Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)


John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

Upgrading to a new tank - the adventure begins ;)

26 Apr 2015 16:30 #31 by jeff (Jeff Scully)
Welcome back Alex ;)

Where the tongue slips, it speaks the truth.

A life making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.

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02 Jun 2015 23:29 #32 by carlowchris (chris)
Did ya have any more ideas on the new tank???was looking at the plans for the sump...Very impresed.....you managed to cram everything in there.

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03 Jun 2015 09:34 #33 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey Chris

I have an idea of how I want the DP but the sump is still a dilemma, I will probably go to seahorse and order the tank this month and ask them to build a basic sump while I build my own one, or, as I wouldnot do anything with the tank for a while I might ask them to wait to build the sump for a few days


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02 Aug 2015 21:12 - 02 Aug 2015 21:15 #34 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Ok so I am back

Bart will be building my aquarium in the end, mostly because he doesnt mind experimenting with a few ideas I have ;)

The tank is going to be 155 x 65 x 65 cm so around 620 liters plus sump. Will have a C2C bean animal external overflow. I am not 100% sure whether the external overflow will take the entire space (side to side of the back of the DP) or if I want to use only around 45 cm of it and put an internal C2C weir. I will make up my mind this week. The pros of a smaller external overflow is that it is easier for me to clean as the right side of the aquarium will be blocked by the fridge and to clean it I will need to move it (not a big deal but could be annoying).

The C2C weir will be teethed to prevent Julio the jawfish from taking an unauthorized trip to the sump.

The aquarium will need to have a cover, I will use a special mesh that you can make to fit the top of the aquarium but I will worry about this later.

The cabinet will be white, and will have no drawers. However, I want a strong frame as I might ask Bart to allow me to open the right side of the aquarium in case I need or want to replace the sump.

On the left side there will be another door where most of the switching will be housed.

The sump will be a 2 stage sump with an external fudge or whatever I decide to do with it (see picture below).


I already have the skimmer and the return pump.The skimmer is a Coral Box Cloud 9 rated for up to 1400 l. It is as tall as a 2 year old... impressive beast


The return pump is a blau 12KDC rated for 12000 lph almost double of what I will be sending back to the DP (planning of running over 10x DP volumen, therefore around 7000 lph). I wanted a bigger pump because I will be teeing off the return to feed the fuge.

This is the pump


I will keep you all posted

Chat later!
Last edit: 02 Aug 2015 21:15 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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05 Aug 2015 17:46 #35 by carlowchris (chris)
thats some beast of a skimmer B)

why the separate fuge ????? instead of incorporating it in to the sump????

would a bigger sump not be more flexable if ya want to add or move around equipment ????

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05 Aug 2015 23:25 #36 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hi chris

The first stage of the sump is just for the skimmer, nothing else should go in there. Anything else will either go on the return section (like reactors, etc) or outside the tank.

The reason for separating the fuge was (and I said was) because otherwise due to the size of the cabinet I wouldnt be able to remove the sump in the future if I wanted to. The initial design had the fuge built in.

However that has changed asI have found a cabinet design that will allow me to fit a big sump in the aquarium.

Also, remember that the above sump including the fuge is 125 cm wide and 180 liters of true water volume! so it is pretty big it self. The return section of around 40 cm x 45 cm alone! I can fit at least 2 reactors in it and still have enough volume to run the return pump!

I will upload the new cabinet design, I think I might open a new thread as it will take a lot of space and I think it is worth it...

Bart has already ordered the glass so everything is on its way! woo hoo

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06 Aug 2015 00:39 #37 by carlowchris (chris)
have ya seen these?????


think they look fairly neat ....and if I ever get a new tank ..think id like some thing like this.

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06 Aug 2015 00:42 #39 by carlowchris (chris)
ha ha

Attachment mbjkJNjDIgE2aAoomZapr_A.jpg not found


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29 Oct 2015 14:02 #40 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
ok so a few more updates. Tank is almost finished, I asked Bart to take his time as I needed to paint the house before bringing it in.

Here are a few pictures of the tank (out of focus sorry!)


The over flow is finished and we decided to try a different type of weird, as you can see the weird is "upside down" and has no room/opening on the top, I asked bart to do this so no fish would jump through the opening (more specifically my jawfish). These two weird are removable (for easy cleaning) and to allow modifications in the future (if necessary).

The tank will have a full size mesh cover with just a little bit of room for cabling (if I decide to use wired wavemakers).

The stand frame is finished, we decided to go for a variant of the rocketengineer design which allows no middle support bars which makes working in the aquarium very easy. Said this, we nonetheless will be adding two support bars (one in the middle front another one on the back right), the front bar will be removable (although this will probably never happen), the rear bar/cover will just be used to nail stuff on it.

