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COVER AND INDEX
LAST MONTHS ISSUE | HOME | FEBRUARY - MARCH ISSUE PAGE 1

PLANS FOR MAKING A COMPACT CORAL FARMING UNIT
SOME GREAT FEED BACK FROM OUR MEMBERS
FRIAR TOM WALSH WRITES ABOUT HIS REEFS


Reef Aquarium Farming News
Online Newsletter for Reef Aquarium Propagation Research

ISSUE # 24 page 2 FEBRUARY - MARCH ISSUE PAGE 2


STEP BY STEP PLANS FOR MAKING A COMPACT CORAL FARMING UNIT

SALLY JO'S NEW CUTTING TANKS

.CORAL FARMING UNIT #1 This picture shows the two basic pieces you need to make for the wooden stand. I made these from 3/4 inch oak. The legs are made so that the shelves fit into slots on the three cross supports. I made the legs and the shelves all the same size so that the units can be put together quickly. The shelves do not need any screws to hold them together because they lock into the legs.

This unit can be put together by one person. the picture below shows how the bottom shelf is placed in the slots on the legs. The first Plexiglas tank is placed on the bottom shelf before the next shelf is locked into the middle supports. This unit holds 1000 coral plugs when it stocked. The corals are held in plastic racks that set on the bottom of the tanks. We drill holes in the plastic racks and the corals are mounted on AragocreteTM reef plugs.

I made these tanks so the units can be made ahead of time. When the hatchery is ready for a new set of tanks they can be installed in a few hours. The frames are made by framing in a base of 1/4" oak plywood the size of the bottom of the aqauriums.

This unit has foot print of 24" by 48". I used 2" oak as a frame around the bottom of the plywood. Use waterproof glue and woodscrews to secure the frames. I added an extra piece of 3/4" oak to the end of each shelf.

This extra piece of oak is grooved so that the groove in the legs can lock in place when I put the unit together. The weight of the water holds this shelf in place. I used several small plastic spacers between the back of the tanks and the stands legs. The finished unit is very stable.

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1
CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

The bottom tank in this unit is 12 inches tall and the other two tanks are 9 inches tall. I made the bottom tank larger because it is the sump for the unit. I pump water from the bottom tank to the other tanks with Maxi-Jet 1000 power heads. I like these pumps because they can lift a large flow of water against a head pressure for several years.

I set up a 12" by 47" ECO-SAND plenum in the bottom tank and I covered it with Garf Grungetm so that Sally Jo could put her cuttings in the unit the same week I set it up.

When this unit is finished the lower tank will have a layer of course Grunge and mixed shells. Sally jo will be able to cut up Mushrooms and other soft bodied Soft Corals, such as Green Nymphea, and drop them in the gravel. This tank will always have 6 - 40 watt lights. The other two tanks will be upgraded in stages to VHO as soon as the coralline algae has covered most of the plastic.

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

This drawing shows how the water flows from the bottom tank to both of the other tanks. The drains from both tanks go into the bottom tank. I made a plastic box with two holes in it for the water to pour into.

The lid on this box stops almost all of the salt creep that would build up because all of the bubbles break inside of this box. Later I will add a Sea Clone skimmer to the bottom tank and I will draw my water from the foam inside of this return box.

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1CORAL FARMING UNIT #1
CORAL FARMING UNIT #1CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

THIS IS THE FINISHED CORAL FARMING UNIT READY FOR PLUMBING AND LIGHTING

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

Next time I will write about the ways we build the coral racks and the ways we propagate the corals. Now I want to tell you how I added lights to this first coral farming system. I had been watching as John designed his I-Beam shaped plastic light frames, and I wanted to use this way of holding the bulbs above these tanks.

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

Each of these units has 6 - 40 watt bulbs over them. I made a plastic rack to hold the lights. I have just finished the pulley system that allows Sally Jo to lift the lights out of the way and lock them open.

I have been building several different types of systems to lift the lights out of the way. I will show some pictures of the ones that work the best.

