A R2R Reef Spotlight: Bring the Reef Home By Joseph Chi

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by revhtree, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

    May 8, 2006
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    Bring the Reef Home

    There is no doubt that keeping a reef tank at home isn’t the cheapest hobby, nor is it effortless. However, a reef tank at home brings so many wonderful things to our lives. My name is Joseph Chi. In 2004, I owned my first marine tank in California. Now, after buying my first house in Taiwan, I’m maintaining my second SPS dominated tank. This tank has been up and running since January 2, 2015. This tank, like life, has had its many ups and downs.

    System Profile
    • Display tank: 132cm x 90cm x 60xm, Rimless Open Top with 12mm tempered glass
    • Stand: Custom made wood stand, 170cm x 94cm
    • Sump: Custom made 5mm glass 160cm x 50cm x 45 cm with a 45cm x 50 cm x 45 cm refugium section
    • Protein skimmer: Bubble King Deluxe 300
    • Carbon/phosphate filtration: Custom made 0.5L carbon reactor
    • Return pump: Red Dragon RD3 80W x 2
    • Water circulation: Apex Wav x 4
    • Lighting (display): ATI Hybrid 4Food x1 + Kessil AP700 x 2
    • Lighting (refugium): AI 26
    • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: Home made solution with Baking soda, CaCl2, MgCl2
    • Kalkwasser reactor: None
    • Auto top-off: Tunze ATO
    • Heating/cooling: 300 W x 2 and Chiller
    • System control: Apex Classic
    • Any other details: Electric winch for light move up and down

    Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives

    I keep the return pump circulation going no more than 6 cycles per hour, and rely on my four Apex WaV pumps to create enough current and turbulence. Ideally, I try to keep the food in my display tank as long as possible before it goes down to my filter pad and skimmer. I feed my coral and turn the skimmer off for 2 hours after lights off.

    Water Parameters
    • Temp: 76 ~ 78 F
    • pH: 8.2~8.6
    • Specific gravity: 1.025
    • NO3: 0.2 ~0.5ppm
    • Ca: 420~450 ppm
    • Alk: ~7.5 dKH
    • Mg: 1400~1450 ppm
    • PO4: 0.02 ppm to undetectable by Henna
    • Ammonia and nitrites: no set after one month tank run

    Lighting Summary and Objectives

    I did not spend much effort studying PAR vs Spectrum for coral growth and coloration. I simply followed the best tanks around the world and decided to go with T5, adding LEDs for shimmer effect. Two side Kessil LEDs also help to cover my oversized tank width that a 55cm ATI fixture would not cover.

    • Display tank:12:00 pm gradually to 100% at 2:00 pm both ATI T5/LED and Kessil, and 11:45 pm gradually off to 12:30 am complete off
    • Refugium: Full on at 12:30 am and off at 8:30 am

    Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives

    Water change and mechanic filtration still play key roles in my tank. I am quite against the statement that 10% water change “only” improves 10% of the water quality and 10% correction. What I realized is that the tank owner should take the chance to siphon the bottom of the tank by blowing the tank’s dead corner with a small pump. Then they should try to target the removal of things such as debris and POM/DOM to maximize the effect of the 10% water change. It is also important to make sure new water parameters such as salinity, temperature, alkalinity, Ca, and Mg are close enough to the tank water to ensure water change activity is beneficial to your tank rather than hurting it.

    For the mechanic filter, I gave up the filter sock due to many reasons, but I use both the filter pad and the bio filter mat. They won’t completely solve the issue of a snail growing inside a return pump, but should help to reduce the chance when the tank owner is out of town.

    I love my 24/7 skimmer which improves water quality and provides adequate oxygen for tank residents. When I started this tank on Feb. 2nd, 2015, it ran a full Zeovit system, but after Sept. 2016, I changed to a mix of Zeovit and Aquaforest. I started to call this mixed system “Zeoforest” based on a friend’s idea.

