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A 20 gallon reeftank with an emphasis on soft corals.

Reeftank Pix 01/15/99

Watermelon Mushroom Spawning 1
Watermelon Mushroom Spawning 2
Green Bubbletip Anemone 1
Green Bubbletip Anemone 2
Goniopora close up
Goniopora wide shot
20G tank 01/99

20-gallon Reeftank Setup

Tank Setup

TruVu 20-gallon blue back acrylic tank purchased at Pet Club. Stand is a low table purchased at Target. Mat for bottom of tank purchased at Orchard Supply. Salt water added 11/27/96. Mollie added 11/29/96. Added Feather Caulerpa 12/1/96. Live rock added 12/96. First corals added 01/97.


Custom Sealife PowerCompact  2 x 55 watt hood. One 6700K and one 7100K bulb. Photoperiod is 5.5 hours.Hood is lifted 1 cm off tank by empty cassette cases.


CPR BakPak with surface skimmer box. Venturi intake muffler on BakPak has been removed. BakPak augmented with a 2.5 inch wooden airstone and an Optima pump. 50 ml of Seachem carbon changed monthly in sump area of BakPak. 35 pounds of Fiji live rock. One inch layer of CaribSea Seaflor Super Reef aragonite. Caulerpa racemosa grown to deprive nuisance algae of nutrients.


CPR BakPak output. Two Hagen 301 Powerheads at opposite top rear corners of tank. Powerheads point slightly upward and towards center of tank. Opposing water flows create random water movement directed toward the front and down to the bottom and sides of the tank.


Evaporated water is replaced with a home made kalkwasser dripper. Dosage is tsp (1.25 ml) Peter Wilkens Kalkwasser mix for every 24 oz of water. tsp (2.5 ml) of Reef Evolution Strontium, Reef Evolution Potassium Iodide and Peter Wilkens Combisan every weekend.

Water Chemistry

Temperature = 78 degrees Fahrenheit

Salinity = 1.025

PH, Calcium, Alkalinity, Phosphate, Ammonia. Nitrite and Nitrate only checked during first two months of tank setup. Observation of tank inhabitants provides feedback on whether water chemistry parameters are optimal. Calcium and Phosphate levels checked when hair algae appears to be coming back or when coralline algae shows white (dead) patches.


5-gallon biweekly water change. Reef Crystals mix and water heated and aerated with airstone for at least one day before water change. Turkey baster used to blow out detritus in tank. Detritus tends to collect in small green button polyp rock and red mushroom rock. Credit card and Kent scraper used to scrape coralline algae on front of glass. Caulerpa racemosa trimmed biweekly with scissors.Skimmer airstone and carbon replaced every month.


OSI Marine Flake Food, Hikari Marine Mini Pellets, Hikari Cichlid Gold Baby Pellets or Vibragro every day. Ocean Nutrition Formula 1 once a week. I drop a Formula 1 cube in cup of RO/DI water, break apart the cube with a turkey baster, suck up the particles of Formula 1 and water and squirt it into the tank. One cube lasts for three to four days of feeding. Skimmer is turned off until all food has sunk from the surface. Powerheads are left on to disperse food to all the inhabitants of the tank. Frequency of feeding decreased if hair algae growth seems to be increasing (although I've mostly conquered my hair algae problem, there are still a few tufts in the tank and I don't want it to get out of control). Feed flight-disabled fruitflies (fruitflies actually have wings,but they can't fly) to neon dottyback. Neon dottyback snatches fruitflies from the surface of the water. Clownfish seem clueless on what to do with the fruitflies.

Reeftank Inhabitants

Fish: Two Ocellaris or False Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris), One Neon Dottyback (Pseudochromis dutoiti)

Mobile Invertebrates: Hermit Crabs, Hairy Crab, Bristle Star, Astraea snails, Cerith snails, Nerite snails, Trochus snails

Sessile Invertebrates: Light Purple Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.), Bright Red Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.), Brown Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)Watermelon Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.), Dark Purple Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.), Striped Purple Mushrooms, Green Star Polyps (Clavularia sp.), Brown Star Polyps (Clavularia sp.), Large Green Button Polyps (Palythoa sp.), Green Open Brain Coral (Trachyphillia geoffroyi), Red Open Brain Coral (Trachyphillia geoffroyi), Small Green Button Polyps (Zoanthus sp.), Light Brown Button Polyps (Zoanthus sp.), Flowerpot Coral (Goniopora sp.)

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