Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
November '07

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711_Reef_Tank_1.jpg (36kb)

November '07 - Gary McKinney's 500 L Reef Aquarium. (USA)

This month we're not only back to featuring an awesome and exemplary reef tank, but we're also including for the first time a video of the tank, in addition to the beautiful photos! So from now on if you want to submit your tank and have a nice video hosted on YouTube or Google, be sure to send the link in together with your photos! Owners of the 200+ presently submitted tanks are welcome to send in a video link as well, which may increase the chance of having your tank selected. If you liked what you saw on this page, be sure to check out American hobbyist Gary McKinney's website (below) for many more photos and updates!

Owner:Gary McKinney, 34, from Tulsa, USA, 11(2) years of FW(SW) fishkeeping.
Website:Gary McKinney Fish Nut
Setup:May 2006.
Dimensions:185x45x60 cm.
Volume: 500 L (nominal).
Filtration:100 kg of live rock and an AquaC EV-180 skimmer.
Lighting:2x175 W XM metal halide bulbs (20000 K) + 4x160 W VHO, 2 actinic white and 2 actinic blue bulbs with 2x IceCap 430 ballasts. Lights are on 10 hours a day, with the halides coming on 30 minutes before the VHO's.
Heating:Finnex 500 W titanium heater.
Substrate:10 cm of aragonite sand.
Others:Circulation provided by a Mag Drive 2400 pump, 2x Hydor Koralia 4 pumps and 2x Maxijet 1200 pumps.
Water:Temp 25-27C, pH 8.4, alkalinity 8, nitrate 0-10 ppm.
Maintenance:25-30% water changes bi-weekly, I add B-Ionic Calcium Buffer and Alkalinity every night, and Kent Marine Superbuffer when pH starts to get low.
Fauna:Potters angel, yellow tang, foxface rabbit, striped squirrelfish, 2 green chromis, 4 pajama cardinals, blue reef chromis, occellaris clown, 2 black saddleback clowns, cleaner shrimp, black long spined urchin, numerous crabs and snails.
Corals:Over 30 species of zoanthids/palyzoas. A couple of favorites are the Armor of GOD palys and nuclear green palys. Over 13 species of acans/micromussa's, blastos, frogspawn, candy canes, turbinaria, acros, monti's, and mushrooms.

In the beginning I had lots of problems with this tank, as most who start saltwater will experience themselves. My major problem was hair algae. I battled this for over three months. It actually made me switch to a FOWLR tank at one point. After the hair algae was under control I went back to corals. My advise to anyone who wants to venture into saltwater seriously is to make sure you want to commit the time, expense, and to take all the required steps patiently, take it slow. Everything will fall into place eventually and you will end up with the tank of your dreams.

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

711_Reef_Tank_2.jpg (61kb)
Sampling of the tank's colorful livestock

711_Reef_Tank_3.jpg (59kb)
Close-up of the open mid-section

Full reef video with background music!

Photos taken by Gary McKinney and displayed here with his permission.

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