Reef Spotlight -December 2011 - "Sweetride"

  1. EDITOR'S NOTE: The pics in this article were updated based on the member's build thread due to original photos posted in article being lost from server.

    REEF SPOTLIGHT - December 2011
    The Reef Aquarium of:
    Ian Geronimo aka "Sweetride"
    You can also check out Ian's tank build here on R2R:

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    Let me start by saying it is an honor to have been selected for this month's Reef Spotlight. I am humbled to be in the company of so many accomplished reefers. My name is Ian Geronimo aka Sweet Ride (the handle is from a different hobby!) I currently reside in Toronto, Canada. I am very pleased to be given the opportunity to share our ocean in a glass box with fellow reefers.

    How long have you been doing this?
    If my memory serves me correctly, my first reef system was setup December 2004. I started with a 5 or 10 gallon nano cube and 6 months later I upgraded to a 35 gallon system. A year later, I upgraded to a 65 gallon system and in 2009 I upgraded to my current 110 gallon system.

    Who or what was responsible for getting you into the hobby?
    Jason from Reef Raft is the main reason how I got started in salt water. Prior to that, I had fresh water tanks on and off throughout the years since I was just a little kid, so aquariums in general are not new to me.

    Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you?
    Throughout the years Jason has set up some amazing show tanks. I only wish that my tank could look half as good and have a quarter of those amazing corals.

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    System Profile
    Display tank: 110 gallon Peninsula Style with center/coast to coast overflow by Miracle Aquarium 60"L X 18"W X 24"H
    Glass or Acrylic: Glass
    Stand: I designed and built the stand to have full access on both side from top to bottom
    Sump: 40 gallon breeder by Hagen
    Protein Skimmer: Euro Reef RS180
    Carbon/phosphate filtration: (2) TLF Phosban reactors running carbon & GFO
    Return Pump: Poseidon PS4
    Water circulation: (4) Koralia Evo 1400 on Wavemaker & (2) modified Tunze 6045 Nano Streams.
    Lighting: Tek Light T5HO 48" 6X54w running (4) Sfiligoi 20K Deep Blue and (2) Korallen Zucht 14K New Generation. I also use (2) 4ft LED strips for dawn/dusk simulation and (2) Coralife 3/4 watt moonlights.
    Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: A calcium reactor had always been part of the picture during the planning stages, as I knew that I wanted this to be a small polyped stony coral dominated system. I even had a spot allocated inside the stand for the reactor. When I got the system going, I really didn't need the reactor. The livestock did not demand a significant amount of calcium, so I used ESV B-Ionic 2 part solution and dosed it manually. Six months later, the dosing method was still working, so I decided that I could keep an SPS dominated system with just a 2 part solution and ditched the reactor completely. As the calcium and alkalinity demand increase, manually dosing just wasn't cutting it so my inexpensive solution was to use an Aqualifter with a ball valve to adjust to flow of the solution as well as a digital timer. I'm still using this method as it stands and I've seen great results, so I don't see any reason to change it, but in the future I wouldn't mind getting a proper dosing system. I'm currently using BRS 2 part solution, adding 20ml of calcium every 6 hours as well as 20ml alkalinity every 6 hours, staggered 3 hours apart. I'm also dosing kalk as part of the auto top off to help maintain the pH level more than anything. Magnesium is also added to the system as needed.
    Auto top-off: ATO is controlled by RKL float switch and water is added via Aqualifter pump from a 5 gallon water reservoir.
    Heating/cooling: The system has been running for 2 years and I never had a heater in it, ever! For cooling I have (10) 120mm computer case fan 6 of them blowing fresh air and 4 of them pulling out hot air (all fans are located on top of the canopy) this is controlled by RKL via water temp set points.
    System control: RKL for ATO & cooling fan, and standard digital timer for lighting and dosing system


    Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives
    Circulation is provided by a Poseidon PS4 return pump entering the tank via locline fitting in the viewing end of the tank. I also use two modified Tunze 6045 Nano Streams on each side of the return outlet and four Koralia Evo 1400s on a Wavemaker, placed in front of the overflow to create random flow inside the tank.

