ARC July 2005 General Meeting Minutes


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Written by Phantom Phish July 2005 ARC General Meeting Minutes Atlanta Reef Club- General Meeting Minutes

Date: 12 July 2005
Location: Fernbank Science Center, Decatur, GA
Minutes by: Chris Clark (Secretary)

1. 7:35 pm- Meeting called to order by Steve Shindell (ARC President), who introduced himself and welcomed all to this months General Meeting of the ARC.

2. Announcement of Raffles:
A nano tank, and free bag of sand is to be raffled at this meeting. Any new ARC member present at the meeting, and that person’s “designated driver” (or sponsoring ARC member) will receive a raffle ticket and a chance to win this item. Raffle to held latter on during the meeting.

In addition, a number of items are to be auctioned, includingÂ…
a) 6 bags of pure white sand from Seachem (proceeds from these bags of sand to be donated to Reef Check)
b) 2 copies of Sylvia EarleÂ’s book, signed by the author
c) 1 copy of Eric BornemanÂ’s book, signed by the author
d) Quiet One Pump and Whisper HOT Filter
e) RO/DI unit with autoshutoff

3. Introduction of new members and guests:
There were seven new members and guests present at the meeting. All were welcomed to the ARC, and received a raffle ticket for the nano tank drawing.

4. Approval of last monthÂ’s meeting minutes:
A motion was made to accept last months General Meeting Minutes as posted on the ARC website. The motion was seconded, and passed by majority vote of the members present.

5. TreasurerÂ’s report:
Bob Lemcke (ARC Treasurer) was unable to attend tonightÂ’s meeting. Steve Shindell (ARC President) reported the ARC currently has approximately $13,000 in the clubÂ’s accounts.

6. Membership report (and reminder to bring membership cards to local sponsor stores):
The ARC currently has about 230 members.
ARC members were reminded to bring their membership cards to local sponsor stores, when asking for the ARC member discounts. If you have not received an ARC membership card, please contact Sally Densmore (ARC Membership Coordinator).
Members were also reminded to be careful when posting comments on the websites. Comments made on these websites have long lives, and possible ramifications for all involved. Reportedly, legal actions have followed some postings on other websites. Members are reminded to keep to the facts.

7. Ongoing Powerbuy:
Doug McIntyre (Reef Tank Lighting) has the lights available for all who participated in this past monthÂ’s powerbuy.
Announcement of next monthÂ’s powerbuy will be made in a few days. It will likely be for cleaner shrimp. Watch the boards for details.

8. New ARC Sponsor:
Announcement was made of a new ARC Sponsor, Living Reef. Living Reef has been a generous supporter of the club, and was a sponsor and exhibitor during SWU. A “field trip” to Living Reef is being planned for latter this month (July30). Watch the boards for details.

9. Tennessee trip July 23:
A frag swap and possible Aquarium visit is planned for July 23. Interested members should watch the boards for details.

10. MACNA trip:
MACNA will be held in the Washington DC/ Alexandria VA area on Sept. 16-18. Traditionally, lots of free “stuff” is given away at these meetings, and a number of ARC members are planning on attending. Interested club members should see the MACNA website for details.

11. Recycling of Bulbs:
The recycling program will begin next month. A collection box will be available at next months meeting in which members can place old bulbs for disposal and recycling.

12. Georgia Aquarium Donation:
The ARC has collected pledges for approximately half of the $10,000 goal. Members are reminded that, although we are giving these donations as a group, they will in fact be counted as individual personal donations, and are tax deductible. Payment on these pledges is to be made latter in the year.

13. Raffle and Auctions:
The Nano tank raffle was conducted, and the lucky new member with the winning ticket took home a brand new Nano tank and free bag of sand.

Following the raffle, the auctions were held, with the winning bids as follows:

a) 6 bags of Seachem Pure White Sand (Proceeds to Reef Check)- $13 per bag. The winning bidder bought 4 bags; second highest bidder bought the other 2 bags.
b) 2 signed copies of Sylvia EarleÂ’s book-winning bid $47; second highest bid was $45.
c) Signed copy of Eric BornemanÂ’s book- winning bid $60
d) Quiet One Pump 980 gph and Whisper HOT filter- winning bid $35
e) Aqua Safe System 100 gpd RO/DI unit with auto shutoff- winning bid $150

14. The business portion of the meeting concluded at approximately 8:05 pm, and the SIG discussions commenced.
At this meeting, the SIG discussions were held sequentially (rather than concurrently), so that everyone could enjoy all three presentations.

