Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Spotlight' started by mdbannister, May 2, 2017.

R2R Reef of the Month Spotlight: Mark's Rimless NPS Paradise - May 2017

SPS corals were my passion until I got my first dendro and sun coral. I researched as much as I could about them, and finally last year after...
  1. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Name: Mark Mikina
    R2R username: @M&M

    Build Thread: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/marks-rimless-nps-paradise.256387/



    Introduction:

    Hi! My name is Mark Mikina, and I live in Chicago IL. As long as I can remember, I was always fascinated with fish and aquariums. When I was a kid, I had freshwater tanks with goldfish and guppies, later graduating to more difficult fish like Discus. One day I visited my good friend and saw his SPS reef for the first time. Since that day, I was hooked. About a year later after getting some experience with easier corals, I set up 120-gallon SPS tank that I was honored to have featured here on R2R (There's a video of that reef HERE.

    SPS corals were my passion until I got my first dendro and sun coral. I researched as much as I could about them, and finally last year after moving into my new home, I was able to set up a tank dedicated only to NPS corals and deepwater fish. I am totally in shock , having my second tank nominated as ROTM 6 years later, and I am especially proud of this one, as most ROTM are still SPS tanks and most people view them as the pinnacle of reefing. I hope this will bring more awareness about the "dark side" of reefing and more people will try to keep these fascinating corals and animals coming from the deeper waters of the ocean.



    System Profile:
    • Display tank: Elos 120 XL
    • Glass or Acrylic: Glass
    • Stand: Self made
    • Sump: 40 gal
    • Protein skimmer: ATI Powercone 200IS
    • Carbon/phosphate filtration: Carbon only (passive in-sump)
    • Return pump: Jebao 1200 DCT
    • Water circulation: Maxspect Gyre XF-150 mounted vertically
    • Lighting (display): 2 x 3W blue led , Coral Compulsion 14W PAR 30 22K

    • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing: No dosing, regular WC 50 gal monthly
    • Auto top-off: Tunze
    • Heating/cooling: No heater
    • System control: Reefkeeper lite

    Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:

    For water flow I use Gyre XF-150 mounted vertically. It provides constant, medium strength gyre flow, perfect for NPS corals and my Anthias. It flows around centrally positioned rock structure, getting food to all my corals.


    Water Parameters:
    • Temp: 68-70 F
    • pH: 8.0
    • Specific gravity: 1.027
    • NO3: 10 PPM
    • Ca: 400
    • Alk: 7
    • Mg: 1200
    • PO4: 0.5 PPM
    • Ammonia and nitrites: undetectable
    Lighting Summary and Objectives:

    Dim, blue light designed to simulate the deep water environment. It also does not allow algae to grow.
    Photoperiod: On from 4 PM -11PM


    Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:

    With constant feeding, removal of nutrients is achieved by using filter socks on returns (those are changed twice a week). My big, effective skimmer is the workhorse of my system, but it is shut down for a few hours during feeding. Recently I started biopellets to help with NO3 removal. 50 gal. WC are performed monthly. Carbon is used to keep water crystal clear and is used passively in small bag in sump along with 10 liters of Siporax.


    Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives:

    NPS corals are not fast growing like SPS, so regular WC are taking care of Ca, ALK and Mg.


    Tank Inhabitants

    Fish:

    1. Tinkeri Butterfly
    2. Multicolor Angel
    3. 3 x Chalk Basslets
    4. 6 x Resplendent Anthias
    5. 3 x Sunset Anthias
    6. 2 x Sailfin Anthias
    7. 1 x Red Saddled Anthias
    8. 1 x Sunburst (Fathead) Anthias
























    Other Invertebrates:

    1. Staghorn crab
    2. army of hermit crabs
    3. 2 x basket stars
    4. 2 x red squat lobsters
    5. 1 x tube anemone
    6. 3 x Porcelain crabs
    7. feather duster worm










    Corals:

    1. yellow sun corals
    2. orange sun corals
    3. black sun corals
    4. balanophyllia
    5. fat head dendros
    6. chilli coral
    7. orange finger gorgonian
    8. red finger gorgonian
    9. menella sp. gorgonian
    10. spider sponge


















    Fish and Coral Feeding:

    I feed my tank 3 times a day, mostly frozen for fish and sun corals,and powdered food for gorgonians. Every 2 days I target feed all of my suns and dendros. I noticed, if I go about a week or longer without target feeding they don't open as much. Black sun corals get food every day. My fish, especially anthias are fat and happy with this amount of feeding.


    Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?

    I saw a beautiful reef tank in my friend's house few years ago, and I just fell in love with it. Next day I went and bought new aquarium and equipment with his help and slowly got into this hobby.


    How long have you been doing this?

    Since 2010

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

    Honestly, I don't follow anybody in particular, what inspires me the most is nature. In all of my tanks I tried to mimic the natural environment. I do like the look of a full, mature reef. The NPS deepwater tank I have right now gives me a feeling of something mysterious and very relaxing.






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

    I am happy as it is right now, no future plans to upgrade anything.

    Final Thoughts?

    I want to thank the R2R staff for selecting my tank as ROTM. I also want to thank all of the members contributing here. There is a ton of knowledge between all of us here. I love this hobby, and even though sometimes it gets hard when things don't go our way, it teaches me patience and persistence. I can't imagine ever being without a reef tank in my house.

     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017

  2. Broadfield

    Broadfield Red Sea Reefer Consultant... Non Affiliated R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Very nice and unique... congrats Mark @M&M !
     
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  3. evolved

    evolved The Wrasse Guy Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Article Contributor AZ FRAG Member Build Thread Contributor Expert Contributor

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    Is there a chiller on this system?

    @M&M, have you found it difficult to acquire your corals? (I see some relatively large colonies in there)
     
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  4. BkReefBaby

    BkReefBaby Active Member

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    Such an impressive tank
     
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  5. sde1500

    sde1500 Well-Known Member

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    Very awesome tank. Love the whole look of it, tank and room around it. I think that Siporax stack is bigger than my entire sump haha. Where do you source your corals from, not a huge demand for most I'm sure so would be harder to find them.
     
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  6. Waters

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

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    Beautiful tank....everything looks incredibly healthy :)
     
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  7. Bob E

    Bob E Active Member Partner Member 2019

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    A very Beautiful setup tank
     
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  8. 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 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Congratulations Mark @M&M. I like the concept of the tank height.
     
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  9. ndrwater

    ndrwater Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    I need to do one of these...

    I like that it's just.... Different...
     
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  10. Dawsokj1988

    Dawsokj1988 Active Member R2R Supporter

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    I really enjoy the aesthetic of the room, it fits the NPS tank quite nicely!
     
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  11. M&M

    M&M Active Member Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award

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    No, there is no chiller, tank is located in my basement, ambient temperature stays constant throughout a year there around 70 F.

    I am lucky to live in Chicago, honestly within 30 min. drive I have at least 10 really good stores that have great selection of livestock and coral. Most sun corals fist sized colony I can get for anywhere from $30-$50. All livestock is bought locally , no online purchases. If I want something different, couple of LFS can get me almost anything I require, of course for the right price :)
     
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  12. M&M

    M&M Active Member Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award

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    Like I said above , I am lucky to be able to obtain everything locally. No shortage of sun corals and dendros in Chicagoland area.
     
  13. M&M

    M&M Active Member Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award

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    Thank you all ! :)
     
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  14. andrewkw

    andrewkw Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Beautiful tank! I think the best part of it is that you are so committed to your theme. I've been trying for 10 years to find a theme to do and I still end up with rando mixed reef.

    I am curious as to why you don't have any Rhizotrochus in the tank? Legal reasons?
     
  15. ndrwater

    ndrwater Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    From Reef Builders:
    Have you ever wondered why you’ve (most likely) never seen aRhizotrochus typus available for sale at your LFS? The obvious reason is that their suppliers probably don’t have them because this coral species is simply not legal to collect, harvest or import into CITES participating countries, including the USA Go ahead, see if you can find any exportation quotas for ANY Rhizotrochusspecies, don’t worry, we’ll wait. “But Jake, I see them for sale all over the net” you’ll say and the reason that is is because once the illicit coral has cleared customs and entered the country, there are no laws governing the ownership and resale of this species; all of the regulation takes place on the front end of importation and once they are in the animals are free and clear. We’ve tried to inform some other blogs of the black market nature of these corals but our comments just get deleted and there seems to be a general distaste for even bringing up the legality of Rhizotrochus in the US aquarium trade. Since there are no CITES permits for the importation of Rhizotrochus into the US, Rhizos are intentionally shipped with paperwork for either Euphyllia or Catalyphyllia, Torch and Elegance corals, since these species can look very similar when their tissues are withdrawn. You know what that’s called? Smuggling. The only exception to the CITES permitting quota process is the country of Australia where exporters are alloted collection quotas based on tonnage. However, Rhizotrochus typus does not even occur in Australia so any vendor trying to pass off Aussie Rhizos is outright lying or misinformed.
     
  16. revhtree

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

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    One of my favorite reef tanks! Not an easy reef to keep either! Beautiful job!
     
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  17. TUSI

    TUSI Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Tank 365

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    congrates very well deserved. what a beauty and unique pc of the ocean. love it. thank you for sharing this beautyfull pc of art
     
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  18. Reeflogic

    Reeflogic Powered by KGB

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    Beautiful, well-planned system!!
     
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  19. Wael Binali

    Wael Binali Member

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    Absolutely STUNNING!!! Since it's deep water you need a candy Basslet ;)
     
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  20. Sharvey103

    Sharvey103 ReefAddicted R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019

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    ABsolutely beautiful tank and very worthy of the award. I like the "dark side."
     
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