    Water Parameters
    * Temp: 76-78F via RKL & American Pinpoint
    * pH: 7.70 via RKL & American Pinpoint
    * Specific gravity: 1.025 via Refractometer
    * NO3: Undetectable via Salifert test kit
    * Ca: 450 via Elos test kit
    * Alk: 7.8 dKH via hanna calorimeter
    * Mg: 1500 via Elos test kit
    * PO4: 0 via Hanna Calorimeter
    * Ammonia and nitrites: Undetectable via Salifert test kit

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    Lighting Photoperiod
    8:00 AM: Actinics ON
    8:15 AM: Moonlights OFF
    12:00 PM: Main Lighting ON
    12:15 PM: Actinics OFF
    9:45 PM: Actinics ON
    10:00 PM: Main Lighting OFF
    11:45 PM: Moonlights ON
    12:00 AM: Actinics OFF


    Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives
    I use a 40 gallon breeder as a sump. The water is pre-filtered through a 200 micron filter sock and skimmed with a Euro Reef RS180 skimmer. I also use two Phosban Reactor 150s filled with active carbon & granular ferric oxide. The active carbon is changed every 2 weeks and the granular ferric oxide is change every 2 months. Vodka is also added to the system every day and I conduct a 20 gallon water change every 2 weeks using Instant Ocean salt.


    Tank Inhabitants - Fish:

    Longnose Hawkfish (Oxycirrhites typus)
    Purple Dottyback (Pseudochromis porphyreus)
    Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon meleagris)
    Yellow Wrasse (Halichoeres chrysus)
    Green Wrasse (Halichoeres chloropterus)
    Lyretail Anthias (Pseudanthias squamipinnis)
    Dispar Anthias (Pseudanthias dispar)
    Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
    Yellow Tang - Hawaii (Zebrasoma flavescens)
    Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)

    Tank Inhabitants - Other Invertebrates
    Blue Tuxedo Urchin (Mespilia globulus)
    Blood Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)
    Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
    Nassarius Snail (Nassarius distortus)
    Cerith Snail (Cerithium sp.)
    Tectus Snail (Tectus fenestratus)

    Tank Inhabitants - Corals
    The majority of the corals in the system were grown from small frags. There are at least 60 different types of corals in the system.
    Acropora austera
    Acropora bellina
    Acropora formosa
    Acropora prostata
    Acropora millepora
    Acropora nana
    Acropora staghorn
    Acropora tortuosa
    Acropora valida
    Montipora capricornis
    Montipora digitata
    Montipora verrucosa
    Montipora stellata
    Montipora confusa

    Various Zoanthids
    Green Star Polyps










    Fish and Coral Feeding
    The fish are fed 3 times a day via auto feeder with New Life Spectrum pellets. I also feed them seaweed and various frozen food 3 times per week. Despite the consensus that small polyped stony coral does not need to be feed directly I still mix Nutra-Kol NutraPlus, DT's Oyster Eggs, Cyclop-eeze and Reef-Roids and broadcast feed twice per week. The main pump and all of the power heads are turned off for 60 minutes to give the corals time to absorb the nutrients. During this time, significant polyp extension is visible in most of the small polyped stony coral.​

    Progression Photos

    September 2009

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    February 2010

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    March 2010

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    December 2010

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    July 2011

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    Aug 2011

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    September 2011

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    Winter 2011

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    What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?
    As I continue to gain more experience in the hobby, I will continue to acquire more unique and colorful small polyped stony corals. As they continue to grow, I'll slowly phase out some of the starter/beginner SPS that I originally acquired. As for upgrading to a bigger tank, I don't see this happening anytime in the near future, as the currently tank just turned two years old!

    Any Final thoughts?
    The success of our system and the health of its inhabitants are solely our responsibility, and we all try to offer them the best habitat possible. We all must realize that, in many cases, these creatures have been taken from their natural environment, and it is our obligation to provide for them as well as we can.

    I would like to thank my better half Imee, our daughter Isabelle and the newest adding to our family Irwin who truly support me even thought I spend too much time on the tank! I would also like to thank Jason from Reef Raft for getting me started in the salt water hobby. A thank you also goes out to Reef 2 Reef and the people behind it for noticing my tank and the giving me the opportunity to share this with everyone.

    Here are a couple of post-article updated FTS shots of this beautiful reef:

    August 2012

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    October 2014

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