Display Tank

Brisbane, QLD
Volume 600 Liters
Dimensions 180cm x 56cm x 55cm
Make Aqua Reef 500


I have had an interest in aquarium tanks for a long time, dabbling in with freshwater and tropical fish on and off over the years. a friend had a fantastic tropical tank with catfish meandering a fantastic aquascaped tank of 2m x 2m x 0.5m.
I finally decided to set up the tank that i always wanted and purchased a Aqua reef 500 standard 6 foot tank for the family room. the story begins.............


An interest in aquariums over the years but gradually intensified with seeing a couple of good tanks at shops. i bought a stock standard kit, an Aqua One 500 which came with standard sump, skimmer. this was essentially to hone my skills as an aquarist.



Filtration system has changed a couple of times but essentially inlet has a filter sock, goes through the glass baffles and dripped into coral rubble which has encased a large square bio-media. a refugium was originally used but the system was replaced with a larger skimmer.


the display tank has 3 Hydra IA S52. recently the middle S52 blew as some water was spilt onto the light (oops). this was replaced with 2 x Primes.

lighting has not been the same since the incidence.


laguna Maxflow pump, 5000l/hr is the inlet pump. Wave-makers include gyre pump on right hand side and 2 tunze wave-makers on the left hand side of tank.




General livestock includes local bred or caught fish. there are only a couple of imported in the tank, generally the yellow tang and the rabbit fish.

other fish includes red flame angel
blue chromis
pajama cardinals (5)
square block anthia (male which has now turned into female)
lawnmower blenny

17 Fish

Blue Spotted Rabbitfish Siganus tetrazonus
5 Blue/Green Reef Chromis Chromis viridis
2 Clarkii Clownfish Amphiprion clarkii
Copperband Butterflyfish Chelmon rostratus
Flame Angelfish Centropyge loriculus
Yellow Tang Zebrasoma flavescens

3 Corals

17 Invertebrate

Nassarius Snail Nassarius sp.
Peppermint Shrimp Lysmata wurdemanni complex
2 Red Line Cleaner Shrimp Lysmata amboinensis
5 Turbo Snail Turbo fluctuosa
general parameters are checked originally weekly but has reduced to fortnightly. main vitals are checked including salinity, ph, temperature, nitrates, phosphates, magnesium, calcium, alkalinity and sometimes potassium, copper and selenium.
goals are:
salinity - 1.025
ph - 8.2
temperature - 25.5
nitrates <10
phosphates - <0.05
magnesium - 1500
calcium - 450
alkalinity - 10


Daily dosing includes using a 4 bay dosing pump. this includes No Po X, Mg, Ca and kH. the daily dose is checked once a week. further to this, on Wednesday and Sundays the tank is dosed with a mixture of Nano-plankton, Fuel, Reef extra and Zooplankton.


fish are fed twice a day. generally at first light (in the tank) at about 7.30am and then an evening feed around 7pm. Generally fish are fed frozen food including mysis and brine. Just starting to look at dry food with mixed success.
Every second day a sheet of nori is placed around a pipe and placed into the tank for the herbivores.


Maintenance includes:
Daily: general check of all vitals to sump and tank.
twice week: general clean of glass
Weekly: a 100l water change generally weekly, which includes a gravel vac and the cleaning of the skimmer. the filter sock is removed and replaced with a cleaned sock.
Monthly: general clean of chillers and other moving parts such as pumps.

On average you perform a 37.7% water change every 19 days.

0% total water change in 2023-10-04T02:49:56.322081Z[GMT].

0 activities in the last year

11 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Inspiration & Goals

Inspiration was certainly 2 tanks that i can recall one was a tropical tank and the other was a marine tank that was bursting with vibrant colours and exotic ornamental marine fish.

The goal was to establish a mixed reef tank with a lenience to lps then gradually evening the balance with SPS corals. Fish included both local and special that i have fixated over time but limited to 14 for a 6 foot tank. Out of the 14 a school of Chromis of say 6 would be included in this number.

Words of Wisdom

Lessons learnt have been from trial and error but the biggest lesson is never assume anything. never assume that the pH is right, never assume that it is not too hot in the tank, never assume that the rabbit fish wont eat very expensive acans.

Also, maintenance regularly and you will be on the right track.

Disasters & Regrets

the biggest disaster was in NOv 2014 with the turn of the season, a spike in temperature in late spring saw an increase in temperature. this wasn't caught in time and with the inclusion of 3 square block Anthias into the tank (without quarantine practices) the fish were under stress and stressed out the tank. one of the female Anthias did not recover from the moment it went into the tank and died within the week. An outbreak of white spot and it appeared as velvet as well cost me three prized fish in a matter of a week.
the remainder of the tank was saved by dosing with medic and placing a UV sterilizer 1500 into the system which worked. the UV now runs all the time.


Acknowledgements essentially have to go to Cam and Ania from Gallery Aquatica. the support and knowledge is best by far and their interest in others tanks also inspires one.