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  1. [M] [R] A visit to A. Tse's House.
    by glee/athena.mit.edu (Gilbert Huppert) (8 Nov 1993)
  2. [M] [R] A visit to A. Tse's House.
    by tse/ra.nrl.navy.mil (Anthony Tse) (Tue, 9 Nov 1993)

[M] [R] A visit to A. Tse's House.

by glee/athena.mit.edu (Gilbert Huppert)
Date: 8 Nov 1993
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria

This past weekend I was in DC, so I decided to try and get over to 
Anthony Tse's house and see what his tanks look like.  My main motivation
for seeing Anthony's tanks was that he's been running with, and
advocating the use of, fluorescent lighting for quite a long time.
(Note: I too only use fluorescent lighting, but my tank really doesn't
quite qualify as a reef, or at least has a very low coral population)

The "you have to use MH lighting" arguments which go on here all the time,
were a strong motivating factor in my visit, along with Anthony's apparent
strong knowledge of reefkeeping.  Well, I must say that Anthony's tank 
easily matches or surpasses every single tank I've ever seen which is 
running using MH lighting.  There wasn't a single specimen in the tank
which seemed to be lacking for light, and Anthony has by far the largest
Hammer coral I have ever seen in captivity (it takes up a good 1/4-1/3 of
the surface area of the tank).  He also has some of the nicest looking 
(as well as the largest, excepting the Smithsonian) Tridacna clams I've 
seen in captivity.  And yes, the Acorapora seems to be doing quite well
in the tank, although there are very few specimens of this type of coral
in his 70G tank.  Anthony seems to be having quite a bit of success with
most of the hard corals he owns, and the tank is truly *crowded* with
all types of reef-creatures.  Again, I was quite impressed.... I've seen
other tanks which were just about as nice, but none of them (at least the
ones using MH lighting) seemed to have quite as much success as Anthony's
with stony corals.  

Calcium is another issue.  Anthony is using food grade CaCl2 and NaHCO3
to maintain calcium levels in his tank.  I can definitely confirm that 
there is a hearty growth of coralline algae in the 70G tank (high Ca 
levels may also be a *big* factor in the health of all the stony corals),
as well as almost no algae growth.  I discussed using Ca(OH)2 instead of
the CaCl2 (which definitely plates out quite quickly, fouling pumps and
such), but Anthony has had really bad experiences with Ca(OH)2, and I had
no idea why this might be the case.

Coralline algae is growing quite well in the 70 G tank, which is lit by
fluorescent lighting, but the opposite is true of Anthony's 29G tank,
which has 2x40W Actinic, 1x150W MH, 1x250W MH.  The only significant
coralline algae growth is on the sides and bottoms of the rocks.  Even
the glass is rather bare of corallines (although there is significant
hair/macro algae growth in the 29).  The 29 G tank is almost completely
filled with Acorapora specimens, and the ones closest to the 250W MH light
are quite pale in color, although still fleshy.  I do believe, however,
that the Acorapora in the tank lit by fluorescent lighting looked much
prettier (I really can't judge health that well in Acorapora), brighter
colored, and more fully expanded.

In chatting, I confirmed that the people I know who are using bright 
lighting (regardless of type) don't have heavy coralline algae growth
on the top of rocks (ie., a few Boston aquarists), but usually see
heavy growth on the sides and bottoms of rocks which receive less light. 
It seemed that there were rocks in Anthony's MH tank which had lost the
normal coralline coating on most surfaces directly exposed to the lighting.
In breaking down my friend Igor's tank about a year ago, we noticed that
the back wall (which was mostly shaded) had an encrustation of corallines
almost 1/8" thick in most places.  It seems that we have similar low light
coralline species.

The conclusions I reached in seeing Anthony's tank (which has some very 
nice and very expensive specimens in it), as well as my tank (and my 
friend Igor's) is that Ca is extremely important.  MH lighting is probably
not necessary if one fills the top of the tank with NO fluorescent bulbs
(or a mixture of VHO and NO) even for a lot of Acorapora species.  There
is probably an optimal light level for most of the deep water coralline
species generally available, and they can definitely die off under strong
MH lighting.

