View Full Version : May 2010 TOTM - vista

05-07-2010, 9:32 AM
Congratulations to Thanh Vo!
Tank of the Month May 2010 (

(Click on any picture for a larger version)

A bit about you as the hobbyist

My name is Thanh Vo. “Vista” is my nickname on the ARC where I participate. I kept freshwater tanks since I was a kid. I still have my freshwater tank at my parent’s house that I setup 15 years ago. I began keeping reef systems in May 2008 with little of knowledge of how to keep marine fish and corals. ( (

How did you get started?

To create a cool environment work place, my company bought the 120 gallons acrylic tank in 2007. Company hired people to take care of everything (setup, buy corals & fished, and to do bi-weekly maintenance). Everyone in office picked their own fish. Wow. Unbelievable. It was pretty tank. Since then I was very interested in saltwater. I began researching & learning. After a year later, I gained little of knowledge about saltwater tank (hardware & software), I decided to look for a tank that fitted in the available space I had in the house. I did not know many LFS at that time. One day my co-worker said “Hey Thanh, there is a LFS not far from here. You should check it out.” I took my lunch break to stop by that store (The Fish Store & More) on Roswell Road. I decided to buy the whole tank package (70gal Oceanic tank, stand, and canopy), skimmer, sump and lighting on that day. ( ( (

What or who were/are your influences and inspirations?

I was tired of looking at fresh fish water tank. The beauty of the corals and colorful fishes that made me wants to setup a tank that looked different and more beautiful than the freshwater tank.

How do you feel about your tank being picked for ToTM?

What an honor! I have received a private message from one of ARC’s moderators informing me that my tank has been chosen for Tank of the Month. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people involved in the decision-making process and ARC. This is a great honor. I sincerely appreciate it. ( (

History of the tank

I bought my current 70 gal tank at The Fish Store and More in May 2008. (

How the tank got to where it is today

I have upgraded new equipments since I bought this tank. I loved to keep many fishes (15 of them) and fed them a lot and ended up I battled with P04 & NO3. Upgrading new Reef Recalculating Protein Skimmer & Refugium helps to keep water clean and reduce NO3. I use 2 TLF reactors to run carbon & GFO all the time.

Specifics of the tank

I have a mixed reef system consisting mostly of SPS and LPS corals. ( (

System Profile

System water volume: Approx 110 gal
Display tank volume: Approx 70 gal
Tank dimensions: 36" x 18" x 25"
Sump volume: Approx 40gal (

Equipment list such as pumps, lighting, cooling/heating, and miscellaneous

MRC Calcium Reactor CR-2 Dual, JBJ CO2 regulator/solenoid, 5 LB. CO2 bottle, Pinpoint pH Controller by American Marine.
Reef Octopus DDNW-150 Recalculating Protein Skimmer
Tunze Osmolator Auto Top Off
Cooling/Heating: SeaChill TR-15 1/5 HP Chiller by TECO and it comes with 400W heater kit and UV light kit)
In tank water movement: 1 Vortech mp40 connected to Vortech backkup battery, 1 Tunze 6045 pump
2 Two Little Fishes run Carbon & Phosphate GFO
RO Unit: The Filter Guys OCEAN REEF + 1 FIVE STAGE 75 GPD RO/DI
Mag Drive 9.5 Water return Pump ( (

05-07-2010, 9:32 AM
More in depth sections
Lighting (ie: photo period):

12PM - Midnight: 4 LED PowerBrite:
5PM - 11PM: LumenMax Elite Mogul, Galaxy Select-A-Watt ballast, 1 400W SE Radium bulbs.

