REEF OF THE MONTH - March 2024: A Truly Epic Aquarium!!!

Peace River

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Epic1.jpeg

Image: Full Tank Shot with Background on

R2R Username: @Epic Aquaculture
My Tank Thread: Miracles Do Happen! Bill's (Sawcjack00/Epic Aquaculture) 460 Gallon Custom Miracles Aquarium Build!

Reef of the month .png

Image: Left angle view (Colorado Sunburst Tank is visible to the right of the fish room door)

My name is Bill Bramucci. I used to go by Sawcjack00 here, but since becoming a sponsor on R2R I now go by my company name of Epic Aquaculture. It is truly an honor to have my little slice of the ocean selected as the Tank of the month for March 2024! My reefing journey started in 1991. Like many I had freshwater tanks as a child and was always fascinated by anything aquatic. As I became an adult (in age, not maturity ) I became interested in the idea of a marine aquarium. I finally made the plunge after starting a job at a pet store while in college. The owner of the store put me in charge of the aquatic department and approved my request to start a saltwater section. From there I was hooked. I found an amazing mentor who got me started on the right foot and really helped me be successful from the start. My first marine tank was a 55 gallon, and it's slowly gotten more out of hand over time. I now operate an Arizona state certified aquaculture facility - Epic Aquaculture, LLC which includes this tank - my pride and joy. A special thank you goes out to Jimmy Cox (@Sisterlimonpot) who owns and operates 4D Aquatics with his business partner Brian. His ingenuity and incredible skills with tools that would be very dangerous in my inept hands have led to the development of some amazing equipment that I use on our systems.

Epic15 Coral1.jpeg

System Profile Questions
  • Display tank: 460 gallon "in wall peninsula" tank custom built by Miracles Aquariums. 84"L x 42"W x 30"T. It is set up in wall with a fish room behind it, so that 3 sides are viewable. I use a blue tarp for the background and usually only have it up when we have company so that they don't see the equipment in the fish room.
  • Glass or Acrylic: Glass
  • Stand: Welded steel stand custom built by Miracles Aquariums
  • Sump: Acrylic sump custom built by Bashsea 60"L x 23.5"W x 16.5"T
  • Grow-out tank: Many different tanks housing our grow out colonies and frags.
  • Protein skimmer: Bubble King Super Marin 300 with Aqua Driver Helix automatic neck cleaner. An Ozotech 200 ozone generator runs Ozone through the skimmer and is controlled by the Neptune Apex controller.
  • Carbon/phosphate filtration: Lots of Pond Siporax in the sump as bio media. Occasional use of Brightwells Phophat-E if Phosphate creeps up higher than I would like.
  • Return pump: Abyzz A100 returning through an Aqua UV 114W UV sterilizer. Abyzz A200. Both return pumps return water to the tank through 1" Sea Swirls.
  • Water circulation: 4 Ecotech MP60's with 4D Aquatics MN60 movable nozzles. These nozzles finally give us the ability to aim the Ecotech Vortech powerheads and give me much more flexibility in powerhead placement. The returns run through 2 1"Sea Swirls which provide incredible random flow throughout the tank.
  • Lighting (display): 8 Ecotech Radion XR30 G4 Pro LED lights, 4 Ecotech Radion XR15 G6 Blue LED lights, and 16 - 39W ATI Blue+ T-5 bulbs in 4 Aquatic Life hybrid fixtures that are suspended above the tank using an electric bicycle lift which I can raise or lower using the Bluetooth connection and an app on my phone.
  • Lighting (grow-out): All our systems use Radions and ATI T5's in Hybrid fixtures.
  • Lighting (refugium): N/A
  • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing equipment: 4D Aquatics custom Kalk Stirrer. GHL KH Director.
  • Auto top-off: Ecotech Versa dosing pump plugged into an Avast Marine Pressure switch which is also controlled by a liquid level sensor for redundancy. The ATO Reservoir holds 100 gallons of RODI
  • Heating/cooling: Heating - 3 500W Finnex Titanium Heaters on an Inkbird Temperature controller also controlled by the Apex for redundancy. Cooling 2 1/12 HP Industrial floor fans plugged into the Inkbird Temperature controller and a window AC unit in the fishroom.
  • System control: Neptune Apex and GHL Profilux 4
  • Any other details: I have a commercial dehumidifier and a window AC unit in the fish room. I use a Spectrapure 7 stage 150 GPD RODI Unit for freshwater. 4D Aquatics also makes an attachment for the Tunze Care magnetic algae scraper which allows you to add 2 ceramic razor blades and makes them the most effective algae scraper I've ever used.
Epic3.jpeg

Image: Left angle view with the background removed


Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives: Lots of Indirect flow. I set the MP60's for a standing wave most of the daylight period. At night they go into lagoon mode and the flow is somewhat reduced. The Sea Swirls create amazing random flow patterns throughout the tank so there are no dead spots.

Epic5.jpeg

Image: Top view of the flow. In addition to cooling the water the orange industrial fans also create a current at the top of the water column for additional flow.

Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 78
  • pH: 8.3-8.6
  • Specific gravity: 1.026
  • NO3: <10
  • Ca: 420
  • Alk: 7.5
  • Mg: 1350
  • PO4: <.2
  • Ammonia and nitrites: 0
Epic16 Coral2.jpeg


Epic17 Coral3.jpeg


What salt mix do you use? Red Sea Blue bucket. It mixes close to the parameters that I aim for.

What kind of rock did you start with? Dry Marco Rock held together by E-Marco 400 cement.

What is your substrate? Caribsea Special Grade reef sand

Epic18 Coral4.jpeg


Epic19 Coral5.jpeg

Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives: I try to maintain stable CA, Alk, and MG at the levels of 420, 7.5 DKH, and 1350 respectively. The most important parameter that I monitor is Ph. I find that having a Ph of 8.3 or slightly higher throughout the day and night leads to better growth, coloration, and overall health of the corals. The custom Kalk stirrer that I use allows me to set a target Ph and it automatically keeps the low end of the Ph range at that level.

