Marine reef & breeding setup
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Decided to start breeding various clownfish after my pair passed on at 10 years of age (2 months apart from each other). Just completed the plumbing tonight and will do a leak test tomorrow :)

    The whole setup

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/12553/marine1.jpg

    The sump + refugium + protein skimmer

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/12554/marine2.jpg

    The overflow

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/12555/marine3.jpg

    Surface skimmer and return pipe

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/12556/marine4.jpg
  • IzrulIzrul April 2013
    Posts: 715
    whoaaa.... =D> =D> =D>
    clown fish what?nemo ka?
  • smokersmoker April 2013
    Posts: 715
    Oh come on Brother Kevin, you never stop, do you ? :-))
  • MikeMike April 2013
    Posts: 346
    Hey Kevin,

    mind sharing some thought bout raring saltie. I have a 3' tank sitting duck in my store le :">
  • ashfaqashfaq April 2013
    Posts: 798
    After seeing ur setup, i am getting itchy keep marine fishes la brother.

    Mine to share some details with me for setting up like this brother kevin?
    Post edited by ashfaq at 2013-04-10 11:26:35 pm
    Thanks,
    Ashfaq from India-Chennai
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Haha sorry for the new poison but let me explain my setup >:-)

    The main tank - As I'm planning to breed, I've partitioned the tank using darkened glass so that the fish would not be startled by its neighbours. Less stress = better chances of spawning. As this will be a fish only tank, the equipment requirements would be much simpler. I've chosen to drill the tank to create the overflow (cheaper - RM5 per hole) but if you do not wish to drill your existing tanks, you may purchase the overflow box (google "Skimz overflow box") which will cost you about RM250. DO NOT drill if your aquarium glass is made of tempered glass. It will shatter.

    The overflow - To create a "silent" overflow system (without that gurgling noise), you will need to make the back of your overflow similar to mine. Use a T-connector and extend a bit to the top and close it off with an end cap. Make sure you drill a small hole on the end cap (around 1/10 drill bit). You can choose either to glue off the end cap or not to, doesn't make any difference but when your system is running and if you remove the end cap, you will hear the gurgling noise.
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    The filter system - I've used a 2.5 feet tank as my sump. Same concept in terms of filtration system, 1st chamber mechanical, 2nd chamber biological, 3rd chamber return + all your meter stuff. From the overflow, the water will go into a filter sock (similar to our koi pond sieve). This will filter off all the heavy stuff - poo, debris etc. Your protein skimmer will also go into chamber one. This will filter off the finer stuff through bubbling and foam. When purchasing a protein skimmer, always purchase one that is rated more than your total water volume (main tank + sump combined). The one I've chosen is a Bubble Magnus Nac3 (rated 100-300L) and although my total volume is about 270L, it will suffice as I will only have 6 fishes in there, small bio load. Should you decide to do a reef tank, you will need a skimmer that is rated at least doubled your tank capacity. An important point to note is the water level of your protein skimmer. Mine states working depth of 8-10 inches so I've made my 1st to 2nd chamber partition glass at 9 inches. If you get the partition wrong, its ok, you can raise your skimmer using egg crates but you can't lower it. So plan ahead and know your equipment before designing the tank + sump.
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    The 2nd chamber - This is called the refugium and here I will be placing live rocks and cheato which is similar to our koi pond counterpart of bio rings, larva rock etc. I'll leave it bare bottom (without any substrate) for this chamber. Some will choose to have sand and cheato (marine plant - to remove nitrates). The reason to do that is because they want to cultivate lots of copepods (tiny organism) which will become food for the more picky marine fish (example mandarin fish). Another reason why you don't put your protein skimmer after your refugium is to not have your skimmer kill off all these organisms before water returns to the main tank. If you're growing cheato, you will need lights for the refugium and luckily cheato grows on any simple lights, clip on leds or T5. Run the light for the sump opposite to the hours of the lights of the main tank, meaning when the main tank switches off, the sump light comes on (you can use cheap timers that plugs into the power sockets for this). This way your water pH will not fluctuate that much.

    Live rocks - the more live rocks you can have in your system, the more stable your whole system will be. I used to have about 50lbs of live rocks in my main tank and sump.
    Post edited by nivek at 2013-04-11 05:51:43 am
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    The 3rd chamber - This is where the water gets returned back to the main tank. I've used a flexible hose to connect to a pvc return to help reduce vibration thus reducing noise. The pump that I'm using is an Aquanic 3000 (had good experience with this brand - ran more than 10 years in saltwater without failing). You will noticed that I have 2 pieces of glass to partition the area between chamber 2 and 3. That design is to eliminate having bubbles going back to the main tank. You may place the rest of your water measuring equipment here - ammonia check sensor, pH sensor, temperature sensor etc etc.

    You can also use a permanent marker pen or a sticker to mark the water level in this chamber so that you will know how much of freshwater to top up when the level comes down through evaporation. Topping up with freshwater will not change the salinity as the salt content is still in marine tank. Alternatively there are now devices that can sense and do auto top up.

    If your system is properly setup and bio load is working efficiently, you will never need to change water and only top up is required. In my previous system, I've not changed the water in 10 years and my clownfish has never been sick once in that 10 years. I believe once the system is up and running, it will become a self contained eco system.
    Post edited by nivek at 2013-04-11 05:49:23 am
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    The lights - If you're going to have fish only with live rocks, then lighting is not really important other than to make the tank look good. However if you're going to have a reef tank, then lighting is crucial to ensure the survival of the corals. Anemone, clams etc, uses photosynthesis to create energy for themselves having the appropriate lights. Run your lights on a timer normally 8-10 hours or you may get the latest lights that has a built in system to simulate lighting throughout the whole day. The one that I'm using is a Zetlight ZA3011 rated at 12000K and its only 30W, so very energy efficient.

