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  • Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to community member yoshii and her 10 gallon nano reef aquarium for being selected for our September Reef Profile! Below is the aquarium profile yoshii has written for us sharing her experiences in the hobby and her aquarium's progress over the past five years. See what she's been up to and share your comments and questions in yoshii'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 this nano reef tank.


    Tank Specs

    Display: Standard 10 Gallon All Glass Aquarium, 20 ¼ x 10 ½ x 12 ½"
    Lighting: Odyssea 24" 64W 50/50 Power Compact Fixture, and a T8 "Full Spectrum" freshwater lamp, used for the added purple color.
    Circulation: Koralia Nano Powerhead
    Heater: Elite 50W (Removed during the summer)
    Filtration: AquaClear 20 HOB Filter with sponge block and ceramic media.


    Established September 2010

    Maintenance Routine

    • Daily: Feed the fish. Previously with a Yellow Leaffish (Taenianotus triacanthus) as the sole fish, feeding was 2-3x a week.
    • 2-3x a Week: Feed the gorgonians and tube anemone a mix of frozen grouper eggs and Ocean Nutrition's powder Nano Reef Coral Food.
    • Weekly: Top off evaporation.
    • Every 2-3 Weeks: Prune macro algae.
    • 1-2x a Year: Water change, dose Calcium.


    I try to keep the tank within these parameters. I do not test anything else: • Temperature: 78-80F • Specific Gravity: 1.024-1.025


    • Solomon Island Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
    • Pearl Cardinalfish (Apogon sealei)
    • Copper Stripe Cardinalfish (Apogon margaritophorus)


    • Scarlet Leg Hermits (Paguristes cadenati)
    • Tongan Nassarius Snails (Nassarius distortus)
    • Peach Tube Anemone (Cerianthus sp.)
    • Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)

    Gorgonians (Octocorals)

    • Orange Tree – Orange Polyp (Swiftia exserta)
    • Orange Tree – Red Poylp (Swiftia exserta)
    • Purple Brush (Muriceopsis flavida)
    • Purple Branch (Eunicea sp.?)
    • Yellow Finger (Diodogoria nodulifera)
    • Red Finger (Diodogoria nodulifera)
    • Tan Corky Finger
    • Thin Orange Tree

    Macro Algae

    Caulerpa prolifera
    • Red Titan (Titanophora sp.)
    • Chaeto (Chaetomorpha sp.)
    • Red Grape "Caulerpa" (Botryocladia occidentalis)
    • "Bob Ross Algae" (Cladophoropsis sp.?)
    • Red Gracilaria (Gracilaria sp.)
    • Gracilaria hayi
    • Money Plant (Halimeda sp.)
    • Red Feather (Porteria sp.)
    Bryothamnion sp.
    Hypnea pannosa
    • Shaving Brush (Penicillus sp.)
    • Pink Galaxy (Galaxaura sp.)
    • Codium (Codium fragile?)
    • Flame Algae/Dragon's Tounge (Halymenia sp.)
    Caulerpa taxifolia (Unknowingly came in as a hitchhiker)
    • Unknown Red Leaf Algae
    • Unknown Purple Stick Algae
    • Unknown Brown Bulb Algae
    • Unknown Green Finely-branched Algae
    • Unknown Green Spike Algae


    I started my first saltwater aquarium, a 55 gallon, when I was 13 years old, but eventually I wanted smaller tanks. This tank itself was initially used as my sister's amphibian tank until she gave it to me. I took off the top rim (very carefully) and have not experienced any problems with the tank itself.

    For the first few years, this tank had several ups and downs, the most notable being a long battle with green hair algae. After I eradicated the hair algae, the tank enjoyed more of my attention and began to look nicer. But in 2012 I started to neglect the tank. It was up and running, but I didn't add anything new and only occasionally cleaned the glass. In early 2013 I was tired of my "boring" tank so I started to give the tank more of the attention it deserved. I became determined to create the lush macro algae tank I always wanted. It has only been in the last few years that this tank really started to flourish, even though I have mostly used the same equipment. The Odyssea light is the same from 2010, although I did add the purple freshwater T8 bulb more recently, just for supplemental color. The Koralia nano powerhead is also the same, although now I remove it when photographing the tank. The only piece of equipment that is new is an AquaClear 20 HOB filter that I added in 2013 or 2014. I like using it for mechanical filtration and for surface agitation.