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1

I have found out while watching Sally Jo work on this unit that it is often necessary to have all three lights up at once. She is often moving corals from one layer to the next. I am working on a method of lifting all three lights with a push button.

CORAL FARMING UNIT #1I am starting the second unit like this in the morning. I have a few design constraints I have made up to push the envelope. The next unit has to have no wood in it. The parts have to be interchangeable with only three pieces making up the stands, and tanks.

The unit has to ship in pieces and be able to hold corals several hours after it is unpacked. I will finish the computor drawings and start building the plastic tanks. These tanks will all be about 10 inches tall and they will be 24 inches by 48 inches long. I will be reporting my progress soon:)

More later- leroy


WE WANT TO SHARE SOME FEEDBACK :)

Delivered-To: leroy@garf.org
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 06:35:49 EST
To: leroy@garf.org
Mime-Version: 1.0
Subject: It really does work!

We recently purchased some reef janitors(snails and crabs)from you. We were really
skeptical about this. But to our amazement they really have cleaned up 95% of the red and
green algae in our 90 gallon reef tank. I guess you have to try it to believe it. Thank you so
much for the work you have done and all the great information on your webpage.

Pam and Jim
Rodkey, Sunbury PA

Delivered-To: leroy@garf.org
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 21:57:54 -0600
From: "Benjamin G. Scott" Texas A&M University
X-Accept-Language: en
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: "leroy@garf.org" Subject: Awesome Site!!!

Dear Sally Joe,

You asked me to remind you about getting Tom Walsh's 20gal tank setup info by Friday. I will be gone for spring break next week, so no rush (I know how busy you must be).
I have been keeping a reef aquarium for 7 months, and I must say that G.A.R.F. has been by far the most helpful reef resource anywhere. I can now see many mistakes I made in setting up my 55gal. I myself will be receiving my B.S. in biomedical science from Texas A&M University in two months, and then I will be starting a Ph.D. program in neuroimmunology at UTMB Galveston, Texas. With this, I extend my sincere appreciation in your efforts to support growing your own reef animals. I can't wait to start my 20gal setup when I get to school in August using aragocrete!!

Sincerely,
Ben Scott


HERE IS SOME OFTEN REQUESTED DATA ON FRIAR TOM WALSH'S AQUARIUMS

MORE PICTURES OF FRIAR TOM WALSH'S AWARD WINNING REEFS

Reef Aquarium Farming News

TOM WALSH WINS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL REEF AWARD FOR THIS 20 GALLON TANK

Tom Walsh, 3/99

Hi Sally Jo & Leroy,

It was great talking with you both yesterday. Here's some stuff on my reefs.

I actually set up these reefs on a dare from a friend of mine. Everyone I spoke with said it was not possible to set up a reef that was smaller than 55 gallons. I did not have either the space or the money to set up an elaborate system so thought I would try something simpler. It began almost 9 years ago with a lot of feather dusters, two clowns and a yellow tail blue damsel in a twenty gallon long tank. I read everything I could get ahold of and decided to go out on a limb and purchase a rock with one blue mushroom on it. I believed my efforts would be doomed to failure since the man at the LFS assured me that the single mushroom would not live without a wet/dry filter and it certainly would not multiply unless I had at least "a pair" !! It wasn't long before I began to realize that not all employees in LFSs are experts and that the fact is, many don't have a clue.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

Soon the one mushroom turned into several and on the basis of that apparent success, I was hooked and addicted to reefkeeping.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

I decided that we had two bookshelves that served as room dividers and that one twenty long would fit nicely on top of each one. The quest for a reliable, inexpensive set up began. A friend introduced me to the skilter 250 and suggested that I enhance it with a wooden airstone. I did and have run it ever since as the main mechanical filtration on both tanks. Each tank also has a second filter, a millennium 2000 on one and a penguin bio wheel on the other.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

Since I only had a few mushrooms & feather dusters, one strip light proved to be effective enough. When I began to look for other corals, I also began to realize that they would need a lot more light. I couldn't afford any expensive lighting systems, so I decided to try two double strip lights on the top of each tank. I run four NO flouresents on each tank, (2) coralife 10,000K bulbs and (2) Magtinics. This has proved to be sufficient for all the corals I have wanted to keep. It doesn't seem like an awful lot of light (80Watts) but the tanks themselves are very shallow.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

I originally put a thin layer of dolomite on the bottom of the tanks (mostly for decoration) and it remains until this day. Since live rock was so expensive, I began with Florida base rock and allowed it to seed itself from the few pieces of live rock I was able to obtain. Each tank has a small 75 watt heater and I try to keep the temperature between 76 & 78 degrees.

