With so much of the American reefing hobby getting caught up in collectoritis of fuzzy sticks with silly little names, we turn to Japan for an example of what a beautiful reef tank is supposed to look like. Beauty is subjective but any reefer worth their weight in salt can’t deny that Mizune has created a perfect little masterpiece in his colorful little reef tank.
A modicum of live rock for the aquascape, the entire arrangement clearly ‘floating’ on just a few touching points with the bottom, and dynamic placement of staghorns above a bed of live and colorful corals makes this a reef tank to aspire to. Mizune’s choice of coral colors and textures comes together to create a beautiful mini reef tank which is both beautiful, but also quite simple.
It’s not easy to combine high energy Acroporas and lower energy Leptoseris, but Mizune has achieved this combination to great effect. One particularly neat trick employed on this reef tank is the creation of a ‘supercolony’ of Acropora hoeksemai. If you look very closely you can clearly see that several colonies of Hokies have been placed close together to create a tapestry of brilliant blue staghorn corals that pierce the negative space in the left side of the tank.
Just as interesting as the coral selection is the perfect fish population that includes anthias, flameback and flame angelfish, a yellow tang and several other great jewels of the reef. With a reefscape that is dominated by non-moving stony corals, watching the fish bounce back and forth among the branches in the wave water flow just brings it all together in a close to perfect way.
It’s not often that we see a Mini Reef tank that we don’t have one single criticism for, but Mizune’s reef is truly an aquarium display to aspire to.