R2R Reef Spotlight: PongPit's Amazing SPS Nano Reef

Nano reef tanks are my favorite, so I decided to start from there. As a novice, some easy LPS were my first choices. At the same time, I put some...

  1. Hello! My name is Pongpit Zhang, and I live in the GuiYang, GuiZhou, China. It is a great honour to be chosen to the Reef of the month spotlight of August by the Reef2reef. This was my first reef tank I had kept 3 years ago. I was attracted by reef tanks the first time I looked at them. Then I spent a few months learning about reefing from all sources I could find. In May of 2015, I started my “reef journey.”

    Nano reef tanks are my favorite, so I decided to start from there. As a novice, some easy LPS were my first choices. At the same time, I put some SPS frags in, and my plan was remove the LPS gradually after the frags becoming bigger. Luckily, it worked. I finally had a nano reef tank with SPS mainly.

    You can see the progression here:

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    System Profile Questions
    • Display tank: 40cm*40cm*40cm
    • Glass or Acrylic: Ultra Clear Glass
    • Stand: 36cm*36cm*28cm
    • Sump: DIY with clad plate
    • Grow-out tank: None
    • Protein skimmer: BM A5
    • Carbon/phosphate filtration: None
    • Return pump: ZKSJ 2000L/h
    • Water circulation: Vortech MP10*1,Jebao WP10*1,Jebao RW-4*1
    • Lighting (display): DIY LED 75W and DIY blue LED 24W
    • Lighting (refugium): led 3w*3 (red*2,bule*1)
    • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: Two little fishes C-balance
    • Kalkwasser reactor: none
    • Auto top-off: Optical electronic ATO
    • Heating/cooling: 200W heating and DIY Cooling fans
    • System control: none
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    Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:

    I never measured turnover rate,But I thought the a rich and soothing flow is really important to a SPS tank, so I set flows with different directions in the tank.

    Water Parameters:
    • Temp: 26-28℃
    • pH: never check
    • Specific gravity: 1.025
    • NO3: 0.3-0.5
    • Ca: 400
    • Alk: 6-7
    • Mg: 1300
    • PO4: 0.03ppm to undetectable by Hanna
    • Ammonia and nitrites: never check
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    Lighting Summary and Objectives:

    In my opinion, lighting is the most important thing to a SPS tank (the second most important thing is flow). I had tried many different kinds of LED lamps,everything considered,dispersive ones are the best for the growing and colors. Then according to the way I dispersed the reef,I made a LED lamp by myself,and the lamp beads’ proportion was Blue:White:purple=3:2:1,they were 25 chips with 3W,1 blue fill-in light with 3W*8, both were no sunrise or sunset.

    Photoperiod
    • Display tank: 12:00-21:00
    • Refugium: 22:00-6:00

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    Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:

    In my opinion, water quality is a very important element in reef keeping. I use The Berlin Method of Live rock andRefugium system. It’s more like my habit,I really don’t like to put everything in the tank to adjust the water quality,I think it’s really important to help the tank to build its own system—let it to get the ability to adjust itself. Don’t intervene too much. So the daily keeping part is really simple,change 10% of the water every week, keep the Ca, Mg, and ALK at levels by dosing,and change some of the live rocks in the stand per half year.

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    Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives:

    When I was a novice,I used to chase standardCa,Mg,ALK data,but then I found that a stable habit of keeping the water quality was more important than the specific numbers. Inrecent 2 years,I test the water quality about 1 time per year,I just judge it by observing the creatures’ condition. So keeping them in a stable condition is always my target. For the tanks with low nutrient salt,the Alk also need to be kept low—the opposite for the high ones.

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    Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
    1.2 Ocellaris Clownfish
    2.blue green reef chromis
    3.Six Line Wrasse

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    Other Invertebrates:
    1.4 Saron Shrimp
    2.6 Turbo Snail
    3.Astraea Conehead Snail
    4. White-spotted Hermit Crab

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    Tank Inhabitants— Corals:
    1. Acropora
    2. Birdsnest Coral
    3. Hydnophora
    4. Stylophora Coral
    5. Poccipora
    6. Montipora digitata
    7. Zoanthids
    8. Acan
    9. Sarcophyton
    10. Euphyllia ancora

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    Fish and Coral Feeding:


    I feed the fish 3~4 times per day, small amounts, for coral was once a week after 2 hours of light off.

    Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?

    Before keeping reef tanks, I use to kept several fresh water tanks for years, but when I saw the reef tanks in the aquarium market the first time, I knew that’s what I really want.

    How long have you been doing this?

    Reefing 3 years

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

    I got a lot of knowledge and information from the forums such as Reef2reef, found a lot of good friends from all over the world. Special thanks for @brandon429, @Joseph Chi, and @Sunnie,they really helped me a lot. I can see the real passion and enthusiasm from them. Also thanks to my beautiful wife, who always supports me, and even take care of my tanks for me when I wasn’t home.

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

    The tank has been running for more than 39 months. because of the work transfer, I need to move to another city, so it is the honor to be selected by Reef2reef as a Reef Spotlight, and I should continue to keep the nano tanks in the future, because in my heart, I’ll always keep the love for the nano tanks.

    Here are some of the other nanos I have kept:

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    Final Thoughts?

    For more than three years of company, reef tanks have taught me a lot, let me get the charm of natural growth, teach me about patience, stability, persistence. Hope that every tank enthusiast can take care of your tank, try to understand it, it will bring you huge surprises, just Like raising children, slow down, it will be faster.

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    Be sure to check out @pongpit's other build threads:

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