My name is Tomas Diaz. I live in a little island in the Caribbean, that practically enjoys summer the complete year. This beautiful and exotic island is Puerto Rico, I have established my home where we can find the hottest temperatures of the island, in the south part. I am an old school style student in reef keeping, that is one reason that I keep my tank the most simple way that I can. My wife Gesenia and my kids Tommy and Eduardo, also enjoy my passion and love for this hobby and help me in maintaining the reef tank , a reason that motivates all of us to continue in this hobby.
Equipment & Maintenance
I enjoy wood working and built the canopy and stand cover myself. Recently, I had to replace the stand because it was damaged by a small earthquake we had in Puerto Rico. It was affected by the pressure and shifted about a 1/4-inch. The stand you see in the photo is constructed of galvanize metal stand and with a wood covering.
My system utilizes a wet and dry filter. In the wet-dry area, I use the famous bio-balls and the lower part ceramic ring, chemi-pure and carbon. In the middle section, I made a hole that draws the chiller and the skimmer water in one 100 micron sock filter, reducing the micro-bubble in this section and filtering the water. Near to this I put one phosphate reactor, using at this moment the 550 Phosban reactor with granulate ferric oxide pellets. Finally, the water runs to the main pump, where I use a Reeflo pump, Dart model that throws 3600 gallons per hour. This pump powers the entire system and is connected to a PVC a manifold that I use to split the water to different processes. One line goes to the phosphate reactor, a second one goes to the protein skimmer, a third one goes to the chiller (that is outside of the house), the forth one to the calcium reactor and the last one exits to the tank. This pump is durable and easy to use.
My light system consists of three metal halide blue 20,000k bulbs, and two 72-inch VHO fluorescent bulbs, one Actinic white and another Super actinic by U.V.A. company. The photoperiod starts at 8:30 am with my VHO, at 11:00 am starts my metal halide, and the VHO until 7:00pm. At this moment, only the VHO runs until 8:30 pm. When both systems shut down, my moon-light starts, and stays on until 12:00pm. My moonlight is a 15 foot long blue Christmas rope led light.
Parameters & Maintenance
Temperature: 79-80 F
PH 8.10- 8.20 (American Marine Pinpoint Monitor)
Salinity: 1.025 (ATC Refractometer)
Calcium: 435-440ppm (Salifert Test Kit)
Alkalinity: 9-9.6 dkh
Magnesium: 1350 ppm
Around 15% to 20% percent of the water is changed monthly, but for that I use rain water that is captured in drums and filtered using Reverse Osmosis with Deionization filters. TDS measures zero on water used in the reef tank.
My wife feeds the coral and fish each evening. The tank is fed mysis shrimp and zooplankton. On alternating days, frozen food, live baby brine shrimp eggs and other products are also fed. The fish are also fed flake, frozen food, live Baby Brine, Pellets, seaweed, krill and other products.
- Tomas and Gesenia, from Ponce, Puerto Rico, The Little Star in the Caribbean.