Full of surprises for those unfamiliar with the beauty of reef organisms from North American waters, this Gulf of Mexico display makes attractive use of a cube-shaped acrylic aquarium.
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Rear view of the system shows the integrated sump that easily accommodates a venturi skimmer, system pump, heater, and chemical filtration media in nylon pouches.
Side view of the reef, showing the stable structure of aqua-cultured live rock and numerous sponges, gorgonians, small colonies of coral, and a spreading spray of Caulerpa, top.
Wonderful reef organisms can be found in our own backyards, as seen in this microhabitat display from the waters off western Florida, not far from Tampa. A dominant mound of live rock demonstrates the promise of aquaculturing, with proliferating colonies of sponges and small stony corals. The aquarium itself, delivered as a complete system, with lighting, stand, and all filtration equipment included, is a good example of an acrylic tank with integrated filtration built into the back of the unit, including an ample skimmer and chambers for heaters, probes, water return pump, and any filtration media.
Aquarium: US Aquarium acrylic UltraReef Combo system (24 x 24 x 24 inches) with granite-gray cabinetry Lighting: Power Compact fluorescents: two 96-watt 6,700
K Ultra Daylight; two 96-watt 7,100 K Blue; two Inter-
matic timers for dawn-midday-dusk cycle. Primary Circulation: Rio 1700 submerged pump Temperature Control: two Ebo-Jager 100-watt heaters Skimming: Rio 600 Pro-Twin pump (integrated) Reef scaping: 60 pounds aquacultured Gulf live rock (Sea Critters); 40 pounds aragonite sand (CaribSea) Livestock: Invertebrates: Tube Coral colonies (Clado-cora sp.), Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornus), Common Sea Star (Echinaster sentus), Porous Sea Rods (Pseudoplex-aura sp.), Knobby Sea Rod (Eunicea sp.), Star Shell Snails (Astraea tecta), Murex Snail (Murex sp.), numerous other sponges and invertebrates. Fishes: Neon Gobies (Gobiosoma oceanops), High-Hat Reef Drum (.Equetus acuminatus). (All livestock from Sea Critters.)
120-Gallon Stony Coral Reef
A visual feast of coral colonies and captive-grown fragments from the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Palau, Djakarta, and other locales.
igh energy is the key to this pleasing 120-gal water returns, that creates desirable, chaotic water flow pat-
Ion stony coral system. Simulating a section of upper terns. Lighting, temperature, and other systems are run by fore or back reef, this is an area subjected to vigorous an Octopus computerized controller. Heavy feeding de-
water movement and intense light, both of which mands of the corals are met by an MTC calcium-carbon-
must be supplied by the aquarist who wants to sue- ate reactor, with a chiller to prevent overheating by the metal ceed with these demanding corals. The circulatory heart of halide and actinic lighting.
the system is an ETS state-of-the-art sump and skimmer, Aquarium: Perfecto glass with oak trim (48 x 24 x 24
the control nexus for water handling, with dual rotating inches)
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Relatively compact by stony-coral aquarium standards, the under-the-cabinet equipment for this system includes a hardworking sump and skimmer (note several days' accumulation of waste), a calcium reactor and electronic controller.
Aquarium or wild reef? With a shoal of Black-Axil Chromis and a Sailfin Tang at home in the growing corals, this aquarium succeeds as a small but complex microcosm that is not easily distinguished from the real, unfettered biotope.
Lighting: Coralife metal halides and fluorescents, in fan-cooled oak hood: two 175-watt 10,000 K Radium metal halides; two 40-watt actinic fluorescents (Energy Savers Unlimited)
Temperature Control: Aquanetics ASC-2 Ys hp chiller (not shown); two Ebo-Jager 200-watt heaters Skimming: ETS 500 Environmental Tower Scrubber (A.E. Technology); Quiet One pump Primary Circulation: GenX PC 40X pump Other Circulation: two AquaGate oscillating water return modules (Aquatic Vision)
Sump: ETS (A.E. Technology)
Control Devices: Octopus Controller monitors and controls lighting, temperature, pH, ORP (Aquadyne) Other: Marine Technical Concepts Pro Cal calcium reactor
Reef sea ping: 100 pounds Fiji Islands live rock (Marine Center); 50 pounds aragonite sand (CaribSea) Livestock: Invertebrates: colonies oi Acropora, Mon~ tipora, Pocillopora, Hydnophora, Pavona, Seriatopora, Porites, Cynarina, Lobophyllia and others (from Exotic Aquaria, Dynamic Ecomorphology, Marine Center, Reef Science International, Scientific Corals, Tropicorium). Fishes: Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma veliferum); Black-Axil Chromis (Chromis atripectoralis); Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus); Six-Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenid).
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