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Destruction of an Ecosystem

First off a warning – this has nothing to do with lifting weights. Feel free to wander away disappointed now.

Extinction Level Events are typically portrayed by crazy preachers, conspiracy theorists, and Hollywood Cinema at the hands of suicidal asteroids and super-volcanoes biding their time under the Earth’s crust. There are different ecosystems, no less complete and thriving, but equally subject to the whims of a twist of fate the that destroys the ability for life to persist. In this case I’m referring to the 37 gallon reef aquarium I tinkered with for a few months. What was once a thriving system is now sterile, clean, and void.

What? All that time and money and pretty pictures! No worries, I wouldn’t just write that off. Our original plan was to wait until some renovation in a few years to find room to put a bigger tank in. Some brainstorming on our part (“our” = my wife and I) allowed a far more economical way for us to rearrange our living arrangements without the need of a sledgehammer or professional carpentry skills. Doing so created an open spot begging for an aquarium.

Enter the new ecosystem: a 75 gallon aquarium. I was sorely tempted to go with something from 125 – 180 gallons, but talked myself off the ledge before I committed. Both for cost and also because of the potential maintenance required. I enjoy working on the tank, but moderation is the key to happiness in life. My prior collection of rocks, some sand, coral, invertebrates, and even my hardy clownfish is doing well thus far in the new aquarium. I made the transfer on Saturday morning – and incidentally filling a 75 gallon tank one gallon at a time is a pain in the ass! If you’re ever in the market to do such a thing, get a garden hose or find a better way.

Many things remain. Selling the old tank and stand, for example. Until I get a 20 gallon (long) aquarium in my stand fully put together as a sump tank with a protein skimmer, I’m using my HOB protein skimmer. Likewise I’ve got approximately 35 pounds of live rock in one half of the new tank. It’s a neat layout, but nothing is final until I get the rest of the rock I need (probably another 40 – 60 pounds). I need a couple more decent wave making powerheads for it as well. Oh, and the biggy – new lighting! I’m running a total of 102 watts of light over it, which is criminally low. Four T5s and two T8s (10k, and 50/50, both 15 watts). The new light I’m fantasizing about is a total of 608 watts, two 250 watt metal halide lights + a couple of T5s (10k and actinic), plus some LED moon lights. Hope to have it soon but we shall see. Depends on whether I sell the old one off or manage to harvest another money tree.

As I make progress, pics to follow. For now it’s seriously under construction.

Categories: Aquarium
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