Reef Keeper's Humble 100 gal

Reef Keeper

Reefing newb

I'm always on the look out for healthy / showy / unusual SPS frags and LPSs for my 100 gallon tank. I'm raising them with the intention of putting them back into the DBTC program. Currently, I have some Acros, some Chalices, a Hydno, some Montis, a Yellow Turbinaria (I rescued and is coming back slowly) along with some other nice stonies, LPSs, and Softies. My current tank is approaching 2 years old and is perfectly healthy. Some of what I have in there is from my other tank I had for apx 10 years before transferring them to this one such as my Tang, Green Bubble and Candy Canes.

Here's a link to an older post with my wish list. Take a look if you're interested.

You can check out some of my pics on our gallery:

Also, you can scroll down to post #3 for picture evolution of this current set up too.

Note: "Special Thanks" goes out to Jeremy who, initially, helped me lay out the equipment plan for this set up, and who continues to make suggestions and recommendations to keep my tank and critters vital. Thank you Jeremy.

2 x 175w Reeflux 20k SE MH - Purchased at & Fired by PFO Pulse Start Magnetic Ballast (it's a beast)- Purchased at Custom (These people really know what their doing) Thx Jeremy

2 x 110W URI Super Blue Actinics, Fired by Ice Cap's 660 Ballast - Both Purchased at Custom

1- 48" 59W T5 Super Blue Actinic From Commodity (current moon light: waiting for R2 Dual Extreme lunar lights and Controller from Best Pet Then T5 will be serve as interim light between URI Super Actinics and Lunars.

R2 Dual Extremes and R2 Lunar Controller arrived today 8/28/09 - From them. Nice shimmering blue LEDs and the R2 Controller is totally adjustable in all three modes. Pictures to follow. Saw my Favia night feed (I mean really going at it) for the first time. I'm a happy reefer now.

Reef Octopus 150NW Protein Skimmer equipped with their OTP2000 pump, from Custom

40 gallon sump - Purchased from Pet Club not Petco. Note: Petco frequently has super fast Fed-Ex Free Shipping with small orders, which has saved me some money. Petco has a great return policy, a good website and great customer service too, about as good as Dr.s Foster and Smith; and no I am not being paid by anyone to plug any of my equipment.... But I know you knew that.

7 gallon Hex Fuge with 4" DSB, - Given to me by Jeremy of Coastal Aquatics Lit by Coralife Mini Aqua 9", 9W True Act and 9W 10k PC (grows nice coralline algae on live rock, Chaeto loves it to; and it driving my little buggers wild too) Circulation provided by Maxi-Jet MP1200, rated at 295GPH-20W purchased from Previous 10 gallon DIY Fuge made by Vince of Aquatic World (now out of business), but it leaked, so now it's in the trash: A $200 piece of garbage, (looked good that's all - nuff said).

TLF Phosban Reactor Purchased from

2 Drew's Dosing Pumps From Bulk Reef Supply. One for dosing Alkalinity and the other for dosing Calcium.

1/4 H/P Eco Plus Chiller. Purchased from Plant Lighting - Will say P.L.H. had the best deal on these when I made my purchase. The chiller in not terribly noisy, and although I estimate it to cost me apx $20 or so per month to operate it, I haven't noticed the difference in my bill largely, because I don't run the actinics at the same time as I run the Halides (in cost cutting mode and tank doesn't seem to miss em on at the same time...) The Chiller is being powered by a Via Aqua 3600 Circulation Pump - Purchased at The pump moves approximately 1057 GPH, uses 80 Watts and has been extremely reliable and very quiet.

Main Circulation Pump is Ocean Rummer 3500 made by Aqua Medics, Purchased from Custom Pushes apx 900GPH and uses apx 65 watt p/h. I have a Aqua Via 4800 to replace this eventually that is rated at apx 1400gph and uses apx 85 watts.

