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  #1  
Old 07/21/2007, 08:48 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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My 253 gallon tank

Hello,

this is my first posting on Reef Central and I thought it would be a good idea to say hello this way and to present my tank and my history in reef keeping and the history of my tanks.
I am from Austria and was born at the Lake Constance. Nevertheless my contacts with fishes or “seafood” was for the biggest part of my live only fishing and/or eating them.
Since more then two decades I live near Innsbruck, an even more mountainous region with almost no relation to fishes except some rivers and lakes with trouts and other species.

All started when my two boys wanted to keep fish. They where at the age of five at that time and therefore needed some “help”. My wife was of the opinion that each of them should have an own tank. So we set up two small freshwater tanks of about 14 gallon each. That was when I was caught by the “virus”. I also had seen the beautiful reef fish and corals at our local pet shop and started to search the internet. The next was that I bought some literature and started to study more deeply into the subject.
After about one year of theoretical preparation I started buying the first items for my own reef tank.
This I set up at the end of 2001. It was a 120x60x60cm (47x23x23 inch) 430 liter (114 gallons) tank. It developed quit well but after one year my neighbour came one day (we live in a 2 storey condominium) and asked if we had the washing machine running during night, which I negated. Finally we found out that it was the pumps which you could hardly(!) hear, when you pressed an ear to his sleeping rooms wall.
As he was constantly claiming the noise and I was not willing to invest in new pumps (as I did not want to spend a lot of money , not being sure that the outcome was better – with the outcome that I also would have to remove it for the sake of good neighbourhood relations), I had to consider to find a new home for my tank, as I did not want to sell it (and of course loose some money).
Adjacent to us there is the home of the aged of our village and in the entrance hall they had a freshwater tank which was not in the best shape.
I approached them and made the offer to donate them my tank if they would find a place for it. I also would continue to maintain it – the only thing they would have to do would be the financing of the ongoing costs…
After they paid a visit to my home they decided to remove the freshwater tank and to place my tank there but they insisted that it should remain in my ownership.
So on the 2nd of January 2003 I moved the tank the few meters to the neighbouring building. Since then it was a constant viewpoint for the aged living there as well as for the staff and visitors to the aged and the house. I frequently give introductions into the reef tank and the hobby for school classes and groups. Articles about the tank appeared in several newspapers and even in a German magazine (Datz).
But as it is with all tanks: over the years it became too small…..
But the same happened to one of my best reefkeeping friends. He had two blue powder tangs which had grown too big for his 960 liter/253 gallon tank (200x80x60cm – 78x31x23 inch). So he built up a 951 gallon tank and his old tank became available. I asked the administrator of the old people´s home if I could replace the existing tank by a larger one and he agreed. As I had been also looking after a 660 gallon tank in a hotel bar for about half a year (trying to develop it from a fish tank into a real reef tank) I had earned some money which I spent buying the friends entire “old” system.
So again this new tank belongs to me although his regular place is in the home of the aged.
At the beginning of April I drove to my friend (with the Mercedes minibus of the old people´s home) to pick up the tank and all other items.
After some adaptations of the stands covering I finally prepared the move of everything from the old tank to the big new one.
The move then took place on the 30th of April and was a success with no loss in fish, corals or other animals.
Since then it developed rapidly and is already in a good shape for such a “new” tank.
Here you can see the entrance hall plus the tank one day after setup:


And this is a close look up of the tank (shot taken June 17, 2007)


It consists of a mix of soft and hard corals.

Fishes:
2 Zebrasoma veliferum
1 Pterapogon kauderni
1 Cirrhitychthys falco
12 Chromis viridis
2 Gramma loreto
2 Amphiprion occelaris
1 Chelmon rostratus
2 Centropyge bispinosa

regards

Markus

Last edited by MarkusII; 07/21/2007 at 09:02 AM.
  #2  
Old 07/21/2007, 10:18 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

some more pics you can find here:
http://www.aquabilderbuch.de/HDS/

Equipment:
Lighting: Gieseman 230 eco 3x250W HQI+4x9W blue, 2xT5 80W blue, 1xT8 36W blue

Waterflow:
ATK MP12065 (12000L/3170g) closed loop

Skimmer:
Aqua MedicTurboflotor 5000 Shorty with Eheim 1060 (Water) and Red Dragon Bubbleking 1000(air)

regards

Markus
  #3  
Old 07/22/2007, 08:10 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

and here is a short documentation of the "making of..."

