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

clean up crew for a barebum tank

08 Jul 2015 18:41 #61 by carlowchris (chris)
did tetratec send ya a whole new filter????????
what have ya got in the externals ????? was half thinking of putting one on,with just filter floss in ....just to polish the water abit....tangs are messy bastards

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08 Jul 2015 21:06 #62 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
They apologised and said they had discontinued the EX1200 and it was therefore not possible to replace the faulty head! However they took my name and address and replaced the entire unit with the new EX1200 plus

In the filters I have, floss, microec, bio nitrate ex and some

How many tangs you got at the moment?

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09 Jul 2015 08:27 #63 by carlowchris (chris)
Jesus thats some customer service from teratec

just the two tangs..dory and the vampire tang

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10 Jul 2015 20:53 #64 by carlowchris (chris)
don't know why but I always thought that bio nitrate ex was for freshwater only,,just looked it up..its says to use it combination with carbon..just wondering if long term use would contribute to hlle????

have ya seen the bio cubes for nitrate????there supposed to be good for using in an external

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27 Oct 2015 00:44 - 27 Oct 2015 00:53 #65 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
So I went a bit mad today. And as I haven't updated this in quite a while.... I thought I best write something
Changed the lights..... 2 Ai primes
Have them setup and to be honest I'm loving them....
Also adding a 55w uv steriliser and I've finally gone and got myself a ro unit
Going to start mixing my own salt soon as it's a pain in the hoop driving to Dublin everytime I need to do a water change.
I've been kinda busy lately and have slightly neglected the tank over all so need to get stuck in and get the live stock sorted. Residents so far are 2 turbo snails, 4 blue leg hermits, 5 red leg hermits, 1 red velvet star fish 2 clowns and a yellow tang... all happy and healthy but the tank looks empty. And a bit green... phosphates were elevated for a while but that's all in hand now! I'm hoping that the addition of the uv this week will help remove some if the algae but the lower phosphates will defo be the big difference
Last edit: 27 Oct 2015 00:53 by hammie (Neil Hammerton).

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27 Oct 2015 15:20 #66 by Eric (Eric Corcoran)
Them lights are the business alright. Tank looks great. Having your own RO system will make everything thing easier. I love mine although I need an upgrade. It'll also open up way more possibilities regarding freshwater fish as well


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28 Oct 2015 12:34 #67 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Rigged up my uv filter last night
Bit of a pain to get placed because of the size.... but it is a great piece of kit!
55watt uv perfect for if I keep tank the same or upgrade size in the future so it's future proofed kinda!should start seeing a difference to the tank in the next few days I recon!


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28 Oct 2015 22:17 #68 by carlowchris (chris)
very neat B) B) B)

what make is it???where did ya get it from?????ive the v2 600 on mine...its only 36 watt and always thought it was probly under rated....v2 is really awkward cause of the way its designed,,,,to make it neat in the cab :-((

like the look of that though.....and seeing as its 55 watt..almost double mine..think I may an upgrade :hammer: :hammer:

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28 Oct 2015 23:52 #69 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Its a Blau
Got it in Seahorse they have just got them in.....
I was lookin at one of the v2's but Keelan brought that one out to me to look at!!!!! Went with it on his advice / information!
I want to kinda future proof some of the equipment where i can
Im thinking about heading back down at the weekend.... need a lid and the wife wants a blue tang!!!!!

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04 Nov 2015 20:44 #70 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
What a f***ING disaster this week has been

Arrived home yesterday to find my 2 clowns, my yellow tang and my cleaner shrimp all dead!!!
Now I have done water tests and got the following results:

Ph. 8.4
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0.1
Red sea tests
Phosphate 0.03
Salifert test

No real worrying issues there that I can tell!

Now here's the weird thing, all my inverts are fine.... hermit crabs, turbo snails and star fish flying around like nothing has happened!
Anyone got any suggestions? I'm kinda stumped

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04 Nov 2015 22:28 #71 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey man

So sorry to hear that...