<u>Breeding the Banggai Cardinal Fish (Sally Densmore)</u>
Sally has been breeding and raising Banggai Cardinal fish (Pterapogon kauderni) for the last 4 to 5 years, and making her captive bred livestock available to some of our local fish stores. In her presentation, Sally described the process she follows in breeding the adult Banggais, and raising the fry.

She originally obtained a pair of adult Banggais in April of 2001, and placed them in a dedicated 55-gallon tank. In her experience, the adults prefer this sized tank, or larger, or they may not breed. The original pair never bred, most likely because they were both females. As there is no reliable way to sex Banggais, it became a process of trial and error, substituting with other Banggais, before she was able to get a male-female pair. But after hitting on the right combination, the correct pair started to breed within about 3 weeks. During the mating process, the female will dart up very close to the male and do an intense “shimmy”. This process may go on for hours. Eventually, the female will release her eggs into the water, and the male will fertilize them. The male will then take the fertilized eggs into his mouth, and “hold” them there (mouth brooding) for 18-28 days as the eggs develop. During this time, the male does not eat, so Sally is sure to keep the male well fed between these brooding sessions. Keeping the tank warm appears to make the eggs mature more quickly. The male will typically hold 25-40 eggs in his mouth at a time. Once the male releases the hatched fry, the fry are typically transferred into another tank (10 gallon) with a breeders net. If the adults are not separated from the fry, the fry may be eaten.

The 10-gallon fry tank is set up with liverock, lights and a skimmer. They are fed live artemia nauplii for the first two weeks, which the fry usually consume with enthusiasm several times a day. The artemia should be decapsulated; otherwise the capsules may harm the Banggai fry. After about a month, the dime sized fry are transferred into a 30-gallon breeder tank, and fattened on shaved mysis shrimp while they develop further. At the 10-week mark, they are about the size of a nickel, and ready to be taken to the LFSs to find"><span style="color: #0000ff;">new homes</span></a> in our tanks.

For additional details on raising Banggai Cardinal fish, see SallyÂ’s article in the second edition of the ARC newsletter.

[B]<u>Reef Tank Lighting (Doug McIntyre)
</u>[/B]Reef tank lighting is a very broad, and a potentially complicated topic, to cover in a short discussion. However, Doug did an admirable job conveying some of the concepts to consider when choosing a lighting system for a reef tank. There are a multitude of choices available to the Reef Tank hobbyist, and often no single “correct” choice.

Firstly, one should consider “Why is lighting important in a reef tank”. Clams and the photosynthetic corals that are often kept in a reef tank require light of sufficient intensity, and in the appropriate wavelength in order for the photosynthetic process to occur. In this process, the zooxanthellae that are present in the tissues of photosynthetic corals use the energy of light to complete the chemical reactions that result in the production of sugars (glucose), and as a byproduct, the release of oxygen. In this way, the zooxanthellae provide food for the coral, and in a symbiotic relationship, the coral waste products are utilized by the zooxanthellae. Without the correct lighting, these organisms will not survive in our reef tanks. So what is the correct lighting? There are many opinions on this question, and some of the things to consider include PAR, photoperiod, spectrum and intensity.

Not all wavelengths of light can be captured and utilized by photosynthetic organisms. The range of wavelengths that can be used by these organisms is usually referred to as “Photosynthetically Active Radiation”, or PAR for short. The amount of PAR that is produced by a lighting system however, depends on several variables, which include the type of bulb being used, and the type and wattage of the ballast that powers that bulb. In addition, the photoperiod, or the amount of time the lights are on, and light is available to the corals, plays a role in this process. Most hobbyists have their lights on for about 10-12 hours a day, with metal halides on for 8-10 hours, and actinic lights providing a dawn and dusk effect for about an hour on either side of that.

The amount of PAR produced by a lighting system often correlates with the spectrum (or wavelengths) the light produces. If measured with the proper instruments, a particularly bulb can be seen to produce light that is made up of a number of different colors, or wavelengths. Light with wavelengths in the 400-420 nanometer range appear more like “blacklights” or ultraviolet lights, generally referred to as “actinic” in this hobby. Wavelengths in the 420-490 nm range appear as blue light, with longer wavelengths appearing green, yellow, orange or red. In general, the yellow and green wavelengths are more effective in the photosynthetic process, than the bluer wavelengths. Hence, bulbs that produce more of these yellow and green wavelengths generally have a higher PAR rating. However, many hobbyists prefer the aesthetic appearance of bluer lights. Bulbs are often given a “Color Temperature” rating, which for practical purposes, is largely a reflection of the various wavelengths that light produces, and therefore it’s overall appearance. The color temperature of a light is measured in degrees Kelvin, or K for short. A 6.5 K bulb produces more yellow and green wavelengths, typically appears quite yellow over our tanks, and has very high PAR ratings. This type of light is said to mimic shallow water environments in nature, about 10’ deep or less. A 10 K bulb has a more even mix of yellow/green and blue wavelengths, appears as a more crisp white over our tanks, and usually still has good PAR values. 10 K lights are said to mimic lighting conditions at about a depth of about 20’ in nature. 20 K bulbs are dominated by the blue wavelengths, have a blue to blue-white appearance over our tanks, and typically have the lowest PAR ratings. These bulbs are said to mimic lighting conditions of deeper water in nature, about 50’ in depth.

