Jump to content
WAMAS Tank of the Month


Tank Of The Month

January 2008

George Schwaub

Congratulations George, on being selected tank of the month.

About the Tank

Experience in hobby

How long have you been doing this?

I have been in the marine hobby since 1994. It doesn't seem to be so long ago I set up my first tank which was a 20g high on top of a dorm room refrigerator.

Who got you into the hobby?

Way back in the day I watched a program on The Discovery Channel and it was about marine organisms. At the time I had freshwater fish so when I was at my LFS I saw some of these creatures in the LFS that I saw on TV. That following weekend I spent almost a whole weeks paycheck on the 20g setup. A few months later I moved to Baltimore and bought a larger tank, then a larger tank until I had 11 tanks at one time in my basement.

Who in the hobby most influences you?

Both WAMAS and CMAS have so many great people along with friends I have met through online communities throughout this country it could be a challenge but for me it has to be a guy who is practically in my back yard. It would be Tom DiNoto. If any of you have seen his reef tanks I think you would agree that his reefkeeping skills are among the best and this helps keep me in check. He has really got me into fish, years ago I just had utilitarian fish but know I have as many fish as corals. Tom's tanks should be here as TOTM. He is another Baltimore guy so getting the WAMAS TOTM crew out of DC seems to be a challenge as with mine.

Tank setup and equipment

  • 280g Glasscages Glass Tank - 72X36X25
  • 4 250w XM 10K Halides
  • Lumenarc III Reflectors
  • 3 140w Actinic Bulbs
  • 100g Rubbermaid Stocktank Sump
  • Sequence 5800 Return
  • Calcium Reactor - Home Made
  • Neilsen Reactor - Home Made
  • Sulphur Denitrator - Home Made
  • Reverse Flow Carbon - H.M.
  • Reverse Flow Phoslock - H.M.
  • 36w Coralife UV Sterilizer
  • 900w heater
  • 3/4hp chiller
  • Homemade Deltec AP 1004 Skimmer
  • Aquacontroller III
  • 6 MJ1200 with Sureflow Mods
  • A Tunze 6080

Can you tell us about your tank setup?

My current tank is a Glasscages 280g glass tank. It is 72X36X25. It is a great size and I love the three feet from front to back. The main tank has 2 30 breeder tanks for frag tanks and pseudoquarantine. The frag tanks each have 2 powerheads and a 250w XM 10K metal halide on Icecap ballasts and mini lumenarc III reflectors. The main tank have 4 250w XM 10K halides all on lumenarc III relectors. 2 are large and 2 are small, this is the way I decided to use 4 reflectors on the tank instead of 3 large lumenarcs and 400w lights. There is also three 140w actinic bulbs and 6 moonlights. The sump is a 100g rubbermaid stocktank. Return pump is a sequence 5800 with a Jandy actuated ball valve and a Chauvet timer.

Reactors are Calcium, Neilsen, Sulphur denitrator, reverse flow carbon, reverse flow phoslock, all are homemade. I use a 36w coralife UV sterilizer. I have a 900w heater and a 3/4hp chiller. The skimmer is a homemade knockoff of a deltec AP 1004. I have a 10g topoff reservoir with flaot switches which are timed to send water through the neilsen reactor or directly to the sump based on pH value. I have an Aquacontroller III with 4 DC8's, a PX 1000 and a breakout box. Probes with tank pH, calcium reactor pH, skimmer outflow pH, sump ORP, sump water temp and sump room air temp. The main tank has 6 MJ1200 with sureflow mods and a tunze 6080. There is also a fan which moves air across top of tank and one with moves air in the sump room both are controlled by the AC III. There is about 400lbs of rock in the main tank but there is only about 15 pieces total. All the rocks in the main structure are huge, there is also a sump full of rock and about 200lbs of crushed coral for the substrate. I have an auto water change pump with empties 120g's from the sump (when I empty the skimmer). I have 3 40g trashcans on casters. I use RoDI and Instant Ocean salt.

