Finally showcasing my SPS monster... 1300 gallon display... 2000 gallon system... and many past displays

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copps

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Awesome John!! I have followed along on the other forums for a long time. Glad you have a thread here now as well. Beautiful setup and i will be following along for the ride.

I have a frag of your Calicali stag that is positioned in the center to be a showpiece. It is started to take off and I can tell it is going to be a stunner!!

Thank you for what you do for this hobby!
Josh
I named this coral after the small village of Calacali in Ecuador in South America, that is right near my in-laws large farm. It's at almost two miles in altitude... on the edge of the cloud forest, and the equator goes right through it. I lived and studied there in the late 90s and met my wife there... we travel back there every year and a half or so... no trip this year due to COVID but here are some shots from last summer...
My two kids with my father-in-law... he's an accomplished architect and oversees the over 800 acre property...

The beauty and biodiversity there is legendary... here's the kids with their cousin Sophia "down by the river" :D

I love all of the beauty that Mother Nature creates with no plan... from the fish and corals I keep... to my gem and mineral collection... to the assortment of natural slabs of granite and marble I keep in the house... to the beautiful flowers on my in-laws farm! Check this out... I took an entire day last summer and drove the pickup truck around the farm there... cutting and collection flowers and plants...

I worked into the night piling up the bounty of beauty my in-laws have on their property... with the same passion I aquascape my reef tank...

I started making floral arrangements after nightfall...

I don't know what got into me... but it's the same passion that drives my reefkeeping... and I assembled four floral arrangements for my in-laws, who have always been very good to me. When I was younger and lived there they treated me like their own son,and are good to me to this day. My kids get to ride horses, get spit on my alpacas, play with guinea pigs (food there... not pets), and do all the things they cannot do back home in suburban Washington DC. Anyway... I assembled these three small floral arrangements...



I also did this large one with the pieces that were too big for a vase... notice my son rockin' the Live Aquaria t-shirt :D

Here's a shot I took that day of something else super cool... another beautiful resident of Calacali! This is not a tarantula eating a wasp... it's a wasp eating a tarantula! It's called a tarantula hawk... a "parasitoid wasp" that paralyzes tarantulas before taking them to their den to feed...

Copps
 
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panic

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Beautiful setup as always! I've been watching this mammoth system grow since I first saw some pics of your reef in early 2000 on RC. I remember thinking what you had then was an elaborate system... It's good to see you're still getting after it.
 
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copps

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Beautiful setup as always! I've been watching this mammoth system grow since I first saw some pics of your reef in early 2000 on RC. I remember thinking what you had then was an elaborate system... It's good to see you're still getting after it.
Thank you... I've used the same system design and methodologies for the last twenty years... for the sizes of the systems I've tried to keep them rather simple... and always trying to keep my electricity bill down... since I was a child I hated having to pay to heat the water at night and chill the water during the day when the lights are on... we've come a long way in terms of decreasing electricity costs with water movement technology like Vortechs and DC as opposed to AC pumps... but heating and chilling water still costs a lot. Even on my 10 gallon kitchen nano I ran the refugium above overnight...


When I expanded into the living room of that apartment and setup my 65 gallon SPS display I did a small 20 gallon high frag tank... that I also lit overnight so as not to pay cooling or heating costs... with tweaking you're heaters or chillers will never turn on... you could see the 20 in this pic below... I've also always enjoyed a "mixed reef"... the 54 gallon corner served that purpose here... on a separate system...


Then when we built our first house the 20 gallon frag tank became a six foot frag tank... with a few displays tcuked in the fish room...


I added another 54 corner to make it a half circle...


By the way... I have a few of the giant strain of rose bubble tips for sale that you see in the system to the right... originally from Guam... they grow huge as you can see...

In our forever home the one six foot frag tank became two... and with lighting those overnight my two 3 HP heat pumps almost never turn on... as they draw a lot of power...

Thanks again to all...

Copps
 

Pedoconfuego

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John, can we get an updated picture? How’s the system going? I am curious which acros your favorite right now and I gotta say, I love the staghorn wall. I am glad I got to see this tank in person it was truely inspiring.
 
