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R2R Username: @Dragon Lee
Build Thread:
A Corner of My NPS tank



It's a great honor for my tank to be selected as the ROTM. Thanks to Daniel and the rest of Team R2R.

I'm Jiageng Li. I live in a seaside city. Maybe it's because I'm a Pisces, but I liked everything about aquariums ever since I was a kid. In 2016, I had my first saltwater tank which was a 183-gallon FOT (Fish Only Tank). In 2021, I decided to set up a NPS tank because I was amazed by an orange Gorgonian in my friend's studio.

I set up a 30 gallon-tank at the beginning for to test. As I bought more and more, the tank was upgraded to 105 gallons. After a while, the tank was completely filled. At last, I put all NPS into one 155-gallon tank.

In my opinion, flow is the most important factor for NPS corals.They need stronger flow than LPS, and even stronger than SPS. The second most important factor is feeding. I only feed brine shrimp. As for the lights, at least 2 hours daily because I always sit in front of the tank and stare into space for a long time. In fact, light does not have much effect on NPS growth.


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System Profile
  • Display tank: 100*82*65cm (L39" × W32" × H25")
  • Glass or Acrylic: Glass
  • Display Tank Volume: 130 Gallons
  • Sump: 35"×15"×15"
  • Protein skimmer: Ae CL HAGENPT8208 37W
  • Return pump: 5000L
  • Water circulation: MAXSPECT XF 330
  • Lighting (display): Zetlight Q6-90
  • Heating/cooling: Air conditioner, JBL heating and TK1000 cooling
  • Additional equipment: ATS
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Water Circulation: Water is circulated at a rate of 8x per hour.

Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 21℃-24℃ (68℉-75℉)
  • pH: 7.6-7.8
  • Alk: 7-8kh
  • Specific gravity: 1.022-1.024
  • NO3: 25-50
  • PO4: 0.3-0.5

What salt mix do you use? HAIBAO SOLID SEAWATER

What kind of rock did you start with? MARCO ROCKS

What is your substrate? Blue Greasure Sand

What and how do you dose for the big 3 (alk/cal/mag)? I just change water and manually dosing alk.

Are you dosing anything else for your reef health (carbon dosing, aminos, etc.)? There's been no need for additional dosing.


Lighting Summary and Objectives: White light 2-4 hours everyday only for viewing pleasure. NPS do not require lighting for growth.

I do run the light on my ATS: for 16 hours daily.

Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives: The goal is to keep PO4 below 0.6. As mentioned above, an ATS is run for 16 hours each day to help keep phosphate levels within the target range.

What is your maintenance routine?
  • Daily: Clean glass, feed the tank, check pumps and equipment,
  • Weekly: Fill ro reservoir, empty skimmer, clean ATS, hatch brine shrimp

What is the most difficult part of keeping an NPS tank?

Perseverance. Because NPS need regular feeding and water changes.

What do you think would surprise most people about keeping an NPS tank if they tried it?

You would be surprised that NPS corals can adapt to such poor water quality. They are stronger than SPS and LPS...even better than fish.

All corals in this tank are different varieties of NPS corals.

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Fish Inhabitants:

  • 10 Banggai Cardinalfishes
  • 1 Spotbreast angelfish
  • 2 bluestreak cleaner wrasse
  • 2 Pseudanthias pleurotaenia
  • 1 Parachaetodon ocellaris.




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Other Invertebrates:
  • 20 gold ring cowrie
  • 1 cleaner shrimp
Fish and Coral Feeding:

Fish: HIKARI mysis shrimp 3 cubes of frozen food every other day

Coral: Brine shrimp 30grams weekly,15g everytime. I will gradually increase it to 200 grams.

Photo of the tank at feeding time

How did you decide what to keep in your tank?

I just follow my heart. :)

Any fish, invert, or coral you will NEVER keep?

I would never keep a sea apple.

What do you love most about the hobby?

I love that I can always satisfy my curiosity because there is always something interesting to be discovered.


How long have you been doing this?

8 years

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?It's me. :)

If you could have any tank, what size would it be and why?

I'd like to have a 80"×40"×30". Gorgonians grow so fast, and I want to collect more and more different corals. Such a large tank would allow for a large coral collection.

Here's a photo record showing the growth of a coral in this tank

Favorite fish? Spotbreast angelfish (F)

Favorite coral? The blue gorgonian.

What tips would you give to other reefers considering an NPS tank?

You might start with a 15-gallon tank to familiarize yourself with the flow and feeding. There's no need for a skimmer or light.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I'd like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Siro3, Dr. Li and Cheung. It's because of all of you guys' support that I can set up such an NPS tank.

I will share my experience and hope more and more friends to join in the NPSER.