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WAMAS Tank of the Month

This is our very first salt water aquarium, so this is a whole new world to us. We started this tank in August 2012.

Our tank is a Red Sea Max 250. For those who are not familiar, this tank is a 65-gallon all-in-one. The RSM 250 has the skimmer, heater, filtration, pumps, and other equipment in a compartment at the back of the tank. So far we've elected to keep it stock with all the manufacturer's equipment.

The tank comes with two powerheads that function as return pumps from the sump area behind the main tank partition. They're rated at 320gph and 640gph for a total tank turnover of about 14 times per hour.

We're running 6 x 39W T5s with ATI Coral Plus bulbs from 1200-2200. We also use the moonlights when the main lights are off.

The water passes through a sponge filter and carbon before heading to the venturi skimmer. The skimmer pump is rated at 240gph.

We supplement alkalinity and calcium, but find it a struggle to maintain alkalinity where we want it.

We have 2 clowns, a hippo tang, a yellow tang, a Tomini tang, a Bartlett's anthia, a Midas blenny, a pair of blue mandarins, and a lawnmower blenny. The lawnmower blenny might not be the prettiest fish, but I have to say he has the best personality. As for inverts we have a porcelain crab, strawberry crab, 2 skunk cleaner shrimps, a sand sifting starfish, and a sea cucumber. We have all types of corals. We seem to lean more towards euphyllia and LPS but we like it all. We have 4 torches, 2 aussie elegances, black sun coral, yellow sun coral, fungia, duncan, dendro, acros, montiporas, acans, goniapora, and random ricordea and zoanthids. I have to say the elegance and sun corals are our absolute favorites and the ones we do the best with.

We feed flake food each morning, and in the evening we rotate through Roggerís, mysis shrimp, krill, and bloodworms. Corals get a dash of Oyster Feast and once a week we treat the elegances and other meat-eaters to a silversides or krill. We feed the tangs green and purple nori.

Our biggest challenge has been the lack of a refugium. It seems like we struggle more than other reefers to maintain water parameters, and don't have enough flexibility with the all-in-one design to add equipment to help us. Also the euphyllia eating flatworms were a huge challenge as there is not any documentation on them.

With our tangs and our aussie elegances growing larger, we are looking at going to a 100+ gallon cube system. We need to go with a cube due to design of our house so we are looking at all kinds of different suggestions and tanks.

This year has had a lot of ups and downs, learning and trial periods. It has honestly been a rollercoaster ride and I'm not sure we would have survived without the help and support of WAMAS. Thanks to everyone for your help guiding us!

  • Salinity: 1.025
  • Temperature: 77°F
  • Alkalinity: 8-10 dKH
  • Calcium: 440 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1330 ppm

  • Display - RSM 250 38" x 22" x 26"
  • Lighting - 6 39W T5 & LED moonlights
  • Return/Circulation Pump - RSM 320gph and 640gph

  • Yellow tang
  • Clownfish pair
  • Tomini tang
  • Hippo tang
  • Bartlett's anthia
  • Midas blennie
  • Mandarin pair
  • Lawnmower blennie

  • Euphyllia
  • Elegance
  • Black sun coral
  • Yellow sun coral
  • Fungia
  • Duncans
  • Dendronepthya
  • Acanastreas
  • Goniapora
  • Various sps
  • Ricordea florida
  • Zoanthids