mmreefcrazy Featured Reef

Mark Mikina [mmreefcrazy]
120 g Oceanic Tech

(Click on Image for larger Image)

Thank you Chicago Reefs for being chosen this month as a featured tank.It is a great honor as there are a lot of beautiful tanks in Chicago area.Since joining this forum I made few friends and got some great advice regarding this hobby.This is a great forum ,where people can say anything almost without being afraid of being banned.Keep it going. I have kept fish for as long as I can remember.Started with freshwater 10 gal tank. As I got older I got bigger tank and started to keep Discus.About two and a half years ago I finally made jump to saltwater.Never looked back.First 37 gal.tank only lasted 3 months,before upgrading to RR 65 gal.,That I had for close to a year.After that it was already to small for me and I upgraded to my current Oceanic Tech 120 gal. tank.I was always impressed by colorful SPS corals,and this tank was set up ,so I could keep them.

First it was a matter of lighting.I used MH in my previous 65 gal. and never cared for them.Also wanted to cut down on heat and have greater control over color,so I got Tek Light T5 8x54W fixture.I use mostly ATI bulbs,as they're superior as far as color and PAR.I change my bulbs every 6 months,to keep them in top condition.

front to back:
ATI Blue Plus
KZ Fiji Purple
KZ New Generation
ATI Blue Plus
ATI Aquablue Special
ATI Blue Plus
KZ New Generation
ATI Blue Plus

First 4 bulbs ( sunrise,sunset) on 10AM-10PM,rest of bulbs 1PM-7PM.

2. Filtration

For filtration I use 35 gal. sump with over sized skimmer Vertex-IN 180.To keep my Nitrates and Phosphates very low, I use reactor with bio pellets.It is working miracles in my tank.Also I keep small amount of carbon in reactor changed monthly.I do 10% water change every month.For return pump I use Eheim 1262.Those are great pumps,no noise at all,very little heat and never a problem restarting.


As this tank was set up mainly for SPS corals,I knew I need good amount of flow in my tank.I set up my aquascape as two islands in the middle of tank,so water can flow around rock very easily.Originally I used six powerheads to provide good flow ,but I made change and got Vortech pumps.Only need two of those.Great powerheads, nothing like this on the market right now.My corals are very happy, always great polyp extension.

4.Feeding and maintenance

Keeping SPS corals requires clean water free of nutrients.I use RO/DI water every time.Salt of my choice is Red Sea Coral Pro.Since bio pellets work so good for me I need to feed my tank more often than most people do. To keep my fish and coral happy I feed 2-3 times daily.I use mostly combination of frozen formulas,live brine and blackworms and dry pellets.Also feed nori sheets to my tangs.I feed my corals heavy 2 times a week with cyclop-eeze.They love it. Also dose Coral Amino 10 drops every second day and Lugol's 2 drops every three days.Dosing Calcium and Alkalinity is done with 2 part from BRS,using their dosing pumps controlled by RKL controller.Right now I use about 100 ml.of each daily.


Most people looking at my tank wonder how I can keep so many fish and SPS together.For most, my tank is overstocked and my corals should be all browned out.Again oversized skimmer and biopellets allowed me to do just this.

My fish list:
purple tang (-Zebrasoma xanthurus)
tomini tang (-Ctenochaetus tominiensis)
regal tang (-Paracanthurus hepatus)
royal gramma (-Gramma loreto)
blacktop basslett (-Gramma melacara)
randall's goby (-Amblyeleotris randalli)
yellow wrasse (-Halichoeres chrysus)
lyretail anthia (-Pseudanthias squamipinnis)
yellowtail damsel (-Chrysiptera parasema)
vanderbilt's chromis ( -Chromis vanderbuilti)
scizortail chromis (- Neopomacentrus bankieri)
starki damsel (-Chrysiptera starcki)
2x clown fish (-Amphiprion ocellaris)

6.Corals and inverts

I have more than 40 different SPS species and I don't know all of them by name. Mostly Acropora,Montipora,Pocillopora of different colors and forms.I do have collection of LPS,like Acans,Blastomussas and Brain corals.I have one Derasa Clam that is growing big. Few hermit crabs and snails for cleaning crew.One Fire shrimp and one Cleaner shrimp.Also a tuxedo urchin.

7.Ending thoughts

This is a very rewarding hobby.I love to come home after a long day at work and be able to relax in front of my tank.Also having a small piece of ocean in my home is great.If I could offer some advice I would say: keep things simple,don't over think it.Take your time,don't rush.Stick with something that is working for you,don't chase every new gimmick,but don't be afraid to experiment a little.Problems are part of this hobby and always have a plan just in case. In the end I would like to thank every member of this forum for opportunity to display my tank and for every great piece of advice.And of course to my wife who is very understanding,and puts up with a lot.Thank you baby,I love you very much.