WAMAS Tank of the Month
I would like to sincerely thank WAMAS TOTM committee once again for selecting my tank for TOTM. It's been exactly a year since my tank was last selected for TOTM and it's been exciting to see the tank flourish since then.
My 200 gallon mixed reef display and 45 gallon sump and refugium were set up in June 2014. The tank sits on the second level of our townhouse, in front of the dinning table. It's placed in such a way that it can be viewed from all sides and you get to see the beautiful LPS side of the tank while coming up the stairs from 1st level. The initial idea was to have SPS coral in the front and LPS in the back of the tank, but that idea went out the door after MACNA, due to all the corals I purchased there.
I am using a Water Blaster 7000 to return water from the sump via a derKroon Flow Diverter. I also have a Vortech MP60QD and an MP40 for additional flow in the tank. I picked up one of the Maxspect Gyre 150 demo units at MACNA, and added it to my tank late last year. It comes on 2 times a day for couple of hours, mainly for stirring up detritus.
I have 3 Radion XR30w Pros, which are on for 12 hours a day, plus 2 Giesemann Razor T5 fixtures with 2 bulbs each as supplemental lights. The T5s come on for about 3 hours a day during the evening. It seems all the corals in my tank like this combination and have responded pretty well. As much as I like my Radions I am glad I added the T5s in my original design, as I am seeing the benefit now. The coral colonies have grown big and the T5s are helping with reducing the shadowing, which I see when I just have Radions ON.
As mentioned above, I have a 45 gallon sump and refugium combination. I started with using filter socks, but stopped using them towards the end of 2015. Now my Royal Exclusive Bubble King Double Cone 200 is the primary mode of mechanical filtration. I also run GFO in a reactor that sits between my sump and refugium. The small refugium section, which is before the return section, grows caulerpa prolifera and caulerpa taxifolia. For some reason this is the only species of macroalgae that grows fast and healthy in my refugium. This combination of filtration keeps my nutrients under control so far.
I have been using ESV B-Ionic 2-part with ESV Magnesium to keep my calcium, alkalinity and magnesium at proper levels. I have used this combination on my previous tank and so this was an easy choice when it came time to start dosing in my new tank. I am currently dosing this manually, as I have yet to set up my Neptune DOS. I dose 185ml of each daily to keep the Alk at around 8.5.
This tank has all kinds of corals and it's truly a mixed reef. I have lot of common SPS corals, which includes acroporas, monitporas, chalices, stylophora, etc. I have a weakness for Acanthophyllias, and I also have lots of different kinds of Gonioporas. Over the years I have also accumulated good amount of rock flower anemones. I have added quite a few fish over the last year so I will start with my oldest fish. I have had a pair of ORA Ocellaris Clownfish for 5 years now and they are constantly laying eggs. I also have a breeding pair of Bangaii Cardinals that I got 4 years ago as juveniles. I got a pair of Hawaiian Flame Wrasses, a pair of Leopard Wrasses, a trio of Wheelers Shrimp Gobies, a trio of Fathead Anthias and two different kinds of Tangs in the beginning of the year. I also got a pair ORA Orchid Dottybacks and pair of ORA Bundoon Blennies at MACNA last year.
I have an Eheim automatic feeder set up with a mix of New Life Spectrum pellets, Apex crossover diet and Cobalt Aquatics flakes to feed twice in the afternoon, and then in the evening I feed a mix of frozen food. Once every week I will feed a mix of powdered food to my Gonioporas.
I have patches of cyano in my tank, and no matter what I do these patches reappear. I am not planning to do anything for now, as I don't see these patches growing or spreading. It might be an issue with the flow as I have my nitrates and phosphates in check where they are almost at undetectable levels. In any case, this doesn't bother me - other than being an eye sore for people who come to look at the tank.
I went from a 36 gallon to a 200 gallon tank, and it was a bit daunting in the beginning. I have made mistakes, and they have mostly been when I have tried to do some instant fixes to problems. There are no shortcuts in this hobby. After all the trials and errors in the last one year, I am back to basics. I do weekly water changes and keep everything simple. Other than ESV B-Ionic 2 part, I am not dosing anything else in my tank. I test alkalinity every other day, and calcium once every two weeks. I am really enjoying the hobby and the tank and I hope it stays that way for long time to come. I have learned so much from the members of this community and the speakers that WAMAS has brought at every meeting. A big thanks once again to everyone who is or has been part of the WAMAS board.