What and how do you dose for the big 3 (alk/cal/mag)? I use a Kalk stirrer that was custom made by my buddy Jimmy Cox at 4D Aquatics. The stirrer has its own controller which allows me to target the Ph that I want the system at and doses appropriately to maintain it. I currently have this system set at 8.35. The stirrer will dose whenever the Ph drops below this number and will shut off once the number is reached. Most dosing is done at night when the Ph drops. During the daylight period my Ph rises to around 8.6 so the stirrer does not dose much if at all. the stirrer doses approximately 10 gallons of fully saturated Kalk to the system each day. My GHL Alk Director doses BRS Sodium Bicarbonate and BRS Calcium Carbonate if the Alk drops below 7.5. This dosing happens mostly during the daylight period.

Are you dosing anything else for your reef health (carbon dosing, aminos, etc.)? I run the Reef Moonshiners method which consists of daily dosing of individual trace elements, and larger corrections based on monthly ICP testing. I have been using this method for almost a year now and have been very happy with the results.

Epic20 Coral6.jpeg


Epic21 Coral7.jpeg

Lighting Summary and Objectives: I utilize an all-blue spectrum during ramp up and down at sunrise and sunset. From 11am until 2pm Red and white are added and slowly ramp up to a peak from 1:30PM until 2:30PM, then the Red and white slowly ramp down until 7pm. I feel this give the corals the benefit of full spectrum while still providing the blue to enhance color and fluorescence. I have complete coverage of the tank by combining the LEDs with the T5's to prevent any shading. It's a bit overkill but has been very effective.

Photoperiod
  • Display tank: 9AM LEDs start to ramp up for 2 hours. 11AM T5's turn on. 7PM T5's turn off and LEDs start to ramp down for 2 hours. 9PM LEDs turn off.
  • Grow-out tank: Same as DT
  • Refugium: N/A
Epic6.jpeg

Image: The lighting rig

Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives: High import and high export is the name of the game for me. I feed heavily and skim heavily. I also use filter socks in the sump, and a large volume of bio media to house the denitrifying bacteria. Carbon dosing is also used to keep Nitrates in check.

Epic7.jpeg

Image: Sump

What is your export strategy? Heavy wet skimming and lots of bio media. I also carbon Dose using Tropic Marin NP Bacto-Balance.

What is your maintenance routine?
Daily: Feed the tank, dose Reef Moonshiners Elements and scrape the glass.
Weekly: Change filter socks as needed, test on Tuesdays and Fridays, Dose Prodi-Bio bacteria on Mondays, Clean and empty skimmers, blow detritus from the rocks and sand bed with a powerhead, recharge air dryer beads for the Ozone generator. Inspect and clean dosing lines and probes.
Other: send in ICP test and perform trace element correction monthly. I perform a large water change every 6 months and do a major equipment cleaning every January. MP60 wet sides are switched out and clean monthly.


Epic22 Coral8.jpeg


Epic23 Coral9.jpeg


Epic24 Coral10.jpeg

Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
1. Red Mandarin Dragonet
2. Powder Blue Tang
3. Naso Tang
4. Hippo Tang
5. Sailfin Tang
6. White Tail Bristletooth Tang
7. Sohal Tang
8. Copperband Butterfly
9. Femininus Wrasse
10. Leopard Wrasse
11. Male Lyretail Anthias
12. 8 - Springeri Damsels
13. One Spot Foxface Rabbitfish
14. Golden Rhomboid Wrasse
15. Potters Angel
16. Yellow Head Wrasse
17. Nearly Naked Ocellaris Clown
18. Hawaiian Dwarf Moray Eel
19 Gem Tang

Epic9 Copperband.jpeg

Image: Image: Copperband Butterfly


Epic11 GemTang.jpeg

Image: Gem Tang


Epic12 DwarfMoray.jpeg

Image: Hawaiian Dwarf Moray Eel


Epic12 LeopardWrasse.jpeg

Image: Super Male Leopard Wrasse

Other Invertebrates:
1. Tiger Tail Cucumber
2. Derasa Clam
3. various crabs and snails
Epic14 Derasa.jpeg

Image: Derasa Clam

Tank Inhabitants— Corals:
1. over 200 different SPS
2. 1 amazing Torch
3. Various chalices and a few Acans.

Epic39 Coral25.jpeg


Epic40 Coral26.jpeg


Epic41 Coral27.jpeg

Fish and Coral Feeding: I feed this system a combination of frozen foods, TDO pellets, Benepets and Nori with the addition of Boyd Vita-Chem and Selcon. I feed 3 times per day. This system is fed a total of 16 ounces of the previously mentioned foods mixed with RODI water per day.

How did you decide what to keep in your tank? I have always loved SPS, so my primary objective was a heavily SPS dominated tank, but every now and then I find an LPS or something else that I really want in the tank so there are a few exceptions to the SPS rule.



Any stocking regrets? The Yellow Head Wrasse must come out. I have lots of fish that have gone through QT and are ready to go into the display tank, but the Yellow Head wrasse is aggressive towards many of them so he will be moved to a different system.

Any fish, invert, or coral you will NEVER keep? I like Zoas, but they grow everywhere so I don't keep them or any soft corals in this tank. I won't keep anything that may eat coral.

Epic25 Coral11.jpeg


Epic26 Coral12.jpeg


Epic27 Coral13.jpeg

What do you love most about the hobby? I love being in tune with the tank. I observe the tank for many hours each day and I'm able to see when it is doing well, and when there may be a problem developing. This helps me to be proactive about things before they cascade into a tank disaster. The relationships between the different life forms in the tank fascinates me.

How long have you been doing this? Since last century (1991)

Epic28 Coral14.jpeg


Epic29 Coral15.jpeg


Epic30 Coral16.jpeg

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby? My father got me into keeping freshwater tanks. Once I decided to make the jump to marine aquariums, I looked for a mentor and found someone who lived close to me and had quite a bit of experience and success. His name is David Grigor (he was named MASNA 2016 aquarist of the year). We became fast friends, and he helped me with many projects. We spent many hours building stands, hoods, acrylic sumps, and other gadgets for our tanks. We often would order full boxes of Acropora colonies then split them and grow them out. It was a really fun time in the hobby!

Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you? There are so many amazing aquarists that have been an inspiration to me - Bob Fenner, Michael Paletta, Eric Borneman, etc. The list could go on for a long time! I used to live in the Florida Keys and Dr. David Vaughn ran the Mote Marine Lab on Summerland Key which was the next island over from the one we lived on. I became friend with him and had many great conversations over dinner and a bottle of wine with him. The advances in technology that have allowed us to keep animals that were once thought impossible to keep is also very inspiring!

Epic36 Coral22.jpeg


Epic37 Coral23.jpeg


Epic38 Coral24.jpeg

If you could have any tank, what size would it be and why? I absolutely love my current tank, but if it was 96" x 48" x 30”, I would be a little happier. Unfortunately, the space the tank went into would not allow for that extra foot of length.

Favorite fish? Anampses Femininus

Epic10 Femininus.jpeg

Image: Femininus Wrasse

Favorite coral? EA Tropical Sunshine Hyper Intense Tenuis, but I love them all!

Favorite invert? My Tiger Tail Cucumber that I've had for many years and my Derasa Clam which has been in captivity for over 15 years (10 years with the person before me and 5 years with me).

Epic31 Coral17.jpeg


Epic32 Coral18.jpeg


Epic33 Coral19.jpeg


Epic34 Coral20.jpeg


Epic35 Coral21.jpeg

How do you typically get over setbacks? Mop up the water, apologize to my wife and get back at it. Honestly learning from every mistake is imperative. Our systems are complex and often time small things can become big things quickly, so I try to have backup equipment on hand, and a backup plan for things like power outages.

Have you faced any major challenges with this particular tank, and if so, how did you overcome? I had an incident with dosing Lanthanum Chloride incorrectly that lead to a major fish die off. I lost thousands of dollars worth of fish and lost several corals. I identified the error, and corrected water parameters ASAP which help reduce the impacts. I've also had the standard floods and equipment failures including a Neptune Ph probe that failed and cause my Ph to rise to 9.2. I now use 2 probes for redundancy. Fortunately, other than losing some color on some corals there was not a major impact as I allowed the Ph to come down on its own.

What's the best thing you ever bought for your tank? The 4D aquatics Kalk Stirrer. The ability to control my Ph has been a true game changer.

Epic8.jpeg

Image: Kalk Stirrer - This one is on one our grow out systems. The one on the DT is in a tough spot for pictures but is the same as this one. It is five feet tall.

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank? Eventually I will reset the tank as the corals are getting very large and growing into each other. I plan to re-aquascape and start over with frags again. I am also considering switching from Radions to Orphek LEDs as the Ecotech Mobius app has issues when you have many Ecotech products running on it (we have over 30 Radion fixtures as well as Versas and MP60's running). Unfortunately, they have put a solution on the backburner so changing brands may be the only fix for us.

Any special tips for success or advice you'd like to share with other reefers? Find a mentor whose tank impresses you and who you admire. Learn from them and their mistakes so that you don't have to go through the same issues. When you are looking for advice, make sure that you find people who have documented success, not just someone who is parroting what they heard on the latest YouTube video from some influencer who is pushing the brands that they are sponsored by.

Final Thoughts? This is an amazing hobby. I am so thankful that I can grow these animals in my systems and share them with others. The people I have met through this hobby are amazing and I love that we share such an incredible interest. I am honored to be able to share my aquarium with all of you!

Epic42 End Shot-2.jpeg
 
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Daniel@R2R

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AH-6ApacheChief

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Epic1.jpeg

Image: Full Tank Shot with Background on

R2R Username: @Epic Aquaculture
My Tank Thread: Miracles Do Happen! Bill's (Sawcjack00/Epic Aquaculture) 460 Gallon Custom Miracles Aquarium Build!

Reef of the month .png

Image: Left angle view (Colorado Sunburst Tank is visible to the right of the fish room door)

My name is Bill Bramucci. I used to go by Sawcjack00 here, but since becoming a sponsor on R2R I now go by my company name of Epic Aquaculture. It is truly an honor to have my little slice of the ocean selected as the Tank of the month for March 2024! My reefing journey started in 1991. Like many I had freshwater tanks as a child and was always fascinated by anything aquatic. As I became an adult (in age, not maturity ) I became interested in the idea of a marine aquarium. I finally made the plunge after starting a job at a pet store while in college. The owner of the store put me in charge of the aquatic department and approved my request to start a saltwater section. From there I was hooked. I found an amazing mentor who got me started on the right foot and really helped me be successful from the start. My first marine tank was a 55 gallon, and it's slowly gotten more out of hand over time. I now operate an Arizona state certified aquaculture facility - Epic Aquaculture, LLC which includes this tank - my pride and joy. A special thank you goes out to Jimmy Cox (@Sisterlimonpot) who owns and operates 4D Aquatics with his business partner Brian. His ingenuity and incredible skills with tools that would be very dangerous in my inept hands have led to the development of some amazing equipment that I use on our systems.

