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  • uwwmatt

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to uwwmatt for being selected for our October Reef Profile! This 25 gallon nano reef is an evolution of a his previously featured 25 gallon nano reef from June 2010, improving upon every aspect with a new aquarium build. Below is the profile he's written for us sharing his experiences with his newest aquarium's progress over the past two years. Check it out and share your comments and questions in uwwmatt's featured reef profile thread.


    Tank Specs

    Display: 25G CAD Lights AIO Tank
    Lighting: Nanobox 24 LED unit (10 hour light cycle with additional 1hr dawn and dusk)
    Controller: ReefKeeper Lite (SL2 w/Salinity Probe, 2x PC4, Dual float switch kit for ATO)
    Circulation: MP10 (75% power on Reef Crest mode), Stock Return pump (apprx 355GPH)
    Filter Media: Carbon and Floss
    Salt: Instant Ocean
    Specific Gravity: 1.025
    Temp: 78.5 +/-0.5


    Established September 2010

    Maintenance Routine

    Every Other Day

    • Feeding: My tank is fed every other day with a variety of frozen and dried foods. All pumps are shut off for 30 minutes when food is added to the tank.


    • Five gallon water changes. During this time I do a thorough glass cleaning, blast all rocks with a turkey baster to remove detritus, and clean the sand bed.
    • Dosing: After each water change I dose Drs F & S Live Nitrifying Bacteria, and Kent Pro-Clear
    • Replace filter floss and rinse out filter media
    • Refill ATO reservoir


    • Replace filter media
    • Test float switches and other equipment


    I do not do any routine water testing, however I do own the tests, and I am trying to get in the habit of using them.


    • Orange Spotted Goby
    • Percula Clownfish
    • Springer’s Damsel
    • Royal Gramma


    Euphyllia paranchora (Branching Hammer)
    Euphyllia paradivisa (Frogspawn)
    Cynarina lacrymalis (Button Coral)
    Fungia repanda (Plate Coral)
    Lobophyllia hemprichii (Brain Coral)
    Lobophytum sp. (Devil's Hand)
    Sinularia brassica (Cabbage Leather)
    Capnella sp. (Kenya Tree)
    Sarcophyton sp. (Toadstool Leather)
    Pachyclavularia (GSP)
    Tubipora musica (Pipe Organ)
    Anthelia sp.
    • Parazoanthus spp. (Yellow Colony Polyps)
    Protopalythoa spp. (Button Polyps)
    Zoanthus spp. (Zoanthids)


    Lybia sp. (Pom Pom Crab)
    Clibanarius tricolor (Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit)
    Paguristes cadenati (Scarlet Hermit)
    Ophiactis spp. (Micro Brittle Stars)
    Lysmata wurdemanni (Peppermint Shrimp)
    Tridacna Crocea (Clam)
    Neopetrolisthes ohshimai (Porcelain Anemone Crab)


    In August of 2010 I decided I was tired of dealing with the complexities and cramped space of the plumbed tank and sump of my earlier 25 gallon nano reef, itself an upgrade from my 14 gallon BioCube. I did not have anything specific in mind for this build other than it needed to be around the same size, look good, and be as automated as possible. I have never been good at testing, dosing, and adjusting pumps, so I knew I would also be limiting my livestock to those species that had simple requirements.


    With those parameters in mind I set out searching the classifieds for an AIO tank. It wasn’t long before I stumbled on a lightly used 25G CAD Lights AIO with stand and light for $250. To sweeten the deal the previous owner also threw in a box full of test kits and supplements, and agreed to meet me halfway for the exchange.

    Shortly after purchasing the CAD tank I set about transferring my livestock. By that time I already had 3 previous tank transfers under my belt, so things went smoothly, and in a few hours my new tank was running beautifully. Part of my goal in setting up this tank, and a requirement of my wife’s, was that it must look as clean and uncluttered as possible. For that reason I suspended the lights and hid all cables within the cabinet or used a cord concealer for those cords running along the wall. My controller handled my lights, heaters, fans, and ATO, so the only thing I had to worry about was feeding and water changes.


    For the next year my tank remained largely unchanged. I had to remove my cardinal fish because they got too big for the tank, and I lost a blenny to the carpet gods but there were no major problems or upgrades. In November of 2011 I made the jump to LED lighting and bought a new house.

    Most of the corals responded well to the new light and the tank move. I had to remove or break up some of the larger rocks to make room for the new coral growth, and I lost a few LPS to chemical warfare but overall the tank continued to chug along. For the past 6 months, other than feeding and weekly water changes, I have done almost nothing, which is exactly what I wanted; a low maintenance, stress free piece of reef.


    I love the innovation and creativity I see on these forums. I’ve looked at hundreds of tank threads over the last several years and each one has inspired me to work harder at making my own tank a success.


    I’ve been lucky to avoid any major disasters this go-round. I had an issue with stray voltage that I fixed by replacing my light, and an outbreak of flatworms which seem to have been taken care of by the addition of my Springer’s Damsel and reduced feeding.

    Future Plans

    It may be time for that in-wall fish tank I have been dreaming of since my first 8 gallon Biocube five years ago.

    Words Of Wisdom

    A little preplanning goes a long way in this hobby and you can save yourself time, aggravation, and money by doing things right the first time.



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    Congrats! This is my favorite tank out of all of them and I inspire to have big, beautiful colonies like yours someday.

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    Beautiful and well deserved!!!!! Looking forward to your next TOTM ;)

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    AWESOME tank, that Hammer Coral is the most amazing one I've ever seen! Congratulations!

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