BIG REEF

Toronto, ON
Volume 75 Gallons
Dimensions 48'' x 20'' x 20''
Make Miracles Aquariums
Model Custom Eurobraced External BeanAnimal Overflow
Timeline
External links

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Filtration

A BeanAnimal Overflow with 1" drain lines, 200 micron filter socks and a Vertex Omega 130 handle the filtration on this system. I've used larger skimmers on this sized system before but found that sizing the skimmer (neck size) more appropriately to the bioload provides better nutrient export and more consistent skimmate. Bigger is not always better with skimmers in my experience.
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  • Yellow Brick Road Zoas / Zoanthus sp.

Lighting

Im using 3 x Radion XR15wPro's on a custom low profile aluminum t-track mounting system inside the canopy, so that I can move them across the tank as needed for the rockscape/corals/light spread. I have them hooked up to EcoSmart live via the ReefLink and app. The quality of the Radions is seriously impressive and the controllability is incredible, I already have a few presets saved on the app that I like and will vary the intensity as needed and as corals are added. I also really like that I can independently control the UV and dial up the intensity as corals grow in.
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  • Acropora Caroliniana / Acropora Caroliniana

Flow

An single MP40QD running at 60% and under provides more than enough flow as things grow in. The wide, randomized flow covers the whole tank and keeps the sand clear of detritus build up. I've used other powerheads in the past but keep coming back to the MP40, especially now that it's so quite and more powerful with the Quite Drive upgrade!
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  • Northern Lightings Granulosa / Acropora granulosa

Measurements

Phosphate
Nitrate
410
Calcium
9.0
Alkalinity
Magnesium
Temperature
Nitrite
Ammonia
Salinity

Inhabitants

My goal is to keep the fish bioload low to keep maintenance/water changes manageable. I have a pink spot goby, melanurus wrasse, leopard wrasse and a pair of clownfish. There's also a stray anthias in there that's been with me for almost 4 years now, and I just can't bring myself to part with her. I may end up with a few more anthias once the tank gets established, but for now im trying not to add too much more. The cleanup crew is made up mostly of snails, I have a few scarlet hermits just because I love watching them and like the dynamic they bring to the tank, but their opportunistically predatory and eat the occasional snail. Its a small price to pay for the flare and vibrance they add to the system.
I've had emerald crabs in the past to help with bubble algae (valonia) and they did a great job, they also ate my german blue montipora digitata, so i'll avoid keeping them again. I've had good luck with sand sifting stars but have to actively find and feed him now that I have new sand in the system. I feed a variety of foods from Fauna Marin Marine Soft Clownfish pellets, Marine Soft Spirulina Pellets, LPS Grow and Color Pellets, mysis shrimp, calanus, chopped clams, reef roids etc. I find the Fauna Marin foods very high quality and provide a noticeable difference in my fishes colouration and activity. I also have some Cobalt flakes and Omaga One First Flakes.
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  • Grape Vine Secale / Acropora Secale

8 Fish

Hoeven's Wrasse Halichoeres melanurus
Leopard Wrasse Macropharyngodon meleagris
3 Lyretail Anthias Pseudanthias squamipinnis
2 Ocellaris Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris
Pink Spotted Watchman Goby Cryptocentrus leptocephalus

22 Corals

Acropora Caroliniana Acropora Caroliniana
Acropora robusta Acropora Robusta
Bali Green Slimer Acropora yongei
Blue Ice Tenuis Acropora Tenuis
Eye of Rah Zoas Zoanthus sp.
Grape Vine Secale Acropora Secale
Hologram Chalice Coral Echinophyllia aspera
Inferno Rhodactis Rhodactis sp.
Mr. Pacman Acropora Acropora carduus
Neon Yellow Vermiculata Acropora vermiculata
Rasta Zoas Zoanthus sp.
Red Planet Acro Acropora hyacinthus
Strawberry Shortcake Acropora microclados
Yellow eye Pink Chalice Coral Echinophyllia aspera

