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Postby Deester » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 10:13 am

The winner of the November 2012 TOTM competition is:

ssbk23 with his stunning SPS dominated reef tank !

Prizes kindly donated by:

Aquablue Distribution


Shane has won:

Ocean Nutrition Foods Prize Pack


You can find out more about the winning tank tank in this Tank Journal


1) How Long have you been in the hobby

I began when I was around 13 with freshwater tropicals as most do. A few years later my father got his first marine tank which is where my love for salt water aquariums begun. The house quickly got filled with tanks in any spare space available and had my own standard 4ft mixed reef in my bedroom.

With a few changes in life I had a break from the hobby for some time. After having kids of my own I got them a freshwater tank to look at. It didn't take long before I decided to get back into reef keeping that I loved so much in the past.

2a) What size is your winning tank, dimensions and litres?

Tank is 1200x600x600 with a total system volume of approximately 530 litres.

2b) Any reasons for that size tank?

I am currently renting and will be buying a house in the next few years. With the impending move I thought it would be a more manageable size to move. I will be substantially upgrading as soon as the move is complete.

2c) How long has this tank been setup?

Since August 2011.


3) Anything you want to say about your stand?

Stand is made from solid pine by Gary Maher and was colour matched to the rest of the furniture in the house.

4) Do you have a sump and/or refugium? If so, what size?

Yes, sump size is 1100x450x450. One section used to be a refugium but it was removed a few months into vodka dosing.
Sump is bare apart from skimmer, heater and pumps.

5) Filtration eg. amount of live rock, sand bed or bare bottom, mechanical filtration etc?

There is around 40kg of live rock in the tank.
A shallow 1-2" sandbed.
200micron filter sock
GAC in a TLF 150 reactor.


6) Do you have a skimmer? If so, what?

Yes, Vertex Alpha 200 with Vertex Vectra self cleaning head.

7) Water flow/movement (powerheads etc)?

2 x Ecotech Vortech MP40WES
Return pump is an Ehiem compact 3000
Chiller pump is an Ehiem compact 2000

8) Lighting, type and times?

3 x Ecotech Radion LED's set to natural mode. Sunrise 9am, Sunset 10pm.


9) Other equipment such as auto topoff, Ca reactor etc?

Auto top of is via a gravity fed float valve.
Parameters are kept stable with a Kamoer 3 channel dosing pump.
Tank will be controlled via a Profilux in the near future.

10) Water parameters?

Temp: 26-27 degrees
Salinity: 35ppt
Alk: 9.0dkh
Ca: 440ppm
Mg: 1300ppm
No3: 1 - 2.5ppm
Po4: 0.02
pH: 8.2
K: 407ppm

11) Additives and conditioners (kalk, phophate removers etc.)

Vodka and vinegar is dosed via dosing pump for nutrient control.
Randy's recipe # 1 for maintaining the major 3 parameters.
Korallen Zucht Bio Mate twice a week.
Bio Digest Prodibio once a fortnight.
100% Reef Safe Amino Acids added daily.
Korallen Zucht Flatworm Stop dosed daily.
Potassium Chloride for maintaining K level.


12) Fish stock

1 x Zebrasoma flavescens - Yellow Tang
1 x Ctenochaetus strigosus - Kole Tang
1 x Siganus corallinus - Coral Rabbitfish
1 x Salarias fasciatus - Lawnmower Blenny
1 x Labroides dimidiatus - Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse
1 x Pseudocheilinus hexataenia - Six line wrasse
2 x Amphiprion ocellaris - Ocellaris Clownfish
1 x Halichoeres melanurus - Melanurus Wrasse
1 x Macropharyngodon choati - Choats Wrasse

13) Coral stock.

Seriatopora hystrix
Acropora sp.
Millepora sp.
Poccilopora sp.
Montipora sp.
Acanthastrea lordhowensis
Turbinaria sp.

14) Other Inverts.

11 x Lysmata wurdemanni - Peppermint Shrimp
4 x Strombus spp. - Stromb Snail
1 x Trochus sp. - Trochus Snail
?? x Turbo spp. - Turbo Snail
Spirobranchus giganteus - Christmas tree worms


15) Maintenance such as water changes, cleaning etc?

I clean the glass every second day.
Clean filter sock, skimmer cup daily.
Thorough check of all equipment daily.
Monthly vinegar clean of Vortech wet ends, skimmer pump.
Weekly water change of 20% with natural salt water.
All up I spend about an hour each day and 4 hours during the weekend testing and doing the water change.

I'm a bit pedantic with testing. I usually test for Alkalinity every second to third day ensuring stability. I find stability of Alkalinity to be most important with SPS.
All other testing is done weekly, or more frequently if I suspect something is a little out.


16) Acknowledgments and any other comments you would like to make that don't apply elsewhere.

The tank has had it's fair share of problems, from a variety of Coral eating pests, Aiptasia, Cyanobacteria, fish diseases and aggression issues. I believe what makes a good reef keeper is the patients, persistence and determination to see the rough times through, taking every bad thing that happens as a learning experience.

There are a number of people I would like to thank, my wife especially for being so understanding of the time and money I put into this setup.
My father for first getting me into the hobby.
Everyone here who has helped me gain knowledge and further experience in reef keeping, I feel I will be forever learning and perfecting my experience in the many years to come.
Thanks to all the volunteers who work countless hours keeping this forum going. Without this group I would not have been able to achieve this great honour of TOTM.
100% Reef Safe for all the quality livestock, equipment and support.

And last but not least, a big appreciation to the great friends I have made from MASQ who have helped me greatly with this journey so far. You know who you are :)

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Postby Deester » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 10:15 am

Congrats to Shane on a stunning SPS reef :-x

Well deserved win mate :thumbsup:
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Postby Bandit » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 10:20 am


Well done Shane, top job :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
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Postby Rod the Reefer » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 6:57 pm

Well deserved win. :clap:


Rod. :thumbsup:
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Postby thelostman » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 8:59 pm

nice one shane.....
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Postby terbit » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 9:16 pm

Congrats Shane well done :thumbsup:
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Postby ssbk23 » Wed 19 Dec, 2012 9:46 pm

Thanks everyone! I really appreciate each and every comment :thumbsup:

Big thanks to Aquablue for the very generous prize pack :clap: :clap:

I'm honoured to have my tank along side the many greats that have inspired me along this journey so far :bow: :bow:

Thanks again and Happy Reefing!
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