Not much is added to the tanks. I do a 25% water change every 3 - 4 weeks. Each week I do add Kent Marine Tectra I (iodine supplement) and C-Balance. Each tank contains four fish (Fridmani Basslett, pair of percula clowns, pygmy angel, ,,,,,,,, pair of oscelaris clowns, royal gramma and flameback angel in the other.) There is a host of hermit crabs and snails (GARF janitors) and two emerald crabs in each tank. One tank has a pair of cleaner shrimp, the other has a trio of fire shrimp.

Gorgonians, soft corals, anemones, mushrooms, large polyp stony corals and SPS corals inhabit both tanks. Although they do not grow rapidly, the various acroporas, pavonis, hydnophoras montiporas and others have adjusted very well to the light levels and maintain good colors.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

I have recently begun feeding DT's Plankton a couple times a week and have noticed some positive effects on the tubastrea and elegance corals. Tubastrea and the blood & fire anemones are feed black worms a couple times a week. I am currently keeping four kinds of Xenia and all seem to be doing well.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

Since I work in a high school, I thought it would be a good thing to place a small reef in my office for the kids to see. I have a 10 gal reef set up similarly to the others and it contains yellow, green & tan leathers, blue, green and red mushrooms, blood anemones and a fire anemone, clove polyps, button polyps, calastrea, a gorgonian and three types of Xenia. There are also three fish: a fridmani basslett, a maroon clown & a royal gramma. This tank contains 2 NO flouresents: a coralife daylight bulb and a magtinic. It runs soley on a skilter 250 with an airstone use the same schedule of water changes and the same supplements as for the 20's.

Reef Aquarium Farming News

One thing I have learned is that you need to keep an open mind and share what you've learned with others. This is what I appreciate most about GARF and the work you are doing there. I am also indebetted to the Chesapeake Marine Aquaria Society in Baltimore and can't recommend strongly enough getting involved in a marine society of some sort. I visit the tanks of these hobbyists and am in awe of their skill level, their determination and dedication. All of it is reflected in the amazing reefs they keep.


corals for sale
REEF JANITORS ALGAE CONTROL CENTRAL

Use this site to solve your reef aquarium algae problems, and help support our research!!!


corals for sale

THIS SEMESTER - we set up our long needed merchants account
so we can take credit cards at 1-800-600-6163

WE ARE HAVING A RETURN FOR ANOTHER WEEK OF THE GREAT REEF JANITORTM SPECIAL. CALL TODAY AND YOU CAN MIX AND MATCH ANY AMOUNT OF SNAILS AND HERMITS FOR ONLY $1.00 EACH. LeRoy


WE HAVE SOME GREAT CAPTIVE RAISED CORALS READY FOR SALE !
CALL TODAY AND RECEIVE A FREE CORAL WITH EACH 5 PACK OF CORALS. 1-800-600-6163

Many of the rare corals are offered to our members for 2 years before they are put on sale. We will soon have an E-mail list that will list the rarest color forms of sps corals and soft corals such as Xenia and Mushrooms.

JOIN THE RESEARCH FOUNDATION
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1726 Merrill St.
Boise Idaho 83705

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Email: leroy@garf.org


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TOP OF PAGE


COVER AND INDEX
LAST MONTHS ISSUE | HOME | FEBRUARY - MARCH ISSUE PAGE 1

PLANS FOR MAKING A COMPACT CORAL FARMING UNIT
SOME GREAT FEED BACK FROM OUR MEMBERS
FRIAR TOM WALSH WRITES ABOUT HIS REEFS


Email:leroy@garf.org


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