The old tank:


As the new tank had to be in the same place as the old one, the move had to be done at one. Therefore we had to prepare the new tank the day before the move. The Stand and the tank was prepared on the right side of the old tank. I was lucky to have another colleague to help me.


almost finished:


The old tank still in place one day before the move; on the right the new tank allready assembled; last water exchange for next days move:


The day of the move arrived. Georg and I draining the water from the old tank, thereafter removed all corals and stones from the tank into buckets and boxes:


Then we moved the old tank away (although only about 26g of water and the fish remained in it for the time beeing, together with the stand it had some weight and we needed 4 people to remove to the left). Then we drilled holes for the new lamp:


to be continued...

regards

Markus
  #4  
Old 07/22/2007, 08:12 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

continuation:

four of my regular "Tank watchers" don´t want to miss what ´s going on. The administrator with the drill also seems to be very happy....:


and then we moved the new tank to its location (was much easier on the wet wiped floor). You can see it - still empty - with the actinic lamp already on, my son passing by (we had several assistants and spectators this days - also some colleagues came to what what was going on and providing some helping hands). In the tanks floor you can see the outlets of the closed loop system:


Now it was time to place the stones, sand and then fill up with the water and find a place for every coral:


And that is what it looks like - an overall view of my tank:


The left side of the stand: the freswater-box and the ATK providing the waterflow of the closed loop system:


And the right side with the skimmer:

There is a special gimmick with the sump. You may wonder what the long hoses are for: the sump is on a wooden plate with castors - this enables the sump to be pulled out of the stand for easier maintenance work.

regards

Markus
  #5  
Old 07/22/2007, 10:03 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

and here some time furter back, when I picked up the tank at my friends home.....

the dissasembling of the tank:


The friend had called some "strong" guys to move the tank from its stand:


Sump and freshwaterbox waiting to be loaded into the bus:


the bus had just the right size to fit the whole tank, stand, sump and all the other technical equipment:


finally all the parts of the new tank in the bus....


regards

Markus
  #6  
Old 07/22/2007, 10:10 AM
cloudjockey cloudjockey is offline
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very impressive keep the pic coming.
  #7  
Old 07/22/2007, 10:53 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello cloudjockey,

hey, working in the same business .....

here is a pic from the "sump-drawer" - extended (made when assembling the tank).


and the freshwater-box can be filled with a gardenhose (must see where I have the pic for a later posting) - you can see where the hose can be attached if you look at the picture of the box (in the left upper frontcorner there is the fitting)

As some of the staff of the house does the feeding of the fish and the daily necessary maintenance of the tank (with a checklist mounted in the stands electronic compartement - the appendix of the stand, if you look at the overall picture of the tank) and they are all non reefkeepers I do not keep corals or animals which are difficult or expensive. Thats why its mainly a mix of soft and hard corals.
I do the "heavy" maintenance - like waterchanges and looking after the corals.

regards

Markus

Last edited by MarkusII; 07/22/2007 at 10:59 AM.
  #8  
Old 07/22/2007, 05:30 PM
NYCREEF69 NYCREEF69 is offline
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great tank build
  #9  
Old 07/23/2007, 11:38 PM
meschaefer meschaefer is offline
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thats a great story. you found a way to keep your tank, and put it some place where people really appreciate it (i presume).

-matt
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  #10  
Old 07/24/2007, 03:38 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello Matt,

thanks, yes indeed its a real attraction in the house.
I never thought that my tank would become something like a public aquarium...

