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WAMAS Tank of the Month




Bob B. (Rocko)

Congratulations Bob, on being selected tank of the month.



Introduction

Thank you for the chance to showcase my tank. I have always been interested and involved with fish while growing up. My father always had a pond and some sort of freshwater tank at each house we moved to. I enjoyed feeding and help cleaning ponds and tanks - so much that I kept it going as I went thru high school and college.

My first real experience with saltwater was when my father setup an in-wall 110 gallon tank. I was fascinated with all the creatures and corals he had acquired. Then my brother setup a 90 gallon reef tank in his town home. This really opened my eyes to the possibilities. My first saltwater tank was a 12 Gallon JBJ nano cube. Soon after that cube I upgraded to a 75 gallon tank which was setup in my townhome. Once we moved to a new house I knew I had to go bigger. This is where I am at today.


Current Tank

I have a basic 210 gallon AGA glass box. I drilled six holes in the back. Two for the overflows and four for the closed loop. I setup my current tank in January 2008 and I have not changed much to the system at all. If it ain't broke don't fix it! The tank sits in front of the wall with all the equipment behind the wall. I built the stand and hood with basic tools from around the house.


Aquarium Setup

The 210 tank is the main display tank while I have a 50 gallon frag tank behind the wall. I have a small 20 gallon long refugium tank that sits higher than the main tank behind the wall as well. This way the water can gravity flow back into the main tank without passing through a pump.

The tank is monitored with an Aqua Controller III. I also have a Foscam webcam that I can view on any mobile device.


Water Movement

I have 2 main pumps that control everything. A Reeflo marlin pumps water to the main tank, Deltec skimmer, 50 gal frag tank, 20 gal refuge and a chiller in the summer. For water movement in the main tank I have a Reeflo barracuda on an ocean motion 4 way for the closed loop. The closed loop has 6 outlets on the bottom of the tank that I ran pvc pipes under the sand bed. Four more outlets are at the surface of the tank. I am happy with the amount of water movement. I recently added a Nano stream to try and alter the growth pattern of the $500 efflo.


Lighting

Old school here. Three 250 watt 20k metal-halide (MH) Radiums with two six foot VHO actinics. The MHs are powered by one dual Galaxy ballast and one single Galaxy ballast. All three lamps are in Lumenarc reflectors. The VHOs are powered by a 430 Ice Cap ballast. The MHs are vented thru a fan outside the house. The whole hood is on an electric lift for ease of getting in and out of the tank.

The frag tank is lit by five 54 Watt T5 lamps on 2 different ballasts. I need to change these lamps out! The fuge is lit by two 39 watt T5 lamps. I used to run a standard flood light bulb from Lowes but found that T5 fixture grew out the cheato much faster. Also I added some RBTAs to the fuges so I need more light. Currently the fuge is a mess from neglect.


Filtration

I have an 851 Deltec skimmer. Old school, but it is a beast. It has been the most reliable skimmer I have ever owned. I see no reason to mess around with anything else. I will not be replacing it. Other then that, I have the fuge and a 55 gallon sump with live rock. I have a few filter pads to help clean out the crap.

I try and do the largest water change I can once a month. Most of the time it is 100 gallon water change. Sometimes it is just a 55 gallon water change.


Additives

I run a kalk stirrer on my JBJ auto top off. I also run a calcium reactor, but not 24/7. I tired doing that but found it harder to dial in and keep a consistent range. I run my Calcium reactor for 10 hours during the day only. This gave me a better and more stable range of alkalinity. I also dose Magnesium thru a dosing pump and AC3.


Livestock

I have several fish in the tanks. I have found most hard to keep fish don’t survive for very long. There is always an exception to the rule. I only keep red scarlet crabs in the tank. There might be a dozen of them in the tank. Two cleaner shrimp come out every time I feed. There is also a non fish eating Brittle star fish.

As for corals I have things that appeal to me. I have SPS, LPS, softies, Zoas and Palys. I suggest everyone go with what you like and it will thrive in your tank.


Feeding

I have an Eheim auto feed filled with Dainichi pellets. I use frozen foods from the club every once and a while.


Challenges

Right now my biggest challenge is some of my SPS are STNing. I have done every test I can think of. I do a larger water change and it seems to stop. Then a few weeks later it starts again. So now my thought is to swap out the crushed coral. It's very coarse and has calcified in some sections. I am in the process of getting bags of new sand and will slowly swap out as much of it as I can reach.


Future Plans

I would like to swap out my calcium reactor.


Conclusion

Don't buy everything that someone else is using or recommending. You need to learn what your tanks needs are. Too many times I see people running into a lot of problems before they can really enjoy the hobby. A lot of these products are quick fixes. Research what you want.

Lighting Schedule

  • 2:00 - VHOs ON
  • 3:00 - 2x MHs ON
  • 3:15 - 1x MHs ON
  • 8:45 - 1x MHs OFF
  • 9:15 - 2x MHs OFF
  • 10:00 - VHOs OFF
Water Parameters

  • Salinity: 1.025
  • Temperature: 78 - 81°F
  • Alkalinity: 9-11 dkH
  • Calcium: 425ppm
  • Magnesium: 1250ppm
  • Phosphate: 0ppm
  • Nitrate: 0ppm
Equipment

  • Display: 210 Gallon All-Glass Aquarium
  • Sump: 55 gallon AGA
  • Skimmer: Deltec 851
  • Lighting: 3x 250w 20k Radiums, 2x 110 VHO Actinics
  • Controller: AquaController III w/ 2 x DC8
  • Return Pump: Reeflo Marlin
  • Circulation: Reeflo Barracuda
  • Reactors: BRK Kalk stirrer, Aqua medic calcium reactor
  • ATO: JBJ Auto Top-Off
Fish

  • Powder Blue Tang
  • Naso Tang
  • Kole Tang
  • Yellow Tang
  • Scopus Tang
  • Percula Clowns 2x
  • Yellow Watchman Goby
  • Green Mandarin Goby
  • Bangaii Cardinals
  • Purple Fire fish
  • Skunk Tile fish
  • Yellow Coris Wrasse
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