In tank circulation pumps are Koralia 2 #4s and 1 #3. I only have 2 of the number 4s turned on until my anemones settle in more. There is way too much flow with them all on. I'm planning to run either 1#3 and 1# 4 or 2 #4s. Time and more experimenting needed. With all three, and including the main return on, they're pusing apx 4100 gph or 41x turnover (only slightly overkill. If not for the anems, would have all three on) Don't use Koralia's AC version on any tiimers, controllers or wavemakers, as they sometimes spin backwards and wont work they way you want them to. Trust me. If anyone has a good wavemaker system that works with the AC versionpost it here on this thread. Koralia, made by Hydor, strongly advises not to use them on wavemakers; and not just so they can sell their $400 plus DC version which looks pretty sweet if you have the money.

If your interested in the other circulation pumps I'm using, feel free to ask on this thread. Note: Nothing special to write home about.

I only use R/O for WC and / or Distilled for top off (I make it myself). I make 5-10% WCs twice a week. I target feed Reef Nutrition's Oyster Feast, Rotifers, EOS Phytoplankton, Seachem's Fuel, Liquid Life Bio Plankton, Mysis, Cyclopez, and Flake daily and rotate feeding routine daily. I check Trace Elements and water quality a few times a week (I don't like surprises)

The tank has apx a 4" DSB (apx 170lbs), apx 200 lbs of aged live rock and 9 fish 1 of which I've had 10 years (Yellow Tank- Sunshine):

Fish Family:

Yellow Tang (Purchased 12/1998)
Anthias - Huchtii
Amphiprion Ocellaris
Blue Damsel
4 Stripe Damsel
Blue/Green Chromis
Flame Angel, (Traded 11/01/09)

That's it (glad I did this exercise, so I have it all in one place now yea).

Let me know if you have any questions, concerns or corals you think I would be interested in.

Also, I am interested in meeting "Tank Buddies (?)"at the meetings, so we can discuss caring for each others' tanks when we are on vacation or ill (that kind of stuff). I have someone very good and well trained by me when I travel, whose taken care of my tanks for years now, but you never know, people move and that kind of stuff. So I'm interested in meeting like minded persons. Word of caution: My wife is very particular (even more than I am) who she would consider; hopefully you are too.

Here is the Welcome/Introduction link / node with some information about me: New Member Area/Introduce yourself thread | Bay Area Reefers. I'm about 1/2 way down the page.

Thank you reading this and the consideration,
Reef Keeper

PLEASE ENJOY MY RAMBLINGS AND PROCESS (You can follow this thread by clicking on the link below to "Joel's Journal 'Mini Forum'."

Joel's Tank Journal(s) "Mini Forum" For Discussions | Bay Area Reefers

There, you can post comments and exchange communications - if you care to. I appreciate your comments, insights and suggestions. Enjoy!


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Okay. I'm over my new critter ran-sacking. I think the Goby is settling in too.

I just got my Bulk Reef Supply of Chemicals and pumps today, so now I have to go back to the BRS site and figure out the dosing formulas etcetera. Hopefully, Ill have them set up this weekend.

Just mixed 3 gallons in total. 1 CA, 1 MG, 1 ALK. Took about an hour, but next time should be much quicker now that I am developing a system. I hope these chemicals aren't going to kill me, or cause cancer or something. I don't see any warnings or comments about wearing masks, but I think the next batch I'll wear a mask and maybe latex gloves. Next, it's time to mount the pumps, set the timers and let the dosing begin.

Update 10/04/09

Drew's Peristaltic Dosers Plumbed
Both CA and ALK are dispensing at the rate of 0.5 Ounces or 14.79 Milliliters per 10 minutes. Now it's time to set timers for dosing correct amounts. Need to talk to BRS on Monday for fine tuning these babies. Note: Timer Batteries were replaced on 10/04/09 replace again in 12 months.

10/06/09 (Note: Had to revise schedule do to over dosing. See 10/10/09 Update)

Initial Dosing Instructions and Schedule per Ryan at BRS

Note: pump is dosing approximate 14.79 ml (0.5 oz) every 10 minutes

Dose 100 ml or 3.382 oz daily for each CA and ALK after both containers are emptied dump 20 oz of the MG mix into sump

This works out to approximately 23 minutes (22.5 mins) 3 times per day for both CA and ALK. Dose the Calcium during the day and Alkalinity (baking soda) in the evening when PH tends to decrease.


