Hi Premier Reefs!  Thanks Mike for inviting me to contribute to tank of the month.

I live in Temecula, CA.  For all you socal reefers, that's out in the sticks to you.  But after living here for 10 years, I'm finally starting to like it, scenery is beautiful and I get to avoid traffic.  I travel to San Diego a lot to pick up corals from other reefers, occasionally meet up with PR members for the same.  Like many of you, I am addicted.  To the boards, to the hobby, to the obsessive compulsive behavior we all have collecting these wonderful creatures.  Anyway, about the tank.


I started this reef in Spring of 2014.  It was an upgrade from a 90 gallon standard system I had.  I am a chronic upgrader, always going up small volumes in size through several iterations.  I don't recommend this.  Go big or go home.  Corals currently in this tank have gone from a 24 gallon nano cube, to a 50 gallon, to a 75 gallon, to a 90 gallon and now a 125.  I've learned a lot in the process, about lighting, husbandry, chemistry.  This progression started in ~2007.  Before that, my first saltwater tank was secured in ~1994.  I ran a 30 gallon long show tank as a super low tech reef, back before internet and message boards were common.  I read a lot of books, learned from the local fish store when I could.  I was living in Aliso Viejo at that time, and I ran that reef for 10 years before I sold it off with all the livestock.  I'm talking power compacts, trickle filters, magnum canister, skilter protein skimmer.  It had natural macro algae, and stuff growing in there I didn't even know about, the acrylic was so gummed up with coraline.  Including a ~20" bristle worm.   I'll call it a natural reef, but it was my beginning.  Then I got married, my wife got pregnant, and I took a break for a few years.  Of course, I got back in.  And technology and the community was totally changed by the boards and internet.

Previous 90g

Tank Specs
125 gallon, 48" X 30" X 20" high.  Eurobraced.  Purchased this from a san diego reefer, this tank has a lot of history behind it.  Was originally a custom lee mar I believe, starfire thick glass unlike the newer lee mars you see today.  Has a beautiful custom stand and canopy, and it's tall (48" high) so the tank is at eye level for most people.  And my favorite part of it is the custom sump.  Glass, two chamber refugium with sand/miracle mud on one side, and rock and chaetomorpha on the other side.  36" X 24" X 16", 60 gallons, nice and big for my Bubble Magus 200 skimmer, chiller pump, heater, and media pump for rowaphos.  Larry Montgomery built this sump I believe, he was a reefer friend of mine from Oceanside who died a few years back.  So to me, it's got his craftsmanship and memories built in.  

Chiller is a 1/4 HP Current USA in line chiller.  Gets hot up here in the summer, so it kicks on a bit in the summer months.  
Lights I'm currently using 3 AI Sol Blues, 4 T5s 54W for red/white/UV spectrum coverage, and recently I added a kessil 360W just to illuminate my frag rack.  All of this is somehow mounted in this tall canopy, there are holes for the ai sol fans, and a fan on the side for the T5s.

Flow is accomplished with a speed wave DC pump for return which has flow accelerators.  Think it's a 1320 gph pump, I have it on full since there are a few feet of head pressure up to the returns for this tall tank.  In the tank, there is an MP40, a WP40, and and RW15.  Kindof messy, but I love a lot of flow for my sticks.


Livestock is dominated by SPS, and a few LPS (favias and acan echinatas).  I have kicked out almost all montipora since it was spreading all over the place, think I only have two colonies left.  Most of my sps are of unknown name, have a few collector pieces.  But I enjoy the growth, I don't spend a lot on coral, and I have to harvest it frequently.


Fish, I have a beautiful purple tang, a yellow tang, a melanarus wrasse, a yellow chest throat wrasse, a sail fin blenny, an oscellaris clown (who hosts a massive wellsophylia brain that I've had since 2007), a matted filefish and a recently added fox face.  Most of the fish are just there to provide coral food and eat pests.

Chemistry & Husbandry
I use Scripps water.  It's crazy, but I've used it since I moved to San Diego in 1998.  I store about 50-70 gallons in the garage at all times.   I do weekly water changes of 10-15 gallons.  I dose BRS two part 8 times a day, about 100 mls of alkalinity and calcium.  I add a few drops of strontium a day, and occasionally dose potassium and iodine manually.  I don't test a lot, although I use a hanna meter now for phosphate, run rowaphos in a reactor, and religiously change my filter sock and clean my skimmer at least once per week.  ATO is using RO/DI water of 0 TDS.  It's not ultra low nutrient, I've played with biopellets, but didn't really see the health in all the corals that I do without it.


Here's some recent photos, hope you enjoy them.  It is difficult to photograph the livestock in this tank due to the high light intensity and the canopy for top down macro shots.  I do the best I can, and try not to influence the colors in photoshop.  I currently shoot with a canon Rebel T3 (T5 should be here soon), and alternate between a tamron macro and a canon standard lens.  I shoot in RAW, white balance using a dropper in photoshop where white samples are available, and then use auto tone, contrast and color.  Gamma correction helps with the exposure level, that's it.  Enjoy!