I got started with this hobby about five years ago, after having seen a beautiful freshwater aquarium at the house of a dear colleague. I was impressed by the tranquillity that such a small aquarium had made me feel, and since I would have a good teacher, I started approaching this world. My first tank was a small 50x50x50 cube with its own sump, protein skimmer, calcium reactor, etc… But then the beautiful pictures of the tanks of the other users kept making me wish for something bigger and more complex, and with a new house I decided to switch to the tank that I am presenting to you now.
The tank is home-made, it measures 120x55x55, it’s visible on two sides and the front is made of extra-clear glass. It has been in use for almost 3 years, it has never had any serious problems and it worked well from the beginning. However, seven months ago, when the earthquake in Northern Italy happened, I almost lost it because I lived a few kilometres away from the epicentre. “Fortunately”, I only suffered the loss of a few fish and corals, but the tank had to be emptied and re-done, as the wall of rocks had completely fallen down.
The tank has been set-up with about 40 kg of rocks. Half of them come from my old aquarium, the others have various provenance. The ideal ratio of 5L/1kg has been willingly disregarded in order to create a wall of rocks that was as light as possible. Being aware of this, I have always been very careful about giving food and in my choice of protein skimmer, to which I gave a lot of thought, eventually going for the Tunze 9410, which was very satisfactory.
Under the tank, inside the cabinet, there is a 80x40x40 sump, and next to it a 25 litre re-fill tank. The technology inside is composed of the Tunze 9410 skimmer, an LGM 1401 calcium reactor, a zeolite filter by Ruwal, which I shake every morning, and a fluidized bed filter by Acquamedic where I always keep the resins for the phosphates and the silicates. I have a New-jet 3000 recirculation pump that I also use to supply the calcium reactor through a dedicated derivation.
All movement is completely entrusted to Tunze, I have two Stream 6105 on the short sides, which alternate every six hours, and a Stream 6060 behind the wall of rocks. I later changed the 6105’s front grids with the 6205’s to widen the flow and make it less directional.
At the beginning the tank was lit by two 250w Lumenarks cut by two 54w actinic t5s, but the light did not satisfy me very much. I had never managed to find a good combination with the bulbs, and because of the strong heat during the summer and the monetary cost of the electricity bills, a couple of years ago I decided to set up the light fixture that I am currently using. Now everything is entrusted to an 8×54 ATI sunpower. The light is composed by 4 bluplus and 4 spezial by ATI, the photo period is 10 full hours, plus 30 minutes for dawn and sunset for a total of 11 hours.
I used Zeovit right from the start, with slightly smaller doses that the ones recommended by the method guide. For a few months now I have been following the method to the letter, using Zeoback, Zeofood, Zeostart, K-Balance, CoralSnow and Sponge Power. About every three weeks I dose some Nuance by Equo, which I find an extremely valid product to substitute Zeospur, it is much less aggressive and much less dangerous if used regularly. I change the zeolite and the carbon once a month. The values have always been normal, with phosphates, nitrites and nitrates being almost impossible to measure. But the real advancement in quality happened when I bought the neon light fixture and the LGM calcium reactor, which probably gave me the stable values and the colour spectrum that really benefited the tank. The extra integrations are caused by the many changes of water that I do, about 40 litres per week, trying to be as regular as possible. As for salts, I use a bit of everything, when I finish a pack I immediately buy one from a different brand. I run tests and checks once a week, time permitting, using the tests by Elos, which I think are really excellent.
I also use an ozone generator connected to the Acquatronica software, which together with the probes to measure pH, redox and density helps me keep the tank under control. The ozone is connected to the protein skimmer by a dedicated joint already present in this model, its use has been very beneficial and for now it has not created any problems or worries. The whole thing is operative for about two hours a day, having set a redox value of 400.
I feed the fish everyday alternating between dry food in flakes or granules and frozen mysis and artemias. For LPS and SPS corals I use amino acids and Elos food a couple of times a week.
- 1 Zebrasoma Flavescens
- 6 Chromis Viridis
- 2 Synchiropus splendidus (couple)
- 2 Amphiprion Ocellaris (couple)
- 1 Neocirrhites armatus
- 1 Centropyge Loriculus
- 1 Pseudochromis flavivertex
- 1 Zebrosoma Veliferum
In the tank there are several colonies of SPS corals of the genus Acropora, Pocillophora, and Montipora. On the bottom there are some LPS corals, such as Fungia, Favites, Caulastrea, Blastomussa and Euphillia.
- Salinity 35%
- Density 1024
- Kh 8
- Calcium 460
- Magnesium 1200
- Nitrites 0
- Phosphates 0
- Nitrates 0
- Redox around 400
Everything with Elos tests and Aquatronica probes.
A big thank you to the editorial staff of CORALLI, a key publication for us enthusiasts!!