Reef Spotlight - July 2010 - "Aquabacs"

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    Reef Aquarium of Michael Lukaczyn


    Introduction and History

    For those who know me and those who don't, my name is Michael Lukaczyn and go by the name Aquabacs on the aquarium forums. My father indoctrinated me in marine aquariums at an early age and I have been addicted ever since. Over the years, I have had many types of aquariums from fish only to SPS aquariums. My latest venturehas been for the last 3 + years, in which I have been keeping strictly only non-photosynthetic corals and crinoids.​

    System Profile

    • Display Tank: 23.5" x 23.5" x 20" Rimless; 50 gallon Cadights Artisan series; Starfire glass (Front, Left and Right sides)
    • Lighting: 2x Neo Arm (imported from Japan by Aquatouch) clamp style multi-position arm light fixture
    • Protein Skimmer: NAC-6 by Bubble Magnus
    •Water Circulation: Vortech MP40W; Tunze 1073.04 return pump; Danner Mag Drive 7
    •Other Filtration: 1 liter of Fauna Marin Ultra-Lith in a Fauna Marin expandable mesh bag
    MR1 Shorty Reactor by Next Reef
    1/2 cup ESV Carbon
    • Chiller: 1/10th HP DBA-075 by JBJ Lighting
    • Controller: GHL/Pofilulux II connected via serial cable to a Asus Netbook (1005HAB)




    Nanotuners 21 watt PAR 38 lamps left side is 12K with 40 degree optics and the right side is 20K with 40 degree optics. Secondary lights used: LeDio 9 Mystery Purple spot lamp and Nanotuners 21 watt PAR 38 all red with lamp 60 degree optics.

    The lighting section for the aquarium was based on Japanese style LED spot lighting only. Since this aquarium is a non-photosynthetic aquarium, the lighting is used solely for aestetic purposes only. The fixtures can be adjusted to angle the lighting to where is desired to highlight the aquarium. The newest light I have added to my lighting array is the Ledio 9 LED mystery purple bulb. This bulb was the first to be brought over from Japan and visually is unique. You either love how the light highlights corals and makes them pop or you hate it. Red PAR38 LED lamp can be used to view nocturnal invertebrates without disturbing them since it seems that most can not see red light.​

    Water Circulation

    Vortech MP40W set to 100% on reef crest mode in tank, Tunze 1073.04 return pump and a Danner Mag Drive 7 pump for chiller.​


    Fishmate auto feeder and floating feeding ring used for dry foods.

    Refrigerated Auto-feeding System
    Avanti 1.7 cu. ft refrigerator
    Bubble Magnus BM-T01 dosing pump


    The refrigerated auto feeding system was taken from a design used by Steve Weast. The systems concept is to deliver refrigerated Reef Nutrition liquid foods to the aquarium consistantly throughout the day without the issue of foods spoiling.

    Feeding & Supplements Schedule:

    1) Daily---Using a Fish Mate auto feeder, Fauna Marin Ultra Sea fan, Fauna Marin Ultra Clam, and Fauna Marin Ultramin F is dispensed 4x a day, each time over a 2-hour period, continuously 24/7.

    2) Daily---Using the refrigerated auto feeder
    6 ml daily of Shellfish Diet (1ml every 4 hrs)
    12 ml daily of OysterFeast (1ml every 2 hrs)
    20 ml daily of Rotifeast (.83ml every hour)
    3) Daily at 7am---.5ml of Fauna Marin UltraMin D and .5 ml of Fauna Marin UltraMin S is dosed manually to the aquarium

    4) Daily at 6pm---frozen Piscine Energetics or Hikari mysis shrimp is defrosted in aquarium water and fed manually

    5) Daily at 8pm---frozen Argent Cyclop-eeze is defrosted in aquarium water and fed manually

    6) Feather stars seem to love Ultra min F! I frequently mix in 1/2 cup of aquarium water: a 1/8th of a teaspoon of Ultra Min F, frozen Argent Cyclop-eeze, 1ml of Reef Nutrition OysterFeast. Then I dose the feather stars directly using a Kent Sea Squirt.

    7) Daily--- Lightly stir sections of the gravel in my aquarium allowing detritus into the water column

    8) Daily---A bag of Fauna Marin Ultralith stones are located in the last chamber of the sump (I use them now instead of bio balls) the bag is shaken and I let the detritus flow into the main display. Fauna Marin Ultra Bio (3 drops) and Ultra Bak (.6ml) are dosed manually to the sump above the Ultralith stones.​



    Pseudoplesiops rosae (Rose Island Basslet)

    Lubbockichthys multisquamatus (Finescale Dottyback)

    West African Serranus sp.

    Centrogenys vaidiensi

    Odontanthias borbonius (Borbonious Anthias)


    Coral List:​

    Annella sp.
    Astrogorgia sp.
    Balanophyllia sp.
    Dendrophyllia sp.
    Paraplexaura sp.
    Rhizotrochus typus
    Tubastrea aurea
    Tubastrea faulkneri






    As much as my passion for non-photosynthetic corals drives me each day, what I hold dear to my heart is my love for crinoids. In the Summer Edition of Reefs Magazine, I was able to share my experience with crinoid keeping:

    Manhattan Reefs - A Journey in Crinoid keeping By Michael Lukaczyn

    Words of Wisdom:
    • When looking to venture into non-photosynthetic aquarium keeping first start with easier species of corals like Dendrophyllia, Balanophyllia, Tubastrea. These corals are the "gateway" corals into the non-photosynthetic world. Once you have their husbandry under control and have them thriving in your system, then look to step up to other non-photosynthetic corals.
    • The feeding requirements for a non-photosynthetic aquarium can quickly take a toll on your tank and nutrient export is extremely important. One of the simplest ways to keep it under control is water changes...lots of them! This is something to keep in mind when you are looking at designing a non-photosynthetic system.
    • The great thing about having a dedicated non-photosynthetic aquarium is that your electric bill will drop monthly but you will make it up in food and salt. There are no easy outs in the hobby.
    • Scheduling, documentation and consistency, those are words I live by. I schedule all my aquarium care and feedings in Microsoft Outlook. You can use almost any program out there but stick to it. It makes aquarium care a lot easier when you have a consistant documented schedule.
    • Support your Local Fish Store
    • Challenge yourself and never settle for mediocracy in reef keeping.


    Many thanks for Reef 2 Reef for recognizing my tank with the great honor of Reef of the Month.

    First and foremost, I have thank my wife, she has been there by my side for the last 11 years with me and my hobby. She will tell you it feels like 50 with my OCRD but she does love viewing the aquarium too.

    My father, who got me hooked on this hobby 30+ years ago. He made me understand the value of good, responsible, aquarium husbandry.

    Also have to thank Jason Edward, owner of Greenwich Aquaria in Riverside, Connecticut. Jason store is my LFS or should I say...made it my LFS, once you meet him and his staff, you will make it yours too. The knowledge, service and product that is delivered is second to none.

    With continued thanks to:
    Claude @ Fauna Marin, Gresham @ Reef Nutrition, Todd @ Cherry Corals, Ian @ Reef Odyssey, Will @ Aqua-SD, Jake Adams @ Reef Builders, Randy Donowitz @ Reefs Magazine, Eric @ Glass Box Designs, Taka @ Boulder Aqua, Greg @ Aqua Technology, Enrico @ Aqua Cave, Michael Hall @ Aqua Digital, Melissa & Kevin @ Live Aquaria, Michael @ Aqua Touch, Eddie @ CadLights, Aaron & Serdar @ Phishy Business​

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