18 Invertebrate

15 Nassarius Snail Nassarius sp.
Sand Sifting Sea Star Astropecten polycanthus
Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab Paguristes cadenati

Equipment

Feeding See more

Frozen mysis · Fauna Marin Marine Soft Spirulina

Maintenance

On starting this tank im trying to keep maintenance at a minimum. I run 200 micron filter socks, a skimmer and a low bioload with bi-weekly water changes. I'll occasionally dose ZEOStart3 to manage nitrates and phosphates as things get setup, but beyond that I don't run GFO, carbon or any reactors. I find that good flow and careful feeding are usually enough to keep things balanced with the right bio-load. I use Red Sea PRO salt for water changes as i've had good experience with it over the years. I clean the glass as needed. I also let algae grow in my overflow box between the glass and the black acrylic overflow grate, I find it works as a impromptu algae-scrubber and a good exporter of nitrates/phosphates.
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  • Blue Ice Tenuis / Acropora Tenuis

On average you perform a 14.1% water change every 4 days.

0% total water change in May.

Diary Entries View all Diary Entries

The new tank is in, setup and running. This tank has been shut down. (sad to let it go).
I still believe this setup to be my ideal tank size, dimensions and equipment setup, even the livestock has been perfect! But due to increasing secular and family responsibilities I'm downsizing to a
Most SPS are growing incredibly well under the Radion's. A few aren't colouring up but are encrusting, so im hopeful that with a few tweaks in the lighting/feeding schedule they will colour up. LPS/Zo
Added a few SPS colonies this week, making my stock list:

Acropora Yongei (Bali Green Slimer)
Acropora Microclados (possibly a Strawberry Shortcake, yet to colour up)
Acropora
All at 11dkH. Red Sea Pro salt mixing at 14dKH. Raising all significantly during water changes. Might switch to Red Sea or something else, reef crystals maybe. Going to run some more tests and see how
Added two harder to keep sps frags, a Gripe Vine Secale Acropora and a Northern Lights Abrotanoides Acropora (possibly A.Robusta, growth pattern is a bit weird, it may be growing horizontally, in whic

0 activities in the last year

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Inspiration & Goals

The rockscape in this system will be simple and solid with no risk of avalanches or shifting. Two pieces of Pukani set at 35° to each other to create multiple 'flow zones' and turbulence to accommodate both high flow and low flow corals. The plan is to focus more on SPS and chalices in this system with a few of my favourite wrasse too. Extra care will be taken to ensure that no hitchhikers or unwanted algae or pests enter the system on frag plugs or corals. Over the years i've battled bubble algae, bryopsis, dinoflagellates, cyano, aiptasia, flatworms, AEFW, clam eating polyclads (BIG ones), vermitid snails and the list goes on. With some extra care and patience, im excited to see how things progress with this system!
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  • Hologram Chalice Coral / Echinophyllia aspera

Words of Wisdom

Research, planning and patience are extremely important in this hobby for long term success. I've also found that a having a Panic Protocol in place, i.e.
1. This . . happened
2. DONT PANIC!
3. Do this . . .
prevents quick reactions and bad decisions being made when things go wrong. Things likely won't get any worse in the few minutes it takes you to stop and think before reacting. But these issues often don't allow for hours of research when they occur. So research what others did to successfully overcome problems ahead of time and write down your plan of attack. It could end up saving lives. (dramatic, I know, but still true). :D


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  • Purple Highlighter Acro / Acropora Plana

Disasters & Regrets

I setup the tank and left it without sand for a few days, but added my clowns and 2 wrasse as they were very cramped in the 20 gallon holding tank. Without sand to hide in, my yellow coris wrasse jumped and I found him dried out in the overflow (which wasn't running yet). Disappointed in myself for the rookie mistake I bought some seaflor special grade reef sand and corrected the issue but not before losing my poor coris. Devastating.
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  • Neon Yellow Vermiculata / Acropora vermiculata