Crabs can resist almost anything, but snails are normally as sensitive as fish to nitrate/ammonia if not more.

So maybe it was something in the water? a temperature spike? pH swing?

I was talking to a guy the other day who lost all his fish in a matter of days, water was testing fine but fish kept dying. While he was cleaning the tank he stuck his hand in the sump and got electrocuted! So it turns out that his return pump had a dodgy cable and electricity was in contact with water.. go figure

Sorry again hammie!

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04 Nov 2015 23:05 #72 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
I can handle loosing the fish to be honest.... yea I'd do anything to avoid it but it's part of being a fish keeper / hobbyist
However what's more frustrating is the not knowing how or why it happened
I'll have to get to the bottom of it or it'll drive me cracked
Honestly tho,now is probably the best time for this to have happened..I was going to go this weekend and buy a few corals etc
It could have been more devistatingly expensive and harder to rectify

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12 Dec 2015 21:32 #73 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Right so since loosing the fish, the tank has just had issue after issue
Cyano bacteria, algae issues phosphate issues etc etc
I'm still struggling with phosphates, but it's coming from within the live rock! The rock is leaching like a mad thing! But there's nothing I can do at the min other than control algae and keep changing the phosphate removers!
So today to help with Algae control I added a sea hare! Talk about a hungry bugger!!!! He hasn't stopped munching since I put him in there... (well that is his job so all good)
I've also got a reactor to stick rowaphos into and see if I can get it working some way without disturbing the rest of the tank too much! Not having a sump works against me here, so I'm going to try it with a small but powerful (best I can) pump hidden in the back of the tank somewhere running to the reactor in a bucket down in the cabinet somewhere! If it works... happy days! If not - nothing ventured nothing gained! Nothing to loose by trying it anyway!

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12 Dec 2015 21:49 - 12 Dec 2015 21:51 #74 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez)
Hey Hammie

Wow that's some strange stuff going on in your aquarium man.

I have never had a barebum tank so I can't really give you any proper advice.

Have you ever consider building a home made algae scrubber? You can place them on the side of the aquarium and they will eat your nitrates, nitrites and po away - or so they said). I will be putting one on my as soon as I get started with it. As I have never tried it myself I can't recommend a already made one as they are expensive but a home made one can cost you nearly nothing and can be well hidden in the side on the aquarium (or the back)`

They look like this

Last edit: 12 Dec 2015 21:51 by Bohrio (Alex Rodriguez).

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12 Dec 2015 22:07 #75 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
It's one of the dangers of starting with dry reef rock you don't know where it came from! I thought (odviously wrongly) that algae scrubbers only worked with a sump for some reason! It's definitely something to look into

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12 Dec 2015 22:18 #76 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)

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12 Dec 2015 23:35 #77 by carlowchris (chris)
Did ya get the reactor off Andy was it???

Think that was everyone after that.....me ...you..Jeff...

You shouldn't need a separate pump...t off you return from the canister and hanging off back of tank and return into tank.........I've got a few t's here in the house if ya want one......

if ya pump straight from tank you'll burn through the rowaphos in no time.....and it's not cheap.......

I don't really like rowaphos....I much prefer po4x4......but was round at Jeff's earlier in this week and he was siinging the praises of tritons po4 remover....so might give that a try....

Kind of mad though that ya cured the live rock for so long to stop this happening .......any ideas Alex how this happened??????

Been looking at algae scrubbers for a while too...little up flow algae scrubbber would work without a sump ...only problem is very expensive and if you do a cheaper dit version it's going to be hard to get the right spectrum leds...

