Although we spend hours covering the latest lighting fixtures here on Reef Builders, nothing really comes close to actual sunlight. Adee’s aquarium is a 1340 L (355 G) reef, measuring 2oocm x 1oo cm x 67cm (78in x 40in x 26in). The tank is illuminated exclusively by skylight during the summers, although a MH/T5 fixture is added during the winter simply for better coral colors. Adee noted measuring PAR levels of 350-450 during winter, and 750-850 during summer when using just skylights and ran the tank without supplemental lighting for a almost a year.
The Reef Inmates SPS 400w fixture with 3x Reeftek 10 000K 400w Metal Halide bulbs and 8x 39w of assorted Geisman actinic pure and Geisman aquablue+ T5’s actually shades the tank during the summer – 1500w of lighting is not exactly able to keep up with sunlight apparently. Beside the more natural look sunlight gives to the tank, the growth rate of this tank is absolutely mind blowing. Keep reading for full system details, a video, how much the corals actually grew in a 14 month period and simply a lot more pictures.
Biological filtration on this 355 gallon sunlight reef is provided by 500kg (1100lbs) of Liverock, a DSB with 500lbs of sand, a refugium with Chaeto, and a massive Algae Scrubber measuring 120 cm x 100cm (48in x 40in). Interestingly Abee also uses Aiptasia as a natural filtration in his refugium, yes you read that right aiptasia, a Copperband butterfly is used however to keep them in check in the display tank. Mechanical filtration is provided by two Reef Octopus Bubble Blaster 5000s Extreme skimmers, two canister filters with carbon, and 500ml Brightwells Phosphate Remover in a Phosban 150 reactor.
The tank is dosed a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and vodka, along with Lugols Iodine, Zeovit Amino Acids, MicrobeLift Special Blend (Bacteria), and Brightwells Potassium. A Reef Octopus 140 Kalk Stirrer and Reef Octopus CARX with Calcium and Magnesium media keep up with the massive Calcium and Magnesium demand. Flow is provided by several Tunze’s and SEIO’s. A nursery tank measuring 200cm x 120cm x 25cm (70in x 48in x 10in), with a volume of 600 liters (158 gallons) provides housing for the huge amount of coral fragments and corals that Adee can’t fit in the tank.
Adee’s reef houses around 30 anthias including a harem of Pseudanthias bimaculatus, a group of tangs, an assortment of angels, and several smaller fish. Although the selection of angels include a majestic angelfish, a sulfur angelfish, a flame angelfish, and a regal angelfish all known to be potential coral pickers, the massive colonies do not appear to be much affected. Be sure to check out Abee’s thread for additional info and pictures of this amazing sunlit reef tank.