265 Gallon Mixed Reef


Reefing newb
Hi Everyone! I just wanted to introduce myself, my name is Courtney and I have been in this hobby for 2+ years and my fiance has been in the hobby for over 7 years. We have a 265 gallon mixed reef that is about 1 year old. It started with the contents of a 75 gallon and we have been slowly trying to fill in all the extra space. It is amazing how a coral that can look like a huge colony in a 75 can look like a frag in a 265! The tank was started with overdriven T-5 bulbs and a few months ago we converted one side to LEDs so we could compare the T-5s and the LEDs. We just finished converting the rest of the fixture and we are very excited about the LEDs.

Here is a little background information on our system. The display is a 265 gallon glass tank (7' x 2' x 31") and the sump is a 30 gallon glass tank. We run 2 MP40 vortechs on reef crest 100% as well as the return pump for flow. Lighting is 72 three watt LEDs, 36 Cree Royal Blues and 36 Rebel Luxeon Whites. The Blues have 40 degree optics and the Whites have 60 degree optics. They are driven by 6 dimmable Meanwell drivers and we have a potentiometer for each color to control them. We run a protein skimmer and filter sock for filtration and I do a 10 gallon daily water change with Tropic Marin Pro Reef Salt. We do not use any reactors of any kind, we rely on the water changes and a very small amount of Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium and Tropic Marin Bio-Magnesium daily to maintain our parameters. That about sums up the equipment side of our system, we try to keep things simple and effective and have found these methods give excellent results.

The livestock in the tank is still a work in progress. Some of the fish we currently have are a Powder Blue Tang, Yellow Tang, Female Crosshatch Trigger, Copper banded Butterfly, Filefish, a mated pair of Yellow Assessors, a mated pair of Maroon Gold Stripe Clownfish and several others. We still have quite a fish wish list for the tank that we are slowly working on. Corals are mostly SPS and just to name a few: ORA Joe the Coral, ORA Frogskin, Nathan's Green Milliepora, Idaho Grape Monticap, Orange Setosa, Orange Digitata, ORA Green Digitata and many other SPS frags. The LPS we have are mostly different acan lords with a few chalices as well as a basketball size colony of Purple Tip Frogspawn. The only soft corals we have are zoanthids and palythoas some of which include Red People Eaters, Candy Apple Reds and Armor of Gods to name a few.

Some daily maintenance that I do on the tank includes the 10 gallon water change, dosing the Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium and Bio-Magnesium and feeding a variety of frozen foods to the fish and corals. The fish also receive dry pellets in an auto feeder twice a day. I change the filter sock every other day and clean the skimmer collection cup and test the water parameters once a week and clean the glass as needed.

I think that about sums up everything with the tank. We try to keep everything as simple as possible and have definitely seen some amazing growth. I am very excited to see in a year or so how much more mature it will look as everything grows and fills in more.

Here are a few pictures, the full tank shot is from May 2010 and many of the coral shots are from August 2010. These pictures are all with full T-5s on the tank. I will be posting more recent pictures soon so that everyone can see how it looks with the LEDs.








That tank looks like a monster to take care of!

Doing the daily maintenance is easy, working in the tank is a bit hard. The tank is 31" deep and I am only 5'1" tall, which means I have pretty short arms. I use a pair of 10"ish forceps and can just barely reach the bottom of the tank in the front (forget the back). Sometimes I think it would be easier to buy a snorkel and just dunk my head in the tank to reach things. :mrgreen:
Welcome to the reef,too bad you have all those coral frags in there,,,,thats a nice size tank for a couple angels and triggers:wink:
There is a crosshatch trigger in there, we had a pair but lost the male. Once it is grown in we plan on putting a few angels in, that way they arent completely destroying anything.
OhNoNemo is going to love you . . .
:mrgreen:Heck yeah,and a crosshatch to boot:D.......nice.....how about a close up of that one...sorry to hear you lost one though...thas an expensive ticket item:sad:
Looking forward to watching your tank mature and your angels grow:D:sfish:
I don’t think I ever explained the water change system on this tank. I have a 20 gallon high tank that is gravity fed through a solenoid to the sump of the 265. I have a heater and powerhead in the water change tank and I add salt to this tank every day after I do a water change. The water change has gotten a bit more complex since we added our frag system but I will talk more about that in another thread. I drain 10 gallons from the sump through a hose and then I flip a switch and 10 fresh gallons drains from the water change tank into the sump. The water change tank is automatically filled through a solenoid off the RO/DI unit and float switches. Having this automated system makes doing water changes a piece of cake and actually possible. I can't imagine how long it would take me to do a 10 gallon water change a day if I had to manually fill buckets.
So I haven't had time to take any new pictures but here are some old ones I was digging through today. A few are a little more recent but everything is still with the T-5s. I figure these should work as growth shots as well. I think the only more recent one I included is a purple/green chalice (supposed to be a watermelon but I don't have any lineage on it) and I included a growth shot with it. The first pic is from end of August and the other pic is from the middle of February.



Yellow torch

Copper banded butterfly

Green Millie

Green Slimer and Xenia

Hairy Mushroom

Female Maroon Gold Strip Clown

Midas Blenny

Mixed Zoos


Orange Digi


Sun Coral

Female Crosshatch Trigger