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WAMAS Tank of the Month

First, what an honor it is to be nominated let alone selected for TOTM. This is an amazing club with phenomenal members who create some truly spectacular tanks. My journey into keeping saltwater tanks started in 2011 and if it wasn't for running into Isaac at Quantum Reefs, I would probably still not know about WAMAS.

My current tank is a Marineland 250 gallon deep dimension with starfire glass. I have it sitting on the Marineland stand because I wanted to make sure I kept the warranty. I also use the Marineland canopy. The tank replaced a 90g Oceanic tank and a 93g cube that were consolidated into the 250 in order to “simplify” my reef keeping. The 250 is located on the lower level of my home so weight was not an issue.

Water movement comes from three Ecotech MP40wES powerheads mounted on the back wall of the tank, and a Jabeo DC12000 return pump. The vortechs are controlled by a Reeflink that also controls the LEDs. I have been extremely happy with Ecotech products and will probably replace the return pump with a Vectra whenever the Jabeo gives out.

Four Ecotech Radion Gen3 Pros and two 48” T5s light the tank. I added the T5s earlier in the year to help with shadowing and think this is by far the best lighting combo. I was happy with just the Radions but kept seeing other amazing tanks that used T5s to supplement the Radions, so I pulled the trigger. I wish I could justify running halides but I wanted to save energy with the LEDs and avoid the need for a chiller.

The filtration is located in the stand. The Marineland Deep Dimension stands are relatively short in order to be able to fit the deep stand through a standard doorway. This proved to be the greatest limiting factor when setting up this system. I have a 40gal breeder with a Reef Octopus Regal 250SSS DC skimmer in the first chamber. The skimmer is rated to handle a heavy bioload at 300 gallons. The skimmer cup needed to be trimmed 1/4 of an inch to ensure clearance for removal. The second chamber grows cheato under a 24/7 LED horticultural light. I recently stopped using filter socks because I got sick of replacing them.

In terms of additives, I occasionally dose a few Zeovit additives that I have left over from running the full system. Mostly I will dose Zeozym and Coral Snow after a water change. Whenever I remember I dose LPS amino acids and sponge power. Calcium and alkalinity are maintained by a Geo 618 calcium reactor with an aquarium plants regulator. I used to run the reactor from a manifold but have since added a masterflex pump that pulls the water through the reactor. Since adding this I have not had any problems with flow or blockages in the reactor.

Keeping beautiful fish has always been my favorite part of this hobby. I enjoy corals but if I had to choose, I would always take the fish over the corals. My first fish were my pair of clowns, like many others beginning reefers, along with my engineer goby. When I set up the 250 I was most excited about the thought of being able to keep some angels. I had always wanted a trio of Bellus and I had this setup in mind for them. Along with the Bellus, my Regal has a ton of personality and is hands down a favorite fish in the tank. My clowns have been laying eggs for the past two years and I regularly see the male cardinal fish carrying eggs.

I feed rather heavy in order to keep everyone happy. I have an Apex auto feeder that drops a small amount of NLS pellets twice a day. I usually place a New Era Marine grazer on the glass in the morning and alternate every day with a sheet of nori. The Regal goes bonkers for both. I also feed a variety of frozen that consists of LRS, Rod’s, spirulina enriched brine, cyclopeez and R.O.E. I think feeding a variety is key to keeping healthy, happy fish.

This tank went through a mini crash towards the end of 2015. Life had gotten extremely busy and I was running a full blown Zeovit system on the tank. I loved the Zeovit system but I found it leaves you with little room for error. While I was out of town, the skimmer pump and return pump both stopped. Nutrients increased, and the calcium and alk decreased causing 95% of my SPS to die. It was extremely rough to come home to that disaster. Luckily I didn't lose any fish. Even so, losing that many corals made me really think about my plans moving forward. I decided to take a step back and simplify the system and stop zeovit. At this point in my life, I could not be happier because now my time can be spent enjoying the tank rather than constantly working on it.

My future plans for the tank is to continue to let everything grow and fill in. It has been a lot of fun to see the largest Bellus transition to a male. I have toyed with the idea of adding an Atlantic Longnose Butterfly fish but the tank has great harmony and I feel like I would be pushing my luck. Mostly I just plan to enjoy the tank at this point and keep everything happy.

This hobby is a lot of fun and rewarding as we know. But it can also be extremely stressful and really make you take a long look at what you are doing and where you came from. Without this club I would probably have thrown in the towel more than once. Luckily we have an amazing resource in the forum and the members that provide support and guidance. Thank you all once again for the opportunity to showcase my tank.

  • Display: 250g Marineland DD
  • Sump: 40g breeder
  • Skimmer: RO Regal DC 250SSS
  • Lighting: 4 Radion G3Pro; 2 48" T5s
  • Return: Jabeo DC12000
  • Circulation: Three MP40s
  • Controller: Apex and Reeflink

  • Salinity: 35 ppt
  • Temperature: 77.5
  • Alkalinity: 9.0 dKH
  • Calcium: 440
  • Magnesium: 1300
  • Phosphate: 0.4 ppm
  • Nitrate: 3 ppm

  • 1000 Radions On
  • 1200 T5s On
  • 1900 T5s Off
  • 2100 Radions Off

  • Bellus angel trio
  • Regal angel
  • Ocellaris clowns (mated pair)
  • Engineer goby
  • Kole tang
  • Mystery wrasse
  • Yellow Coris wrasse
  • Citron goby
  • Azure damsel
  • Orchid dottyback

  • Seriatopora
  • Montipora
  • Pocillopora
  • Acropora
  • Oxypora
  • Euphyllia
  • Duncanopsammia
  • Dendrophyllia

  • Cleaner Shrimp
  • Turbo snails
  • Astrea snails
  • Fighting conch
  • Hermits