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akaimal 240G SPS dominated reef tank
  • Thanks to 3reef for giving me the opportunity to showcase my reef tank. My tank is 240 gallon SPS dominated reef tank.


    Introduction

    My journey into this fascinating world was initiated by my father who got me a 20G aquarium and a few gold fishes when I was just six years old. Ever since then I have always had an aquarium. I ran freshwater aquariums for years back in India, where it is illegal to keep or grow corals privately at home. As kids, my brother and I were very inspired by Jacques Cousteau's documentaries about the oceans. So having a Reef Tank was a dream that I cherished then. It was only after settling down in Chicago, that I finally decided to try out reef keeping, starting with a 120G fresh water tank donated to me. It was a disaster because of all the problems associated with a tank that was not reef ready. But I knew I was on the correct path and, with the knowledge and experience I gained, I decided to scale up. So in 2008 my wife and I decided to sketch out my 240G custom reef tank after doing a lot of research on various forums.


    The Aquarium

    My 240G display tank was built by glass cages with star-fire glass on the three viewable sides. It has one large overflow at the back. Water drains into a 40G sump and 20G refugium. The skimmer is also fed by the drain line. My goal was to keep it as simple as possible with minimum number of equipments. Since the tank is in the living room, I had to design everything to fit the limited space inside the cabinet. I spent a lot of time on designing my tank's plumbing, as I was aiming for maximum efficiency of the dart pump by using minimum number of joints and maximum diameter piping. The 40G sump and 20G refugium were ordered after that. Parameter optimization and maintenance was the key objective with minimal deviation policy. Throughout the years I have tried different types of lighting, salt, power heads etc. and ended up with this current setup.


    Husbandry

    On alternate days I feed Rods food and fat Mysis. Calcium and Alkalinity are maintained using a Geo Calcium reactor with an additional DIY chamber. As my calcium reactor cannot keep up with the demand, I am also dosing 2 part with litermeter.

    Salinity is maintained by top off using a Litermeter pump.

    Once in two days, I add TROPC Marin PRO-CORAL A- & k+ elements, for maintaining the trace elements.

    I change the filter soaks once in 7 days and also clean the skimmer cup once a week. Chaetomorpha in the refugium is trimmed once in 2 weeks. I record KH once in seven days and test phosphates once a week.

    I do a 50Gallon water change once a month with Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt. At this time I also vacuum the sand bed and run carbon when needed.

    I clean the skimmer and soak the Vortech wetsides in vinegar once in 6 months.

    I also have a 1/3 hp Teco chiller. It keeps the temparature of the tank below 79 degrees.



    Filtration

    The tank employs biological and mechanical filtration.

    The biological filtration consists of more than 250 pounds of live rock, 1 inch of sugar fine aragonite sand, 20G refugium filled with a 12 inch deep sand bed, Chaetomorpha and live rock. For mechanical filtration, the water passes into the overflow then into the sump via a 100 micron filter sock. Next, the water passes through two separate chambers. The first area houses a heater, live rock and skimmer. The final area accommodates the return pump. I run high capacity GFO from bulk reef supply for keeping phosphates in check. I change it once in 6 months.


    Flow
    To help maximize the flow from the return pump I employ two Wavy Sea wave makers. They keep moving back and forth evenly distributing the water from the sump. I currently use two Vortech mp60wes pumps and a Reeflo dart return pump. I have been extremely happy with this combination.


    Fish

    1 large Mag FoxFace
    1 large Yellow Tang
    1 medium purple tang
    2 clown fishes
    1 small kole tang
    1 large melanurus wrasse
    1 large yellow corris wrasse
    1 small Ornate Leopard Wrasse
    1 small Black Leopard wrasse
    1 medium meleagris Leopard wrasse

    The cleanup crew consists of two cleaner shrimp, 1 Coral banded shrimp, Blue Legged Hermits, Courie Snails, Astraea Snails, bumble bee snails, emerald crabs.
  • Aquarium:
    240 Gallon Aquarium from Glass Cages
    * 48" x48" x 24"
    * One 24" x 4" overflow boxes
    * 2 2" bulkhead drains and 2 1" returns

    Stand:
    * 48" x 48" x 32"


    Sump:
    * 36" x 24" x 18"

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    Protein Skimmer:
    Skimz SK222

    Lighting:
    In the center I have 3 Apollo LED dimmable fixture controlled by Apex
    On both sides I have 2 DIY LED fixture that I built using components from ReefLedLights.com. It consists of a 36 inch heat sink with
    1) 12 XTE Royal Blue LED
    2) 12 XPG Cool White Premium 7.5K
    3) 8 XP-E blue
    4) 2 XP-E red
    5) 2 XP-E Green
    6) 12 Violet UV LED's
    7) 24 XRE Royal Blue
    8) 12 XRE Cool White
    In between the fixtures I have two 4" giesemann actinic plus

    Sump Pump:
    Reeflo Dart with two Wavy Sea wave makers at the outlet

    Powerheads:
    (2) Vortech MP60 WES
    synched in tidelswell mode

    Auto Top Off:
    Water from a 60G reservoir pumped by Litermeter III, controlled by Apex Aquacontroller

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    Substrate:
    1 inch of sugar fine aragonite sand in display

    Refugium:
    20G refugium filled with a 12 inch deep sand bed, Chaetomorpha and live rock and mangrove
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    Salt:
    Tropicmarine Pro Reef

    Water Filter:
    Seachem 300GPD 4 stage filter

    Doser:
    Litermeter III dosing 20% of the calcium and alk requirement
    Geo Calcium reactor supplys 80% of the calcium and alk needs.
    Once in two days, I add TROPC Marin PRO-CORAL A- & k+ elements, for maintaining the trace elements.

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