Congratulations to Rehype for being selected for our August Reef Profile! His 22 gallon shallow nano reef is beautifully aquascaped to provide a natural reef environment for a wide array of inhabitants. Below is the profile he's written for us sharing his experience in the hobby and his aquarium's progress over the past year. Check it out and share your comments and questions in Rehype's featured reef profile thread.
I've kept freshwater aquariums for most of my life and I was always intimidated to try saltwater, but five years ago I decided to give it a shot and I'm glad I did. I've been through many of the trials and tribulations most new hobbyists experience, and many times I've wanted to throw in the towel, but there's something very magnetic about this hobby and once you're hooked, you're on for life.
- Display: 22 Gallon (24" x 24" x 9") Custom tank made by pico aquariums
- Lighting: 24" Giesemann Infiniti T5/Halide Combo (1) 150watt MH (4) 24 watt T5 bulbs with moonlight and Reefbrite Supplementation
- Sump: 18 Gallon Cadlights Sump, Hydor Seltz L40 Return Pump
- Circulation: (2) Ecotech Vortech MP10W w/ Battery Backup
- Heater: (2) Fluval M200
- Skimmer: SWC 120
- Filtration: Sapphire nano reactor, Algea Turf Scrubber, Aqua Advantage UV sterilizer, Midwest Aquatics Denitrifier
- Controller: Neptune Apex
- Equipment: Drews Dosers 2-Part Dosing, JBJ 1/15 Chiller, JBJ auto top-off
Maintenance includes emptying and cleaning the skimmer cup, replacement of filter floss and carbon weekly, and finally vacuuming the sandbed on a biweekly basis.
I feed 2 cubes a day which consist of spirulina brine, mysis, cyclop eeze or rotifers. I also feed flakes, pellets, bloodworms, and baby brine shrimp randomly throughout the week.
I honestly feel I tend to overdo it on filtration, but then again I like to overfeed my tank so every bit helps. After leaving the display tank, water runs through filter floss, through the skimmer and denitrifier, on to the refugium, and finally though the algae scrubber, carbon reactor, and UV sterilizer before returning to the display.
I've tried just about every type of lighting out there and I've found so far I'm most happy with Halide/T5 combination. I feel it gives me the most color options and the shimmer I love. Currently I run an XM 10k Bulb with 3 ATI Blue Plus, 1 Purple Plus, and an All Blue Reefbrite LED strip. I think I may give LEDs one more shot in the near future but I'm still skeptical if I'll be convinced to make the switch long-term.
I am a firm believer in water changes and do a five gallon water change with fresh RO/DI water and Oceanic Salt every week. To keep the glass clean, I use a Nimble Nano everyday on the glass. I also dose alkalinity supplements with a Drews Doser. So far I haven't had to dose calcium as my denitrifier and salt mix provide more calcium than my system can consume between water changes.
- Specific gravity: 1.025
- pH: 7.9 - 8.0
- Calcium: 450 - 470 ppm
- Alkalinity: 10- 11 dKH
- Magnesium: 1350-1450 ppm
- Temp: 79-81 F
• I have a mixture of SPS, LPS, and soft corals.
• Hippocampus reidi seahorse
• Signal Goby
• Talbots Damsel
• Cleaner Shrimp
• Harlequin Shrimp
• African Blue Midas Blenny
• Tailspot Blenny
• Sexy Shrimp
• Sharknose Goby
• Yasha Goby
• Florida fighting conch
• A host of other snails
• Red Fromia starfish
• Maxima Clam
The aquarium was setup the end of last year and is still a work in progress. For the first few months I was focused mainly on purchasing and sustaining livestock such as fish and invertebrates, but for the next few months I will be focusing my efforts strictly on adding coral. I've documented nearly every detail of this tank's journey in my aquarium thread here on Nano-Reef.com. I've tried my best to keep it interesting with plenty of pictures documenting my successes and my failures.
Inspiration & Goals
So many tanks I've seen here on Nano-Reef.com have inspired this build. I also gain much of my inspiration from what I observe in nature. My main goal is to have a thriving healthy reef that can hopefully capture a small portion of the beauty found in our rich oceans.
Disasters & Regrets
I have experienced quite a few setbacks with this tank. First was a huge outbreak of diatoms, for which I still haven't figured out the cause. In any case my entire sandbed turned brown, and the only way I got it under control was by purchasing the largest florida conch I had ever seen. It completely consumed all of my nuisance diatoms. My second disaster was due to my brief love affair with vodka dosing, used to reduce phosphate and nitrate to undetectable levels. While I experienced immediate results from this potent solution, I was ignorant to one of its most common side effects: cyanobacteria. I had one of the worst outbreaks I've ever seen to this day. My sand, rock and coral were being covered by this death slime.
The way I overcame this was to completely vacuum my sandbed to remove as much of the slime as possible, followed by daily dosing of Zeobac and Coral Snow. The combination slowly eradicated my cyano outbreak, though it took about three weeks to remedy. My third semi-disaster happened at the same time I was dosing vodka. I like to use zeolites as a form of nutrient export, however I was using rather large amounts of it. I lost a few nice pieces of SPS coral because of my ignorance. As it turns out zeolites strip potassium from the water, and if not replenished, will cause your SPS to bleach and die rather quickly.
I don't have any regrets though, I consider everything that's happened (both good and bad) a learning experience, and only helps to make me a better reefer.
Advice To New Reefers
Some advice I would offer to new reefers is just to be patient in this hobby, as hard as that can be at times. From making decisions about livestock to equipment, always ask a lot of questions and do even more research. You can save yourself aggravation and probably preserve the life of an animal by doing your homework.
Listen to the advice of experienced hobbyists, many of them speak from experience and are only trying to prevent you from making the same mistakes they did.
I would just like to thank everyone that continues to contribute to this wonderful hobby. I also would like to thank everyone that nominated my tank, and Christopher Marks for selecting it to be featured as TOTM. It's truly an honor to be featured on my favorite reef site. I'm most appreciative and humbled. I also would like to thank my wife for her support, and not divorcing me over my love of this hobby!