- May 25, 2007
- San Diego
First of all, it's an honor to be chosen for SoCaliReef's featured tank of the month. I would like to thank the Socal reef community and everyone who helped me set up my dream tank. I have learned so much from so many. I got into the hobby since 1983 working at Tropical fish in Fountain Valley. I had so many tanks and each time I learned and improve my reef keeping skills. My first encounter with reefing was when I left Vietnam and stay on an island in Malaysia. Every day I swam with thousands of fish and fields of staghorn Acropora. That image in my mind led to the creation of my SDR tank which is Staghorn Dominate Reef.
Display tank: 360g Acrylic tank build by Advance Acrylic
Stand: Metal stand build by Aeron from the SPS store
Sump: Dream box design-build by Advance Acrylic
Protein skimmer: Bubble King supermarin 250
Return Pump: Red dragon 80w dc pump
Water circulations: 3xtunze 6105, 2xmp40qwd, 2xreefbreeder qp16 , 2xseasweep with tunze
Lighting: 400wx2 20k coralvue 3xocean revive T247, 4x48" blue led bar, 2x60" uv led bar.
Doser: 2xkamoer x4
Controller: Apex wifi 2016
UV : aqua uv 80w
Zeovit reactor : Avast vibe
I run a modified zeovit regime just for my system. Zeovit is an interesting method because it doesn't work with the recommended dosage. Each tank has its own chemistry and therefore you need to find the right dosage for your system. In the beginning, it will be a rocky road, however, in the end, the rewards are worth it. Below I will list my dosing schedule but like I say each tank will be different. I will separate into different categories so it will be easier to understand.
Bacteria source: Zeobak 6 drops per day, Zeostart3 4ml per day
Coral food: Coral vitalizer 12 drops per day, Sponge power : 12 drops per day, Amino 10 drops every night
Color enhancement: B Balance 10 ml M-W-F, Pohl extra 10 ml T-THU-Sat, Zeospur 2 10 ml Sun
Pest prevention: flatworm stop 20ml per day
Tank enhancement: coral snow plus 12ml Sun, Biomate 5 drops per day
Other dosage: Acropower 40ml per day, 2 little fish A B 20 ml per day
This is an interesting subject, I have tried everything from Halide, Led and T5 but in the end the best combo for my tank is Halide and Led combo. What I notice is every light system can give you adequate par but It's the spectrum that will affect the growth of the corals. Halide and T5 are manufactured with provent spectrum and it has been growing corals for 30 years. With LED we dont have the spectrum analizer to check therefore its very hard to get the correct spectrum. Nevertheless LED still show the color of corals best.
My light system consists of 2x400w 20k , 3 Ocean Revive T247, 8 x 48" blue light bar and 2 x 60" UV bar. My light schedule is base on Jason Fox's schedule. I talked with Jason at RAP 2017 and he taught me an interesting concept on the blue spectrum. As everyone knows Jason dive to collect corals himself and what he saw down there is all blue. At the depth of the area in which he collects most corals, there is no other spectrum than blue. And his schedule is base on 12 hrs per day 4-4-4. In the beginning, 4 hrs full blue, UV, Purple and 4 hrs full spectrum then 4hrs full blue at the end.
Well another interesting subject, BRS made a video stating that flow is not correlated with coral grow and I disagree. Their experiment is not true to the condition in a reef tank. Their testing tank has no rocks and all small frags which are not blocking any flow. Our reef tank is different, rock and coral blocks a lot of flow. The middle of the tank usually has less flow than other areas. In my tank because its a peninsula I can only put powerhead at each end. I have 3 x tunze 6105, 2 x mp40, 2 x gyre 250, 2 x QP16 and 1 Tunze 6095 and 2 sea sweep. If I have more space I would add more.
FILTRATION AND MAINTENANCE
Zeovit is very efficient at reducing nutrients. My phosphate and nitrate can go down to zero if I don't feed or dose enough. I feed 6 x a day on the AFS and 3 X omega flakes and 1 cube of mysis at night. I have a total of 80 fish, big and small, however, I don't do water changes for my tank. Once a week I vacuum the sand bed and replace 5g which is nothing for a 600g system. Years ago we didn't have advanced additive and nutrients reduction method, therefore, we rely on water change to replenish the trace elements, Alk, Ca and Mag. Nowadays we have calcium reactor, Kalk reactor and multi-brand of additive to replace the trace elements. I'm a lazy reefer so most of every task that I can automate I do it. My routine narrows down to clean the acrylic and clean the skimmer which I have the neck cleaner so I only need to clean once a month. I do have an Alkatronic which I monitor Alk however I still manually test it every morning with salifert test kit....I DONT TRUST MACHINE.....
CORALS AND FISH
Ahhh finally come to everyone's favorite part.....My vision for my reef tank is a field of staghorn and the fish which live inside it moving in and out like the reef in the wild. I have 20 different types of stags in the tank and they are dominating.
FINAL THOUGHT AND RECOMMENDATION
The first encounter with corals on the island in Malaysia definitely impacted my life and lead to my obsession with reefing. My goal is to grow a staghorn forest and seeing the fish live beside the corals just like in the wild reef. My tank is still young, about 2.5 years old, however, I feel like it's on the right course. My philosophy with reefing is to stick with what you want for your tank and don't chase numbers or schedule. Corals need time to adapt to grow and if you keep changing your water chemistry, lighting schedule, or lights, your corals with stop growing to adapt to the change and the cycle will keep going.
I highly recommended investing in good quality equipment. Your equipment are the organs that drive your reef. If your tank crashes as a result of your equipment failing, then your hard work, time and money will be wasted. Most European reef systems are full of good quality equipment, in contrast, most American reefers are more focus on high-end corals. Better equipment which translates to less maintenance and less problem. A high percentage for tank crashes are due to failed equipment or laziness.
I wanted to thank Tran Phan Reef and Josh Warne for providing me with awesome reef pictures. I also want to thank all my reefing friends and SCMAS club members for my continuing success with the Staghorn Dominate Reef.
Please help me congratulate @ycnibrc on this informative writeup for the SoCaliReef's community.