Tommyjr61's Marvelous Mixed Reef
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.
I started reefkeeping in 1998 and since then I have had several tanks of different sizes, including 10, 20, 55, hexagonal 60 and 125 gallon tanks. My current tank is a 150-gallon aquarium. The tank measures 72-inch x 18-inch x 26-inch. I am constantly researching and working on my tank. I research a lot and read lots of books by authors like Tullock, Fenner, and Borneman, etc. The hard work is well worth it because it allows me to enjoy this "little piece of ocean" right here in my home.
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.
30 gal wet-dry filter/sump
Resun 1/2-hp chiller
Phosban 550 phosphate reactor
Reef Octopus 200 protein skimmer
Reeflo Dart pump
Korallin 1502 calcium reactor
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
I maintain the following parameters in my tank. Tests are performed weekly with test kits as indicated below:
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.
|Bleeding Apple Scolymias|
|Red Planet Acorpora|
|Yellow Scroll Coral |
|Orange Digitata Montipora|
|Green Finger leather|
|Indoness Finger leather|
|Orange Setosa Montipora|
|Green and orange Acanthophyllia|
|Green Hammerhead wall coral|
|War Paint Favia|
|War Paint Scolymia|
|Pulsing Xenia White|
|Pulsing Xenia Tang color|
|Green and Brown Fox coral|
|Plum Candy cane|
|Neon Green Candy cane|
|Orange Eyes Mycedium|
|Green Hulk Acanthastrea|
|Blue Ridge coral|
|Red Blastamussa white green center|
|Purple and green center Blastamussa|
|Red Open Brain|
|Orange Cup coral|
|Zoanthids and Palys|| || |
|Blue Assessor |
|Mandarin Goby |
|Pijama Cardinalfish |
|Banggai Cardinalfish |
|Sunburst Anthias |
|Black Percula |
|Wyoming White Perculas |
|Peppermint Basslet |
|Black Swalordtail Angelfish|
|Green Maxima Clam|
|Blue Crocea clam|
|Carribbean Feather Duster Worm|
|Fire Blood Shrimp|
|Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp|| |
Thank you to all of you for selecting my "little piece of ocean" here in Puerto Rico as the Tank of the Month. To all the people that see this tank, the key for maintaining an aquarium in any place of the planet is: Dedication, Patience and Love.
- Tomas and Gesenia, from Ponce, Puerto Rico, The Little Star in the Caribbean.