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WAMAS Tank of the Month

Tamie & Bob DeWitt (Cowrie)

Congratulations Tamie & Bob, on being selected tank of the month.

About the Tank

Experience in hobby

Favorite Fish
  • Yellow Tang
  • Sailfin Tang
  • Midas Blenny,
  • Yellow Tailed Blue Damsel
  • Darts
  • Rabbit Fish
  • Mandarin Pair
  • Flame Hawk
  • Chalk Bass

How long have you been doing this?

Tamie 17 years, Bob 8 years.

Who got you into the hobby?

Tamie-My job, Bob-Tamie.

Who in the hobby most influences you?

Robie Sayan for inspiring us to go bigger and also “better" with his creative aquascaping. Mike Henley for his help with improving collection and husbandry. Mike and Jen Mickelberg for their devotion to the welfare of every individual animal in their care and their compassion, dedication and conservation of the natural world. Craig Kuhn and Glenn Rosenbluth who first introduced us to the “community" that WAMAS really is. We will never forget Glenn calling us in the middle of Hurricane Isabel just to check on us! After hearing that we were hours without power he told us that Craig hadn't lost power yet and was willing to give up his brand new generator for us!

Tank setup and equipment

The tank is a 150 gallon (4' X 2' X 30") with a 30 gallon refugium and 75 gallon grow out/sump. Calcium reactor, kalk reactor w/auto top-off and Neptune Systems Controller Junior, protein skimmer.

What is your maintenance schedule like?

Water change every 1-2 weeks 7-10%, clean skimmers weekly, occasional light gravel siphon, magnet clean glass twice a week and razorblade the glass monthly, change carbon and reophos every 1-2 months in the Phosban reactor.

How much time do you spend weekly?

4-5 hours

Favorite Corals
  • Bali Green Slimmer
  • Pink Birdsnest
  • M. Capricornis-Pink
  • green and Orange Porites
  • Yellow Sarcophyton
  • Neon Green Caulastrea
  • Tubastrea
  • Superman Monti
  • Pink Fungias
  • Orange, Green & Purple Digitata

Where do you keep your water parameters?

SG 1.024, temperature 76-80F, Calcium 360-385ppm, alkalinity all over the map! 8-11 normally, MG 980-1100 too low, No3 0, PO4 0

What brand salt do you use?

Instant Ocean/Reef Crystals 50/50 mix

What do you feed your fish and or corals?

“Meaty" flakes, spirulina flakes, Golden Pearls, shrimp coloration pellets, garlic, various frozen foods including mysis, brine, Formulas One, Cyclopeez, and we hang nori sheets in the tank for the grazers and target feed the azoaxanthellae corals.

How do you maintain calcium/alkalinity?

4 methods-calcium reactor, kalk reactor, Bionic as needed (depending on water testing results) and mg supplements/additives.

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

Bionic, mg, and iodine weekly or less depending on test results. 3 ounces Bionic weekly, 10ml iodine weekly and mg every month if needed. Calcium reactor cannot keep up with our use rates.

What type of lighting do you have?

2-250 watt Iwasaki 6700 K metal halides on for12 hours, 4-55 watt T-5 actinic of various brands on for 13 hours, moonlights on 2 hours before lights out and 2 hours after lights out.

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

Main tank has 2 pumps. Return form sump is apx. 600gph split in 2 directions and a closed loop 1900gph split 5 ways. 4 of these are on an Oceans Motions which squirts form back and from front corners of the tank. The 5th returns in closed loop simply squirts from back to the front glass to create turbulence at the surface.

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

Increasing the internal flow to keep up with growth of corals which are starting to block flow which was originally established. Second is installing metal halide in 75 gallon sump for more grow out on reversed lighting cycle.

Favorite Inverts
  • 14" Giant Brittlestar
  • T. Squamosa 9"
  • Sponge Crab
  • Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp
  • Sessile Hermit Crab in Porites
  • Blue Leg Hermits
  • Tiger Tail Sea Cucumber
  • T. Maxima Blue Clam
  • Yellow Encrusting Sponges

What makes your setup special or unique?

This system is special because all the supporting filtration, refugia, and sumps are plumber to and from the basement through our heating ducts and the cabinetry is homemade furniture.

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

Doing Different: It took nearly two years to design and implement this system which was only completed 11 months ago, so at this point we would not do anything differently.

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

Try to plan the sequence of additional inhabitants to avoid losing them die to aggression of existing population inhabitants. Use a quarantine tank to help with the acclimation to your captive conditions and food even if they look healthy and plan a refugium on your system.


What are your other hobbies?

SCUBA and butterfly gardening.

What is the last book you read?

Shadow Divers

Scotch or burbon?

Can't tell the difference