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  • flsvedlund

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to flsvedlund for being selected for our July Reef Profile! Her 30 gallon nano reef aquarium is home to an incredible collection of life, an eclectic mix of fish, coral, and invertebrates all living in harmony. Below is the aquarium profile she has written for us sharing her experiences in the hobby and her aquarium's progress over the past year and a half. See what she's been up to and share your comments and questions in flsvedlund's featured reef profile thread. Be sure to also check out her aquarium journal in the members aquariums forum for more information about her aquarium.


    Tank Specs

    Display: Aqueon Glass 30 gallon (36" x 12" x 16")
    Lighting: AquaStyle Online DIY 36 LED Dimmable Kit (18 3W royal blue LEDs, 9 3W 4500K white LEDs, and 9 3W 10000K white LEDs)
    Filtration: AquaClear 70 HOB Filter (filter floss, ChemiPure Elite, Purigen, and chaetomorphia)
    Circulation: Vortech MP10ES (Reefcrest mode, 85% power)
    Heater: 150W Aqueon Pro heater and Finnex Max-300 digital heater controller
    Auto Top-Off: JBJ ATO, Toms Aqua Lifter pump, and 5 gallon RO/DI water reservoir
    RO/DI System: Bulk Reef Supply 5-stage system
    Rock: 18 pounds of BRS Reef Saver dry rock and 12 pounds of cured live rock
    Sand: 30 pounds of Bio-Activ live aragonite reef sand


    Established January 17, 2012

    Maintenance Routine

    I typically do a 3.5 gallon water change once every two weeks, but if I get busy I can stretch it out to once a month without any negative effects. At this point in the tank's maturity, I only test the water occasionally or if I notice something is wrong. A couple times a week I scrape the glass and wipe up any salt creep. The fish are fed daily, usually a mix of flakes and pellets, but I also mix in frozen food about once a week. Since adding more SPS corals recently, I have started dosing B-Ionic 2-part alkalinity and calcium daily.


    • SA Fancy Ocellaris Clownfish
    • Black and White Ocellaris Clownfish
    • Coral Beauty Angelfish
    • Midas Blenny
    • Yellow Watchman Goby
    • Orange Firefish
    • 2 Blue Neon Gobies


    • 2 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
    • Randalli Pistol Shrimp
    • Pom Pom Crab
    • Blue Porcelain Crabs
    • 2 Red Brittle Starfish
    • 3 Serpent Starfish
    • Assorted Hermit Crabs
    • Assorted Snails

    SPS Corals

    • ATL Intense Purple Efflo
    • ATL Fire Polyp Undata
    • ORA Hawkins Echinata
    • ORA Red Planet
    • Bali Green Slimer
    • Pink Lemonade Acropora
    • Assorted Acropora, Millepora, Montipora, Birdsnests, Stylophora, and Pocillipora

    LPS Corals

    • Aussie Warpaint Scolymia
    • ATL Alien Eye Firefly Chalice
    • ATL Lavender Lace Duncan
    • Frogspawn
    • Green Candy Canes
    • Pink Lobophyllia
    • Assorted Lithophyllon

    Soft Corals

    • 30+ Varieties of Zoanthids and Palythoas
    • Assorted Mushrooms and Ricordea
    • Purple Ribbon Gorgonian
    • ORA Grube's Gorgonian
    • Gold Cloves
    • Green Polyp Toadstool
    • Pulsing Xenia
    • Green Star Polyps

    Macro Algae

    • Blue Ochtodes
    • Red Grape Gracilaria


    I've been involved in the aquarium hobby since my dad helped me set-up my first freshwater tank when I was four years old. I actually realized recently that the piece of furniture that served as the stand for my very first tank is the same piece of furniture that now supports my reef aquarium! Ever since that first aquarium, I have never been without a tank for more than a year at a time, but I always stuck to freshwater aquariums until just under two years ago.