This tank has the main tank on the 1st floor of my house and the sump in the basement under the tank. The return pump move water to the tank and the water returns to the sump through two 2" drains with collect into a 3" drain. This then flows to a pressurized gravity fed manifold which I supply water pressure to every reactor and gadget on my system. There is a redundant drain backup around 12' high which with return water to the sump unrestricted. The frag tanks are supplied with water from the main pump to eliminate air bubbles. This is a very complex system compared to most but it is actually very simple design and user friendly which is all that matters.

What is your maintenance schedule like?

Maintenance is very simple. I clean the glass once per week or two, it rarely needs it except for coraline removal. I feed the fish many times per day, I top off the freshwater reservoir everyday as I evaporate about 9g per day. I visually check on everything everyday. ACIII keeps me up to date on the parameters. I change 120g of water every 2 weeks. I change carbon and Phoslock every other water change. I change halide bulbs every 12 months, actinics when they burn out or look dim. I change UV every 11 months. I siphon detritus from frag tanks every week. I clean 2 gallons of the nastiest skimmate you'll ever smell twice per week. Clean the skimmer neck every week. Add kalk to the neilsen reactor every week. I add Tech I Iodine every week and coral aminoacids twice per week. This all I can think of.

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

Unfortunately, shortly after this gets posted I will be moving this whole setup again to a permanent location. So no upgrading at the moment. Wanna help me move it?

Good Answer!


Hippo TangCheveron TangConvict Tang
2 Spot TangPurple TangMale Blonde Naso Tang
Bicolor AngelMale Bellus AngelFemale Bellus Angel
Potters AngelFlagfin AngelChrysurus Angel
Magnificient FoxfaceMale Squampinnis Anthias6 Female Squampinnis Anthias
Red Lined CardinalBangaii Cardinal9 Blue Eyed Cardinals
Pair of SI True Percula ClownfishAfrican Golden Midas Blenny2 Spot Blenny
Tailspot BlennyPair of Blue Stripe Cleaner WrasseMystery Wrasse
Pygmy HawkfishGreen MandarinPair of Yellow Stripe Neon Gobies
Orange Banded Prawn GobyRandall GobyTangaroa Goby
Wheeleri Goby & Shrimp ComboRed FirefishFlying Gnuard
Copperbanded ButterflyDragonface PipefishRed Cap Nano Goby
Red Striped GobySwiss Guard Basslet.


    I have too many to list including many rare SPS & LE's. I have a few LPS in the tank including a very old Elegance as the centerpiece. There are no softies in this system except deepwater Protopalythoa Polyps and a Tyree Green Polyped Toadstool which is in a fragtank. I have another tank which contains all my softy treasures.

What are your other hobbies?

By trade I am a wood worker, as some of you know I install hardwood floors for a living. I enjoy creating projects from time to time. Sometime I create aquarium projects from acrylic, been doing it for years but can't get enough time off work to really have a consistent hobby. In the summer Jess and I go to Capitol Raceway on Saturday nights to hang out with her Dad who runs a 7sec blown alcohol dragster. On top of this I am the President of CMAS and all fall, winter and spring this keeps me busy. Really my aquarium is my only serious hobby.

What kind of music are you into right now?

I listen to pretty much everything, very little rap and country but everything in between. At work anything is better then listening to an air compressor though.

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

I can't say that I would like to meet anyone in particular. I am more based around people who I have meet. I take in everything I can when I meet and talk to people and base everything around those experiences in my life.

  • Linkia Stars
  • Colored Serpent Stars
  • A Pair Of Fire Shrimp
  • A Cleaner Shrimp
  • A Few Peppermint Shrimp
  • Red Scarlett Hermits
  • Left Handed Hermits
  • A Large Tiger Pistol Shrimp
  • A Red & White Candy Pistol
  • 3 Cocoworms

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

At this point in my life I have very little interested in traveling. I am content here in Baltimore. I like the colder weather since I am from north east Pennsylvania, so going to islands near the equator to dive sounds great but since i have never been I will take the snow and a snowboard.

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

My screen name is the name of my hardwood flooring business name. Seemed appropriate and I use it everywhere.

What is the last book you read?

Advanced techniques using a Router table (wood working)

Football or basketball?

Football but the Ravens are in bad shape this year.

Scotch or burbon?

I am more of a gin kind of guy. I prefer Tanqueray and Bombay Sapphire. Both are great and I have never had a hang over from either. I can't say that for and other liquor.