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WAMAS Tank of the Month




Pierce S. (Teamschreiba)

Congratulations Pierce, on being selected tank of the month.



Introduction

First I'd like to thank the TOTM committee and WAMAS members for giving me the opportunity to showcase my tank, it is truly an honor! I learned so much and met a lot of great people in the short time that I've been a WAMAS member.

I've been reefing for three years now but took many vacations to tropical places as a kid. Seeing all the tropical fish and corals in Puerto Rico, Aruba, and the Buck Island Reef National Monument in St. Croix, USVI had always given me the urge to get into the hobby but I didn't have the time and resources until recently. Now it is a hobby I will surely have for life!

Equipment
  • Display: 8.6 Gallon ADA 60-f (24" x 12" x 7")
  • Sump: 24" x 14" x 14" Custom Advanced Acrylics
  • Skimmer: Reef Octopus NWB-110
  • Lighting: Giesemann Infiniti 24" 150W MH (Phoenix 14k) + 4 T5 (4 ATI Blue Plus)
  • Controller: Apex Aquacontroller
  • Return Pump: Eheim 1048 Pump
  • Circulation: Ecotech Marine Vortech MP10ES
  • Reactors: TLF Phosban Reactor with ROX Carbon
  • ATO: Tunze Osmolator
  • Temperature Control: Hydor Theo 100W
  • Dosing: Bubble Magnus BM-T01 Triple Doser
  • Overflow: MAME Nano Overflow


Current Tank

This tank began as an upgrade to my previous tank just when a few people were getting into the shallow and ADA style tanks. Fascinated with the clean look of the ADA aquariums as well as the idea of a shallow but wide tank led me to the 60-F. I wanted to keep the equipment as minimal as possible but also have a successful, growing reef tank.

This was challenging in the beginning because I was still attending college and the tank was subject to being moved every 6 months. I graduated from college in May 2011, which led me to a more permanent residence that has allowed me to upgrade my equipment to what I envisioned for this tank. I feel like I have come a long way from the canister filter and LED bulbs to now a sump with a halide and t5 combination! About the only thing that has not changed is the livestock, so if you take some time look through my build thread you can see the FTS progression.


Water Movement

I utilize an MP10 for water movement in my ADA along with the flow from the return pump. Many would say that this is overkill for an 8 gallon tank but the main reason I use it is the small footprint it takes up in a tank where real estate is already at a premium. It also goes well with the rimless, clean look of my tank where there are no wires coming out of the top.

Lighting

For lighting, I have a 24" Giesemann Infiniti fixture with a 150W 14k phoenix metal halide bulb with ATI blue plus T5's. This allows to me grow SPS even in the sandbed since the tank is so shallow. I used to run two PAR38 LED bulbs but found I wasn't getting the results I expected and had dark corners in the tank.

Lighting Schedule
  • 14:15 - 4x Blue Plus t5 ON
  • 18:00 - Halides ON
  • 22:00 - Halides OFF
  • 23:00 - 4x Blue Plus t5 OFF


Filtration

I've tried to take advantage of as many types of filtration as possible including mechanical, biological, and chemical. For mechanical filtration, I use a filter sock a skimmer in the first chamber of my sump. For biological filtration I use chaeto, a few mangroves, and extra live rock in the second chamber of my sump. Finally, I have a two little fishies phosban reactor with ROX carbon in the third chamber of my sump. Recently I've starting running my skimmer 4 hours on and 4 hours off because I've felt there is too little nutrients in my tank.


Additives

One of my biggest mistakes was thinking I could get by with only water changes in a nano reef and that would sustain my alkalinity and calcium levels. This was a tragic mistake and please do not believe it if you keep a lot of SPS in a nano! Unknowingly, my alk had gotten dangerously low (using the API alk test kit was partially to blame for this) and in combination with adding too much ROX carbon, I lost all of my montiporas and a lot of acropora frags. I discovered the problem when I started using a Hannah Alk Checker and added the Bubble Magnus Triple Doser using ESV B-Ionic two-part. Once I got my levels stable, all of my acros and acans really exploded with growth!

Water Parameters
  • Salinity: 35ppt
  • Temperature: 78.4 - 79.7 °F
  • Alkalinity: 8.5 dkH
  • Calcium: 425ppm
  • Magnesium: 1350ppm
  • Phosphate: 0.02ppm
  • Nitrate: 0ppm

Feeding

With my ocellaris clownfish I had for almost two years I tried many different pellets, flakes, cyclopeeze, and a few frozen foods but she mainly ate Omega One Marine Flakes. With my new ORA Spotcinctus clowns, I am starting with freeze dried cyclopeeze since they seem to love it but will try to vary their food as much as possible once they start to get bigger.


Livestock

For most of the tank's life, I've had a single female ocellaris clownfish and a cleaner shrimp. Since my focus has been keeping SPS, I did not want a heavy bioload and avoided adding more livestock. Recently, I moved my clownfish to a new good home and added a pair of ORA Spotcinctus clownfish.

I've kept just about every type of coral but have tried to narrow my focus down to SPS, zoas, and acans. With the lack of space in this tank, I am much more careful as to what I add to the tank and try not to be too impulsive when it comes to adding new corals.

Fish
  • Ocellaris Clownfish
  • ORA Spotcinctus Clownfish x2

Challenges

During the early stages of this tank I went through all the typical problems (hair algae, bubble algae, red/green cyano, diatoms) and these were generally easy to solve by reducing phosphates, adding specialized clean up crew, and adding carbon and chaeto. Once my reef reached the mature stage I had very little problems until my most recent one… My most recent challenge has been a battle with red bugs. After much research, I utilized the “bayer dip" method and thought I had success dipping only the corals I could see red bugs on. About a month later they were back so I took all the SPS out of my tank and did another dip. This one worked for ~3 months but now they are back again. In my next round of dips I'm going to try a more concentrated formula and be much more careful to determine that all the red bugs are entirely gone. I am also going to develop a quarantine procedure for adding SPS into my new tank. My thoughts are that persistence is key and you can't give up!


Future Plans

I am in the planning stages a custom Miracles Rimless 82g tank that will be 40" x 24" x 20" with a starphire front, and corner overflow with two drains and one return. I've started piecing together some equipment but will also use some of the equipment from my ADA. Having this nano-reef has been a great experience but I feel like I will have even more success growing SPS in a larger reef.




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