Michael Redic (MEDRED) Solana XL 60g Masterpiece
had a wet thumb since the early age of 6. No matter what, I cannot seem to cure
the aquarium itch. I moved to California in early 2010 which caused me to break
down my previous reef tank. By late 2010, I knew that I had to have a new tank.
My goals were a minimalist setup with a very diverse group of corals, inverts,
started this tank in the fall of 2010. I loved my 34 gallon Current Solana and
lusted after the 60 Solana XL as soon as it was announced (I adore cubes!). The
60 Solana offered a sump and more water volume to help keep parameters stable,
yet was small enough to be manageable. I also wanted a little more room to have
a decent sized scape while allowing enough clearance between the scape and the
glass to mag float easily.
been keeping up with the latest lighting trends and thought LED's sounded like
the best thing since sliced bread! They would allow me to keep a lid on my tank
to prevent jumping fish and evaporation, use less electricity, forgo yearly
bulb replacements, keep the tank cooler, and allow fully controllable lighting
with minimal wiring. At the time, Aqua Illumination Sol Blues seemed to have
the best PAR, build quality, and I loved their modular nature.
aquascape was born out of a desire for a large aerobic surface area for coral
placement and biological filtration while having the least amount of rock
necessary. I wanted to minimize areas that could collect unseen detritus. I
attended an aquarium conference in 2009 where one of the speakers showed laboratory
results that related the importance of SPS coral growth to flow. I wanted to
have as much unobstructed flow as possible. I racked my brain trying to settle
on my many ideas for a scape. They all went out the window after receiving my
dry rock. The rocks spoke to me and a scape began to take shape within a few
hours of drilling the rocks and sticking them together with fiberglass rods and
had already planned most of my fish for this build, so I knew I could create an
environment that would keep everyone happy. I added my first coral December
2010 and my first fish in January 2011. My tank was fully stocked with fish by
April 2011. As with my last tank, I knew I wanted a very diverse array of
corals. I decided to keep to the same stratification and zoning arrangement as
my previous tank.. For the most part I have SPS up high, LPS, in the middle,
softies down low, and NPS in the dark areas. Zoas, Acans, Favias, and Chalices,
all have their specific rocks.
of the history of the tank was the upgrades I made. The first one was to remove
the textured overflow and replace it with a smooth one. This allowed me to
easily scrape coralline and keep the clean look. StevieT from InTank provided
me with the custom overflow.
I added more corals and things started to grow/settle in, I realized I wasn't a
reliable source of calcium and alk dosing. One of the best upgrades to this
tank was adding an auto doser.
had been dealing with micro bubbles off and on with the original Solana sump. I
finally decided to upgrade to a larger custom sump. This made a world of
difference in more ways than just micro bubbles! I had a lot more room to
organize my sump equipment and it was also a lot easier to access the heaters
upgrade to the cabinet area was adding a light. Originally I added a
fluorescent light strip to the back right corner of the cabinet. It worked well
but I finally got tired of kneeling and reaching into the back of the cabinet
to turn the light on and off. I upgraded the light to chainable LEDs with a
small controller at the front of the cabinet. Having them illuminate from the
top down instead of the back corner greatly reduced glare when looking into the
sump. The front mounted controller was also a big plus.
Current Solana XL 60 Gal 24" x 24" x 24"
Lighting Fixture: Giesemann Infiniti
Light Bulbs: 1x250w 14,000K Phoenix HQI w/ ATI T5 (3xBlue+ and
Sump: Advance Acrylics Custom Sump 24" x 11" x 16"
Powerheads: Vortech MP10w ES x 2
Return Pump: Eheim 1262 w/ Two Little Fishies Ball Valve
Bioreactor: NextReef SMR1 w/ 250ml Warner Marine ecoBak & Mag-Drive
Dosing: Bubble Magus BM-T01 Dosing Pump w/ 3 x Bubble Magus 1.5l
Skimmer: SWC Cone 160
ATO: Tunze Osmolator
Salt: Seachem aquavitro Salinity
Heaters: 2 x 150w Ebo Jagers
Rock: Reefcleaners.org Florida Reef Rock (dry)
Substrate: 20-25 lbs Caribsea Aragamax Select Dry Aragonite #00025 (very
- Salinity: 1.026
- Temp: 78°-80°
- pH: 8.0
- Calcium: 440 460 ppm
- Alkalinity: 7 dKh
- Magnesium: 1600 ppm
I feed Instant Ocean Marine Pellets and use a Mag Float to scrap the glass.
Twice weekly I feed Oyster Feast, PhytoFeast, and aquavitro fuel.
The night before a water change I feed frozen mysis and cyclopeeze to the
dendros, acans, and candy canes.
