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WAMAS Tank of the Month


Tank Of The Month

August 2007

John Bianchi

Congratulations to you John, on being selected tank of the month. - Thank you.

About the Tank

Tank Specs
  • Oceanic 210 g
  • Little Giant 1200gph return
  • 5 or 6 different power heads
  • Deltec AP 701 protein skimmer
  • Deltec KM 500 kalk stirrer
  • Deltec 601 calcium reactor
  • 3 x 250watt Metal halides
  • Full size Diamond Luminarc reflectors
  • 2 x 160 watt URI VHO actinic bulbs
  • Run on ARO electronic ballasts
  • Neptune Aquacontroller, AC III

How long have you been doing this?

15 years in the hobby. Started with my father's 110 gallon tank at his house, viewable from 2 sides.

Who got you into the hobby?

My father. It was actually our first saltwater tank together. It was something we always wanted to do and we did it in-wall at his house.

Who in the hobby most influences you?

If I had to pick a person, who influences me the most, it would be Byron. If I had to choose the most inspirational, it would be ORA. I visited them in Florida which really opened my eyes to aquaculture and passion to both the hobby and business I also have to say John Coppolino as well; he opened my eyes to some of the uncommon stuff I would have never even known existed if it wasn't for him.

Tank setup and equipment:

This tank has been up for four years now. It's an Oceanic 210 with a mixture of all kinds of different rock - from Florida, to Marshal Island, Fiji, and Tonga. It's an old tank, not reef ready; it's got the hang on overflows that go down to a basic sump with Little Giant 1200gph return pump that is split twice. I also have 5 or 6 different power heads for movement.

  • Filtration wise, I've got a Deltec AP 701 protein skimmer, a Deltec KM 500 kalk stirrer, and a Deltec 601 calcium reactor.
  • Lighting is three 250watt Metal halides in the full size Diamond Luminarc reflectors with two 160watt URI VHO actinic bulbs. The bulbs are Ushio 10,000k run on ARO electronic ballasts.
  • The light rack is also connected to a hoist so I can raise the lights out of the way and service the tank if needed. Other equipment:
  • I also have a Neptune Aquacontroller, AC III in there, and a battery backup system that I have tested it up to 12 hours, and in theory can run some of the equipment for up to 48 hours.

  • Black tang
    (Zebrasoma rostratum)
  • Powder-blue tang
    (Acanthurus leucosternon)
  • Sailfin tang
    (Zebrasoma desjardinii)
  • Naso tang (Naso lituratus)
  • Red Sea Purple
    (Zebrasoma xanthurum)

  • Mated Pair of Red Sea Regal angel (Pygoplites diacanthus)
  • Flame (Centropyge loriculus)
  • Lemon Peel
    (Centropyge flavissimus)

  • Mated pair of gold stripe maroon clowns
  • 3 Green Chromis
    (Chromis viridis)
  • Lawnmower BLenney
    (Salarias fasciatus)

Is that one of the backup units you built as part of the group build?

No, mine ended up exploding and I got a commercial on now. I also have a 30 gallon refugium / frag tank that is gravity fed back to a dump tank.

Wow, you have a dump tank on your system, please explain that.

That is one of the ideas I got from ORA when I visited them, it was a pretty influential visit. I split the refugium in half and the dump tank side is fed by a maxi-jet 1200. When the water pumps up to a certain point in the dump side, the U-tube causes a suction and it flows about 10 gallons of water out into the main tank about once every two minutes, creating a nice surge through the reef.

I also run an Aqua 57w UV and ozone, so I think the water quality is about as good as it's going to be. You can look at my fish and see they are healthy. There are some scars on a few of my fish that are a result of a devastating salt change years ago that caused a huge ammonia spike, killing all my corals and inverts, the fish made it through and have been going strong.

What is your maintenance schedule like?

I have a JBJ auto-top-off system running through my Kalk stirer on the system. Water changes, I do a 10% water change every two weeks. I make the water back in my workshop and then it's pumped via PVC plumbing through the ceiling back to the tank. It makes water changes a lot easier since I don't have to lug it around or worry about spilling it on the carpet. If its easy it gets done!

You said your tank has been set up for 4 years, For a history for our members, would that have been long before you branched out and expanded your Koi shop into the Marine side?

Yes, that is in part why you see some of the more common fish in here and not many of the rare fish. Most of my fish were purchased before I opened up the marine shop. Things would be much different if I was to build that tank now. I now have a much better appreciation for the rarer fish and corals. (Thanks Copps)


I have over 100 different species of coral in there; mostly SPS and LPS with a few leather corals and zoanthids as well.

What is your favorite coral?

The ORA indigo teal stag and the ORA Oregon tort. I also think the Chips acropora is really cool. It's hard for me to pick a winner since I see so much stuff that goes through my shop.

  • Turbo snails
  • Nasarius snails
  • Emerald crabs
  • Hermit crabs
  • Skunk cleaner shrimp
  • Blood fire shrimp


I don't have a big cleanup crew, but what I do have consists of turbo snails, nasarius snails, emerald crabs and few hermit crabs. I also have skunk cleaner shrimp, two blood fire shrimp. The tangs take care of all the algae.

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

What I would like to do, doesn't mean I'm going to do it, but go up 8-12 inches taller - which would make the tank 36 inches tall. Being more realistic, I will probably just re aquascape it, the corals are all growing together and need to spaced apart more. I would also like to change out many of my common fish for some of the rarer ones.

What makes your setup special or unique?

I think my refugium/dump tank makes it unique, I have never seen another setup like it. In addition, honestly what makes it unique is that it's not a fancy tank, it's very basic, not even reef ready so its unique in the sense that it's a very basic setup. State of the are equipment and monitoring, but basic.

What are your other hobbies?

Radio controlled models - I started planes, went to cars, then to boats, helicopters, and now I'm back to nitro-cars.

What kind of music are you into right now?

I still like listening to the stuff from when I was grown up - classic rock - like Van Halen, AC/DC and other stuff from my era.

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

Edward Van Hallen, no doubt about that.

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

It's a little hard for me to answer due to my wide array of hobbies, but right now, I would say Australia Great barrier reef and go dive and snorkel on it.

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

Its my name - Johnnyb

What is the last book you read?

Vernon's Corals of the world is the one I have spent the most time recently reading it.

Football or basketball?


Scotch or burbon?


That's all we have, thanks for showing us your tank.

Thank you guys. I'm honored. I also would like to thank my wife and 2 daughters, Kayla and Sophia for putting up the amount of time I put into the hobby. I also want to thank my girls for the great scratches on the front of the tank. Seriously though, my girls do love the tank tremendously, they have all the fish named. I would love to change out the lemon peel angel (Lemon), but it's one of my daughters favorite fish and I had crocodile tears from her when I mentioned I wanted take it out.