In America, many of us have more than one tank, and sometimes more than one room of tanks. But for many European reefers where space is often a constraint, having a single display tank is more often the norm. Having only one reef tank to focus on can result in some truly spectacular results and Wesley Vreeswijk is the perfect example of this.
Wesley is a Dutch reef aquarist who has one of the best all around reef tanks we’ve seen in a really long time. And if we’re scoring for both the display of the reef tank and the presentation of the equipment powering it, Wesley’s reef tank would be a perfect 10, the model of reef tank engineering and husbandry.
If Wesley had just a nice living reef tank, or just an expertly engineered modern reef life support system, either of these qualities would be qualify for sharing this system with a global audience. But the fact that Wesley’s reef tank is beautiful both over and under the hood is quite simply a freakishly beautiful thing.
Visiting Wesley’s reef tank was like looking at a fine sports car, with a beautiful body, swooping curves, and tasteful accents. The corals in this reef tank are all in the peak of health, with bright contrasting colors throughout the aquarium and best of all, it is all aquascaped to a Nature Aquarium degree of perfection.
There’s a long suspended bommie which tapers from the right to the left, populated with mostly stony corals, and the whole structure is lifted off the substrate for minimal obstruction of mass water flow movement. Where the bommie ends at almost a point, the open sand bed is then populated by a single cluster of soft corals, mostly zoanthids, which is both aesthetically pleasing and it isolates potentially invasive zoanthids from interacting with the stonies.
And then he opened up the hood and we were simply floored. Every single piece of cutting edge reefing gear is represented in the filtration section and water management area of Wesley’s reef tank. There’s LED + T5 hybrid lighting from ATI, an Apex controller and WAV pumps by Neptune Systems, Royal Exclusiv Bubble Kings and Red Dragon pumps, and a Dastaco calcium reactor.
There’s even a DIY Pax Bellum style chaetomorpha filter complete with centrally mounted LEDs and a top-mounted machined heat sink. The entire water management center from the mechanical to the biological to the chemical filtration is all beautifully arranged in a stand made of 80/20 modular aluminum beams, and it all disappears behind a magnetically mounted front panel.
Wesley Vreeswijk’s is well within the realm of masterpiece reef tank territory, and we can’t believe how good his aquarium looks despite being just over one and half years old. Having so many pieces of equipment might be daunting for some but being an elevator repairman Wesley has a mechanical mind, and it’s clear he’s one of the quintessential reef aquarium control freaks.
Often times a strong emphasis on the techie side of the reef aquarium hobby falls short of translating to a beautiful reef tank. But as you can see from the beautiful, thriving corals, this reef tank is a ‘race car’ that Wesley knows how to drive. We got to visit his beautiful display earlier this summer and we thank Mr. Vreeswijk and his family for letting us into his home and satisfying our lighting requests to execute this gorgeous spread of photos and the video posted below.