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  • stoney waters

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to Stoney Waters for being selected for our July Reef Profile! His 40 gallon nano reef is a masterfully designed custom aquarium. Below he has written a profile of his aquarium's progress over the past two years, and shares his experiences in the hobby. Check it out and share your comments and questions in Stoney Water's featured reef profile thread.


    I would like to say how honored I am to be featured in this months reef profile. I feel truly humbled to be in the same company as the great tanks that came before. I would also like to issue a special thanks to Chris and Nano-Reef for giving me this opportunity. I am certain that this tank would never come to be what it is today, if not for all the wonderful people and wealth of information this site has to offer.

    Tank Specs

    Display: AGA 40 gallon breeder 36" L x 18" W x 16" H
    Lighting: Custom built pendant on sliding track system. 2 x 150w Reeflux MH, fan cooled. T-5 actinics. Led moonlighting
    DIY System Controller: Automates and controls all aspects of the system. Lighting, circulation, heating, top offs.
    Stand: Custom built wood
    Sump: AGA 20L. Chambered and baffled with refugium.
    Filtration: Aqua C Remora Pro skimmer. Custom built kalk reactor.
    Equipment: 250w Visitherm heater. DIY ATO. DIY semi automatic water change system.
    Circulation: Main: Quiet One 4000HH through two drilled returns with Hydor flo's. Closed loop: Mag 7 through two drilled returns.


    Established October 2007


    Temp: 78-80 degrees
    Specific Gravity: 1.026
    PH: 8.2
    CA: 400 ppm
    ALK: 10 dkh


    I try to keep my maintenance routine simple and on schedule. I clean the glass daily and perform a 5 gallon water change weekly. I use filter socks so I switch them out when they become clogged, usually every five to seven days. Specific parameters are tested at the time of water changes. Top offs are performed via an ATO.


    Fish are fed soft pellets daily and corals and inverts are fed a soupy mixture of DT's, cyclops, brine, and Prime reef every two or three days.

    SPS & LPS

    • Green and pink birdsnest
    • Yellow turbinaria
    • Neon green merulina
    • Red and blue digitata montiporas
    • Green and red cap montiporas
    • Encrusting montipora
    • Lime green trumpet coral
    • Pink tipped elegance

    • Favite
    • Frogspawn
    • Stoney's hammer
    • Sun coral
    • Red goniopora
    • Green alvepora
    • Neon centered blastomussa
    • Green duncan

    Soft Corals & Coralimorphs

    • Green star polyps
    • Blue clove polyps
    • Various colonies of zoanthids
    • Green and pink palythoas
    • Many varieties of mushrooms and ricordea yummas
    • Green toad stool
    • Kenya tree


    • Royal Gramma
    • Stubby Percula Clownfish
    • Tail Spot Blenny
    • Starry Blenny
    • Yellowhead Jawfish


    • Coco Worm
    • Blood Red Fire Shrimp
    • Snails: Astrea, Trochus, Nassarius, Cerith, Bumble Bee
    • Hermit crabs: Mexican red legs, Electric blue, Scarlet
    • Serpent Starfish
    • Red Starfish
    • Crocea Clam


    As I remember the thought process of this tank began in the fall of 2005. After finishing my 12g Nano-Cube and becoming quite bored, I began contemplating an upgrade. I wanted a system that was not too large, but also not so small that I might lose interest after a short time. Not long after I stumbled across a 40 g breeder at a LFS and realized this was the perfect tank. The dimensions were right, it could be drilled, and it fit perfectly in my vision of the ultimate small reef aquarium. Over the next twelve months I went over in my mind a thousand different scenarios of how this system should be built. It wasn't until I ran across a $20 halogen shop light at Lowes that everything clicked and fell into place. I brought the light home and began transforming it into a metal halide pendant. It was about this time that I started my thread "The Stoney Waters Experience" where the rest of the story is well documented. By October of '07 most of the system was complete and salt water was added. After a lengthy cycle, corals were added and the evolution began and continues to this day.

    Words Of Wisdom

    Measure twice cut once.

    Advice To New Reefers

    • Be patient, think things through thoroughly before acting or adding anything.
    • Research, read, search, Google. Do whatever it takes to gain as much info as possible.
    • Don't ever be intimidated. Everyone was a noob at one time.


    Once again, I thank Christopher Marks for giving me this opportunity to showcase my tank. This site he maintains is hands down the best source of information, insight, and wisdom on the internet. Special thanks to all the NR members, the knowledge they provide is endless. I'd also like to thank my wife for not putting her foot through the tank, and to my kids for keeping the questions coming. They make it all worth while.


    Thanks to all,
    @stoney waters

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    That is real nice work! i think most reefers concentrate on the tank and i believe the surroundings and controls are almost as important!. I love the controller box and how neat everything is. That is one of the best setups i've ever seen.

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    Congrats! again too :P


    It was about time...jus' sayin' B)

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    Congrats once again bro!!!


    This is one amazing tank!!!



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    congrats for 2nd time.Great tank that always like to see more on.

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    Perhaps Im confused, but was this thread re-created anywhere else but here?



    Anyway, Congratulations! I was wondering if you could talk a little about your electrical box. It looks nice and clean and well thought out. Could you explain it a bit more?

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    stoney waters


    Yeah, now I have the shortest profile thread ever.


    I also have a similar thread on "BNARC" my local reef club.


    Anyway, Congratulations! I was wondering if you could talk a little about your electrical box. It looks nice and clean and well thought out. Could you explain it a bit more?


    The box itself is a fiberglass electrical enclosure bought on ebay. There are four sets of outlets that are individually controlled by the lighted rockers below. This allows me to turn off power to selected equipment only. There is also a spring wound timer that is connected to the fourth set of outlets. I use this to shut off the main pumps for feeding for up to an hour then restart automatically. The fifth set of outlets is controlled by one of the intermatic electronic timers. I have my refugium light and pump plugged into this set. The other three timers control power to each of the halides and the pair of t-5 actinics. My timing schedule represents a dawn to dusk effect.




    The lower right corner is where the controls for the ATO are located.







    Inside contains all the ballast for the lighting, the relays for the ATO and some transformers for the cooling fans.




    The control box is connected to the pendant by a 14 wire multi-conductor with disconnect.





    Everything has preformed flawlessly and I am pleased with the way it turned out. The only thing I would have done differently is I would have put the timers on top and the outlets underneath.


    Hope this explanation helps and thanks to everyone again.

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    Durso and closed loop.




    Great Tank and Thread! Well deserving of TOTM. I have been researching setting up my 40g Br for several months and feel like I hit the motherlode with this thread.


    Where did you get the black PVC fittings and black hose. Also...what type of dividers did you use for the refugium?

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    stoney waters


    Its been so long but I believe I bought the black hose at HD and I ordered the fittings from Savko plastics. The dividers for the refugium are made of blue ABS, the rest of the baffles in the sump are glass.

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