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June 2011 - Tone PDF Print

Congratulations Tony on winning TOTM for June 2011 with your inspirational reef tank.
Tony is known simply as Tone on the RTAW forums and you can find out more about his tank in his tank journal.


Firstly, thankyou to all of the reefing buddies and peers who have voted in sympathy for me – I could have become a lot more mean in the forums, LOL. Truthfully, it is once again humbling to find myself in the great company of the many excellent TOTM’s that have preceded this award. Among them are many true reef-nerds, neurotics, and reef addicts in far worse condition than myself.

We begin somewhere around 1993. After many visits to my local LFS located only a few hundred metres from home, my LFS guy convinced me that freshwater species would be better off if I changed to marine. Believe it or not, in Australia those were very much the pioneer days of marine aquaria … just keeping fish alive for more than a week was an accomplishment. 

There was scant information available online back then and only if you had access to academic search engines. It would be fair to say that worldwide the hobby was in the embryo stage of development. So I bumbled along with my LFS guy trying to make sense of things.

1998 was a Rubicon year in my discovery of Reef Central and then RTAW which was still a text based bulletin board … what a relief to discover that it wasn’t just myself and my LFS guy decimating the wild-caught marine livestock. Along with a few other hardnuts we established MASQ in 2000/ 2001 which has grown into arguably the biggest and most active Marine Aquaria society in the country. Well done to the crew that keeps it going.




Things developed along with the advancement in equipment through a plethora of 3’ tanks to a 5’ter and then the 2000L system around March 2007. The mega-tank plan had been with me for a few years and so I had collected an array of pumps, lights, skimmers, etc., to get going … most of which were now outdated and useless before I started.

So here we are;


Biotope -               Reef-crest / Reef-face / Bommie


System Volume -   Aproximately 2000L maximum


Tank -                    2.85m wide x 0.90m deep x 0.75m high, euro-braced and 3 x cross braces.


                                       Custom built by Dennison of Mary-Anne's Aquariums, Brisbane.


Stand -                  75mm x 25mm RHS Duragal framing with 25mm x 25mm infill framing, custom

                             built by Ri-Co Engineering.


                                      Recycled timber cladding, open faces.


Weir -                    Full depth end weir, 300mm in width.

                                      40mm Durso standpipe, 40mm intake for closed loop,

                                      40mm emergency overflow.


Sump -                  450mm x 600mm x 450mm tall.

                                      Profilux Opti-level sensor controlling the RO storage sump pump.


Return Pump -      Laguna 16000 fed to perimeter return loop with 8 x 3/4" outlets.

                                      Manifold diverts partial return through the chiller and carbon reactor.


Refugium -           900mm x 450mm x 450mm tall connected to the sump.

                                     Refugium designed in the 'race' style based on A. Calfo's coral propogation tanks.

                             4 x 39W x 10,000k T5 lighting in anti-cycle.Natural mud & Caulerpa.Small DSB

                            in separate compartment.



Cryptic Zone -     Weir doubles as a CZ due to its large size.


Lighting -           LED:  5 x Inwatter 120W LED units    

                          Florescent:  2 x 2 x 54W Ozram ballasts.

                                            4 x 54W x 20,000k Aquaz Pro-Blue.

                          Moonlights: LunarTracker auto lunar cycle – 5 LED


Lighting Cycle - LED  – 12 hours

                          T5 Florescent – 12 hours


Skimmer -        ATB Deluxe ‘Normal’ size up to 3,000L


Water Movement - Closed Loop  -  Sequence Barracuda pump.

                                                     Ocean Motions 8-Way, 8 x 1” outlets feed to 2 banks of 4 x ¾” Locline

                                                     multi-directional nozzles fitted in bulkheads through the wall of the

                                                     weir.Runs 12 hours per day, off at night.


Wavemaking -   2 x Ecotec Marine Vortec MP40W

                          3 x Tunze 6100

                          1 x Tunze 6250

                          1 x Tunze Wavebox (no extension)


Make-up water - PSI Custom RO/DI water filter, +250L per day.

                           Aquatec pressure booster pump controlled by solenoid and a float level switch located

                           in the RO storage sump.

                           220L RO reservoir – lasts 7 to 10 days on average.



