Tank of the Month - May 2016

May 2016 Tank of the Month - TVU


First off I'd like to thank the Academy.... uh... the members and non-members of MARSH who've given me the opportunity to win TOTM.  This is actually my 2nd TOTM, my 1st being in 2005 many years ago - http://www.marsh-reef.org/TOTM/zzz_oldstuff/August%2005/august_TVU_2005.htm.


I started the saltwater reef keeping hobby shortly after I moved to Houston almost 20yrs ago.  Back then it wasn't so much a reef but a saltwater fish tank.  I quickly found MARSH and have used MARSH since as a resource for information thru it's awesome community of folks.  I have made many friends, bought and sold way too many things and met lots of great people thru MARSH.


I started this tank specifically to grow SPS as there have been many from MARSH that spawned my interest in SPS.  The tank will be up almost 1 year in a couple of months.  It's been thru the typical issues such as starvation of corals and burn of corals from lack of nutrients and higher alk (lesson learned), some strange algae fuzzy algae on the rocks that went away on it's own but now seems stabilized for the past few months.


As usual, pictures don't capture the color nor depth of seeing the tank in person but i'll try best with my pictures.


Aquarium Profile:


  • 50 gallon SCA 24x24x20" 10mm
  • 3-sided Starfire glass front and sides
  • Black silicone
  • Center overflow with Durso
  • Black vinyl back wall
  • Aragonite sand
  • Mostly Tonga branch with some shelf rock and pukani bases
  • Reefkeeper Lite with temp & PH probes
  • American DJ power strip
  • Battery backup




  • Black MD lit by LED strip lights inside cabinet
  • Inside coated with white appliance paint
  • Outside black krylon




  • 9-3/4 x 16-1/2 x 13" with 3 cambers
  • SCA-301 skimmer
  • Jaebo 2-head Doser (Alk/Ca)
  • Eheim/Jager 200w heater
  • Refugium section has Chaeto, Mangroves and dragon's breath lit by 30w of LEDs


Water Circulation & Flow Summary


  • 1 MP10w set to reef crest(?) (Yellow color code)
  •  Atman PH3000 (I have DC pump replacement but haven't had time to swap out) return pump


Water Parameters


  • Temp  77-79
  • pH  ~8.1
  • Specific gravity 1.025
  • Alkalinity    8.0-8.5
  • [I no longer check anything but salinity and Alk]




Lighting summary & objectives


  • Radion XR30w Gen3
  • Custom profile via ecosmartlive starting off of Radiant settings



Filtration & water quality summary & objectives.


  • 5 gallon water change every 3-4 weeks
  • Dose alternately every few days Reef Plus & Acropower as not enough fish poo from what I learned




Tank inhabitants




  • 1 Md ultra blue maxima clam
  • 1 Sm Yellow Tang
  • 1 spotted Mandarin
  • 1 longfin goby
  • 1 tiger pistol shrimp
  • 2 Tiger Conchs
  • 3 blue legged hermit crabs
  • 2 Sm clownfish
  • Astrea snails
  • hitchhiker - decorator crab
  • 2 acro crabs




  • Mostly SPS dominant (don't know/remember the names of most)
  • Some LPS and a few zoas


Fish & Coral feeding