180 L Reef

Volume 180 Liters
Make Juwel
Model Vision 180
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This will be my proof of concept. First, I want to see how much work the saltwater aquarium really is in comparison to the fresh water. I also want to use this to proof to my family that a salt water aquarium is a big addition to our family and looks stunning.

The plan is to keep this aquarium very simple and not over populate. Keep it easy to deal with so that I can learn and enjoy at the same time.


The aquarium was a long time in the planning. I started almost 2 years ago when I finally got a fresh water aquarium. Although, a salt water aquarium was always my dream.

First, the plan was to start off with a big aquarium in the living room as I wanted to do the investments only once (2 m*0.7 m). However, the sheer volume of water for that project gave me some second thoughts and I re-evaluated.

So finally I came up with doing a "proof of concept" run in a slightly smaller and more manageable project. I looked for some second hand aquariums around 200 liters and found the JUWEL Vision 180 (180 liters; 0.92 m * 0.40/0.5 m). The plan is once we decide to go for a bigger tank, we will continue using this one as a hospital tank.

The plan is to have a Reef aquarium with anemone fish to begin with. As an anemone will not be feasible to begin with, I am thinking about having some soft corals that will be compatible with the clown fish I choose. Of course, I plan to also have a clean up crew, something I am actually more excited about than the fish themselves.

For the reef, I am not entirely sure if I should go for dry stone (Switzerland, living stone is really expensive) or for ceramic reef as I don't really want to add to the issue of killing the reefs further.

For substrate, I was swaying between bare bottom and shallow sand bed. However, recent articles I read pushed me towards a shallow sand bed. It seems to help in balancing the pH and give additional filter abilities. Something that will be especially useful when considering that I might not have any living stone in the setup. The corning will be something between 1 - 2 mm.


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There is a built in internal filter for the JUWEL Vision 180. I plan to go with that and add some active coal to it probably.

I do not plan to have additional sumps or hang on filters. Most of the removal of unwanted chemicals should happen over weekly water changes.


For lighting, I will keep it simple. Currently, there are 2 35 W T5 bulbs. I will continue using those and add an additional 2 T5 and add some reflectors. I hope this will not get too warm! I don't really want to invest any more than this in lighting before I don't know that I will continue with the hobby.


Currently, I plan to use just the internal filter (Eccoflow 600) and a Maxspect Gyre XF130. It seems a fancy new technique and I wanted to give it a go.




To begin with, a clean up crew is planned.

Once the tank is fully cycled, I want to introduce a pair of clown fish (not sure which ones yet, but they should stay small as it is only a 180 liter tank).

9 Corals

Miami Vice Zoanthid Zoanthus sp var
3 Nightmare Zoanthid Zoanthus sp
Original Magician Zoanthid Zoanthus sp var
Pink Lotus Zoanthid Zoanthus sp var
Zoanthid Zoanthus sp.

33 Invertebrate

3 Blue Legged Hermit Crab Clibanarius tricolor
3 Blue Legged Hermit Crab Clibanarius tricolor
Crocea Clam Tridacna crocea
5 Dwarf Zebra Hermit Crab Calcinus laevimanus
2 Emerald Crab Mithraculus sculptus
4 Nassarius Snail Nassarius sp.
Randall's Pistol Shrimp Alpheus randalli
2 Red Legged Hermit Crab Clibanarius sp.
Tiger Pistol Shrimp Alpheus bellulus
3 Turban Snail Tectus fenestratus
3 Turban Snail Tectus fenestratus
4 Turbo Snail Turbo fluctuosa


Aqua Heat 200
JUWEL 200 Watt

Feeding See more

frozen shrimp · TetraCrusta Menu · Nyos Reef Pepper · Aqua Light Mischflocken · FrozenFood Fish eggs · FISHPOPS Marine-mix sticks · frozen Fishfood Zierfish Center Basel · Zierfischzenter Basel Tiefkühlkost · life artemia from Zoo Kölle · JBL Plankton Pur · Tetra FreshDelica Brine Shrimp · White mosquito larvae · NYOS Coral Nectar · Ocean Nutrition Mysis · Ocean Nutrition Brine Shrimp · Sera Fishtamin · Phyto-Plus A Premium Phytoplankton · reef pepper · Microbe-Lift Garlic Enhance · Microbe-Lift Coral Food LPS


Maintenance will mainly be hard labor ;) No automatic water top off, no calcium reactors (replenish anything by water changes, although I do not expect it to use much as I do not plan to have anything but the easiest to keep stony eventually in this system). Obviously, I will have a heater automatically keeping the water temperature but all the other values will be observed using drop tests.

On average you perform a 12% water change every 41 days.

0% total water change in January.

0 activities in the last year

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Inspiration & Goals

My inspiration at the moment is really mother nature. I love diving and it always was a dream to bring a piece of this peacefulness back home in form of an aquarium. Obviously, we cannot copy mother nature completely, but I want to try to develop a system that is colorful and aesthetically pleasing without becoming too full. The goal clearly is not to cram as much life into a box as possible but to develop a system that is calming and beautiful.