February 2014 Tank of the Month
Scott Lambert's (Scotty Freddy) 228 US-gallon Reef Aquarium
Hi fellow reefers. First, I would just like to say it is an honour to be selected as TOTM for two reasons, one is that there are a lot of amazing tanks on Reef Central and I never thought my tank was in the same league as them. The other is I haven’t been a member of Reef Central for all that long so a big thanks to the people that nominated my tank. Thanks also must go to Reef Central for running such a great forum and secondly Reef Keeping Magazine for giving me the opportunity to share my tank.
My name is Scott Lambert (Scotty Freddy), I live in Australia and reside in the state of South Australia. I am 30 years of age, I run my own business and I am a proud father of 3 – Zhaine, Byron and Monique. I must admit though my biggest advantage in this great hobby of ours is my fiance’ Tammy, she is as keen about the hobby as I am which is helpful in all aspects whether its needing a hand or spending more hard earned money.
Our journey into marine aquariums started the usual way through freshwater tanks about 4 years ago but I was very intimidated by the marine tank but after a year decided it’s about time I gave it a go! We started off small with a 90 litre (24 gallons) tank as a test and all went well. Not long after we upgraded to a 400 litre (106 gallon) system and always thought that was as big as I would go with a marine aquarium.
One day whilst hunting on the internet I came across another local South Australian that some of you may already know, Rod TheReefer, whose tank has been a massive inspiration to me. The moment I saw his tank my jaw dropped, I thought to myself WOW! I’d love to own something like that one day and yep you guessed it not long after I found myself ordering our new tank. I wanted to do something different and as we had the room to run a peninsula tank. At my LFS that also build tanks, sat a 4x4x2 tank which had been gathering dust for about 2 years but was unsure if it would work as I wanted it to but with a bit of persuasion from a friend decided that was the tank for me. So we struck up a deal they cleared some room, I got a tank and with that the 4x4x2 was born.
The plan was for it to be an SPS dominated tank so stability was high on priority list but I also wanted to keep the tank as easy to maintain as possible. I found that was easy to achieve with a peninsula tank as all 3 sides of the cabinet are easily accessible, I also decided to add an extra foot of cabinet behind the tank to amount an extraction fan and to hide all the wiring, plugs for the lights and circulation pumps. A friend of mine has done all the cladding/cabinetry using magnets to secure to the steel frame and biscuits so that it slots together perfectly every time but also comes apart and slots back together with ease. As you may have read I am not the most experienced Reefer going around but I have chosen a method to run the tank as stable as possible that seems to be working fine thus far. The plan was to keep it as simple as I could and I have managed to accomplish that running GFO, refugium and activated carbon thrown in for water clarity. The end result has even shocked me to be honest I never thought it would turn out as it has but it makes all work worthwhile.
• Display Aquarium: 864L 120cm x 120cm x 60cm (48” x 48” x 24”) 228 US-gallons, 15mm base thickness, with eurobrace support
• Sump: 120cm x 60cm x 60cm (48” x 24” x 24”)
• Skimmer: Bubble King Supermarin 200
• Lighting: 8x54w ATI Powermodules x2
• Water Circulation: Tunze 6205 with 7096 multi controller x2
• Feed Pump: Bubble Blaster 5000
• Return Pump: Bubble Blaster 7000
• Heater: Schego 600w
• UV Sterilizer: DeBary 25w UV steriliser
• Reactors: x2 TLF 550 (Rowaphos and Rowacarbon)
• Dosing: Vertex Libra
• ATO: Tunze 3155
• Auxillary Power: DIY Battery Backup System
From the DT the water flows into a 30cmx18cm (12”x7”) weir with dual 1 ½” pipes and dumped into a smaller chamber, it is pushed sideways where the heater and feed pump are situated. The feed pump runs into a manifold that I made myself with inbuilt taps to adjust flow into the Rowaphos and carbon reactors, UV and chiller which I not yet needed to run. Both reactors and UV return back into the next chamber which houses the Bubble King Skimmer and must admit they have a fantastic skimmer and I will never buy anything else. From there moves on to the refugium which holds 2 pieces of LR, Caulerpa and a twin 2 T5 light, simple refugium I know but it’s doing its job so I haven’t messed with it. It moves on from there to the return pump chamber and sent back to the tank via 1” pipe that is T pieced at the top of the weir and returned out of each side of the weir with duck bill enductors. It’ s not a complicated system but the set up works well, easy to maintain and keeps the tank stable.
