I want to start this month's article by saying that this month's feature is a bit different. Where we normally feature a particular noteworthy reef for our Reef of the Month Spotlight, this month, we have decided to spotlight an innovative reefer and show off 2 of his current systems (he has 3 going at present). @Elder1945 is an extremely creative reefer, and we are glad to share his systems with you! Be sure to follow his builds and other innovative projects as he shares them with our community.
Additionally, this is one of his previous builds: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/16-foot-reef-by-elder1945.204682/

previous build.jpg

In addition to his reef tanks, you may recognize a few other innovative projects he's put together. Check these control board/stations out!






I want to start by saying my systems would not be possible without the community and endless information that is on Reef2Reef.

I am currently running 3 systems with another 3 in the works. The first system is my fully custom 200 gallon system. The second system is the support or QT Nuvo 20 I keep running all the time and the Third is my less known Reefer 450 (Office Tank).

I am now in the middle of building out a flamboyant cuttlefish system with Somatic, Polyplab, Orphek and ELOS. This build has just started and is based off the ELOS 70 tank and the Somatic 60 sump system. This system will also run the New Vertex Cerebra VII.

I have 2 more full systems in the works but I am working out the details right now.


System Profile for 200-gallon Custom Build:
  • Display tank: 200 gallon miracles custom 72” x 19”x 30” Original size was 85”x30”x18” (this tank is going to be replaced soon same size different tank) 1 year old
  • Glass or Acrylic: Glass ¾” Starphire all around
  • Stand: Custom by me
  • Sump: Vertex I-Supra 180i
  • Grow-out tank: Nuvo 20 gallon also a QT when needed.
  • Protein skimmer: Vertex Omega 180i
  • Carbon/phosphate filtration: I-supra reactor with Vertex ROX 0.8/Polyplab Pro-Carbon
  • Water circulation: 2x Eco-Tech MP40s
  • Lighting: 3x GHL Mitras LX 7206 (Just switched out my 2x Orphek V4 to complete my GHL ecosystem)
  • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: 2x Doser 2.1
  • Auto top-off: Tunze 3155
  • Heating/cooling: 2x finnex 300
  • System control: GHL Profilux 4 with the KHD director and 2 Doser 2.1. (KHD director is going on system this month)




  • Any other details:
I wanted ultimate control over everything in my 200 gallon system and GHL was the only solution to offer a full Ecosystem that included Lights, 4 Head dosers, and a alkalinity monitor. The GHL full product line matched my taste in design and build quality as well and is why I chose them.​

This 200 gallon has quite a few bells and whistles but at its core it is still a simple system with 1 reactor and a skimmer.​


Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:

I try to run high flow to keep everything suspended. This is the main reason the tank is bare bottom. My 450 has sand but still hate cleaning it and not having the flow I want because of the sand storm that happens.

Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 78-79
  • pH: 8.02-7.9
  • Specific gravity: 1.025-1.026
  • NO3: <1.0
  • Ca: 450
  • Alk: 9
  • Mg: Never test this
  • PO4: 0
  • Ammonia and nitrites: 0


With the Orphek’s it was a simple ramp up for a hour and down for a hour with the overall photoperiod of 7-8 hrs. My tank ramps up at 3pm and down around 11pm. This is when I am home the most.

With the change in lights to the GHL Mitras LX 7206 the options are almost unlimited.. I have just started to mess around with the programing but they have tidal cycles, Storms, Clouds and so much more. Over the next few weeks Ill be setting up my lighting program with the help of the community here.

Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:

Simple and easy, I have quite a few systems to take care of and do not want to spend hours messing with things.

Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives:

I test for Calcium and Alkalinity quite often on my 200 not so much on my 450. My systems are dosed with Polyplab One to control Mag/Alk/Cal. I also start with a good base and only use D-D salt in my systems. I never make radical changes and keep products consistent.

Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
  1. Blond Naso
  2. Melanurus Wrasse
  3. 2x Fancy clowns with a ridiculous name.

Other Invertebrates:
  1. Blood shrimp
  2. Skunk Cleaner shrimp

Tank Inhabitants— Corals:

This is the hard part for me… I buy coral that I enjoy looking at and do not pay any attention if it is a fruity captain kirk pebbles super-duper sps or zoanthid. So you guys can name the corals in my systems.

While the 250 is an almost completely customized system, the Red Sea Reefer 450 has been intentionally kept as a simple setup.


System Profile for Red Sea Reefer 450:
Display tank:
Reefer 450 2 ½ years old
Glass or Acrylic: Glass
Protein skimmer: Reef OCT) 200int
Carbon/phosphate filtration: 2 little fishies phosban reactor 150 with Vertex ROX 0.8/Polyplab Pro-Carbon
Return pump: Wave-line DC12000
Water circulation: 2x Jebo PP-8
Lighting (display): ATI 4 blub / maxspec razor
Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: Polyplab one and system Reef-Resh , done by hand..
Auto top-off: Tunze 3155
Heating/cooling: 1x finnex 300
System control: None
Any other details: Simple system with no bells or whistles


Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:

It is a mixed bag to be honest.. I try to increase flow but end up going back to having almost none as the sand ends up everywhere.

Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 78-79
  • pH: 8.02-7.9
  • Specific gravity: 1.025-1.026
  • NO3: <1.0
  • Ca: 450
  • Alk: 9
  • Mg: Never test this
  • PO4: 0
  • Ammonia and nitrites: 0


Simple on and off starting at 8am to 5pm.

Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:

Simple with a 10-20% water change every month.


Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives:

I used to test Cal/Alk all the time but now never seem to do it.

Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
  1. Yellow tang
  2. Purple tang
  3. 2x blue hippo tang
  4. Blond naso tang
  5. Red Sea Sailfin tang
  6. 1x simple clown that must be 8 years old by now
  7. hand full of anthias
  8. 1x bangi cardinal




Other Invertebrates:
  1. Blood shrimp
  2. Skunk Cleaner shrimp

Tank Inhabitants— Corals:

Bunch of fancy named stuff and a lot of that looks nice I am going to buy it.




Fish and Coral Feeding (for both systems):
  • PE mysis pellets
  • Reef-Roids, Polyp-Booster and Colors
At this point this system just runs I am moving some of the coral to my 200 as it has outgrown the 450. I also frag out things and move them system to system.

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?

LA fish Guys on YouTube. Reef2Reef has kept me in the hobby though as I have wanted to walk away more than a few times.

How long have you been doing this?

7-8 years on and off.
Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you?

Almost everyone I have meet in this hobby is a inspiration in some form or another.

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?

The builds never quite end with me… Stay tuned..

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Final Thoughts:

I want to thank Reef2Reef and the community for keeping me in the hobby as I would have never been able to achieve what I have without all of you. I have so much more planed including personal builds and ideas on how I can give back to the community that has helped me so much.

It takes me a while to stock a system like this as I do things slowly. I like to have a stable system over almost anything else. There are big plans for livestock for my 200 in the next few months.