The Reef

The empty tank
In October 2007 my Jack and I bought a 28G JBJ Nano Cube tank and decided to set it up as a reef tank.  We did alot of research before choosing this tank, we wanted something that was “apartment sized” and also had metal halide lighting so we could grow SPS corals.  Here is a picture of what our tank looked like when it only had sand, rock and H2O in it.  We bought our rock from GARF, it is called agro-crete.  It is non-live rock that we seeded with all of the microorganisms ourselves.  To do this we bought GRUNGE from GARF.  The benefit of doing it this way is that we reduced the amount of pest organisms that got into our tank.  This picture is nice and clean because we had not added the GRUNGE yet.  After we added the grunge, we got some snails, hermit crabs, and other reef janitors to get the tank ready for fish and coral.  That took about a month before we were ready for our first corals and fish.

Green Mushrooms

For the first corals, we bought Ultra-Green Mushrooms and Green Zoas.The mushrooms and Zoas both will fluoresce under our blue LEDs that are on our tank hood.  The mushrooms and the Zoas are both growing very well, even though the mushrooms have not divided yet.  When we purchased these two corals (from Aquatic Gallery) we also bought 2 firefish.  Then we went to Dolphin Pets and got a Xenia colony and some Peppermint and Cleaner shrimp.  The Xenia colony is finally starting to get big enough for us to frag it and get some $$ from it.  The myth of reef tanks is that you can pay for your tank by fragging your corals and selling them.  This NEVER happens!


The next coral we got was a birdsnest coral.  This is known to be one of the easiest SPS corals to grow, and great for beginners.  I chose this one because it is a nice orange color with purple polyps.  After the firefish and many peppermint shrimp passed away, we decided to get black clownfish.  If you call them “Nemo’s” I will hit you because you are an idiot.  One of the clownfish has obtained the name “Showboat” because he is always at the side of the tank you are trying to look at.

 Validia and Candy Cane

We also got a Validia Acropora from a fellow “reefer” and a Midori Candy Cane coral from Dolphin Pets.  The Validia is actually a nice pink/purple color with a bright green shimmer.  Both of these corals also fluorece in the blue LEDs.  The candy canes are now putting out their feeder tentacles and we are target feeding each “head” brineshrimp.  It is so cool to watch it eat one, and then stick out its feeders for more!  The Validia is starting to grow faster now that we have moved it.  We recently did a complete tank rockwork rearangement.  I did not like the pieces we got from GARF because there were not enough crevases to place corals in.


As part of the rearangement, we bought some Tonga Branch live rock, our second black clownfish (still un-named), and a Light Blue Acropora colony from Aquatic Pets in Fresno.  Since buying the colony, which is not really growing very well, it has turned from white with light blue tips to the color that you see in the picture.  I think it is even prettier this color!

 Millipora and Acropora

Recently we went and purchased 5 new corals for our tank.  We bought Tubs Blue Zoas, Armor of God Zoas, a Blue Milipora, a Blue Acropora, and an Orange Digitata.  The Millipora is the one that looks mostly brown and hairy.  The brown hairs are a special microorganism (I don’t remember what it is called) that can sting you if you handle it.  In the background is the newest blue Acropora.  It looks so bright in our tank.  Neither of these two fluoresce, sadness.  The orange Digitata makes up for it by fluorescing extra bright orange.

Tubs Blue Zoaz

Out of all of the corals that we have, the Tubs Blue Zoas are my favorites.  I have been waiting to get some of these since we first began researching what tank to get.  I hope that these grow fast so I can have a nice mat of them all over the main rock.

Whole tank

Here is what the whole picture looks like.  I know that I left out individual pictures of the orange Digitata, the clownfish, shrimpy, the Xenias, and the Armor of God Zoas.  Hopefully I will get some good pictures of them soon; then I will update this page with the latest and greatest.  Next on our shopping list of corals is an Acans. and some Yellow Clown Gobies (they are sooooooo cute).

2 thoughts on “The Reef

  1. Jill'sJack

    Too bad those pictures aren’t linked to the full-sized images. You really loose a lot of the cool details when the pictures are this small. Still it’s nice to see our tank on display!

  2. Jill'sJack

    I would also like to mention that after being disappointed with the bio-diversity of the GARF grunge we purchased some excellent critters from Indo-Pacific Sea Farms ( Our tank is much healthier today thanks to them.


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