    Besides keeping aquariums, one of my major passions is scuba diving. I now have my Rescue Diver certification and spend as much of my free time as I can diving up and down the California coast. Nothing compares to the feeling of being underwater and observing marine life up close in its natural environment. I've always wanted a saltwater reef aquarium, but I thought I didn't have sufficient space, time, or money for one. After discovering Nano-Reef, I realized that I could have a saltwater reef in a small enough tank for my apartment and within my budget. I decided to take the plunge, and now I have my own little slice of the ocean in my living room!

    I initially started with a standard 10 gallon aquarium back in September 2011, but after only a couple months, I was itching for more space and upgraded to the current 30 gallon. My goal with this system was to establish a healthy mixed reef with peaceful, active fish and interesting invertebrates. I also wanted to keep this system simple, reasonably low maintenance, and budget-friendly.


    In an effort to keep the system simple and eliminate the risk of a plumbing leak in my upstairs apartment, I decided against a sump and instead just have a refugium-modified HOB filter. I knew I wanted an LED fixture because of the numerous advantages over other lighting options, such as low heat output, efficient power usage, and eliminating the need to frequently buy replacement bulbs. In order to stay within my budget, I went the DIY route and built my own fixture from a kit. I started off with very basic equipment at the beginning, but over time I have been able to fund upgrades to the system by selling frags of my corals. The MP10, heater controller, ATO, and RO/DI system are all recent upgrades.

    Disasters & Regrets

    I have been fortunate so far to not have any major disasters. Of course as a relative newbie to the reef hobby, I have made my share of mistakes, and I am sure I will make more as I continue to learn and grow in this hobby. Instead of dwelling on these mistakes, I try to approach them as learning opportunities. I honestly cannot think of any major regrets with this aquarium. It is not perfect, but it has been so fun becoming involved in this hobby and I am truly very happy with how this tank has come together and matured.

    Words of Wisdom

    As everyone says, the best advice in this hobby is to do your research and read, read, read! That being said, everyone is going to make mistakes, but don't let that discourage you. Just try to learn from them and not repeat them in the future. I'd also like to stress that simplicity is often underrated in this hobby. I feel that a thriving reef can be kept in a very simple system, and sometimes too complicated of a system can lead to more points of failure. Additionally, I'd like to encourage everyone to try a DIY project. It's a great way to stay on budget and customize something exactly to your desires. Also, tackling a DIY project is a ton of fun and gives you a great sense of accomplishment and pride! Finally, join your local reef club! They are a great resource and a wonderful way to meet local reefers. I really enjoy attending swaps, trading corals with locals, attending education seminars and workshops, and touring local reefers' aquariums.

    Thoughts On...

    Lighting Technology
    Although LEDs are a newer technology in the aquarium hobby and many people are still skeptical about their long-term success, I believe my tank is proof that you can be just as successful with LEDs as with the old school T5 and metal halide light fixtures. I get great coral coloration from my fixture and have seen amazing growth from my corals since setting up this system. I am a huge proponent of LED aquarium lighting because of all of the advantages over other lighting techniques, and would highly recommend an LED fixture to anyone with a reef aquarium.


    I have tried to stick with predominantly aquacultured corals in stocking my tank, since it is more sustainable and does not pull corals from the oceans. I also prefer aquacultured corals because their lineage in reef aquariums means that they do well in an aquarium environment. Trading frags with other reefers is a great way to get new corals without spending money, and selling frags can help fund aquarium upgrades.


    This forum has so many stunning aquariums, that I am truly honored to have my tank featured as TOTM. Thank you to all of you who nominated my tank, and thank you to Christopher Marks for selecting my tank for this month. I have been so excited since finding out and I am thrilled that others enjoy my tank as much as I do! I'd like to thank Christopher Marks for creating a wonderful forum that is a great place to learn, get advice, and establish a support network in the hobby. I would also like to thank my group of N-R friends for all of their support, advice, and feedback. You guys know who you are! You all make this hobby a lot of fun, and my tank wouldn't be what it is today without you. Also, Lily (the cat) would like to thank her N-R fan club!



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    Ahh Ha i knew it was your month!!!! So deserving and what a great write up on everything. CONGRATS Felicia, enjoy your month!!!

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    Thanks so much, Zia! I'm glad you enjoyed my write-up :) Thanks for your vote of confidence in my thread yesterday! :lol:

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