    My main goal for this tank is to keep it as simple as possible. Even though I have introduced non-photosynthetic gorgonians that require more work, because of all the macro algae I don't have to perform increased water changes or do more maintenance.

    Inspiration & Goals

    Ever since I joined the Nano-Reef community, I have been continually inspired by all the amazing tanks and pictures users have posted over the years. The members of our community have always been encouraging and quick to offer advise as well as hilarious reefer jokes. TOTMs featured on the front page have inspired me to "be a better reefer" and I'm very humbled to be featured among them.

    Disasters & Regrets

    I don't really have regrets about this tank, but I would like to talk about my battle with green hair algae and how I emerged victorious!


    In the beginning of 2011, I started to get green hair algae growing on one my bigger rocks. Over the course of the year, it got worse and soon covered every available spot on the rocks, and was starting to grow on my decorative macro algae. I tried to reduce the photo-period and do more water changes, but even if the growth slowed down, it just wouldn't go away. I couldn't add a sea urchin or other inverts traditionally used to eat hair algae, as they would also eat my decorative algae. Eventually I got fed up and decided to get out a toothbrush and manually remove as much as I could. After the manual removal I added a few Scarlet Hermit crabs and a few Pyramid Trochus snails. This became the turning point and from then on my tank slowly returned to normal. I found that together, the manual removal and the addition of cleaners (to eat any spots I missed) was the winning combination to finally defeating the hair algae.


    Since then I have also added more decorative macro algae, which I believe helps prevent the return of the hair algae as the decorative ones are so prevalent the hair algae has a difficult time getting nutrients and gaining a foothold.

    Future Plans

    I started this tank in high school, and now after finishing my early college years at my local community college, I am transferring to a university several hundred miles away and unfortunately will not be able to keep this tank as it is. Select inhabitants of this tank will live on, (along with select inhabitants of my current 3g pico) in a new 3.7 gallon tank in my dorm. I was really inspired by Ziareefer's 50g softie/macro tank (2014 TOTM) and razarmi's 40g softie tank (2012 TOTM) and would like to create a macro, gorgonian, and soft coral pico aquarium.

    Advice For New Hobbyists

    I have had this quote in my signature since the day I read it in 2012, "Lack of research is the biggest downfall of people in this hobby" - devilsadvocate.


    Do your homework, have patience, and go slow. I don't care how beautiful that Blueberry Gorgonian or Red "Sea Lily" is, it WILL die in your tank. Research before you buy, and both your tank and wallet will be much happier. Also, don't think you're special. I know it sounds weird, but don't convince yourself that you are an exception to the rule if you're trying to justify a poor purchase. I'll admit that I have done this myself. I added a huge filter feeding sea cucumber to this tank, thinking that because I feed my tank more, and I "knew what I was doing," it would be fine. I was wrong and the poor thing died under my care.


    Don't be afraid to ask questions, but also pay attention to the information source. I started out reading books, which helped me tremendously in my beginner days. More and more, people are looking online for information, which is what I did after running out of books. The web is a wonderful source of information, but just be sure you're gathering tips from trusted sites and experienced people.

    Thoughts On Tank Size & Maintenance

    I have always heard over the years that larger tanks are easier to care for, but I generally disagree with that statement. I started out with a larger 55g aquarium, but if I could go back knowing what I know now, I would have rather started out with a 20 gallon aquarium. Water changes, topping off, dosing and feeding are all easier to accomplish with a smaller aquarium. Having worked at a LFS for five years, I've talked with many beginners who believe they need a large aquarium to be successful. This website itself proves them wrong, so don't be afraid to start small!


    I would really like to thank Maria (got2envy) for sending me my first package of macros! She doesn't even know me, but she gave me a wonderful assortment of macros out of the kindness of her heart. I would also like to thank all my NR friends and those who have followed my tank threads, whether from the beginning or more recently. Nano-Reef is the only aquarium forum I'm really active on, and it's really because of all the lovely people who make up our community. Thank you to all those who nominated this tank, I've very honored to have been selected for TOTM. And a huge thank you to Christopher Marks, without you and NR my tank wouldn't be what it is today.



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