Thanks everyone for the kind honor. My tank is definitely still a work in progress. It’s a downsize from my prior 270. That tank was primarily SPS and angels but due to a smaller spot in our new house, a downsize was necessary. Since our house was being built and we needed to list our prior house for rent/sale, I broke down the 270 in May 2018 and Jon and Maureen Lazar were kind enough to hold the fish and corals we were keeping until the new tank was supposed to go up in July. Unfortunately, as with new homes, a few problems arose and the tank couldn’t go up until November. There were some unfortunate losses during that time but thankfully our prize pair of true percs and many of the corals made it through the transition.
The current tank is a Reef Savvy 100 gallon (48 x 24 x 20” tall) that’s set up near our kitchen/morning room. It’s in a place where all of us can see it easily. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate all the filtration and equipment in a dedicated tank room like I’d done before so this system required a lot of compact equipment. I have a large saltwater and freshwater reservoir in the unfinished basement. I ran 7 neoprene lines through the floors and walls before the drywall went up (that was an interesting conversation with the builder). These are for top off (1 line), water change (2 lines), possible calcium reactor (2 lines), and two lines “just in case”.
A variable return pump and 3 mp40s on a wxm module supply most of the flow. There’s also a Tunze 6025 buried behind the rock work.
I’ve always been happy with the ATI Powermodules, and I’m currently using an 8-bulb Powermodule. I had a hybrid T5/LED fixture last time, and I do miss the ripples and reflections that the LEDs provided.
Filtration is pretty simple. No filter socks (I’ve used in the past but I’m lazy and don’t like cleaning every week). Synergy sump with a BubbleKing 160 (nice compact skimmer). Small amount of rock (about 40% was live, the rest was Pukani shelf). Shallow sand bed. I have a Skimz MBR157 macroalgae reactor.
I add Tropic Marin Biocalcium twice a week (about 4 scoops). I add a few drops of Lugols solution, 5 ml of strontium, and 2.5 ml of KNO3. I have a LiterMeter changing about 1 gallon of tank water daily.
I primarily feed LRS food, 2-4 times a day. I try to thaw out some food and feed when I go by the tank. I also use various other frozen foods for a change, add a little bit of nori each day for the tangs (took forever to get them trained to eat it), and have an autofeeder feeding pellets 4 times a day.
My biggest challenges are time and interest. I’ve been in this hobby since I was a freshman in college back in 1996. I kept freshwater planted tanks and bred freshwater before then. I’ve worked in retail, wholesale, aquarium maintenance, and been involved with various clubs. Unfortunately, these days, work and my children keep me busier and busier. My last tank suffered from being a little heavily stocked and requiring a decent amount of upkeep. This tank was designed to be as easy as possible. It’s a mixed reef. I don’t keep any difficult sps or fish. I probably spend 15-30 min a week total in maintenance. The auto water change and locating the top off and saltwater reservoirs in the basement have helped. Having lowered expectations has also helped. I know that my tank will not be as nice as it could be or as I’d want it to be but it also doesn’t require the dedication that would take. I actually hadn’t tested any of the tank values in 2 months before this submission.
The tank is very young so I’m sure other challenges will come up and hopefully (fingers crossed), I’ll just continue to watch things grow and keep the corals I really like as they get bigger. I’lll likely have to hook up 3 part dosing or a calcium reactor at some point (I have them bought, just haven’t gotten the energy up to get them hooked up). After having tested my water for this article, I stopped dosing KNO3. I’ll start to test water again a little more frequently. I’ve got some aiptasia that I’ve been battling off and on without success and some nuisance algae that pop up periodically. In general, not a lot of big changes coming up.
Thanks to the committee for the nomination and the honor. I really appreciate all the great advice I’ve gotten over the years in the club as well as the friendships I’ve made here.
- Salinity 1.023
- Temperature 77-81
- Alkalinity 10.7
- Calcium 350
- Magnesium 1305
- Phosphate 0.16
- Nitrate 17
- Display: 100 gal Reef Savvy (48x24x20)
- Sump: 20 gal Synergy sump
- Skimmer: BK160
- Lighting: ATI 8 bulb 48” Powermodule
- Circulation: 3 MP40s
- ATO: LiterMeter III
- Reactor: Skimz Macroalgae
- Percula clownfish pair
- Purple tang
- Convict tang
- Tomini tang
- Starkii damsel
- Tail spot blennie
- Two Randall's gobies
- Flame hawk