Jump to content
  • ezcompany

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to ezcompany for being selected for our March Reef Profile! His 34 gallon nano reef aquarium is a sanctuary for clams and SPS coral. Below he has written a profile of his nano reef's progress through the years, and shares advice on his experiences in the hobby. Check it out and share your comments or questions in ezcompany's featured reef profile thread.

    My Tank Specs

    Dimensions: 20"x20"x20" Current USA Solana with custom fitted clear mesh cover.
    Lighting: Current USA Outer Orbit 250W (Geisseman Mega Marine 12.5K DE) w/ 4x24W T5HO (SlimPaq Actinic 420nm & 460nm lamps)
    Circulation: Tunze Nanostream 6025 (modified) x 2
    Protein Skimmer: Deltec MCE300
    Cooling System: Current USA 1/10 HP Prime Chiller
    Other Equipment: Tunze Osmolator Water Level System, Eheim Liberty HOB filter
    System Age: The aquarium officially launched on October 11 2007, livestock has been around longer, most since early 2006.


    Calcium and Alkalinity test twice a month. Magnesium test once a month. 5 gallon water change once every 10 days. Feeding once every evening, different food every day.

    Tank Parameters

    Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate: Not tested
    Ca: 420
    Mg: 1350
    Alkalinity: 9 DKH
    Salinity: 1.024-1.025


    SPS Coral

    Acropora Desalwii, Acropora Efflorescens, Acropora Granulosa, Acropora Lokani, Acropora Millepora (Palmers Blue), Acropora Millepora (ATL Cherry Bomb), Acropora Tortuosa (Oregon Tort), Acropora Tenuis, Purple Monster, Acropora Tizardi, Acropora Turaki, Acropora Yongei, Seriatopora Hystrix (Pinks Birdsnest), Sunset Montipora (M. Venosa I believe)


    Blue Teardrop T. Maxima, ORA Black and White T. Maxima x 2, Baby Black and White T. Maxima, Baby Blue Phonape T. Maxima, Black and White/Yellow T. Maxima


    Cirrhilabrus Jordani Super Male (Hawaiian Flame Wrasse), Cirrhilabrus Lineatus Super Male (Great Barrier Reef)

    Other Invertebrates

    1 Short Spined Sea Urchin, X Astrea Snails, 1 Turbo Snail, 1 Blue Legged Hermit Crab, Acropora Bandit Crab


    Homemade Mix, Krill, Formula 1,2, Prime Reef flake, Spectrum and ORA Glo Pellets, Hikari Mysis, P.E. Mysis, Hikari Mega Angel Formula, Prawn Eggs, Cyclopeeze (frozen), Stomatella Snails (live).


    The Solana originated from my original Aquapod 24, which was set up in May of 2006. More information on my aquapod can be found on this thread: Link. The Aquapod crashed in May of 2007, exactly one year from set up due to my absence of 7 days, and the fish feeder dumping in too much food into the aquarium. The water was a dark muddy brown, the skimmer was overflowing with skimmate, and most SPS were suffering from tissue necrosis. Ammonia readings were off the charts. Luckily I did not have a total wipeout, and managed to save a handful of livestock. A special thank you to er1cthereefer, who helped me pack and transport all survivors into his system.


    After a few months, I was able to get things back under control in the Aquapod, and received everything back from er1cthereefer. The Solana arrived, and I decided to have a fresh start. There has not been any major change done recently to the tank as I have become more and more minimalist in terms of upkeep and care. I have kept only the equipment I felt were essential or made upkeep more convenient.

    Aquarium Ecology

    The main theme of the tank is a high turbulence SPS reef. All corals are SPS. Almost every Acropora colony has a bandit Acropora crab as well, in which some believe are a beneficial symbiotic relationship, and others are not convinced yet. They have not done any harm to my corals so I leave them be (more info). The only other livestock are clams and fairy wrasses.

    I decided to go bare-bottom because in my previous set up sand proved to be quite the killer. Any coral that fell into the sand was doomed to be partially covered by it. The flow rate of the display tank is approximately 2900 GPH, via two modified Tunze Nano-streams and the return pump, producing a total turnover of 87X. The mod was done through Maeda and his legendary DIY skills. The tank also has a fitted top with clear mesh netting to allow light penetration and prevent the fish from jumping.


    The rear chamber carries all equipment, including the skimmer, hang on back filter, heater, automatic top off sensors, and chiller pump. The hang on back filter is especially useful as I can interchange between carbon and phosphate remover as needed, or both at once.

    Problems, Regrets, Disasters

    Redbugs, Acropora eating flatworms, teddy bear gorilla crabs, black bugs, pyramid snails, pinched mantle, you name it I've probably had it (not to mention the tank crash). Quarantine everything. Most of us believe its not practical, but nothing could be simpler. Do not trust an automatic fish feeder.

