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    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to Juin21 for being selected for our April Reef Profile! His 20 gallon nano reef aquarium is a beautiful example of our hobby. Below he has written a profile of his nano reef's growth over the years, and shares his experiences learned in the hobby. Check it out and share your comments or questions in Juin21's featured reef profile thread.


    I humbly thank Nano-Reef.com in choosing my 20 long for this month's featured tank. This tank came about through the inspiration of all the beautiful tanks on Nano-Reef.com and through the helpful, amazing and funny characters that make up these forums.

    Tank Specs

    • Tank: 20 Long Drilled Acrylic Tank with stand, 7 gallon sump (2 x one inch down-pipes (herbie), top skimming overflow), 4.5 gallon custom Acrylic water top off reservoir.
    • Lighting: SUNPOD 150 Watt Metal Halide with Phoenix 14K Bulb, 32 Watt SunPaq and 10 watt 50/50 Coralife Bulb. Two florescent bulbs in my refugium/sump.
    • Cooling: 4 x 80 mm computer fans and a current 1/10 hp chiller.
    • Other Hardware: Ehiem 1250, Vortech (set on creating a ½ inch wave in the tank), Aquaclear 70 powerhead to chiller (THANKS CESAR!), Maxijet 1200 for ATO pump and reef fanatic ATO controller, one American DJ light switch and my custom DYI overflow Skimmer!


    2 x False Percula Clown Fish ("Taco" & "Paco")
    2 x Blue Crocea Clams
    1 x Mini Tapetum & 1 x Maxi Tapetum Carpet Anemones
    1 x Pistol Shrimp ("Pistol Pete")
    1 x Humongous Nassarius Snail ("Uggghhh" named by my girlfriend)
    A bunch of Feather Dusters, Copepods, Bristle Stars and a plethora of small snails.



    1 Indo Acan lord, 1 Orange Crush Acan, 1 Aussie, pinkish/peach tri color Acan Lord, 1 Aussie, teal and red Acan Lord, 1 Aussie, ultra techni color or sweet lips Acan Lord, 2 Aussie, neon raspberry Acan Lord, 1 Aussie, ultra blue center rainbow Acan Lord, 1 Aussie, ultra purple rainbow Acan Lord.

    Other LPS Coral

    2 x 3 head Frogspawns, 24 head teal candycane, 2 head orange/light brown candycane and Blue Psammocora.

    Anthelia & Mushrooms

    Anthelia (First coral I ever received that hitchhiked on the live rock), Sunset Yuma, Teal Ricordea's, Small Blue Xenia, 1 Pink/Orange Ric, Blue striped Mushrooms, Green striped mushrooms.

    SPS Coral

    Orange Digitata, Purple Digitata, Blue Tipped/Green Cap., Rainbow Monti, Tricolor Digitata, and Orange Cap.


    Bunch of Zoa’s, colors range from pink, purple, green, white and blue.


    Maintenance on this tank has changed as time has passed, currently I dose B-Ionic every couple of days, water change every month or so, prune the Cheato every 3 months and empty the skimmer cup every couple of days.


    The 20 long started off as the venerated 7 gallon Minibow in the summer of 2006. As many of you know, one tank was not enough! When potysGSXR was selling his 20 long during the winter of 2007, I jumped on my dream tank, and my mind was whirling with the ideas of setting up my own bigger reef paradise. With the help of AdinSXQ, the tank became a reality.


    When I began setting up this tank, I tried to keep in mind that reef keeping should not be a chore but be something that enhances your life. Keeping this in mind, I tried to simplify the maintenance and care for the tank. One way of doing this was creating an Automatic Top Off system for when I went on extended trips or vacations. With the help of my girlfriend's dad, I created a custom automatic top off reservoir which would fit in the back of the tank. I had to custom make the reservoir so that it would fit between my back wall and my reef tank.

    From the beginning I wanted to be able to keep anything I wanted in this tank and decided to initially go with T5HO lighting. However, reading EZcompany's article on clams, I decided to upgrade my light to a double ended 150 watt MH Sunpod. Using the Sunpod however created problems - overheating! To offset the heat from the Sunpod, I installed four fans into the hood as well as in my sump. Luckily for me, I also won a 1/10 hp chiller from a SCNRS raffle!


    I am currently using a sump filled with cheato with two florescent bulbs and a homemade gravity fed skimmer. The idea for creating the skimmer came about by using the Herbie down-pipe method.


    The Herbie method is using two down-pipes to your sump; one down-pipe is adjusted to match the output of your return pump and the second down-pipe to act as a "safety" if the adjusted down-pipe gets clogged. The initial setup is a pain, but the result is a QUIET down-pipe system.

    While using this method, I noticed that if I reduced the downward flow of one pipe that micro bubbles were entering the sump from the "safety" down-pipe. I thought to myself, if there was a way to increase the reaction time of the air bubbles in the water, this would make a great skimmer. Thus I created a "U-tube" and a means of collecting the bubbles into a skimmer cup by utilizing gravity. It eliminated the need of another heat producing pump, and saved me money from buying a skimmer.


    Currently for circulation I am using an Aquaclear 70, running into my 1/10 hp chiller, an Eheim 1250, and a Vortech. The Vortech is creating a small 1/2 inch wave! Thanks AdinSXQ and SCNRS for the Vortech!


    I have had several disasters! The most stressful disasters have been several power outages that occurred during the summer months on my city block. Thankfully, with the help of EZcompany who lent me his battery operated air pump on a few hours notice, I've thwarted any major losses. I also made the mistake of putting my ATO tubing into my display tank, which is higher than the reservoir, and led to the siphoning-out of a lot of tank water. Luckily for me I caught on pretty quick and remedied the situation.


    Recently, I experienced a tank crash from being away taking care of some personal issues. Good news is I've been bouncing back! Another recent problem has been menacing Dynoflagellates!

    Words For People Entering The Hobby

    Research, research, and more research! The biggest advice I can give to people entering this hobby is not to get intimidated, and learn as much as you can to have a game plan for setting up your tank. Creating a successful reef tank is a slow process, so be patient. Fortunately you have Nano-Reef.com to browse while you're patiently waiting for your tank to cycle! Learn as much as you can and become a part of this amazing community.

    Tips And Tricks

    • For those that have a sump, buy a bunch of cheap nylon socks (like the ones you use at shoe stores), tie them to one end of some airline hosing, start siphoning, stick the sock end into your sump and siphon for as long as you want, collecting unwanted flatworms, dyno's and anything else that won't get through the nylon sock.
    • Buy a refractometer!
    • Position your rocks so that your magnetic cleaner will not bump into them!
    • Snails are better than hermits because they don't knock stuff down as often and won't crawl all over your corals.
    • When you siphon, stick the end of the tube into the output of your powerhead, this way you don't have to suck water.


    I wanted to thank my parents, for being them. Secondly I would like to thank my girlfriend and her family for all the support and patience in putting up with my nerdy fish talk. Just as importantly, I would like to thank AdinSXQ for always leading me in the right direction, helping me pick out coral, live rock, equipment, and just being a great and most generous guy I've ever met. I would also like to thank EZcompany for bailing me out of a few jams, and SCNRS for creating a great club where like minds can gather, talk, and become friends. Lastly, I would like to thank Chris Marks for maintaining Nano-Reef.com, which in my honest opinion, has been the main catalyst that sprung forth the amazing wonders of nano reef keeping.



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    lol april fools


    To be honest, this tank is just as much Adin's tank as it is mine, given that he's helped me every step of the way! Including the choice of the rock, coral and placement.

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    aw shucks.


    Every coral he told me to get let me know which ones not to....























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