View Full Version : April 2008 Tank of the Month - Jeremy:jmaneyapanda

04-01-2008, 11:49 PM

Thanks first and foremost to Jin and Alex for their efforts. I don’t get visitors often, so it is a pleasure the have them share my little slice with this entire club. This would only be possible through them.

Aquariums have always been a part of my life, from the time I was a child in Buffalo, NY, catching the native sunfish and catfish out of the creek in my backyard. I started with the obligate bowl, and graduated quickly through the 5, 10, 18, 20, 55 gallons.

My first marine aquarium was 37 gallons, and I tried desperately to put 37 fish in there. Needless to say, I had a lot of problems. Lessons learned. Once I got a job at the local fish store of choice, I rather honed my skills, not through only my experience, but also through the customers. I was lucky enough to get a 120 reef ready for dirt cheap, begged my landlord to allow it, and that was the first stab at actual “reefkeeping”. It had a moderate skimmer, VHO lighting, and had “immense” flow, with the mag 7 return pump! My, how we have learned.

In 2001, I moved to Georgia with my tank, and waited painfully to finally own a house where I could set it up. This happened in September of 2001. In late 2006, I finally decide it was time to “get bigger”, and bought an all glass 210 reef ready. This tank has been set up since then (with much of the original rock and livestock).

I have set this tank up originally as a mixed reef, with SPS, LPS, softies, mushrooms, anemones, etc. But for some odd reason, the challenge of SPS really drew me in. As a result, over the past year, I have more focused on adding SPS to this tank rather than the other “types” of corals, but still do have some of the afore mentioned in the tank. First and foremost, however, this tank is set up to support fish. I love fish. Wait, let me re-phrase- I LOVE FISH! I very carefully walk the fine line between the fish and coral population, but in case of a conflict, the fish almost always win in my mind!


This is a standard All Glass 210 gallon (72” X 24” X 29”) that has the reef ready overflows. I looked into other brands/vendors, but for the price and reputation, I went with All Glass. My sump is a My Reef Creations reef sump. It holds approximately 50 gallons, and has a built in refugium will is likely about 15 gallons. My total volume is probably around 260 gallons or so. It sits on an All Glass black pine stand. Now, here is where it gets fun. I was uneasy with putting this load on the floor of my house. I live in more or less a small log cabin, and, even though it was against the wall, it made me nervous. As I don’t have a basement, I went into the crawl space, poured six concrete footers, and braced the floor joists to be sure the floor wasn’t going anywhere. Sounds fun, huh? All in about 24” of space! The “ghetto” canopy I made myself at work out of scrap firewood (or so I complain). I hate it, and I need to pay someone skilled to make me a nice one.

My jealousy sets in for many people as I don’t have the room for a separate fish room, basement, or similar. What I wouldn’t give for a basement or “fish room”. The tank sits in my open dining area, and I have done my best to cram everything needed into the cabinet and associated space.
I bought the tank, and it sat in my spare bedroom for about 4 months. I had visions of adding onto the house and making a fish room/in wall setup, alas, was just a pipe dream, as my finances, and impatience took over.

I have always been a strong proponent of My Reef Creations, as their equipment has always proven to me to be the pinnacle of quality. As a result, I run a MRC MR-2 (run by a Mag 18). As this has to fit under my stand, and I wanted to maximize skimming, I run both becketts. I would love to add some extensions, but my space currently doesn’t allow it. I have been seriously contemplating getting a taller skimmer, and just running it adjacent to the tank, but we’ll see what the future holds. Into the skimmer, I have a Red Sea 50 mg/hr ozonizer, running at 50%. I only rarely recharge my air dryer, so I estimate it is only pushing 10 mg/hr into the skimmer. But for those who are willing to “risk” running ozone- you will never believe the difference in water clarity. I sincerely doubt the level we run would have any disinfecting or pathogenic control properties, but the water will be utterly transparent. I have a MRC waste collection container with carbon to collect the skimmate. With my load, I pull out about a liter a day or more. I also run a MRC CR-2 calcium reactor (with spray bar) with CaribSea media. I run about 100ml/min effluent, and about 2 bubbles a second. To counteract the depressed pH from the reactor, I top off through a MRC nilsen reactor. My top off is controlled by a JBJ ATO. The ATO is, in turn controller by my Digital Aquatic RK2. I have it set to pH control, where if the pH get to be above 8.55, it shuts off the ATO, and worst case scenario, I burn out my return pump. The few times I’ve seen this has been just micro bubbles, though. My return pump is another Mag 18. It goes through the stock loc-line returns, but most is controlled by ball valves to go through the WavySeas unit in the tank. I also have two 250 watt Stealth heaters in the sump.

