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WAMAS Tank of the Month


I would like to thank the WAMAS community including the officers and TOTM committee, not only for the honor of receiving the TOTM award (I mean... WOW), but for everything that goes into making this club what it is! MACNA was just a matter of a few weeks ago…Remember that? An amazing event put on by an amazing club, for that, I thank you!

This is a RSM S-500 (120g) system, which was set up in December of 2014. The tank resides on the middle floor in the living room of our tiny house here in Hagerstown, Md. Luckily, the stars aligned on placement in this room as all the structural elements of the house fell in the right place for this system.

This system comes with 3 640gph closed-loop pumps for internal circulation, and additional flow has been added in the form of an Ecotech MP40 and 2 Maxspect Gyre XF-150. Recently, I installed the Neptune Wav kit with the goal of reducing the amount of pumps within the system.

I am running this tank with the stock 10-bulb T5 system. PAR sits around 350 at the mid-tank level.

15g sump/refugium with caulerpa for natural nutrient uptake. Skimming is supplied by the stock Red Sea C-Skim 1800. Carbon and GFO is run through a BRS Dual Reactor.

B-Ionic Ca/Alk/Mg through a dosing pump.

There are a lot of fish in this system, but the fish were chosen based on the size of a fully mature fish, and the vast majority of the fish do not reach a size larger than 3". I do have a few favorites that include a Potter's Angel, Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish, and a Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse. There is a pair of Melanarus Wrasses that pretty much own the tank - these guys spawn regularly, and it's always fascinating to watch it all go down. Acropora is the coral of choice for this tank, and they are by far my favorite, but I definitely have a soft spot for Zoas and Chalices. A great majority of what resides in this tank came from WAMAS members!

Pretty much the shotgun approach here... Several of the Reef Nutrition products are used for the coral, along with Rod's Original and LRS Reef Frenzy for the entire reef. Other than that, whatever my girlfriend throws in when I'm not looking. LOL

This tank has not been without its challenges. There was that new tank GHA outbreak that tried my patience. Then a few aiptasia popped up... then they multiplied... Since the aiptasia was there, I decided to try out a Klein's Butterfly, as they are reported to be semi reef safe, with softies being their coral of choice for nipping... it was in the tank for approximately 4 hours before all the rock and coral were removed and placed on towels, on the living room floor, in order to get this guy out due to his absolute love of all things Acropora. This is where I mention how extraordinarily patient and supportive my girlfriend is. She was right there with me helping!!

The goal for this tank is to just let it ride out and let things fill in. This compiled with swaying my girlfriend's opinion of "Sticks are Stupid," I think I will be a happy fellow!

I couldn't have made it this far in the hobby without the help and support from my girlfriend Mackenzie, Daryl (Hopeitlives), Frank (Surf&Turf), and Jack (Jkeim on MDRC). These four have had to listen to me, talked me off the ledge, and allowed me to lean on them more than just a couple of times. Surrounding yourself with friends like this is absolutely key to success in this hobby and I sincerely thank each of them!


  • 12 hours total time. 2 hours sunrise/sunset, with 8 hours of full burn.

  • Salinity: 1.026
  • Temperature: 77.5-78.5
  • Alkalinity: 8.4 DKH
  • Calcium: 420
  • Magnesium: 1320
  • Phosphate: 0.018
  • Nitrate: 0.25

  • Display: RSM S500 (120g)
  • Sump: 15g refugium with caulerpa
  • Skimmer: Red Sea C-Skim 1800
  • Lighting: 10 bulb T5
  • Circulation: (2) Gyre XF150, Neptune Wav, MP 40
  • Reactors: BRS Dual Reactor
    Top 10
  • Potter's Angel
  • Geometric Pygmy Hawkfish — Seen Once A Month - An Elusive Fellow
  • Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse
  • Yellow Coris Wrasse
  • Melanarus Pair
  • Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse Pair
  • Ruby Dragonet
    Top 10
  • BC Sky Doppel Acro
  • Tyree Pink Lemonade Acro
  • Pearlberry Acro
  • Mummy Eye Chalice
  • Zoa Garden including Tubbs Blues, Denver Broncos, Rastas, Blue Hornets
  • Rainbow Granulosa—from epleeds via surf&turf
  • Tyree Fire Echinopora
  • Sunset Montipora
  • Reef Ready Grape Juice Acro
  • Unknown Acro from KOC—aptly named Lurch
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