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  • TheCuban1040

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to TheCuban1040 for being selected for our July Reef Profile! His 24 gallon nano reef has evolved into a very diverse reef over the past year. Below he has written a profile of his aquarium's progress, and shares about his experiences in the hobby. Check it out and share your comments or questions in TheCuban1040's featured reef profile thread.


    I have to give a huge thanks to Chris and Nano-Reef.com for selecting my tank to be featured for July. In my eyes there is no higher honor than being on the NR homepage and it is shocking to see my tank there!

    Tank Specs

    Dimensions: Aquapod 24 - 16.5"L X 13"W X 17.5"H
    Lighting: 20'' Sunpod 150W MH fixture with 14K Phoenix bulb
    Equipment: AquaHub ATO Kit, 2 Ebo Jager 150W Heaters, DIY filter media rack in chamber 1 that currently holds filter floss
    Cooling: Azoo Fans, Running the AC constantly to combat the 110 degree Tucson summer!
    Circulation: MJ 1200 in rear chamber, MJ 600 behind rockwork
    Age: Started May 23, 2007


    20% water change weekly.
    Change filter floss weekly.
    Scrape glass every other day.
    Blast rocks with turkey baster every other day.


    Nothing but filter floss, live rock, and live sand.


    I feed frozen food soaked in Selcon every other day. I spot feed the Sun Coral and all of the LPS, and let the fish and inverts catch any of the leftovers.



    Pink Birdsnest (Seriatopora hystrix)
    Horn Coral (Hydnophora exesa)
    ORA Green Slimer (Acropora sp.)
    Pocillopora damicornis
    Montipora capricornus
    Montipora digita


    Open Brain (Trachyphyllia radiata)
    Blastomussa (Blastomussa merletti)
    Kryptonite Candy Cane (Caulastrea furcata)
    Candy Cane (Caulastrea furcata)
    Sun Coral (Tubastrea aurea)
    Favite (Favites sp.)

    Soft Coral

    Kenya Tree (Capnella sp.)
    Pulsing Xenia (Xenia elongata)
    Green Toadstool (Sarcophyton sp.)


    Bulls Eye Shrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
    Blazing Red Shrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
    Superman Ricordea Yuma
    Orange Florida Ricordea (Ricordea florida)
    Blue Ricordea (Ricordea florida)
    Green Ricordea (Ricordea florida)


    Various Zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.)
    Various Palythoas (Protopalythoa sp.)
    Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia sp.)
    Neon Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia sp.)


    Yasha Goby (Stogonobiops Yashia)
    Purple Firefish (Nemateleotris decora)


    Hawaiin Featherduster (Sabellastarte sp.)
    Coco Worm (Bispira sp.)
    Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
    Pom Pom Crab (Lybia tesselatta)
    Pistol Shrimp (Alpheus randalli)
    Nassarius Snails (Nassarius sp.)
    Cerith Snails (Cerithium sp.)
    Strombus Snails (Strombus maculatus)
    Trochus Snails (Trochus sp.)
    Crocea Clam (Tridacna crocea)

    Tank History

    The only major change so far has been the tank's location. In February I made the stressful move from California to Arizona with my tank riding shotgun and thankfully everyone survived the trip!

    Inspiration & Goals

    Like most people on here I have kept freshwater tanks since I was a kid. When I first started looking into reef keeping I stumbled across Nano-Reef.com and the first tanks I saw were Junkitu's and EZCompany's. Needless to say, I was completely blown away. I started reading thread after thread trying to soak up bits of knowledge. Coincidentally my productivity at work dropped dramatically at about the same time!


    After several months of research I finally felt like I was educated enough to get started, and I picked up my AP24 with all the fixings. Once I dove in and got my cycle started, all of my inspiration came from my excitement to learn everything I could about these amazing mini ecosystems. I'd spend my days reading and researching, and my nights annoying my inexplicably uninterested friends with details on mutual symbiotic relationships.

    Even after over a year in the hobby I feel like I'm just starting to scratch the surface. One of the things that makes reef keeping so exciting is the fact that we all always have so much more to learn.

    Disasters & Regrets

    No real disasters as of yet. There have been some small mishaps were I come home and find the tank at 90 degrees or 70 degrees but everything has always survived (fingers crossed!). Two regrets were putting Jade Paly's in the tank that out compete my zoanthids for space, and putting whatever frag had those flatworms on it in the tank without dipping it first!

    Future Plans

    MORE coral! Unfortunately real estate is becoming very hard to come by in the tank so I will most likely end up starting another nano, maybe a second AP24 and do a 'bookend' type thing with them.

    Words Of Wisdom

    Everyone says it, but it's true: Read, read, and read some more.

    Advice To New Reefers

    Learn to use the search feature on the site. I was on NR for months before I needed to post any questions because EVERYONE goes through the same things at first. Using quotations and "search titles only" are the keys to success!


    Buy quality stuff from the start. Swing-arm hydrometers are only $3 for a reason. Once you get hooked on the hobby (you WILL get hooked) you will want to upgrade anyway, so it's best to just do it right from the get-go.


    Don't get caught up in all the reef fads (ex: zoanthid names, inexplicably expensive corals)


    Get a "Sea Squirt" or similar long turkey baster type product. It's so nice to be able to spot feed or just nudge stuff around the tank without getting my hands wet. I wish I got mine a long time ago.

    Thoughts On...

    • Lighting Technology: I have been looking into the T5 vs MH debate and I'm just hoping that LED technology catches up before I decide to switch.
    • Skimmers: I wanted to make my tank as simple as possible and so far it has been successful. Maybe if you have an all SPS tank you would need the perfectly polished water but for most tanks I think skimming is unnecessary.
    • Dosing: Sticking with the theme of simplicity I rely on my salt for all my trace elements. Again, SPS and clam heavy tanks would probably need dosing but my tank does fine without it.
    • Coral Fads: I have only lived through two big ones, the Blastomussa and now the current Acan fads. You might count the zoanthids-with-fancy-names as a fad as well. Coral fads are really annoying because they drives the prices of these corals through the roof!
    • Cleanup Crews: I like to have as diverse of a cleanup crew as possible. I have a feeling that almost all of my CUC aren't really cleaning up anything (except for the Cerith Snails). The main reason I have so many snails and crabs is because they are really interesting to watch.


    Thanks again to Chris Marks for selecting my tank, and more importantly for founding and running the most valuable reef site on the internet. Thanks to all of the NR members who do so much to help everyone get started and keep moving in the right direction.



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    Hey, wait! I just realized: your TOTM has some of my gsp in it. And my tank has some of your TOTM's bubble pearl. This is close as I'm ever gonna be to famous! Woot!

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    Your Neon GSP is definitely what put me over the edge buddy! I'll have to let you take a sip out of Lord Nano-Reef's Cup. :D


    How is that bubble doing by the way? Did it green up for you?

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