I also run carbon 24/7, and Brightwell Aquatics Phosphate resin for phosphate control, through TLF Phosban reactors.

Another company I am a rabid supporter of is Tunze. I have heard wonderful things about the Vortecs, but reputation and production of Tunze will keep me a customer. I currently run two Tunze Stream 6200s controller by a 7095 controller. I set the controller to Interval 2, 10 minute interval, and pulsing between 30% and 100% every 8 seconds. This allows about 7000 GPH from the Tunzes alone through that tank at all times, back and forth. This doesn’t count the near 1000 GPH I get from the return pump.

For lighting, I run three 400 watt single ended bulbs. Currently I use the Reeflux 12000K bulbs powered by a Coralvue e-ballast. I have heard absolutely wonderful things about this pairing, and I have not been disappointed. I also run two 32 watt T5 actinics, but in all honesty, the only time you’ll notice them, is before and after the Reefluxes are on. If I shut them off when the MH bulbs are burning, you can’t even notice. That is how much blue is in the 12000K’s. I am contemplating trying the Reeflux 10000Ks at my next change, but I haven’t made up my mind yet.
For cooling, I rely 100% on evaporative cooling. I run one fan over the sump (once the temp hits 81 degrees), and five 4 inch fans, plus three 2 inch fans in the canopy from 6:30 AM to 11 PM. Probably the smartest thing I’ve done for temperature control, though, has been to duct my central air in my home to “fire” into my cabinet. So, during the summer, the ambient air temp in the cabinet is almost never above 75 degrees. Believe it or not, the tank actually gets hottest in early spring and late fall (when the air doesn’t run much, and the ambient air tempo can be moderately warm).


I typically do a 30 gallon water change every 1-2 weeks. My work schedule is quite hectic, so I can’t always plan days off in advance. I aim for every week, but it’s not uncommon to hit every 10 to 14 days, though. During water changes, I engage in the archaic practice of actually vacuuming my substrate. I use to have fine sand, but, it was just blowing around everywhere. It will be a cold day in Hades before I ever run bare bottom (LOL Lee and Alan!) So, to remedy this, I actually use crushed coral for a substrate. It is only about 2-4mm in size, but has enough mass to not get blown all over. To ensure it is not a detritus trap, though, I vacuum the open areas every water change, though. I do not dose any additives at this time. I used to dose magnesium, but after a mishap with a faulty test kit, and a Mg level of over 1800, and subsequent issues, I won’t do that again.

My water parameters are as follows:
Salinity- 1.026
Temp- 80-81.5 degrees
Calcium 415-440 (elos)
Alkalinity- 11 dkh (salifert)
Nitrate-0 elos)
Phosphate- 0.04 (Hanna colorimeter)
Magnesium 1450 ish (elos)

Why these numbers amaze me (in particular the nitrate and phosphate) is because I feed like there is no tomorrow because of my fish population. I run two auto feeders- the first feeds a mix of spirulina and cyclopeeze flake fours times a day, and the second feeds New Life Spectrum and Hikari pellets twice a day each. Then when I get home, I feed a lion’s share of frozen food. This may include 3-5 cubes of Ocean Nutrition formula food, I silver dollar sized chunk of frozen mysis, or any of the other frozen foods I may buy from now and then. And, this doesn’t include the sheet of nori I put in every day or every other day. I guess the only explanation I have to my being able to feed so much and keep the levels reasonably low is through intense nutrient export. I run my skimmer full tilt, run carbon and phosphate media all the time, ozone, and water changes regularly. I’m sure if I neglected these responsibilities, I would have an absolutely STUNNING hair algae tank, but I pride myself on the discipline to not allow this.

04-01-2008, 11:51 PM

Why in the world do I feed so much, you ask? Well, like I said before I LOVE fish. In my opinion, a reef tank is empty without a notable fish population. I do not believe that the majority of reefkeepers feed their fish enough. If you take a look at pictures of fish in the ocean, you will be VERY hard pressed to find any with sunken or pinched bellies, no less being able to see their skeleton. They are all plump and robust. Somewhere along the line, someone thought that plump fish were “unhealthy” or otherwise. I disagree. This is how fish should look.

