Aquarium of the Week: Brad Urbanek's Viewpoints 110g Reef Aquarium

Today we are featuring another amazing aquarium: Brad Urbanek’s Viewpoints, a 110 gallon reef tank.

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This aquarium is special for a few reasons: it is one of the oldest AquaticLog profiles and was created on the first day of the AquaticLog launch. In fact, its owner, Brad was instrumental in the development of this site and has helped to form the end user experience by his insightful feedback. His meticulousness, attention to detail and elaborate aquarium routines have laid the foundation for this site. Finally, this aquarium is just plain awesome: behind every equipment or species choice, every maintenance routine lie weeks of careful research and planning.

Here are a few words from Brad himself:

Thank you to Dmitry and Aquaticlog.com

First of all I would like to thank Dmitry for all of the work that he has put into Aquaticlog.com.  Over the last year, I’ve been able to watch this site evolve from an idea discussed via email to the great site that it’s become today!  Thank you Dmitry!  Of course I would also like to thank Aquaticlog for choosing my aquarium to feature as their Tank of the Week.  I have a very strong passion for this hobby and enjoy exchanging knowledge and experience on the various forums and websites.  I hope that this feature shows a small glimpse into the depth that this hobby has to offer.  I welcome constructive feedback and I’m always willing to help a fellow reefer so don’t hesitate to contact me through Aquaticlog.com. 

A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

I’m a believer of Leonardo De Vinci’s quote, “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication”.  I’ve tried to keep that theme throughout the initial setup and progression with this aquarium.  If you put the extra time in up front to make things simple and organized, you get that time back in your day to day maintenance of the aquarium.  The photos below are a couple of examples where I’ve tried to make things organized and simple.  The first photo shows my sump setup which includes a built in equipment panel.  This panel was built to help with wire management which is often a problem with many setups.  The second photo is of my maintenance board, this board fits under the sump and is pulled out when it’s time to clean or test the aquarium.  By having a place for everything, I always know where things are and don’t waste time looking for tools.  The last photo shows my stand setup which includes small shelves added to the doors, the towel hooks and a paper towel holder.  You can also see the maintenance board stored under the sump. .  Again, simple ideas but they go a long way in making our daily activities easier. 

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Progression of the Aquarium

The aquarium was setup in April of 2011 and in that 1 year and 9 months, like most aquariums, it’s had its ups and downs. From failed carbon dosing attempts to cyano outbreaks, I’ve had my share of issues.  It’s natural to have issues in this hobby and many others have been through the same problems My advice is don’t give up, find a resource out there that you can lean on  and work though the issues as they come up.  The photos below show the progression of my aquarium, the first picture was the first FTS that I ever took in April of 2011.  The second photo was taken at one year and the last photo was just taken about a week ago. 

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Aqua Scape

I’ve tried to create an aquascape that provides a great view from every angle of the aquarium.  If you look at the progressing of the aquarium, you will see that the overall scape is pretty much unchanged from the initial setup.  Over time, I’ve moved corals to best suit their needs and match their growth form.  The only changes that I’ve made to the rocks, has been small moves to open of the aquarium and provide more space for growing corals.  The shots below show some of my favorite views of the aquarium.  The first shot is from the back right corner of the tank, the large Gorgonian adds a vertical element that I really like.  The second photo is taken from the left side of the aquarium, I’ve tried to create a small trench which gives some added dimension to this side of the aquarium.  The third shot is the primary view of the aquarium or the center trench.  This center trench was my primary vision for the aquarium from the very beginning.  I think this shot shows how the center trench has progressed over the life of the aquarium.

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Coral Livestock

When I make a trip to the LFS, I’m always on the lookout for nice SPS.  I like different textures, growth forms and of course varied colors.  I enjoy buying a piece of SPS that may be off color and seeing what becomes of it.  On a few occasions I’ve been rewarded with beautiful pieces at a lower price.  While the tank is dominated by SPS, I do have a few LPS corals to add texture and movement.  Just recently I’ve started to collect a few Zoanthids which are not pictured.

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Fish/Invertebrate Livestock

My stocking list includes 2 Percula Clownfish, 5 Blue Chromis, 2 Bartletts Antias, 2 LeMark Angelfish, a Blue Tang, a Chevron Tang, a Red Mandarin Dragonet, a Yellow Watchman Goby paired with a Pistol Shrimp, a Melunarus Wrasse and a Black Cap Basslet.  Here are a few photos of the fish and invertebrates that I have.

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Equipment List

Glass – 110g Custom Aquarium built by Cad Lights (48x30x18)

Stand – Artisan Stand built by Cad Light

Light – 48” Giesemann Infinity w/ 2 250W MH’s and 4 96W T5’s

Sump – Custom 40g Acrylic Sump built by a local manufacturer

Circulation – 2 MP40s and a Sicce 3.0 Return Pump

Skimmer – Bubble King Mini 180

Reactors – Reef Dynamics Bio Pellet Reactor, 2 Two Little Fishes Media Reactors, one for Carbon and one for GFO

Controller – APEX controller with WMX module

Dosing – Bubble Magus Triple Doser for Cal, Alk and Mag