Congratulations Bob, on being selected tank of the month.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
I have an Eheim auto feed filled with Dainichi pellets. I use frozen foods from the club every once and a while.
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.
I would like to swap out my calcium reactor.
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.