• Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to community member 4x5 and his 39 gallon nano reef aquarium for being selected for our November Reef Profile! Below is the aquarium profile 4x5 has written for us sharing his experiences in the hobby and his aquarium's progress over the past year. See what he's been up to and share your comments and questions in 4x5's featured reef profile thread, or in the comments section below. Be sure to also check out his aquarium journal in the members aquariums forum for more information about this nano reef tank.

    Tank Specs

    Display: Custom 700mm x 700mm x 300mm (27.5 x 27.5 x 11.8 inches)
    Sump: Custom 600mm x 600mm x 400mm (23.5 x 23.5 x 15.75 inches)
    Lighting: ATI Sunpower T5/LED Hybrid by Nanobox
    Flow: 2 x Vortech MP10wES with Battery Backup
    Return: Halea 1750/H return pump
    Skimmer: Reef Octopus Diablo 160XS
    Media: Seachem Matrix Carbon run passively.
    Dosing: Seachem Reef Fusion 2 Part via Marine Magic Doser
    ATO: TMC V2
    Heater: 1 x 250w Eheim Jager

    Established November 2013

    Maintenance Routine

    • Weekly 25 liter water change.
    • Clean glass every 2 days.
    • Use turkey baster to clean rocks twice a week or whenever I feel like it.
    • 2ml Coral Snow + 1 drop ZEOBak twice a week.
    • Aquavitro Fuel – Occasionally.

    Fish

    • 2 x Picasso Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
    • 3 x Chromis (Chromis viridis)
    • 1 x Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto)
    • 1 x Christmas Wrasse (Halichoeres claudia)
    • 1 x Springer Damsel (Chrysiptera springeri)
    • 1 x Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus)

    SPS Corals

    Acropora secale
    Acropora millepora – Yellow
    Acropora millepora – Pink / Blue
    Acropora millepora – Pink
    Acropora millepora – Heaven and Hell
    Acropora sp. – Red Planet
    Acropora tenuis – Yellow
    Acropora tenuis – White
    • Blue Tip Staghorn Acropora
    Acropora suharsonoi
    Montipora digitata
    • Encrusting Montipora

    LPS Corals

    Euphyllia ancora
    Acanthastrea echinata
    Echinophyllia aspera
    Galaxea astreata
    Trachyphyllia geoffroyi

    Soft Coral

    • Zoanthids

    Invertebrates

    • 2 x Skunk Cleaner Shrimps (Lysmata amboinensis)
    • 1 x Fire Shrimp (Lysmata debelius)
    • 2 x Sexy Shrimp (Thor amboinensis)
    • 1 x Porcelain Anemone Crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai)
    • 1 x Blue Hermit (Calcinus elegans)
    • 1 x Scarlet Hermit (Paguristes cadenati)

    History

    10 years ago I had an aquarium with a couple of clownfish, a BTA, a damsel and a cleaner shrimp and to say it was underwhelming was an understatement, but I was a poor student and loved it. Even though I've had no tank since then I've always admired reef aquariums, especially those with coral, and have dabbled with the idea of trying to set one up ever since but for various reasons I never committed to the idea.

    Fast forward 10 years and I was on the verge of getting a pet pig when I came across a few videos of reefs on Youtube and needless to say the pig idea (sorry pig, perhaps one day) was replaced with the idea of creating my own little reef. Excited by the possibilities I joined a couple of forums and began reading as much as I could, the more I read, the more excited I got about the possibilities that were out there.

    After spending a few months researching and running into the shallow classics I knew that I wanted to try build a shallow reef tank, so I put together a design and had my LFS build the tank. The aquarium is in my home office, which is essentially a big white room so the design of the tank and stand had to be clean, neat and fit into the overall design of the room which is why I went with a bright white finish on the stand. I really did enjoy the planning and all the DIY work just as much as I enjoy stocking it.

    Inspiration & Goals

    My goals are ever changing along with my tank. I started out with a goal to create a LPS dominated tank thanks to some incredible LPS I have seen on this forum, but the day I got my first Acropora I was addicted and knew I needed to try create a SPS paradise. I knew the SPS would be a challenge, but a challenge is always good. When the corals look good it's really satisfying.

    My latest goal is to grow the tank out, learn to improve the overall health and colouration of the corals and start planning a new build with my improved knowledge. My plan is to grow the SPS in this tank till there is no more space, when that happens I'll either upgrade my tank or reboot with a new scape and corals.

    Disasters & Regrets

    My biggest regret is not adding a top to my tank sooner, I lost a couple of fish that I really loved through jumping.

    Advice For New Hobbyists

    My advice would be to try and enjoy the planning and design part of the build as much as you can. Having a real plan can be the difference between something nice and something truly great. Less is more.

    Try purchase the best equipment you can even if that means saving for a few extra months, it sucks at the time but having the right equipment makes your life so much easier and will ultimately save you money in the long run.

    Keep up with your tank maintenance, a weekly water change isn't too much effort once you get into it and can make the world of difference and please don't dose for anything before you've tested for it, if you have no corals you don't need to add extra calcium, even if your LFS says so.

    And last but most importantly: Enjoy it. It's a hobby.

    Thoughts On...

    Dosing
    If you are planning on having a SPS filled tank I'd recommend buying the best test kits you can. Getting accurate readings are important when you are working out just how much your tank is consuming so that you can calculate just how much you need to dose. Nobody wants to spend money on test kits but it's far better than losing expensive corals. There are various online calculators to help you figure out how much you need to dose once you know how much your tank is consuming. You can dose manually but I prefer to use an automated dosing unit, it's a great way to keep your tank stable and I believe that corals especially SPS really thrive on stability.

    Acknowledgments

    I'd like to say thank you to everyone here on Nano-Reef who nominated my tank, I'm really humbled by your kind words. There are so many different tanks, methods and personalities on Nano-Reef – it really is an amazing community and a place I enjoy spending some of my free time. I have learned a lot from you all, thanks and thanks to Christopher Marks for the honour of featuring my tank.

    4x5





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