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March '05

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April '05 - Sergio Domingues's 300 L Fish-Only Marine Tank. (USA)

It's been a while since I've shown an "old-school" marine aquarium, only with fish and bleached corals. In fact, the use of dead corals is one of the main points against this type of setup, so nowadays there are even pretty good replicas (artificial decorations) available for those who wish to set up a tank like this without contributing to harm the natural coral reefs. Furthermore, there are tons of already bleached corals laying around in garages of people who've owned tanks like this! As for the points in favor of such setups, there are many, as proven by the comments below from the owner of this month's tank, Brazilian aquarist SÚrgio Domingues currently living in the USA. While we're on the subject, I've opened a poll in our Message Board about Fish-Only Marine setups...voice your opinion!

Owner:Sergio Domingues, 25, Brazilian, living in Bridgeport (USA).
Setup:March 2004
Dimensions:120x50x50 cm
Volume: 300 L (nominal)
Filtration:Wet/Dry with Bioballs.
Lighting:4x30 W fluorescent: 10000 K (2) and Actinic (2).
Heating:150 W
Substrate:5 cm of live sand.
Decoration:Bleached Corals.
Water:Temp 26-27░C, pH 8.3, NO3 3 ppm.
Fauna:1 Tomato Clown, 1 Lionfish, 1 Koran Angel, 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Niger Triggerfish and 1 Paddlefin Wrasse.
Maintenance:Water changes every 3 weeks.
Comments:Fish-only marine aquariums are very simple and inexpensive, due to the fact that they don't need bright lighting, skimmers, chillers and live rock. The skimmer can be used but it's not a requirement since there aren't too many living beings - just fish - since these tanks don't have live rock, live corals, etc., thus the cost is lower. Filtration should be mainly a good biological filter, i.e., a good wet/dry, since there won't be any live rock which is a natural biofilter. Not only the initial cost but also the maintenance cost is lower, since it doesn't require many tests, additives, etc...only ammonia, nitrite and nitrate tests. Setting up a tank like this is mostly the same as a freshwater tank. The difference is basically just the salt water, the fish population level and the greater water circulation which, however, doesn't need to be as strong as in reef tanks. The actual cost is about 5 to 6 times lower than a reef and the maintenance is also very simple. Here in the USA many marine tanks are like this. I believe that because the price is more accessible we can use our money to buy much larger tanks. For instance, with the money spent on a 300 L reef tank you can set up a fish-only tank of at least 1200 L, and you can also keep fish that aren't compatible with smaller tanks or reefs, such as Angels.

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

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Photos taken by Sergio Domingues and displayed here with his permission.

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