Itís such an honor to be October Tank of the Month! First, I would like to thank all you WAMAS members for the help and support along the way. The tank couldnít have been this successful without you guys. I first became interested in the hobby when walking through a local fish store in 2013. July 2013 is when I bought my first and current tank.
The tank is a 6 foot 125 gallon reef ready tank I bought used. It came with fish, live rock and loads of frogspawn. It was in my kitchen and had a basement sump. I really liked the tank dimension for the kitchen because the tank is only 18Ē front to back so it fits right up against the wall and didnít take up a lot of room. Right now the tank is in the finished part of the basement in the new house with a remote sump in a good location for ease of maintenance.
The return pump is a Mag drive 18. I have 2 MP 40s; one on each side of the tank.
I got started with cheap LEDs off Ebay. They grew my SPS, LPS, and zoas great, but curiosity got the best of me and I switched over to a T5 fixture. Now I run an ATI Sun Power 6 bulb x 80 watt with two Reef bright LED supplements. There are things I like about the LEDs and things I like about the T5s. I could go on a while about the debate but here are a couple things I like about each. I like the growth from SPS with the T5. When it comes to LEDs, I liked the relaxing shimmer, lower cost over time, and the ability to adjust the LED color.
My skimmer is a Super Reef Octopus 5000. Itís probably overkill considering the size of my tank, but it seems like a few problems went away when I upgraded to it. The skimmer is in a remote 55 gallon sump. The tank has a bare bottom now as it seems to have less mess and maintenance. I do have a Tupperware container of sand for my wrasse to sleep in.
My water changes took place of additives for a long time but as my coral colonies grew large I saw the need to dose alkalinity and calcium supplements. Alkalinity is run though a BRS drip doser. As soon as I quit manually dosing alkalinity and running it though the drip doser I noticed a HUGE difference in the SPS growth and coloration. I dose calcium manually, and magnesium levels stay good by just doing water changes. I donít need GFO anymore. Iíve never tried dosing carbon or trace elements.
I have a sailfin tang, yellow eye kole tang, 2 lyretail anthias, 2 snowflake clowns, a yellow tail damsel, a purple dotty back, and a Hoevenís wrasse. My favorite fish is the sailfin tang since it eats out of my hand and stares at me when I walk by. If I sit long enough it will act more like a normal fish picking around at algae which I find soothing to watch. This fish needs more space now and I canít wait to see it swim in the new upgrade. Most of my SPS frags came from other members. Corals include purple slimer, green slimer, Loisette, purple Formosa, green, pink, and rainbow birds nest, bird of paradise birds nest, ultimate staghorn, Oregon tort, toxic tort, and forest fire digitada. There are also a couple different strawberry shortcake morphs, sunset montipora, and some wild tenuis, milleporas, and acroporas.
My wife actually lets me raise live black worms for the fish to get a live treat once or twice a week. I also stop in the LFS for brine shrimp once a month. I feed two cubes of various frozen food per day. I hand feed the tangs nori and sometimes spinach. When Iím on vacation they get flake food and pellets from the auto feeder.
I had a bad green hair algae outbreak that was hard to overcome. GFO and the large skimmer fixed it. This took a long time, but I have been GFO-free for 8 months now with no return of the algae. One of the biggest challenges were sump or skimmer overflows. Be very mindful when designing your sump. Try to keep the ATO make-up container smaller than the sump capacity. The larger, taller, and remote sump helped keep me in the hobby.
I have a 240 gallon tank cycling right now that I plan to transfer all my coral and fish to from my smaller tank.
I have really enjoyed this hobby and meeting the people that have helped me along the way. The tank has been such a joy and challenge to take care of. It has been a great learning experience and allowed me to be creative by designing my own colorful and living 125g piece of art. I love relaxing in front of my tank, watching all the different life moving around that I help maintain by myself. This is a great hobby because it has the right amount of challenge, beauty, fun and enjoyment that makes it a satisfying accomplishment.
- Display: 125g
- Sump: 55g
- Skimmer: SRO 5000
- Lighting: ATI 60" Sunpower
- Return Pump: Mag 18
- Circulation: 2 MP40