Coral frag tanks have emerged to become a natural offshoot of virtually all reef tanks and nearly every reefer either has one currently or has had one in the past. Whether it’s attached or separate a frag tank is an inevitability of having a successful reef aquarium to manage the frags that are produced by the primary display, or as a staging area for receiving new frags.
But if we’re being honest, we all love having a smaller ‘satellite’ reef aquarium where we can tinker and culture and tweak parameters without destabilizing the bigger tank which had taken a longer time to grow into something to be proud of. Our own version of an ‘ultimate’ frag tank is an evolution of the Christmas Tree Worm Rock aquarium which was created to have a place to feed these unique invertebrates, and since it turned out to be a really fertile place for corals to grow and receive ample food, over time the quantity of coral frags eventually outnumbered the original Spirobranchus worms on display.
The thirty gallon tank is a 36″ Innovative Marine Nuvo EXT aquarium powered by a Sicce Syncra SDC 3.0 with the pump and drain finely balanced for utmost silence and it is attached to a separate 600 gallon system so no additional filtration is needed. The corals are illuminated by a five year old Maxspect Razor 2 with a maximum output of 150 watts though it only peaks at around 100 watts of power for only an hour in the middle of the day.
The volume of the tank is bisected by an elevated divider to build a partial gyre tank and the water movement is provided by an AI Nero 5 powerhead which runs a constant strong flow throughout most of the day but creates a gentle alternating wave for four separate hours everyday. There is no rock in this tank other than the four Christmas tree worms and they are surrounded by a nice collection of Lord corals, Gonies, several blastos, and a trio each of snake polyps, galaxea, and the unique cristata torch Euphyllias.
The yellow and tomini tangs handle the small amount of algae that grows, a pair of Australian starcki damselfish add a welcome splash of color and one peppermint shrimp is responsible for making sure no Aiptasia grow and take hold in this heavily target fed aquarium. We have frag areas all around our dozen or so coral and reef aquariums but this one is one of our favorite showcases where we can really keep an eye on some of the most precious and newest of our coral frags.