@Nycreef69 - well your compliment goes to my friend who owned the tank before. We just completed the wooden parts of the stand covering and painted it white. And of course "filled him up".

regards

Markus
  #11  
Old 07/24/2007, 01:10 PM
costeroma costeroma is offline
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hey u must b rich

lucky
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  #12  
Old 07/24/2007, 01:51 PM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello costeroma,

Quote:
hey u must b rich
why? The tank still belongs to me although it is in the home for the aged, but indeed I even save money - because I have no maintenance costs as food and electricity or salt.... - as they pay for it.

regards

Markus
  #13  
Old 07/24/2007, 02:03 PM
tkeracer619 tkeracer619 is offline
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Unless your born into it, luck has nothing to do with being rich......

Great work man, thats a really nice thing for you to do. Sweet tank and livestock.

You are much nicer than me, I would have just ran the washer in the night. Eventually they would have accepted the slight hum over the washer or moved.
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  #14  
Old 07/24/2007, 02:28 PM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello tkeracer619,

thanks.

about being nice: unfortunately the condos are own property and are built only a few years ago. So I guess neither the neighbour nor we would move out - even if we would have penetrated him with the washer and other things. And as we have to continue to live side by side as neighbours for most probably some years to come, I at least did not like the idea of having a steady war with him. But he has problems with many others as well and even it seems as he does not like himself - if I see his face. He is a Psychopath I guess.

Nevertheless his son started to lern the drumms and did some exercise in the afternoon. But this time I knocked him with his "own" weapons - I started to learn playing the tuba .
And: his son stopped some time ago, I am still playing....

regards

Markus
  #15  
Old 07/25/2007, 01:59 PM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

and this is the other tank I take care of....: (and by which I earned the money for the 253g tank)

Its in a hotel at the lake "Achensee" in Tyrol/Austria
www.alpenrose.at
and it is situated in the "Rondo Bar" lobby.
It was built up in 2004 and had several ups and downs the last years with no specialist taking care of it.
It is an oval acrylic tank 2m long, up to 1,5m wide and 90cm high containing 2500 liters (660g).
I took it over about one year ago with no corals in (only fish - mainly such ones getting rather large...and some of them eating soft corals). Only stones, low algae and really not a showpiece for the location and a though thing to get it to look somewhat like a real reef tank)
Within one year I got it to a considerable good shape finding out all the corals which where not on the menue of the two angelfishes Centropyge bicolor and Pomacanthus imperator and therefore would survive and grow in the tank(I went there every two or three weeks for the "heavy" maintenance as waterchanges...), but allways told the hotel owner, that we should replace the weak link of the technical equippment which in my eyes was the Schuran skimmer with his "self-cleaning" ability (which did not really work properly - you still had to screw off the top of the skimmer and clean it once every two or three weeks - taking about 45min - screw off, clean, screw on again) and the fact that the flotate was directly going to the canalization. On the other hand the automatic refill with freshwater was directly from the waterpipe with a toilett refill like "swimmer".
Once we had allready a bigger problem before last christmas, when a filterbag was wrongly mounted to the sump by the housekeeper and finally caused a water-overflow (about 158g) which was refilled by freshwater and causde the salinity to go down from 30 (we kept it a little lower for the fish-health and for salt saving) to 20 psu! But it was detected allready the next day and everything survived.
In spring they called me again and told the salinity was down again to 20 - when we found out that the skimmer seemed to have a working problem and went skimming to wet without any obvious reason why. Again no impact and salinity corrected.
Two weeks ago I was away a few days for vacation when they called me again and said the salinity went over night from 30 to 5 psu!!!!! They corrected again - but this time this was to much. All corals disintegrated within the next days and out of 36 fish 19 died.
This is what we had:
16 Chromis viridis (1 survived)
1 Chrysiptera talboti (survived)
1 Paar Amphiprion occelaris (survived)
1 Amphiprion frenatus (survived)
1 Labroides dimidiatus (survived)
1 Siganus unimaculatus (survived)
1 Zebrasoma xanthurum (survived)
1 Zebrasoma veliferum
1 Paracanthurus hepatus
2 Naso vlamingii (survived)
7 Zebrasoma flavescens (4 survived)
1 Acanthurus leucosternon (survived)
1 Centropyge bicolor
1 Pomacanthus imperator (survived)
1 Chelmon rostratus (survived)
Now that it really had an impact the skimmer and the freshwater refill can be rebuilt by me....
And I can start at the beginning again with the corals.
I will install a second sump before the other one where I will place an internal skimmer (so it is not a problem if he is running crazy and skimming to wet) and an extra Tank from where a pump will refill only small amounts of freshwater regulated by a computer and secured by a time limit as well.