23 (mins) . 3 (cycles) = 69 minutes (daily)
69 (mins) / 10 (minute) calibration time) = 6.9
6.9 . 14.79 ml = 102.03 ml (total amount dosed daily)


14.79 / 10 = 1.479 ml per minute

100 ml / 1.479 ml per minute = 67.61 minutes per day of dosing

67.61 mins / 3 times per day = 22.5 min cycles

Timers set for 3 times per day at 23 minutes will dose 102.03 ml daily to start.

Recheck parameters every day or two and adjust timers to maintain CA @ 425 and DKH at 9

115 Gallon System is using:
approximately 100 ppm of CA every 7 days
1 DKH every day
100 ppm of MG every 7 days

According to BRS Calculator, dKh of 9 requires CA level of 425 ppm.

To raise 1 dKh from 8 to 9 Dosing 230ml of Recipe #1 is required (7.7 fl oz; 46 tsp) Currently dosing 102.03 ML daily
so to get 230 ml dosing should be 155.5 mins or 51.83 minutes 3 times per day

To Raise 100 ppm of CA weekly BRS Calculates 1177 ml of Receipt #1ml is required (39.8 fl oz; 235.4 tsp)
so to raise 100 ppm weekly = 37.89 mins 3 times per day (1177 / 7 = 168.14 / 1.479 = 113 / 3 = 37.89 min)

To Raise 100 ppm of MG weekly BRS Calculates 927.4 ml of 1 Gallon Jug of Premixed Mag Solution is required (31.3 fl oz; 185.4 tsp)
so to raise 100pm weekly = 1 qt of mix every week ( that seems like a lot) According to Ryan it is: "System should be using 10 to 1 CA to MG" (I'm needing 1 to 1 per week and don't know why ) Follow Up: Discovered Seachem's MG Test kit is off 175 ppm according to reference. Seachem's ph# 888-732-2436. Salifert Kits on the way from Marine Depot.

10/06/09 Current Dosing Schedule

12:00 AM - 12:23 AM
3:00 AM - 3:23 AM
6:00 AM - 6:23 AM

12:00 PM -12:23 PM
3:00 PM - 3:23 PM
6:00 pm - 6:23 PM

10/10/09 Dosing Schedule Changed

Reduced schedule for both ALK and CA because KH consistently 12.8 (according to new Saifert test kit vs 9-10dKh on API's kit) CA has been ranging 450-480. Will keep retesting untilled dialed in to dKh of 9 and CA of 425)

New Schedule Is As Follows:


12:00 AM - 12:16 AM
3:00 AM - 3:16 AM
6:00 AM - 6:16 AM


12:00 PM - 12:20 PM
3:00 PM - 3:20 PM
6:00 PM - 6:20 PM

Logic: to lower ALK 29% from 12.8 to 9.088, I needed to reduce dose by 29% and to lower CA from 480 to 425, I need to lower dose by 11.5%. Given this new schedule, I will be using 4 minutes more of CA than Alk. That translates into 4 mins (more CA) x 3 times per day or 12 mins x 1.479 ML (dose dispensed per minute) over 30 days = 532 ML per month or 17.99 OZ (532 / 3.382). Therefore, CA will expire 17.99 OZs before ALK in a 128 OZ (1 GAl) container

Furthermore: Since Dosing Containers hold 128 OZ of Solution and CA is dosed @ 1.479 ML (per min) x 20.3 minutes 3 times per day or 90 ML per day. 1 gallon (128 OZ / 3.382) = 3784.2 ML. 3784.2 / 90ML per day = 41.7 days of dosing CA vs 16 x 1.479 x 3 (70ML per day) equals 54 days of ALK dosing for a difference of 12.3 days.

In conclusion: At this current rate CA will run out 12.3 days sooner than ALK (or apx 2 weeks sooner). Talk to BRS to figure out how to dose MG since rates ALK/CA rates wont be the same


10/12/09 Dosing Schedule Changed Again. I think I got it right this time.

Both Calcium and Alkalinity dose 3 times per day for 15 minutes each.

12:00AM - 12:15AM
3:00AM - 3:15AM
6:00AM - 6:15AM

12:00PM - 12:15PM
3:00PM - 3:15PM
6-00PM - 6:15PM

Readings have been coming out KH 9.6 CA 432 MG 1350 past couple of days. According to Reef Chemistry Calculator, KH @ 9.6 CA should be 429. Close enough at 432. Recheck in a couple of days.

