Growing up, I was always interested in hobbies that were challenging, exotic and, of course, expensive. Self-employed by the age of 24, I was married, just purchased my first home and had two baby girls to support. Needless to say, the funds for hobbies did not come easily but one serendipitous Sunday I visited my local swap meet. I found an old 12 gallon Nano Cube for sale and my REEF ADDICTION began. My desire to collect corals quickly outgrew the 12 gallon tank and soon I moved onto a 24 gallon Nano Cube I purchased online.

After two years, the 24 gallon Nano Cube was packed to the brim with corals and fish. I have a tendency to go against the grain and broke pretty much every "tank stocking rule" yet still managed to keep the reef thriving. Corals were literally growing out of the water, but I still wanted more… so it was time to upgrade. I purchased a 55 gallon acrylic aquarium with the intention of doing everything myself. From drilling the tank for an overflow to building the stand, it was a complete custom job. This was 8 years ago and I still remember all of the countless hours and dollars dumped into the building of this aquarium.

Through all of my experiences in reef keeping, I have to say I find the greatest satisfaction in knowing I have one of the most complex eco-systems in the world thriving in my own living room.



Tank Volume 55 Gallons
Tank Dimensions 36" x 18" x 20"
Glass or Acrylic Acrylic
Sump Volume 20 Gallons
Aquarium Stand Material Custom wood and metal stand that measures 36" tall


Main Return Pump Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One 3000
Water Return Type Dual Loc-Line
Overflow Internal overflow drilled through back tank wall
Powerheads Dual EcoTech Marine Vortech MP40wES

Controllers & Monitors

Heater Hydor Theo 200 watt
Auto Top Off Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155
pH Monitor Milwaukee Ph Meter


Protein Skimmer SWC 120 Cone
Sump Custom 20 gallon with detached refugium.
Refugium Custom 10 gallon with live rock, 6" sand bed, and macro-algae.
Media Reactor Dual AquaMaxx GFO and Carbon Filter Media Reactors, one with AquaMaxx Carbon One and one with AquaMaxx Phosphate Out GFO
Bio-Pellet Reactor AquaMaxx BioMaxx BioPellet Reactor with AquaMaxx BioMaxx Plus BioPellets
UV Sterilizer Emperor Aquatics - 40 Watt UV
Substrate and Rock 60lbs Live Rock in Display w/ 1-2" Sand Bed

LED Lighting Dual EcoTech Marine Radion XR30W
System Parameters

Temperature 77.5°F - 78.5°F
Specific Gravity 1.025
pH 8.1 - 8.32
Alkalinity 8 dKH
Calcium 410 ppm
Magnesium 1400 ppm
Nitrate 0 ppm
Phosphate 0.03 ppm

Maintenance & Dosing

Water Exchanges Every 14 days
Dosing Pump Bubble Magus BM-T01 Dosing Pump
Additives E.S.V. B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer and Kent Marine Tech M
Bulb Replacements Every 6 - 12 months for UV Sterilizer
Water Tests Weekly
Media Replacements Monthly or as needed
Salt Mix D-D H2Ocean Magnesium Pro PLUS


Fish Fed daily with a variety of H2O Life frozen foods. Their favorites are Brine Shrimp and Cyclops. The Tangs get the occasional piece of Seaweed for grazing.
Coral I utilize the ZEOvit additives which really seems to help maintain solid growth and vibrant color.


  • Pair of Ocellaris Clownfish
  • Four Green Chromis
  • Desjardini Sailfin Tang
  • Yellow Watchman Goby
  • Tiger Pistol Shrimp
  • Yellow Tang

Stony Corals

  • Palmers Blue Millepora
  • Strawberry Shortcake Acropora
  • Oregon Tort Acropora
  • Green Millepora
  • Red Millepora
  • Purple Acropora Loripes
  • Acanthastrea Echinata
  • Miami Hurricane Chalice
  • Acanthastrea Lordhowensis
  • Duncan Coral

Soft Corals

  • Red Mushrooms
  • Blue Spotted Mushrooms
  • Orange Rhodactis Mushrooms
  • Green Hairy Mushrooms
  • Green Polyp Leather
  • Assorted Zoanthids and Palythoa


  • Assorted Crabs
  • Assorted Snails