Reef tank

June, 2018

I had a salt tank for a short time as a teenager. I read Martin A. Moe's handbook and reference. I recently started a project to try keeping sea squirts in my lab. They were difficult to keep and the tank crashed twice. I decided to bring it home and set it up for fun and to teach my self a bit more about keeping marine invertebrates. Looking forward to learning all about corals and maybe keeping a stray sponge or sea squirt in time. Looking for low maintenance but pretty in the short term while I get my sea legs.

Set up a build log here:

Reef2Reef profile:

Reeftank Webcam:

Freshwater Webcam:

Turtle Webcam:

Three reference books on keeping marine invertebrates.


  • 20180617 purchased tank stand (Father's day).

  • 20180621 set up tank stand.

  • 20180622 set up aquarium.

  • 20180628 changed to RO/DI water from LFS.

    • Is 2ppm phosphate from tap water or dead algae from the sea squirt tank? Is it a problem? Yes replaced water w/ RO/DI or MilliQ

  • Have Current USA Satellite Freshwater LED, 7.5W $59, What do I need for soft coral and mushrooms and zooanthids?

  • Is AquaMaxx Prism LED Light Fixture, 48W, $149 the best option? No, they have a supply problem.

    • 20180628 Purchased.

    • 20180707 Cancelled order.

    • 20180708 Purchased SBOX Basic, 165W (55x3W), $136.

  • 20180624 3pm added 2ppm NH3 at recommendation of local fish store.

  • 20180628 replaced with RO/DI water, $14

  • 20180629 added 2ppm NH3 and Dr. Tim's One and Only, $5

  • 20180704 tank fully cycled (4th of July, Independence Day)

  • 20180705 pm:

    • Added 2 Ocellaris Clowns, $50 (with flake food).

    • Had to add 1.5 gallons pretreated tap water to lower salinity (oops).

  • 20180708 pm:

    • Set up gravity auto top off (ATO), $14

  • 20180713 :

    • pH 8.2, 0ppm NH3, 0ppm N02, 10ppm NO3, 0.5ppm PO3

    • Mounted SBOX @ 10'

    • Lowered water level of ATO (to get rid of film on water surface)

  • 20180714 pm (Bastille Day, Viva la France! Viva la Liberte!).

      • tested OK.

      • added SBOX 165W, $136.

      • added Green Star Polyp, turbo snail, nassarius snail, bumble bee snail, hermit crab, $15.

  • 20180715 France won the World Cup!

  • 20180717 pm:

    • purchased Clown goby, $6.

  • 20180719 am:

    • Clown goby is AWOL.

  • 20180721 pm:

  • 20180726 pm:

    • did a ~50%(5g) water change

  • 20180727 pm:

    • added Toadstool, $15 and several more snails, $5.

  • 20180728 pm:

    • returned Goby (had ich like fungus), got pistol shrimp and watchman goby, $20.

  • 20180802 pm:

    • tested nitrates at 10ppm?!. Daily 0.25L water changes must be keeping up.

  • 20180818 am:

    • water tested 0 ppm nitrates for second week since daily water changes 0.25L.

    • Probably due to growth of small amount of macro algae in corner of tank.

    • GSP is doing great but bumblebee snails are nesting in it?!

  • 20180818 pm:

    • added Acan (micromussa) lordensis. Likes brine shrimp

    • nitrates steady at zero.

  • 20180825 pm:

    • added Fire shrimp.

    • 0 ppm NO3.

  • 20180902 pm:

    • Acan seems to be adding polyps (2 small ones).

    • Likes to be spot fed brine shrimp or thawed/frozen shrimp.

    • 0 ppm NO3.

    • algae growing fiercely.

    • salinity steady at 1.026 ... maybe creeping up?

  • 20180911 am:

    • Added Green Goddess Bird's Nest Coral (from Jason Fox)

  • 20180922 pm:

    • Added Mushroom 1 and Pincushion Sea Urchin

  • 20180929 pm:

    • Added Duncan, Mushroom 2 and Candy Cane

  • 20181201 pm:

    • Added Hammerhead $45?, superglued some GSP to back wall. Rotated rock.

  • 20181208 pm:

    • Added tiny blue SPS frag, $10? It died.

  • 20190113 pm:

    • made first 10 gallons of 0 TDS water.

  • 20190324 pm:

    • tested water, everything looks fine, Ca and dKH seem low.

  • 20190418 pm:

    • cleaned protein skimmer (seems to have stopped working).

  • 20190427 pm:

    • ATO clogged up with algae and quit working. Should probably clean every six months or so.

  • 20190505 pm

    • "Sold" GSP egg. Got green montipora and green mushrooms.

