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  • Wawawang

    Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to community member Wawawang and his 40 gallon nano reef aquarium for being selected for our June Reef Profile! Below is the aquarium profile Wawawang has written for us sharing his experiences in the hobby and his aquarium's progress over the past two and half years. See what he's been up to and share your comments and questions in Wawawang'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.


    When I saw Xenia in a local fish store I immediately thought how my freshwater tank sucked. That was 8 years ago and this is my 5th reef tank. Back then I had no responsibility and tons of time and now it's the opposite. This tank is the direct result of my past setups and my current lifestyle. What makes this particular tank work for me is how I balance things. There have been many times when I have thought about getting out of the hobby, but I always convince myself to just find ways to make it easier. I have gone through different stages of keeping corals. Beginner to difficult, then back to mostly beginner corals with this tank.

    I tend to look at my tank as a whole artistically. I go through great lengths to hide equipment (rocks and aloe plants above water line), not have a loud tank, and have an aesthetically pleasing centerpiece to enjoy. Some things about my system may seem different. I use a canister filter, lots of my rock is exposed, and I have house plants in my scape. I do not have a sump, I don't use a controller, and I haven't tested calcium and alkalinity for a long time.

    Tank Specs

    Display: 40 Gallon Rimless Glass Aquarium, 40" x 20" x 9"
    Lighting: Maxspect Razor 16k
    Biological Filtration: 1-4" sand bed that slopes from front to back, 30 lbs live rock.
    Mechanical Filtration: Fluval canister filter with polyfilter, carbon, and GFO.
    Protein Skimmer: AquaC Remora Pro S
    Heater: Jager 150W heater
    Circulation: Vortech MP10, Hydor Koralia 1050 behind rock work.
    ATO: Hydor smart level ATO

    Established January 2013

    Maintenance Routine

    It's been over 1.5 years since I tested anything besides salinity and temp. I can tell my tank is doing well by observing. I do monitor temperature 24/7 (Lifeguard Temp Alert), sticker thermometer, and a glass thermometer. I feed my fish lightly every 3 days.


    I change the water once a week with 4 gallons of freshly mixed Reef Crystals saltwater. For dosing I put 4 scoops of Tropic Marine BIO Calcium in the water I'm about to change 10 minutes before the change. Also I test salinity every water change (refractometer) and clean the tank glass once a week.


    Once a month I replace the carbon, GFO, and polyfilter inside the canister filter. I also add 1-2 cups of CaribSea Arag-Alive Oolite sand per month, after removing 1-2 cups of sand during a water change.


    • 2 Ocellaris Clownfish
    • 1 Pajama Cardinal

    SPS Corals

    • Red Acropora
    • Green, Purple, and Orange Montipora Capricornis
    • Multi-color Pocillopora

    LPS Corals

    • Red Donut Coral
    • Acan
    • Assorted Echinophyllia
    • Stunner Chalice
    • Caulastrea Candy Cane
    • Torch Coral
    • Hammer Coral

    Soft Corals

    • Assorted Leathers
    • Assorted Zoanthids
    • Assorted Ricordias
    • Xenia


    • Peppermint Shrimp
    • Deresa Clam
    • Teardrop Maxima Clam
    • Crocea Clam
    • Assorted Snails
    • Assorted Hermit Crabs
    • 3 Flower Anemones

    Macro Algae

    • Feather Caulerpa


    I started this setup in January 2013 after purchasing the tank from a local hobbyist (Giga). This allowed me to rethink all of my routines and focus on making things easier. I transferred all my coral from my old 57 gallon aquarium and started my journey. There was a point in time where my monti caps were larger and I had a birdsnest coral, but for some reason I went back to my roots of easy but beautiful corals, while trying to resist any livestock that wasn't captive grown. Over the years I learned captive grown is the key to having long lasting resilient pieces. You will also notice my tank doesn't have hardly any fish. I got tired of money jumping out of my tank.

    Inspirations & Goals

    Dapellegrini's October 2008 featured reef setup was always an inspiration of mine. He went through great lengths to not distract. Here is a great quote from him “Careful consideration was given to the fit and function of each piece of equipment, so as to limit anything that would be distracting and/or frivolous, while providing a small environment that would support the widest possible diversity of livestock.” Just add simple to maintain and that is exactly what my goals were.

    Disasters & Regrets

    I made the mistake of setting up an autodoser for calcium and alkalinity and not testing to maintain levels. My sump (on my old 57gal) was a mess of calcium deposits and got me to the verge of quitting. My tank somewhat crashed and I was bummed. Fortunately, I just couldn't get rid of my clams that I've had since 2007. They survived through all the good and bad times and they are absolutely beautiful. One problem I have with my clams is that they constantly spit water out of my 9 inch high tank, making my modified Target stand's finish bubble up.

    Words Of Wisdom

    • Don't quit just make it easier.
    • Keep your water changes consistent. If it's too much of a hassle make it easier some how.
    • Observe your system to understand how it's doing.

    Advice For New Hobbyists

    Don't skimp on accurately measuring salinity and temperature. Get a refractometer and test salinity at least weekly. Monitor temperature daily by using digital, glass, and sticker thermometers as backups.


    Thanks to Christopher and the Nano-Reef.com members for nominating me for TOTM once again. It is a pleasure to share my hard work/art with the community.



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    Now this tank is special! Pretty spectacular, grats!

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    Thank you! If you guys have any questions let me know I will keep an eye out in the comments.

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    Well deserved! Beautiful tank and pictures, congrats.

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    A fabulous tank and deserving of the honor!

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    Congrats! I have been hoping to this tank take the title for a few months now, glad to see it take the title :).

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    The Xenia and clams are my fav part of this tank, the rest is beautiful too but that part just leaves me mesmerized looking at it.

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