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

Upgrade on the cards

12 Nov 2016 16:59 #1 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
OK lads! I'm going to upgrade to a bigger tank! The trigon 350 I have is a perfect size and shape for what I want, so that's going to be used!
I'm thinking about lights and trying to decide weather to use led or t5 or a combination of both? Anyone any thoughts? I'd kinda like to keep the standard lid on the tank to cut down on evaporation etc! I'm trying to decide if I want to go sump system or just run 2 cannisters! I'm thinking of running 3 powerhèads due to the shape of the tank! 1x rw 15 and 2 smaller heads on a constant alternating pulse! If i use cannisters...... I'll be looking for a 500 litre plus hang on skimmer and maybe 2 hang on reactors!
I'll use dry rock again due to cost and critters! I'll seed it with rock from current tank and maybe a bottle of atm colony
Am I missing anything?

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14 Nov 2016 05:01 #2 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Heya mate,

Cant wait to see how this tank is going to look :)

I have T5's running on my tank and im kinda now just thinking of upgrading to LED only. I love the look of LED lights, especially since i was used to them in my first 2 reef tanks, T5 just doesnt give the same colour pop as LED do. But i must say t5 does give the better growth for the corals than LED. A combination of both like the Blau units SH do would probably be a good choice.

Since its not a huge water volumed tank it would depend on what stock you would like to put in it. The more bigger fish, like tangs and angels, you wanna put into it the more you would want to go for a sump to help with the extra water volume to keep it easier for balancing water parameters, but also for being able to run better equipment.

I think the idea of 3 powerheads are good for the tank due to the shape but you chould get away with 2 rw15's on pulse in the tank, just point them front to back. I have never really tried that type of configuration of power heads but in the shape of your tank it could really work.

I honestly cant think of anything else you may need right now, but then again its 5am and i have been awake all night lol, damn night shifts hehe.

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14 Nov 2016 23:08 #3 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
I think the only tang I'll be having is a yellow tang! I'd be of the opinion I'd need minimum of 500 litres for the majority of tangs! I'd like a couple of angles and the likes! Maybe even a copper band!
I'll be looking for a lot of softies and lps!
Going to need some kind of egg crate or something to put under the substrate to support the rock work! I'd say it'll be fun doing the transfer from my current 180 to the new tank! Trying to catch the red cheek blend and the sulphur goby! Never mind going searching for the pistol shrimp!
The more I think about it the closer I am to just going with a second fx6 and not bothering with a sump! 2x fx6 would give plenty of movement along with the 2x rw 15 and perhaps another 2000lph peower head! I'm going to give Keelan and the boys a shout over the next week or so and talk to them directly about lighting! I had had thoughts of using a hydra 26 and 2x primes but I dunno I kinda like the idea of using the standard lid! Plus I'd like to set up 2 pico reef tanks and use the primes for them!!!!!

1 sps pico and 1 softie / lps pico
Should be fun

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15 Nov 2016 02:24 #4 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
Hey hammie,

Egg crate here can be quite expensive so here is an alternative. Place your rock and make footings out of epoxy to take out the sharp points on the glass and distribute the weight. I done it in my tank and then placed the sand around the rock, also means that your sand sifters will be able to rotate all your sand in the tank as they usually cant move the sand in between the egg-crate.

If you already have a filter running on the previous tank i would just transfer and buy another filter for the tank, you could always upgrade to a sump in the future, but i say it would be a bigger tank by that stage lol.

They are using Blau hybrids on the coral bay in galway and i must say the light unit does work very very well and given the corals a pop and also corals show growth in a large bay so they must be getting good light. here is a link to them :

That will probably be the one they would recommend. the ATI one is kinda expensive, but would have a beter build quality than the Blau.

The majority of tangs need 5ft swimming room, or 6ft. but then again that is always for fully adult tangs. I have gotten all my tangs as babies and its great. I currently have 7 tangs in my 5ft, 700L tank. Putting a video up soon tonight (i hope lol) In my 3ft i had a powder blue, naso and orange shoulder and if it wasnt for the powder blue being very aggressive things would have been fine as long as your filtration can handle it. tangs are very big poopers lol. :)

You could put in some Convict tangs, they stay quite small. Copperbands are one of the hardest fish to keep in marine and i would advise doing alot of research of them first and have the tank running for at least 6 month before you try one, i have decided against it as it would probably just get bullied too much in my tank and not start eating.

Angels you have to be careful with if your have SPS or LPS corals as most will nip. Not always but if one decides to eat your coral, there might not be much to stop him before he kills it.

God im ranting again, time to upload video me thinks. :)

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16 Nov 2016 23:09 #5 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
I had it in my head they were about a foot long for some reason! They can get fairly big tho! Might be an option! Ranting is good! It helps me learn, that's why I do it constantly! Hahaha

Yea I know copper bands aren't easy kept! That's why I want 1!!! Kind of a challenge!
I love inverts and little critters and intend for my tank to be absolutely crawling with all different varieties of shrimp, snails and other bits and pieces! The kinda thing you have to be up close to even notice! My current tank has 3 types of snails 3 types of shrimp and it's just not enough lol

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16 Nov 2016 23:27 #6 by Sukahn (Shane Doorley)
I have cleaner shrimp, fire shrimp and peppermint shrimp in my tank. Also 4 different types of snails, 5 different hermit crabs, emerald crab, sand sifting star fish. I love the little things, like you said, that you have to see up close to notice.

Alot of tangs do grow 12inch plus, but mainly that would be in the wild but most will get to the 12inch mark after a couple of years, but sure by then you will have a bigger tank lol.

My misses is already saying "but sure there is 2 ft of extra space at the sides of the tank, you could always get a bigger tank" lol.

But if you get the copperband into the tank they are a great fish :)

Another hard fish to keep if you wanted a nice tang is a naso, and if you weren't planning any other tangs really it would be easier to keep as a sole tang.

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17 Nov 2016 09:11 #7 by robert (robert carter)
I got two sheets of egg crate white in colour from sh 40 euro per sheet ,4ft long by 30 inches wide ,use it as covers on both my 4ft tanks , only downside you get a lot of evaporation like 4 litres a day on the tropical tank

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17 Nov 2016 20:05 #8 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
File Attachment:

He's a handsome kind of a bugger, isn't he!!!!!!

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15 Jan 2017 19:41 #9 by hammie (Neil Hammerton)
What rough volume of water would you run in a sump on a 350 litre tank? Then add about 30% additional all capacity for when return pump is off?
Gotta get the tank completely resealed and start the conversion!
It's been running 6 years as tropical and have used a couple of Meds in that time, so just to be sure all season need replacing!

Thinking of about 40kg lr
2 rw15 jambo wave makers running on pulse setting to try cut down on dead spots

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15 Jan 2017 20:55 #10 by robert (robert carter)
Hi hammie , the coldwater tank that Bart built for me is 350 litre and the sump that he put in is 120 litres water capacity there is about 5 inch extra space above the water line . He also built me a 30 litre top up tank which also fits inside the base cabinet . I know this is a fresh water set up and marine may be different , but it might just point you in the right direction . By the way the sump has 6 sections

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