Tank reached 38 years old...in 2009!

robert0419

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Hi' Paul you sure did teach me some things in your story i have been sit back by all that was said what touch me was the story of your mother, and that you do 20% water change ever 5 years i am like wow!!! i tell you this is one thing i will keep with me in years to come i am tell you the people on this site should take there hats off 38 years
I would like to ask you if i could give any reef story your story i think this would be a great teaching tool for reefer , here a ? i have what kind of skimmer was use if any
ones again paul thanks for telling a story that i will keep with me in years to come
god bless.

Robert
 
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Paul B

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Robert you could give that story to anyone you like.
Here is the original thread when the tank was 36. There is a link to an article in there about the history of the tank from the seventees which was posted on line on Reef Central and one of the magazines (I forgot which one)
http://www.manhattanreefs.com/forum/tank-threads/21759-36-year-old-reef.html
My skimmer is home made, it is about 5' tall and is a venturi model. I made it many years ago and it has been working with no problems or maintenance besides cleaning the reaction tube at the top.
In this picture the top plastic is removed. The bucket under the skimmer is there to collect the skimate. There is also a float switch in the bucket that will shut the skimmer pumps off if it fills or if anything on the skimmer leaks
 

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Paul B

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So far my smaller gobi experiment seems to be going well.
Of course I have way too many fish but they are small and although I don't test for anything I can tell the nitrates are zero. If I have time I will bring a sample of my water to a LFS to check it just for documentation purposes. My kits are older than many people here and are useless.
I think I have 25 fish in the tank which is as close as I can count.
Except for a hippo tang, bangai cardinal, engineer gobi, a butterfly that I collected locally in NY, 2 fire clowns and a blue stripped pipefish the rest are gobies or bleenies. Some are spawning and some are fighting or at least not tolleration each other on the same side of the tank. That is normal and happens with all spawning fish in breeding condition.
I feed the tank every day with live baby brine which is the only way to keep these small fish especially the 4 small clown gobies and the blue stripped pipefish.
I am very happy with the way the tank has evolved. I am a little concerned that there is no algae growing anywhere but the tank does have a thin covering of a reddish type of algae, no it's not cyano although there is a little of that in the shadows as there always was. There is an old red scooter bleeny that seemed fat so a few months ago I added a mandarin. They seem fine.
When I add a fish like a clown gobi they exhibit ich for a few days then it goes away and the fish seems immune for the rest of it's life. The locally collected butterfly also did that but he has been there for a few months and is clean also.
I did change some water last week or so and since I have to go to my boat again to store it for the winter I will collect some water along with some growth from the dock for the added fauna and bacteria. Some local mud snails I added at the start of the summer are still living which I am surprised about.
There are about 10 or 15 hermit crabs in there some are I think almost 10 years old. I bought them, they are not local although I have some local ones in another tank



 
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JRWOHLER

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Fascinating tale...read your old thread and your article. All very interesting stuff. It took me a lot longer to get into salt water but like many others the story is the same. SW was just not available where I lived, certainly people could not have afforded it in any case or wouldn't have supported it. Thanks for sharing glad I caught the new thread.
 

Paul B

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What was the longest life span of any fish you had?
No, I had a brutlyd eel or cusk eel for 18 years, a puffer for 12 years, percula for 12 years, moorish Idol for 5 years blue devils for 7
The cusk eel died in an accident as did the moorish Idol. I presently have a fire clown for over 13 years.
Paul
 

Googz

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No, I had a brutlyd eel or cusk eel for 18 years, a puffer for 12 years, percula for 12 years, moorish Idol for 5 years blue devils for 7
The cusk eel died in an accident as did the moorish Idol. I presently have a fire clown for over 13 years.
Paul
Amazing!
 

Paul B

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Googz, most fish will live almost forever but in our little tanks we, or me anyway, usually have some type of accident every ten years or so unfortunately killing some of these older residents. I really felt bad about that cusk eel. not because it was so beautiful, :bablefishI only seen it at night with a flashlight as it hid all the time and I never even fed it. The moorish Idol was another one I wish had lived. He was on his way to a moorish Idol record having lived through two eye operations for pop eye and a bout with ich. I also lost at that time an old mandarin and copperband butterfly.
I rarely find a dead fish but if I do it usually means I made a mistake somewhere. :shhh:
I am getting better and maybe I can get the accidents from 10 years to 15 :tongue1:
 

Paul B

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The gobi experiment is going better than expected, I have two pairs spawning but I am not yet trying to raise the fry.
Today I thought one of them was dying because I fed the tank live worms and one gobi would not eat. She would just sit under a rock and let the worms bounce off her head which is a sure sign of a dead fish in the morning. After a while of me annoying her she decided to turn the other way and I could see how pregnant she was. I diden't even know this pair was spawning.
She looks extreamly fat and should lay some eggs very soon.
(or die depending on how she delivers) Some fish have a hard time in a tank especially when they get chased.
This is the best picture I could get because she was in the rocks and I moved a rock to get the picture.
You can see the belly though.

 

FaviaFreak

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Copiague, NY
If your tank was started in June of 1970, I was born in June of 1970 so that tank is as old as me! wow! that just boggles the mind...how does it feel to be a reef keeping pioneer? I just want to say congrats to you and your tank for being there for over 38 years, that is quite an accomplishment indeed. How did you do it back in the early days when there was nothing in regards to keeping salties and reefs available to hobbyist other than undergravel filters, heaters, and a tank? you must have seen it all, invented whatever you needed and did it in the dark so to speak...congrats once again!
 