Epic15 Coral1.jpeg

System Profile Questions
  • Display tank: 460 gallon "in wall peninsula" tank custom built by Miracles Aquariums. 84"L x 42"W x 30"T. It is set up in wall with a fish room behind it, so that 3 sides are viewable. I use a blue tarp for the background and usually only have it up when we have company so that they don't see the equipment in the fish room.
  • Glass or Acrylic: Glass
  • Stand: Welded steel stand custom built by Miracles Aquariums
  • Sump: Acrylic sump custom built by Bashsea 60"L x 23.5"W x 16.5"T
  • Grow-out tank: Many different tanks housing our grow out colonies and frags.
  • Protein skimmer: Bubble King Super Marin 300 with Aqua Driver Helix automatic neck cleaner. An Ozotech 200 ozone generator runs Ozone through the skimmer and is controlled by the Neptune Apex controller.
  • Carbon/phosphate filtration: Lots of Pond Siporax in the sump as bio media. Occasional use of Brightwells Phophat-E if Phosphate creeps up higher than I would like.
  • Return pump: Abyzz A100 returning through an Aqua UV 114W UV sterilizer. Abyzz A200. Both return pumps return water to the tank through 1" Sea Swirls.
  • Water circulation: 4 Ecotech MP60's with 4D Aquatics MN60 movable nozzles. These nozzles finally give us the ability to aim the Ecotech Vortech powerheads and give me much more flexibility in powerhead placement. The returns run through 2 1"Sea Swirls which provide incredible random flow throughout the tank.
  • Lighting (display): 8 Ecotech Radion XR30 G4 Pro LED lights, 4 Ecotech Radion XR15 G6 Blue LED lights, and 16 - 39W ATI Blue+ T-5 bulbs in 4 Aquatic Life hybrid fixtures that are suspended above the tank using an electric bicycle lift which I can raise or lower using the Bluetooth connection and an app on my phone.
  • Lighting (grow-out): All our systems use Radions and ATI T5's in Hybrid fixtures.
  • Lighting (refugium): N/A
  • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing equipment: 4D Aquatics custom Kalk Stirrer. GHL KH Director.
  • Auto top-off: Ecotech Versa dosing pump plugged into an Avast Marine Pressure switch which is also controlled by a liquid level sensor for redundancy. The ATO Reservoir holds 100 gallons of RODI
  • Heating/cooling: Heating - 3 500W Finnex Titanium Heaters on an Inkbird Temperature controller also controlled by the Apex for redundancy. Cooling 2 1/12 HP Industrial floor fans plugged into the Inkbird Temperature controller and a window AC unit in the fishroom.
  • System control: Neptune Apex and GHL Profilux 4
  • Any other details: I have a commercial dehumidifier and a window AC unit in the fish room. I use a Spectrapure 7 stage 150 GPD RODI Unit for freshwater. 4D Aquatics also makes an attachment for the Tunze Care magnetic algae scraper which allows you to add 2 ceramic razor blades and makes them the most effective algae scraper I've ever used.
Epic3.jpeg

Image: Left angle view with the background removed


Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives: Lots of Indirect flow. I set the MP60's for a standing wave most of the daylight period. At night they go into lagoon mode and the flow is somewhat reduced. The Sea Swirls create amazing random flow patterns throughout the tank so there are no dead spots.

Epic5.jpeg

Image: Top view of the flow. In addition to cooling the water the orange industrial fans also create a current at the top of the water column for additional flow.

Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 78
  • pH: 8.3-8.6
  • Specific gravity: 1.026
  • NO3: <10
  • Ca: 420
  • Alk: 7.5
  • Mg: 1350
  • PO4: <.2
  • Ammonia and nitrites: 0
Epic16 Coral2.jpeg


Epic17 Coral3.jpeg


What salt mix do you use? Red Sea Blue bucket. It mixes close to the parameters that I aim for.

What kind of rock did you start with? Dry Marco Rock held together by E-Marco 400 cement.

What is your substrate? Caribsea Special Grade reef sand

Epic18 Coral4.jpeg


Epic19 Coral5.jpeg

Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives: I try to maintain stable CA, Alk, and MG at the levels of 420, 7.5 DKH, and 1350 respectively. The most important parameter that I monitor is Ph. I find that having a Ph of 8.3 or slightly higher throughout the day and night leads to better growth, coloration, and overall health of the corals. The custom Kalk stirrer that I use allows me to set a target Ph and it automatically keeps the low end of the Ph range at that level.

What and how do you dose for the big 3 (alk/cal/mag)? I use a Kalk stirrer that was custom made by my buddy Jimmy Cox at 4D Aquatics. The stirrer has its own controller which allows me to target the Ph that I want the system at and doses appropriately to maintain it. I currently have this system set at 8.35. The stirrer will dose whenever the Ph drops below this number and will shut off once the number is reached. Most dosing is done at night when the Ph drops. During the daylight period my Ph rises to around 8.6 so the stirrer does not dose much if at all. the stirrer doses approximately 10 gallons of fully saturated Kalk to the system each day. My GHL Alk Director doses BRS Sodium Bicarbonate and BRS Calcium Carbonate if the Alk drops below 7.5. This dosing happens mostly during the daylight period.

Are you dosing anything else for your reef health (carbon dosing, aminos, etc.)? I run the Reef Moonshiners method which consists of daily dosing of individual trace elements, and larger corrections based on monthly ICP testing. I have been using this method for almost a year now and have been very happy with the results.

Epic20 Coral6.jpeg


Epic21 Coral7.jpeg

Lighting Summary and Objectives: I utilize an all-blue spectrum during ramp up and down at sunrise and sunset. From 11am until 2pm Red and white are added and slowly ramp up to a peak from 1:30PM until 2:30PM, then the Red and white slowly ramp down until 7pm. I feel this give the corals the benefit of full spectrum while still providing the blue to enhance color and fluorescence. I have complete coverage of the tank by combining the LEDs with the T5's to prevent any shading. It's a bit overkill but has been very effective.

Photoperiod
  • Display tank: 9AM LEDs start to ramp up for 2 hours. 11AM T5's turn on. 7PM T5's turn off and LEDs start to ramp down for 2 hours. 9PM LEDs turn off.
  • Grow-out tank: Same as DT
  • Refugium: N/A
Epic6.jpeg

Image: The lighting rig

Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives: High import and high export is the name of the game for me. I feed heavily and skim heavily. I also use filter socks in the sump, and a large volume of bio media to house the denitrifying bacteria. Carbon dosing is also used to keep Nitrates in check.

Epic7.jpeg

Image: Sump

What is your export strategy? Heavy wet skimming and lots of bio media. I also carbon Dose using Tropic Marin NP Bacto-Balance.

