Reef Spotlight - May 2010 - "NVTE"

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    Daniel Nguyens' (NVTE) Reef Aquarium


    Introduction and History

    First of all, I like to thank all who vote for me, my reefer friends, and Reef2Reef staff Austin (aka Stunreefer).My name is Daniel Nguyen, I got into reef keeping about 5 years ago. I was keeping freshwater fishes since I was a kid, until I had a chance to meet a local reefer, Kevin Luu, who had 90 gallon in-wall reef tank which encouraged me to set up a saltwater tank. At first I started with a 60 gallon soft coral tank and didn’t do well, so I converted it back to freshwater fish. Two years later, my passion for coral and saltwater fish got me back to reef hobby and restarted my 60 gallon reef tank. This time I did a lot of reading and learned from my good/bad experiences and from Kevin and many local reefers. My corals thrived in 60 gallon with simple 4x54W HO T5 TEK Light, hang on back CPR protein skimmer, and refugium. As corals outgrew my 60 gallon tank, I began setting up my current 150 Gallon Marine Ecosystem Aquarium.​


    System Profile

    • Display Tank: 60â€x24â€x24†150 gallon Eurobraced Custom by Leemar tank.
    • Stand: 60†x24â€x37†Dark Red Pine stand
    • Sump: 60 gallon DIY sump built-in RO reservoir
    • Lighting: Two ATI Powermodule 4x54w HO T5 & Odysea Moonlight
    • Protein Skimmer:Royal Exclusiv Bubble King Supermarin 250 Internal
    •Water Circulation: Tunze 6101, Tunze 6105, 2x Tunze 6100, 7096 Tunze Controller, and Laguna Maxflow 1500 Return Pump.
    • Calcium Reactor: Deltec 600S
    • Other Filtration: TLF Phosphate Reactor, TLF Carbon Reactor, DIY Top Off
    •Controller: Neptune AC Jr.
    •Heating/Cooling: Marineland 400W heater and Fan​


    My Bubble King Supermarin protein skimmer, activated Carbon, and good live rock play big role improving and stabilizing water parameter.​




    My first plan was 2x 250W Radium with Dual Galaxy Ballast and Lumenbright Reflector, but I had issue with heat, so I chose 2 x 4 bulbs ATI Powermodule which is running cool and contributed little heat to my tank’s temperature. I go with two 4 bulbs ATI fixture which have total 4 switches instead of 2 switches on 8 bulbs fixture, so I have more photoperiod option.​

    6:00 P.M. Actinic ON
    7:00 P.M. Main Light ON
    1:00A.M. Main Light OFF
    2:30 A.M. Actinic OFF
    2:15 A.M. Moonlight ON
    6:00 P.M. Moonlight OFF​

    Water Circulation

    I count on my 4 Tunze powerheads for main flow. I am sensitive to noise, so quiet pumps are best for me. Tunze fit into that category. As return, Laguna Maxflow 1500 is doing well and quiet.​

    Maintenance and Supplements

    I do 20% water changes bi-monthly. For Ca/Alk supplementation I dose D.I.Y. "Randy 2 part". On occasion I dose some ZEOvit supplements (Amino Acid, Sponge Power, K+), along with Brightwell MicroBacter7. I change carbon bi-monthly and GFO monthly.​


    Water Parameters

    Specific Gravity: 1.025
    pH: 7.8
    Calcium: 400 ppm
    Alkalinity: 7-8 dKH
    Magnesium: 1300
    Temperature: 77°F-78°F Winter, 80°F-81°F Summer​


    I feed my fishes with New Life Spectrum pellets twice a day, and Frozen Mysis 3x per week.​


    Ecsenius midas (African Midas Blenny)
    Hemitauricthys polylepis (Pyramid Butterfly)
    Amphiprion percula (Picasso Clownfish)
    Sphaeramia nematoptera - pair (Pajama Cardinals)
    Centropyge loricula (Flame Angel)
    Centropyge venustus (Venustus Angel)
    Bodanius sp. (Peppermint Hog)
    Paracanthurus hepatus (Blue Tang)
    Zebrasoma flavescens (Yellow Tang)
    Cirrhilabrus jordani (Flame Wrasse)
    Pseudocheilinus ocellatus (Mystery Wrasse)​






    Holothuria sp. (Tiger Tailed Cucumber)
    Lysmata amboinensis (Skunk Cleaner Shrimp)
    Tridacna crocea - Three
    Various Hermit Crabs and Snails​


    Coral List:​

    A. valida
    A. florida
    (green Unknown acro)
    A. efflorescens (Efflo)
    A. abrotanoides
    A. millepora
    A. lokani
    (20K and 30K League Lokani)
    A. nasuta (Pink Jade)
    A. hoeksemai
    A. plana
    A. echinata
    A. cervicornis
    A. gomezi
    A. turaki
    A. tortuosa
    (Cali Tort)
    A. yongei (Green Slimer)
    A. sp. (Purple Monster)
    A. sp (Pink Lemonade)
    A. sp.(G.A.R.F. Bonsai)
    Blastomussa wellsi (Purple with Green Month Blasto)
    Cyphastrea decdia (Branching Cyphastrea)
    Duncanopsammia axifuga (Duncan Coral)
    "Elephant Ear" Mushroom
    Enchinophyllia sp. ("Hawaiian Volcano")
    Favia sp. ("War Coral")
    Pavona maldivensis
    Ricordea yuma
    sp. (LE Neon Green Toadstool)
    Scolymia sp. (Green)
    Seriatopora sp. (Ponape Birdnest)
    Seriatopora sp (Neon Green Birdnest)
    Sinnularia sp. (Green Finger leather)
    Stylophora “Rainbowâ€
    Stylophora subseriata
    Various small Zoanthid sp.​




    End Notes & Thanks

    Again, I like to thank Reef2Reef Staff, Austin (aka stunreefer), and reefers who voted for me, and many reefer friends (Kevin Luu, John Le, and much more) who have helped and encouraged me over years. I also thank my niece, Be Bo, who inspired my reef tank and love watching Finding Nemo.
    As a reef keeper I think the key to success is patience, keep up with tank maintenance, along with knowing and keeping your tank water parameters stable.​

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