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WAMAS Tank of the Month

This is my second saltwater aquarium. I upgraded to this 30 gallon tank seven months ago from my previous 8 gallon aquarium.

This is an Innovative Marine Nuvo 30 gallon All-In-One mixed reef. I upgraded most of the stock equipment that came with the tank, which Iíll detail below. My family and I spend most of our time on the lower floor of our townhome, so we decided to set the tank up there so we could enjoy it more. Another goal was to be able to support a jawfish, which drove some of the design choices. I used half aragonite and half oolite sand with a depth of at least 4". This has worked out great so far.

I use a Sicce Syncra 1.5 return pump and an EcoTech Marine MP10 (first generation) set on reef crest mode (85% power) for water movement.

I used a Kessil A150 for the first couple of months, then upgraded to an EcoTech Radion Gen 2. Since then the corals have started to grow very quickly and are showing great coloration. The max intensity currently peaks at 55% with a custom lighting schedule that I created.

I have about 30-40lbs of live rock in the tank. I upgraded to a CAD Lights PLS-50 Nano skimmer, and added an inTank Media basket with filter floss and chaeto in the lower compartment. The chaeto is home for lots of pods.

I mix kalkwasser with my RO/DI water in my auto top off bucket, and dose with an Avast Marine auto top off system. This maintains both calcium and alkalinity levels. Other than that, weekly water changes with Red Sea Coral Pro salt replenish any other trace elements.

Livestock includes a pair of ocellaris clownfish, a yellowhead jawfish, a small maxima clam, a Bartlett anthia, a red scooter dragonet, a red sea star, an orange spotted goby, a cleaner shrimp, and three sexy shrimp. With so much personality, the jawfish is by far my favorite fish. I think the jawfish has taken at least half of the snails in the tank to put around his den. When they start to move, he gets mad and moves them back. At night, he covers his den completely with snail shells. The scooter dragonet also has a lot of personality. He stays busy all day hunting for pods, and at night will bury himself under the sand with just his eyes peeking out. I feed twice a day when I am home, and daily or every other day when I am out of town. Food rotates between Rogger's Reef Food, Jan's Natural Reef Food, Cyclopeeze, mysis shrimp, and New Life Spectrum Pellets. The fish always seem to go crazy for Rogger's and Jan's. I feed my LPS corals weekly with Rogger's Signature Coral Blend. The scooter dragonet preys on pods throughout the tank.

The biggest aquarium challenge I face is being gone from home at least 14-16 days every month. My wife keeps an eye on the aquarium while I am away, but sheís most comfortable with straightforward tasks like feeding and making sure the fish are ok. So itís critical that I design the system to be on ďautopilotĒ as much as possible. The APEX Lite system helps keep an eye on key water parameters, and makes feeding much simpler. All one has to do is tap a button on the Aquacontroller, and the pumps turn off for a specific amount of time. A day or two before a trip I will perform a 4 gallon water change and make sure the top off water container is full. As a personal rule, I donít make any changes with livestock or equipment in the week before I go out of town on a trip, so that I have time to notice any new problems.

I would really like to upgrade to a much larger tank down the road. But as my wife keeps telling me, "You can have a bigger tank when you buy us a bigger house first!" :) I guess that means Iíd better get back to work! In the near future I will be upgrading my APEX by getting a WXM module to work with the Radion light fixture. Also, I will upgrade the current MP10 to a newer wireless model to work with the APEX.

I want to thank the membership for being selected for tank of the month. I was completely surprised. The guidance and advice the club has given me has been priceless. This tank would not exist the way it does today without WAMAS.

  • Salinity: 1.025
  • Temperature: 78-79°F
  • Alkalinity: 9-11 dKH
  • Calcium: 400-450 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1450 ppm

  • Display - Innovative Marine Nuvo 30 gal
  • Skimmer - CAD Lights PLS-50 Nano Skimmer
  • Lighting - Ecotech Radion Gen 2
  • Return - Sicce Syncra 1.5
  • Reactor - Innovative Marine "MiniMax" Reactor (GFO and carbon)
  • ATO - Avast Marine Auto Top-Off Deluxe
  • Controller - Neptune APEX Lite (pH and Temperature Probes)
  • Powerhead - EchoTech MP10
  • Heater - Eheim Jager 150W

  • Yellowhead jawfish
  • Ocellaris clownfish pair
  • Bartlett's anthia
  • Red scooter dragonet
  • Orange spotted goby

  • Various sps
  • Gold torch
  • Frogspawn
  • Duncans
  • Acanastreas
  • Sinularia
  • Green star polyps
  • Gorgonias
  • Goniapora