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Coral Vue Hydros
  • Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to Junkitu for having his nano reef chosen to start off our monthly featured reef profiles! His 24 gallon reef aquarium is a great example of a diverse and mature system, and has inspired many of our members. Below he has written a profile of his nano reef, from the early beginnings to his tank today, along with some advice for beginners. Check it out and share your comments or questions in Junkitu's featured reef profile thread.

    What an incredible honor to be asked to be the first Featured Reef Profile for Nano-Reef.com! Thank you Christopher and the moderators for selecting my Mushroom House.

    Tank Specs

    • Main Display: 24G Current USA Aquapod, 16.5"L X 13"W X 17.5"H
    • Lighting System: 20” Sunpod 150w MH fixture w/ 20K Giesemann Megachrome Blue lamp
    • Protein Skimmer: Sapphire Aquatics protein skimmer
    • Cooling System: Current USA Prime chiller - 1/15hp
    • Circulation: Hydor Selz L35 external pump (chiller/return), MaxiJet 900 (w/Hydor Flo), MiniJet 404
    • Controller: Premium Aquatics Lighthouse Controller managing the chiller, skimmer, and lights. Also monitors pH and temperature.


    • ORA B&W Ocellaris Clown
    • Flame Angel
    • Yasha Goby
    • Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
    • Orange Lace Purple Feather Duster
    • Coco Worm
    • Yellow Japanese Feather Duster
    • Purple Phonape Maxima Clam
    • Turquoise ORA Ultra Maxima Clam


    • GARF purple bonsai with green polyps
    • Orange montipora
    • Barney purple montipora digitata
    • Neon green bali slimmer
    • Reverse pokerstar montipora
    • Devil's hand with neon green polyps
    • Green polyped toadstool
    • 5 varieties of florida ricordea (yellow, neon green, army green, orange and blue)
    • Tangerine yuma
    • Green apple yuma
    • Blue rhodactis mushrooms
    • Pink Hairy mushrooms
    • Purple, brown, and blue rhodactis mushrooms
    • Mint rhodactis mushrooms
    • Red mushrooms
    • Green mushrooms
    • Hambali pulsing xenias
    • Neon green candy canes
    • Green Australian duncans
    • Red/green open brain
    • Assorted zoanthids and palythoa (Devil's Armor, Tub's Blue, RPE, Dragon Eye, Coco's Pink, Purple Dream, Terminator, Yellow Ultimate, Nuclear Green, Rainbow, Sunburst)

    Tank Parameters

    pH: 8.0-8.5
    Temp: 77 - 79 degrees Fahrenheit
    Ca: 450
    S.G.: 1.025
    Nitrates: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Ammonia: 0


    A Sapphire Aquatics skimmer that runs in the right rear chamber. Live rock and live sand perform the only other filtration in my system. It's simple but effective.

    Photo Period

    150W 20K MH (8am - 5pm)
    White Moonlights (8am - 6pm)
    Blue Moonlights (always on)


    Spectrum and Formula 1 marine pellets (3 days/week)
    Kent Marine Zoe (3 days/week)
    Cyclopeeze (2 days/week)
    DT's Phytoplankton (2 day/week)


    Kent Marine Nano 2-part additive (Tuesday, Thursday)
    B-Ionic 2-part additive (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
    20% water change (C-Pure seawater) once a week
    Scrub and scrape algae once a week
    Top off with RO/DI daily

    My tank was inspired by Nano-Reef.com and its members

    I've had freshwater tanks throughout my life but I never thought I would be able to keep a saltwater tank until a friend at work offered to help me get started in April 2006. He was redoing his 80G reef tank at home and offered to give me enough live rock to help me set up a nano reef in my office. Excited by the opportunity, I read everything I could find online about nano reefing. I eventually found Icenine's aquapod 24 tank thread on Nano-Reef.com and became truly inspired. I was amazed by the rainbow of colors, the variety of textures, and the diversity of life that could be kept in a nano tank. I was hooked and Mushroom House was born!


    “Who would think a box of water could be so much fun?” – quote taken from the sig of fellow N-R.com member icenine


    The thing that I found most amazing about icenine's aquapod was that he was able to create such a beautiful and natural looking tank under stock PC lighting. Initially, my goal with Mushroom House was to use a variety of color and texture to create a PC tank that was just as beautiful. I started with the green mushrooms that covered the live rock from my friend's tank and began to add other colorful coral. My first addition was a bright yellow fiji leather and I continued to add shrooms, rics, zoas, palys, and other low to medium light species to build my color palette.

