225 SPS Dominant

Denver, CO
Volume 225 Gallons
Dimensions 72'' x 27'' x 27''
Make Deep Sea Aquatics
Model 225 Show
Timeline
External links

Introduction

Hi my name is Kris and I am an addict. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, at least, so I am told.

I must say, I love the hobby. I am the type of personality that I always have to be in the middle of a project. I never really finish anything and this is why saltwater is a perfect fit for me. My tank is and always will be, a work in progress.

I also love a challenge. This is probably why I have a SPS dominant system. Not only do I love colorful sticks but I also love the challenge in keeping them. With SPS you cant even look at them funny without something going wrong. Heck things go wrong for no apparent reason at all! I must say though, when things are going right it is a very gratifying feeling. However, when things are going bad I sure do want to throw in the towel sometimes, especially when I don't know what is wrong. Needless to say I stick with it and things typically work themselves out. I just wish I haven't flushed so many Benjamin's down the toilet! Sheesh this hobby is expensive!!!

Background

I have been using for over 20 years and I can't put down the bucket. It all started when i walked into my local store and bought freshwater fish. I had that system setup for a couple months and decided I needed something stronger, better. I setup my first Saltwater tank (55 gallon) at the age of 14 (I am now 35).

At age 16 I worked for a couple years at a high end saltwater fish store in the Denver metro area called Rocky Mountain Reef.

For the last 3 years I have been (and still currently) work for Premier Fish and Reef doing saltwater aquarium design, installation and maintenance. I have a couple of systems I maintain on a weekly basis and I also help design and install systems for new clients.

Photos

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Filtration

My filtration consists of a large sump with a oversized skimmer, large refugium, GFO, Carbon, Vinegar dosing and sponges. The whole system is controlled by my Neptune Apex. Pretty much everything is automated except for the water changes (which used to be automated on my previous 125 gallon).

Lighting

My previous system was lit by AI SOL Blues only. When I upgraded from my 125 to this 225 I wanted to go back to the good ol tried and true T5 Halide Combo. I currently run eight 36" T5's for 10 hours a day and three 250watt Radium Metal Halides 7 hours a day. This is all controlled through my Neptune Apex.

Flow

My reef structure is very open, especially near the top of the system. This allows my 2 MP40's to sufficiently provide flow throughout the tank. They are run on Reef Crest Mode at 100%. Every hour for a hour the slave pump changes from sync to anti sync to help randomize the flow.

Measurements

7.7
Alkalinity
Nitrate
425
Calcium
Magnesium
Temperature
pH
Phosphate
TDS
Salinity
Iodine
375
Potassium

Inhabitants

Livestock mostly consists of SPS. I have slowly but surely been removing LPS and gorgonians as I acquire more SPS. I had a full blown mixed reef in my prior 125 and I really like the look of SPS dominated systems (my wife would disagree though, she loves long flowing corals).

I also have quite a bit of fish. I really like an active looking tank. I wanted to have a couple show fish, a couple schools of fish and of course my fish "CUC" which consist of a couple halichoeres wrasse's.

My all time favorite fish is the Moorish Idol. I had one in my previous 125 which I took out after about a year since it started to treat my reef like a buffet. When I setup this 225 I decided to try another Idol. Same thing, after about a year it decided to buffet on my reef.

31 Fish

2 Azure Damselfish Chrysiptera hemicyanea
Bangaii Cardinal Pterapogon kauderni
Black Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris
7 Blue/Green Reef Chromis Chromis viridis
China Pearl Wrasse Anampses neoguinaicus
Christmas Wrasse Halichoeres claudia
Green Wrasse Halichoeres chloropterus
3 Ignitus Anthias Pseudanthias ignitus
Mandarin Goby Synchiropus splendidus
Misbar Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris
Naso Blonde Tang Naso elegans
Orange-Back Fairy Wrasse Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis
Purple Tang Zebrasoma xanthurum
Red Mandarin Pterosynchiropus splendidus var.
Regal Angelfish Pygoplites diacanthus
6 Royal Gramma Basslet Gramma loreto
Yellow Tang Zebrasoma flavescens

