Edwin Colσn's (DJE) Elos 120XL SPS Dominated Aquarium.


It is an honor and a personal privilege to be featured as "Tank of the Quarter" here on Chicago Reefs. My tank differs from many of the prior featured tanks. It reflects an earlier stage of maturity and I am happy to share this growth stage of my journey. I have developed a passion for this hobby and my enthusiasm has resulted in spending countless hours educating myself, continuously learning, and tirelessly maintaining this tank and bringing it to where it is today. I have been participating in the hobby in various ways since 1996 (19 years!) and have finally come to a point where I am happy enough and proud of the results of my efforts to share it with others. I hope my posting will encourage other members at various earlier maturity stages to also consider sharing their tanks via a feature on Chicago Reefs in the future.





Ever since I could remember, I have always had an interest in fish and corals. One of the earliest memories that I can recall was being a young kid and looking forward to the times that my dad allowed me to help him with some of the maintenance on one of the small freshwater tanks he owned. It wasn't until early 1995, that I really started to entertain the thought of maintaining my own saltwater tank. I finally set my first one up in 1996. I have to admit, in the beginning, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of available online information, but I was pretty determined and didn't allow that to stop me from moving forward. My very first tank was a 55 gallon bow front saltwater, fish only tank with dead corals. Even though that tank was fish only, I am still very fond of it and it's still one of my personal favorite tanks. In December 2004, I found Reef Central and since that time, I have spent countless hours reading and learning from all the postings with a long term goal of eventually starting and maintaining my own reef tank. Everyone has that one tank that they came across that truly inspired them and I laid eyes on my own inspirational tank in November of 2008, when I came across the tank of Luis Gonzalez aka Luisgo. Luis was featured as TOTM in November of 2008 on Reef Central and I was blown away by his tank and pictures. That encounter, jump started my desire to create my own reef tank. Subsequent to that exposure, I kept a few reef tanks and felt that my tanks were average at best. However, in March of 2011, I started to indulge my curiosity with SPS corals. While I loved the movement that LPS corals created, I ultimately found my initial intrigue with SPS corals resulted in a SPS obsession/addiction.

Concept and Tank Profile:

When I made the decision to have an SPS dominated tank, I knew I had to have an Elos tank. The dimensions on an Elos 120XL are perfect for an SPS focus, particularly the 31 1/2” width. Since this tank would be a somewhat permanent fixture in our living room and my style preference already leans towards a more contemporary style, the Elos 120XL was the perfect fit. Given that the tank was going to be a major focal point in the living room, I wanted to make sure it was a good esthetic fit for this living space since we spend a lot of time in our living room with our kids, family and friends. Timing also played a role in the tank selection as we were just embarking on a larger house project of having our basement remodeled. This afforded me an opportunity to design a room affectionately referred to in our home as “the fish room”, built into the basement design. Prior to our finishing of the basement space, I made due with small closet I built to house my filtration system. The Elos 120XL tank specs include a 127 gallon capacity, and dimensions of (47.24” x 31.5” x 19.7”) with extra clear/low iron panels. I liked the minimal look in aquascape, so I decided to start with two pieces of CeramEco Vida Rock that provided both separation, as well as, eye appeal. These rocks provided excellent hiding places for my fish, and great spots for coral placement.


System Profile:

• Display tank: 127 gallon / Low Iron Glass (All Panels)
• Sump: 70 gallon Rubbermaid Trough
• Skimmer: JNS SK-3 w/ Avast Swabbie
• Controller: Apex
• Doser: Jebao DP-4
• UV: Ultralife 40 watt sterilizer
• RO/DI: BRS 6 stage unit 150GPD w/ Booster Pump
• Reactor: BRS Dual Reactor for GFO & Carbon
• Lighting: Giesemann Spectra 48'' Fixture 2 X Mogul 4 X 54w T5 Polar White
• Bulbs: 2 - 250W Radium 20K and 4 - 54w ATI Blue +
• Water circulation: Jebao DC 12000 (Return) & Gyre 150 @ 60% Pulse mode (Circulation)


My filtration consists of around 35 lbs of CeramEco and base rock in the display and 4-5 liters of Siporax in the sump (Sump water volume 50g). After researching several skimmers, I decided to get a JNS SK-3 and I'm quite pleased with it. I run a BRS dual reactor (one chamber filled with GFO remover and the other chamber filled with carbon). 1- 200 micron filter bag catches all the large particulates before entering the skimmer area and sump. I do 3g water changes daily (14% weekly) with the help of my Genesis water change system which was recently put back online.



When it was time to decide on my light source, I reached out to Eric (Piodog) for some advice. Since I had seen his tank and knew he had some of the best colors when it came to SPS corals, Eric was a great starting point and resource. Eric recommended the MH and T5’s combo and suggested the Giesemann Spectra. Since I wasn't into LED lighting up until this point, I decided to follow his recommendation on the MH & T5 combo and I couldn't be any happier with my decision to follow his recommendation. (Shout out to Eric!) This is probably the one purchase that I will never regret as my SPS are extremely happy and my colors are outstanding.


Water Circulation and Flow:

I am a firm believer in high levels of water circulation and flow, especially when it comes to SPS. My main DT pump consists of a Maxspect XF150 Gyre which puts out a great deal of flow. It actually is strong enough to bounce the water back from the other side of the tank to create a full circulation throughout the tank. My preference would be to not have any power heads in my DT, but the XF150 is pretty sleek and does not take away from the total look or appeal of the tank. I also have a Jebao pump that sits in the basement, which feeds my return, dual reactor and UV sterilizer.

• Specific gravity: 1.025
• pH: 8.0 – 8.3
• Calcium: 420 ppm
• Alkalinity: 8.3 – 9.0
• Magnesium: 1320 ppm
• Temperature: 77 – 79
• Nitrates: Undetectable
• Phosphates: <0.03 – 0.06

Feeding and Supplements:

I typically feed the fish three to four times per day when I get home from work. Basically every 45 minutes starting around 5:30pm. I keep their meals fairly simple, feeding two cubes of Mysis shrimp and spirulina brine shrimp with S.E.L.C.O Boost. The corals get spot feed with Dr. G's Oyster Magnifique twice a week or whenever I remember to do it. I dose 5ml of Acropower, 10ml Reef Fusion1, 15ml Reef Fusion2 via my Jebao doser daily. I also add 4-5 drops of Lugol's solution and 2.5ml of Nualgi every Friday night.


Fish and Inverts:
• Mated Clown Pair Male- ORA Snowflake Female – Ocelaris
• Lyretail Anthias – 1 Male 3 Females
• Dispar Anthias – School of 12
• ORA Yellow Assessor
• Ornate Leopard Wrasse
• Flamefin Tomini Bristletooth Tang
• Pistol and Peppermint Shrimps
• Extra Large Brittle Star (6 years old)
• Sand Sifting Sea Star
• Assorted Snails and crabs
• Sunburst Anemone

Future Fish:
• Gold Flake Angel
• Purple Tang
• Blotched Anthias
• Mated Pair of Orange Spot Filefish
• School of Chromis (species type not sure yet)
• Pair of Red Ruby Dragonet



I have approximately 33 different SPS ranging from Acroporas, Milliporas and Montipora. Out of the 33 or so species varieties, my favorite 3 are the TDF, WCR Rainbow and the DFS Real Deal Echinata. I also have one LPS which is a hammer coral that hosts the mated pair of clowns.



• Tyree Mr. Pacman
• Tyree $500 Efflo
• Tyree Pink Lemonade
• Tyree Setosa
• LE RR Yellow Flaming Acropora
• LE RR Sunset Millipora
• The Real Tierra Del Fuego
• DFS Real Deal Echinata
• WWC Somewhere Over The Rainbow Millipora
• WWC Grafted Millipora
• WCR Rainbow
• WCR French Dog
• Vivid Rainbow Delight
• The Original Tyree Purple Monster
• WCR Green Monster Millipora
• WCR Hairy Millipora
• Faux Hawkins - TD (labas39)
• BC Aussie Blue Tenius
• BC PC Superman Table
• BC Tubbs Mystic Blue Stag
• Green Slimmer
• Rainbow Parahemprichii Acropora (ReefDweller)
• PC Ice Fire
• WCR Green/Blue Millipora
• Myagi Tort (ReefDweller)
• JKR Joe The Acro


I would highly recommend any future burgeoning enthusiasts spend a lot of time up front researching this hobby and all the intricacies involved before beginning any tank, but particularly a coral focused tank. There is a great deal to learn to be successful and that knowledge doesn't build within a week, a month or even a year. I've been in the hobby for 19 years and I'm still learning new things. Trust me when I offer this advice, that if you put in the time to research and learn upfront, you will save yourself from many headaches and more importantly save some of your hard earned money. Definitely don’t be afraid or hesitate to ask a question and leverage someone else's knowledge and experiences as well. After all that’s how we all learned. Lastly, if you feel intimidated to openly post questions, take advantage of the option to PM a fellow reefer. My experience has been that they will always be happy to answer your questions and share some information. (Speaking from experience because that's what I have done and still do!). Most importantly, don't get caught up in what everyone else may be doing, remember to research and decide what works best for you. What one person may love and work for them may not necessarily make you happy or work for you! Keep in mind that every tank is unique and that is what makes them special!!


I definitely want to acknowledge all of my fellow reefers who have provided me with a wealth of knowledge and have always been willing to lend a hand (Mark -MMreef, Jay -jayjigga, Jason-jayjerk, Eric -Piodog and Mai- Maidia). I also want to thank my family, in particular my wife, who allows me the leeway to follow my passion but also reins me in when I am in over my head (in a multitude of ways!). Thanks honey, you're the best!!