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September '03

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September '03 - Steve Mak's 260 L Reef Tank. (Malaysia)

This medium sized and heavily stocked reef tank must require a great deal of experience and work from veteran Malaysian hobbyist Steve Mak in order to keep its balance and I would definitely not recommend that beginners try this at home, but the result sure is awesome!

Owner:Steve Mak, 29, from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), 20 years of fishkeeping
Website:cigarsteve's photo albums
Setup:December 2001
Dimensions:122x46x46 cm
Volume:260 L (nominal)
Filtration:Top mechanical filter, Eheim canister filter and 2 protein skimmers
Heating:None. (It's a tropical country and it's always hot. So I use a chiller instead)
Lighting:4x Osram PL white light, 3x Osram actinic blue.
Substrate:10 cm of fine white coral sand.
Decoration:None. Everything inside tank is alive.
Water:Temp 24.5C, pH 7.5, KH 10, NH3 0, N03 0
Fauna:An assortment of fish including Anthias, Damsels, Angels, Squirrelfish, Surgeonfish, Wrasses, and others
Corals, Invertebrates:44 different types including Brain Corals, Finger Leather Corals, Polyps, Torch Corals, Sea Fans, Tube anemones, Shrimp, Sea Urchin, and others
Maintenance:Water change 50% once every 2 weeks, Seachem Amino, Seachem Strontium, Seachem Iodine, Seachem Calcium, Marc Weiss blackpowder, CO2 yeast mix replacement every 2 weeks

Spent a heck load of money on it! 120 cm just isn't enough and I'm planning to create a 400x90x90 cm tank next. As usual, white spots happened a lot. I got it under control with UV light. But still it persists at times. For anyone who wishes to start a marine tank, I suggest to get any cheap mechanical filter just for filtering big debris and put some activated carbon for chemical filtration, then get a really good big skimmer to do the rest (IMO the secret recipe for any marine tank is the skimmer). Let the live rock in your tank do all your biofiltering. Don't get fooled by your LFS telling you to buy all sorts of complicated filtration systems. The basic works best IMO.

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

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A full range of fish families

Photos taken by Steve Mak and displayed here with his permission.

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L