What is your maintenance routine?
Daily: Feed the tank, dose Reef Moonshiners Elements and scrape the glass.
Weekly: Change filter socks as needed, test on Tuesdays and Fridays, Dose Prodi-Bio bacteria on Mondays, Clean and empty skimmers, blow detritus from the rocks and sand bed with a powerhead, recharge air dryer beads for the Ozone generator. Inspect and clean dosing lines and probes.
Other: send in ICP test and perform trace element correction monthly. I perform a large water change every 6 months and do a major equipment cleaning every January. MP60 wet sides are switched out and clean monthly.


Epic22 Coral8.jpeg


Epic23 Coral9.jpeg


Epic24 Coral10.jpeg

Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
1. Red Mandarin Dragonet
2. Powder Blue Tang
3. Naso Tang
4. Hippo Tang
5. Sailfin Tang
6. White Tail Bristletooth Tang
7. Sohal Tang
8. Copperband Butterfly
9. Femininus Wrasse
10. Leopard Wrasse
11. Male Lyretail Anthias
12. 8 - Springeri Damsels
13. One Spot Foxface Rabbitfish
14. Golden Rhomboid Wrasse
15. Potters Angel
16. Yellow Head Wrasse
17. Nearly Naked Ocellaris Clown
18. Hawaiian Dwarf Moray Eel
19 Gem Tang

Epic9 Copperband.jpeg

Image: Image: Copperband Butterfly


Epic11 GemTang.jpeg

Image: Gem Tang


Epic12 DwarfMoray.jpeg

Image: Hawaiian Dwarf Moray Eel


Epic12 LeopardWrasse.jpeg

Image: Super Male Leopard Wrasse

Other Invertebrates:
1. Tiger Tail Cucumber
2. Derasa Clam
3. various crabs and snails
Epic14 Derasa.jpeg

Image: Derasa Clam

Tank Inhabitants— Corals:
1. over 200 different SPS
2. 1 amazing Torch
3. Various chalices and a few Acans.

Epic39 Coral25.jpeg


Epic40 Coral26.jpeg


Epic41 Coral27.jpeg

Fish and Coral Feeding: I feed this system a combination of frozen foods, TDO pellets, Benepets and Nori with the addition of Boyd Vita-Chem and Selcon. I feed 3 times per day. This system is fed a total of 16 ounces of the previously mentioned foods mixed with RODI water per day.

How did you decide what to keep in your tank? I have always loved SPS, so my primary objective was a heavily SPS dominated tank, but every now and then I find an LPS or something else that I really want in the tank so there are a few exceptions to the SPS rule.



Any stocking regrets? The Yellow Head Wrasse must come out. I have lots of fish that have gone through QT and are ready to go into the display tank, but the Yellow Head wrasse is aggressive towards many of them so he will be moved to a different system.

Any fish, invert, or coral you will NEVER keep? I like Zoas, but they grow everywhere so I don't keep them or any soft corals in this tank. I won't keep anything that may eat coral.

Epic25 Coral11.jpeg


Epic26 Coral12.jpeg


Epic27 Coral13.jpeg

What do you love most about the hobby? I love being in tune with the tank. I observe the tank for many hours each day and I'm able to see when it is doing well, and when there may be a problem developing. This helps me to be proactive about things before they cascade into a tank disaster. The relationships between the different life forms in the tank fascinates me.

How long have you been doing this? Since last century (1991)

Epic28 Coral14.jpeg


Epic29 Coral15.jpeg


Epic30 Coral16.jpeg

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby? My father got me into keeping freshwater tanks. Once I decided to make the jump to marine aquariums, I looked for a mentor and found someone who lived close to me and had quite a bit of experience and success. His name is David Grigor (he was named MASNA 2016 aquarist of the year). We became fast friends, and he helped me with many projects. We spent many hours building stands, hoods, acrylic sumps, and other gadgets for our tanks. We often would order full boxes of Acropora colonies then split them and grow them out. It was a really fun time in the hobby!

Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you? There are so many amazing aquarists that have been an inspiration to me - Bob Fenner, Michael Paletta, Eric Borneman, etc. The list could go on for a long time! I used to live in the Florida Keys and Dr. David Vaughn ran the Mote Marine Lab on Summerland Key which was the next island over from the one we lived on. I became friend with him and had many great conversations over dinner and a bottle of wine with him. The advances in technology that have allowed us to keep animals that were once thought impossible to keep is also very inspiring!

Epic36 Coral22.jpeg


Epic37 Coral23.jpeg


Epic38 Coral24.jpeg

If you could have any tank, what size would it be and why? I absolutely love my current tank, but if it was 96" x 48" x 30”, I would be a little happier. Unfortunately, the space the tank went into would not allow for that extra foot of length.

Favorite fish? Anampses Femininus

Epic10 Femininus.jpeg

Image: Femininus Wrasse

Favorite coral? EA Tropical Sunshine Hyper Intense Tenuis, but I love them all!

Favorite invert? My Tiger Tail Cucumber that I've had for many years and my Derasa Clam which has been in captivity for over 15 years (10 years with the person before me and 5 years with me).

Epic31 Coral17.jpeg


Epic32 Coral18.jpeg


Epic33 Coral19.jpeg


Epic34 Coral20.jpeg


Epic35 Coral21.jpeg

How do you typically get over setbacks? Mop up the water, apologize to my wife and get back at it. Honestly learning from every mistake is imperative. Our systems are complex and often time small things can become big things quickly, so I try to have backup equipment on hand, and a backup plan for things like power outages.

Have you faced any major challenges with this particular tank, and if so, how did you overcome? I had an incident with dosing Lanthanum Chloride incorrectly that lead to a major fish die off. I lost thousands of dollars worth of fish and lost several corals. I identified the error, and corrected water parameters ASAP which help reduce the impacts. I've also had the standard floods and equipment failures including a Neptune Ph probe that failed and cause my Ph to rise to 9.2. I now use 2 probes for redundancy. Fortunately, other than losing some color on some corals there was not a major impact as I allowed the Ph to come down on its own.

What's the best thing you ever bought for your tank? The 4D aquatics Kalk Stirrer. The ability to control my Ph has been a true game changer.

Epic8.jpeg

Image: Kalk Stirrer - This one is on one our grow out systems. The one on the DT is in a tough spot for pictures but is the same as this one. It is five feet tall.

