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Vega15's Gorgeous Mixed Reef

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  1. #1
    vega15 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Grand Blanc MI
    First Name
    Awards Tank of the Month

    Default Vega15's Gorgeous Mixed Reef

    Thank you all for the nominating of tank of the month! I would also like to thank those of you who continue to share your advice and experiences with me. With out you as resource I could of never made it this far. As we all know this hobby can take a lot of time, money and patience so it is really nice to have others appreciate it!

    A little history of how I got into this hobby. I started keeping freshwater fish at the age of 18. I did this with some success for around 20 years and found that I enjoyed the building up of the tanks just as much as the keeping of the fish. I always wanted to venture into the "mysterious" realm of saltwater but was always afraid to do so. Then came the Nano tank, which promised to have everything in it you need to run a saltwater tank. I bit and bought a 12-gallon Nano tank. Of course (due to my nature) I had to do as much modification on the thing as possible. Needless to say a year later I had over $1500 worth of equipment and livestock in the thing. I soon realized that I needed a bigger tank. Fortunately for me my wonderful girlfriend Marsha was willing to let me build my dream tank in our unfinished basement, with out her none of this would of ever happened! We both now really enjoy having our own "Ocean View" here in Grand Blanc Michigan.

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    attachmentphp?attachmentid4557 - Vega15's Gorgeous Mixed Reef

    Equipment Details

    Here are the tanks specifications:
    180 Gallon (AGA w/built in overflows) built in wall with 100-gallon sump.
    Iwaki 70 Return Pump.
    6' Maristar Light Fixture w/three 150W HQI (Ushio 14K) bulbs and four T-5 actinic.
    100-Micron Filter Socks.
    ASM G-4X Protein Skimmer.
    40W Aqua UV Sterilizer.
    Tunze 6100 w/Single Controller
    Bulk Reef Supply reactor concerted into a De-Nitrate Reactor.
    Bulk Reef Supply reactor running GFO and Carbon.
    7-Gallon Kalkwasser drip system.
    75 GPD RO/DI unit.
    20-Gallon water tower for top off. Tank has a simple mechanical float for top-off.
    300 Watts of Stealth Heaters on a controller.
    Reef Crystals salt.

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    Routine Tasks
    45 Gallon water change every two weeks (religiously).
    2-Fresh Filter Socks every week.
    7 Gallons of Kalkwasser each week.
    40 Watt UV bulb changed every 12 months.
    150 Watt HQI bulbs changed every 18 months.
    T-5 Actinic bulbs changed every 24 months.

    Water changes are done via valves and the return pump. I have two 45-gallon Rubbermaid Brutes with SW in them ready to go. I can do a 45-gallon water change in 8 minuets with out lifting a thing! This little bit of extra planning has really paid off as I don't sweat doing water changes. My philosophy is what ever you can do to make maintenance (on our tanks) easier the better off both you and your reef will be.

    Tank Parameters:
    Temp Summer: 81-83 F, Winter 79-80 F
    Specific Gravity: 1.023
    pH: 8.1-8.4
    Alkalinity: 9-10 dkH
    Magnesium: 1240 ppm
    Nitrate: 2.5
    Phosphate: .25

    Pellets (as the staple food):

    I use a total of 8 different pellet foods. Pretty much everything that is out there in a small pellet. They are all mixed evenly in a single can that I use to feed 1 to 2 times a day.

    I feed frozen cubes (2pcs per feeding every other day) mixed of Frozen Mysis, Spirulina Brine Shrimp, Marine Cuisine and Emerald Entree.

    Veggie Sheets:
    I feed Brown, Red, and Green sheets about twice a week and my Tangs love it.

    Fresh Caluerpa:
    Feed from my over producing fuge 1-2 times a week.

    Photo Cycle:
    I run my HQIs on the average of 5 hours per day with the Actinics running 15 minuets pre and post HQIs on and off. All are on digital timers.

