Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
March '00

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March '00 - Eric and Michelle's 760 L Reef Tank.

March´s Tank of the Month arrived a little late, but I´m sure it was well worth the wait. This perfect Reef setup by american hobbyists Eric and Michelle Castren is more than 9 years old, and an excellent starting point/reference for anyone wishing to venture into this amazing aspect of the hobby. It also serves as a prelude to the new marine sections that will soon be launched on this site. The tank description sent to me was very well done and informative, so I pass the word to them. Further details and beautiful photos can be seen at the owners´ extremely pleasant and thorough website - EMC Reef. A perfect example of what a personal aquarium site should be like!

Tank setup
The display tank is an Oceanic 200 gallon show (760 L, 210x60x60 cm) which is connected to a twin tiered sump setup. The top sump is a 30 gallon Lifereef, which receives surface extracted water and holds approximately 50 lbs. of LR. The lower sump is a 70 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank that receives water from the skimmers and top sump overflow. The lower sump also holds about 30 lbs. of LR. This tank has been running in various configurations since 1991.

Lighting consists of three 175 watt, 10,000 Kelvin (K) German metal halides and two 160 watt VHO fluorescents (Actinic 03). The metal halides are on for 9 to 10 hours per day and the VHO's are on for 12 hours per day.

One ETS model 1000 and one EDEPS model 60 downdraft skimmers are fed from the top sump via GRI model 15700 pump. Carbon is used as needed, but not continuously.

Live Rock
Approximately 300 lbs. of Fiji live rock is used. The 200+ lbs. in the main tank sits on top of branches of bleached coral skeleton (used when the tank was a FO tank). This structure of branches was built out of the tank and was bonded together with epoxy. No substrate is used.

No powerheads are used in this tank. The main circulation pump is a Dolphin 3. Additional circulation is provided by two Gen -X pumps (one at each end), and two 6 gallon surge buckets fed by a Little Giant 4MDQ-SC pump. The surge for one bucket occurs every 30 seconds. The other bucket surges every 40 seconds. Internal circulation is close to 5000 gallons per hour.

Make up water/Water changes
A Spectrapure RO/DI unit processes the well drawn and softened source water. A 30 gallon trash can is used to mix and dose saturated kalkwater. A Spectrapure LiterMeter administers 14 to 15 liters of KW per day. Water changes are performed every 1 to 2 months. Approximately 30 gallons of Instant Ocean mixed water is changed at a time.

Other Support Equipment/ Additives
A grossly modified Knop C calcium reactor is abused to maintain alkalinity (9 to 10 dkh) and calcium (450 ppm) levels. An Aquadyne Octopus 3000 is used to control temperature at 26 C +/- 0.3. A dehumdifier is constantly on in the filter room. Potassium iodine and Combi San are dosed rarely.

Chromis caerulea (3), Paracanthurs hepatus (2), Zebrasoma flavescens, Amphiprion percula (2), Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, Pseudochromis paccagnella, Pholidichthys leucotaenia (2), Synchiropus splendidus.

Corals/ Anemones
25 different colonies (and numerous frags.) of SPS corals, 13 different LPS corals, 11 different Soft corals and 4 different photosynthetic gorgonians. One Heteractis crispa and one ? "rose" anemone. Please visit our website for growth photos.

Clams/ Other Invertebrates
Currently, Two Tridacna maxima, two Tridacna dersa are kept. Numerous shrimp, snails and hermit crabs are present to help keep things in line.

If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.

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Caulastrea furcata

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Sarcophyton sp.

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Heteractis crispa

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Acropora sp.

Photos taken by Eric and Michelle Castren and displayed here with their permission.

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