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

Oops I did it again, upgrade that is!

20 Oct 2016 22:21 #1 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Well, I managed to get up to seahorse on Tuesday, looking to some food and ottos for my tropical tank, I also wanted to look at the range of marine stuff that would fit into my nano, may be buy a coral to take home.
By doing this we also saw all the other tanks they had in.
Looking around the wife points out a tank that is stood where the big reef tank used to be, and told me ''that tank looks good, it even comes with rock,sand, fish, and snails." And "it's a good price" she says.
'Why don't you get that one, the aquanano 40 marine starter' she continues.
So I look at it, pretend it's not for me, "it's 55 liters and mine at the moment is 8!, it's just to big."
So she stands there and says "well if you don't buy it now, you will sorry about it on the way home, so you might as well"
That's my arm twisted enough, if I fight against it anymore she might believe me, and at the moment she still thinks it's her idea. Win, win.
As part of the deal is rock, sand, fish etc, I think to myself 'i don't want the live stock as I can't put them in my nano tank, so they were swapped out for corals. And I didnt want the rock as I fancied the Aquaroche instead. So they were swapped out as well.

So that's the story.

Now for the help.
1) As I am not using live rock, how do I make it live without adding in any pests that come with live rock?
2) The filter looks quite empty, small bit of carbon, small bit of bioballs, and a peice of foam. What else can I put in to aid 'housing for good bacteria'?
3) How quick can I add the coral to the rock, without fish being in there, or even how quick can I add coral and fish together?

Stock light is already replaced by a ai prime, which the first time I turned it on the lens make a hole in the sofa and that stuck that to the lens, making the lens useless. Fortunately I gave the guys at Aiprime a email and explained what happened, and they posted me a new one free of charge. Thanks very much. Very kind people.

So that's it for today. I will be filling it over the weekend, while waiting to see when the corals can be transferred into it.

Photos to follow.

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20 Oct 2016 22:46 #2 by JohnH (John)
Very obviously - lesson one in 'HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER!!!'...

Well done on the deviousness - I mean new acquisition.


N. Tipp

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl - year after year.

ITFS member.

It's a long way to Tipperary.

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20 Oct 2016 23:03 #3 by robert (robert carter)
Whos a clever boy then , have to remember that tactic when looking for another tank .

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22 Oct 2016 08:08 #4 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Go to seahorse they said, get new coral they said, now how on earth do i have yet another tank in my house. Lol.

At least this time it's a story about the other half saying to buy a new tank lol. That was great work mate lol.

Now onto your questions, there is a product called stability you can get in seahorse, I'd advise getting the bigger bottle as you will always use it. It's a bacteria start amd should be used monthly and whenever you add new things onto the tank.

On that tank, filter wise you will need a skimmer if your putting any fish in it really. Hang on skimmer for 70 to 100 litres would really help keep water cleaner. Or a little internal one.

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22 Oct 2016 13:07 #5 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Thanks all so far for the comments, it's going to be a fun time.
Sitting looking at the empty tank at the moment still, and I must say I do like the curved edges at the front of the tank, it looks so much better than a strip of black silicone.
And the AI prime fits perfectly on top.

So skimmer wise is there a big difference in hang on back ones? E.g. Is it the more expensive the better they are, is it personal preference, is Chinese ok, or should I get a particular one?

As I type this, no word of a lie, she just came in and said, "that tank I saw on donedeal I liked, is the same as this one apart from mine has a white door and that was black," and walked back out!!

I will pop in and see if my small local pet place has any, if not will order some stability off line.
Reading up on aquaroche I decided to add my live rock into the tank as well, and the sand out of the old one. This should help a bit.

Well she has just brought me dinner in as well, so bye for now.

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23 Oct 2016 08:20 #6 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Skimmer like everything is personal preference, but I will say, I had a jebao 3000L an hour skimmer amd changed it to a deltec 1000L for my 5ft that's rated for my tank and it's alot better. But the deltec cost 3 times more lol.

At the start a Chinese one will be fine but look to upgrade then in the future as you stock it up, plus if you get another upgrade in tank buy a bigger rated skimmer and it'll do the next tank as a starter too lol.

You can buy stability on amazon anyways in case your lfs doesn't stock it.

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23 Oct 2016 16:48 - 24 Oct 2016 08:54 #7 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Well today I washed the sand, and washed the sand, and washed the sand. Finally it started to run clear so into the tank it went.
I mixed up 50 liters of water last night and put that in as well today, and the aquaroche rock.
The AI looks great, I only put it on to take a few photos, and this was running all channels at 25%. Lights are off again now until I can get some 'seachem stability' and then I will transfer over the rock, coral, and fish from my small tank.
I was thinking of moving the sand over, but it's a different colour. Would it be any good bacteria-wise to put the sand into a fine mesh bag and put it into the filter compartment?

So she is really happy with it at the moment, I bet you are all so jealous!

Here is also hoping the picture links worked, I haven't tried doing it since the new format, so fingers crossed.

Last edit: 24 Oct 2016 08:54 by JohnH (John). Reason: Added photos for Jonlate.

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23 Oct 2016 16:52 - 24 Oct 2016 08:55 #8 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Ah well the links worked, just no pictures show up in the post. Apple makes the camera take photos above the 1mb limit so you will just have to follow the links.

(Unless John moves the photos!!)

Edit: Moved - as 'suggested'...
Last edit: 24 Oct 2016 08:55 by JohnH (John). Reason: As explained.

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24 Oct 2016 04:46 #9 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
The rock looks well. Wish they had that when I was setting up my 5ft would have liked some of the columns.