I have a very heavily loaded tank with fish, but they have all been selected, acclimated, quarantined, and introduced in order to be successful, which I feel I have been with my fish selections. My current collection includes:
(1) 8-9” Acanthurus maculiceps- Freckle faced tang
(1) 4” Zebrasoma flavescens- Yellow Tang
(1) 4.5” Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis- Chevron tang
(1) 4” Adult Pomacanthus imperator- Emperor angel
(2) Genicanthus watanabei- Pair of Watanabe angels
(2) Premnas biaculeatus- Breeding pair of Gold bar Maroon clowns
(1) Pseudanthias pleurotaenia- Square spot anthias
(2) Pseudanthias dispar- Dispar anthias
(2) Nemanthias cayberryi- Threadfin athias
(3) Cirrhilabrus jordani- Trio of Hawaiian Flame Wrasses
(1) 3” Australian Choerodon fasciatus- Harlequin Tusk Wrasse
(4) Pterapogon kauderni- tank raised Bangaii cardinals

On the horizon, also, a pair of Hemitaurichtys polylepis- Yellow Pyramid butterflies. I think, after that, either the tank will bust at the seams, or I will be done.

Did I mention I love fish? Far and away, my favorite fish is the Freckle faced tang. I remember seeing a picture of one of these fish in a book, and saying to myself, “That would be awesome to have. Too bad it will never be available”. One day, I happened to see this one on LiveAquaria Divers Den, and got him right away. Darned impulse buys. Luckily, he doesn’t have a mean stitch in him, despite being an Acanthurus tang. He just glides around the tank, all mellow.

I got the Emperor from a friend who had him in a clients SPS tank. He offered me a good price, and since I knew he was reef safe, I jumped. I know, maybe a little risky, but I will sacrifice a little polyp extension, if worse came to worse. He is too gorgeous a fish to consider not keeping.


As for corals, I happen to know a lot of the scientific names because that’s my thing, but I don’t necessarily “collect” as some others do. I go by shape, color, growth, and look. Some of my corals happen to be rare, but I got them because I liked the coral, not necessarily the status. Some of my corals include:
Acropora abrotanoides
Acropora efflorescens
Acropora micropthalma
Acropora valida
Acropora millepora
Acropora tortuosa
Acropora vaughni
Acropora granulosa
Acropora divaricata
Acropora echinata
Montipora capricornus
Montipora undata
Montipora danae
Montipora digitata
Montipora confusa
Seratiopora hystrix
Seratiopora gutattus
Styolphora pistilla
Various Zoanthids
Various mushrooms
Cabbage leather everywhere
Xenia elongata
Clavularia sp.
A couple gorgonians
One lonely Acanthastrea lordhowensis
One orange Bubble tip anemone (home to the clowns)
Star polyps everywhere

And Im sure a hundred other things I cant think of. The largest piece I have is a monster plating Montipora capricornus that started as a 1” frag from ImagineOcean. It has grown a little J. It is now about 12” diameter, and has been hacked in half about 6 times. I can’t kill this thing. I am just kidding; it is a great, colorful coral, so I like it. It just grows too much.

An important note, in the previously mentioned Magnesium overdosing issue, I happened to lose almost all my SPS about a year ago. I had some very large colonies, but, it enabled me to start over, so to speak. Nearly every coral seen was started as a small frag, and I am modestly trying to grow them out. They are still quite small, but they are growing.

I have a legion of peppermint shrimp in my tank to help control aiptasia (which only works moderately, because I feed so much). I added like 30 of them about 4 months ago, and the other night at about 3 AM, I shone a flashlight in there, and I still think I have all 30. They were everywhere, and darted for cover once the light hit them. Luckily, my Emperor Angel is now working on the aiptasia. I also have four skunk cleaner shrimp, and one little Fromia star that I’ve had for about 2 years now. He doesn’t do anything but look pretty.


As stated earlier, I would like to thank Jin and Alex up front. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible. No ifs, ands, or buts. I also want to thank the Atlanta Reef Club. Despite all the “issues” that seem to periodically arise, I sincerely do hope everyone appreciates the opportunity to have a club such as this. I have been without one for nearly 15 years, and you all don’t know how lucky you are have one as great as this one.

