First of all, thanks to WAMAS for the TOTM honor. I have been fortunate enough to earn this with a previous tank as well, and it means a lot to me. Iíve been in the reefing hobby for the last 5 years, and I kept freshwater for a few years prior to that. Iíve had numerous tanks from 15 gallons to my current 120 gallon tank. The reefing hobby has been a blast, and I donít ever see myself without a tank. I just enjoy the challenge, the colors, the different fish and coral, and the overall amazement that comes from keeping an ocean eco system in your living room.
My current 120 gallon is located in our living room, which is actually a great room. So we can see it from the majority of our house. The tank is dominated by soft corals and LPS, but also has a few SPS mixed in.
Water movement is provided by one RW4, one RW8, and a Tunze 6020.
Lighting is provided by two Ocean Revive t247 and two 48Ē T5 bulbs driven by an Icecap ballast. I have used a ton of lighting options, mostly LED. I think the T5/LED mix is a great combo. I am still dialing it in some. I only run the T5 for a few hours each day, but plan on increasing that time slowly.
Filtration is handled by several pieces of equipment and maintenance methods. First, the tank is barebottom which helps with detritus removal. I have the flow set so detritus collects in one area, and each week I siphon it out. I perform a 5-15 gallon water change every other week. The amount depends on what other maintenance I am trying to accomplish, and how much time I have. I use a filter sock in the sump, and change it weekly. I run a large Aquamaxx EM300 skimmer, rated for 350 gallons. I also run two Avast Marine reactors- one with carbon and one with GFO. The aquascape is fairly minimal, but I also have a few pieces of rock in the sump. The rocks in the display are exclusively Carbisea Life Rock, which has been a great experiment. It was a little difficult to cycle and has developed some bacterial issues on the way. The color and shapes are great, and the dark surface doesnít show algae and other imperfections when they come and go.
I manually dose 2 part every day. I would like to eventually get a doser or dosing system, but at this time manual isnít that tough. I aim for 450 calcium and around 9 ALK, and daily dosing keeps this fairly steady. I test calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium weekly.
Livestock is an ever growing list, especially in the coral section! My favorite coral is probably the Space Invaders pectinia. Itís such a bright and unique looking coral, and not that commonly seen. After that I love gorgonians. There are eight varieties in my tank, and I plan to add several others. The fish is a mix of small to medium fish that keep the tank active and interesting, with lots of movement in and around the rockwork. I cannot easily select a favorite fish, as they all have unique behaviors. The way they all interact makes it hard to select one.
Feeding is pretty straightforward. I feed LRS nano blend daily. I break off a quarter size piece and thaw, then squirt small amounts in with a feeder. I probably overfeed to some degree, but I figure with the barebottom, GFO, large skimmer, etc. the added nutrients are important. I also recently began adding Reef Roids twice a week or so. It seems to have increased the polyp extension and feeding response. I will continue to see how that works moving forward.
Challenges I face include the beginning stages of some bubble algae. I absolutely hate this stuff! Iíve been manually removing it when I can, and will monitor how it spreads and consider other methods if needed. I also have to monitor the balance of keeping the tank ďtoo cleanĒ and how it affects the coral colors and growth.
For the future, I am planning to of course add more corals! I want to expand on the gorgonians I already have, as well as a few filler type corals- zoas, chalice, mushrooms, etc. I will also probably add a few smaller fish, and some more unique inverts. Iím also considering a controller and dosing system. I will also probably kick around the idea of changing my lighting, mostly because I love to tinker and have new equipment!
Thanks again for the opportunity to share my tank and my experiences. I love this hobby. I enjoy sharing pictures of my tank and talking with others in the hobby. I am constantly reading and trying to learn more about this great hobby.
- Display: 120g Marineland
- Sump: 35g acrylic
- Skimmer: Aquamaxx EM300
- Lighting: 2 OR Arctic T247, two T5
- Return: Speedwave DC
- Circulation: Jabeo RW4, Jabeo RW8, Tunze 6020
- ATO: JBJ
- Salinity- 1.026
- Temperature- 79
- Alkalinity- 8-9
- Calcium- 450
- Magnesium- 1400
- Blue on 1400
- Full on 1600
- Full off 2000
- Full off 2200
- Starry blenny
- Green clown goby
- Two Stippled clingfish
- Orchid dottyback
- Three Sapphire damsels
- Chalk bass
- Black snowflake clown
- Masked goby
- And the worldís largest chromis
- Space Invaders pectinia
- ORA red goni
- Eight varieties of gorgonians
- Huge red macro algae
- Rainbow cloves