    Breeding - If you're planning to breed clowns, the one most important factor is to be able to find food source for the fries. During the first couple of weeks of the life of the fry, you will need to feed Rotifer (if you can't source for this food, then don't bother to start breeding). Mortality rate is high if the fries are not fed well during the first couple of weeks. After that stage, you can feed brine shrimp. To increase your chances of spawning, ensure that your lighting hours is constantly the same (again timers are important). Once the clownfish gets into the routine, they will feel more at home :) I will actually have moonlight as well (small blue led), that will come on after my main lights have gone off. A sudden abundance of food, can stimulate the pair to spawn (normally abundance of brine shrimp) but its a double edge sword, as brine shrimp has no nutritional value to the adult clowns and some might decide not to eat pellets after that. They go crazy over brine shrimp - similar to Baskin Robins ice cream for me :) Each brood will normally consists of around 200-300 eggs and takes 7-9 days before the eggs hatch. The eggs will only hatch in total darkness and you will need to remove the fries from the parents into their own holding tanks if not, they will be eaten. The clowns will then spawn again around every 10 days until they die.

    Selecting a pair of clowns - Clowns of the same size remains sexually neutral until one gets bigger then whack the crap out of the smaller one till submission. The bigger one (she will grow very quickly once confirmed as the dominant one), will then become the female and will continue to nag the poor male till death do us part :) So unless you're buying a mated pair, normally I would choose 2 different sizes so that the painful submission process is shortened (normally within 2 weeks submit already lah - unless the male is into SM hehehe). The most aggressive clown is the maroon clown, whereas your percula (nemo) is more timid. There are also tons of other clowns in the marine trade. Now here's the fun part, you can actually cross breed creating hybrids. My first pair in this new setup, will actually be a maroon (female) and percula given to me by my friend. Hybrids don't normally occur in the wild so the marine trade has created lots of new hybrids that are being sold for quite a handsome price (cannot compare to koi lah).

    Water - You can mix Instant Ocean salt to normal water (RO water recommended for reef tanks) at salinity levels of around 1.025. Use a hydrometer to measure that (Coral Life brand is good and quite accurate).

    Rule of thumb for fish stocking levels - normally 1 inch of fish per gallon of water.

    Total cost of whole setup about RM1k. If you have further questions, please feel free to ask me so that I can unleash more poison hahaha.

    Disclaimer - On top you'll think that I really know what I'm talking about but its actually from research I've done on the web. Although my previous pair did spawn, I did not bother to raise the fries at that time coz I was too busy raising my own small fry (son) hehehe
    Post edited by nivek at 2013-04-11 05:43:49 am
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar April 2013
    Posts: 1,763
    Kevin, the more I read the more I'm confused :-)) :-))

    Nway, after seing ur setup, thinking of setting up a small marine tank and get some colorful fishes. Thanks for poisoning X(
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Passed the leak test today and I'll be accelerating the cycle period by adding Prodibio. Should see 0 ammonia in 3 days.

    www.koianswers.com/discussion/download/12557/IMG_20130411_112854.jpg
  • tswerntswern April 2013
    Posts: 132
    Wah, new poison.

    You have a very understanding HM. :)

  • kolampkolamp April 2013
    Posts: 222
    Wow I loike! Nice setup Kevin....get a pair of ORA snowflake and start breed them!
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Thanks bro tswern :)
    Thanks bro @kolamp. Yea planning to get the more exotic types to breed since I have only 3 bays.

    Added breeding pots (normal flowerpots)

    koianswers.com/discussion/download/12559/photo1.jpg

    Added thermometer and ammonia sensor

    koianswers.com/discussion/download/12560/photo2.jpg

    Overflow pipes going into a 7" diameter filter sock

    koianswers.com/discussion/download/12561/photo3.jpg
  • BthineshkumarBthineshkumar April 2013
    Posts: 1,763
    :O :O :O
    This is getting serious oh. I'm impressed and scared as well :-))
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Bro @Bthineshkumar, more to come >:-)
    Post edited by nivek at 2013-04-12 11:08:52 am
  • kolampkolamp April 2013
    Posts: 222
    That Ammonia Alert is rubbish....using those fluid tester is better & accurate than those sensor...im able to help you to source some premium & rare species if interested...let me know if you need any bro Kevin
  • ashfaqashfaq April 2013
    Posts: 798
    Bro kolamp I am interested. Pls send me contact details of suppliers.
    Thanks,
    Ashfaq from India-Chennai
  • niveknivek April 2013
    Posts: 1,251
    Bro @kolamp - yes I have my normal fluid testers as well on top of the ammonia alert but thanks for highlighting its shortfalls (Y). As to the livestocks, luckily our local lfs has quite a good selection to choose from :)

    Bro @ashfaq - oh oh...marine bug has bitten hahaha
  • KevkoiKevkoi April 2013
    Posts: 16
    The snowflakes/Picasso/Platinum perculas are now being bred in pretty large quantities in Singapore, Indonesia and even Sri Lanka now. No need to get from ORA anymore.

    Nevertheless I suppose these "selectively bred" clownfish would appeal to the koi keeping crowd also. Maybe you can line-breed the "Tancho" line of clownfish? hehehehehe...

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