R2R Reef of the Month: Steve's 410-gallon SPS Reef - May 2018

My current system is a 410-gallon reef tank featuring mostly SPS corals. I designed the tank room when we built our current home. I wanted the...
  1. Introduction:

    First, a big thank you to Reef2Reef for selecting my tank to be a tank of the month. It’s quite an honor to be included with some of the fantastic tanks that have been featured here.

    My current system is a 410-gallon reef tank featuring mostly SPS corals. I designed the tank room when we built our current home. I wanted the tank to be the main feature when you walked in our front door so the side of the tank can be seen as soon as you enter the house. The tank is three feet wide by eight feet long. It’s always fun to see people’s reactions when they walk in. I have had several delivery guys ask if they could come in and check out the tank.

    _SGM0163.jpg

    System Profile:
    • Display tank: 410 gallons
      Glass or Acrylic: ¾” glass with Starfire glass on the front and side. Tank was built by Coast to Coast Aquariums
    • Stand: Handmade wood stand
    • Sump: 200-gallon acrylic
    • Protein skimmer: Skimz cone skimmer (currently not running it due to the addition of a PaxBellum algae reactor)
    • Carbon/phosphate filtration: none
    • Return pump: 2 Blue Line 70 HD pumps
    • Water circulation: 1 MP60 and 4 MP40s
    • Lighting (display): 8 Gen one Radions, 6 36” T-5 lights
    • Lighting (refugium): 1 high intensity bulb
    • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: I use a dual chamber Super Reef Octopus calcium reactor
    • Auto top-off: Neptune ATK
    • Heating/cooling: 5 large Eheim heaters, 1 HP chiller
    • System control: Neptune Apex
    • Any other details: I recently added a PaxBellum algae reactor that grows Chaeto like crazy.
    _SGM0247.jpg

    _SGM0250.jpg

    _SGM0252.jpg

    _SGM0257.jpg

    _SGM0259.jpg

    Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:

    With all the SPS in the tank I like to make sure the water is moving well in the tank and there are few dead spots. I have 4 mp40s across the back of the tank and 1 mp60 on the end. Those along with the 2 return pumps creates quite a bit of water movement. I occasionally move the return nozzles to adjust for dead spots.

    _SGM0483.jpg

    Water Parameters:
    • Temp: 79.3
    • pH: 8.05-8.20
    • Specific gravity: 34.8-35 PPT
    • NO3: 0
    • Ca: 455-500
    • Alk: 9.5
    • Mg: 1450
    • PO4: 0
    • Ammonia and nitrites: 0
    _SGM0468.jpg
    Photoperiod:
    • Display tank: 0830-2030 slowly ramps up and then down.
    • Refugium: Reverse cycle from the tank.
    _SGM0543.jpg

    _SGM0548.jpg

    Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:

    I try to keep thing stable. I use an Apex to run and track everything about the tank. I rarely check my water parameters anymore but I do keep an eye on my Alkalinity and Calcium. I do water changes once a week changing out 40 gallons of water and I clean the glass twice a week.

    _SGM0611.jpg

    _SGM0612.jpg

    Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
    1. Desjardini Sailfin Tang
    2. Yellow Tang (5)
    3. Purple Tang
    4. Yellow Belly Hippo Tang
    5. Bristletooth Tang
    6. Blonde Naso Tang
    7. Hovens Wrasse
    8. Mystery Wrasse
    9. Midas Blenny
    10. Watchman Goby
    11. Green Mandarin
    12. Lyretail Anthais (4) 1 male 3 females
    13. Magnificent Foxface
    14. Picasso Clownfish (2)
    TankPics-47.jpg

    _SGM0136.jpg

    TankPics-44.jpg

    _SGM0446.jpg

    _SGM0495.jpg

    _SGM0619.jpg

    Other Invertebrates:
    1. Rose Bubbletip anemone
    2. Crocea Clam
    3. Variety of snails (not enough)
    4. Serpent Sea Stars (3)
    _SGM0103.jpg
    _SGM0592.jpg

    Tank Inhabitants— Corals:

