We are delighted to announce that the Reef of the Month for May, 2019, belongs to @reef jacob. He has a build thread--which is always fun to read--but it wasn't until we started talking to him that we realized the extent of his accomplishments.

There is no shortage of serious reefers here on Reef2Reef, and there are lots of beautiful tanks to consider for a Reef of the Month. But there are some very unusual things about @reef jacob. Not only does he have a beautiful reef, but it's only two years old, and he is only 18. So, he started this tank when was 16. That's something to write about.

It's also worth mentioning that Jacob has a notable sense of modesty. When we first contacted him about profiling his tank for Reef of the Month, he was sure we had made a mistake and couldn't possibly be wanting to showcase *his* tank. Yes, Jacob, we're really proud of *your* accomplishments, and we want to showcase *your* tanks.

And not only does Jacob have a tropical reef system, but he also has two cold water tanks with livestock native to where he lives in the Pacific Northwest.

So, as you read below, you'll see that Jacob has a tropical display tank tied together with a separate frag tank, and they share the same sump. Then he also has the cold water tanks.

He has made some changes to his display tank recently when he had to deal with an overwhelming population of majano anemones. We're going to show you many photos of his system. All the photos below are courtesy of @reef jacob ©2019, All Rights Reserved. Enjoy.



My name is Jacob Pulsipher. I'm 18 years old and have been really into reefing for about 3 years now.
Here is my 120-gallon dual overflow mixed reef that has been up and running for 16 months. It has a DIY 40breeder with a Reef Octopus int 150 skimmer and a Jebao dct- 1200. Bubble magus two-part doser, dosing 10ml of red sea nopox and 220ml of calcium and alkalinity. I also dose red sea coral colors, and feed BRS Reef Chili. I feed mysis and Hikari marine A.

Water change schedule is basically when the tank needs it... I don't know... Ive gotten very lazy and haven't done a water change since December.... The coral seems to be doing great and the red sea nopox is really working good and keeping low nutrients. I'm using Red Sea Coral Pro but I'm slowly switching to Aquaforest salt.


Display tank: Marineland 120 dual overflow

Glass or Acrylic: 1/2" glass

Stand: Custom walnut stand with built-in electrical outlets and GFI.

Sump: 40 gallon DIY sump with acrylic dividers.

Grow-out tank: Marineland rimless 60-gallon cube corner overflow

Protein skimmer: Reef Octopus int 150

Carbon/phosphate filtration: Bulk Reef Supply rox .8 carbon. Periodically use gfo.

Return pump: Jebao DC 12000

Water circulation: Jebao rw-15 and Jebao gyre cp40

Lighting (display): 8 bulb t-5 fixture that is modified with cooling fans and two plugs to enable me to run 4 bulbs on each plug. Also have a DIY Reef Brite LED strip that is twice as powerful as the Reef Brite and I have it controlled via phone app.

Lighting (grow-out): crystal reef LED

Lighting (refugium): LED light

Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: for the first two years of my reef I used BRS two part and dosed it using a Bubble Magus doser.

Auto top-off: Genesis auto top off and RODI controller.

Heating/cooling: Ehiem Jager 200w

System control: Finnex heater controller


Equipment list:

Reef Octopus int150 skimmer

Bubble Magus doser

1 Jabeo pp-8

2 Jebao wp-25

1 Jebao dct-1200 return

8 bulb 48" Sun Blaze fixture with 3 ATI blue plus, 3 ATI coral plus, 2 ATI purple plus this fixture puts out 400 par top of the tank 285 mid and 225 at the sand.

DIY Reef Brite LED strip that is controlled by my smart phone and slowly ramps up then ramps down
the LED strip has 9 royal blue 3 watt LEDs and 9 UV 3 watt LEDs.

Genesis auto top off and reservoir top off which basically has a solenoid on the RODI which automatically refills the auto top-off reservoir.

Finnex heater controller with a Eheim Jager 300-watt heater


Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:

I use the two Jebaos to keep the water random and a gyre-like flow. Also use the 4 return nozzles to get flow on certain corals.

Water Parameters:

* Temp:78-79

* pH:8.0-8.1

* Specific gravity:1.026

* NO3:<5ppm

* Ca: 425ppm

* Alk: 9dKH

* Mg:1385

* Ammonia and nitrites: 0 ammonia 0 nitrite


Lighting Summary and Objectives:

LEDs turn on then 4 bulbs then 8 bulbs then 4 bulbs then LEDs.

There is a 48" 8-bulb Sun Blaze fixture with 4 blue plus, 3 coral plus and 1 purple plus. I also made a DIY Reef Brite LED strip but mine is more powerful and is controlled via phone app which can be fully controlled. And it only cost me $80 to build this DIY Reef Brite instead of buying an actual Reef Brite for $350.



* Display tank: 2 hours of ramping up led then 2 hours of 4 bulbs then 4 hours of all 8 bulbs and 100% led then 2 hours of 4 bulbs then 2 hours of ramping down LED.

* Grow-out tank: ramps up and down starts at 8am-10pm


Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:

I use red Sea nopox and filter socks and a big skimmer and lots of old live rock and BRS rox .8 carbon to eliminate water changes.

Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives:

I first used a two-part dosing method but for the past year I've used a Reef Octopus calcium reactor to replenish cal, alk, and mag and essential elements.


