I would like to thank WAMAS for the opportunity to showcase my tank in this monthís TOTM. Itís an honor to be here, and it would not have been possible with all the assistance Iíve received through the club!
The tank is a 150 gallon AGA. The dimensions are 72.5Ē x 18.5Ē x 28.5Ē. This tank is a WAMAS tank, and thatís the only reason I have a tank this big in a small apartment. I have a low stand, so the sump is plumbed off to one side. This is a huge convenience and allows for easy access while I sit on the couch. The aquarium hood is suspended over the tank with retractable wires. I can easily float the hood, or lift it up with no effort for tank access. The tank has replaced the TV as the focal point of our living room.
The tank is fed by a DC6000 return pump. I also have an MP-40 on the back wall, and two JB-40s off the sides. The JBs run on medium speeds, and the MP runs at 80%. Itís hard to find a balance that both the LPS and SPS enjoy, I am sure somewhere along the lines one is suffering and the other is doing better. I am slowly moving towards an SPS and zoa dominated tank. Ideally I will add one more MP-40 down the road. My current MP is attached to an Ecotech battery backup, in case of a power loss.
Two Evergrow IT2080s (Photon 32s) light my tank. I started with metal halides, but I simply could not deal with the heat of metal halides without adding a chiller. So I converted to LEDs before last summer. My layout is a standard ReefBreeders layout, with 2 programmable channels that can be programed at 30 minute or 60 minute intervals. I love them, and for the price and warranty, you would be hard pressed to find something better. I run a solid 60/40 (whites/blues) for about 10 hours a day. Iím looking into the Radion G3 Pros solely because I like the interface they have created with Apex. It becomes more of a user experience, and it satisfies my inner nerd. I plan to add them to my reef in the near future, and hope I wonít look back.
An Avast CS3 skimmer is the center of my filtration system. I had a CS1 before I moved onto this beast, and I was just delighted with it. The CS3 runs off two PSK-1000s and an MJ-1200. Dan and Justin at Avast have given nothing but fantastic customer support, and in my opinion provide the best equipment for the price. Itís a pleasure to have these gurus in our area! I went with such a large skimmer so if I ever upgraded tank sizes, it would be one of those pieces of equipment I could bring with me. I donít know how much rock or sand I have, but the answer is ďnot a lot.Ē I also do 40 gallon water changes every week or so.
I do not dose any additives, yet. Once I see a need to start, Iím ready to hit the ground running. Iíve calibrated two BRS dosers and installed them above my sump. I plan on using BRS kits and mixing at home. I have on occasion added a cap of Zeoís K, which is nothing but potassium. I donít have a potassium test kit, so I donít do this often. I have not noticed any changes by doing this, other than my wallet being slightly lighter.
The tank is something of a mixed reef, but I am slowly moving towards an SPS and zoa dominated tank. A golden torch is one of my favorite corals, and something I will keep even though I'm converting to sps and zoas. The display tank is home to a Melanarus wrasse, a one-spot foxface, two clown perculas, a hippo tang, and a yellow tang. The melanurus is awesome to watch dive bombing the sand for bristleworm snacks, and is also quick to be the first at my feeding tube. By the end of this month I will have added 2 fathead anthias, and 2 squareback anthias as well. My dream tank would also hold an emperor angel, a blueface angel, and a regal angel. I also would also love to have an achilles tang one day. Inverts include three bubble algae eating emerald crabs, two skunk shrimp, a coral banded shrimp, and a loud pistol shrimp I've never seen. I also have a green long tentacle anemone, and a two red bubble tip anemones. Finally, there's 20-gallon tank plumbed in to the DT with a mantis shrimp, two more perculas, and a large gorilla crab, the arch nemesis of the mantis.
I feed a lot, and used to feed even more. I feed twice a day with a morning and an evening feeding. I used to add nori to the clip whenever it was empty, but now limit it to one sheet a day. On the weekends I feed little amounts all day long, the way it should be. By cutting back from the massive amounts of food I used to feed, Iíve been rewarded with a large decrease in my phosphates. I used to have issues with red slime, but that cleared up with water changes and controlled feeding.
When I do feed it is usually an all around mix of just about everything that I have. I feed a variety of Mysis, Roggers, Rods, Jans, Scottís homemade, and chunks of whatever fresh seafood I may have picked up from Whole Foods. I usually let it all sit in a small container and thaw in the fridge, with more than a couple drops of Selcon. My fish have not complained yet, unless they feel like they are not getting enough, which is really all the time.
I feel like I have had a lot of challenges thrown at me. I had a fish disease outbreak and quarantined all my fish for 8 weeks. I lost some show size pieces of corals for some unexplained reason. Now my challenges are more everyday ones, like bubble algae and cyano. The combination of emerald crabs and reduced feeding seem to be winning this fight for me.
My future plans are to be patient. Try new lights. Prepare for dosing. Learn more. Worry less. Enjoy always.
My advice is donít be reactive. There are plenty of things that can happen in a reef tank, and we try to fix them before we even diagnose. Itís hard to remember that nothing good happens fast, and that Iím the most complicated factor in my reef. ďLet Ďer ride!Ē I try and spread this mantra, but often forget I need to practice it too. If you research and make calm, educated decisions, you will be rewarded.
- Salinity: 1.025
- Temperature: 79°F
- Alkalinity: 7.0 dkH
- Calcium: 460 ppm
- Magnesium: 1400
- Phosphate: 0.4 ppm
- Nitrate: 0 ppm
- Display: AGA 150g
- Sump: 30g sump
- Skimmer: Avast CS3
- Lighting: 2 Evergrow IT2080
- Return Pump: DC-6000
- Circulation: 1 MP40 & 2 JB 40s
- Controller: Apex Jr.
- ATO: JBJ
- ERC Golden torch
- Leishman's red tabling acro
- Cali tort
- Electric blue millie
- Myagi tort
- Superman millie
- Vivid rainbow zoas
- Rasta zoas
- Mandarin Orange zoas
- Nightcrawler zoas
- Candy Apple Red zoas