This is a picture of the stand frame with some of the white covers. The stand is made in pine and primed/sealed to make it water proof/resistant. The sides can be easily removed if they get damaged by water in the future. The bottom of the aquarium will be primed plywood.


The sump is being built, we decided to go for a fully integrated 3 sections sump, first section will be intake and skimmer sections, second will be the return, third section will be the refugium (or whatever I decide to do with this section).

The picture below shows the original modular design, the new design is the same but both the sump and the refugium will be together and not separate like it is shown in the picture


The size of the sump has also changed, will be total 105 cm wide x 42 cm tall x 50 cm deep. This will give us around 160 liters of real water volume which is more than enough for my needs. The return section is quite big and I am hoping this will help me with the ATU. I Can also put equipment here if I ran out of space in the future.

If I am not happy with the design I can always change it in the future.

Another thing about the sump is that is it placed all the way back. The original design is planed so the sump will sit right underneath the overflow so the plumbing will feed the sump on a straight line. Bringing the sump all the way back also allows me to have more space in the front (around 30 cm). I can use this space for anything I want such as dosing, reactors etc.

Anyway I will have everything ready soon. I need to start working on my rock/layout design. I will also order the UV filter this week.

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29 Oct 2015 14:16 #41 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Hi Bohrio,
Great post, keep it altogether as we can all keep up with the story then.
I a few of your post you say that "The tank will have a full size mesh cover with just a little bit of room for cabling"
What sort of mesh is this? What's it madeo It of? Will it stop evaporation or is it mainly to keep your fish in the tank?
I am only asking as my tank is open topped and this might suit me as well.
Great post and tank though. Looking forward to it being finished.

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29 Oct 2015 14:22 #42 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)

Its mainly to keep my fish in the tank, it will not stop evaporation but then again, I dont want to as it will compromise my Co2 - o2 balance.

This is what I will be using


What are you looking for exactly? the only type of cover that will prevent evaporation will be a glass or acrylic cover. Acrylic could be tricky as it tends to bend and discolour... mine is all bent now

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29 Oct 2015 14:51 #43 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Not wanting to hijack your thread to much with my tank, but that lid looks so smart. What a simple design, that's still light enough to lift completely off the tank to clean and to feed.
My tank is 117 by 45. If I do put a lid on I still need to remove a bit to feed etc. Or remove it all in a simple way to clean.
Maybe I should start a new post on diy covers or the use of glass or acrylic sheets as covers.

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29 Oct 2015 15:04 #44 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
No worries :)

Get one full cover otherwise you could have shadows between cover unions ;)

If you are going for acrylic make sure is thick, at least ticket than mine (2mm) otherwise it will bent after time.

Glass is good but it is more fragile

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04 Nov 2015 23:11 #45 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
I'm getting myself one of them lids hopefully tomorrow! They are a great piece of kit!
Your tanks just looking brilliant!
So so so wish I had done the whole sump thing when I was setting up the marine!!!!

My filters work well but I'd just prefer a sump

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06 Nov 2015 22:14 #46 by carlowchris (chris)
I was in another forum members house earlier in the week who had one of those covers on there tank......they look very smart but also very discrete...you'd hardly notice its even there.

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24 Nov 2015 14:31 - 26 Nov 2015 22:10 #47 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey guys

Ok so I few updates. The tank is filled with water now and happy to say leak free!

Here are some pictures, the tank is missing to top rim and the panels are not properly screwed/fitted so bear that in mind.

It is pretty tall but not too tall (for me at least) so access should not be a problem for me.

Tank front
The overflow is a bit peculiar. As you can see, the overflow is right on top of the sump, so the both return/tank return pipes will come in a straight angle

overflow top

Another picture from the top

sump top

Also, the weird is a bit unusual (i think), I asked Bart to make it removable and to prevent fishes from jumping into the overflow to, instead of designing it from down - up to do the opposite (up -down).

overflow weird

Another picture of the overflow from the side

overflow side

I am planning of running x10 flow on that sump (pretty high flow).

The sump design has changed slightly, the right part will no longer be just a refugium, in fact, it is going to be what I call a multi use section, could be a refugium, or a quarantine tank, or even a top up tank, frag tank etc. to do this I will need to lower the last section and insert a bubble trap (just in case). So the total hight will go down from 42 to 37 cm (water level will be around 18-20). So I have asked Bart to make that section shorter (section on the right)...

sump front
Last edit: 26 Nov 2015 22:10 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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24 Nov 2015 14:32 - 26 Nov 2015 22:22 #48 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
second part

With the stand, I also asked Bart to make little shelves on the top to place power supplies cables etc on them, he will make 2.5 cm wholes on each side so I can lay cables through them, hard to imagine by looking at the pictures.


