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  • Gramophone

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to Gramophone for being selected for our January Reef Profile! Her 30 gallon nano reef aquarium houses an impressively diverse community of life, with unique specimens like anemones, gorgonians, and even a school of cardinalfish. Below is the aquarium profile Gramophone 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 Gramophone's featured reef profile thread, or in the comments section below. Be sure to also check out her aquarium journal in the members aquariums forum for more information about her nano reef tank.


    Tank Specs

    Display: 23.6" x 19.7" x 16.5" 30 gallon JBJ Rimless Biotope
    Lighting: JBJ Unibody Dimmable 54 Watt 6500K-20000K LED Fixture
    Filtration: inTank media basket w/ filter floss, Clear FX Pro, and Purigen
    Skimmer: Hydor Skim Internal Protein Skimmer
    Heater: Eheim Jager 75W
    Circulation: Stock return pumps with EcoTech MP10ES
    ATO: JBJ ATO Water Level Controller
    Controller: Neptune Apex Lite w/Temp. and PH probe


    Established May 2012

    Maintenance Routine

    My maintenance routine can keep me busy at night, but I honestly wouldn't prefer it any other way. I use this time to take a close look at every bit of life in the tank and make sure everything is doing what it should. This is a great time for me to really enjoy the extraordinary creatures that are living in my little reef.


    • Test parameters weekly using Salifert test kits.
    • Dose according to my last test.
    • Feed cardinals every night and other fish every other day.
    • Feed corals twice a week using MarineSnow and Brightwell CoralAmino.
    • Weekly water changes of 5 gallons using RO/DI water and Brightwell NeoMarine salt.
    • Replace filter floss every 4 to 5 days.
    • Carbon and Purigen replaced every 2 to 3 months.


    • Fancy White Ocellaris Clownfish Pair
    • Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus)
    • Green Clown Goby (Gobiodon atrangulatus)
    • 5 Longspine Cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacantha)

    LPS Coral

    • Purple Torch Corals
    • Purple and Green Branching Hammer Coral
    • Toxic Hammer Coral
    • Wellsophyllia
    • Frogspawn
    • Various Fungias

    SPS Coral

    • Purple Stylophora
    • ORA Purple Montipora Capricornis
    • ORA Green Montipora Capricornis
    • Various Pink and Purple Polyp Hyacinth Birdsnests
    • ORA Ponape Birdsnest
    • ORA Green Montipora Digitata
    • ORA Green Birdsnest
    • Green Pocillopora
    • Purple Pocillopora

    Soft Corals

    • Various Ricordea Mushrooms
    • Purple and Red Gorgonians
    • Neon Green Toadstool
    • Various Zoanthids
    • Purple Mushrooms
    • Green Star Polyps


    • Cerith Snails
    • Astrea Snails
    • Nassarius Snails
    • Margarita Snails
    • Various Hermits
    • Brittle Stars
    • Rock Flower Anemone
    • Mini Maxi Anemone
    • Sand Sifting Star


    The beauty of the ocean has always intrigued me. Having the ability to house aquatic animals in my home was enough to motivate me to start a reef. After about a month of research and plenty of time spent here on Nano-Reef, I decided it was time to finally dive into the world of reefing. This is my first attempt at a saltwater tank.

    I wanted to start my newfound hobby with a smaller tank than most of the ones that I have seen in the past. This is mainly because of the lack of space in my living room. I had planned on using my antique record player as a stand, so I needed a tank without a sump. It wasn't long before I stumbled upon JBJ's new rimless AIO tanks and picked up the 30 gallon for a decent price.

    I originally didn't want to spend too much on equipment, but I eventually splurged a bit with the Vortech MP10 and the Apex Lite. I couldn't be happier with my decision. The controller has made my life so much easier when it comes to maintenance, and the MP10 provides the perfect amount of flow for my inhabitants. I believe that quality equipment is worth every penny and can really go far in this hobby!


    The majority of my inspiration comes from the reef tanks on this site. I have gained a lot of knowledge staying up late at night browsing the majority of them. Because of this, most of my education of saltwater aquariums came from Nano-Reef.com. There is such an abundance of information and expertise on here!

    Disasters & Regrets

    Like most reefers, I have made my fair share of small mistakes. When I first started my tank, I didn't even own a test kit for alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium. After testing for these things for the first time, I discovered that my water wasn't even close to the ideal conditions of a reef. Once I started my dosing, I was still having problems with keeping coral alive. Frustrated, I almost quit the hobby all together. I had never calibrated my refractometer after owning it for months, and it wasn't long before I realized how deficient my salinity was. This misfortune has taught me to pay attention to even the smallest of things.

    Advice For New Hobbyists

    When it comes to advice, I cannot express enough how important research is; it is everything. If you are contemplating on the purchase of a fish or coral, then look for other people's experiences with that particular fish or coral before purchasing. With that said, most of the people here on Nano-Reef will be happy answer any questions you may have. Lastly, it is important to enjoy your reef! Don't forget to sit back and relish in the wonders of your saltwater tank.

    Thoughts On Feeding

    I believe that fish and coral are grateful when they are fed with a combination of different foods. I like to switch up my fish food often. Just remember that it can be easy to get a bit overzealous when feeding. I am definitely guilty of this from time to time!


    I am beyond grateful for being chosen to be the first featured tank for 2014. Of course, I would like to thank Christopher Marks for everything. Without Nano-Reef, I wouldn't even have a tank to enjoy! Thank you all so much for all of the kind words and encouragement. All of your tanks continue to be an inspiration for me.



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