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WAMAS Tank of the Month


Tank Of The Month

June 2007

Rafael A Saavedra

Raf, congratulations on being selected TOTM.

First off I am very proud and honored of being the first Latino selected as TOTM. I would like to thank my wife Liza and kids for all the support they have given me through this fun but hard journey, Love You guys!, next I would like to thank everyone in the WAMAS community for your friendship, honesty, selfless service and the opportunity of being able to trade frags and contribute to "saving the reef one frag at a time.

About the Tank

Tank Specs
90 Gallons AGA(Main)
20 Gallons (Sump)
5 Gallons HOB CPR Refugium with 18W PC Jali Fixture
5X54W T5 Retro Kits Back to Front:
-1 Giesemann AquaBlue+
-1 UV Lighting Super Actinic
-1 Giesemann 6000K Midday Sun
-1 Giesemann Actinic+
-1 ATI Blue+
1 MAG18 through 3/4" WavySeas
ASM G3 Skimmer with Recirc Mod, MaxiJet 1200 and Gate Valve Mod
Grey Seas Aquatics Kalk Stirrer
ReefKeeper II Controller
2 MaxiJet 1200 and 1 MaxiJet 900
ReefKeeper II Wavemaker

How long have you been doing this?

I oficially started my own back in late 1999 when I lived in South America, for many years before that I use to help some friends with their saltwater setups and that everytime sparked a little more curiosity until I decided it was time for me to have my own, the problem at the time was my former line of work always kept me travelling/moving around the world for months/years at a time so my rationale was "why do I need to spend 1-2K on equipment that I won't enjoy and if I find that this hobby is too much for me then I'll loose all that money; on the other hand a 1G Pico and equipment would come to about $100-$150, if it crashes oh well I didn't loose a grand and it is small enough that it would be the easiest thing to mantain (yeah right, I found out the hard way.

Who got you into the hobby?

My best friend (RIP Dad). I was borned in Puerto Rico and raised in the northern shores of my tropical paradise; I have been into coral reefs for as long as I can remember... but I could never see them up close because I was a child so all I could do was just snorkel and that always frustrated me (as much as stepping in long spined urchins or getting stung by jellyfish).

When I turned 12 my dad took me to the YMCA. I thought "What in the world are doing in the Y?" lost I wondered thru the facility until I heard my dad called out my name so running to him I went hoping to get out of "dodge", he knealed in front of me, put his head down, tilt his hat back and said "Son tomorrow at 630am you have to be here, you will begin your instruction into the SCUBA world" Holy Cow I am gonna become a diver like dad, I can go diving with him and his friends!!! I no longer have to imagine what it would be like when told their tales of the underwater world, it meant I could sit with them and fascinate everyone around us with tales of my own. I think that was the moment that started my journey into manhood. I have been diving ever since, my respect and passion grows more with every dive, because everytime I enter the underwater world I hope that it won't be last time I see it's beauty. We are destroying the reefs more and more everyday and the day will come that their will be no more. Such an importatnt eco-system gone in the blink of an eye caused by our ignorance and irresponsibility. That really troubles me.

Who in the hobby most influences you?

1 Melanurus Wrasse
1 Checker Board Wrasse (Juvi)
1 Christmas Wrasse (QT)
1 Six Line Wrasse
1 pair Yellow Stripe Clownfishes
1 Chalk Basslet
1 Diadema Dottyback
1 Lawnmower Blenny
1 Male Psychedelic Mandarin
1 Female Red Scooter Blenny

Do you really want to know?... All of you. I learn something new everyday from everyone wheter they are an expert or a beginner. My thanks go to everyone.

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?

Nothing really, this tank is going to a good home and will be replaced with a 120 Gallons AGA tank soon.

What type of corals are you keeping?

A little bit of everything. (Softies, LPS, SPS...)

What is your maintenance schedule like?

5-10 Gallons Water Change Weekly
MagFloat evey 3-4 days and Glass Scraped weekly
8 Gallons RO ATO every 5-6 days

2 GBTA's
2 Skunk Cleaner Shrimps
2 Blood Red Fire Shrimps
1 Crocea Clam
1 Feather Duster

What makes your setup special or unique?

Lots of TLC My Ocean-In-A-Box (OIAB) is my sanctuary, when I'm stressed, down or need some time to relax I just "pop-a-squat" in front of it and I'm transported to that special place where I'm equalized and ready to deal with reality.

What are your other hobbies?

Sky Diving, Surfing, SCUBA Diving, Sking, Shooting, but my all time favorite: Hanging Out with my wife and kids!!!

What kind of music are you into right now?

Well... I'm into anything with a good beat as long as it helps me mitigate my commute.

Who would you most like to meet past present or future?

WOW, I think this is the most difficult question to answer because there are so many different people I would love to meet and understand such as every former president of the US, Dictators, Criminals, Astronauts, Scientist, Religious Leaders, Military Leaders, Peace Activists, Emperors, Authors.

If you could go one place on earth where would it be?

I have had the opportunity to travel the world, seen many amazing things, places and cultures. The only places I always wanted to visit and never had the chance but hope to someday be able to visit are Fiji, Tahiti and Samoa.

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

Very simple, it's me.

What is the last book you read?

U.S. Special Operations Forces, you know as a former operator I love reading the "True-Lies" that surround the "Quiet Professionals" community, but my favorite book always been The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Football or basketball?

Domino's closely followed by Soccer, Baseball (NY Yankees) and Football (NY Giants)

Scotch or burbon?

Beer on a hot sunny day and Liquor (Passoa, Licor 43 or Midori) at night during a beach festival in the Caribean.

Thanks for showing all of us your setup and again congratulations on being chosen TOTM, we hope to see more pictures soon...

Well my doors are always open...