    Fish List:
    1-Blonde Naso (Male)
    1-Orange Shoulder Naso (Male)
    1-Black Spot Angle (Female)
    1-Lawnmower Blenny
    6-Blue/Green Chromis
    1-Royal Gramma
    3-Dart Gobys
    1- Springers Dottyback
    1-Lyretail Anthias
    1-Spotted/Target Mandarin
    I love all of my fish but have to say that my favorite fish are my Tangs

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    Mixed Reef of LPS and Softies with a little bit of SPS (I am getting better with these guys but am far from "Experienced"!).

    I have found that giving your reef the time it needs to grow out and mature is a great thing to do. This is no replacement for time though I have found the processes of finding mature colonies and placing them in a natural looking way to help get there a bit faster. I never wanted my reef to look like a 180-gallon frag tank :-)

    I really like contrasting color so I try to not only collect colorful animals but to arrange them in a fashion that one stands out from the other. I am not a believer that you have to spend a lot of money on each coral, as there are a lot of colorful "everyday" corals out there that if placed in the right way can make a really dynamic display.

    My favorite corals have go to be my Lobos and Palys. I love that fact that they love to be target feed and they really seam to benefit from the feedings. When feeding my Lobos pellet food they really open up transform themselves into a different appearing animal. Really fun to watch!

    1-Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
    1-2-Pepermint Shrimp
    2-Blood Red Shrimp
    4-Turbo Snails
    4-Trochus Snails
    8+-Nassarius Snails (They are multiplying!)

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    Attached Images Attached Images        
    Last edited by jimsflies; 03-12-2012 at 10:05 AM.

  2. #2
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper

    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    First Name


    Thanks for sharing your tank with us! It's inspirational....great job!
    Last edited by jimsflies; 06-05-2010 at 01:43 PM.

  3. #3
    kgood1 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lake Orion
    First Name


    Great tank! I love the way you do water changes. Can you go into more detail on how you set that up?

  4. #4
    demonclownfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Chatbox Menace

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Awards Monthly Giveaway Winner


    ya this is well deserved to be on the TOTM, that is a true reef. have you ever even made frags? very nice mature reef though!

  5. #5
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    UofM territory
    First Name
    Awards Monthly Giveaway Winner


    Congrats on the TOTM!! Very nice tank ya got there!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Canton, Michigan
    First Name
    Awards Fishbowl Drawing Winner Tank of the Month


    Nice Mixed Reef....Congrats...

  7. #7
    Bella127 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    First Name
    Awards Fantasy Football Champion - 2012 Fantasy Football League Champ Photo of the Month Tank of the Month


    Absolutely stunning tank. Thanks for showing us a truly beautiful reef!

  8. #8
    igot2gats - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Grand Rapids
    First Name


    Very nice. It's always nice to see a great in wall tank, like yours.


  9. #9
    MUCHO REEF - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    Congrats my friend, awesome job. And I thought the "Great Wall of China" was impressive.

    Have a few questions if you don't mind.

    1. With 20 years in the hobby, what specifically have you learned that has made your reefkeeping experience more gratifying, or you a better reefer?

    2. Any advice you can share with someone just getting into the hobby or planning to in the very near future?

    3. Impressive hardware you have, just curious about one innocent thing. Does your filter sock make a big difference in your water clarity and floating matter in your water column?

    4. I see you employ a variation in summer and winter take temps. Other than the obvious, could you share why you decided to do so and have you noticed any gains from doing do?

    5. I see that your SG is 1.023, have you ever kept it higher, if so, why or why not?

    Thanks again for sharing it, great job.

    Can't believe there are only 8 replies. Come on peeps.

    Mucho Reef
    Please stop fragging your frags.......you'll eventually do more damage than good. Just let them grow.

  10. #10


    Really nice tank!!!

    Question: do you dose at all? Or do you just run the kalk reactor?
    Detroit's oldest large LED tank! Est'd Jan 2005, went LED June 2009. 6' wide 130g reef, Sunbrite T10 LED tubes (3xGen 3 and 1xGen 1), mostly SPS, but chalices, other LPS, and a few softies too.

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