    The most recent problem has been dinoflagellates, long, toxic, stringy brown matter that smothers everything. They are the bane to many reefers, and have forced some to give up the hobby. I have recently overcome this by a one time treatment that worked rather well by raising pH, dosing calcium hydroxide, water changing, siphoning, and vinegar cleaning my chiller along with a 40 hour period of lights out. It comes and goes in very small quantities, and I keep a close eye to prevent another outbreak.


    All in all, I feel that persevering through all the troubled times has made my tank all that much more valuable to me, and not giving up will ultimately reward me greater in the end.


    Chris Marks :-)
    Other inspirational aquariums have been Brian's (greenmako) and Leonardo's (Leonardo's Reef) set up.

    Words Of Wisdom

    “Less is More"

    Advice To New Reefers

    • Plan ahead. Know and understand what kind of growth to expect from your coral, and the increased upkeep and requirements of it.
    • Visualize your aquarium 5 months from now. If you plan on primarily flat laying soft coral such as zoanthids and ricordeas, the selection of liverock becomes even more important.
    • Understand and memorize critical water parameters especially calcium, alkalinity and magnesium.
    • Don't go ahead and buy fish/coral without research, or just to prove everyone wrong.
    • Take all advice with a grain of salt. You will find 7 people saying its A, 3 people saying its B, and 1 person saying a totally different thing all together. Listen to people that can show you the fruits of their success.
    • Get an RO/DI unit as soon as possible.
    • Seek out help and livestock from your local community.
    • This hobby is ultimately destructive to the natural marine ecology. Please, be responsible and appreciate each life that falls into your hands.

    Thoughts on...

    • Lighting technology
      LEDs, please be cheaper soon...
    • Skimmers
      Pro-Skimmer. Lower nutrients, better oxygenated water. Make sure to do your research before purchase, for every 5 skimmers in the nano market only 1 might be functional at best. I do not recommend a skimmer for any system less than 10 gallons. I have used the AquaC Remora, Coralife Super Skimmer 65, Tunze Nano Docs, all wasted dollars and time compared to the Deltec MCE300. For best results utilize an in-sump skimmer slightly overrated for your total water volume.
    • Sand-bed
      Dislike more than like. I like how it looks, and how it increases the surface area for live filtration. I don't like how it blows around uncontrollably under high flow.
    • Dosing
      Don't waste money on trace element dosing with the exception of having an extremely dense coral population. Nobody knows the exact elemental requirements of corals, and trace elements are exactly that, trace, as in very minute in quantity to make a significant difference in your tank. Do monitor and maintain the two most critical parameters of your tank, carbonate hardness and calcium. Read up on Randy's Two Part Formula instead of wasting money on commercial two part dosers (B-Ionic, Kent's Nano-Reef A&B, C Balance, etc.).
    • Feeding
      Slightly hungry fish are healthy fish. I do not believe that fat fish are healthy. I feed my tank twice during the evening very sparsely with a variety of food. SPS and clams are fed naturally when fish are fed.
    • Foods
      Garlic does nothing for fish. Live is best, followed by frozen and prepared. Beware of market shrimp as they are frozen on the spot with phosphate containing preservatives. Creating your own home made mix is extremely simple and provides controlled ingredients.
    • Aqua/Mariculture
      Strongly support. It may be the only means to obtain marine livestock 50 years from now.
    • Coral fads/trends
      Easy to be caught up in, your latest limited edition $200 Miami Hurricane Chalice will not impress the girl (or guy) next door. (I remain a sucker for nice clams however)
    • Cleanup crews
      You and your clean hands are the greatest part of the crew.


    A big thank you to Christopher Marks, for founding Nano-Reef.com and selecting my tank for March. Thank you to many of the old school nano-reefers on here, you know who you are, and thank you to the members of SCNRS for always being a bunch of friendly and reliable noobs ;-).



    • Like 1

      Report Aquarium

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    March's featured reef profile is our member ezcompany and his 34 gallon nano reef!




    Click the picture above to check out his reef profile! You can find ezcompany's tank journal here in our Members Aquariums forum. Feel free to post any comments or questions you may have for ezcompany, and he'll try his best to answer them.


    EZ is a freekin' reef master, I just cant understand the BBT persona.

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Great tank, the clams are awesome...I cant wait to get one someday...





    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Can someone guide me to the "Randy's two part formula" thread about dosing please.


    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Another VERY deserving winner!!!

    Beautiful tank!!!

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Another VERY deserving winner!!!

    Beautiful tank!!!


    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Great job EZ, your tanks have always looked great to me. You are the clam master!

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...