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WAMAS Tank of the Month

I would like to sincerely thank WAMAS for the honor of being selected for July Tank of the Month. I am so grateful to be a member of the community where there is such a great network of reefers and many LFS that are supporting the hobby. My name is Chris Tran. I have been in the hobby for more than 10 years. I have been keeping several different systems and I would like to show case my 1.5 year old LPS-dominated tank; a rimless shallow reef.

There have been so many beautiful tanks on WAMAS and on other forums that have inspired me. When it comes to designing this tank, I wanted to build an elegant but simple design; but still support the needs of all the different types of LPS in the tank. My tank is a custom 36x”x24”x12” made by Miracles Aquarium. It is a shallow 45 gallon tank with a starphire glass front. Hidden away behind the rock is a glass-hole overflow, which is rated for 700 gph. The tank is connected to my SPS system behind the wall. One factor that is distinctively unique about this tank is the miniature mountain with a water fall and bonsai tree. I use a mini Tunze to provide water for the water fall, and keep all NPS corals under the shade of the bonsai tree.

Two wp25s running on Short Pulse mode provide the primary dynamic flow. The return is gravity fed from a refugium behind the wall, providing a constant flow around the rock.

When it comes to light, there are so many choices available. For me, I think LED brings out the pops on LPS. The tank is powered by an Evergreen IT2080 LED fixture. The tank is lit 12hrs a day, mostly at 20k. The color temperature is set at 10K for dusk and all blues for dawn effect. Also, there is a LED array built into the stand to highlight the tank edges and to serve as a moon light.

The tank is hooked up to a 200g system behind the wall. The heart of the filtration system is a Bubble King Deluxe 250 external. I also run carbon and a 57 watt Aqua UV light to aid with water purifying. There is minimal live rock in the display tank but I keep more live rock for biological filtration in a 50g sump. I also have an inline 20g refugium for nutrient export.

I have a great passion for fish, but I have a concern of fish jumping with the shallow, rimless design. My only fish is a clownfish that is hosted in a gigantea anemone. The tank is home to a wide variety of LPS including non-photosynthetic (NPS) such as dendros and rhizos. I feel that it is important to learn and understand specific needs of each corals in the tank.

Everyone has different technics of keeping healthy beautiful corals. In my opinion target feeding is almost required for keeping healthy and happy LPS. I feed my corals once a week. I feed my NPS, anemones, and larger polyp corals with Fauna Marin pellets or table shrimp and salmon soaked in Selcon. For other types of LPS, I use Reef-Roids. Occasionally, I dose KZ Amino Acids.

Regular maintenance is very challenging for me. I have been trying to keep up with 15% water changes every 7-10 days. Once a week I refill the ATO container with fresh water. I clean the glass and observe the health of corals daily.

With a large system, house humidity and unpleasant odors are always an issue. I am running a dehumidifier to deal with the warm humid air. I plan to install a ventilation system to help freshen the air in my home.

With more than 10 years’ experience I am still learning new aspects about reef keeping every day. Over the years, my systems have gone through ups and downs. I am a strong believer that patience and understanding of inhabitants’ needs are keys to success. Keeping sea animals alive in a tank is not enough for me. I want to provide a happy home for them so they can thrive as though they are living in their natural habitats.

  • Display: 40g Miracles
  • Sump: 50g sump
  • Skimmer: Bubble King 250
  • Lighting: Evergreen IT2080
  • Circulation: Two wp25s