Littlebigreef's 220

littlebigreef

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Hi all, I joined last year but didn't have the discipline to post on reef2reef but you can find pics on my littlebigreef instagram handle. I'm hoping to post here more regularly.

The 220 gal was established last November with livestock from my existing 75gal. The rock structures were built in 2011 and were originally in a 120 gal. My primary area of interest is zoas but I also enjoy lps and sps. I have slowly been adding fish but I've been avoiding anything that would be a long-term commitment i.e. Tangs.

As for the David Copperfield stuff: display lighting- 3 Ecoray 72 DX's. Sump is a 125 gal with 6' 8-bulb T-5 unit. I run an Aquac Ev-240 driven by a Mag-Drive Supreme 18. I use sock filters when I'm industrious enough to clean them... or when I order new ones. Finally, I have a Two Little Fishies phosphate reactor which runs Phosban. That's really about it.

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littlebigreef

littlebigreef

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As I mentioned before I built two rock structures in 2011 or so and these became the squat structure on the far right and the right-hand side of the arch. The change in depth from the 75gal to the 220 led me to make the footers that they now sit on. The added height of the structure makes for a more 'dramatic' space for the fish to move about. The only rock that's 'stacked' is on far left and the section behind the acans. I just recently was able to finish off the left side of the tank to my satisfaction.

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revhtree

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Nice! Time to mount some frags! HA!
 
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littlebigreef

littlebigreef

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One of the most useful facts I've learned about the hobby is that every aquarium has a 'life span'. Inevitably every tank that's set up will come down. This reality lead me to build two rock structures in 2011 for my 120 gal. I had been collecting interesting rock since high school. I worked at the local pet store and was able to cherry pick Marshall island, Florida and tonga rock (circa 1997).

When building the aquascape I was familiar with Chingchai's and Peter's (nineball) aquariums and I wanted to emulate that style albeit on a smaller level. I'd been around long enough to see countless reef tanks sporting the 'rockpile' look. I wanted to play the long game and create discrete pieces that could be moved as I transitioned from one aquarium to the next (I was in grad school in 2011 and still 2 years away from meeting my wife).

The squat structure was built first over the course of a weekend. The second one took a little longer to figure out. I knew I'd want an arch one day so I left it with two 'floating' areas where I could attach future pieces of live rock. This this gave me some flexibility and served me well as I'd consolidate to a 75gal for two years before upgrading to my 220gal.

I was able to create the 'open' appearance that I was going for. I've enjoyed watching tangs, wrasses and shrimp perch and move about the rockwork in what I believe to be a more 'natural' way. It also gave me static structures to begin growing coral. The structures have swapped sides but otherwise they've remained virtually unchanged.

Here's an early photo, probably mid-2012. Later tonight I'll dust off the old PC and see what else I photographed (the tank was previously a tang fowler and before that home to a French Angel).

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littlebigreef

littlebigreef

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I did some traveling this weekend and I was able to add some cool zoas. Shout out to Steve and The Corner Reef in Columbia Il. He also hooked me up with a Hallunication but I haven't been able to get a good pic of it yet.
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Ento-Reefer

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I really love your zoa garden. I will have an area in my new tank just for zoas.
 

Ento-Reefer

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Thank you. Do you have some already? If not have you decided which strains really like?

I have these
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I can't remember the name of this strain, but they are multiplying quickly. I started with just two polyps and now I have 6. These are in my 95g, I hope to transfer all of my corals and fish to the new 180g when it is ready. I am taking it slow and letting the new tank cycle for a few weeks before I try to move anything. Check out my build thread.

I like many!! I am looking for the old tubs blue, purple hornets, fruit loops, and I would love some yellows.
 

P-Dub

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Sweet setup! I really like the way you chose to aquascape. I personally like the open look. The zoa's... NICE! Still in the planning stages of my tank and waiting for equipment. Couldn't agree more with your statement every tank will eventually come down. The build I will be doing is a 12-year-old standard 125 gal. finally out of storage. Tank, stand & canopy and the sump are the only things I am reusing. Keep the post comming...
 
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littlebigreef

littlebigreef

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Sweet setup! I really like the way you chose to aquascape. I personally like the open look. The zoa's... NICE! Still in the planning stages of my tank and waiting for equipment. Couldn't agree more with your statement every tank will eventually come down. The build I will be doing is a 12-year-old standard 125 gal. finally out of storage. Tank, stand & canopy and the sump are the only things I am reusing. Keep the post comming...

Thanks! I worked at an aquarium store after college so I was able to hone my aquascaping skills. The most difficult part is putting everything together without making it look contrived. Around that time I had been looking at Peter's Aquarium and Chingchai Uerokrongtham's aquariums of ReefCentral so I tried to emulate them knowing that I'd one day trade up to a large aquarium. The other benefit of having an open rock structure is that it brings out the natural behavior in the fish and inverts. I love watching the wrasses zip around while the shrimp set up cleaning stations on the undersides of overhangs.

Its exciting to hear about your 125gal, its a great mid-sized aquarium to work with and gives you the full 6'... something I longed for when I had my 120 (4' x 2' config). I'd be sure to keep my eye out as your build progresses.
 

Dan McNertney

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I really like this. I too have a 220. I started with sand, just as you have, recently I have slowly been removing the sand through water changes and am working to add zoas and soft coral on the floor in place of the sand. With as many zoas as you have, would be really cool to see an all zoa floor. Just a suggestion.
 
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littlebigreef

littlebigreef

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I really like this. I too have a 220. I started with sand, just as you have, recently I have slowly been removing the sand through water changes and am working to add zoas and soft coral on the floor in place of the sand. With as many zoas as you have, would be really cool to see an all zoa floor. Just a suggestion.

Thank you! I'm a fan of substrate for a couple reasons but it's not a deep sand bed. I do, however, move the discs every 3-4 months and turn over the sand bed which is a pain.
 

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