On the left I have a removable shelf as well (needs to be painted and will look a bit nicer than that)

removable shelf

There is more, I have made up my mind in regards lights, I will be using Kessils 360 WE Blue Tuna (at least 3). They will be controller by an Apex controller. I am not going to use GHL as I would have liked to as their customer service is not very responsive. Also, I have seen very good reviews for this Kessils so I am happy to try them.

There will be more gadgets going in but I rather not mention them until I have them in. Several things though. In regards the live rock and inside layout well, it will be korallenwelt rock, it is man made reef rock that you can attach and buy in different shapes, it will cover the entire back of the aquarium and the left side with a few rocks/caves in the middle, the design is not yet finalized.
Last edit: 26 Nov 2015 22:22 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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24 Nov 2015 14:34 #49 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
third and last

However, and this is something I find i twill deserve its own post I will be using for the first time and Algae scrubber, for those of you who dont know what it is is a algae refugium. This type of Algae Scrubber (I have preordered the turbo algae scruber L4) will allow me to have a virtually maintenance free aquarium, this means, no need for skimmers, refugiums, water changes etc.

All it it requires is once a week clean it (2 min job) and that's it!

sounds pretty awesome so I am very excited to test this out. They are not cheap (you can get really cheap ones if you decide to make them yourself) but in the end they are more than worth it so I am hoping I will get them to work.

It is basically a small area where you will grow your own algae. This is the natural way of removing nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia, phosphate etc. Which means, if done properlly, that you will never need to do water changes... happy days!!

This is how an algae scrubber looks like

Algae will grow the film (with the help of light), this algae will eat your nitrates etc, all you need to do is clean it every week

But I will expand on this when I get it, it should arrive somewhere in January/February, also, I think it deserves its own thread IMO!

I will keep you all posted

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24 Nov 2015 20:03 #50 by carlowchris (chris)
wooo hooooo....getting things moving now.......theres afew pics though that I seem to have to log in with my google account but still cant see pics....am I doing something wrong that I cant see pics?????

dexsan in bray is the only person ive ever met using kessils running a sps tank and its fantastic......very good lights
kessil do have a new light out simalir to the mitra did ya have a look at those????why kessils over the mitras?????cost????other reason??

did also consider myself running an algae scrubber.....was talking to bud Carlson but the time he was still working on the drivers for the new model .....as you say not very cheap to buy but in the long run compared to having to buy po4x4 or bio pellets its definitely cheaper in the long run

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24 Nov 2015 23:50 #51 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey Chris!

I will check why you can't see the pictures, it could have to do with permissions. I will fix that tomorrow.

Well in general and after reading a few reviews Kessils seem to just simply be the best LED out there for marine tanks. They are also the only ones to produce true UV which are very beneficial to corals.

Also they give this Metal Halide effect to the water that I really like.

They have a long adaptation period, meaning that it takes corals a while to get use to them but once they do they are great, fantastic penetration as well. And of course cheaper than Mitras or Radeons.

I am just dissapointed with their support, I am still waiting for them to send me the replacement power supply, thats 1.4 years later... and still nothing so I can't rely on them anymore.

Like you said, if I can get it right scrubbers are the way to go. I spoke with Bud recently and he added me to the waiting list, his new L4 or v4 version is coming out in january (he builds them in his garage) so he will be shipping them sometime during Jan/Feb. It could be so worth it IMO, just the though of not needing a skimmer, po4x4 and most importantly, water changes is a big plus... specially considering the amount of water a tank this size needs... not so much the money but the hassle of doing 80-100 liter water changes (plus actually salt costs etc)...

I am really looking forward to trying it. :)

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26 Nov 2015 21:50 #52 by carlowchris (chris)
but using the scrubber your still going to need the skimmer and water changes......arnt you????

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26 Nov 2015 22:19 #53 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)

Well I probably will, same way I put a middle bar on my frame although I didnt need one, just in case. But in reality I dont need one. The skimmer if I get the scrubber to work will probably go away, water changes well... I dont know yet. I will see first. I am still a bit skeptical! Although in my current tank I only change the water every 2-3 weeks and everything is happy, however, I have a big mat of algae growing on the back wall of the tank. It has been there since I stopped looking after the tank and it seems to ber absorbing all the nasty stuff as my water levels are perfect (although it does look disgusting)

Btw, can you open the pictures now (only on the first post)

I made a few changes hopefully it will be better, if it works I will fix the second one as well

chat later!

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26 Nov 2015 23:46 #54 by carlowchris (chris)
can see the pics now....very smart....

the only thing that just occurred to me was the back glass and over flow...are you leaving that clear????

overflow doesn't look to me...good idea turning it round

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27 Nov 2015 11:35 #55 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
I was thinking of putting glass covers on it. Just to prevent dust from going in. My other concern was that I didnt want any fish jumping out if they were to get into the overflow but with the weird I am using that should never happen.

