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WAMAS Tank of the Month

Thank you for the opportunity to showcase our tank to WAMAS. We got into the hobby about 14 years ago. We mostly maintained an anemone-dominated mixed reef and bred rare clownfish (a.chrysopterus, a.leukocranos, a.chrysogaster). About 3 years ago, we decided to switch to a full-blown sps reef.

Our tank is a 195g GlassCages Starfire 60”(L)”x36”(W)x21”(H) setup, located in our basement. The tank is connected to a wonderful sump from Artfully Acrylic and a 48”x24”X12” frag tank. The sump and frag tank are in the unfinished part of the basement and plumbed into the tank through the wall. Our system is a bare bottom, high-flow, sps-dominated reef.

We use a Diablo DC 10500 Variable Speed Water Pump and two 1” Seaswirls for the return. Three Tunze 6105 (two are located on the back wall, blowing down) and two Jaebo WP-40s provide in-tank flow.

The tank is lit with two 400W Radium metal halides, supplemented with LEDs. One LED fixtures is built from RapidLED parts, and two others are from Steve’s LEDs. These use blue, royal blue, cool and warm whites, cyan, red, and violet LEDs. There is also an all-blue ReefBright strip.

A Reef Octopus POV DC3 skimmer and three 200 micron filter socks in the sump provide mecahnical filtration. We have about 100lbs of live rock in the display and another 50lbs in the sump.

I use Pohl's Coral Vitalizer and Xtra. I see great polyp extension at night after the addition of these two supplements.

Our sps came from many sources. Some of the colonies are wild Australian or maricultured from DiversDen/LiveAquaria, and frags are mostly from WetThumbFrags, Battle Corals, and local hobbyists (copps, stonecold). Our newest addition is Strawberry Mint Shortcake, Pink Diamonds, and Lightsaber.

Twice a day we feed PE and Hikari mysis, homemade frozen mix (fish, scallops, shrimp), frozen cyclopeeze, and nori.

Maintaining an sps system poses challenges every day. We really have to stay on top of the game, paying close attention to alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium levels. Our APEX controller is a big help, especially the ORP measurement that lets us gauge relative stability of this system. We re-aquascaped the tank a year ago, replacing half of the rock with Real Reef Rock from Live Aquaria. We have been battling high phosphates for many months, employing heavy use of GFO and frequent water changes. Installing the new sump and adding more rock seems to have helped solve the phosphate problem.

We need to do some more detailed aquascaping. Some colonies are already getting too big, and we need space for the new and interesting frags that seem to appear on the market every month. We’re also thinking about adding more anthias to bring the number to 15 or so.

We thoroughly enjoy this challenging hobby. Watching tiny frags grow into huge colonies while undergoing color and shape changes; scoring those rare and hard-to-find-frags; meeting new people and making friends; expanding our knowledge of chemistry and biology; adding to captive propagation efforts to preserve delicate ecosystems of the oceans; and sucessfully keeping our powder blue tang for 11 years – these are just a few things we find very rewarding.

  • 0830 LED strips on
  • 1030 Left MH on
  • 1100 Middle LED on
  • 1200 LED at 100%
  • 1230 Right MH on
  • 1630 Left MH off
  • 1830 Right MH off
  • 1830 LEDs begin dimming
  • 2000 LEDs at 0%
  • Temperature 78.5–80.5 F
  • Alkalinity 8.2-8.7 dKH
  • Calcium 420 ppm
  • Magnesium 1250-1300 ppm
  • Phosphate 0.02 ppm
  • Nitrate 10 ppm
  • Display - 195G (60”x36”x21”)
  • Sump - 110g (60”x24”x18”)
  • Skimmer - Reef Octopus POV DC3
  • Lighting - Two 400W MH and LEDs
  • Return - DC 10500 on two 1" SeaSwirls
  • Reactor - TLF GFO reactor
  • ATO - Tunze
  • Controller - APEX
  • Powerheads - Tunze 6105s & Jaebo WP-40s
  • Heater - Two Ebo Jager 250W
  • Dosing - GHL 4-pump doser
  • Powder blue tang
  • Blue face angelfish
  • Evansii anthias
  • Tuka anthias
  • Six line wrasse
  • Magnificent rabbitfish
  • Yellow pyramid butterflyfish x3
  • Copperband butterflyfish
  • Captive-raised white bonnet clownfish pair
  • Acropora batunai
  • A. elegans
  • A. efflorescens
  • A. tenella
  • A. natalensis
  • A. tutuilensis
  • A. listeri
  • A. lokani
  • A. walindii
  • A. simplex