Here is a picture how it looked like before the crash - just at the beginning of July:

you cannot see all corals it had in the tank as some (especially mushrooms) where not yet so big (colonies)

best regards

Markus

(I hope you can understand my "austrian" english - as I am no native speaker)
  #16  
Old 10/19/2007, 06:54 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

some time since I presented my tank. Since then the corals have grown and I added a few new fishes (in bold) to the tank.
Thats the present content:
1 Zebrasoma veliferum
10 Chromis viridis
5 Pseudanthias squamipinis
1 Pterapogon kauderni
1 Cirrhitychthys falco
2 Gramma loreto
2 Amphiprion occelaris
1 Chelmon rostratus
2 Centropyge bispinosa
2 Valenciennea puellaris
1 Pterosynchiropus splendidus
1 Labroides dimidiatus
other anmials:
2 Stenopus Hispidus
1 Echinometra viridis
2 Archaster angulatus
1 Ophiarachna incrassata

Gorgonians are one of my favorites:


a partial shot of the center of my tank - and yes another gorgonia. Although it looks like a soft coral tank I have stony corals (LPS ans SPS) as well. But I do concentrate on gorgonians, soft corals and zooanthids and mushrooms - especially colourfull ones or those looking rather strange in structure


and finally a picture of the whole tank as it looked one month ago (no newer pic on the PC)


best regards

Markus
  #17  
Old 10/19/2007, 07:20 PM
pipper pipper is offline
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VERY COOL!!!! AWSOME!

keep 'em coming please
  #18  
Old 10/19/2007, 11:52 PM
FIJI Reefing FIJI Reefing is offline
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yes please that one tank is great not just from the beautiful corals but that it is entertainment for some of the people
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Trying to make a point that $100 a polyp is a good deal will be a losing battle....
  #19  
Old 10/20/2007, 04:24 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hi Fiji and Pipper,

thanks;
I really want to show that its not always only the "candy-colour" stony corals who make a beautiful tank - but there are other species as well.....
And in a mixed Aquarium there is a lot more movement - its less static than a pure stony coral tank.

but nevertheless as I wrote I also have stony corals as well:
makro picture of my Blastomussa merletti

of the Pavona cactus

Plerogyra sinuosa


and look how many visitors my tank attracts (of course this is a joke - these where visitors of my anual aquaristic symposium I organise every year...)


regards

Markus
  #20  
Old 10/23/2007, 01:08 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

took a new pic of the tank yesterday when the lamps where going on - so its a sunrise picture....


best regards

Markus

Last edited by MarkusII; 10/23/2007 at 01:23 AM.
  #21  
Old 10/23/2007, 09:49 AM
thor32766 thor32766 is offline
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wow looks awesome!! your hard work really paid off!~~
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  #22  
Old 10/24/2007, 02:01 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

thanks - yes I am satisfied how good it is running

regards

Markus
  #23  
Old 10/27/2007, 11:00 AM
MarkusII MarkusII is offline
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Hello,

just made a few new pics
overall picture

Full tank shot

left part of the tank

middle part


regards

Markus

Last edited by MarkusII; 10/27/2007 at 11:16 AM.
  #24  
Old 10/27/2007, 03:49 PM
tkeracer619 tkeracer619 is offline
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Looks great!
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  #25  
Old 12/11/2007, 04:16 AM
melev melev is offline
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Very interesting thread. I always like seeing different equipment used overseas. The viewing room is really spacious and makes you feel welcome to sit back and enjoy the reef.
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