90 Gallon Tank


The 90 gallon aquarium was the first marine tank we maintained at our Riverside law office. It originated almost eight years ago as a reef tank with a diverse overpopulation of fish (I couldn’t help myself) and mostly zoanthids and soft corals. There were many successes and many more failures. In its initial configuration, we could never get the nitrate and phosphate levels to acceptable levels to grow SPS corals.

About four years ago the tank was extensively reworked. The sand bed was replaced with a course crushed coral base. The old live rock was largely replaced with artificial live rock with a good amount of coralline growth at the time of purchase. The amount of coralline growth has quadrupled in the past year, mostly because of the reduction of the phosphates and nitrates as well as the addition of the kalkwasser stirrer. The tank now houses a large collection of rare and unusual zoanthid and palythoa corals, and a collection of fish, primarily fairy wrasses. Our rarest fish occupants are a hybrid Black / Scopas Tang I acquired from Pacific Island Aquatics and an Earl’s Fairy Wrasse I acquired from Amazing Aquariums and Reefs.

Extensive experimentation with equipment and treatments has finally resulted in low nitrate and phosphate levels despite the heavy fish load in this tank and the overflow from the 65 gallon seahorse sanctuary. We discontinued use of the Korallin BioDenitrator. We found the nitrate and phosphate levels were better kept in check by auto dosing of Red Sea NO3:PO4-X and frequent changes of water and of the Two Little Fishes Phosban 150 Reactor. The grape caulerpa green algae populating the seahorse sanctuary also seems to help.

Technical information

  • 90 gallon Aquatic Life acrylic tank
  • Eheim main pump
  • Eschopps sump
  • JBJ Artica DBA 1/5 hp chiller
  • Two Little Fishes PhosBan 150 Reactor
  • Avast Marine Works K-1 Kalkwasser Stirrer
  • Vertex Alpha 170 Protein Skimmer
  • Aqua 40 watt UV sterilizer (to be discontinued when the UV bulb burns out)
  • Maristar lighting fixture with 2 XM 250 watt 20000K double ended halides and 2 ATI blue plus high output T-5 bulbs
  • 1 Vortech MP40 pump with back-up battery
  • 2 JBJ pumps with Wavemaker controller
  • Digital Aquatics Reefkeeper Lite
  • Bulk Reef Supply 2 part dosing pump 1.1 ml
  • Custom pine stand stained with mahogany stain

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

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