I tried 250W, it was not enough light. I turned to next level (HQI), the color was bright white and I don't think there was enough light neither.
I tried 400W is too much light for my tank so I turned down one level. It looks much better and corals love it. ( (

Coral-possible further breakdown


500 Dollar Efflo
Steve Ellis Stag
Atlantis Appleberry Monti
Atlantis Meteor Shower Cyphastrea
ATL City red milli
Pink Lemonade Acropora
Blue milli
Blue Palm Milli
Tyree Garf Bonsai
ORA Red Planet Acropora
ORA tricolor validia
ORA Frost skin
ORA Echino
ORA Bird Of Paradise
ORA green birdnest
ORA Chip Acropora
ORA Bellina Acropora
Superman Monti
JC LE Yellow Brick Road Monti
tubs birdnest
Sunset Monti
forestfire monti
Tyree Season Greeting Monti
Tyree LE Montipora Setosa
Jedi mind trick monti
FHI's Sour Apple Birdnest
Tyree Ponape Birdsnest
Unknown Yellow acro
Unknown Australian tricolor table acro ( (

BPC Flamethrower
Monster Mash
Tropicorium Acid Trip
ARC Wanted
Pink Boobie
EEC Hybrid Watermelon Chalice
Pastel Mummy Eye
Tyree Origin Mummy Eye
Tyree LE Bubblegum Monster
Tyree LE Red Watermelon
Tyree LE Pink Watermelon
WWC Golden Eye
South Beach SOBE
Plasma Eye Chalice
Sub Zero Watermelon
Blueberry Alien Eye
Tyree Area 51
Nok Watermelon
ARC Wanted
Japanese Solar Eclipse People Eaters
Hot Pink Mamas
Purple Hornet
WWC Captain America
Candy Apple Red
Raptor rainbow
Devil armor
Lobophyllia ( ( (

(above pics under LEDs only)


Hawaii Wrasses
One pair of Picassos
One pair of Snowcassos
Yellow tang
Leopard wrasse
Mystery wrasse
Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse
Red Angel ( ( (

Feeding and Additives
Specific brands and/or types: Rodís Food and Spectrum Marine Small pellets
Routine: I feed twice daily. Day time pellets and night time Rodís Food.

Daily: feed fish and clean viewing panes several times a week
Weekly: clean skimmer, 5% - 10% water change except in the winter, clean out powerheads and overflows and check the plumping.
Monthly: check water parameters and change carbon and Phosphate GFO

Water Parameters
Specific Gravity: 1.026
Temperature 79-80
pH 8.1 - 8.3
Alkalinity 8.5dkh
Nitrate: 0.5 ppm
Magnesium 1300
Calcium 420
P04: barely undetectable

Final Thoughts (don't have to answer all, just suggestions)
What is your key to success or what have you learned?

Patience, Patience, and Patience.

What are your future plans for the tank?

Take more live rocks out to create more space for corals grow out and fishes swimming

What is the worst and best thing you have ever bought/added/done to your tank?

The worst thing I have ever added was Mystery wrasse. She ate my cleaning shrimp & Harlequin shrimp
The best thing I have done to my tank:

Upgrade Refugium: I'd like to re-aquascape and take more live rocks out, so I need a bigger Refugium. I contact Atlanta Reef to custom built one based on my specs and style. It also help to reduce NO3.
Upgrade Canopy to support new lighting: this is third time that I changed different lighting: starting with Aqualight Pro fixture and then change Tek T5 fixture. Now I am using LumenMax Elite Mogul, Sun System Galaxy 250-HQI-400w Select-A-Watt Electronic Ballast, 1 400W SE Radium bulbs, and 4 PowerBrite 4-460nm Actinic LED's. I contacted Dustin to custom built that matched my current stand. I also installed two Ice Cap 120mm Fans. I really love it. I have not seen Teco Chiller to run yet.

Describe any disasters you have had

I re-aquascaped the live rock and disturbed the sand bed and I paid the price. Moving the rock around might have triggered that toxic release and a result stress on the SPS. I lost some of beautiful SPS.