10/28/2009 Update

10/19/2009 Reduced schedule for CA and ALk Dosing to 10 minutes each 3 times per day.

Readings on ALK have been between 9.6 - 10.4 (closer to 10.4 since the 10/29) using Salifert's test kit; and CA readings have been 435 to 450 using Seachem's CA test kit. These readings do fluctuate daily, but are within the acceptable range per Ryan at Bulk Reef Supply.

11/23/09 Two Part Dosing Update

Both gallon containers went dry today. That makes it 48 days of continuos uninterrupted dosing. My equipment and tank back does not get overgrown with coralline algae like it use to. KH consistently stays at 10.2 and CA consistently reads 440. I'm a happy reefer. Two part is the best. Thanks Jeremy another great suggestion.


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LIGHTING SCHEDULE - As of 09/09 Note *Modified T5 and SVHO off times on 01/18/10

ON 9:00AM OFF 12:00PM
ON 7:00PM OFF 11:00PM *(chg'd off time from 10pm to 11pm on 01/18/10)

(Installed 03/16/08 - Change 12/20/09)

ON 10:00AM OFF 1:15PM
ON 7:00PM OFF 010:00PM *(Chg'd off time from 9pm to 10 pm on 01/18/10)

(Installed both 03/01/09 - Change 09/01/10 should be good for 18mos per JF)

Metal Halides
Right Side
ON 12:00PM OFF 7:00PM

Left Side
ON 12:15PM OFF 7:15PM

(Installed both 08/20/09- Change 04/20/10)

R2 150MHA Dual Extreme Lunar Lighting
ON 09:00PM OFF 3:00AM

(Installed 08/28/09 - Replace 100,000 hours probobaly in 54 yrs)

Fuge Light
On 12:00AM OFF 08:00AM

(Installed 08/26/09 - Replace 08/26/10 with 5500K-6500K Compact Florescent unit sold @HD per JF)

Don't take life seriously. You can't come out of it alive.

Visit my Tank Journal thread: Joel's Tank Journal(s) | Bay Area Reefers
REEF DATE 09/12/09

Attended the MARS Frag Swap and I came back with some beauties

New Corals Added 09/12/09 from MARS Swap Meet

Orange Digitata (Thanks Chad)
Aussie Purple & Green Acan (looks like Purple Snake Skin or Crazy Grape Can't tell feel free to chime in) - RMRJWIEGER
Blue Tubbs (Boviac)
Idaho Grape (Peter Grieve)
Meteor Shower Cythestrea (Perry)
Neon Green Monitpora ORA (don't know whose Frag) High Light, Medium Flow
Nuclear Green Palythoa (Chad)
Purple Death Paly (Shasta)
Oregon Blue Tort (Thanks PatrickB) Good meeting you Patrick
Orange Capicorns (Chad)

Everyone was great. Aunt Beez, Kay, Chad120, Shasta12399 from Reef Central, Joes210, Mike123 from Emeryville BARS and PatrickB from SF BARS too.

I won 2 separate $25 raffle prizes, and I was able to trade each of them (since the LFSs were from away from sacramento/swap stores) for the Purple and Green Acans and Nuclear Green Palys respectively. It felt like the old days, back on the trading desks). Loved it: A real peak experience. And great reefing folks. Thanks Aunt Beez and Kay for befriending; and same to Joe too.

I can't, for the life of me, remember the last time I had so much fun and got so worn out at the same time.

I want to express a special thanks to Chad, Shasta, and Patrickb, without them the day just wouldn't have been the same. There was good food, good planning and good kinship; and well worth the 2 hour drive to be with these folks.

Reef Log Update 09/28/09

New Coral Added

ORA Blue Chalice

(Nice large piece scrolling and simmers marine green with magenta eyes under actinics)

New Fish Added (09/16/09)

Diamond Watchman Goby (Valencienna Puellaris)

I could not locate a Yellow Tiger Tail Cuke, so I purchased this Goby from Aquatic Central. This critter has a good appetite for diatoms and is good at turning over the top inch of sand keeping things real pretty. Only thing is, it burrows under the coral garden often undermining them. Still it's a very industrious little critter and is making a welcomed additon and lessening my work load at the same time.