The choice of running T5 was influenced by a few things, a friend’s tank, research and the fact we just installed a 5.64kw solar system on our home. I run them for 9 hours full and night lights run 1 hour each side of that, so 11 hours in total. My bulb combination is 6 ATI Blue+, 4 ATI Coral+, 2 ATI Aquablue Special, 2 ATI Purple+ and 2 ATI Actinic. I am happy with my T5’s and think it was the best decision I have made in the build of this tank.
Circulation pumps are 2 Tunzes 6205 that are run by a Tunze 7096 controller. I have them set to sequential and pulse, this creates a really nice wave motion throughout the tank. The water hits the front glass and pushes its way down to the sand bed and then toward the back of the tank. With my scape being open the water flows pretty much through everywhere.
My dosing unit is a Vertex Libra and have found it to be a great unit with no issues so far. I am dosing using Randy’s recipe alkalinity, calcium and magnesium. Occasionally I hand dose potassium when it is needed but that is very rare. I have a 50cmx50cmx50cm cube split into 4 sections, 16L for alkalinity, calcium, magnesium and 70L for RO/DI top off.
Water Parameter Targets:
• Orange Shoulder Tang (Acanthurus Olivaceus)
• Gold Rim Tang (Acanthurus Nigricans)
• Purple Tang (Zebrasoma Xanthurum)
• Yellow Tang (zebrasoma Flavescens)
• One Spot Foxface (Siganus Unimaculatus)
• Picasso Onyx Clownfish Pair (Amphiprion Percula)
• 2x Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus Ocellatus)
• 2x Yellow Watchman Goby (Crytocentrus Cinctus)
• 2x Mandarin Dragonet (Synchiropus Splendidus)
• 4x Sunset Anthias (Pseudanthias Parvirostris)
• 3x Evansi Anthias (Pseudanthias Evansi)
• 3x Flavicauda Anthias (Pseudanthias Flavicauda)
• Smithvanzi Anthia (Pseudanthias Smithvanzi)
• Tuka Anthia (Pseudanthias Tuka)
• Dispar Anthia (Pseudanthias Dispar)
• Waitei anthia (Luzonichtys Waitei)
• 2x Blue Linckia Starfish (Linckia Laevigata)
• Greenfish sea cucumber (Stichopus Chloronotus)
• Coral Banded Shrimp (Stenopus Hispidus)
• 7x maxima clams (Tridacna Maxima)
• 5x Stromb snails
Maintenance & Feeding
The tank was designed so maintenance is as simple as possible, the less time you spend on that part of the hobby the more time you get to enjoy your tank and keep an eye on things. I perform weekly water changes, 3 times a month 15% and 20% once a month when I clean the sump. I use ASW and have been using the standard blue bucket of Red Sea Salt. Rowaphos only needs changing every 7-8 weeks as I find the water changes I do weekly helps keep levels down at a good level for a longer period of time. Carbon gets changed once a month and the skimmer cup emptied and cleaned every week. I magnet float the tank every second day but every week during water change I give the whole tank a hand scrub just to stay on top of things.
I am feeding morning and night as I like to keep my fish happy and healthy. I feed a mixture of large and fine frozen food but also pellets and Nori as well to try and balance out the diet for my Tangs.
I’m not feeding any coral foods or adding any special supplements, this is how I have fed my tank from day one and will continue to do so.
Well that’s all there is to know about my tank but if you have any more questions I am more than happy to answer them.
I would like to say thanks again to Reef Central, ReefKeeping Magazine and the people that nominated my tank I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to share my tank.
Massive thanks to my fiance Tammy and my 3 beautiful children, I try to involve my kids as much as possible in this hobby it’s a great thing for them to learn and every single one of them is happy to help me if I need a hand so without them it wouldn’t be possible. A big thanks to my good mate Alex Thilthorpe who has helped me throughout this whole process. My LFS MarinePlus and Milton for the great tank build, I couldn’t be happier with it as it all worked out exactly as planned. Last but not least my fellow reefing mate Shannon Payne for his great photography skills.
Thanks everyone! HAPPY REEFING!!!!
Feel free to comment or ask questions about my tank in the Tank of the Month thread on Reef Central.