Tank Inhabitants—Fish:

1. Blue hippo tang (6")

2. Sailfin tang (6")

3. Kole yellow-eyed tang (4")

4. Yellow tang (4")

5. 3 blue/green chromis

6. Engineer goby

7. Mated pair of true percula clownfish

8. Black chromis

9. Canary blenny

10. Yellowhead wrasse

11. Melanurus wrasse

12. Timor wrasse

13. Red Mandarin dragonet

14. 2 pajama cardinal, one of them is 12 years old.

15. Mated pair clarki clownfish

16. Porcupine puffer

17. Six-line wrasse


Other Invertebrates:

Sand-sifting starfish

Clean up crew and use to have a huge 16in rainbow bubble tip anemone

All different types of snails

Cleaner shrimp

Fire shrimp


Tank Inhabitants— Corals:

Upscales microclados
chips acro
joe the acro
cali tort
Oregon tort
diablo milli
green with purple tip stag
bali slimmer
palleta pink tip
fire digi
forest fire monti
jedi mind trix
red/orange monti
ora frogskin
red planet
cats pawl
orange Ricordias
amour of god palys
fire and ice zoas
bam bams
Christmas favia
several types of hammer
tricolor valida tort
pink birds nest
war coral
green duncans
candy canes
purple stylo
branching pavana coral
deep water acro
Miami hurricane chalice
red and white eye chalice
blue and orange chalice
Idaho grape
purple gorgonian
several no name acros
other no name SPS and LPS corals


Fish and Coral Feeding:

I feed mysis and Reef Frenzy and nori everyday and feed Hikari Marine A 3 times a day.

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?

My older brother started the hobby and I took over the 90-gallon softie tank because no one else in the family wanted to deal with it. I didn't really care a whole lot about it for the first year but once I upgraded and got a 6 foot 135-gallon tank, that's where my passion for the hobby grew exponentially.


What about your first tank?

My first tank was a 90 gallon but I don't really consider that as my first tank because the 135-gallon tank is really where I got obsessed with the hobby and took off from there.

Tell me about your evolution as an aquarist.

At first I had no idea what I was doing and would overflow the tank with the RODI often by accident. Now that I think about it I was an awful aquarist. But I started to watch all of the Bulk Reef Supply videos and that is where everything clicked, and I learned how to be successful in the hobby. I owe all my success to Ryan at BRS because if it wasn't for his videos I wouldn't be the aquarist I am now.


Can you tell us about any special big successes or big mistakes?

What led to my greatest success was spending 2-5 hours a day maintaining the reef and really being one with the tank as they say. But my greatest fail was setting up a 6-foot predator tank with triggers, puffers, lionfish and a grouper. At first it was so cool and such a blast to feed the fish especially the lionfish.

However, I purchased a blue jaw trigger and didn't quarantine it which was ok for a week until an outbreak of ich killed all the fish. The only fish that didn't die from ich in that tank was a Christmas wrasse and he chose to go carpet surfing instead of dying from ich.


Any big problems?

In my 120 gallon reef I had an outbreak of majanos which killed some SPS and LPS and even killed most of my ricordias. I had to take every rock out and scrape off every single majano which filled a large bowl. I would say I scraped off thousands of majanos.

How long have you been doing this?

I first started when I was 12 but really got into it when I was 15 years old. Now I'm 18 years old and hope to keep going in the hobby.


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

Like I said above, Ryan from bulk reef supply taught me success and how to have an enjoyable time in the hobby instead of having a constant struggles. Also Marc Levenson from melevsreef inspired me to have a mixed reef and a purple gorgonian because his gorgonian is amazing! Also his videos taught me what I know.

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

I'm going to serve a 2-year mission for my church, and then I'll be gone for college after that so I hope to teach my parents how to maintain the reef tanks. But when I have a family later in life I hope to have a nice built-in reef to teach and inspire.

The cold water tanks?

I have this reef system and a cold water system which is a 20 gallon and a 40-gallon tank. Honestly I like cold water more because the inverts are soooo cool and it's practically 0 maintenance. The 20 and 40 have a 10-gallon sump.

The cold water tanks.




Any advice for beginners?

It takes time and never expect have a perfect reef tank because no one has a "perfect tank". Also try and learn as much as you can about fish and coral species so that you don't regret adding a coral or fish later. Finally this hobby doesn't have to be crazy expensive. I get all my equipment used, and I do everything DIY instead of spending hundreds of dollars and name-brand equipment. Also always try to never change things suddenly or try new products all the time; just stick with something that works for you and don't change it because you saw another tank that looks amazing. The chemicals and salt are not what produces a beautiful reef, it's the reefkeeper.

This tank has been going for 16 months and I know I don't have the fancy ATI fixture or aquarium controller or Ecotech pumps, but what I have proven is that you can grow SPS even doing the cheapest setup.

I don't consider myself a very good reefer, I'm pretty lazy actually, and that's what led to my infestation of majanos. But all I did is watch all of the Bulk Reef Supply videos and go by what they say, and it's got me to where I am.


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Reef2Reef thanks @reef jacob for sharing his tanks with us, answering detailed questions, and allowing us to use his beautiful photos in order to make Reef of the Month a regular feature.