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ReeferBoo


Congratulations to community member ReeferBoo and his 15 gallon nano reef aquarium for being selected for our August Reef Profile! Below is the aquarium profile ReeferBoo has written for us sharing his experiences in the hobby and his aquarium's progress over the past year and half. See what he's been up to and share your comments and questions in ReeferBoo's featured reef profile thread, or in the comments section below. Be sure to also check out his aquarium journal in the members aquariums forum for more information about this nano reef tank.

Tank Specs

Display: 15 Gallons; 24" x 13" x 13" with curved front glass.
Lighting: Maxspect Razor Nano 16000K
Filtration: AquaClear 110 HOB Filter with refugium mod.
Filter Media: Seachem Seagel, filter floss.
Heater: Eheim Jager 50w
Circulation: Hydor Koralia Nano 240
ATO: AutoAqua Smart ATO

Established December 2013

Maintenance Routine

When it comes to reef keeping, I always adhere to the KISS Principle and try not to get too caught up in chasing numbers and "optimum levels." After all, this is a hobby and I'd rather spend more time gazing at the tank and the critters, than tinkering with dosers and chemicals to get the perfect parameters. This also means that I do not dose anything and generally rely on water changes to replenish trace elements. I do however check salinity and temperature at least once a day, clean the glass as needed, change the filter floss weekly, and renew the chemical media fortnightly.

Salinity is maintained at 1.025, and temperatures are kept between 75 to 77°F in the winter and 77 to 78°F in the summer. The following parameters were only tested for the sake of this article; pH: 8.2, Nitrate: <0.25 ppm (Red Sea), Phosphate: <0.04 ppm (Red Sea). Water changes are done every 2 to 3 days, usually between one half and one US gallon at a time.

Feeding Schedule

  • Various pellets every 2 days for the clownfish and goby.
  • Frozen food every 2 days for the banggai cardinal.
  • Broadcast feeding of Reef Chilli once a week the night before a water change.
  • Manual feeding of prepared frozen food to the LPS 1 to 2 times a week.

Fish

• 1 Captive bred misbar Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
• 1 Yellow Clown Goby (Gobiodon okinawae)
• 1 Captive bred Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni)

SPS Coral

• Various Acropora sp. – Green, red, purple tip, blue
Seriatopora – Yellow
Seriatopora – Pink/purple polyps
Montipora digitata – Orange
Montipora digitata – Red/orange
Monitpora Capricornis – Sunset red
• Encrusting Montipora – Mint green
Stylophora – Purple

LPS Coral

Acanthastrea – Red/blue
Trachyphyllia – Rainbow
• Short tentacled plate (Fungia repanda) – Orange with yellow-green rim
Scolymia australis – Red/blue/turquoise
• Sun Coral (Tubastrea) – Yellow
• Branching frogspawn (Euphyllia paradivisa) – Purple tip
• Branching hammer (Euphyllia paraancora) – Purple tip

Soft Coral

• Finger leather (Sinularia sp.) – Pink
• Tan gorgonian
• Pulsing Xenia
• Various zoanthids
• Various mushroom corals: discosoma, coralimophs, actinodiscus

Invertebrates

• Rose BTA (Entacmaea quadricolor)
• Peppermint Shrimp (Lysmata wurdemanni complex)
• Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
• Blue-legged Hermit (Calcinus elegans)
• Tridacna Crocea Clam

History

Ever since having to break down my shallow cube tank back in the Philippines to move to New Zealand, I knew that I could not stand a prolonged hiatus from reef keeping. My lovely girlfriend must have known this as well because among other presents, she got me a glass tank for Christmas! So off I went to plan the new build right away.

The goal from the start was to make the system as simple as possible without sacrificing water quality and aesthetics. I also wanted setup that would be easy to transport in the event of another move, so I decided to go with an AquaClear 110 hang-on-back filter instead of a sump and simply modified it to house a refugium with various caulerpa sp. For the lights, I started with a DIY 3w LED kit which I just recently upgraded to a Maxspect Razor Nano.

This being the smallest aquarium setup I've ever built, I wanted to maximise every bit of space for corals and have adequate live rock for filtration without making the tank look just like a wall of rocks and coral. So I did a bit of research, tried a dozen different configurations, and ended up with my current aquascape. The aim is to make the tank look slightly bigger than what it really is, so I tend to buy smaller colonies and mount them accordingly on different stages of the aquascape to create a bit of depth and size illusion. Now, this isnít always easy when working with such limited coral real estate while having to take into account the individual compatibilities, flow preferences, and lighting requirements of the corals, so I had to frequently rearrange the frags until I find a spot that works for both the corals and me.

Being a country with many unique flora and fauna, New Zealand has very strict biosecurity protocols, which means that a lot of livestock that are quite common in other parts of the world are not allowed in the country. This presented me with more than a few challenges, mainly because it limited my options for the tank's clean-up crew. Many of the CUC members that were staples in my past tanks like Nassarius snails and Halloween hermits are now impossible to access. This forced me to rethink my stocking plans and adapt it to whatever is available here. The tank is a constant work in progress, but isnít that why we enjoy the hobby so much anyway?