    Way to many different SPS corals to list. I was never very good at keeping track of the names and types. But here are some pics :):

    _SGM0124.jpg

    _SGM0128.jpg

    _SGM0135.jpg

    _SGM0101.jpg

    _SGM0115.jpg

    _SGM0119.jpg

    _SGM0140.jpg

    _SGM0450.jpg

    _SGM0458.jpg

    _SGM0528.jpg

    _SGM0529.jpg

    _SGM0534.jpg

    _SGM0538.jpg

    _SGM0605.jpg

    _SGM0557.jpg

    _SGM0560.jpg

    _SGM0573.jpg

    _SGM0581.jpg

    _SGM0596.jpg

    _SGM0599.jpg

    _SGM0601.jpg
    Fish and Coral Feeding:

    I never feed the corals. Fish get fed once a day. Mostly a variety of Ocean Nutrition. Twice a week I try and feed a variety of frozen meaty foods.

    _SGM0149.jpg

    Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?

    My wife. One day we were chatting and I mentioned that I would really like to have a saltwater tank. Later that year for my birthday she said let’s go find you a fish tank. I ended up getting a 110-gallon tank that started out as a FOWLR system. I had no idea what I was in for.

    I started researching saltwater tanks and found a local reef club and joined up. I met several awesome people that were more than happy to help me out. Pretty soon I started upgrading my equipment and got into soft corals. Naturally that led me into hard corals and upgrading more equipment. Pretty soon I had the bug, and I’ve been reefing ever since.

    _SGM0617.jpg

    ReefTankNov17-4.jpg

    How long have you been doing this?

    13 Years
    Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you?

    There have been several people I met thru the reef club I belonged to in the DC area that were awesome and really inspired me to make my tanks better and better. I have also been fortunate enough to meet some of the truly greats in the hobby to include Tony Vargas who has been to my house.

    _SGM0608.jpg

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

    I want to add more fish. I really love Angels and want to add some to the tank. I had to pull out the original ones I had due to being coral nippers. Now that the tank has grown up I’d really like to add some back in. I also really like clams and want to add more so at some point I need to decide what I want more, the Angels or the clams. I may just stick with a couple of dwarf angels and leave it at that. I will probably also add another 5 or 6 Lyretail Anthias.

    I do not have a lot of room left for SPS corals so I may starting adding some LPS. There are several varieties that I like and I like seeing some movement in the tank and LPS add to that look.

    At some point I will probably have to change out my Gen 1 Radions. With as much as they cost I’m hoping I don’t have to do it anytime soon. Other than that I don’t think I need to add or change out any equipment.

    _SGM0513.jpg

    Final Thoughts:

    A couple of final thoughts. First, do not skimp on equipment and do not buy cheap. I have found out the hard way at times that you get what you pay for in this hobby. Spend as much as you can afford and if that’s not enough save until you can. This hobby is not cheap and it is hard on equipment. Please do not buy something because it is cheap.

    Second, redundancy. Have backups for everything. I use two return pumps just in case one stops working and I keep a brand new one in my garage in case I need it. I have a generator that runs my entire tank room in case the power goes out. I live in Florida and for the last hurricane we had we lost power for 15 hours. I never had a problem. I have a chiller that is programmed to come on should the temp in the tank gets to high. It never runs unless the power goes out or the A/C system I have in the tank room goes out. I have several heaters, not because I use that many but just in case one or two quit working the others will maintain the temp. I could keep going but you get the point.

    Having a reef tank is a big investment. I am not very technical when it comes to my tank and if I can be successful anyone can. I keep things simple and I try to automate as much as I can. I do weekly maintenance like water changes and cleaning the skimmer every Sunday. I believe there is a responsibility to the inhabitants to keep things as stable as possible and allow them to thrive and I try my best to that.

    I hope that everyone that sees this enjoys the pics and likes it as much as I do. If anyone is in the Tampa area feel free to hit me up and stop by to check it out in person.

    _SGM0615.jpg

    _SGM0138.jpg

    Share This Article

Loading...