CHEMCHEF

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They had HOB filter in 1970 also. Im sure paul remembers, The ones with the three canes that you would fill with floss and carbon, be impoosible to start flow, and would sometimes go on fire(man I feel old). But they did crank out some GHP.
I actually used one unyil about 6 years ago, on my cichlid tank. Tank was never as healthy as it was with that filter.

If your tank was started in June of 1970, I was born in June of 1970 so that tank is as old as me! wow! that just boggles the mind...how does it feel to be a reef keeping pioneer? I just want to say congrats to you and your tank for being there for over 38 years, that is quite an accomplishment indeed. How did you do it back in the early days when there was nothing in regards to keeping salties and reefs available to hobbyist other than undergravel filters, heaters, and a tank? you must have seen it all, invented whatever you needed and did it in the dark so to speak...congrats once again!
 

Paul B

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If your tank was started in June of 1970, I was born in June of 1970 so that tank is as old as me!
Actually, it was started in 1971 which was the year I returned home from the Army.

...how does it feel to be a reef keeping pioneer?
Old

How did you do it back in the early days when there was nothing in regards to keeping salties and reefs available to hobbyist other than undergravel filters, heaters, and a tank?
There is an article on here somewhere that I wrote about 15 years ago that tells the history of the hobby and how I started this tank.
It still uses an UG filter only now it is run in reverse and very slow. I lifted the plates twice in those years to see what it looked like under there. The first time was 25 years after the tank was started.
There was no information or so called "Experts". You put fish in, tried something and if it died, you bought a different fish and tried something else.
The tank evolved into what it is today. It looked much better two years ago, before the last accident but now I am happy with my gobi experiment. It was never meant to be a thing of beauty, only a hobby and learning experience which is an extension of my SCUBA hobby.
Have a great day.
Paul
 

Paul B

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I like my new aquascaping which I did last month. I removed the rock and built some thin cement PVC rock to act as pilons to support the massive rock work.
There is very few places where the large rocks touch the substrait. I did this not for the same reason that it would be done with a DSB because I don't have a DSB but a RUGF. I use dolomite gravel so there would be circulation even with rocks on the gravel but I wanted it very open. It always starts out kind of like this but eventually after a few years, the open spaces kind of collapse and the smaller rocks fill in the cavities. With this new system of the pylons, this will not happen as much.
I can also blow any detritus out from behind the structure although this tank generates very little detritus.
I am surprised no one here pointed out that the rocks look like they are covered in cyano. They are not, but in the pictures, especially with no actinic lights, they look like that. There is a very short red algae covering mostly the artificial cement rocks. This algae is the same algae that covers everything in the Long Island Sound wher I collect most of my water and some rocks.
This picture of the rock anemone was taken right after I collected it in a tide pool in the Sound. I added this anemone just as you see it, rock and all. The red algae on it is exactly what sometimes grows in my tank and I am sure it generated from there.
It does not last the entire year but the fish eat it and it looks kind of natural.



 
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Paul B

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I just picked up another blue stripped pipefish, I believe it's another female. It is not hard to tell but this one is only about an inch and a half long and being a pipefish, very skinny. They never stop swimming either so it was even harder to tell. I bought it right out of his shipping container even before it went into the LFS tanks which is the way I prefer to buy fish. There were three of them in there and the other two looked like males. I have a breeding pair so I can't introduce another male and my eyes are not like they were 20 years ago so it is hard to tell the difference at that size especially.
I am very happy with the way the tank has evolved in the last few years which is very different from it has usually been. It is full of very small fish as opposed to tangs, angels etc.
There is still a Hippo, Bangai Cardinal and a couple of fire clowns but all the rest of them are gobies, bleenies or pipefish.
I have always wanted a tank full of fifty small fish instead of 10 larger fish. I go for the unusual and some of my fish I have no idea what they are as I never say them before.
The pipes, Bangai's and 4 gobies are spawning. Another pair of tiny clown gobies appear to want to spawn but they look to be a little stupid or maybe naive so I may have to introduce a little fish porn
I think they will get the hang of it.
I don't raise them anymore as I used to because they need more attention than I can give them right now and you are not going to find baby bluestripe pipefish in a 6' long tank. The babies are like new born brine shrimp only skinnier.
I removed a lot of rocks and it is much more "airy" looking. All the rockwork is raised and very open. For some reason there was no green algae growing at all for a few months but now I see some green on the gravel. I can't wait to see what the next phase will be.
I also built a new live blackworm keeper because as I have been saying for 50 years, if you want your fish to be as healthy as they can be and spawn, they really should have live blackworms.
Not bloodworms. A few worms a day is all it takes.
I have induced many fish to spawn with this method including gobies, bangai cardinals, blue devils and clowns.
Unfortunately pipefish and seahorses don't eat them.

Tending some eggs

 

Arati

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So cool!

Paul If you would like to have some frags to start re-stocking corals hit me with a PM. I have plenty of mushrooms and zoa's, torch frogspawn ect, if you want to add some easy stuff. I also have some sps/ lps if you are into that. Would be an honor just to see a few of my frags in your tank.

Im in Wading River.
 

Paul B

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Arati, I would love some but I would want to pay for them.
I am in new Hyde park.
I have a few mushrooms now and they are doing great.
PM me your number.
Thanks, I really appreciate it.
Paul
 

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