View Full Version : Tank of the Quarter - Winter 2011/2012

Dave Green
12-10-2011, 4:21 PM
Tank of the Quarter - Winter 2011/2012

Hi all,

Ive always loved the ocean and never thought Id have a little slice of it in my home one day. My fianc and I live in Dunwoody, Im lucky because she really enjoys the reef (mostly the fish). I played basketball in college (as well as overseas) so I still play a few times a week now in addition to golf and enjoy sports cars. We like almost anything that has to do with animals.

Im an IT guy who thankfully works from home so one of the hardest things for me to do is to stay out of the tank on a daily basis. Im always moving something or exchanging things from the frag tank.

The Start
We were always intimidated by saltwater but always looked in awe at the marine sections of local fish stores. In 2007, we picked out a beta fish on an impulse buy and headed home with a 20 gallon tank, blue pebble, fake plants, and a little sucker fish.

A week later we upgraded to a 36 gallon bow front to add cichlids and more fake plants. Then came the discus fish because they were the closest to saltwater we could get with fresh. The discus started laying eggs which brought the 20 gallon back to try and keep the babies. The male ate the babies and tired of it all, I decided to sell all the freshwater stuff and go marine.

Going Marine
In December 2007, I had no idea the ARC existed so off to Craigslist I went. Not having a clue what I was doing, I found a full 125 gallon system close by, bought it and called a buddy to help. A U-haul and 4 hours later the system was down and back up in my living room a few days before company came over for the Xmas holiday. Mostly LPS with a small sump and skimmer I thought it was the coolest thing ever very far from it.

I found out about the ARC through a member and joined in January 3rd, 2008 only a couple weeks after getting things setup..starting the slippery slope. Within a 2 months I swapped out the 125 for a 155 bowfront and larger skimmer. Then I ran lines through the wall to a little bar area where I added a fuge, chiller, calcium reactor, top off, etc. It was the ugliest setup all crammed into a little bar you could imagine.

Dream Tank
After 6 months I was tired of it being under our flat screen. I decided to design and build a large tank to be built into the corner of the keeping room. After visiting with Mojo and seeing the basement possibilities, I started by building out a large fish room underneath in the basement and tied that system into the current 155G tank.

I then had the glass tank and Steel stand built in Canada and shipped down, details below.

I had great help from Grouper Therapy to wrap the structure and give it the built in look. I started water in the new tank January 2010 so the tank has been up for almost 2 years now.

Here is my build thread where I show the step by step process from start to finish as well as links to where I bought things along the way.

Im very happy to have been chosen for the ARC Tank of the Month and wanted to wait until I felt the tank was worthy of being photographed and shared. Thanks for the continued support and voting for my setup for the past few months.

Tank Overview
Display Tank
 96x36x28
 Starphire Glass
 Eurobraced
 48 External Overflow

Water Volume
 435 gallon display
 240 gallon collection sump
 200 gallon return sump
 60 gallon frag tank
 30 gallon refugium
 Total System Volume - ~1000 gallons

 AC3 Aquacontroller and iPhone app

 VHO Actinics
 2 x 1000W Metal Halides with Radium 20ks
 R2 Moonlights
 400W Radium 20k over the frag tank

11am 2pm Actinics
2pm 8pm Halides
8pm 10pm Actinics
10pm 1am Moonlights
6am 11am Moonlights

 3 Vortech MP60s in the display
 2 Vortech MP40s in the frag tank
 Maxijet 1200s in the sumps

 MRC Pro III Skimmer w/washdown
 MRC Commercial 240W UV
 MRC CR-6 Calcium Reactor
 MRC Carbon and GRO Reactors
 Hammerhead Return Pump
 1HP Chiller (outside)
 8 random heaters plugged into different DC8s

 Coral Mix of SPS and LPS. Too many to list. Over 50 SPS variants like Red Dragon, Strawberry Shortcake, Tyree Undata, Tyree Pink Lemonade, etc. in the display alone.

I cant believe I have no more room in a 400 gallon display for coral Anything going in now means something has to come out.

Fish - ~34 some favorites are Pineapple Fish, Lineatus/Rhomboid/Labouts wrasses, Blonde Naso and Bluespine Unicorn, Australian Copperband pair, Tilefish Trio, Anthias.

Inverts Normal clean up crew and multiple clams.

Feeding and Additives
 I feed PE Mysis 2x per day and a sheet of Nori every 2-3 days.
 If I remember Ill add cyclopeze or amino acids, or oyster eggs but rarely.
 I add magnesium to my new saltwater during water changes since I use Instant Ocean salt.
 My calcium reactor adds calcium and other minerals with an aggressive-fast drip/stream

Tank Maintenance
Daily Routine Check the basement, adjust frags that are touching in the frag tank, and feed.
Weekly Routine - Check the basement, adjust frags that are touching in the frag tank, and feed.
Monthly Routine Try to do a water change but I end up going every 2 months or so. This is pretty sad given how easy it is for me to do them. Exchange carbon every 2-3 months because this is the part of maintenance I hate the most.

Water Parameters
I have to admit I cant remember the last time I checked parameters oustside of temp and ph. But the last time I did they were in this ball park:
Specific Gravity 1.025
Temperature 78-80
pH 8.10 8.20
Alkalinity - ~8
Nitrate - low
Magnesium - 1400
Calcium 420

Things are pretty stable now so I can see by the corals if anything is out of whack.

What is your key to success or what have you learned?
 Build it as big as you can because stability is half the battle for SPS IMO.
 I like the sump being larger than the display when possible.
 Also, save and buy the right equipment upfront or else youll just be unhappy with the results and spend more money in the long run.