    Along the way there were definitely some challenges. The first of which was keeping temperatures under control because my office would shut off the climate control system after business hours and over the weekend. In fact, I almost lost the entire tank to overheating temperatures during a series of hot days in July 2006. Thankfully, softies are incredibly resilient coral and although there were losses many of my favorite pieces like the yellow fiji survived.


    Ironically, my struggle to control temps eventually led me to remove the hood on my aquapod in April of 2007 in order to add a chiller. With heat no longer an issue I took the opportunity to upgrade to a 20” Sunpod metal halide light fixture, which further intensified the colors of my coral and opened up a whole new world of livestock to keep. After the upgrade I found new inspiration from another N-R.com member, ezcompany. I have admired the striking beauty of ez's SPS and tridacnid clam dominated tank since I first started frequenting N-R.com and I decided to try to incorporate some high-light livestock to Mushroom House. Over the last year I've added a few choice SPS frags and a couple clams to my tank. My hope is that as they grow they will help create a well balanced mixed reef with even more intense colors and richer textures.

    I'm not sure what the future holds for my little office nano. My coral continue to grow, which creates a myriad of mini turf battles for me to manage. I suppose I will either need to start learning how to frag or plan an upgrade to another, maybe larger, tank later this year. In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy watching my tank mature and fighting the urge to add any new pieces...even though there always seems to be room for “just one more cool frag”.

    A few words of advice for the uninitiated

    I was a complete newbie to saltwater reefing when I started this tank 20 months ago. Nano-Reef.com has been an excellent resource to help guide me in my tank's journey and its members have been an inspiration. I still consider myself a newbie and hardly feel qualified to give advice on this hobby but here are a couple thoughts that I hope can help others in their own journeys.


    1. “Pay it forward”. I encourage people new to the hobby to embrace the spirit of the community on this site. I got my start from an experienced reefer sharing his knowledge as well as elements of his tank with me for nothing in return. I've tried to do the same with other local reefers that I've met and I hope they will do the same as they are able.
    2. Avoid the impulse. Everything is magnified in a nano so do your homework before making a move. It can be very enticing to buy that non-photosynthetic sun coral or cute baby tang for you nano at your LFS but you need to know what your getting yourself into before you make the purchase. Similarly, take your time and find the specimen that makes you say “Wow, I've got to have that!!!”. Don't settle for something similar or ordinary that will just end up taking up precious real estate in your tank.
    3. Try not to make the same mistake twice. You are going to make mistakes along the way. We all have in this hobby. If something doesn't work out the first time and you decide to try it again make sure you make the appropriate adjustments.
    4. Lastly, don't let people tell you that “it can't be done”. It may take more time and/or cost more money but most obstacles in this hobby can be overcome if you do your research and plan ahead. There are still people out there that believe that keeping saltwater tanks is too hard for newbies and that you need at least a 55G tank to start. I'm so glad that I was finally convinced to challenge this conventional wisdom and take the plunge into nano reefing.

    If I had 10 things to do over again...

    • I would have gone topless earlier
    • I would have upgraded to MH earlier
    • I would have bought the more expensive controller
    • I would have acclimated longer
    • I would have bought a stronger pump
    • I would have bought a chiller earlier
    • I would have paid less for the Australian duncans
    • I would have stopped at 3 fish
    • I would have moved my tank where it could get natural sunlight earlier
    • I would have tried nano reefing earlier!!!


    Thanks again to Christopher and the N-R.com mods for selecting my tank to help start this awesome program. Special thanks to Behruz (the guy that got me started in this hobby) and Dan (the guy that keeps me going in this hobby) for all of their help, advice, and free stuff. Last but not least a big thank you to Ken for keeping an eye on my tank when I'm out of the office.


    I hope you enjoyed the pictures and write-up of my tank!



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    Thanks again to Christopher and the N-R.com moderators for selecting my tank to bring back this awesome feature to our site. You can also read more about my tank on my thread.


    Happy New Year everyone!

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    This has always been one of my favorite tanks on NR and I'm glad to see it profiled here.


    Congrats Junkitu, you deserve it!

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    Well deserved. One question: Why do you dose 2 types of two part?

    Kent Marine Nano 2-part additive (Tuesday, Thursday)

    B-Ionic 2-part additive (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)

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    Well deserved. One question: Why do you dose 2 types of two part?

    Kent Marine Nano 2-part additive (Tuesday, Thursday)

    B-Ionic 2-part additive (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)


    No special reason on the dosing regimen. I started with the Kent Marine and eventually added the B-Ionic to supplement calcium when I started adding the SPS and clams. I compared the labels and the Kent Marine contains trace elements that don't appear to be in the B-Ionic so I decided to use both.

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    Your profile is awesome. I like the description you provide and the setup you have and the pictures help too. I will be using this as a guide to better my tank.


    I now have a new inspiration tank. :)

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