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WAMAS Tank of the Month

Steve Mihelarakis (SteveM)

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

About the Tank

Experience in hobby

  • Yellow Tang
  • Powder Brown Tang
  • Tominni Tang
  • Flame Angel
  • 6 Line Wrasse
  • Mated Pair True Perc Clowns
  • Blue Chromis
  • Royal Gramma
  • Potters Angel (Frag tank)
  • Scopias Tang (Frag tank)

How long have you been doing this?

2 years.

Who got you into the hobby?

My wife. She bought me the tank for my birthday 2 years ago. Neither of us knew what we were getting into. She is great about it though and very supportive.

Who in the hobby most influences you?

Chip (flowerseller) Chris (phisigs79) Phil (Gav) and Dan (Dandy7200)

Tank setup and equipment

110G tank with about a 30g acrylic sump. Mostly SPS with some LPS and softies.

What is your maintenance schedule like?

I keep a check on the tank daily. I do 25-30g water changes every 2 weeks. I do water parameter checks every 2 weeks. I add 5g top off water to my water reservoir every 2 days.

How much time do you spend weekly?

If all the time spent on the tank was added up I would say about 8-10 hours a week.

  • Pink Table
  • Purple Tort
  • Blue Samoensis
  • Green w/pink tips Sarmentosa
  • Green w/orange tips Sarmentosa
  • Yellow/Green Stag
  • Yellow w/purple tips Acro
  • Dr. Mac Limeade
  • Purple A. Yongi
  • Green Birdsnet
  • Green and pink tip Frogspawn
  • Blue w/purple tips Arco

Where do you keep your water parameters?

PH 7.9-8.1
Salt 1.025
Calcium 400-425
Alkalinity 9.8 - 10.2
Magnesium 1400+
Phosphate 0.03
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0

What brand salt do you use?

Reef Crystals

What do you feed your fish and or corals?

I feed the fish mostly Ocean Nutrition flake. I feed them once a day. About once a week I may feed some frozen foods. I also feed the corals about once a week. I use Cyclopees or Coral Frenzy.

How do you maintain calcium/alkalinity?

For ca/alk I use a calcium reactor For mag I rely on water changes every two weeks. That seems to keep the mag up pretty high. I also have mag flakes if I need to supplement.

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

I dose kalk. I dose mine via my auto top off. I have it set up so my auto top off kicks on every night after my lights go out. It runs for 2 minutes every hour until the lights come back on. This really help maintain my Ph during the night.

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

I have two 250W MH with 20K Radiums. I use ARO electronic ballists.
I also have 4 VHO actinics. My actinics come on at 1030 and go off at 2300. I have the MH set up so that one bulb comes on at 1300 and goes off at 2130. The second bulb comes on at 1330 and goes off at 2200.

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

I have 2 vortec MP40's, one on each side of the tank. They provide excellent flow. Other than that just my return pump which is an Eheim.

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

None for this tank. We are moving to Florida in a little over 2 years and I plan on building a 550g in wall tank in our new home.

  • Blue Maxima clam
  • Golden crocea clam
  • Peppermint shrimp
  • Variety of snails
  • Green Mithrax crab

What makes your setup special or unique?

For one I think the combination of all my SPS LPS and softies. I love the SPS corals but I also enjoy the LPS and softies. It's not easy getting them all to co-exist be happy. The second thing is that I have been running without a skimmer for the past 6 months. Not because I want to but because I have been having a problem with my skimmer. I bought it brand new 6 months ago and it has never worked. I am still going back and forth with the company and they have the pump to it right now trying to figure out why it won't work. Hopefully it will be resolved soon. I think the only thing that has keep my tank doing so well it that I do water changes every two weeks.

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

Alot of things. Probably to many to list. One big thing is that I would have arraigned my rock differently to allow more room for the fish and for the corals to grow.

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

Patience and research. Take you time and don't rush things. Sometimes that's the hardest thing to do but in the long run it will save you a lor of agrivation and heartache. Also, research. Read books about the hobby and listen to other members of clubs like WAMAS. I knew absolutly nothing about saltwater and corals before getting my tank and joining WAMAS one the best thing I did.


What is your favorite fish?

Potters Angel.

What are your other hobbies?

Golf, web design, computers

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

LtGen Lewis "Chesty" Puller USMC

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

Since it's my name it's easy to remember.

What is the last book you read?

Just One Look by Harlan Coben.

Scotch or burbon?

Neither, I rarely drink.

Things I wish I knew 6 years ago:

To many to list.