Advice for beginners/Words of wisdom
 Everyones had water on the floor, you cant get discouraged.
 Build and use an acclimation box for new fish. Saves a lot of stress on the fish and you. Same goes for a fish trap.
 If somethings wrong, only change one thing at a time. Wait an adequate period before another change.
 Before you change anything, check your checker.  In the beginning I almost threw in heaters or dumped a ton of kalk in the tank only to find out the temp probe or ph probe was bad.
 Dont add too much at one time. Goes for fish and coral.
 If youre running an external skimmer, try to put your collection cup over your sump. This has saved me for numerous floods.


Thanks go to my fianc for putting up with me spending hours in the tank re-aquascaping, emptying the skimmer collection cup and stinking up the basement, talking about reef stuff way too much, etc. Im very fortunate she enjoys going to shop for fish and seeing new animals at LFSs.

Special thanks to Mojo, Skriz, Acroholic, Grouper Therapy, and several others on the ARC. I wouldnt have this tank to enjoy without them. Sailfish also set the bar for me in regards to a successful SPS tank, it was sad to see him take his system down.

Thanks again for the compliments and I hope the tank continues to do well and grow into the full reef I envision down the road.

Its hard to capture how open the tank is from an aquascaping perspective so Ill attach a video here that should give a better idea of all the caverns and space between the rock structures.

Oz Tank 11212011 Full.wmv - YouTube

Click here to watch the video. (
I would have embedded the video, but I'm not smart enough to figure it out and I didn't want to bug anyone today... Hanin, maybe you can help?

12-10-2011, 4:45 PM
Infreakincredible!!! Congrats Oz!

12-10-2011, 5:00 PM
Congrats Oz. Super nice tank

12-10-2011, 5:05 PM
Finally! congrats.

(Dave, I embedded the video.)

12-10-2011, 5:15 PM
About time, one of the best in the area.

12-10-2011, 5:21 PM
Super nice.

12-10-2011, 5:56 PM
Congrats! Beautiful tank!!

12-10-2011, 6:05 PM
I almost don't want to show my friends these pics.. my tank will no longer impress at all. Super nice!

12-10-2011, 6:16 PM
About time, one of the best in the area.

+1 Absolutely gorgeous!

12-10-2011, 6:36 PM
It's about time. :)

Dave Green
12-10-2011, 7:04 PM
Oh! ...and before I forget:

Photo credits to Mojo
Embedding the freakin' video credits to Haninja
Making a great tank credits to Oz
Customer service credits to Heywood Jabuzzof

12-10-2011, 7:32 PM
It's about time. :)

This is meant for Oz's tank to be recognized not for the TOTM to be announced.

Ralph ATL
12-10-2011, 7:46 PM
Wow...just wow!

Great pics & great tank! and about time! :-)

12-10-2011, 8:05 PM
Just WOW! Congratulations Oz, it is about time.

What a humble guy too.

12-10-2011, 8:27 PM
Very worthy of the honor!

12-10-2011, 9:14 PM
beautiful reef!outstanding!

12-10-2011, 10:48 PM
Amazing tank Oz. Well deserved for sure.

Seth The Wine Guy
12-10-2011, 11:39 PM
Pure pimpness. Don't forget Chris, I'm first on the list for that smooth skin acro! I don't blame you for not allowing any pics of it to be posted!

12-10-2011, 11:44 PM
Chris, Congrats.....Looking great!!!!!! Glad to see your tank get the recognition it deserves. :thumbs:

Really like the open look that you have gone with, Lots of room for future growth.


12-11-2011, 7:05 AM
Simply Spectacular!!!! Nuff Said!!!!

Ripped Tide
12-11-2011, 8:28 AM
I was wondering where I left my pineapple fish... J/k. Gorgeous!

12-11-2011, 8:36 AM
I have seen many tanks before but Chris yours takes the cake always. I have seen this tank in person and it is way more impressive in person.

12-11-2011, 11:03 AM
Thanks all for the compliments guys. If anyone has any specific questions or anything, feel free to shoot them over.

I'm glad we embedded the video, without it you really couldn't tell how open the rock work is these days.

See you guys tonight at a little larger tank setup. :)

12-13-2011, 12:42 AM
This is one of my all time favorite tanks! I dream of having a system like this one day. I like that red dragon coral.

12-13-2011, 11:16 AM
You have a beautiful tank - You & your tank deserve to be recognized!

12-13-2011, 8:49 PM
A little late, OZ

Congratulations, well deserved

12-13-2011, 9:00 PM

12-13-2011, 10:10 PM
Truly awesome!

12-14-2011, 2:23 PM off! lol. Great looking tank man!

12-14-2011, 2:37 PM
Very nice!

12-14-2011, 7:24 PM
Wonderful tank, and a well deserved acknowledgement. You have one of, if not the nicest, reef tanks in the entire Club. Great job. I look forward to seeing the progression of this setup as time goes on.

12-15-2011, 12:42 AM

12-15-2011, 6:05 PM
Thanks again guys. Much appreciated. Glad to have this thread as I'm switching to Radium lamps this weekend so hopefully everything doesn't mind the transition.

12-22-2011, 10:20 AM
Stunin tank oz. And grats on gitting it posted on Advanced aquariest today

126 reef
01-04-2012, 8:54 PM
I love the islands of coral look. Def going to try something like that when I upgrade

01-16-2012, 7:56 PM
Very Impressive!!

01-28-2012, 9:55 AM
anyone able to inlighten me on drool removal from keyboards, very very nice.

02-06-2012, 3:16 AM
extremely beautiful tank. are there shots of the build? and your other tanks?

02-09-2012, 11:00 AM
extremely beautiful tank. are there shots of the build? and your other tanks?