The final thing we talked about was taking care of tanks during extended
vacations.  It seems that it's almost impossible to keep a reef during
a real vacation.  Most of our losses (in Anthony's case, more than 
$1000 in one case) occur during a vacation of more than 1 week.  This
seems to be a major limitation in reefkeeping.

I hope this is of interest to most of you out there!


Gil
--
Gilbert Lee Huppert (glee-at-athena.mit.edu)
Materials Etching Technology Laboratory


[M] [R] A visit to A. Tse's House.

by tse/ra.nrl.navy.mil (Anthony Tse)
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 1993
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria

In article <2bmea6$cfc-at-senator-bedfellow.MIT.EDU> glee-at-athena.mit.edu (Gilbert Huppert) writes:
>This past weekend I was in DC, so I decided to try and get over to 
>Anthony Tse's house and see what his tanks look like.  My main motivation
>for seeing Anthony's tanks was that he's been running with, and
>advocating the use of, fluorescent lighting for quite a long time.
>(Note: I too only use fluorescent lighting, but my tank really doesn't
>quite qualify as a reef, or at least has a very low coral population)

   With about a year MH experience (10 months of reasonable 150W for
29g and 2 months of unreasonable 400W for 29g), there is no question
in my mind that fluorescent light is the way to go for a "community"
reef tank.  BTW, you missed the "acropora bleach due to too much light"
by one day.  3 branches on one of my acropora bleached when I got
home tonight.  More on that in my next post.

>And yes, the Acorapora seems to be doing quite well
>in the tank, although there are very few specimens of this type of coral
>in his 70G tank.

   I would say SOME acroporas do quite well in the 75.  And those
acroporas that do well in the 75 did poorly in the 29g, even with
only 150W of MH and somewhat slow acclimation.  When the
two specimens were moved from the 29g to the 75, all the polyps
re-opened 24 hours a day within 2 days.  One of them doubled
in size within 6 months.  The other one has only been in the
75g for one week and is too early to tell.  I have one acropora that
is growing extremely well in the 29g but did not grow at all in
the 75g.

>Calcium is another issue.  Anthony is using food grade CaCl2 and NaHCO3
>to maintain calcium levels in his tank.  I can definitely confirm that 
>there is a hearty growth of coralline algae in the 70G tank (high Ca 
>levels may also be a *big* factor in the health of all the stony corals),
>as well as almost no algae growth.  I discussed using Ca(OH)2 instead of
>the CaCl2 (which definitely plates out quite quickly, fouling pumps and
>such), but Anthony has had really bad experiences with Ca(OH)2, and I had
>no idea why this might be the case.

   I am pretty sure my bad luck with CaOH2 has to do with my own
stupidity.  I dripped undissolved CaOH2 into the tank.  I would
NOT recommand using CaCl2 until you have tried CaOH2.  I spend
a good deal of money on HCl and a good deal of time soaking
pumps in HCl.

>prettier (I really can't judge health that well in Acorapora), brighter
>colored, and more fully expanded.

   I would say if the polyps are open 24 hours a day, they are happy.
Both acroporas in the 75 are open 24 hours a day.  Only one acropora
in the 400W 29g is open 24 hours a day.  They all (except the 2 that
are in my 75g now) used to open up 24 hours a day when I had 150W over
the 29g.  I would say the "there can never be too much light for a reef
tank" statement is completely and utterly false.

>MH lighting is probably
>not necessary if one fills the top of the tank with NO fluorescent bulbs
>(or a mixture of VHO and NO) even for a lot of Acorapora species.  There

   VHO is probably a good idea if you want to keep a fair amount of
acropora.  Only some acroporas will do well under NO fl.

>The final thing we talked about was taking care of tanks during extended
>vacations.  It seems that it's almost impossible to keep a reef during
>a real vacation.  Most of our losses (in Anthony's case, more than 
>$1000 in one case) occur during a vacation of more than 1 week.  This
>seems to be a major limitation in reefkeeping.

   It was 6 weeks work trip.  $600 lost due to live stock, $400 to
pay for 2 tank sitters.

-Anthony


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