Tank Of The Month
Congratulations Khanh, on being selected tank of the month.
About the Tank
Khanh came to me a while back and inquired about a large tank. His requirements were 60" x 48" x 24", to have no cross bracing, and to have as small a euro-brace lip as possible around the tank. Given those requirements, I calculated that 1" material would be needed. As we were designing the tank, Khanh decided that he wanted to put a black overflow box on the outside of the tank at one end and to have a slot cut so you wouldn't see the overflow in the tank...just a slot would show.
The size of the box and the bulkheads were designed to allow 4,000 gallons p/h should the need or desire arise. The tank is made with 1" cell cast acrylic on all sides and the top. The bottom is 3/8". The top of the tank was routed out by a CNC router to have about a 4.5" lip around the perimeter and the corners having a 3" radius.
Khanh is a very nice guy and it was my pleasure to deal with him on his project.
Experience in hobby
Q How long have you been doing this?
A Since 2002
Q Who got you into the hobby?
A My wife, she bought me a Bi-color Angel fish when we were dating. It was so pretty that I went back to Petco and bought another Bi-color Angel. As a result, they both died of fighting. It was a painful lesson.
Q Who in the hobby most influences you?
A Shortly after getting my first fish, I was browsing local fish stores and met John Nguyen (VA-Reefman). He was very helpful at the beginning and provided a great deal of influence.
Tank setup and equipment
- 300 gal NAGA Tank - 5'x 4'x 2'
- 4 6010 Tunze streams
- Reeflo Orca 250 skimmer
- 90 gal sump
- MAG 18 Return
- Aqua 57w UV
- Barr Aquatic Calc Reactor
- MRC Kalk stirrer
- 1000w Aqua Medic Heater
- Aqua Medic Biotherm
Q What is your maintenance schedule like?
A Actually, I don't do much. I clean the skimmer every day, but it's easy. I simply wipe it out with a rag. I do 30 gallon water changes every 10 - 15 days, and, I clean the glass when it gets dirty. A big, mature tank takes care of itself.
Q What brand salt do you use?
A I use Instant Ocean salt mix.
Q What do you feed your fish and or corals?
A Ocean Nutrition Formula One and Formula Two Marine Pellets soaked in Seachem Garlic Guard. I soak the food in Garlic Guard to provide as much protection for the Tangs as possible. Tangs can get Ich so easily. A change in temperature of only a couple degrees can stress some Tangs. I feed the fish once a day. I do not feed the corals.
Q What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?
A My plan is: In 5 years, I will buy a bigger house and a bigger tank. I cannot go any bigger in this house.
Q What makes your setup special or unique?
A Actually, I think every setup is unique. Everybody is different and nobody is an expert on every reef. Each person is an expert of their own reef. Each person builds their tank from the beginning, works with it and grows with it. That is unique for each person.
Q If you had to start from scratch, would you do anything different?
A Go slower….and buy everything top notch. Of course you have to watch your budget, but I have spent so much money buying mediocre, inadequate, equipment that eventually was replaced by really good equipment. Buy the best equipment that you can. You will save a lot of money by doing so.
- 1 Sohal tang
- 1 Black tang
- 1 Yellow Belly Hippo tang
- 1 Powder Blue tang
- 1 Purple tang
- 1 Yellow tang
- 1 Magnificent Foxface
- 1 Brazilian Pygmy
- 1 Yellow Damsel
- 2 Blue Devil Damsels
- 7 Green Chromis
Q What do you consider your most valuable piece of equipment?
A The Reeflo skimmer.
Q Do you use vitamins or amino acids?
A Only the Garlic Guard.
Q How do you maintain calcium/alkalinity?
A Calcium Reactor and Kalkwasser Auto topoff.
Q Do you add supplements? How much and how often?
Q What type of lighting do you have and what schedule do you have them on?
A Radium Metal Halides: 4 x 400w 20K with Blueline ballasts. URI VHO: 4 x 110w Actinic with IceCap 660 ballast. The lights come on in the evening when I am home. The actinics are on between 4pm - 6pm and then again between 12am - 2am. The metal halides are on between 6pm - 12am.
Q What is your favorite fish, why?
A The Purple Tang because he has been with me from the beginning. He doesn't grow longer…he just gets fat.
Q What is you favorite coral, and why?
A My favorite corals are the Purple Monster, Oregon Tort, German Green and all the Millies….However; my most favorite coral is the Purple Efflorescens. I bought it as a 3" wild colony in 2004 at Roozens. At first, it was not round and did not grow at all for a year. I then upgraded the tank from 120g to 190g. Suddenly, the coral took off. Less than 2 years, the 30" wide tank seemed too small for it. I was torn between fragging it and buying a bigger tank to house it. As all reefers did, I bought the tank. With the help of Jeff (NAGA), My Efflo has a new 300g "house."
Q What are your water parameters
A I don't have any of that information…I'm sorry. I don't have anything to test with….nothing….this is the only thing I have…..a refractometer. I believe that if you look at your corals a lot, you get to know you corals, and will you know if something is wrong. You will know if something needs to be done…like a water change.
Q What are your other hobbies?
A I play tennis a lot.
Q What kind of music are you into right now?
A Hip Hop…it's fun.
Q Who would you most like to meet past present or future?
A There are so many……my old friends back home. I'd like to go back to Vietnam to see all my friends.
Q If you could go one place on earth where would it be?
A The Great Barrier Reef.
Q Why did you choose the screen name you did?
A My name is Ben and Dalat is the name of my home town back in Vietnam….it's famous. But everybody knows me as Khanh.
- Purple Monster
- Oregon Tort
- German Green
- Purple Efflorescens
Q What is the last book you read?
A Java Programming for Dummies.
Q Football or basketball?
Q Scotch or burbon?
Q Do you have any advice for those folks whom are new to the hobby.
1 - Buy the best equipment that you can afford from the beginning.
2 - Be patient.
3 - Keep your hands out of the tank!
Q Things I wish I knew 6 years ago:
A I wish I knew more about all of the knowledge available on the Internet when I started. Sites like WAMAS and CMAS are extremely helpful offering knowledge and advice and would have saved me a lot of money.