March 2009 - Chris Cooper (Spides)

Congratulations to Chris Cooper on winning TOTM for March 2009 for his very well planned in wall tank.

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



As with most reefers I started off in Fresh Water. As a kid I always had the dream of having a nice in-wall reef, but A) never thought I would own a home and B) have the time and patience it would require. But … I was lucky enough to meet my wife Sarah who settled me down and after many attempts to buy a house that was suitable, we decided to build a house around the fish room 

 Current Setup 

 The current setup is my first attempt and I was lucky enough to find MASA right at the beginning and become friends with several reefers including Rod the Reefer and Tuskfish. They gave some well needed advice that saved me a lot of pain down the track, most of which centered around getting rid of the trickle setup. The tank is a 6 x 2 x 2, around 600litres and nearly 2 years old. Being located in its own room the stand didn’t have to look overly special. I build the cupboard/stand at a metre high and welded some 3 inch box steel and located them in a couple of spots underneath. If I could change one thing it would be the position of those. It has now restricted the size of my sump. 


 The sump/fuge is 750mm x 400mm x 500mm which I now wish was bigger.

 The sump/fuge is 750mm x 400mm x 500mm which I now wish was bigger.

The usual 3 compartment - Live Rock – RDSB (100mm)/MACRO Algae – Return D/T holds about 80litres of L/R and a 100mm DSB. 

The skimmer is now housed in the garage in another cupboard to help move some of the noise out of that room when the door is open.

The garage also houses a 600litre rain water tank to store NSW/ASW and an RO unit.  


Equipment List 

Eden 2800L  Pump (main return)

Eden 2800L  Pump (main return)

R/O DNW 200 Skimmer

R/O Calfusion 1300 2R Calcium Reactor

Guppys 6ft  3 x 250w Halides, Actinics and Moonlight (now chained to the ceiling)

2 x Cheapo heaters (upgrading soon)

600litre rainwater tank

Tech20 Osmosis Unit

4 x 5000l Koralia copies

GB Multi-controller

WEIPRO PH Controller

Piranha Cleaner 


9.00am          Actinics on

10.30am        Halides on

8.00pm          Halides off

10.30pm        Actinics off

Fuge is lit from 12.01am – 8.30am 



Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma Flavescens)

Singapore Angel (Chaetodontoplus Mesoleucus)

Fiji Damsel (Chrysiptera Taupou)

2 tomato clowns (Amphiprion Frenatus)

Purple Dottyback Pseudochromis (Pseudochromis Porphyreus)

Green Mandarin (Synchiropus Splendidus)

3 Chromis (Chromis Viridis)

3 Grey Damsels (id needed)

Bannerfish (Heniochys Acliminatus) 


Turbo snails (Turbo Fluctliosa)

Hermit crabs (Calcinus Laevimanus)

Dozens of Acro crabs

Black cucumber (Holothuria) – best piece of equipment I own

Tiger Tail (Holothuria)

Clam (Tridacna Maxima)



2 Cataphyillia (Cataphyillia )

1 Green Anchora (Euphyllia Ancora)

1 Green Divisia1 Lime Green Birdsnest

1 Green Fungia (Fungia Repanda)

1 Helio (Heliofungia Actiniformis)

Xenia (Xenia)

3 leathers (Sarcophyton & Sinlilaria )

2 Pink Pocillopora (Pocillopora Damicornis)

Pink, Purple and green Stylos (stylophora )

Pink Hysterix (Seriatopora Hysterix)

Cup coral (Mycedium )

Brain coral (Isophyllia Sinnosa)

Lobo (lobophyllia Hemprichit)

Plenty of Acro (unsure of their names)



Glass cleaned dailySkimmer cleaned once weeklyNot so many W/C anymore 



I constantly have Kalk dripping in the system and bump it up with Bi-Carb, Damprid and Epsom when needed (maybe once a month) 



A lot of thanks have to go to my wife Sarah for letting me spend a small fortune on my passion. Again special mentions to Rod and Michael, the MASOG members I have met on tank runs and all of the MASA members for the knowledge freely handed out. Thanks to Itzmatty & Age of Aquariums for their continued support of this award.Finally, thanks to you for taking the time to read this.