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12 Dec 2015 23:55 #78 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Yea, got it off Andy yesterday!
I'm a fan of po4x4 as well but was having trouble getting it for a while so switched to rowaphos and haven't switched bak as yet!
Might do a bit ta reading about tritons option too tho! Jeff hasn't steered me wrong yet!
If I was to t off the external I'd not get a constant flow... water would take the path of least resistance meaning I could have anything from 1200lph down to 0lph going thru the reactor! I'd rather put it on a small pump and blast the ship out of it for a few days than have it unreliable! (If that makes sense)

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13 Dec 2015 00:16 #79 by carlowchris (chris)
Sorry t and a little tap.....

You only need about 200 lph...maybe less for it to tumble...rowaphos need a long contact time to pull the phosphate out of the water.....

Lot of waste using rowaphos ....which us why I don't like it.

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13 Dec 2015 00:19 #80 by carlowchris (chris)
Ha ha watching the vid.

Jesus that sea hare is a hungry little fecker

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13 Dec 2015 00:24 #81 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
I'm going to nick name him munchies! !!!!
He said a hungry f*** all right
Cleaned 1/4 of the tank since lunch time today!!!!!

Might be worth looking for an algae scrubber like this closer to home!!!!!

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13 Dec 2015 10:10 #82 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
File Attachment:

Less than 24hrs and there's a big change already

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27 Dec 2015 22:56 #83 by carlowchris (chris)
Did I see somewhere there's a seahorse in there now??????

cool B)

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27 Dec 2015 23:01 #84 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
That was an auto correction error Chris
Just a seahare instead!

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27 Dec 2015 23:09 #85 by carlowchris (chris)

How's the phosphates doing????

Going to be draining my tank tomorrow. ..maybe Tuesday ..everything getting moved around and sump going in ...

They'll be a few frags there for ya.

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27 Dec 2015 23:16 #86 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
Phosphates are still too high, so I'll be swapping out some live rock in a few days!
It seems no matter what I do my rock is leaching at a unbelievable rate! Nothing left to do except eradicate the source! I'm going away for a few days, so it'll be the end of the week before I can change the rock! I'd hope to be in a position to take the frags off you next week tho! Have a bottle of atm colony here, a lot of lads use it in the UK and north to seed and instantly stock a tank!

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27 Dec 2015 23:25 #87 by carlowchris (chris)
I've always dosed my tank with bacteria and whist some people seem to have bad comments about there show you can't really argue with atm's results. ..looked into buying that stuff years ago but wasn't able to get it without massive delivery costs....if I was able to get it I'd be dosing it myself...

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27 Dec 2015 23:39 #88 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
I got it and agent green delivered to an address in the North! A hell of a lot cheaper than trying to get it delivered here!
Next time I'm getting it ordered I'll let ya know and order a bottle for ya if ya want!

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27 Dec 2015 23:45 #89 by carlowchris (chris)
Might give a go...but using zeobac at the mo...think it was about 35 Euro from seahorse...and it's super concentrated. .you only use a few drops every week so it lasts month's

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27 Dec 2015 23:53 - 28 Dec 2015 00:35 #90 by tetdiscus (Maritess McCarthy)
Hello...i was wondering about your phosphate level. It would be a real hassle to take out some rock and rearrange again.. Hope i can help by sharing my experience.
I also used dry reef rock in my tank, got them from SH. I also had high phosphates before from 0.156 down to 0.029 in five weeks. Its still in the process of lowering further...Im using Phosban reactor 150 (clumsy but it will do for now). Its connected to a 1kLr/hour pump. I put a Ball Valve on tube going to the reactor, to slow down the power of the pump and i adjusted it to "just simmering" look. I used rowaphos, i run it through a bucket of RO water for two minutes (pump/reactor and all) to remove some of the 'rusty colour'.

Im not sure if youve tried that. But it might be worth a try? Before you take out some rocks..

Also, i used the triton lab testing for my water. You can buy the water test kit online or from SH for €35. Which takes about two weeks to get official results online, as it is sent to Germany. I think this way is more reliable in my opinion. Hope you get sorted out soon.
Last edit: 28 Dec 2015 00:35 by tetdiscus (Maritess McCarthy).

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