    • Added Jebao DP-4 Dosing pump 6pm+/-10min, #1 250mL NSW in, #2 250mL OSW out(+10min), #3 650mL refill SW ATO reservioir, #4 300mL refill FW ATO reservior (+10min)

  • 20190509 pm

  • 20190511 pm

    • increased water change to 500mL/day, added 0.125 tsp +50mL RODI to tank +600mL Kalkwasser (raised Ca++ from 280ppm to 320ppm and Alk from 7 to 8 dKH)

  • 20190513 pm:

    • need to also add 10mL of 160ppt CaCl (to raise Ca++ from 320ppm to 360ppm)

    • Mg++ tested at 1050ppm (should be 1200ppm). Add 100mL Mg++ (50mL per day).

  • 20190520 pm:

    • tested Ca++ (340ppm) and Mg++(1170).

    • added 45mL(+100ppm) Mg++ (Kent Tech M).

    • need to add 15mL Ca++ to raise from 340ppm to 400ppm (5mL/day +25ppm/day).

  • 20190521 am:

    • added 5mL of Ca++ at 8am.

    • tested Ca++ @ 420ppm.

    • tested Mg++ @ 1260ppm.

    • I'm back in the box!

    • purchased first acropora (green slimer) and some blue mushrooms and one turbo snail.

  • 20190522 pm:

    • API tested alkalinity at 7dKH.

    • Salifet tested alkalinity at 5.7(?!) and Ca++ at 390ppm.

    • Added 50mL kalkwasser to tank and 1/4tsp to ATO (should increase by 1.4dKH and 10ppm Ca++ in 1 wk).

    • Reserved a Tailspot Blenny at LFS.

  • 20190607 pm:

    • Cleaned protein skimmer.

    • Tailspot Blenny missing for several days.

    • Turbo snail is doing a good job on algae.

    • measure stats and adjust tommorow? Shoot for Low then maybe High.

  • 20190608 am:

    • measured dKH at 6.4, Ca++ at 410, Mg++ at 1260

    • added 6mL Alkalinity, 5mL Ca++, 25mL Mg++, 0.5 tsp CaOH to ATO

  • 20190609 am:

    • measured dKH at 7.0 (400ppm Ca++, 1280ppm Mg++)

    • added 5mL of Alk.

  • 20190610 am:

    • dKH at 7.5

    • added 5mL of Alk

    • dKH at 8

    • added 5mL Ca++

  • 20190612 pm:

    • added baby Oscillaris Clown.

    • dKH 7.3 or 7.7

    • Ca++ at 430ppm.

    • achieved water parameter target Low.

    • hold parameters here for 1-3 months and observe.

    • tune CaOH dosing to maintain (1tsp/2 weeks, tried 0.25 and 0.5 tsp.).

  • 20190909 pm:

    • Alk and Ca++ seem good.

    • ATO float valve keeps clogging.

    • Back chamber level drops and salinity increases.

    • Installed Double w/ Bracket.

    • Aqualifter pump can't quite lift from floor and gravity siphon's from ATO reservoir.

    • Ordered new float valve and Fountain Tech FT-70 pump.

  • 20200913:

    • Replaced RO membrane.

    • Reduced water change to 250mL to avoid dinoflagellate outbreak (had outbreak with snail die off in May 2020).

    • Bought new snails.

    • Added moonlighting.

20190608: Add 14mL Ca++ (3 days,5mL Sat, 5mL Sat,5mL Sat), 32mL Mg++(1 day, Sat), 55mL Alk(14 days, 5mL/day Sat-Sat-Sat) or +0.5tsp CaOH to ATO to get to High.

Actually added 3mL Randy #1 solution 2 (~0.5 dKH), 5mL Ca++ (~25ppm), 25mL Mg++(~50ppm) and 0.5 tsp. CaOH to ATO reservoir (~3dKH)

Added 3mL Alk pm and 5mL on 20190609 am.

20190530: Discovered that API test was giving 2dKH higher than Salifert test (x2).

20190522: Need to add ~1/4 tsp CaOH every two weeks to keep up with coral growth.

20190511: Found that water chemistry was off after 5 months of growth of Bird's Nest and Montipora. Adjusted it with increased water changes, Kalkwasser(0.6L), CaCl (15mL) and MgCl (100mL).

First two fish (added on July 5th 2018).

High intensity LED light for growing coral added on July 14th 2018.

Fish seem good after 1 week.

Clown goby is still adjusting to tank on day two.

Testing good in week 2.

Green Star Polyp (superglued to rock egg) added on Bastille day (July 14th 2018).

Green Star Polyp on day two. Comes out under blue light.

Tank at 1 1/2 months old.

Tank at 4 months. (live webcam)

Tank at 5 months.

Tank @~10 months

Tank @~12 months