85 Corals

Tricolor Valida Acropora valida
A. Rosaria Acropora rosaria
Acropora Loripes Acropora Loripes
Acropora Sp Acropora Sp
Acropora Sp Acropora Sp
Acropora Sp Acropora Sp
Acropora sarmentosa Acropora sarmentosa
Bali Green Slimer Acropora yongei
Black Candelabra Gorgonian Plexaura homomalla
Blood Red Chalice Echinophyllia aspera
Blue Hammer Euphyllia ancora
Blue millepora Acropora millepora
Cali Tort Acropora Tortuosa
Chalice (unknown) Echinophyllia aspera
Chesterfieldensis Acropora Coral Acropora chesterfieldensis
Duncan Polyp Duncanopsammia axifuga
Flower Petal Montipora Montipora capricornis
Forest Fire Digitata Montipora digitata
Gold Torch Coral Euphyllia glabrescens
Green Cyphastrea Cyphastrea sp.
Green Cyphastrea Cyphastrea sp.
Green Digitata Montipora digitata
Green Scroll Montipora Montipora capricornis
Hammer/Frogspawn Hybrid Euphyllia ancora
Hawkins Echinata Acropora echinata
Hawkins Echinata Acropora echinata
Horn Coral Hydnophora rigida
Ice Fire Echinata Acropora echinata
Ice Fire Echinata Acropora echinata
Idaho Grape Montipora Montipora capricornis
Lavender Monti green polyp Montipora Stellata
Montipora Setosa Montipora setosa
ORA Green Birdsnest Seriatopora guttatus
ORA Oregon Tortuosa Acropora tortuosa
Orange Montipora Coral, Plating Montipora capricornis
Pagoda Cup Coral Turbinaria peltata
Palmers Blue Mille Acropora millepora
Pavona Coral Pavona decussatus
Pink Birdsnest Coral Seriatopora hystrix
Pink Lemonade Acropora Sp
Pink Montipora Digitata Motipora Digitata
Pink Stylophora Stylophora spp.
Pokerstar Montipora Montipora sp.
Ponape Birdsnest Seriatopora sp
Purple Montipora Digitata Montipora digitata
Purple Stylophora Stylophora milka
Purple Tip Hammer Euphyllia ancora
Rainbow Favia Favia sp.
Rainbow Montipora Montipora Tuberculosa
Rainbow Pocillopora Pocillopora sp
Rainbow Prostrata Acropora prostrata
Rainbow Stylophora Stylophora spp.
Ranbow millepora Acropora millepora
Red Dragon Acropora Acropora carduus
Red Eyes Cyphastrea Cyphastrea sp.
Rose millepora Acropora millepora
Seasons Greeting Monti Montipora capricornis
Starburst Montipora Montipora sp.
Strawberry Shortcake Acropora microclados
Sunset Montipora Montipora nodosa
Sunset millepora Acropora millepora
Teal Echinata Acropora echinata
Teal Staghorn Acropora sp
Torch Coral Euphyllia glabrescens
Trumpet Coral Caulastrea curvata
Yellow Acropora Acropora sp
Yellow millepora Acropora millepora
alien eye leptastrea Leptastrea sp.
purple pocillopora Pocillopora damicornis

104 Invertebrate

Abalone, Tropical Haliotis sp.
5 Astraea Conehead Snail Astraea tecta
Blood Red Fire Shrimp Lysmata debelius
20 Blue Legged Hermit Crab Clibanarius tricolor
Derasa Clam Tridacna derasa
Derasa Clam Tridacna derasa
Derasa Clam Tridacna derasa
4 Electric Blue Hermit Crab Calcinus elegans
3 Emerald Crab Mithraculus sculptus
6 Fighting Conch Strombus spp.
Halloween Hermit Crab Ciliopagurus strigatus
Hard Tube Coco Worm Protula bispiralis
15 Nassarius Snail Nassarius sp.
5 Peppermint Shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni complex
Pink Cucumber Holothuria edulis
2 Pom Pom Crab Lybia tesselata
Rainbow Bubble Tip Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
Red Line Cleaner Shrimp Lysmata amboinensis
Rose Bubble Tip Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
6 Scarlet Reef Hermit Crab Paguristes cadenati
Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp Lysmata amboinensis
10 Spiny Star Astraea Astraea phoebia
Sunburst Anemone Entacmaea quadricolor
Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus bellulus
10 Zebra Turbo Snail Turbo sp.