Weekly I change 5-10 gallons of water, fill the automatic top off
reservoir, and change my filter sock.
Monthly I change out my Purigen and Chemipure Elite.
Biannually I clean the skimmer, pumps, and bioreactors.
As needed I scrape the overflow clean of coralline. I also remove the Vortech
wetsides and return nozzles and soak them in vinegar to kill the
coralline. I also fill the auto doser reservoirs as they run low.
I have about half an inch of sand and somewhere around 25 lbs of rock. I’m of firm belief that a tanks bio filtration capability is less
about lbs of rock and more about the exposed surface area. I run a filter sock as mechanical filtration.
I also run about 250ml of bio pellets in a reactor that outflows into the
skimmer. I use Chemipure Elite and
Purigen to help polish the water.
upgraded from Aqua Illumination Sol Blues after a year to Ecotech XR30w Radions
and finally to a Giesemann Infiniti HQI and T5 fixture after 5 months. Each
successive upgrade brought better color coloration, growth, and viewing
aesthetic. I've been most happy with the Giesemann Infiniti
personally don't feel that LED's are a complete alternative to traditional
forms of lighting. LED's offer a cooler running, lower power consuming, highly
controllable alternative to T5'sand metal halides, but I feel that the lighting
aesthetic and coral coloration are not as good under LED's as with other forms
Time: 7:00 am | On:
Rear T5 2x Blue+|Off: Center Phoenix Halide| Off: Front T5 1x Blue+/1x Purple+
Time: 9:00 am | On: Rear T5 2x Blue+|Off: Center Phoenix Halide| On: Front T5
1x Blue+/1x Purple+
Time: 10:00 am | On: Rear T5 2x Blue+|On: Center Phoenix Halide| On: Front T5
1x Blue+/1x Purple+
Time: 18:00 pm | On: Rear T5 2x Blue+|Off: Center Phoenix Halide| On: Front T5
1x Blue+/1x Purple+
Time: 19:00 pm | On: Rear T5 2x Blue+|Off: Center Phoenix Halide| Off: Front T5
1x Blue+/1x Purple+
Time: 22:00 pm | Off: Rear T5 2x Blue+|Off: Center Phoenix Halide| Off: Front
T5 1x Blue+/1x Purple+
Various Zoanthids and Palyothoas
• Ricordea Yuma
• Ricordea Florida
• Photosynthetic and Nonphotosynthetic Gorgonians
• Various Blastomussa
• Kryptonite Candy Cane
• Various Acans
• Various Favias
• Various Chalices
• Elegance coral
Various Montipora, Stylophora, and Acropora
1 x ORA Crocea Clam
• 1 x Blood Red Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)
• 1 x Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
• 3 x Emerald Crab (Mithraculus sculptus)
• 4 x Pom Pom Crabs (Lybia tesselata)
• 4 x Porcelain Crabs (Petrolisthes sp.)
• 2 x Anemone Porcelain Crabs (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai)
2 x Fighting Conch Snails
• 3 x Caribbean Nerite Snails
• 5 x Mexican Cerith Snails
• 5 x Caribbean Cerith Snails
• 5 x Nassarius Snails
• 5 x Tongan Nassarius Snails
• 5 x Banded Trochus Snails
• 10 x Mini Cerith Snails
Candy Basslet Pair (Liopropoma carmabi)
• Gladiator Picasso Clownfish Pair (Amphiprion percula)
• Helfrichi Firefish Pair (Nemateleotris helfrichi)
• Neon Goby Pair (Elacatinus oceanops)
• Tiger Blenny (Ecsenius tigris)
go wrong no matter how hard you try. I've had Alk swings, brown flatworms,
colonial hydroids, dinoflagellates, bubble algae, red turf algae, caulerpa,
bryopsis, and jumping fish. The keys to success are patience (don't go for the
quick fix) and fix the root cause, not the result.
only thing I regret with this aquarium was the one night I left the lid off my
tank and my favorite fish jumped. Pretty much everything else has been a
plans for this tank are to continue to let it grow out. I'll be adding more
corals, and possibly adding two more fish, as long as I can figure what they
be afraid to experiment, but use common sense. This hobby is full of surprises!
Fads: One of the biggest things that I don't
subscribe to is falling in love with the latest, greatest coral fads. My tank
is full of corals that appeal to me based on color, texture, and shape. I'm a
big believer in simply buying what looks good to you, and not because it's a
designer, limited edition, rare chalice, acro, scholy, paly, etc.
To New Hobbyists
Plan, Plan!!! Consume as much as you can about the hobby before you jump in.
Try to plan out what kind of tank you want, what fish, corals, and inverts you
may want, and what equipment you'll need. Plans can be flexible, but having a
good direction when you get started will make your life a lot easier.
Questions and/or Comments can be asked here