Without a doubt, though, the greatest “thank you” must go to Kelly Daugherty. Without her patience, encouragement, and flat out tolerance, I would never have been able to enjoy or engage in this hobby as I have. It is only been through her support that I am able to be proud of what I have done. I hope she can, and does, take as much pride and honor in this accomplishment as I do.

Jin's Note:
The full tank shot does not show the full glory of this tank as it doesn't show all the fish. The amount of fish in the tank is staggering especially when you consider how large each of these specimens are. Few people in the ARC, let alone this hobby have such a nice collection of fish in a reef tank. I decided to kidnap Alex and take him to Blue Ridge to take these shots the night we were having a poker party at Alan's house. As such, we did not spend as much time taking pictures as we normally do primarily due to time constraints. In addition, there are many fish that just did not photograph very well due to their high speed antics. I encourage everyone to visit Jeremy sometime as his tank is worth the hour and a half drive. Make sure you bring an SUV as some of the roads are not paved! :)

04-02-2008, 12:55 AM
wow, sweet tank. It looks amazing for not having a fish room ;)

04-02-2008, 1:12 AM

Love the livestock list as I am also a big fish fan! Great job TOTM guys.

04-02-2008, 1:34 AM
Excellent tank and write up!

04-02-2008, 7:27 AM
Tank is looking great Jeremy!

04-02-2008, 7:45 AM
Very nice!

04-02-2008, 7:50 AM
Thanks all. Here are my latest (and final) two additions.

04-02-2008, 9:02 AM
Very nice!

04-02-2008, 9:26 AM
beautiful bro...I wouldnt have expected less from you...

04-02-2008, 10:42 AM
Sweet tank Jeremy!

04-02-2008, 11:06 AM
thats absolutly stellar!! jeremy, your color tones are intense.

Ralph ATL
04-02-2008, 11:11 AM
One of the best tanks I've "seen"! Thanks for sharing!

04-02-2008, 11:28 AM
Nice tank. I was always told the emperor angel ate coral. Do you not have a problem with yours. That was the number one fish I wanted when I started my tank!

04-02-2008, 12:00 PM
Sweet Bro! CONGRTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

04-02-2008, 5:50 PM
Congrats Jeremy! Very nice job.

Linda Lee
04-02-2008, 6:44 PM
Incredible tank and the write-up reads like a very well-written magazine article or journal.

Nice job, Jeremy! And Jin, I wonder if someone would consider putting all the TOTM's into a hard-copy publication at the end of the year? Probably pricey to do, but that's a *yearbook* I'd really love to own.

Kudos all the way around.

04-03-2008, 12:43 AM
Ya, this tank is just alright!!! Hard to see the corals with all those fish swimming around! ;)

04-03-2008, 9:23 AM
Wow tank is great thanks for sharing

04-03-2008, 2:36 PM
Beautiful! :-) Now I see what's with the blue glow! :-)

04-03-2008, 2:53 PM
Nice tank. I was always told the emperor angel ate coral. Do you not have a problem with yours. That was the number one fish I wanted when I started my tank!
So far, my has only eaten the rampant sponges that grow eveywhere, and aiptasia. I was worried he would work the zoas too, but so far, so good.

04-08-2008, 7:52 AM
That is one gorgeous tank!! *looks at his aquapod and wishes he had a tank that large* Congrats!!

04-08-2008, 9:55 PM
Wow, what a beautiful collection! Nice job!

04-10-2008, 9:21 PM

04-12-2008, 12:59 PM
do you have a contoller for your calcium reactor, or does it just always run a 2 bubbles a second?

04-12-2008, 1:45 PM
do you have a contoller for your calcium reactor, or does it just always run a 2 bubbles a second?
I use a pH controller.

04-14-2008, 8:39 AM
Very nice, Jeremy. I've looked at your pics for an hour hoping to learn. Love your mix especially the LPS selection. Congrats, very deserving. Michael.:thumbs:

04-15-2008, 8:32 PM
Took me a while to finally read the write up but very nice tank. Love all the fish. I am one of those with a coral tank but hope to change that on my next build. I totally understand about wishing for a basement. I would love to have a fish room myself.

Good work

04-16-2008, 9:23 PM
Beatiful tank! Incredible use of space in your stand!