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  • reefrook

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to Reefrook for being selected for our January Reef Profile! His 10 gallon nano reef been carefully crafted into a zen coral garden. Below he has written a profile of his aquarium's progress over the past year and a half, and shares his experiences in the hobby. Check it out and share your comments and questions in Reefrook's featured reef profile thread.


    Tank Specs

    Display: ADA 45-P approximately 10 gallons
    Dimensions: 45cm X 27cm X 30cm (18in X 10.5in X 12in)
    Lighting: Current USA Sunpod 150w with Phoenix 14k bulb, Current USA 20" Dual Satellite for refugium.
    Filtration: 10 gallon refugium/sump with 20 lbs. live rock, AquaC Nano Remora Skimmer with Maxi-Jet 900 Pump.
    Equipment: Vortech MP10, DYI ATO w/ Tom Aquatics Aqua-Lifter, Eheim 600 Compact Pump for sump return.
    Supplements: E.S.V. B-Ionic 2-part Calcium Buffer


    Established April 2009, transferred to ADA 45-P August 2009.

    Maintenance Routine

    • Glass scraping daily.
    • 2.5 gallon water change weekly.
    • Full tank grooming weekly (glass, overflow pipes, sand, rocks, skimmer, MP10, etc.).
    • B-Ionic supplemented MWF.
    • Mysis and/or Rod's Food MWF spot fed to corals.


    • Birdsnest
    • Tri-color
    • Various zoanthids and palythoas
    • Various acans
    • Red and green blastos
    • Yellow polyps
    • Frogspawn
    • Yuma ricordea
    • Duncans
    • Blue cloves


    • Crocea clam
    • Red rock anenome
    • Anenome crab
    • Nassarus snails
    • Astrea snails
    • Cerith snails
    • Blue legged hermit crab
    • Emerald crab
    • Harlequin shrimp
    • Pom pom crab


    • Grade B Picasso Clownfish
    • Cherub Angelfish


    I've always been very intrigued by saltwater fish tanks but never had the know-how to set one up. While cleaning out my basement, I found an old AGA 10 gal that I was going to turn into a freshwater tank. Before heading out to the store, I had the notion of turning it into a saltwater tank but thought that a 10 gallon was way too small. And then I found Nano-reef.com! One sleepless night later and a trip to the LFS, I had on my hands on my first saltwater tank. I tried to keep it as cheap as I could. I brought home a Koralia Nano and an Aquaclear 70 which I modded. I also ordered a dual satellite PC fixture from Marine Depot. I'm sure everybody knows this story, what I thought was good enough then, couldn't be any more false. I thought, a couple dollars here, a few DIY projects there, and I would have a tank that I'd be happy with. Since then everything from the Koralia Nano to the tank itself had been upgraded. I've gone through many fish, corals, and equipment to get to where I am now. I'm sure most reefers would agree, it's a journey that is worth taking again and again despite all the headaches and financial hits.

    Disasters & Regrets

    I've encountered a couple of green hair and cyano algae outbreaks. My open top has brought the end to a handful of fish. But my biggest disaster was the malfunction of my DIY PVC overflow. That left me with wet carpet and a moldy smell that lasted for weeks. Shortly after that I drilled the tank to install a more reliable overflow.

    After reminiscing about the life of my tank, I've thought about any regrets I might have. Maybe I should have bought the expensive equipment from the get go. Maybe I should have drilled the tank right away and saved myself a flooded room. And maybe I should have put a hood on and wouldn't have to pull dried fish off of my carpet. But there are no regrets. I think the fun of it all was learning from my own mistakes. One day, I research and get all excited about putting in a PVC overflow or a firefish, then later I find out that I'm an idiot. But regardless of other's advice, I'm the type that needs to figure it out on my own. I always think that I'll be the exception! Almost all the time you'll find threads on the forum going against what you're trying to accomplish. I say if you think you can do it, just do it. Otherwise you'll always have that nagging feeling if you don't. Forget the haters!


    Thank you Nano-Reef and Christopher Marks! Feels kind of weird being acknowledged since I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Having a TOTM in no way makes me an expert. I still rely on Nano-Reef and all its members to maintain my tank.



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    I love the simple and beautiful design of your tank! It's giving me inspiration for my tank which just finished cycling.

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