If you mean the back of the aquarium (like covering in black etc) the plan was to built plastic pieces and use them to create a fake black background, they will be removable and easy to clean, however, there will probably be no need for this as I will be covering the entire back of the aquarium (or most of it) with reef rock which will hide the tubing etc

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18 Dec 2015 18:35 #56 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
So the gate valve finally arrived yesterday and we were able to do some flow testing in the tank. Mostly to see how noisy the tank and the sump would be.

I have to say that the tank is perfectly silent so great news, and this only using temporary tubing and only 1 full syphon.

The flow is around 7000 lph more or less 12 times the tank volume which is quite high for a sump so I was worried that there will be a bit of noise or bubbles generated due to the high flow but no, all perfect!

The buzzing on the back ground is just Bart's own equipment. The return pump is almost silent in the tank but I am sure it will be louder once is in the house (Barts place is noisier than my living room!)

Can't wait to try it with the full bean animal overflow design in place :)

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19 Dec 2015 15:07 #57 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
It's a great looking tank, with some top notch equipment going into it. I saw the tank in the "flesh" the other day when I was in Barts shop, and the work that's gone into planning and building it is phenomenal.
I cant wait to see it in place, aquascaped, and with fish in.
Do you plan to have it in before Christmas now?

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20 Dec 2015 20:30 #58 by carlowchris (chris)
Very cool B) ....think of I ever set up a new tank I'll be following your design...sounds dead silent...

Any chance Santa will have it delivered before Xmas??

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20 Dec 2015 22:59 - 20 Dec 2015 23:03 #59 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey guys

Thanks, I agree Jonlate, Bart has put a lot of work and has been very patient with me. The tank has been sitting since september and I am always asking him to change this and that... so far he hasnt complain, too much lol

The beananimal overflow is very similar to a herbie overflow but with a second full siphon drain pipe.

However, the second overflow does not become full siphon until the water reaches certain level (in the overflow), so until then it is only used to cater for the extra flow variations that the full and first siphon wont. This makes the entire overflow system virtually noise free. The third pipe is just the emergency drain, in the unlikely event that the first 2 (full siphon) pipes are clogged.

I can't wait to see it working at home, I would only hear the return pump buzzing and that's basically it.

The tank is almost finished, all is left is to test the bean animal overflow and that's it. Unfortunately, my parents are coming over for xmas so it is best to leave the delivery until january.

Once it is home the next step will be to order the reef background. I want to wait until is home so I can draw a picture with the exact measurements.

Then the gyro and then cycling/curing time!
Last edit: 20 Dec 2015 23:03 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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09 Jan 2016 16:05 #60 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
So just a quick update. Aquarium is ready, just a few minor last minute changes to the cabinet and finishing up the plumbing.

So I have decided to move all my fish to a temporary aquarium, mostly because my helfrichi firefish has disappeared and I suspect something evil must have got to him... so as I dont want to lose Julio (my jawfish) I have decided to move him to his own aquarium. Dont get me wrong, he is a fighter and in the aquarium he doesnt let anyone bully him, you should see him during feeding time man he will fight both tangs for food and wont back up, however, this is also not good for him as this fish are known to die because they mess with the wrong fish... wouldnt be the first time I hear of a BSJ die because he mess with a trigger or even a lion fish, they are very territorial and they wont care of who is invading his territory, is their place and anyone who approaches it wont be welcomed.

Anyhow he is now in his own aquarium, tried to create a nice set up for him, obviously completely covered, rocks on the back, PVC everywhere in the rubble to prevent rocks from falling on him when he starts digging etc etc. Also lowered the temperature to 22 degrees (this should ideally be his absolute highest), lower I can go tbh because I am not sure if the corals in the aquarium can sustain lower temperatures. I might bring it down slowly and see how the corals react, ideally somewhere in between 13-17 degrees but I am afraid very few corals will survive that. Hey I could always pop over to dun laoghaire and grab a few anemones from our sea!


He is beside the coffee machine, he is very curious so I am sure he will like it there. So far he hasnt started building his burrow, and he is not hiding either, which is normally a good sign (no stress), he is and will be the only fish in that tank so hopefully he will be happier here than where he was before.

There is a chance that he might never go in the new tank, I want to watch him for a couple of weeks and see how he is doing before making that decision, if I decide to put him in the tank he will have to be the first fish in it, BSJ should always be the first fish in if you want to help with acclimation, although Julio has always been extra hardy, most other BSJ would have died within a few days in the tank.

Next will be to move everything else to a juwel 110 I have. I dont think I will be able to fit all my rock but we will see, I only need to worry about a hippo, sailfin (both quite young), my two clowns, and a cleaner wrasse, plus a pistol shrimp and a big black crab (and another crab that I suspect is the cause of the disappearance of my firefish) and lots of corals and a tricolor bubble anemone (the anemone might need to go, not sure if I want to move it to the temp tank in case she gets upset, we will see)

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