Equipment Update 09/28/09

I just ordered a 2nd Drew's Doser, from BRS, to dose 2 Part and 50lbs of dosing supplies; it should be on the way this week. I should be set for CA and KH automation going forward and have enough CA, KH and MG bulk goods for the next 6 months.

I seem to be using a lot of MG supplement; and not sure why? Ryan at BRS states the system (as it is now without the dosers hooked up) should be using 10 to 1 CA to MG, but I'm using 1 to 1 right now, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why.

My only guess is that the salt I've been using is only around 1100 MG, and I've been doing regular W/Cs one to two times per week, so I may be depleting the amount of MG I've been having to supplement. Or, my Seachem MG test kit is wrong. Every week, my Seachem MG kit indicaties I'm dropping 100 parts. I just looked at my hard copy journal, and saw that I was dropping 100 points using my Red Sea test kit too, so now, I'm pretty sure it's not the test kit. I am open to any insights you folks may have. I'm befuddled See further on, Red Sea test kit was off 175 points.

New Corals Added Updated 11/01/09

Total Coral Count (so far) Including 3 Mushroom Colonies is 54 (36 SPS, 12 LPS, 1 Sponge-Clam-Toad Stool, 3 Shroom colonies)

These are some new corals added since last update. Now that the Flame Angel is on a new adventure, I am ready to have the full polyp extension experience.

Newest Additions

Alien Eye Chalice (looks like Blueberry with green eyes AEC)
Pink Prostrata
Red Encrusting Montipora
Tridacna Derasa Clam
Echinopora Lamellosa (Blue Chalice with magenta eyes -Possible Steve Tyree LE can't say without help)
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Before and After


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Very nice set up, but can you give us a little more info, your posts are way too short:D

Just kidding, Great looking set up you have
Very nice set up, but can you give us a little more info, your posts are way too short:D

Just kidding, Great looking set up you have

Hi Mike, :regular_w:

Redding PA.. Cool. My wife is from Bethlehem PA. Not sure how far or near they are to each other? :moped:

Thank you for your compliment and comments too. :compute:

I appreciate when folks land on my threads and comment too. I tend to journal stuff as accurately as I can, so I can have it as a reference and time capsule as such. For instance, changing my bulbs or what corals I've added or traded. I try to add pictures to peak the interest level of the viewer/ reader too. :lavalamp:

There is a lot I still don't know or understand, and can't always add a lot of value to the others' threads, so I think I try to be detailed enough so that it compensates for that fact. I think it is my way of giving back to community the best I can. :dunno:

I checked your Home page and read your Welcome Page, but I don't see any pictures of your 125g. Feel free to share the link to them with me if you've started a Tank Showcase. I find other reefers' / hobbyists' designs, choices of critters and their equipment choices interesting and I can learn from them as well. :camera:

BTW, what does the NCPARS acronym translate to? :HELP!:

Happy Reefing, :sfish: :goldfish:


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that is one sweet pigmy horse

My fave :heartpump but not mine. :oops: I don't feel right about keeping these critters. It's a strong urge, but I resist it the best I can.:cupidarr:

I just like to have a nice picture or two on each page of my thread/s :camera:
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Hi Mike, :regular_w:

Redding PA.. Cool. My wife is from Bethlehem PA. Not sure how far or near they are to each other? :moped:

BTW, what does the NCPARS acronym translate to? :HELP!:

Happy Reefing, :sfish: :goldfish:

Thanks Joel, Bethlehem is about 25 mikes N/E of Reading. I used to work in that area a few years ago. NCPARS is the reef club a few of us on here belong to:

This is one sweet tank!
I need to go back and read your posts in more detail when I'm not having an ADD episode. :D
This is one sweet tank!
I need to go back and read your posts in more detail when I'm not having an ADD episode. :D

It happen to the best of us. Busy, busy, busy all the time makes one only think their losing it.:faint:

I was on your threads last night, and your build came out nice. I like all the softies and nice fish you stock it with. :-)
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