September 2009 - Jason Angel (jason angel)

Congratulations to Jason Angel on winning TOTM for September 2009 with his little box of colour.

Jason is known as jason angel on the RTAW Forums and you can read more about his tank in his Tank Journal.



Firstly, i would like to say what a great honour it is to be nominated, and win September 2009 TOTM! It has been a goal of mine for a long time now, and i am very pleased to be able to show off my tank.Anyway, I started keeping freshwater fish around 6-7 years ago, and moved into saltwater about 3 years ago, after my friend setup a saltwater tank, and wanted some advice. I was hooked as soon as i saw his sumpless, coral-less FOWLR setup. The color of the fish attracted me in, but the corals have kept me here.

Current Setup

My tank is a 4'x2'x2', approx 400 ltrs total water volume. As it is an fairly managable tank, easily moved when empty by two persons, and also i already had this tank, and retrofitted it for reefing. The strike up date for this system was 31.08.08  My stand is made of timber, based around four 100mmx100mm legs. I made it myself, and every join is glued, then screwed together for maximum strength. It consists of a black skirt around the stand, this serves two purposes;

It allows easy sump maintenance, and can be raised up on all four sides in summer for extra ventilation.

Sump & refugium

950mm long x 500mm high x 450mm wide. I designed the sump my self, and had it made by the local tank maker. I made it as big as could possibly fit under my stand, and as simple as i could. My sump consists of 3 parts; overflow compartment, a settling trap/refugium in the center, and return section on the right. I am a firm believer that the easier aquairium components are to clean, the more likely you are to clean it, so the sump has no skinny bubble traps etc. and all areas are easily syphoned or scrubbed clean.


My tank is based around a lot of filtration.Approx 50kg's of liverock and a 100mm DSB (in display) are utilized for biological filtration along with a settling refugium where macro algae is grown and regularly harvested.I also run a large protein skimmer, and all water not syphoned directly into skimmer from overflow, goes through a 200 micron filter sock, that is changed every 2-3 days.I also run an FBF (fluidised bed filter), that usually contains 250grams of 3mm extruded pellet activated carbon, but i am currently trialling Julian Sprung's Phosban, with good results.

I run a fairly large external protein skimmer. It's a Marine Sources unit, model MS-A-200-2-6540.My skimmer is fed directly from my weir, via a 25mm syphon.It is a great unit, and produces masses of black skimmate. It is rated at 2500ltrs, but really well suited to my 500ltr tank that is super heavily stocked. 

Water Flow

My return pump is a an MJ-6500, rated at 5000lph.In tank powerheads consist of 2 x JVP-202 (12,000lph), and 1 x JVP5000 (5000lph).



My lighting consists of 2 x 250w DE metal halides, (14K), 4 x 54w T5's, (2 x 10k, 2 x actinic 480nm).Photoperiod;T5's = 0930 - 2130MH = 1130 - 1930 


I use an Aquamedic neavumat SP3000 system for evaporation top up, fed via a 60 ltr RO/DI reservoir.This is used in conjunction with an aquamedic KS1000 kalkstirrer, and all evaporation top-up water is saturated kalkwasser, as all top up passes through kalkstrirrer prior to entering the system.This provides many advantages to utilizing a calcium reactor alone including; 1) It provides a balanced calcium and alkalinity supplementation to my reef system,2) It precipitates phosphates out of the reef systems water, so that they can be harvested by my protein skimmer.3) an more 'normal' pH, as a Ca reactor alone typically lowers my system to aroun 7.9-8.0 pH4) provides system with (a maximum of) 1.26grams of calcium carbonate per litre of kalkwasser added. :)

I run a dual chamber Acryllic Oceans Calcium reactor for my calcium and alkalinity supplementation, flowing around 10ml/min.


150grams of Julian Sprung's Phosban run in a FBF, changed every 8-10 weeks.I used to run Rowaphos, ( 2 tablespoons addeds to 250grams of GAC in FBF), but am currently trialling the Julian Sprung product, with great results.  

30% water change performed every 4-6 weeks. Protein skimmer collection cup cleaned weekly.Front viewing panel cleaned daily.Coralline algae scraped off all walls when required, not only looks cleaner, but coralline algae also consumes a maximum potential of 4kg's of calcium carbonate per square meter per year!


Water parameters

pH: 8.31* (lights on) 8.12* (lights off) (* = average)Alk: 9.3dKh or 3.32meq/l or 166.07 ppm CaCO3Calcium: 420ppmPhosphate (Po4): 0.010ppm (hanna meter) Magnesium: 1350ppmNitrates: undetectableAmmonia: undetectable 


2 x Zebrasoma flavescens (yellow tang)

1 x Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (sixline wrasse)

1 x Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus (pixy hawkfish)

1 x Ctenochaetus binotatus (bristletooth tang) 


Acropora Secale

Acropora hyacinthus

Acropora Tortuosa

Acropora Valida

Acropora Clathrata

Acropora Awi

Acropora Nobilis

Acropora Pulchra

Acropora Tenuis

Acropora secale

Acropora Selago

Acropora granulosa

Acropora Speciosa

Acropora Loripes

Acropora Robusta

Acropora millepora

Acropora aculeus

Acropora kirstyae

Acropora yongei

Acropora abrolhosensis

Acropora loisetteae

Acropora sp.

Stylophora sp.

Pocillopora damicornis

Seriatopora Hystrix

Montipora Capricornis

Montipora nodosus

Montipora peltiformis

Montipora sp.

Trachyphyllia geoffroyi

Echinophyllia aspera

Acanthastrea lordhowensis

Zoanthus sp.

Sarcophyton sp.

Ricordia Yuma



Tubastrea aurea

Duncanopsammia axifugarhodactis 


5 x Tridacnid Maxima

1 x Stenopus hispidus - (Coral banded shrimp) 


I would like to make a big thanks to RTAW, and all it's fantastic, and helpful members. Before i found RTAW, i was really struggling to find the information i required.I would also like to thank the many asscociated sponsors of RTAW, and the TOTM/TOTY competition, as without you guys, these competitions wouldn't happen!Also i would recommend to all you reefers out there that have not joined their local MASX to do so ASAP, as i have learnt a great deal from MASOV members, and seen many great reeftanks in the 'flesh', a real inspiration, and actually see how others do it. And last but not least, a massive thanks goes to the many LFS's i have regularly frequent to obtain livestock, and a good chat, including WILLIAMSTOWN AQUARIUM, REEFLECTIONS, SECA MARINE LIFE, & MENTONE AQUARIUM.Without you guys getting such GREAT livestock, my reef wouldn't be half what it is today! Thanks guys, Keep the good SPS coming!