    Tank Supplements and Coral Food
    • Salt - Af Reef Salt 0.75 + KZ Reefer Best Coral Salt 0.25
    • Nutrient Control - KZ Bak, KZ Start3, KZ ZEOvit
    • Coral Nutrition - Af ABEV, KZ CV
    • Water Quality - KZ Sponge Power, KZ Snow, BrightWell Carbon
    • Major Elements - Home made Baking Soda, CaCl,MgCl, KCl
    • Cure and others - KZ Flatworm Stop, RedSea Aiptasia-X, Af Reef Mineral Salt
    • Trace Elements - Af Component ABC, Af Iron, Af Iodum, Af Strontium, Af Fluorine
    • Color Improvement - KZ Xtra, KZ B-Balance, KZ Coral Booster

    Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives

    Calcium, Alkalinity, and Magnesium are the three major elements that are the easiest to handle after dosing pumps became popular and reliable and KH monitor devices, like KHG, walked into our lives. I was an alpha tester for Dr.Bridge’s KHG, so since day one of running my tank, I was able to know exactly what my tank’s alkalinity was anywhere and anytime which helped me keep my alkalinity rock steady. I use baking soda, CaCl2, and MgCl2 to make my own solutions. It is not as economic as a calcium reactor, but the cost difference is insignificant for a 190-gallon tank.

    Tank Inhabitants - Fish
    • Mauritian Clownfish x2
    • Sohal Tang x 1
    • Blue Tang x 1
    • Yellow Tang x 1
    • Six-line Wrasse x 1
    • Lyretail Anthias x 12
    • Algae Blenny x 1
    • Mandarin Goby x 2
    • Blue Chromis x 15

    Other Invertebrates
    • Coral Banded Shrimp x 2
    • Holothuria leucospiolota x 3
    • Blue leg hermit Crab x 12
    • Red leg hermit Crab x 6
    • Saron marmoratus x15
    • Nassarius snail x10
    • Pyram / Green Top Snail x 20
    • Sea Urchin x 10

    Tank Inhabitants - Corals
    • Acropora echinata x2
    • Acropora muricata 'Staghorn' x2
    • Acropora tortuosa 'Oregon' x2
    • Acropora milliepora x3
    • Acropora gomezi x2
    • Acropora rosaria x1
    • Acropora tenuis ‘Walt Disney’ x3
    • Acropora anthocercis x1
    • Acropora hyacinthus x1
    • Acropora azurea x1
    • Acropora ethereal x1
    • Acropora carduus 'Green eye dragon' x1
    • Acropora cerealis x1
    • Acropora nana x1
    • Acropora microclados 'Strawberry Shortcake' x3
    • Acropora sp. 'Purple Barney' x1
    • Acropora sp. 'RR Wolverine' x1
    • Monodactylus argenteus 'Purple Rim Cap' x1
    • Montipora sp. 'Sunset' x1
    • Montipora setosa x1
    • Seriatopora hystrix 'Birdnest' x2

    Fish Feeding

    I give dry pellet food doses three times a day during lights on by Apex FDS, mysis shrimp frozen cubes once a week, and seaweed every other day for the fish.

    Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?

    After starting my first marine tank in 2004, I began to visit my local fish store, Aquatic Gallery in Milpitas, California. I often talked to the owner who had a beautiful coral tank. They had a small SPS tank with a few ORA frags displayed. I was surprised by the growth, shape, and coloration each time I visited. Since then I decided to give SPS tanks a shot and pursue my dream of “Bring the Reef Home”.

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

    I was very impressed by the way ORA coral farm breed and grow coral, their rich knowledge, and long term commitment to Earth. I admire the fact that they use less promotional language than their competitors, instead letting their results speak for themselves.

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

    Even though I am quite happy about my existing tank design, there are still a few details that I may shoot for with my next tank: an integrated sump like Red Dragon DreamBox, a better way to hide all pumps, a feeder in or on the display tank, an automatic monitor for KH, CA, MG, NO3, PO4, and a continuous coral food source instead of feeding once or twice a day, etc. All of the above are on-going projects and I will definitely share more details at later time.

    Final thoughts...

    With limited space at home for this hobby, you begin to think about how to integrate your design (e.g. full function sump w/ refugium underneath your tank, power winch for light fixture). When your tank is running in the living room, you start to study how to keep your overflow dead silent and your tank clean (e.g. bean animal overflow). When you travel a lot, you start to seek safety, control system, and water parameter monitoring (e.g. quality products, Apex, KHG, etc…). When a ORA frag on hand becomes a challenge, then you start to try your best to enrich your knowledge in order to keep it alive. I am grateful to have friends around that help me solve reef tank issues, utilizing innovative methods, such as most recent innovation of an improve version of Apex AFS with weight sensor and MQTT enable. I also feel very lucky that even while living in Taiwan, I can easily find advanced reefing knowledge in a timely manner from every corner of the world, especially through reef forums such as Reef2Reef. One friend told me he started to care about the earth and oceans after having a reef tank at home, so let’s work hard to bring more people into this hobby. Oh, and some final words… I plan to visit MACNA 2018. Since it is going to be in Las Vegas, let me know if you plan to visit too. I always love making more friends with the same hobby.


