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Journal 300

Geoffrey Rea

Global Moderator
27 May 2017
Continuation of One Zero Three…

Tank in:



Pipework in:


Test of the weir box… Watertight seals on the plumbing:



First round of equipment:


Filter roller built and plumbed in. Return pump in:


Skimmer and controllers in:


Will fill the tank with RO at this point to check it’s level and true when full. Can pump the water back into barrels to mix with salt, then continue installing further equipment.

All things willing, should have everything from One Zero Three transferred in by Friday 😎
Feel absolutely thrashed, but the transfer is done.

Water in and true level:



12 kilos of salt and 60lbs of sand later:


Rest of the equipment in the sump:





Matched water parameters (long amount of time spent) and finally transferred everything across in a twenty minute window:


Worth the effort as nothing skipped a beat. Fish straight into feeding and corals opening up with lights on.






Clam colouring up and open:


Goniopora’s happy but not fully extended yet:



Still need to move stuff about but generally happy with the left side, just need to add some further coral:


Have a large overhang planned for the right hand side that will be punching close to the surface.


Three lights, three zones, varied flow… should be more appropriate for a mixed tank. More habitat for the fish and shading for the ones that prefer things a little dimmer.

Melon the Mandarin is finally happy too, she has a perfect view of the TV now:


Just need to build up the pod population for her again, but she’s been grazing off the rocks all day today:


The Clowns despite being given a lot more room have decided they still just like breeding in the back left corner 🤦🏻‍♂️


Anyway, successful transfer. Happy days 😎
Beginning to get this mapped out now.

A triangular layout in reef is a lot more long winded than planted, but the planning is fun. For flow pattern and lighting intensity though, it seems a pretty good stab at running a mixed tank currently, but time will tell.

For now:




The torch and the Acro colony on the left should create the height. They’re far enough apart that it’s manageable, the torch is primarily being lit by the ONF, so LPS level lighting extreme left side. It hasn’t particularly been bothered by steadily increasing PAR so far.

The acro colony has a Sicce powerhead solely aimed at it, increasing flow above without causing much hassle down current:


As the torch branches out further will have to rethink this, but for the time being they sit in very different lighting as the boundary to the Kessil A500X locally turns things up a bit for the acro colony at this depth, particularly with the overlap in lighting units. The ONF unit itself physically shields further light beyond a certain point, then it’s down to what’s refracted and reflected. Turning disadvantage to advantage through placement.

There’s a hammer garden and a Goniopora garden mid tank at substrate level. We’ll see how this gets on. Everything is spaced far apart.

Bonus Lobo that just pops regardless of blue light/white light/orange filter for photo:


Everywhere seemed flooded with Jack-o-latern Leptoseris at the moment. Added a couple of frags. Seperate island so will leave it to go rampant and cover the rock:


Melon the Mandarin is still obsessed with the TV:


She likes to keep an eye on all living room based activities as well:


The rock addition changed from the original plan of a large overhang, to some simple cover that completes a triangular layout. Still adds some habitat where there’s some permanent shading for the Mandarin, the Coral Beauty and the Royal Gramma’s:


It’s become the ‘Royal Gramma’s’ as a female has been added to make a mating pair. They took to each other immediately which was a relief:


So far so good anyway. Hoping to keep the hands out of the tank for a while now.
Hoping to keep the hands out of the tank for a while now.
Cannot advocate for this enough, nothing holds a tank back more than constantly having hands in the tank (IMO).

ADG had an incredible LPS tank that’s great for inspiration.
Mikeymikemike (on YouTube) has a beautiful triangular composition reef tank to show what’s possible with a little bit of aquascaping and well thought out coral placement.
Been a while, quick photo update:



Still can’t get a decent photo even with the filter on. iPhone over saturates everything, tank has a mild blue hue and colours are more pastel/pleasant… iPhone chip sees this and translates it to LSD mode.

Two Kessil A500X’s over the tank now. Fish stock up and placing the last few corals. Let the setup run.
Am I the dinosaur of the group lads…?
You learn something new every day, keeps the mind healthy ;) and why we are here to point you guys in the right direction ;)
Love the scape, going to look fantastic as it develops.

Hope so @Tim1343 .

A lot of the kids friends visit and get right up to the glass. Tried creating some close quarters viewing for them for now with the hammer garden and flowerpot garden for example:


There’s a plan across time to take care of the general impression of the reef, needs to look good from across the room too. It’s fun being a scaper from freshwater and enjoying the much decreased rate of growth in reef keeping compared with plants. Working with months and years rather than days.
Just shy of 6 months:


Bit of extra rock in and finally satisfied there’s appropriate habitat for the chosen fish and inverts for the foreseeable.

Clownfish have finally hosted a Goniopora:


They went for the red one for whatever reason. Have given the clowns the entire back right corner without line of sight to anything else. Boxed in with just the corner to defend. Seem pretty secure and unthreatened by daily tank life.

Similar thinking around the rest of the scape:


Sailfin Tang is the only windup merchant… likes to block the entrance to the Royal Grammas den (little cave on the bottom right under the rock):


Drives the female Gramma bonkers when she blocks the front door with her body 😂

Still adore the Madarin when it makes an appearance:


Always busy hunting down pods.

Overall dosing is dialled in. Testing weekly and making slight adjustments once in a while, but nothing significant. Trucking along and enjoying watching the coral steadily grow really. Leaves more time to play on the freshwater side 😎
8 months:


Still a baby reef but showing promise. Looking forward to solid pH all day long this summer with open windows in the warmer weather. Some nice acropora to grow out so top half should get busier and more colourful.
Could you elaborate on this Geoffrey? I'm aware of this to a tiny degree but not sure what the impacts are.

Windows open in the summer means less CO2 in the room, which means less of a PH drop which isn't good in a reef tank.

Tank is looking great, and you lot have made me buy another reef setup still a few months away from setup but planning an SPS dominant nano :eek: