» Volcano1 Featured Reef
Volcano1 [Todd] 420 g Mixed Beauty.
I am honored to be asked by ChicagoReefs to share my tank
with you. I'm stuck out in the boonies,
but have had the luck to be close enough to the Chicago area, in order to have
a great resource for my hobby. I think the Chicago based Reefers are a great
bunch and have made reefing much enjoyable. I've only been able to meet a handful in person over the
years, but all have been very positive.
2011 2013 2014
Old 300gal 2006
I've always liked aquariums, some people around me back
in the 70's had small freshwater tanks. As I got older I was exposed to my first Reef tank, in
the mid 80's. It was nothing as special as the reef tanks of today, mainly
softies and LPS. I did like the mix of colorful fish, much more interesting
than the previous fresh water systems I was used to. I set up my first venture
into fish keeping during this time. I started with a goldfish/Koi pond. As the
winter grew near, I found a large tank, 300 gallons. My thought was to house my
pond fish for the winter. I however found a love for Cichlids from several LFS
and that tank was used to house them, the pond fish went into a kiddie pool. I
kept Cichlids for several years, mainly Africans, with some other tanks mates. In
the Late 90's I decided to try my first reef tank. It was a 90 gallon tank;
with mainly softies, star polyps, xenia etc. I converted the freshwater tank
into the reef and moved my collection there. I expanded it over the years to
include mainly LPS and Softies. It continued this way until, 2005. I started
with adding easier SPS, Montis, Pocillopora and clams. It continued on this
path, eventually making a sps dominant system around 2010. At this time I upgraded tanks, to the current
420 gallon. I have had many ups and downs, with several major tank crashes. The
worst, in 2014, were I lost 90% of my SPS and 40% of my other livestock. I
still have some of the corals and fish from the first stocking, but not many. I've
sworn to go FOWLR if I have another crash, but haven't been able to give up the
The current tank was set up with two goals in mind. It
was going to be a dominant sps tank and I wanted to have a lot of swimming and
hiding places for fish. The rockwork is raised up off the bottom of the tank
about 5". I used mainly Tonga shelf and branch as the base. It is
supported by 4" pvc pipe under the rockwork. I also wanted room behind the
rockwork for swimming space and circulation. I added a coast to coast external
overflow and an internal weir, approx 5' long to the back of the tank. The rock
work is about 6" away from the back glass. It rests against the internal weir
of the overflow. I tried to use as large
as liverock as possible, with several being watermelon size or larger. Most of
this was Marco rock, seeded with liverock I had already had. I also tried to
create as many holes, caves and overhangs in the rock as possible. I wanted to
have flow go in, out, under and around the rock to prevent any dead spots.
I only use MH lighting, with no supplementation. Lighting schedule is 2 MH on at 11 am, 4 on at 11:30am - 8:00 p.m., 2 MH on 8:00-8:30.
4 Lumen arc Large reflectors with Starphire glass shield
4 - 400 watt Reeflux 12k SE MH bulbs
4 - 400 watt Coralvue electronic ballast
The tank uses a skimmer and biological filtration. It has a minimum of 300 lbs of liverock. The tank is connected to 2 - 100gallon rubbermaid stock tanks both filled with liverock and coral rubble. They serve as sumps, fuges and cyrpic zones. An ARID C-30 cheato reactor was also recently added, it’s feed from the first sump using an 1262 pump. It’s lighting is reverse daylight for 11 hours. I run carbon in a BRS jumbo reactor and change it every 2-3 weeks. The skimmer is a Volcano 1864 skimmer with an 18" reaction chamber, its 64" tall, has a Dart needle wheel impeller force feed by an Alita 40 air pump and a Reeflo snapper feed pump.
Feeding and Supplementation:
Feeding is done 2-3 times a day with a mix of New Life Spectrum large and small pellets, freeze dried krill, and a mix of frozen foods, varied throughout the week. These include Rod's original, herbivore and predator foods, Larry’s reef frenzy, Rods krill plus, and PE mysis shrimp. Dried nori is also given several times a week.
The system uses only kalkwasser and water changes for supplementation. A reefiller dosing pump drips kalkwasser and RO-DI water, from 2 separate 65 gallon HDPE drums to match alk and evaporation rate. I have started iron dosing for the cheato reactor only. Water changes are done 10% every two weeks with RC salt mix, from a 65 gallon HDPE mixing station. RO-DI water is made with a 6 stage 180 gpd Spectrapure system with booster pump.