240 Gallon Tank

The 240 gallon reef aquarium was started in July of 2011. It was designed as a habitat for interesting SPS and LPS corals and a diverse selection of reef fish. The sand bed was replaced with a primarily course crushed coral base, as we continued to have problems with diatom blooms with the sand bed. The rock is a mixture of artificial live rock and dry pukani and tonga branch dry rock. If I could do it all over again, I would have used exclusively artificial live rock, as the multiple swings in the initial tank chemistry resulting from the blooms of the dead organic materials in the pukani dry rock significantly lengthened the initial start-up of the tank.

The tank features many showcase small polyp stony corals. Highlights include Eddie’s Purple Monster, Tyree Purple Monster, Red Dragon Acropora, 30000 Leagues Lokani, Rommel’s Millepora, Sapphire Millepora, Red Planet Acropora, ORA Plum Crazy Acropora, Miami Orchid Acropora, California (Cali) Acropora Tortuosa and of course, our infamous Oregon Blue Acropora Tortuosa. We have just started growing out the following Tyree LE corals: Joe’s Rainbow Acropra, Double Doozy Acropora, and Mother of Pearl Acropora, along with Cherry Coral’s Heaven and Hell Millepora and LE Azul Cielo Acropora. The intense color in the corals may be attributable to the large quantity of fish in the tank. Richard Bausa, who maintains all of the law office tanks, works hard to maintain acceptable nitrate and phosphate levels despite the heavy fish load. The 240 gallon tank is also host to a 30 gallon frag tank.

Fish include a Black Tang (acquired from Pacific Island Aquatics), show quality Blonde Naso Tang and Foxface Rabbitfish (to be transferred to our 300 gallon fish only tank when it is up and running), Australian Harlequin Tusk (also to be transferred to the 300 gallon tank) and various tangs, wrasses and a Flame Hawkfish.

The phosphate and nitrate levels in the 240 gallon tank and the frag tank are kept in check through the use of a variety of techniques, a Vertex Alpha 250 Protein Skimmer, an automated dosing system using Red Sea NO3:PO4-X Nitrate and Phosphate Reduction Formula, weekly water changes and a refugium with Grape Caulerpa Macroalgae, Chaetomorpha Macroalgae, and various cryptic sponges. We discontinued use of the Korallin BioDenitrator because we found the dosing system to be more reliable and effective. Richard Bausa also has his doubts regarding whether maintaining a UV system on a reef tank is more beneficial or detrimental to the system as a whole, so we have discontinued the use of the UV system on this tank for more than a year with no apparent detrimental effect. We will be maintaining UV systems on our fish only tanks.

Technical information

  • 240 gallon Aquatic Life acrylic tank
  • Iwaki main pump
  • Eschopps sump
  • Eschopps refugium sump
  • Korrallin C-3002 Calcium Reactor
  • 2 Two Little Fishes PhosBan 550 Reactors
  • Avast Marine Works K-1 Kalkwasser Stirrer
  • Vertex Alpha 250 Protein Skimmer
  • 2 Maristar 48 inch lighting fixtures with 2 XM 250 watt 20000K double ended halides and 2 ATI blue plus high output T-5 bulbs
  • 2 Vortech MP60 pumps with back-up batteries
  • Digital Aquatics Reefkeeper Lite computer
  • Bulk Reef Supply 2 Part Dosing Pump 1.1 ml
  • Custom pine stand dyed with mahogany stain

The Digital Aquatics Reefkeeper computer controls the timing of the halide and blue T-5 lights, the dosing of the kalkwasser, and the dosing of Red Sea NO3:PO4-X Nitrate and Phosphate Reduction Formula.

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