Your sand from the other tank would be full of bad things, ie ammonia nitrate etc so I wouldn't put it in unless you clean it.i have never transferred over sand between tanks. Maybe someone who has done it should say.

My misses helped me plan everything for all my tanks, except coral, that my job, she done the layout for the aquaplaning, picked all the fish. She loves the tank, just have to try and get a naso to survive the tank now and she will be happy with what's in it.

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26 Oct 2016 16:37 #10 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
Well, so far so good. Almost!

Everything has been transferred over to the new tank and it's looking good.

The only problem is that my feather duster has lost its mantle.
I have googled it and it could be just stress that caused it, so I am hopefully it will grow back. I am just not sure how it will feed without the mantle, so I have to do a bit more googling for the answer.

Adding Seachem Stability to the tank for the next 7 days to help bacteria growth.

I am now looking at protein skimmers to fit in the back filter compartment. I like this idea better than a HOB one. So it can't be more than 65mm by 90mm square, not fussed about the height. Any ideas?
And also a wave maker. I fancy a controllable one, but is it worth the extra price? Again any ideas for a small one for a 40x40x40 tank?

Will add a few more photos at the weekend, just so you can all see how it's going.

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26 Oct 2016 22:41 #11 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Did you put everything from your old tank into your new tank without cycling it????

The feather duster should be ok, ive seen some survive without their mantle in other tanks after fish eat it so it should be fine, just be careful with it.

A blau 4000L an hour powerhead would be good for the tank, you can order them from seahorse, its controllable from 10-100% in 10% increments. I had one it a slightly bigger tank and was fine, but running on pulse at 100%.


As for a skimmer, any nano skimmer should do you as they should do up to 120L, there is a TMC skimmer on seahorse website, have a look at that to see if it fits, if not the hydor ones are a little more expensive but good.

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31 Oct 2016 16:08 #12 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
A few photos of the tank with a few corals placed.
If any one sees any coral in the wrong places let me know and I will swap thing around.
Hope it's starting to look ok. She now wants some coral "that moves or waves around" so another trip will be on the cards soon.


Hopefully these photos will show up, not sure exactly how to post photos now the forum has changed. May be John will do us a new 'how to post photos' for it. ;)

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31 Oct 2016 17:42 #13 by JohnH (John)
You did it - unaided.

As you will have seen, the existing 'notes' are still appropriate, so no need to alter anything.


N. Tipp

We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl - year after year.

ITFS member.

It's a long way to Tipperary.

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11 Nov 2016 15:08 #14 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
So the tank has been running for a few weeks now and no problems, so something's bound to happen soon.
The feather duster is starting to regrow its crown, and so looks like it's had a really short haircut, but it's getting there.
Finally the wave maker turned up, due to parcel motels terrible delivery service!

The next question I have is, where do I place it, and pointing it which way?

My return is at the top left side of the tank, and it feeds out to the filter on the top right.

Do I place it at the bottom of the tank on the left, facing up towards the centre of the tank?
Or top left facing down toward the middle of the tank?
Or on the right?
Or on the side?
Or on the front?

As always any help will be grateful received. :-)

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14 Nov 2016 05:13 #15 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Hey Jonlate.

Sorry for not getting on till now, glad you got the powerhead, annoying that parcel motel took so long for you to get it since i sent it monday.

I would put it back left side, breaking the surface tension of the water, start it off at about 20% and make sure your corals are happy with the flow and increase it every 2 days until you find the sweet spot that the corals will like. remember it is quite powerful so dont make it start to take the flesh off the trumpets ect.

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14 Nov 2016 14:12 #16 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
You've been busy giving out advice today, well done and thanks.

I gave tried it in 3 different places so far and even on the lowest setting, had a pile of sand and a bare bottom tank by the morning!!

I now have it as you said on the left, about 1/4 up the tank, facing along the back wall behind the rock scape, pointing up at about a 30 degree angle, on a slow pulse, and everything seems to be ok with that. Even the sand doesn't seem to mind!

I still only gave the two fish in, and suddenly have to go away tomorrow for 5 nights.
I am hoping if I feed them before I go, they will be ok for that long.
Do you have any suggestions as to what to do?
Would a holiday block for my freshwater tank be of any benefit?
Or shall I cross my fingers and hope!

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14 Nov 2016 22:13 #17 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
What fish??? Your clown wouldnt eat the freshwater block as they like meaty foods. If you could get someone to feed them just once in the middle of the 5 days they would be fine, but i think 5 days would be abit too long.

If you have an auto feeder for flake food you could just use that and feed them flake, just give them a good meaty mean before you go and straight away when your back.

If i was closer i would go feed them for ya lol :)

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14 Nov 2016 23:11 #18 by Jonlate (Jon Late)
I only have two, the clown and a bangaii cardinal. She is still waiting to go and chose the next fish she wants.
Such a kind offer to come and feed them, but then you would see all I do wrong!! :-(
I was thinking about giving them a really good feed before I go, but don't want to cause a ammonia spike a few days later.
Maybe I will try and get someone to come in a put a bit of frozen food in the tank half way through, and hope they don't overfeed them.

Thanks again for the offer though. :-)

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15 Nov 2016 00:29 #19 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Make up a mix in the fridge and tell them to add a little bit into the tank. You can keep unfrozen foods mixed in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 days. Well its what i do for mixing coral foods as i dont add it everyday.

The bangaii should be fine as it will eat copepods during the night, the clown for sucha long period would be my concern.

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