INSANE SPS nano tank!

5 Jan 2008
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Ok I am USUALLY a LPS NUT, but this tank just takes the cake!


May's nTOTM Thread- sjfishguy's SPS dominated 30 cube




" Background

I started reef keeping almost 6 years ago with some brown zoos and yellow polyps in a standard 10g in my college dorm room. I said “They are easy to keep, so I will just let them grown all over and it will look nice, I don’t want anything too complicated.” Yeah right… A few years later I was pushing the limits of nano reefs at the time by keeping maximas under PCs, SPS in small quarters, etc. I upgraded to my current 30 cube in November of 2007 so I could upgrade to halides for my SPS coloration, the PCs just were not cutting it anymore. I bought the setup as a complete setup from a local reefer, but it included very little livestock. I altered a few components, added all the livestock from my 10g (which was now 5 years old), and began to add Acroporas, something I did not attempt in the 10g.


The tank is an Oceanic 30 cube. It was the same width as my 10g, just deeper and taller, something I wanted so when I transplanted my livestock they would have room to grow up. I also wanted plenty of room for fish to swim in the front, as well as a few inches between the live rock and the back wall. I got this advice from a local reefer who suggested keeping the live rock off the back wall promotes efficient flow through the tank without creating deadspots. It has worked very well and every tank I set up in the future will have the same rockwork feature. From experience, I find that more than just a coating of sand in a nano is detrimental in the long run. Therefore, I only have enough sand to coat the bottom as I do not like the bare bottom look. I probably have 40 lbs of live rock, but I am not certain. All came from tanks that had been running for years, I would never put live rock from the ocean in one of my tanks if I could help it. I have found many diatom, cyano, hair algae, etc. cycles are eliminated if you use rock that has been in captivity for a while.

My corals are stratified in three levels, acros at the very top, medium light SPS in the middle, and LPS and zoos at closer to the bottom. This way I maximize the types of corals I can have while still meeting their lighting requirements. As you can see, it doesn’t look like three levels until you really start to examine it.

I have no sump or fuge. Not that I do not think they are useful, I just find them a hassle on small tanks and do not want to deal with it. I have never had one and had great success. I feel a large skimmer provides enough nutrient export.


My tank is lit with a Current 150W Sunpod w/ 14k Phoenix. I love the colors the Phoenix provides on the Current ballast, no actinics necessary. I also plan on replacing the bulb every two years per a recent lighting article Light Output of the Phoenix 14,000K DE MH Bulb Over Time by Allen Chantelois - My only powerhead is the SureFlo MaxiJet mod. It provides tremendous flow in my size tank and blows all other standard powerheads away. My SPS, especially my millis love it! Additional flow comes from my Aquaclear 110 that houses my chiller and Coralife Super Skimmer 65. I mounted the skimmer sidways on the Aquaclear so that the intake pump does not take up any valuable space in the tank. The output flows right onto the Aquaclear’s output so no skimmed water mixes with non-skimmed water."


Water Specs

Temp 80
Salinity 1.025
pH 8.2
Ammo, Nitrite, Nitrate, PO4= 0
Ca 450
Alk 8
Mg 1400 (Salifert)


I have four fish: a royal gramma, sixline wrasse, maroon clownfish, and a coral beauty. Although the coral beauty can be an SPS eater, I got this one from a local reefer who was breaking down his SPS tank. I have not had any problems with him other than he nips at my gorgonia’s so the polyps don’t come out anymore. I got the sixline wrasse to eradicate an infestation of zoo nudibranchs I had a few years ago and he ate every last one fo them. Below are a list of corals and inverts:

Acropora lovelli (Mike Paletta Turquoise)
Acropora millipora (ORA blue)
Acropora millipora (Nathan's green)
Acropora sp
Acropora sp (Chip's)
Acropora sp (GARF bonsai)
Acropora tenius (blue tip)
Acropora tortusa (ORA Blue)
Acropora valida
Acropora youngei (green slimer)
Blastomussa merletti
Blastomussa wellsi
Caulastrea curvata
Duncanopsamia axifuga
Fungia repanda (green)
Fungia repanda (purple)
Fungia repanda (purple rim)
Fungia sp (orange)
Hydnopora rigata (baby blue)
Montipora capricornis (green)
Montipora capricornis (orange)
Montipora danae (superman)
Montipora digitata (ORA blue polyp)
Montipora digitata (green)
Montipora digitata (orange)
Montipora monestariata
Montipora sp (pokerstar)
Muricea elongata (orange gorgonia)
Muriceopsis flavida (purple gorgonia)
Pachyclavularia violacea (GSP)
Palythoa sp (x3 morphs)
Pocillopora damicoris (purple)
Seriatapora guttatus (green)
Seriatapora hystrix (hot pink)
Trachyphillia geoffroi (green)
Trachyphillia geoffroi (red)
Turbineria peltata
Turbineria reniformis
Zoanthus sp (10 morphs)

Scarlet cleaner shrimp
Coral Banded shrimp
red serpent star
harlequin sepent star
orange coneshell hermit (hawaii)
Solid blue Tridacna maxima
Purple lined Tridacna maxima
typical snails and hermits for cleanup crew
Last edited by a moderator:
5 Jan 2008
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I love that he's got a few zoo's poking out here and there ;)


Retired Moderator
29 May 2007
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Cape Town
AWESOME! Geez - just shows you what can be done with a skimmer alone! No DSB, no sump! And this is a HANG-ON skimmer even!

WOW! Makes me wanna start re-using my 1.2 meter Jewel (no sump either) in this fashion! AWESOME!
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