My Reef Aquarium

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My reef aquarium is still an obsession after 6 years. The tank has been up and running since April 2004. My goal since 2006 has been to make the tank self-sustaining for as long as possible, meaning I haven't added any livestock since then. No fish, shrimp, snails, corals. Nothing. I have fragged and removed much coral since then, but have added nothing.

The tank is a 125 gallon Lee-Mar tank (72"x18"x22") with a 30 gallon DIY acrylic sump. Lighting consists of two 175W Ushio 10k metal halides and two actinic 96W power compacts. Other equipment includes an Euro-Reef CS8-2 skimmer, Aqua Logic 1/4hp chiller, and an AVAST Marine Works Kalk Reactor. An Aqua Medic dosing pump, which is turned on by a float switch, pushes RO/DI top-off water through the kalk reactor into the sump. I also dose 2-part daily using an automated Nautilis 3A dosing pump from Reef Dosing Pumps. A Dolphin Ampmaster 2800 return pump feeds three Sea Swirls. The flow is supplemented with a Tunze Stream 6000 and two Aquarium Systems Maxi-Jet 1200's. Everything is controlled by Neptune Systems' Apex Aquacontroller.

Tank water consists of Instant Ocean salt mixed with RO/DI to a concentration of 35 ppt. Calcium is maintained at 400 ppm and alkalinity at 8 dhk. Temperature is kept between 79.5 and 82.5 degrees F. I do 10% weekly water changes and keep 3 bags of carbon in the sump 24/7, changing one of the three bags out each week. I also run Warner Marine's PHOSaR in a reactor, which I replace every 2 weeks. You can read more about my setup at SDReefs May 2006 Tank of the Month webpage.


Reef Cam

Click on picture to go to Reef Cam page

Tank Shots

Full Tank Shot from Dec. 2004

Full Tank Shot from April 2006

Full Tank Shot from June 2007

Full Tank Shot from July 2008

Full Tank Shot from January 2010

Full Tank Shot From September 2013

April 2006

Island of Softies, Zoanthids, and Corallimorphs

Island of Hard Corals


Clams & Anemone

Pair of 5" Tridacna Maxima

5" Gold Teardrop Tridacna Maxima

4" Gold Tridacna Crocea

6" Tridacna Derasa

Gold Teardrop Maxima with 4" Gold Crocea

Rose Bubble Tip Anemone


Acanthastrea and Blastomussa Corals

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis

Close-up of Acan Lord Polyp

Acan Lord Polyps Starting to Open Up For Feeding

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis #2

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis #3, #4, & #5

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis #6

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis #7

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis #8

Acanthastrea Lordhowensis #9


"Orange Crush" Frag

Acanthastrea Echinata

Blastomussa Merletti


Euphyllia Corals


Branching Hammer




Various Other Hard Corals

Clockwise from top center: Yellow Acro, ORA Pink Pocillopora, ORA Blue Milli, ORA Red Cap


Clockwise from top center: Bali Aquacultured Blue-tipped acro, ORA Blue Tort, Purple Encrustin Montipora, Yellow acro, ORA Pink Pocillopora, ORA Blue Milli, ORA Red Cap

ORA Green Birdnest & Pink Birdnest w/ Bluish Polyps, ORA Red Cap, ORA Pink Pocillopora, ORA Blue-polyped German Montipora Digitata, Green Montipora Digitata, Yellow Porites


ORA Pocillopora





Purple Plate






Favia (center of picture)


Various Other Soft Corals, Zoanthids, and Corallimorphs

Yellow Fiji Leather

Toadstool Leather, Yellow Fiji Leather, Various Zoanthid Colonies, Blue Ridge Coral, Blue Sponge

Blue Zoanthid Colony


Neon Green Star Polyps & Yellow Polyps

Blue Ridge





Fish and Inverts

Ocellaris Clowns

Orange Lined Cardinal

Citron Clown Goby

Clown Hovering over her New Home

Cleaner Shrimp Hanging Out

Fire Shrimp in GSPs

Grand Central Station


Current Livestock List

bulletHippo Tang
bullet2 Ocellaris Clownfish
bullet2 Cleaner Shrimp
bulletVarious Snails - Cerith, Astrea, Margarita, Nassarius
bulletA few Scarlet and Hawaiian Reef Hermit Crabs


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