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank? Eventually I will reset the tank as the corals are getting very large and growing into each other. I plan to re-aquascape and start over with frags again. I am also considering switching from Radions to Orphek LEDs as the Ecotech Mobius app has issues when you have many Ecotech products running on it (we have over 30 Radion fixtures as well as Versas and MP60's running). Unfortunately, they have put a solution on the backburner so changing brands may be the only fix for us.

Any special tips for success or advice you'd like to share with other reefers? Find a mentor whose tank impresses you and who you admire. Learn from them and their mistakes so that you don't have to go through the same issues. When you are looking for advice, make sure that you find people who have documented success, not just someone who is parroting what they heard on the latest YouTube video from some influencer who is pushing the brands that they are sponsored by.

Final Thoughts? This is an amazing hobby. I am so thankful that I can grow these animals in my systems and share them with others. The people I have met through this hobby are amazing and I love that we share such an incredible interest. I am honored to be able to share my aquarium with all of you!

Epic42 End Shot-2.jpeg
I am a new salty, to be really honest my sank is still in production. It makes my ole heart flutter when I see tanks such as yours, BEAUTIFUL to say the least.
 

ArtisticReef

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Epic1.jpeg

Image: Full Tank Shot with Background on

R2R Username: @Epic Aquaculture
My Tank Thread: Miracles Do Happen! Bill's (Sawcjack00/Epic Aquaculture) 460 Gallon Custom Miracles Aquarium Build!

Reef of the month .png

Image: Left angle view (Colorado Sunburst Tank is visible to the right of the fish room door)

My name is Bill Bramucci. I used to go by Sawcjack00 here, but since becoming a sponsor on R2R I now go by my company name of Epic Aquaculture. It is truly an honor to have my little slice of the ocean selected as the Tank of the month for March 2024! My reefing journey started in 1991. Like many I had freshwater tanks as a child and was always fascinated by anything aquatic. As I became an adult (in age, not maturity ) I became interested in the idea of a marine aquarium. I finally made the plunge after starting a job at a pet store while in college. The owner of the store put me in charge of the aquatic department and approved my request to start a saltwater section. From there I was hooked. I found an amazing mentor who got me started on the right foot and really helped me be successful from the start. My first marine tank was a 55 gallon, and it's slowly gotten more out of hand over time. I now operate an Arizona state certified aquaculture facility - Epic Aquaculture, LLC which includes this tank - my pride and joy. A special thank you goes out to Jimmy Cox (@Sisterlimonpot) who owns and operates 4D Aquatics with his business partner Brian. His ingenuity and incredible skills with tools that would be very dangerous in my inept hands have led to the development of some amazing equipment that I use on our systems.

Epic15 Coral1.jpeg

System Profile Questions
  • Display tank: 460 gallon "in wall peninsula" tank custom built by Miracles Aquariums. 84"L x 42"W x 30"T. It is set up in wall with a fish room behind it, so that 3 sides are viewable. I use a blue tarp for the background and usually only have it up when we have company so that they don't see the equipment in the fish room.
  • Glass or Acrylic: Glass
  • Stand: Welded steel stand custom built by Miracles Aquariums
  • Sump: Acrylic sump custom built by Bashsea 60"L x 23.5"W x 16.5"T
  • Grow-out tank: Many different tanks housing our grow out colonies and frags.
  • Protein skimmer: Bubble King Super Marin 300 with Aqua Driver Helix automatic neck cleaner. An Ozotech 200 ozone generator runs Ozone through the skimmer and is controlled by the Neptune Apex controller.
  • Carbon/phosphate filtration: Lots of Pond Siporax in the sump as bio media. Occasional use of Brightwells Phophat-E if Phosphate creeps up higher than I would like.
  • Return pump: Abyzz A100 returning through an Aqua UV 114W UV sterilizer. Abyzz A200. Both return pumps return water to the tank through 1" Sea Swirls.
  • Water circulation: 4 Ecotech MP60's with 4D Aquatics MN60 movable nozzles. These nozzles finally give us the ability to aim the Ecotech Vortech powerheads and give me much more flexibility in powerhead placement. The returns run through 2 1"Sea Swirls which provide incredible random flow throughout the tank.
  • Lighting (display): 8 Ecotech Radion XR30 G4 Pro LED lights, 4 Ecotech Radion XR15 G6 Blue LED lights, and 16 - 39W ATI Blue+ T-5 bulbs in 4 Aquatic Life hybrid fixtures that are suspended above the tank using an electric bicycle lift which I can raise or lower using the Bluetooth connection and an app on my phone.
  • Lighting (grow-out): All our systems use Radions and ATI T5's in Hybrid fixtures.
  • Lighting (refugium): N/A
  • Calcium/alkalinity/magnesium dosing equipment: 4D Aquatics custom Kalk Stirrer. GHL KH Director.
  • Auto top-off: Ecotech Versa dosing pump plugged into an Avast Marine Pressure switch which is also controlled by a liquid level sensor for redundancy. The ATO Reservoir holds 100 gallons of RODI
  • Heating/cooling: Heating - 3 500W Finnex Titanium Heaters on an Inkbird Temperature controller also controlled by the Apex for redundancy. Cooling 2 1/12 HP Industrial floor fans plugged into the Inkbird Temperature controller and a window AC unit in the fishroom.
  • System control: Neptune Apex and GHL Profilux 4
  • Any other details: I have a commercial dehumidifier and a window AC unit in the fish room. I use a Spectrapure 7 stage 150 GPD RODI Unit for freshwater. 4D Aquatics also makes an attachment for the Tunze Care magnetic algae scraper which allows you to add 2 ceramic razor blades and makes them the most effective algae scraper I've ever used.
Epic3.jpeg

Image: Left angle view with the background removed


Water Circulation and Flow Summary and Objectives: Lots of Indirect flow. I set the MP60's for a standing wave most of the daylight period. At night they go into lagoon mode and the flow is somewhat reduced. The Sea Swirls create amazing random flow patterns throughout the tank so there are no dead spots.

