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WAMAS Tank of the Month

I would like to thank the WAMAS community for all of the help and support over the years. I also want to thank the TOTM committee for selecting my tank for January 2017 and for all of the hard work they do to pull the page together. I have been in the reef hobby since June 2006 when I started a 30 gallon tank. After about 2 years I moved up to a 90 gallon. That tank was up for about 3 years before it caught fire and I lost it all. I rebuilt into a 120 and after 3 months, the bottom panel of the 120 cracked and I lost everything again. I started over for a third time with the 150. It was up for about 2 years and was being overrun by purple mushrooms. I tore it all apart in November 2013. I pressure washed every rock in the system and re-stacked. The current tank has been up about 3 years at the time of this TOTM.

My mixed reef is a 150 gallon tank (48w x 30h x 24d) with a 20 gallon refugium. It sits in the home office and has beach music playing from behind it 24 hours a day. It makes for a very soothing work environment. My focus is primarily on SPS.

I have a Blue Line 55HD external pump (1,100 GPH) that returns water from the sump to the display. A Mag 9.5 (950 GPH) drives a closed loop, and there are a couple of Tunze 6065 power heads mounted to 1/2" Sea Swirls (DIY) that swing back and forth across the corals.

My main lighting consists of two 250watt SE MH Radium 20,000K bulbs in Lumen Bright 3 metal halide reflectors (large 19.5" x 19.5" x 9") driven by Reeflex Cube magnetic ballasts. I supplement with two 54watt ATI AB+ T5 bulbs running on an Icecap 660 ballast. I also have a 5,500K compact fluorescent located in the center of the tank that adds a little yellow to the mix.

The water is filtered by three primary means. I have an ASM G-3 counter current skimmer with a Sedra 5000 pump, a 20 gallon refugium filled with chaetomorpha macro algae, and I do 10% water changes every week. I farm out a softball size wad of chaeto every Saturday morning to keep the stuff growing fast. I believe the real winner here is the macro. I also run carbon and a small amount of ferric oxide 24/7 in a couple of small reactors.

I keep my alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium parameters at the proper levels using a combination of kalkwasser and a calcium reactor. My setup is super stable and rarely needs to be touched. It goes for months with only having to replace media in the reactors and replacing the CO2 bottle. Other than these two reactors, the only thing I dose is some Randy Holmes Farley recipe magnesium as needed. I have written an article on my method of maintaining parameters that was published in Reefs Magazine Spring 2016 issue (https://reefs.com/magazine/the-kalk-calc-combo-method-185/) if you are interested in more detail.

I keep a mixed reef so there are corals and fish from all over. As far as corals go, SPS are my favorite. I start all of my corals from small frags and grow them out. My favorite SPS (if you could not tell from my avatar) is the Purple Monster coral. I have a few LPS corals and I would say my favorite is the frogspawn. Again, color is what draws me to this coral. As far as fish go, I would have to say my favorite is my Regal Angel. I also have a large Mystery Wrasse who has been with me for years that loves to get in my face at the glass and dance.

I feed two large pinches of Ocean Nutrition Formula Two or Prime Reef flakes once a day. I also add three frozen cubes of Piscine Energetics Frozen Freshwater Mysis Shrimp. Twice a week I put in a good size sheet of algae in a clip.

At this point my biggest challenge is removing corals I am not in love with any longer. Some of the corals grow too fast and just take over the tank.

My plans for now are to do a partial tank break down in the next few months to pull out the fast growing corals I have lost interest in. This will be a fairly big project with will result in a large coral sale on WAMAS.

I continue to enjoy my reef. After so many years, it has become very little trouble to keep. Experience in this hobby has its benefits. The reef sits in my home office where I can enjoy the view regularly.

  • Display: Glass 150g
  • Sump: 20g long
  • Skimmer: ASM G3
  • Lighting: 2 250w, 2 54w ATI AB+
  • Return Pump: Blueline 55HD external
  • Circulation: Mag 9.5, 2 Tunze 6065s
  • Reactors: Kalk, Calc, Carbon, GFO

  • Salinity: 35ppt
  • Temperature: 80F
  • Alkalinity: 10 dkH
  • Calcium: 440ppm
  • Magnesium: 1400ppm
  • pH: 8.0

  • T5 on 1000
  • MH on 1200
  • CF on 1300
  • CF off 2000
  • MH off 2100
  • T5 off 2200

  • Desjardini tang
  • Mystery wrasse
  • Regal angel
  • Ocellaris clownfish
  • Leopard wrasse
  • Chalk basslet
  • Yellow striped cardinalfish
  • Gold spotted rabbitfish

  • Purple monster
  • Tyree bali tri-color
  • Pink birds nest
  • Purple slimer
  • Green slimer
  • Echinata
  • Undata
  • Highlighter stag
  • Maroon stylophora
  • Oregon blue tort