The intensity of light produced by a system is largely a reflection of the wattage, or power rating of that system. In general, the higher the wattage, the greater the intensity of the light. How much light intensity is needed, depends on what type of coral youÂ’re trying to keep, how far the lights are above the water level, and how deep the coral is in the water column. In addition, a good reflector can increase the effective intensity of a lighting system by focusing more of the light into the tank. If you have a tank that is relatively shallow, or if your livestock is tolerant of lower light levels, fluorescent lights may be sufficient. However, for deeper tanks, [IMG]"><span style="color: #0000ff;">metal halide</span></a> lights are generally required. Amongst the MH lights, there are single ended mogul bulbs and double ended HQI bulbs. In addition, metal halide ballasts offer choices including magnetic (which usually burn bulbs brighter, producing more heat, and greater PAR), electronic (smaller ballasts, less heat, but usually a little lower PAR) and HQI. HQI ballasts are often used to drive double-ended bulbs, but are sometimes used to overdrive other bulbs.

Clearly, there are a large number of factors to consider when choosing a lighting system.

[B]<u>Building A Large Reef Tank (Tim Wolston)
In his presentation, Tim detailed the process of planning and building his impressive seven-foot reef tank. In describing what is needed to set up a large tank like this, Tim says “Lots of cash, a checkbook and a credit card; and the willingness to use all them”. I don’t think he was kidding, either. In planning for a large tank, Tim suggested that you should probably budget for about $30 per gallon, but also consider the extra costs in keeping the system running, which he estimates at about $100-150 per month. He further stated that doing lots of research before hand is paramount, and that you should come up with a plan and stick to it, as making changes in the original plan often cascades into other areas, requiring even more changes.

TimÂ’s tank is located in his basement, as a freestanding tank thatÂ’s viewable on all four sides (i.e. itÂ’s not located next to any walls). Since there are no walls through which to run his plumbing, he was forced to run the pipes from his tank to his sump room through the floor. As his basement floor is of course concrete, this required pulling up the hardwood flooring, cutting through the concrete, digging a channel underneath, laying the PVC pipes, and repairing the concrete floor. All of this was done while his wife was out of the house, clearly demonstrating that he is indeed a wise man.

In planning his system, Tim decided to use glass for the construction of his tank. Although heavier, glass is somewhat more resistant to scratching than acrylic. This fact, plus the cost of a similarly sized acrylic tank, caused him to choose the glass. The tank was custom built for him, and he made and installed the central overflow himself. The tank dimensions are seven feet long by 30 inches wide and 36 inches high. Even though he’s a big guy, Tim says the 36” depth is too deep for him to reach the bottom, and it’s difficult to get light to penetrate to that depth. If he had to do it over again, he would probably change the tank depth.

For the stand, Tim recommends getting a metal stand built for tanks of this size, painted with powder coat to protect the tank from the saltwater and rust. However, because of his experience in the [IMG]"><span style="color: #0000ff;">construction industry</span></a>, Tim decided to build his own stand using wood. Based on the pictures he showed, it looked like he [IMG]"><span style="color: #0000ff;">used 4x4</span></a>Â’s and 2x6Â’s, which were notched and joined together using liberal amounts of liquid nails, in addition to nails and screws, for added strength. A water level was also used, to make sure the tank would sit perfectly level. The facing on the stand and the canopy were also DIY projects, and Tim is clearly a talented furniture craftsman.

However, the most impressive aspect of his entire system is his sump room. His sump room is exceedingly well organized. His electrical requirements were well thought out, with numerous outlets wired in the correct locations, such that there were none of the tangled cables and cords that most of us have in our fish rooms and under our tanks. His arrangement of skimmer, pumps, calcium reactor, Nilsen reactor and RO/DI units is a thing of beauty, and looks more like NASA level laboratory than the usual aquarium hobbyist’s “junk room”. He does admit, however, that he has been called “anal”.

15. Upon the completion of the three SIG presentations, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:40 pm.

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