Climate Control - Kelvinator 7kw Inverter split unit.


Chiller -              Aquaone 1200


System Controller - Profilux 3e

                                          •    pH monitoring.

                                          •    ORP monitoring.

                                          •    Temperature monitoring.

                                          •    Management of chiller.

                                          •    Management of heaters.

                                          •    Control of fans.

                                          •    Management of LED lights.

                                          •    Opti-level return water level management.

                                          •    Management of display water circulation.

                                          •    Other things I know nothing of.


Calcium Reactor - Decommissioned in favour of 3-part dosing regime.


Ozone -              50mg/hr continuous through skimmer.


UV -                   80W – seldom used now.


Test kits -          I generally prefer Salifert above others although the LaMotte Alkalinity kit that I use is


                          Phosphate – Hanna low range photometer.

                          Alkalinity – Hanna Checker and LaMotte.

                          Calcium – Hanna Checker enroute.

                         ORP is monitored by the Profilux 3e.

                         Fe, Sr, and Mg - Salifert

                         Don’t measure ammonia, nitrite or nitrate … long past that stage.

Miscellaneous - 2 x 750W Standby power generators.



Livestock -     Fish (25) or so

                                       5    Pseudanthias sp    assorted Anthias

                                       1    Cirrhitichthys falco    Dwarf Hawkfish

                                       1    Centropyge loricula    Flame Angelfish

                                       1  Centropyge aurantia    Golden Angelfish

                                       1    Centropyge potteri    Potters angelfish

                                       1    Pomacanthus xanthometopon    Blueface Angelfish

                                       2    Amphiprion melanopus    Red & Black Anemone Fish

                                       1    Coris gaimard    Yellowtail Coris

                                       1    Psuedocheilinus hexataenia    Sixline Wrasse

                                       1    Microcanthus strigatus    Stripey

                                       1    Cirripectes stigmaticus    Reticulated blenny ?

                                       1    Atrosalarius fuscus holomelas    Brown Coral Blenny

                                       1    Siganus vulpinus    Foxface Rabbitfish

                                       1    Siganus vigatus    Virgate or Scribbled Rabbitfish

                                       1    Acanthurus pyroferus    Mimic Surgeonfish

                                       2    Paracanthurus hepatus    Pacific Blue Tang

                                       1    Zebrasoma scopas    Scopas Tang

                                       1    Zebrasoma xanthurum    Purple Tang  






                                       Lysmata amboinensis    Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp

                            Sea Stars    

                                       Linckia laevigata    Blue linckia

                            Sea Cucumbers    

                                       Holothuria hilla    Tiger tail

                            Soft Corals    

                                       Xenia spp.    Pulsing Xenia    

                                       Lobophytum spp.    Green Leather Coral    

                                       Cladiella sp.    Finger Leather Coral


                                       Heteractis crispa    Sebae Anemone


                                       Protopalythoa spp.       Green Zoanthids        

                                                                         Pink Zoanthids        

                                                                         Orange Zoathids    

                                      Protopalythoa vestitus   Button polyps


                                      Discosoma spp.    Mushroom Coral    

                                      Rhodactis sp.    Hairy Mushroom Coral    

                                      Ricordea yuma    



                            Hard Corals    

                                       Pocillora damicornis    Pink, Green, Magenta    

                                       Seriatopora hystrix    Birds nest     

                                       Acropora grandis    Staghorn acropora    

                                       Acropora formosa    Staghorn acropora    

                                       Acropora nobilis    Staghorn acropora    

                                       Acropora austera    Branching acropora    

                                       Acropora nasuta    Cluster acropora    

                                       Acropora granulosa    Bottlebrush acropora    

                                       Acropora clathrata    Table acropora    

                                       Acropora millepora    Cluster acropora    

                                       Acropora gemmifera    Cluster acropora    

                                      Montipora verrucosa    Encrusting montipora    

                                      Montipora efflorescens    Encrusting montipora    

                                      Montipora sp.    Plating montipora    

                                      Porites lichen    Plating jewel coral    

                                      Porites sp.    Boulder coral    

                                      Fungia sp.    Disk coral    

                                      Lobophyllia hemprichii    Lobed brain coral    

                                      Caulastrea furcata    Candy Cane / Trumpet coral    

                                      Favites sp.    Moon coral    

                                      Platygyra daedalea    Brain coral    

                                      Catalaphyllia jardenei    Elegance coral    

                                      Plerogyra sinuosa    Bubble coral

                                      Duncanosammia    Wiskers coral



Natural Filtration - Around 200kg of Live rock. Some of the LR has been in my tanks since my

                               first days in reefing.