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copps

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John, can we get an updated picture? How’s the system going? I am curious which acros your favorite right now and I gotta say, I love the staghorn wall. I am glad I got to see this tank in person it was truely inspiring.
Going to get updated shots between Christmas and New Year's when I take some time off... I need to clean my Kydex sheets and get them swapped... a major process... and I've been dedicating my time to my 360 discus/Amazonian/planted display... the piece of driftwood my son and I hunted in the Potomac River and is over six feet long, and the "one man boulders" are huge... the one in the center is over 90 pounds... tough to see the scale without fish in it.
 

Dcal

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I love when people design it to look like a zoo or public aquarium display and you have done it perfectly
 
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copps

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I love when people design it to look like a zoo or public aquarium display and you have done it perfectly
Thank you... I hate seeing pumps, wires, plumbing... etc... all of my displays in my house now have everything hidden... my displays are built into the wall and the viewing windows are smaller than the length of the tank... for instance on the freshwater tank above the tank is six feet long, but the viewing window is only 45" long... we forget that this hobby is two pronged... we have the technical side of the hobby (the ability to keep the corals thriving), and the artistic side of the hobby (the ability to make it look good with Mother Nature as our guide)... it kills me when people invest $30K in a beautiful canvas but when it comes to painting it it doesn't look too appealing!
 

Willy315

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Back to the gigas clam... I'd been planning this system in my head for decades... there were constants in the planning... must haves for years that I planned... a large group of anthias... a bunch of angelfish... a magnifica anemone island... stands of Acropora everywhere... and a true giant clam... the gigas was acquired by my friend John in about 2006... he had in a tank just over 300 gallons and it was outgrowing it... fortunately I'm Clark Griswold and love to travel with the wife and kids... we're hitting all 50 states before they leave the nest. I had a road trip planned that included white water rafting in West Virginia, a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, then onto Chicago... and on and on... we passed through Indianapolis and decided to stay a couple of days there, where John lives and had the clam. We visited him and I saw the clam... yada yada yada... he drove it out not long after.



The clam was growing like a root. After seeing the Tradacna gigas in Waikiki on a yearly basis grow I got a bit scared as I like to plan for the long term... the larger of the gigas the Waikiki Aquarium acquired in 1982 was five years old... born in 1977... same year as me... and back before we had kids in the early 2000s my wife would accompany me to Hawaii on every work trip I had there... at the time they were weighing the clams regularly... and my wife pointed out that the clams weight... 160... than 170... than 180... was pacing mine... she would jokingly tell me to not outpace the clam... fortunately I've slimmed down a bit now thanks to keto and lots of hockey… and the remaining clam is probably over 300 pounds... So, I wondered how large and how fast this thing was going to grow...



A few years ago I had James Fatheree over my house... who wrote the book on giant clams... it was the largest clam he'd ever seen in someone's house... one of the questions I had for him was when would this clam start spawning... and would my 1950 gallons of water be able to handle it. He said it would and for me not to worry... in retrospect... the clam had already been spawning... just lightly and I didn't realize it.



Then came Spring break... I had a thirteen day Griswold family vacation planned that included Las Vegas, NV Death Valley National Park in California, Hoover Dam, Zion National Park in Utah (AMAZING!), and the Grand Canyon and Sedona in Arizona. A few days before leaving I did two water changes back to back... on the second water change my 200 gallon water vat was probably in the 60s in terms of temperature... not really a big deal... except that it triggered something catastrophic in the gigas...
I remeber seeing this clam at John's house probably a couple years before you acquired it. Impressive doesn't come close to describing that clam.
 
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AdamsAquarium

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And finally onto some full tank shots… these were from January of 2014 after water had been in the system a few months. We kept our old house for a few months that housed my other system shown above… before and after work for months I went to the old house to take care of my systems there, while I built these systems and got them going in the new house… it was a Herculean task I was able to accomplish with both my passion, and the help of my local friend Adam Dilks. Thanks Adam!

Here’s the 1300… with the wide side view… 8.5’ wide here… and six feet from front to back…



My favorite view… 8.5 feet from front to back and six feet wide…



And the view from the corner showing both sides…

I only wish you had more room to build out more tanks...working with you was an awesome experience!!
 