5 Plants

Blue Ball Ochtodes sp.
Bryothamnion Sp. Bryothamnion Sp.
Caulerpa Ashmeadii Caulerpa Ashmeadii
Galaxy Macro Galaxaura Sp
Red Bush Hayi Gracilaria Hayi

Equipment

Alkalinity between 7-8. Anything higher I started to get burnt tips on my SPS.

Calcium between 420-440

magnesium 1300-1400. I tend to keep it on the higher side when algae starts to become a problem. Higher levels seem to help slow its growth.

Phosphate I try to keep around .02-.04, anything higher and I fight algae and lose color in my SPS.

Nitrate I also try to keep under 1 to help combat nuisance algae and cyano.

Salinity I keep at 1.025 to leave room for evaporation.

Potassium is maintained around 399 to match NSW levels. I do start to notice paling in my corals when it gets lower.

Additives

I have heard a lot of great things about Acropower by Two Little Fishies. I recently picked up a bottle and threw it on my auto doser. I hope to see increased PE and more vivid colors soon!

I also dose Vinegar to help keep my NO3 down. I like to stay below 1ppm and I couldn't do this with over 40 fish and a refugium alone.

Auto dosing of buffer and calcium is done through a litermeter 3, which doses every 5 minutes for a total of 170ml per day roughly. Magnesium is dosed through my Marine Magic at roughly 25ml per day.

Feeding See more

NLS thera A Pellets (3 Times daily) · PE Mysis (2 Cubes Daily) · Green Nori (1/2 sheet Daily) · Cyclop-eeze (1/2 cube Daily) · Selcon (1ml Daily) · Hikari Mysis Shrimp (2 Cubes Daily)
The livestock is fed 3 times a day a pinch of NLS pellets through a auto feeder. I also feed a half sheet of Nori for the herbivores. When I get off of work I feed 2 cubes of PE Mysis and before I go to bed a feed 2 more cubes of mysis, this time though its Hikari. I also feed Frozen Cyclopeeze on occasion.

Maintenance

A proper maintenance schedule is probably the most important aspect of having a successful aquarium from my experience. Like anything we do in life, we get out of it what we put in it.

Every weekend (either on Saturday or Sunday) I clean my skimmer, sponges, blow off the rocks, clean MP40's, scrape all sides of my glass and refill my 2 part containers.

Due to my high fish load I also change 30 gallons of water weekly to help keep DOC down.

On average you perform a 12.2% water change every 10 days.

0% total water change in October.

0 activities in the last year

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Inspiration & Goals

I hope to have my system stocked to the brim with corals, mainly SPS. I see many systems on Reef Central with beautiful, massive colonies. Another goal of mine was to have a large system teaming with various fish including schools, pairs and show fish. This is a goal I have actually obtained already!

Words of Wisdom

Be patient and don't overreact. I know this is beaten like a dead horse but there is a lot of truth to it. I think a lot of people dont wait long enough for changes to take effect and I also think a lot of times people overreact to a problem. More often than not it is just nature reacting to its environment and all you have to do is give your system time to adjust.

Disasters & Regrets

First regret, Frankenstein. Frankenstein is my green wrasse. I picked up Franky when he was a wee lass. My co-worker said "he won't stay cute for long!" Boy was he right, the wrasse is a ugly green and fat. Of course it is the one fish who will not go into my trap! Next tank move the wrasse is gone!

Second regret, trying too hard to combat cyano. I have just come to the fact that cyano is natural and is a part of just about any system, especially those with medium to high bioloads (like my system). I did a couple of 3 days lights out periods and it would kill the cyano for a couple months then just show back up again. The worst part though was the damage it did to some of my corals. I lost a couple of really nice SPS colonies and Chalices after a lights out. I wouldn't lose them right away but after about a week they just kept having worse and worse tissue loss. Not only that but trying to adjust for alkalinity after the lights out was really challenging. Now I just blow off my rocks once a week and siphon out what I can.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Reef Central for providing a vast amount of knowledge. I want to thank our local forums, MASC. It is a great community with knowledgeable people, great vendors and good friends. I want to thank Martin Moe for giving me my first glimpse of knowledge into keeping marine organisms - The Marine Aquarium Reference: Systems and Invertebrates (great book!). I want to thank Premier fish and Reef for giving me the opportunity to work in the industry I love! Also want to thank Dmitry for providing us addicts such a great way to Journal our systems!

Most importantly I want to thank my wife for putting up with my addiction!