Deep Sand Bed -   100mm to 300mm deep made up of mainly Calgrit Fine Calcium feedstock, 40kg of

                              Fiji Pink, and 10kg of 3mm marble chip in high flow areas.

                             Next time around I would not use the marble chip nor the Fiji-Pink as the silica in

                             the aggregates scratches the display glass.

                             The high water flow tends to move the bed around a bit creating areas of

                             exception depth and other areas bare.

                             Top up with a cup or so of mangrove mud every so often.


Water Parameters - Temperature Range    25.3C – 27C. Average 26.1C    

                                Salinity    1.025    

                                pH    8.05 – 8.3     

                                Alk    9.2 – 10.8 dKh    

                               Ca    420 - 450 ppm    

                               Mg    +/- 1750 ppm    

                               Sr    12 ppm – rarely measured    

                               Nitrate    Not measured    

                               Phosphate    0.08 – 0.12 ppm


Additives & Conditioners - 3-Part Dosing with Kamoer 7-station dosing pump    

                                           Alkalinity – Focus ‘pHBuffer’ swimming pool chemical  +100ml per

                                           day, 840g in 10L of RO water    

                                           Calcium – Calcium chloride hexahydrate or Focus Calcium swimming pool

                                           chemical +100ml per day, 735g in 10L of RO water    

                                           Magnesium chloride hexahydrate also use Kent Marine Tech-M to

                                           check bryopsis        

                                           Probiotics - ProdiBio    

                                                      Bioptim – 6 vials per week

                                                      Biodigest – 6 vials per week

                                                      ReefBooster – 1 vial per week    

                                           Vodka / Sugar / Vinegar  -  Currently suspended    

                                           Phosphate Remover Lo-Chlor ‘Starver’    40ml per day in a 100ml solution

                                           of RO water dosed into the skimmer intake and discharged into a

                                           100um sock    

                                           Brightwell Iodine     1ml x twice per week    

                                           Brightwell Strontium     1ml x twice per week    

                                           Koralien-zucht Coral Snow    I dosing per week    

                                           Koralien-zucht ZEOzym    1 dosing per fortnight    

                                           Phol’s B-Balance    1ml x twice per week    

                                           Phol’s K-Balance    1ml x twice per week    

                                           Phol’s XTRA special    1 ml x twice per week    

                                          Granular Activated Carbon Carbon Technologies    2L of granular in a reactor

                                          powered off the return line changed once per month.



Husbandry -   Generally, I spend ½ to 1 hour a day messing with the tank.    

                       Water changes  -  200L / 4 - 6 Weeks    

                       Clean glass  -  Once per week    

                       Vacuum sand bed  -  Never – high water motion plus Coris wrasse to keep sand surface


                       Clean skimmer  -  Overflow cup drained daily. Neck washed twice per week.    

                       Change GAC  -  2L per month


Pet hate? -    I hate Bryopsis!


What would I do different? -   I wish I had purchased my own power station when Queensland

                                                 Government sold them off.


Observations -   A united and strong representative hobby organisation is hugely useful in peddling

                          influence to protect our natural marine environment and our access to it for the

                          longevity of the pleasure it brings to us.

                          I would encourage more technical standardisation of setups – less ‘Robinson Crusoe’

                          approaches to setting up and maintaining a captive marine environment.

                          I would also encourage reefers to adopt the natural ‘pure’ methods in establishing and

                          maintaining a reef tank and its inhabitants … think more ‘biotope’ for aquascaping and

                          livestock selections.


And finally, but not least - Thanks to my many buddies in MASQ who have been supportive over the

                                           years and pretended to listen when I have had something to say.Also thanks

                                           to the many RTAW supporters and other MASx reefers whose banter I

                                           continue enjoy.


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