Advice for beginners/Words of wisdom

Patience and try to read about stuff before you attempt it. ARC is great website to get help, support and advice


I would like to thank my wife for supporting my hobby.
My special thanks to Chris (Mojo) for the outstanding photos of my tank. Without him, my tank would not have been Tank of the Month, for sure.
Tim at Keen Reef and Allan (Atlanta Reef) provided the excellent customer service
Dave (Acroholic) , Lee (glxtrix) and Matt (MvM) provided the excellent knowledgeable advice
All the ARC members who have answered all those questions, provided frags and continue to make this club such an enjoyable success.
Last, but not least, happy reefing to you all. (

05-07-2010, 10:12 AM
It's gorgeous Vista!
Great job again on TOTM mojo

05-07-2010, 11:15 AM
Amazing tank!

05-07-2010, 12:28 PM
I love the canopy! :)

05-07-2010, 12:56 PM
Nice tank!!! Love the chalice collection most of all. Surprising I haven't seen your tank before but glad you won its a winner.

05-07-2010, 1:44 PM
Well done! Great TOTM nomination as always!

05-07-2010, 1:58 PM
wow, amazing tank, great job!

05-07-2010, 2:13 PM
nice setup- looking good!

05-07-2010, 2:17 PM
Now that is something to aspire to. Amazing color on the RBTA, and great selection of zoas and chalices. Congrats!

By the way, do you not have any trouble with the angel picking at the corals? I heard they can tend to nip at polyps. I've wanted one for quite a while, but have stayed away for this reason.

05-07-2010, 3:56 PM
Beautiful tank.

05-07-2010, 4:03 PM
SWeet setup!

Atlanta Aquarium
05-07-2010, 4:45 PM
Very nice Thanh.

05-07-2010, 4:53 PM
thank you very much for all your compliment

05-07-2010, 4:57 PM
Vista what kind of led do you run?

05-07-2010, 4:58 PM
Sorry I read you lighting

05-07-2010, 4:59 PM
Now that is something to aspire to. Amazing color on the RBTA, and great selection of zoas and chalices. Congrats!

By the way, do you not have any trouble with the angel picking at the corals? I heard they can tend to nip at polyps. I've wanted one for quite a while, but have stayed away for this reason.

I have had the angel since I setup my tank. Over 2 years, I have not seen her to pick at corals. The Yellow tang snips all corals

05-07-2010, 5:00 PM
Amazing tank! Awesome selection for Totm!!! :thumbs:

Ralph ATL
05-07-2010, 7:14 PM
very, very most excellent!

05-07-2010, 10:40 PM
Gorgeous tank Thanh. Congratulations on Tank of the Month. You truly deserve it. It could not have happened to a nicer person.

05-07-2010, 10:42 PM
Congrats man! The tank is looking amazing!

05-08-2010, 8:25 AM
I love the look of a tank stocked full of corals!! Congrats!

05-08-2010, 8:12 PM
I agree. Very nice all around.. Tank of the month .. possibly longer haha.


05-08-2010, 11:54 PM
Beautiful setup. Congrats.

05-09-2010, 12:06 AM

05-09-2010, 1:01 AM
Amazing tank! Congrats! I really love that tabling tricolor in the upper center.

05-09-2010, 7:12 AM
I got to see this tank right after I moved to GA. It is beautiful!

05-10-2010, 11:19 AM
Wow, Thanh! Beautiful tank.

Looks like that calcium reactor is keeping up with your awesome coral collection :)

05-10-2010, 11:25 AM
Wow, Thanh! Beautiful tank.

Looks like that calcium reactor is keeping up with your awesome coral collection :)

Yes, I really your Calcium Reactor. It is not only saving my time but also keeping up my corals :thumbs:.

Thank you

05-10-2010, 3:17 PM
Great tank them yellow zoos are unreal

05-13-2010, 4:07 PM
Awesome tank man!!
Congrats!!!! :up:

05-15-2010, 11:28 AM
Have to agree with all replies. Outstanding for a tank that size. Also, good info.