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June 2009 - Russell Hornby (Rusty1) PDF Print

Congratulations to Russell Hornby on winning TOTM for June 2009 with his amazing reef tank!

Russell is known as Rusty1 on the RTAW Forums and you can read more about his tank in his Tank Journal .



I have been keeping fish for the last 19 years, although marines only for the last 3 years. I dabbled in a marine tank in the mid 90’s but failed dismally and still feel I am relatively new to this hobby and have much to learn. My current tank is my 3rd reef tank, with my first been a 3 x 18 x 18 on a 600mm high stand and a canister filter. I thought, like many, I could do this cheaply and take some short cuts. I was quick to learn that 1. Nothing in this hobby happens quickly and 2. You can not take short cuts. I upgraded my stand to a 900 high, got rid of the canister and started to follow advice offered here on MASA to improve my set up. I outgrew the 3 ft and when a fellow MASQ member pulled down there 4x2x2.5 I upgraded again for the 2nd time in 8 months.

I kept this tank for the next 14 months but everything I bought I made sure suited a larger tank as I knew this is what I wanted. The current tank has been in operation since October last year and has had 1 move. I will finally build my dream tank in the 2nd half of next year when we finally move back into our own home. It will be a 7x3x2.2 in wall. I am also looking forward to watching this tank grow out over the next 12 – 18 months with no more moves planned. I know my long suffering fellow MASQ members are looking forward to no more moves either!!!


Current Setup:


I currently run a 6x2x2 on a steel stand which I cladded myself. I chose a 6x2x2 as I knew I would have to move and this was about as large a tank that could be moved reasonably easy and fit into most houses. I looked around for quite sometime not rushing the purchase when Mark (Bill on the forums) decided to have babies instead of fish. The tank was built by Dennison of MaryAnne’s Aquariums and has a centre weir. The overflow runs 1 x 20mm straight syphon with a 40mm back up durso. Mark built the stand himself which I modified to utilise all the room underneath. It stands at 1020 high. A frag tank sits next to the display giving the total system approx 800ltrs of water. The tank has approx 40000lph turnover and the frag tank 15000lph.

The sump is purpose built and houses a refugium and a DSB. It is 85cm x 55cm x 45cm with the baffles at 30cm. It is the racetrack design and was again built by Dennison. The return pump is a 10000lph Quite 1 copy which runs through the chiller, tee’d off to the frag tank and then to my display. It is kept company by ATO sump which holds 100 litres, my Turbo CR, Co2 bottle and the MS skimmer. I also run a FBF for phosphate reduction. This sits in the ATO sump as I have run out of room underneath. The chiller sits under the frag tank which is an open pine stand. This allows the heat to escape reasonable easily.

Equipment List:

Marine Sources Skimmer MS-A-200-6540 duel pump recirc model.

Quite1 Copy 10000lph return pump.

WeirPro 1000 watt Titanium heater

Halia 1HP Chiller

Reef Octopus Phosphate Reactor

3x250watt and 1 x 400watt Lumenarc Mini reflectors with electronic ballasts.

6 x 39watt T5’s

Profilux, which controls lights, temperature, ATO and Fans.

2 x MP40W Vortechs

1 x Tunze 6060

2 x Hydor Copy power heads.

1 x Polario 15000 powerhead (Fragtank)

Turbo Calcium Reactor filled with Coral rubble and controlled by the Mercury Aqua PH Controller.



I have around 120Kgs of live rock with 100kg in the tank and 20kg in the sump. I grow macro on the rocks in my sump and have a DSB 45cm x 25cm x 25cm deep in the back half of the sump. I also run Purigen and Ozone to give the tank water a nice clean appearance and optimum light penetration. There is a very shallow sand bed in the main display and no sand in the frag tank.


Clean the front glass 2 – 3 times a week

Empty skimmer cup weekly (should be 2 times a week...)

200 litre water change once a week if I have the time. Have been a bit diligent on this trying to reduce nitrate to 0.

Pick up Corals that may have become dislodged (Daily)



The main lighting consists of 2 x 250 and 1 x 400 Metal Halide lights. I use the Lumenarc mini reflectors and the Ballasts are 2nd hand digital 1’s. I run 6 x 39 watt T5’s with 4 actinic blue lamps and 2 x 10K white lamps. I have a fishbowl Innovations moonlight computer which runs faultlessly with the moon cycle.

2 x T5’s with Actinics turn on at
7.15am with the Balance of the T5’s on at 1PM. The MH lights all come on at 2pm and off at 8.30PM. I run these times so I get to enjoy my tank when I get home from work. The 4 T5’s then go off at 9PM and the last 2 at 9.30PM. The sump light comes on at 9.15PM and off at 7AM. The moonlights run from 9.15PM till 6.30AM.


Fish List:

Paracanthurus hepatus – Blue Tang

Acanthurus japonicas- Powder Brown Tang

Ctenochaetus strigosus- Kole Tang

Zebrasoma xanthurum- Purple Tang

Centropyge loricula- Flame Angel

Centropyge bispinosus- Coral Beauty

Neocirrhites armatus- Flame Hawk

Calloplesiops altivelis- Marine Beta or Comet.

5x Pseudanthias dispar- Dispar Anthias

2 x Chromis viridis – Blue Green Chromis

3 x Amphiprion percula- Percula Clowns

Labroides dimidiatus- Cleaner Wrasse

P. paccagnellae- Royal Dottyback.



Lysmata wurdemanni- Peppermint Shrimp (Not sure how many now)

1 x Pair Lysmata amboinensis- Redline Cleaner Shrimp

Turbo Snails

Linckia laevigata- Blue Star Fish


Stylophora.sp – Stylo’s

Acropora.sp – Acro’s

Pocillopora. Sp

Montipora.sp – Monti’s

Polyphyllia – Tongue Coral, Slipper Coral

Cycloseris sp. – Plate/Mushroom Coral

Fungia – Plate/Mushroom Coral.

Heliofungia – Green Plate Coral

Euphyllia sp. – Torch Coral/Hammer/Anchor

Catalaphyllia sp. – Elegance Coral

Plerogyra – Bubble Coral

Trachyphyllia – Trachy’s

Acanthastrea sp. – Acans

Blastomussa sp.

Lobophyllia sp – Lobos

Cynarina sp.

Duncanopsammia – Duncan’s

Zoanthus sp. – Zoos

Corallimorpharia – Morphs

Lobophytum sp – Devil’s hand.




I was very surprised to win TOTM for my tank. I still feel like I am very new to this hobby and to win this with so, so many great tanks on RTAW is a great honour. Firstly I would like to thank my family for allowing me to pursue this hobby. All those trips where I would say “I just have to call in here on the way” and they would end up sitting around while I chatted or looked at tanks/stock. I would also like to thank everyone who has contributed over the last 3 years but in particular some of the MASQ guys that have been very instrumental in getting me this far. Tone (Tony Fendt), 57Sherro (Pete Sherrington), Stevemg (Steve) all were a great help in the early days and without their help, guidance and generosity I would have probably thrown it in ages ago. More recently people such as AusMadDog (Tony), StripestheEel (Matt),  Discus GC (Mark), Blags(Pete) and many, many other MASQ members who have either helped with Frags, or one of my many moves have helped me in some way to get to this point. For that, I thank you all.

Lastly, I would like to thank the RTAW community as whole for the advice freely offered and help when you inevitably run into a problem. Tanks such as Rod the Reefer’s have been an absolute inspiration and I hope one day to inspire others with my own tank.

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