AOTW: squids419’s Reeftopia 2.0
This Friday we are featuring an impressive 50 gallon aquarium by AquaticLog user squids419. This reef measures at 20” x 24” x 24” and has been up and running for 3 years and 3 months (now that’s quite an accomplishment), just look at that coralline! All corals appear to be in superb health.
We always enjoy when users share their personal stories with us, each reef is a unique product of countless hours of effort and labour that was put in. Here a few words from the owner himself:
"I have been keeping aquariums for over 13 years now and working as a professional in the industry for the past 9 years. The aquarium here is my third reef aquarium and has been running since the summer of 2010. The tank has maintained surprisingly well as it has been through x2 moves since its initial set-up. The large Birdsnest, Ricordia Florida, Pavona, and Acans have actually been with me since my first reef aquarium back in 2006. All of the original fish added to the aquarium are still alive today with the exception of a couple fire fish which decided to make the big leap.
The filtration system is fairly simple with only a filter sock, protein skimmer, and a bag of Seachem Phosguard running at most times inside a 10 gallon DIY sump. I perform 10 gallon bi-weekly water changes using saltwater I make at home with either Red Sea Coral Pro or Instant Ocean Reef Crystals. Two of the EcoTech Marine Vortech MP10 pumps provide excellent flow in the aquarium and a powerful Sicce Syncra Silent 4.0 return pump powers the filtration. Throughout all of my experience, I have learned that quality equipment saves you many headaches and regular water changes cannot be over-looked.
I supplement the aquarium daily using ESV B-Ionic Calcium Buffer and weekly with the following; Brightwell Aquatics CoralAmino, Brightwell Aquatics Potassion - Concentrated Potassium Solution for Marine Aquaria 500ml / 17oz, and Brightwell Aquatics Strontion Liquid Strontium, Brightwell Aquatics Iodion Liquid Iodine. I use Elos Test Kits and the Hanna Instruments Combo pH/EC/TDS/Temperature Tester with Low Range EC to monitor the water quality. A Digital Aquatics Reefkeeper Lite automates the entire tank.
The tank started with a custom lighting hood that housed a single 250 Watt Metal Halide bulb and x4 24 Watt T5 bulbs. Since, I have upgraded to the AquaticLife Expert Series 14 Inch 78 Watt Cree LED Light Fixture (3 Watt x 24) and could not be happier. While the colors are not as brilliant under the LED Lighting, the energy savings and reduced heat transfer are well worth it. I still get some great color and growth and save the hassle of running a chiller.
Congrats on such a nice tank!