Akaimal [Anand Kaimal] 240 g SPS dominated Reef.
would like to thank ChicagoReefs.com for giving me the opportunity
to share my story and experience with fellow reef keepers all over
must say that through Chicago Reefs I have had the pleasure of
meeting some very dedicated and knowledgeable members, always willing
to share and help, some of whom have become dear friends.My
journey into this fascinating world was initiated by my father who
got me a 20G aquarium and a few gold fishes when I was just six years
old. Ever since then I have always had an aquarium. I ran freshwater
aquariums for years back in India, where it is illegal to keep or
grow corals privately at home. As kids, my brother and I were very
inspired by Jacques Cousteau's documentaries about the oceans. So
having a Reef Tank was a dream that I cherished then. It was only
after settling down in Chicago, that I finally decided to try out
reef keeping, starting with a 120G fresh water tank donated to me. It
was a disaster because of all the problems associated with a tank
that was not reef ready. But I knew I was on the correct path and,
with the knowledge and experience I gained, I decided to scale up. So
in 2008 my wife and I decided to sketch out my 240G custom reef tank
after doing a lot of research on various forums.
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goal was to keep it as simple as possible with minimum number of
equipments. Since the tank is in the living room, I had to design
everything to fit the limited space inside the cabinet. I spent a lot
of time on designing my tank's plumbing, as I was aiming for maximum
efficiency of the dart pump by using minimum number of joints and
maximum diameter piping. The sump and refugium were ordered after
that. Parameter optimization and maintenance was the key objective
with minimal deviation policy. Throughout the years I have tried
different types of lighting, salt, power heads etc. and ended up with
this current setup.
attribute my success in reefing to the knowledge of reefers all over
the world. Key to success in this hobby is discipline. I would also
like to thank my friends at ReefDepot for their support and
assistance throughout the years.
the center I have 2 Apollo LED dimmable fixture controlled by Apex
both sides I have 2 DIY LED fixture that I built using components
from ReefLedLights.com. It consists of a 36
inch heat sink with
12 XTE Royal Blue LED
12 XPG Cool White Premium 7.5K
8 XP-E blue
2 XP-E red
2 XP-E Green
12 Violet UV LED's
24 XRE Royal Blue
12 XRE Cool White
between the fixtures I have two
4" giesemann actinic plus
The tank employs biological and mechanical filtration.
The biological filtration consists of more than 250 pounds of live
rock, 1 inch of sugar fine aragonite sand, 20G refugium filled with a
12 inch deep sand bed, Chaetomorpha and live rock. For mechanical
filtration, the water passes into the overflow then into the sump via
a 100 micron filter sock. Next, the water passes through two separate
chambers. The first area houses a heater, live rock and skimmer. The
final area accommodates the return pump. Even with the heavy load, of
corals, just 6 ml of vinegar dosing alone has kept the phosphates in
To help maximize the flow from the return pump I employ two
Wavy Sea wave makers. They keep moving back and forth evenly
distributing the water from the sump. I currently use two Vortech
mp60wes pumps and a Reeflo dart return pump. I have been extremely
happy with this combination.
Feeding and maintenance
On alternate days I feed Rods food and fat Mysis. On the days I
feed mysis, I also feed the tank Oyster Feast or Routi Feast. Calcium
and Alkalinity are maintained using a Geo Calcium reactor with an
additional DIY chamber. Salinity is maintained by top off using a
Twice a week I feed the tank Zeovit amino acids and Zeovit Coral
vitalizer. I also use Zeovit Coral Snow once a week.
I change the filter soaks once in 4 days and also clean the
skimmer cup once a week. Chaetomorpha in the refugium is trimmed once
in 2 weeks. I record KH once in two days and test phosphates once a
I do a 50Gallon water change once a month. At this time I also
vacuum the sand bed and run carbon when needed.
I clean the skimmer and soak the Vortech wetsides in vinegar once
in 6 months.
I also have a 1/3 hp Teco chiller. It keeps the temparature of the
tank below 79 degrees.
large Mag FoxFace
large Yellow Tang
medium purple tang
small kole tang
large melanurus wrasse
large yellow corris wrasse
small Ornate Leopard Wrasse
small Black Leopard wrasse
medium meleagris Leopard wrasse
cleanup crew consists of two cleaner shrimp, 1 Coral banded shrimp,
Blue Legged Hermits, Courie Snails, Astraea Snails, bumble bee
snails, emerald crabs.
Aussie Granulosa with blue tips
Aussie granulosa with purple tip
and Ice Enchinata
in the sky Acro
And many more unknowns.
anyone looking for advice, I would say, keep your setup simple. Keep
the number of components to a minimum. This way you donít have
to keep track of so many things. Also try to use as many external
pumps as possible. This helps in keeping the temperature of the tank
you Chicago Reefs for featuring my aquarium and giving all reef
enthusiasts a place to connect !