REEF OF THE MONTH - February 2024: Maramotreef's Reef

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R2R Username: @maramotreef

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Introduction:

My name is Maisie and I have been in the hobby for 3 years. I have always loved the ocean and every time we go on vacation, especially in the Philippines, we always have to stay on a few islands. My wife and I started with a small fresh water tank that we bought at PETCO along with a fighting fish, but the fish didn’t last long. Fast forward when I saw saltwater tanks, I asked my wife if can do a saltwater aquarium and she said NO. Why? Because she’s a certified diver and she does not want to take anything from the ocean. Then one day on February 17, 2021, my wife and I were shopping for cichlids and shrimp as a gift for our friend and I saw a 5-gallon Innovative Marine with a Fluval light that had soft corals, a baby clown, and a cleaner shrimp. It caught my eyes and my heart to the point that I told my wife I really wanted one. With that said, my wife agreed and bought the whole set up without any knowledge of anything about saltwater tank. After a month I upgraded to a 32-gallon Fluval because I loved corals so much and I needed bigger tank for them. That did not last long because after a month I again upgraded to a much bigger tank which is Red Sea 425xl (112 gallons). When I purchased this set up, I bought everything brand new including all the automated control and testing which was expensive for me. A year later I upgraded again to the tank I have now which is Red Sea Reefer 625XXL G2. I transferred everything in one day and did not lose any livestock during the transfer. The tank has been running smoothly and getting more crowded every day.

System Profile
  • Display tank: Red Sea Reefer 625XXL G2 (133 gallon)
  • Glass or Acrylic: Glass
  • Stand: Red Sea
  • Sump: Red Sea 32 gallon
  • Grow-out tank: Red sea max Nano Peninsula (26 gallon), Innovative Marine 15 gallon, Eshopps deskmate 4.8 gallon
  • Protein skimmer: Red Sea RSK 600
  • Carbon/phosphate filtration: Red Sea carbon and Aquachar / Nopox / Algae scrubber / Santa Monica Rain 2
  • Return pump: Ecotech Marine M2 Vectra
  • Water circulation: (2) MP40 Ecotech marine
  • Lighting (display): (4) Red Sea LED 160
  • Lighting (grow-out): Red Sea LED 90's and LED 50
  • Lighting (refugium): Santa Monica Rain 2 algae scrubber
  • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing equipment: GHL doser 2.1
  • Auto top-off: GHL maxi doser
  • Heating/cooling: (2) BRS 300 watt heaters, one is backup / JBJ Arctica 1/3 HP chiller
  • System control: GHL Profilux 4 and GHL KH Director
  • Filtration: Red Sea Reefmat 1200
  • Reactor: Kalkstirrer from GEOs Reef
  • Any other details:
    • Trace elements and dosing equipment: Red sea Trace elements ABCD and using Reef dose 4 to dose these 4 trace elements.
    • Coral food and dosing equipment: Red Sea AB+, Easy Reef SPS Evo, easy reef sps booster and Algae Barn phytoplankton with Red Sea reef dose.
    • Nutrient control: Red Sea NoPox and Rain 2 algae scrubber from Santa Monica
Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives:
My water circulation is generated by two (MP40’s) both are running at 60% reef crest from 12:00am-5:45am, Expanding pulse at 60% from 5:45am-11:30am, reef crest at 55% from 11:30am-7:25pm then again expanding pulse at 55%from 7:25pm-12:00am. My objective is to get my SPS the good flow that they need and at the same time an adequate flow for my LPS as well.

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Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 78
  • pH: 8.2 – 8.5
  • Specific gravity: 1.025-1.026
  • NO3: 15-20ppm
  • Ca: 430-500
  • Alk: 7.5-8.5
  • Mg: 1400
  • PO4: 0.06
  • Ammonia and nitrites: 0
What salt mix do you use?
I am using Red Sea blue bucket to go in line with my big 3 part. Additionally, the blue bucket has parameters that are pretty close to where I want them to be.

What kind of rock did you start with?
I started with 100 pounds of live real reef rocks.

What is your substrate?
I am using Carib Sea Fiji pink live sand.

