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WAMAS Tank of the Month

Bruce York (BBYATV)

Congratulations to you Bruce, on being selected tank of the month.

About the Tank

  • 1 Desjardini Sailfin Tang
  • 1 Six Line Wrasse
  • 1 Three Striped Damsel
  • 1 Yellow Tail Blue Damsel
  • 1 Blue Reef Chromi
  • 1 False Perc Clown

Experience in hobby

How long have you been doing this?

I will have been in the hobby for two years in June 2008.

Who got you into the hobby?

My wife Thaisa got me the 30 gallon tank for our anniversary. I really enjoy snorkeling and she thought the tank would be the next best thing. I think she now regrets the decision.

Who in the hobby most influences you?

I would say Randy Holmes-Farley. Randy's articles (Found Here) on water chemistry have been vital in getting my water so that it would sustain SPS corals. I can not say how much I appreciate what the articles have done for me. I do not think I would have the tank where it is today or be nearly as knowledgeable about the hobby if this work were not on the web.

Tank setup and equipment

The Aquarium is a 36x12x16h 30 gallon tank. The refugium is a 10 gallon tank with DIY glass pane baffles. For filtration I have about 60 pounds of live rock, a Euro Reef RS-80 counter current skimmer, a DSB in the refugium along with a lot of Macro algae, and a Penguin Biowheel 350 mechanical filter using only foam to help keep the water clear. For lighting I use a Current 36" NOVA Extreme 156 Watt T5 fixture with ATI bulbs installed. For water circulation I have a Rio HyperFlow 17HF main Return, a Mag-12 on a closed loop with a SCWD, and a Via Aqua 305 in the right rear corner of the tank. I keep the temperature dialed in with a Current Prime Mini In-Line Chiller. I use two Ross Flexiflo Companion dosing pumps to add alk and calc. My water top off system is a DIY deal that is gravity based. (DIY Auto Top-Off Thread) The overflow is another DIY abomination that was carefully built to keep water off of our hardwood floors. (DIY Overflow) I would drill this tank if I were to do it again.

  • Torch
  • Red Acans
  • Hammer
  • Frogspawn

  • Superman Monti
  • Green Millipora
  • Purple Millipora
  • Orange Cap
  • Green Cap w/ Purple Rim
  • Pink Pocillopora
  • Red Pocillopora
  • Orange Pocillopora
  • Green/Yellow Pocillopora
  • Brown Digi w/ Purple Polyps
  • ORA Birds Nest
  • Neon Hydrophora
  • Green Maze
  • Green Trumpet
  • Sun Coral
  • Green Slimer

  • Purple Mushrooms
  • Green Button Polyps

What is your maintenance schedule like?

I do a 2g (5%) water change once a week, and change carbon about every 2 weeks. I clean the skimmer neck twice a week. I service pumps and powerheads as needed. I dose 3ml of Magnesium Chloride every morning and night.

What brand salt do you use?

I use Instant Ocean salt mix.

What do you feed your fish and or corals?

I feed my fish and corals the following:

  • Golden Pearls
  • Frozen Cyclo-peeze
  • Hikari Sales frozen brine
  • San Francisco Bay frozen brine
  • New Life Spectrum Marine Formula
  • DTs Premium Reef Blend phytoplankton
  • DTs Natural Reef Diet Oyster eggs
  • Roti Feast liquid rotifers
  • Selcon OMEGA 3 fatty acids
  • Salifert amino acids
I feed these items daily but follow this schedule.

How do you maintain calcium/alkalinity?

I dose Randy Holmes-Farley's Recipe #1. I use 2 dosing pumps to add 160ml of each part per day.

Do you dose anything? If so, how much, how often?

I dose the 3rd magnesium part of Randy's recipe about 6ml per day.

Do you use vitamins or amino acids?

I dose 1/2ml of Salifert Amino Acids and a few drops of Selcon fatty acids daily.

What type of lighting do you have and what schedule do you have them on?

I have 4 39 watt T5 bulbs. 2 are ATI AquaBlue Special, 1 is an ATI Blue Plus, and 1 is a Giesman Aquablue Special. The first set of lights come on at 11:00 and go off at 10:00. The second set comes on at 11:30 and go off at 9:30.

Where do you keep your water parameters?

I think the Alk parameter is the key and I keep it at 3.6. The Calc is at 440, the Mg is at 1300, the pH is at 8.2 or so, the SG is at 1.025, and the Temp is at 80.

Do you have any tricks or methods to keep your water parameters where you have them?

I pump in outside air to the skimmer and an air stone in the refugium in order to keep the Carbon Dioxide levels in the tank from getting high. This keeps my pH in sink with my Alkalinity.

What kind of water flow do you have? How do you accomplish it?

After doing lots of reading, I have found that water flow is as important as light for corals. The water flow is what brings food to the corals and their waste away from them. As a result, I have tried to maximize water flow in the tank. I have 2 power heads in the back lower corners, a hang on the back filter, the return pump from the refugium and a closed loop with a Mag 12 driving it. I estimate the total flow rate in the tank is around 1765 gph. I feel like lots of flow also helps with polyp extension.

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

My plans for this tank are to move the entire thing into a new 90g I have set up. The new tank has been cycling for about 3 weeks and will soon be ready to absorb this tank.

What makes your setup special or unique?

I would say the one thing that makes my tank a little unique is all of the DIY stuff that I have installed. This is one aspect of the hobby that I really enjoy. Here is a thread on my SCWD Mod and here is a thread on my Closed Loop.

If you had to start from scratch, would you do anything different?

The biggest thing I would do different is research each coral, fish, or piece of hardware before I added it to the tank. I have misplaced corals and bought aggressive fish based on the LFS advice. Avoid taking LFS advice without doing some additional research.


What are your other hobbies?

I love to skateboard and play with my kids.

What kind of music are you into right now?

When I listen to music it would be AC/DC or Suicidal Tendencies.

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

I think my wife at a younger age. I would love to have known her as a kid.

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

It would have to be the Great Barrier Reef.

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

BBY are my initials and I love to ride ATVs with my son Dodge.

What is the last book you read?

Aquarium Corals Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History by Eric H Borneman

Football or basketball?


  • Porcelain Crabs
  • Cleaner Shrimps
  • RBTA
  • GBTA
  • Snails
  • Red and Blue Hermits
  • Sexy Shrimps
  • Feather Duster
  • Emerald Crabs

Scotch or burbon?


Do you have any advice for those folks whom are new to the hobby.

Buy a killer skimmer, a great light and create lots of water flow.
Read Randy Holmes-Farley's water chemisry articles.
Pay attention to you alkalinity.
Make sure you place corals in places where they will not clash with other corals.

Things I wish I knew 6 years ago:

Impulse buys never work out well.
Don't listen to the guy behind the counter at the LFS without doing additional research.