  2. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

    May 8, 2006
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    Thank you Joseph for sharing your beautiful reef with us!
  3. MaddyP

    MaddyP 'Til Reefdom Come... R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

    Jul 21, 2016
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    San Pedro, CA
    Beautiful tank! I'm absolutely drooling over here looking at the stand design and SPS growth.

    I couldn't help but point out your comment on the improved version of Apex AFS with weight sensor and MQTT enable. Might you expand on this?
  4. Tobbe

    Tobbe Active Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

    Jan 31, 2017
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    looks fantastic! great work
    the neptune auto feeder cone have you made this yourself looks very clever
    nautical_nathaniel and jsker like this.
  5. ReefInskeep

    ReefInskeep Active Member CIRS Member

    Feb 20, 2017
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    Can you go into the Zeovit aquaforest combo you use?
    nautical_nathaniel and jsker like this.
  6. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

    Apr 11, 2015
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    Central Florida

    Great job on the organization and setup.
    nautical_nathaniel likes this.
  7. nautical_nathaniel

    nautical_nathaniel Indecision may or may not be my problem. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

    Feb 19, 2014
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    West Palm Beach, FL
    Such an amazing tank, thanks for sharing!
    jwt1603 likes this.
  8. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones Millepora Maniac Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Hospitality Award

    Jul 24, 2017
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    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Beautiful tank, very detailed! Thanks for sharing this!
    nautical_nathaniel likes this.
  9. CalebWBrink2000

    CalebWBrink2000 Active Member R2R TV Featured Build Thread Contributor

    May 18, 2017
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  10. Fin

    Fin Tank Status: Still Dry R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Louisiana Reef Club Hospitality Award

    Sep 28, 2013
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    Lake Charles LA
    Pure awesomeness! A ton of reefing inspiration right there. Thank you for taking the time to share your reef with all of us, in the way that you did. Much appreciated!
  11. MJC

    MJC Active Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

    Mar 24, 2012
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    LongIsland NY
    Amazing reef tank.
  12. Centerline

    Centerline Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

    Sep 22, 2016
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    St. Augustine, Florida
    Great tank man...
  13. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Article Contributor

    Nov 24, 2013
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    Always a great tank.
  14. siggy

    siggy Gone Fishing Again R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor

    Feb 16, 2017
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    Chesterfield Michigan
    Beautifully done, amazing display and elegant photography. Thank you Joseph & co.
  15. mcarroll

    mcarroll PM me R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

    Jan 8, 2012
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    Very nice!

    I don't know if there are any build pics from when these corals were installed but I'd love to see what the corals looked like at the beginning. I don't think this tank started with typical USA tiny frags. ;)
  16. Bouncingsoul39

    Bouncingsoul39 Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2011
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    Los Angeles, CA
    With such high PAR numbers even on the sandbed, I'm wondering also what corals you started with, and how you acclimated them to the lighting without them bleaching. The AP-700s are clearly overkill here with numbers like that. Nice tank though. The colors don't pop like a full Zeo system tank but they are decent nonetheless.
  17. Waters

    Waters "...in perfect isolation, here behind my wall." R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

    Nov 5, 2013
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    Mentor, OH
    Gorgeous tank :)
  18. SuperDragon

    SuperDragon Active Member

    Oct 31, 2016
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    San Diego
    Wow Beautiful
  19. J Rog

    J Rog Valuable Member

    Dec 31, 2010
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    Orlando, FL
    Awesome! I like the apex auto feeder on the light! I might have to steal that idea..
    TonapahNorth and Gator1970 like this.
  20. Bacon505

    Bacon505 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Duke City Reefers

    Jan 7, 2017
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    Beautiful tank and very inspiring setup. Love your lighting setup and the par value it give. I have the same idea for awhile now to run 3 radion with my 8x54watt ati but the cost for 3 radion is just too much to afford sadly lol.
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