Inspiration & Goals

Many of the tanks in this forum have served as inspirations for this build. I've always been a fan of Rehype's tanks and my aquascaping was heavily influenced by his builds. I also try to recreate what I see in the wild whilst snorkeling off the islands of Cebu and Palawan in the Philippines.

It is my goal to someday be involved in aquaculture projects, to breed and grow livestock that are hardier and well-adjusted to aquarium conditions, thereby slowly eliminating the need for wild caught specimens.

Disasters & Regrets

The biggest mistake that I made in this build was not being careful enough when choosing my live rock, this gave the tank a bad case of bubble algae infestation on its early stages. Patient manual removal and regular water changes eventually got rid of the algae but it hindsight, it could have been prevented earlier in the cycle and saved me a lot of trouble.

Future Plans

An upgrade is already on its way; I am just finishing up the plumbing on a 30 Gallon shallow cube and will be starting that tank up in the next few months!

Advice For New Hobbyists

  • Keep things simple. The more straightforward you set things up, the easier it is to find a solution when things go wrong.
  • If you are planning to purchase livestock, do tons of research first before pulling the trigger. Read articles, go through forums, and learn from others' mistakes so you don't end up doing it yourself.
  • Invest in high-quality equipment right from the start even if it means waiting a bit more before setting up. Changing out faulty hardware with a fully stocked tank can be incredibly frustrating and a massive waste of time and money.

Thoughts On Coral Fads

We've all seen our fair share of coral fads, and it has always astounded me how high prices can shoot up just because a particular coral is currently hot. I, for one, have no problem paying premium prices for rare pieces that I happen to really like, but it's just ridiculous how some corals would have highly inflated prices just because they've got a fancy name attached to them. The good news is you don't have to have expensive corals to have a beautiful reef tank. With a bit of layout and colour palette planning, even common corals can look stunning, what's important is making sure that you provide all that your livestock need to thrive.

ReeferBoo

  • brandon429, Paleoreef103, Lawn and 16 others like this



19 Comments

Congrats! You have an amazing KISS system!  I love your final thoughts at the end.  That's exactly what I'm trying to do with my current setup. 

    • Lawn, ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Awesome tank and it's BB :) congrats on this beautiful TOTM
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Congrats, such an awesome size illusion in your tank man. Glad to see you get totm!
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

Yeah!

    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

Awesome

    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

Awesome tank! 

    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Photo
Sk8n Reefer
Aug 02 2015 06:09 AM
Congrats beautiful tank!
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Schweet! How did I miss this one??
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Photo
Linarestribe
Aug 02 2015 11:26 AM
Very cool. An inspiration.
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

Congrats! You have an amazing KISS system!  I love your final thoughts at the end.  That's exactly what I'm trying to do with my current setup. 

 

Thank you so much Gena. Your Pastel Garden looks amazing as well. :D

 

Awesome tank and it's BB :) congrats on this beautiful TOTM

 

Cheers Lawnman!, almost BB but not quite haha, there's just a very thin layer of sand that's why there's bare areas near the current where the flow bounces off the bottom.

 

Congrats, such an awesome size illusion in your tank man. Glad to see you get totm!

 

Thank you Hey, looks like your prediction was very accurate ;)

 

 

Yeah!

 

Awesome

 

Awesome tank! 

 

Congrats beautiful tank!

 

Schweet! How did I miss this one??

 

Very cool. An inspiration.

 

Thank you so much guys!

    • rb_reefing likes this
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masterbuilder
Aug 02 2015 05:47 PM
Now that's what I call a Nano Reef! Well done RB.
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Hey hey Boo Boo! I saw this coming! Nice work, I love the tank
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

Now that's what I call a Nano Reef! Well done RB.

 

Cheers masterbuilder :D

 

 

Hey hey Boo Boo! I saw this coming! Nice work, I love the tank

 

haha thanks Justin! your tank is looking spectacular as always :D

    • rb_reefing likes this

wOW...its great to see a mixture of LPS and SPS!....great looking NAno.

    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

This is just, wow. I do not know what I am doing wrong but wow. This is what I hope to someday have.

    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this
Awesome, congrats. :)
    • ReeferBoo and rb_reefing like this

This tank has inspired me to start another nano tank.  Love it.

 

Also, may I ask what the little frag platforms are on the side of your tank?  Are they held up by magnet?  Really cool.

    • ReeferBoo likes this

wOW...its great to see a mixture of LPS and SPS!....great looking NAno.

 

Thanks jbrfish! I have just started getting into colourful sticks but I just love LPS so much that I can't really go with a full-blown sps set-up. Hence a mixed reef, the best of both worlds IMO.

 

This is just, wow. I do not know what I am doing wrong but wow. This is what I hope to someday have.

 

With a bit of patience and dedication I'm sure you'll get there DefStatic ;)

Awesome, congrats. :)

 

Cheers mate! :D

This tank has inspired me to start another nano tank.  Love it.

 

Also, may I ask what the little frag platforms are on the side of your tank?  Are they held up by magnet?  Really cool.

 

THank you rb!, they're called frag trees from thrive aquatics

Great looking tank!!

    • ReeferBoo likes this