Epic5.jpeg

Image: Top view of the flow. In addition to cooling the water the orange industrial fans also create a current at the top of the water column for additional flow.

Water Parameters:
  • Temp: 78
  • pH: 8.3-8.6
  • Specific gravity: 1.026
  • NO3: <10
  • Ca: 420
  • Alk: 7.5
  • Mg: 1350
  • PO4: <.2
  • Ammonia and nitrites: 0
Epic16 Coral2.jpeg


Epic17 Coral3.jpeg


What salt mix do you use? Red Sea Blue bucket. It mixes close to the parameters that I aim for.

What kind of rock did you start with? Dry Marco Rock held together by E-Marco 400 cement.

What is your substrate? Caribsea Special Grade reef sand

Epic18 Coral4.jpeg


Epic19 Coral5.jpeg

Calcium/Alkalinity/Magnesium Summary and Objectives: I try to maintain stable CA, Alk, and MG at the levels of 420, 7.5 DKH, and 1350 respectively. The most important parameter that I monitor is Ph. I find that having a Ph of 8.3 or slightly higher throughout the day and night leads to better growth, coloration, and overall health of the corals. The custom Kalk stirrer that I use allows me to set a target Ph and it automatically keeps the low end of the Ph range at that level.

What and how do you dose for the big 3 (alk/cal/mag)? I use a Kalk stirrer that was custom made by my buddy Jimmy Cox at 4D Aquatics. The stirrer has its own controller which allows me to target the Ph that I want the system at and doses appropriately to maintain it. I currently have this system set at 8.35. The stirrer will dose whenever the Ph drops below this number and will shut off once the number is reached. Most dosing is done at night when the Ph drops. During the daylight period my Ph rises to around 8.6 so the stirrer does not dose much if at all. the stirrer doses approximately 10 gallons of fully saturated Kalk to the system each day. My GHL Alk Director doses BRS Sodium Bicarbonate and BRS Calcium Carbonate if the Alk drops below 7.5. This dosing happens mostly during the daylight period.

Are you dosing anything else for your reef health (carbon dosing, aminos, etc.)? I run the Reef Moonshiners method which consists of daily dosing of individual trace elements, and larger corrections based on monthly ICP testing. I have been using this method for almost a year now and have been very happy with the results.

Epic20 Coral6.jpeg


Epic21 Coral7.jpeg

Lighting Summary and Objectives: I utilize an all-blue spectrum during ramp up and down at sunrise and sunset. From 11am until 2pm Red and white are added and slowly ramp up to a peak from 1:30PM until 2:30PM, then the Red and white slowly ramp down until 7pm. I feel this give the corals the benefit of full spectrum while still providing the blue to enhance color and fluorescence. I have complete coverage of the tank by combining the LEDs with the T5's to prevent any shading. It's a bit overkill but has been very effective.

Photoperiod
  • Display tank: 9AM LEDs start to ramp up for 2 hours. 11AM T5's turn on. 7PM T5's turn off and LEDs start to ramp down for 2 hours. 9PM LEDs turn off.
  • Grow-out tank: Same as DT
  • Refugium: N/A
Epic6.jpeg

Image: The lighting rig

Filtration and Water Quality Summary and Objectives: High import and high export is the name of the game for me. I feed heavily and skim heavily. I also use filter socks in the sump, and a large volume of bio media to house the denitrifying bacteria. Carbon dosing is also used to keep Nitrates in check.

Epic7.jpeg

Image: Sump

What is your export strategy? Heavy wet skimming and lots of bio media. I also carbon Dose using Tropic Marin NP Bacto-Balance.

What is your maintenance routine?
Daily: Feed the tank, dose Reef Moonshiners Elements and scrape the glass.
Weekly: Change filter socks as needed, test on Tuesdays and Fridays, Dose Prodi-Bio bacteria on Mondays, Clean and empty skimmers, blow detritus from the rocks and sand bed with a powerhead, recharge air dryer beads for the Ozone generator. Inspect and clean dosing lines and probes.
Other: send in ICP test and perform trace element correction monthly. I perform a large water change every 6 months and do a major equipment cleaning every January. MP60 wet sides are switched out and clean monthly.


Epic22 Coral8.jpeg


Epic23 Coral9.jpeg


Epic24 Coral10.jpeg

Tank Inhabitants—Fish:
1. Red Mandarin Dragonet
2. Powder Blue Tang
3. Naso Tang
4. Hippo Tang
5. Sailfin Tang
6. White Tail Bristletooth Tang
7. Sohal Tang
8. Copperband Butterfly
9. Femininus Wrasse
10. Leopard Wrasse
11. Male Lyretail Anthias
12. 8 - Springeri Damsels
13. One Spot Foxface Rabbitfish
14. Golden Rhomboid Wrasse
15. Potters Angel
16. Yellow Head Wrasse
17. Nearly Naked Ocellaris Clown
18. Hawaiian Dwarf Moray Eel
19 Gem Tang

Epic9 Copperband.jpeg

Image: Image: Copperband Butterfly


Epic11 GemTang.jpeg

Image: Gem Tang


Epic12 DwarfMoray.jpeg

Image: Hawaiian Dwarf Moray Eel


Epic12 LeopardWrasse.jpeg

Image: Super Male Leopard Wrasse

Other Invertebrates:
1. Tiger Tail Cucumber
2. Derasa Clam
3. various crabs and snails
Epic14 Derasa.jpeg

Image: Derasa Clam

Tank Inhabitants— Corals:
1. over 200 different SPS
2. 1 amazing Torch
3. Various chalices and a few Acans.

Epic39 Coral25.jpeg


Epic40 Coral26.jpeg


Epic41 Coral27.jpeg

Fish and Coral Feeding: I feed this system a combination of frozen foods, TDO pellets, Benepets and Nori with the addition of Boyd Vita-Chem and Selcon. I feed 3 times per day. This system is fed a total of 16 ounces of the previously mentioned foods mixed with RODI water per day.

