We’ve always said that a reef tank should be more than the sum of its parts and that you don’t need any spectacular corals to have a spectacular reef tank. A perfect case study in this aspect of reefing philosophy is what we’ve come to call our ‘Kitchen Sink’ reef tank which has grown and evolved to have a really eclectic mix of corals resulting in a visually appealing mixed coral aquarium.
This four foot, 100 gallon Innovative Marine Nuvo EXT 100 has been running over three years and it initially began as a soft coral dominated reef tank. WHile this community looked great together and grew very well for us, this tank was a victim of its own success since the corals grew so large and so fast that we discovered first hand what soft coral aggression looks like.
Some of the soft corals grew astonishingly large in rapid pace while others grew slowly or at a normal pace, completely erasing any semblance of aquascaping we were aiming for with our Octocoral colonies. Over time we gradually added corals to the kitchen sink which deserved to be displayed but which didn’t necessarily fit into our other displays, leading to a disjointed mix of corals that have actually blossomed together as a group.
Featuring lots of close ups and top downs this video is more of an unusual coral show-off since this tank contains many of our favorite colony examples of branching Cyphastrea, branching Psammocora, grafted Hero coral, and many Seriatopora including the Lazy Blue Zing. We wanted to share a long overdue update on this aquarium before we roll up our sleeves for some much needed spring cleaning, mostly in the form of grooming the colonies into better shape, making a few frags, and seeing how the tank improves with a little curation and attention to detail.