AdamsAquarium

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Thank you... I come from a military family... my grandfather was killed in World War II when my father was just two years old... my father grew up poor in Brooklyn, NY as a result... my 4' 10" Sicilian grandmother was a seamstress, yet raised my father and Uncle very well despite tough circumstances... my father went on to become a pilot in the Air Force and flew over 200 combat missions in Vietnam... fortunately for me he survived... and went on to fly over 30 years for United Airlines, retiring as a Captain on the Boeing 777. I have tremendous respect for my father and he always raised me to have "attention to detail" more than any other lesson. This has done me well in life... especially in this hobby. His attention to detail helps in taking care of my systems when we're all on travel... while I'm on work travel my 15 year old son takes care of my systems, with my Pop as a backup. While I never entered the service, I've been a systems engineer for nearly twenty years working as a contractor for the US Navy on submarine trainers... traveling to the seven US submarine bases. You could see my father in the images earlier in this thread... here he is back in the day... before I was an idea...



I should also mention my mother, also raised in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents (but much wealthier than my father), supported my passion in this hobby significantly... she'd drive me to work at the fish store in Jersey I worked at for years after getting my working papers in high school... to this day she treats me perpetually like I'm 12 years old... like Ray Romano's mother in "Everybody Loves Raymond" :D I could commit the worst of crimes and she'd still show me the most unconditional love. :)
Holy Crap... it looks like you standing in front of that plane, carbon copy of a truly awesome man
 

In_HIS_Grip

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I just happened to land here when I opened the pic of your gorgeous blue giant... I have no background in sw aquariums except for much loved trips to the fish store when mom would just go to walk the aisles as entertainment for the toddler ;-) The "miles" of fish (to my view) and possibly the one time I came around the corner and screamed. The Oscar was bigger than I was! Years later, and years ago, I had the opportunity to take a Marine Bio class when I was at Cal Poly, SLO. Dr. Richards was one of my favorites!! I wanted to suggest one of the Best Vacation Trips EVER! for you to take your wife. Yellowstone - IN WINTER!! 2017 my husband set us up for a Couples Adventure the week before Christmas. I am a lover of ALL of GOD's Creatures and this Adventure hit every level and every bell. Thank you for your post. I am in a different kind of Paradise seeing what you have created for the Life in your care. Absolutely FANTASTIC!
 
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locito277

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You are the Angel whisperer. I remember your tanks back in the day On reef central. Great to see you and Hedgedrew back on the forums. I also have Palettas book... twice
 
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copps

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I only wish you had more room to build out more tanks...working with you was an awesome experience!!
Holy Crap... it looks like you standing in front of that plane, carbon copy of a truly awesome man
Adam!! Thank you so much for all your help! You are one of the few people I have not been able to do this without. Ladies and gentlemen, Adam is Bob friggin' Villa and helped so much with the construction aspect of this system. You friggin' rock Adam. And yes... my father is an awesome man! And more tanks? No way! Quarantine/growout setups are a little busy right now. :D


I just happened to land here when I opened the pic of your gorgeous blue giant... I have no background in sw aquariums except for much loved trips to the fish store when mom would just go to walk the aisles as entertainment for the toddler ;-) The "miles" of fish (to my view) and possibly the one time I came around the corner and screamed. The Oscar was bigger than I was! Years later, and years ago, I had the opportunity to take a Marine Bio class when I was at Cal Poly, SLO. Dr. Richards was one of my favorites!! I wanted to suggest one of the Best Vacation Trips EVER! for you to take your wife. Yellowstone - IN WINTER!! 2017 my husband set us up for a Couples Adventure the week before Christmas. I am a lover of ALL of GOD's Creatures and this Adventure hit every level and every bell. Thank you for your post. I am in a different kind of Paradise seeing what you have created for the Life in your care. Absolutely FANTASTIC!
Awesome! I have Yellowstone scheduled for this coming summer, along with Glacier and some other places... it's tough to do winter trips as the kids are in school. Thanks!

I too wish I was rich.
Lol... not even close... the 65 gallon and kithcen nano you see above is in a one bedroom apartment where my wife and I first lived in the early 2000s.

Your tank has my dream dimensions, I love it and it might be the best tank I've yet to see!
Thanks so much! This tank is exactly what I wanted... fully custom as I had them make a mold just for this... any larger and it would be just too much...

Copps
 

whitepickle

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Awesome system and write up! Thank you for sharing so many details. I have some questions about your seemingly small flow design for such a large tank. Only 6 mp60, 3 running at a time to create a gyre effect? Are they on constant mode for ten minutes? 100% power? Is the gyre moving around the tank? Or top to bottom?
 
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