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Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives:
I dosed the big 3 individually so I can control and have access to each one and it makes it easier for me to adjust what I need to adjust.

What and how do you dose for the big 3 (alk/cal/mag)?
I dose Red Sea Foundation ABC using GHL doser 2.1 to dose my big 3 daily with the help of Avast Marine Kalkwasser mix with my ATO.

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Are you dosing anything else for your reef health (carbon dosing, aminos, etc.)?
Yes, I feed my corals with Red Sea AB+ daily, Easy booster SPS and Easy SPS Evo from Easy Reefs. I am also dosing phytoplankton from Algae Barn and Red Sea NoPox daily to reduce my No3 and PO4.

Photoperiod
  • Display tank: 12 hours including moonlight from 8:30am-8:30pm with 2 hour ramp up and down.
  • Grow-out tank: 12 hours from 8:30am-8:30pm with 2 hour ramp up and down.
  • Refugium: algae scrubber is also 12 hours opposite light schedule from the display.
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Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives:
Red Sea Reefmat 1200 and I used a lot of rocks, Marine Pure blocks/balls and Polyp Lab Genesis rocks for good biological filtration.

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What is your export strategy?
I’m dosing 25ml of RedSea NoPox daily and using Rain 2 Santa Monica algae scrubber.

What is your maintenance routine?
  • Daily: I check my GHL app to check if everything is good, check live stocks, clean the glass daily, and feed the fish and corals.
  • Weekly: Test parameters, refill ATO and other additives that needs to be filled. Check equipment to make sure they are all working properly. Scrape the back wall and side of the tank if needed. I do water changes about 20-30 gallons and I dose MB7 bacteria from Brightwell aquatics.
  • Other: I clean the power heads every time I do water changes, change my UV bulb once a year, swap my return with my back up every 6 months, and I clean the lights from the salt creep every month.
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Fish list (29 total):
  • Yellow tang
  • Purple tang
  • Gem tang
  • Tomini tang
  • Blue tang
  • Banggai cardinal
  • (2) Snowflake clownfish
  • (3) Springer damsels
  • (2) Yellow tail damsels
  • Flame hawkfish
  • Wrasses: chaoti, yellow tail tamarin, pink margin, laboutes, exquisite , crescent, koi, clown wrasse, yellow coris, pintail, naoko , melanurus, eight line, vivian wrasse
  • and last but not the least borb anthias
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Invertebrates:
  • Cerith snails (hundreds)
  • Conch
  • Turbo snails,
  • Cleaner shrimp
  • Peppermint shrimp
  • and more
Corals:
  • SPS: capping red montipora, apple green montipora, green montipora and grafted montipora
  • Torches: 21 tails, NY knicks, joker , Malaysian lime, banana, 24k torch, todds, dragon soul
  • I have a hammer/frogspawn garden and a goni garden, and more.
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Fish and Coral Feeding:
I feed my fish 8-10 cubes daily plus a sheet of green and purple seaweed. They also get a snack of Masstick from Easy Reefs. I spot feed my corals at least 3x a week and the rest is broadcast.

How did you decide what to keep in your tank?
I pretty much decide on the color of corals that I can afford and select corals that don’t take over the tank.

Any stocking regrets?
No

Any fish, invert, or coral you will NEVER keep?
  • For fish: I will never keep Powder blue and white cheek or any family of Acanthurus tang except for my blue tang. Those fish are ich magnets and ich always stays with them no matter what, but for some reason my blue tang nor any of my other tangs were affected when I had those fish with ich on them. Also with two powder blue tangs that I kept, both have the same exact personality and ripped my torches' tips once they reached 5-6”.
  • For corals: Pulsing Xenia, GSP, Kenya trees, toadstools, or any corals that doesn’t give me good color.
What do you love most about the hobby?
I love the challenges that’s giving me and the stress at the same time. I have never felt stress in my entire life - not until I have the reefs. I also love the reefing community where I have met great people that I consider friends through the hobby.

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How long have you been doing this?
Two years and nine months

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby?
My wife, because she said "Yes" when I told her I really liked the set up of the 5 gallon tank that was at my LFS, then she said "Yes" again to a bigger tank, and then again for the biggest I can have :) . Now I have 4 tanks running in the house :)

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Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you?
Phillip Tennell known as cc_reefkpr inInstagram - his tanks inspired me to achieved what I have right now. He is also my go-to person whenever I have questions on anything.