How did you decide what to keep in your tank? I have always loved SPS, so my primary objective was a heavily SPS dominated tank, but every now and then I find an LPS or something else that I really want in the tank so there are a few exceptions to the SPS rule.



Any stocking regrets? The Yellow Head Wrasse must come out. I have lots of fish that have gone through QT and are ready to go into the display tank, but the Yellow Head wrasse is aggressive towards many of them so he will be moved to a different system.

Any fish, invert, or coral you will NEVER keep? I like Zoas, but they grow everywhere so I don't keep them or any soft corals in this tank. I won't keep anything that may eat coral.

Epic25 Coral11.jpeg


Epic26 Coral12.jpeg


Epic27 Coral13.jpeg

What do you love most about the hobby? I love being in tune with the tank. I observe the tank for many hours each day and I'm able to see when it is doing well, and when there may be a problem developing. This helps me to be proactive about things before they cascade into a tank disaster. The relationships between the different life forms in the tank fascinates me.

How long have you been doing this? Since last century (1991)

Epic28 Coral14.jpeg


Epic29 Coral15.jpeg


Epic30 Coral16.jpeg

Who was responsible for getting you into the hobby? My father got me into keeping freshwater tanks. Once I decided to make the jump to marine aquariums, I looked for a mentor and found someone who lived close to me and had quite a bit of experience and success. His name is David Grigor (he was named MASNA 2016 aquarist of the year). We became fast friends, and he helped me with many projects. We spent many hours building stands, hoods, acrylic sumps, and other gadgets for our tanks. We often would order full boxes of Acropora colonies then split them and grow them out. It was a really fun time in the hobby!

Who or what in the hobby most influences/inspires you? There are so many amazing aquarists that have been an inspiration to me - Bob Fenner, Michael Paletta, Eric Borneman, etc. The list could go on for a long time! I used to live in the Florida Keys and Dr. David Vaughn ran the Mote Marine Lab on Summerland Key which was the next island over from the one we lived on. I became friend with him and had many great conversations over dinner and a bottle of wine with him. The advances in technology that have allowed us to keep animals that were once thought impossible to keep is also very inspiring!

Epic36 Coral22.jpeg


Epic37 Coral23.jpeg


Epic38 Coral24.jpeg

If you could have any tank, what size would it be and why? I absolutely love my current tank, but if it was 96" x 48" x 30”, I would be a little happier. Unfortunately, the space the tank went into would not allow for that extra foot of length.

Favorite fish? Anampses Femininus

Epic10 Femininus.jpeg

Image: Femininus Wrasse

Favorite coral? EA Tropical Sunshine Hyper Intense Tenuis, but I love them all!

Favorite invert? My Tiger Tail Cucumber that I've had for many years and my Derasa Clam which has been in captivity for over 15 years (10 years with the person before me and 5 years with me).

Epic31 Coral17.jpeg


Epic32 Coral18.jpeg


Epic33 Coral19.jpeg


Epic34 Coral20.jpeg


Epic35 Coral21.jpeg

How do you typically get over setbacks? Mop up the water, apologize to my wife and get back at it. Honestly learning from every mistake is imperative. Our systems are complex and often time small things can become big things quickly, so I try to have backup equipment on hand, and a backup plan for things like power outages.

Have you faced any major challenges with this particular tank, and if so, how did you overcome? I had an incident with dosing Lanthanum Chloride incorrectly that lead to a major fish die off. I lost thousands of dollars worth of fish and lost several corals. I identified the error, and corrected water parameters ASAP which help reduce the impacts. I've also had the standard floods and equipment failures including a Neptune Ph probe that failed and cause my Ph to rise to 9.2. I now use 2 probes for redundancy. Fortunately, other than losing some color on some corals there was not a major impact as I allowed the Ph to come down on its own.

What's the best thing you ever bought for your tank? The 4D aquatics Kalk Stirrer. The ability to control my Ph has been a true game changer.

Epic8.jpeg

Image: Kalk Stirrer - This one is on one our grow out systems. The one on the DT is in a tough spot for pictures but is the same as this one. It is five feet tall.

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank? Eventually I will reset the tank as the corals are getting very large and growing into each other. I plan to re-aquascape and start over with frags again. I am also considering switching from Radions to Orphek LEDs as the Ecotech Mobius app has issues when you have many Ecotech products running on it (we have over 30 Radion fixtures as well as Versas and MP60's running). Unfortunately, they have put a solution on the backburner so changing brands may be the only fix for us.

Any special tips for success or advice you'd like to share with other reefers? Find a mentor whose tank impresses you and who you admire. Learn from them and their mistakes so that you don't have to go through the same issues. When you are looking for advice, make sure that you find people who have documented success, not just someone who is parroting what they heard on the latest YouTube video from some influencer who is pushing the brands that they are sponsored by.

Final Thoughts? This is an amazing hobby. I am so thankful that I can grow these animals in my systems and share them with others. The people I have met through this hobby are amazing and I love that we share such an incredible interest. I am honored to be able to share my aquarium with all of you!

Epic42 End Shot-2.jpeg
Amazing tank!!! Thanks for sharing with us. I may have missed it in your write up, but do you dose amino acids? If so do you have a favorite? Also I believe I saw you run ozone. How long per day? TIA
 

Sisterlimonpot

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Congratulations Bill, I didn't get notification of this thread.

I'm amazed at how your perseverance and meticulous hovering over the tank led to such a gorgeous diaplay. Well, now that I think about it, I shouldn't be amazed. This is a clear case of hard work paying off.

Congratulations again! Bask in the glory, for tomorrow, I'll be coming around with a bag of pennies!
 

maxwell

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Bill , A great tank and credit to you for all the hard work it takes . Can you tell me what this Acro is called if it has a name and species as i have one similar

1709713473347.png
 

How hands-on are you as a reef keeper?

  • Very hands-on

    Votes: 132 64.7%
  • Somewhat hands-on

    Votes: 56 27.5%
  • Not very hands-on

    Votes: 9 4.4%
  • Not hands-on at all

    Votes: 5 2.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 1.0%
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