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Old 05-30-2011, 8:01 PM   #1
Dave Green Dave Green is offline
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Tank of the Month - May 2011 - gnashty

Tank of the Month May 2011


My name is Gary, Iím 32 years old and for a living I do R & D/Purchasing for an international restaurant chain. I moved to Atlanta 8 years ago from Kansas City, MO for my career. I joined ARC in Dec 2009 after being in the hobby for a little under a year. Being an ARC member and part of the club has been a nice escape from reality from the day to day grind of Corporate America.

I started back in early 2009 with a 36 gal bowfront tank I got as a kit at Petsmart. I picked up a $169 kit on a Friday and by Monday I was $800 in and didnít even have fish! I kept figure 8 puffers and African cichlids. Soon after I bought a 55 gal bowfront setup on Craigslist to try my hand at salt. The tank didnít even finish cycling before I sold the 36 & 55 as complete set ups and bought a used 210 gal Oceanic (84 x 24 x 24) and set that up as my first actual Saltwater tank.

Iíve always loved the ocean and have had great interest in the creatures that live in it, I was born in San Diego and we would always go to the beach so maybe that sparked it. My parents also loved to go to aquariums across the country so every city we ever visited on vacation we would make an effort to see their aquarium. I think it is a great honor being chosen as TOTMÖon that I hope I can live up to. There are a lot of great people and great tanks here. Iím just proud to ďbe hereĒ so to speak

The tank I have today is an AGA 180 with cherry stand and canopy. I bought it as an emergency replacement for my 210. I downsized because I needed a tank quickly and the dimensions of the 180 still allowed me to use all of my current equipment. Itís a little tight but I managed to squeeze it all in, both in the DT and cabinet. I am also a gadget guy so Iíve tried to incorporate that into this tank as much as I could.

The tank is managed by my RKE system consisting of:
  • 5 PC4 outlet strips
  • 2 x SL2 modules
  • 1 x SL1 module
  • 1 HUB Switch
  • NET Module
  • Remote Display under the cabinet
  • Head Unit
I have a 25 gal Eclipse set up as a QT or emergency tank in case the needs arise.

System water volume 210 total volume

Display tank volume
180 gal

Tank dimensions
72 x 24 x 24

Sump volume
40 Breeder


Lighting is a 72Ē Aquaticlife T5HO fixture running ATI bulb combo. I run my lighting minimally, actinic on for 8 hours per day and whites on 4 hours per day.

Current filtration set up is MRC MR2-dual beckett, quick release upgrade and fed by a MAG 24 pump throttled back. A nine gal refugium with live rock and sandbed built into the sump as well. I also run GFO/Carbon.

For heating I use 900 watts worth of heaters split 500/400 and are controlled by my RKE. Cooling is run by a ľ HP Eco Plus Chiller

2 Koralia 4ís & 2 MP40w ES

  • Coral
    • Paly & Zoanthids
    • Chalice
    • Frogspawn
    • Acropora
    • Montipora
    • Cyphastrea
    • Favia
    • Acans
  • Fish
    • Regal Tang
    • Sailfin Tang
    • Lawnmower Blenny
    • Diamond Goby
    • Rainbow Wrasse
    • Blonde Naso Tang
    • Onyx Percula Clown
  • Inverts
    • Assorted snails and hermits
    • Emerald crab
    • Peppermint shrimp

I feed a mix of Rods, PE Mysis, Pellets soaked in Brightwell vitamin C and a touch of garlic guard, once per day. I feed a half sheet of Nori once per day. I have an Eheim autofeeder that feeds pellets twice during the day.

For corals I dose about 100 ml of Fuel 2-3 times per week. I rarely spot feed my corals anymore, the fish take care of that for me.
I use Rods, PE, Ocean Nutrition, Julian Sprungís Sea Veggiesand I feed once per day by hand, twice via autofeeder.

Daily Routine I look under that cabinet for a few minutes when I get home and observe for anything strange and check ATO level. For the DT, I stare at it for enjoyment, check controller status, do a fish roll call, do a snail check for any fellas who need a flip, and make sure no corals fell out of place from the hermits.

Weekly Routine
50 gal water changes each Saturday along with a good glass cleaning. I dump the waste collector on the skimmer

Monthly Routine
Clean skimmer, replace carbon, GFO, clean up any salt creep, switch out 1 gal jugs of BRS 2 part as needed.

Water Parameters
Specific Gravity: 1.026
Temperature: 81.4
pH: 8.4
Alkalinity: 3.5 meq/L
Nitrate: under 2 PPM
Magnesium: 1300
Calcium: 550

Phosphates: undetectable

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Water Quality! Spend the money upfront; donít skimp on good equipment if you want to really enjoy the hobby and not constantly chasing problems. Regularly scheduled water changes are a must.
I plan to let everything grow in and reposition some as needed. I would like to add a small yellow tang and replace the cleaner shrimp that mysteriously met its demise an hour before these photos were takenÖ.I looked up and my regal had my shrimp in its mouth..doh. I plan on replacing the T5 with LED eventually.