If you could have any tank, what size would it be and why?
I would love to have the Red Sea S1000 (210 gallon display) so that all my corals would have space to grow, especially my montiporas.

Favorite fish?
Yellow tang and wrasses

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Favorite coral?
Capping Montipora, Torches, Hammers and goniopora

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Favorite invert?
Turbo Snail and cleaner shrimp

How do you typically get over setbacks?
I talk to my friends in the hobby that I know I can depend on.

Have you faced any major challenges with this tank, and if so, how did you overcome?
Yes, I did with the BJ diseases. I used Chemiclean to treat the tank, but it did not stop from there right away, so I just let it run through its phase. I also did water changes back to back.

What's the best thing you ever bought for your tank?
  • For fish: Yellow tang.
  • For equipment: Red Sea doser, GHL Profilux 4, GHL Maxi Doser, and UV.
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What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?
I plan to upgrade my current tank to the Red Sea S-1000 in the future if I can afford it when time comes.

Any special tips for success or advice you'd like to share with other reefers?
  • Start right with good equipments even if it's expensive.
  • Make sure to use ONLY 0 TDS water in your reef.
  • Stop buying wild corals, instead look for reefers that sell tank raised corals even if the price is higher than the wild corals.
  • Reach out to reefers that have successful reefs instead of talking to your LFS.
  • Go with your gut. If you think you can do it then go for it, because you wouldn’t know not to until you try it.
Final Thoughts?
I would like to thank all my followers who have followed me from the beginning of my reefing journey. Thank you to my good friend, Phillip Tennel, who’s always there to answer my questions and willing to show me all the stuff that he has used to have a successful reef like his. My two great friends from Texas, Geneve Almase and Michelle Calope, who I always chat with and exchange any information that we know about reefs - thank you. My friend Ana Bechara who’s always there to support me in everything and follows what I say when it comes to reefing, haha. Last but not the least, my very good friend, Dinuk Batuvantudave, who I’ve met during the controversy of Tropic Marine Pro salt - thank you.

If a newbie reefer like me can do it, YOU can too. If everything is going south don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to other reefers. We are all here to help each other and achieve the most beautiful reef tanks we can.

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All of the photos shown above and many more can be found in the related image gallery of maramotreef's reef. Enjoy!
 
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JGT

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Beautiful tank. As someone who has a pretty crowded, well-growing tank as well, which is a blessing and a curse, how do you deal with coral growth and the maintenance of it when corals start infringing on other coral spaces resulting in coral warfare? I find this to be an underrated and time-consuming nuisance within the hobby.
 

revhtree

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Stunning!!! Thank you for sharing your amazing reef with us!
 

Daniel@R2R

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Absolutely beautiful reef!! Thanks for sharing your tank with us @maramotreef!
 

drolmaeye

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I recognize this reef because its caretaker occasionally posts pics (and maybe vids?) on the FB Red Sea Owner's Group and it is an *absolute* all-star reef (among several amazing tanks in that group). What a fantastic choice for reef of the month, and big thanks to Maisie for telling us all about it. Amazing.
 

Scubabum

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Well deserved! You have accomplished so much in such a short time in this wonderful hobby. Thanks for the shoutout. I love helping reefers when I can. Keep up the great work! Your reefs are amazing. I look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the years to come.
 

ukgeoff

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Wow, your reef tank is absolutely stunning – congratulations! It's so wonderful to see how all your dedication and hard work have truly paid off.

Thank you ever so much for sharing it with us; it's always a joy to learn about the successful strategies behind such great-looking tanks. Keep up the fantastic work!
 

Seafood exploration: Do you feed any unusual items to your fish or corals?

  • I regularly feed unusual items.

    Votes: 6 4.2%
  • I occasionally feed unusual items.

    Votes: 19 13.4%
  • I have fed unusual items in the past.

    Votes: 14 9.9%
  • I stick with feeding standard items.

    Votes: 102 71.8%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.7%
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