every day. As to cost all you need is to go buy a 40 gallon breeder during the $1 a gallon sale that Petco has several times a year, add a $10 sponge filter you season in your sump, I’ll assume you have an air pump already, add a set of glass tops for it $25, and a heater $20. We are up to $95. Surely for someone keeping a reef tank that is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours the average Joe has invested in their reef tank? I have no problem with someone saying hey, QT is not for me. That’s fine. What bugs me is when people say it is too expensive, too time consuming, I’ve never done for a dozen years and never had ich once, not practical etc. and encourage others to follow their poor example by discrediting the practically of QTing livestock . If someone wants to be lazy or impatient in their husbandry practices that’s fine by me. Just don’t get on a public forum and try to rationalize your choices that QTing is not practical for the average hobbyist. It is practical and do-able, should be done and would save an awful lot of folks some disappointment down the line.

  • Matt says:

    lol … Perhaps I should have mentioned that I do quarantine my incoming stock… 😉

    The point I was making was that not everyone will be able to manage the disease free method that Tom enjoys… It’s not just about a quarantine tank if you’re not aware of the system…

    So don’t worry… I tend to encourage people to set up a quarantine system wherever and whenever I can 😉

  • Nick..I got the sump from My Reef Creations. Custom made, however, MRC has added my sump to their product line and I believe to their website

  • Tom Duck says:

    @ everyone – To me, after more than 30 years in this hobby, quarantining is not just an option to consider, it is an essential component to being successful in the long run. The process, price, and patience involved for quarantining all the fish and non-fish life we want in our tanks is something that is very doable by the average hobbyist. Why many still don’t quarantine is extremely perplexing to me. Maybe it’s because there has been so much advancement in the technology/products/filtration methods since I started back in the caveman days of using undergravel filters that there has been a sort of complacency in the area of quarantining which has settled into the hobby. Some of these beautiful fish like the tangs and larger angels can “easily” live 20+ years. Two months up front is a very small price to pay for 20+ years of worry-free enjoyment afterwards. I’ll just say three words – choices, consequences, costs. It’s a principle that can work for you or against you. The free-will choice of each individual hobbyist can only be encouraged to quarantined. Many people have to touch the fire and get burned before they will believe that the flame is hot. Some people more than one time.

  • Bedlamer says:

    @ Matt, again.
    Howdy Matt. Welcome to the 5% club! I’m glad to hear that you regularly QT your livestock, and encourage others to do so as well. Yes, the information that you do so was impossible to glean from what you had previously written, and I guess I would have used a different tone in my last comment here to you. Yes, I am aware that mere QT ing does not encompass the prophylaxic treatment for ich as described in Tom’s earlier posts, or the series of excellent articles that Tom references. I’m the same fellow that commented on just that thing (hypo-salinity/transfer, and other stuff) in comment #28 on page 1 of the comments here—about 12 hours before Tom’s first post in this comment section. Now that you are QTing—I want to put a bug in your ear, and the other folks reading this that are already QTing to consider stepping it up a notch and consider adding one of the methods to eliminate ich. I’ll assume most people with SW tanks have access to RO/DI, salt mix and a decent hygrometer. To add the hypo-salinity part of the treatment does not require any more equipment and you’ll be doing water changes due to no skimmer anyways—so it just adds the factor of gradually dropping and eventually raising the salinity in the QT tank. To add the transfer method, if cost is a factor, get 2 twenty gallon tanks instead of a 40B I suggested earlier and add a second heater. To further cut costs—pick up stuff at your local fish club’s auctions if they have them, or have a look at craigslist for your area. Most second hand aquarium stuff goes for pennies on the dollar. If you want to continue to use sponge filters with that method, you’ll need to seed 5 of them in your sump, instead of just one. When the process is over just give them a bit of time in a diluted bleach solution, maybe 10 to 1. If you use higher strength bleach for an extended period the sponge will eventually break down into a gluey mess. Just rinse and de-chlorinate the heck out of them when you are done, then throw them back in the sump to seed for next time. If all that presents a problem because someone is a poor student in a tiny dorm room somewhere they could also consider using a 3 week treatment of SeaChem’s Cupramine, which is supposed to be less harsh than other copper treatments. Just keep it and any equipment used with copper away from any inverts. So all in all, I maintain that QTing and QT with treatment is not really that big of an expenditure of time, money or effort, considering the benefits and peace of mind it gives you, and helps to ensure the well being of your treasured display tank. I think anyone that can manage the complexities and expenses of running a successful SW tank can easily manage the bit of extra husbandry described above.

  • Matt says:

    An excellent suggestion… 😀 Whilst I maintain that it would be very difficult for many to do (say those with very limited space) I wholehearted agree that a rigorous and mindful quarantine method would be ideal… 🙂

    My LFS maintains an excellent quarantine system and ordering fish will always take some extra time because of this… Regardless, I still quarantine but its a wonderful peace of mind you can’t get from most LFS!

    Thank you gentleman for sharing your thoughts and ideas… It’s what makes this hobby such a pleasure to be part of 🙂 I hope you both, like MSWT (who does preach the benefits even if he has taken the risk) and many others continue to help gently push the QT Uninitiated in a positive direction 😀

  • Will Tyson says:

    Mark, for your “fish on the fringe” you might want to try a smaller eel (golden dwarf moray) or even a small colony of them. I have two in my tank and they are by far my favorite fish ever. you might also like an Ambon Waspfish, Sailfin/Rogue Scorpion, Rhinopias, or some other scorp.

    they have great personality and their feeding behavior is quite astounding.

  • Will…if my tank wasn’t rimless the eel might be a possibility. I have a distinct memory of my snowflake jumping out of my 75g tank back in the 1980’s. I was 10 yrs old and ran and got my father to put it back in the tank for me. I was too scared to try to pick it up!

  • Jay-R says:

    Mark I watch your video about this and I feel your pain. Sorry for your loss. However, when you change your Sump made my “my reef creation” I got hook-up with you new sump. The maintain thing that I like about your new sump is the filter sock with the cover. My question is how can I order custom sump.

    Thank You!

  • Jay-R…You can either order a custom directly through My Reef Creations or through me.

  • Jay-R says:

    Thank you for your response back. When you place that order how did you order thru them?

  • Jay-R…just call My Reef Creations and ask for Raj. Tell him I sent you and that you want a custom sump. He can take care of the rest

  • Lisa says:

    Haha! At first I was going, say-who-what-now?! XD

    I love my freshwater fish but I’ve really never heard someone describe FW tanks as “prettier.”

  • Lane Zisk says:

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