What is the worst and best thing you have ever bought/added/done to your tank? Lunare Wrasse!!! I added one without doing research and quickly found out what a monster it was. Took a long time to catch and rehome that one! Maroon Clowns Ė IMO they are beautiful but their personality when kept in pairs is a little too dominant for my tasteÖhad to rehome them as well.

Describe any disasters you have had.
My 210 gal sprung a leak the day of the Feb frag meet, it was the most challenging time I have had in the hobby to date. Luckily a ton of ARC members stepped up and helped me out. I was able to get my new 180 up and running and everything transferred over in about a week with no losses.

Thoughts on coral fads

Iím a sucker for LE corals with fancy names. Whatís funny is when non-reefers come over they always seem more interested in the freebie or hitchhiker mushrooms vs the $500 chalice the size of your pinky nail!

Advice for beginnerís/Words of wisdom
Go slow, do research and ask questions. Before I do anything I always try to get feedback from someone who has ďdone itĒ vs. what I have read about it. A lot of opinions in print and many ways to accomplish the same goal, experience to me, is more valuable.

I would like to thank the ARC community for being my support system, I would also like to thank my very patient girlfriend for putting up with my endless hours of tinkering and being on the ARC forums.

Old 05-30-2011, 8:16 PM   #2
PFCDeitz PFCDeitz is offline
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Gary Congrats man you earned it! Your tank is amazing
Always Do what is right. Never Surrender, Always fight.
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Old 05-30-2011, 8:26 PM   #3
Ralph ATL Ralph ATL is offline
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congrats! great job! love your sump & organization!
Ralph's Reef & wrasses...

Old 05-30-2011, 8:27 PM   #4
mph84 mph84 is offline
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holy zoas!!! awesome tank gary! I'm hoping to do a 180 one day!!! congrats

Old 05-30-2011, 8:32 PM   #5
LiveRock27 LiveRock27 is offline
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Congrats and well deserved honor.

Old 05-30-2011, 9:50 PM   #6
Smallblock Smallblock is offline
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Looks good my man!!!

Old 05-30-2011, 9:52 PM   #7
sts04c sts04c is offline
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Congrats!!! Very Nice!

Old 05-30-2011, 10:01 PM   #8
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Congrats Gary! Tank is lookin awesome.

Old 05-30-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
beccamc10 beccamc10 is offline
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Wow boss. That's what a wing kings tank looks like. I am jealous .....

Old 05-30-2011, 10:15 PM   #10
JeffMuse JeffMuse is online now
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Wow, that is a beautiful 180! I love the wire management and sump setup too! Great job!

Old 05-30-2011, 10:20 PM   #11
dasugaman dasugaman is offline
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Congrats Bro!! Good Job!!

Old 05-30-2011, 10:57 PM   #12
ichthyoid ichthyoid is offline
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'bout time!

This is not a surprise to me, or likely to anyone that knows Gary.

I have rarely seen anyone catch on in this hobby as fast as you.

You have been a good friend, are exceptionally generous and your tank speaks volumes about the person. Congratulations!

(My compliments to the ARC on this pick. Well deserved, IMHO.)

Old 05-30-2011, 11:38 PM   #13
SuperClown SuperClown is offline
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When I grow up I wanna tank like this (thumbs)

Old 05-31-2011, 6:21 AM   #14
gnashty gnashty is offline
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lol, thanks guys. Its a "fraggy reef" for now in terms of SPS as I just caught the SPS bug like many of us do!

My under cabinet is my pride and joy as I have no basement so there is nowhere to go with it so I needed to make it all fit and be able to make sense of it all on a daily basis.

Old 05-31-2011, 8:04 AM   #15
bobz bobz is offline
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Awesome! Love the tank and it look fantastic. Nice job on the cabinet. I still need to upgrade my RKE to get to work with my laptop.
Bob Zaremba
210 Reef & few other tanks

Old 05-31-2011, 8:39 AM   #16
Rskillz Rskillz is offline
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Grats Gary! Nice guy, awesome tank.

Old 05-31-2011, 9:18 AM   #17
reeferman reeferman is offline
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congrats on a wonderful tank!

Old 05-31-2011, 9:22 AM   #18
Raz0945 Raz0945 is offline
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Gary, your tank looks wonderful! I know it's a lot of hard work and patience, but the results was well worth it. I hope to see it in person someday

Old 05-31-2011, 11:25 AM   #19
rjrgroup rjrgroup is offline
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YAY! Congrats fine sir. I'm sorry about your previous tank though, that's a rough problem. I will always cherish it's demise now that it's mine. (hehe) Best of luck through the growth and maturing of your gorgeous "fraggy tank".

Old 05-31-2011, 11:43 AM   #20
merkywater merkywater is offline
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Congrats bro looks great!

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