Reef Aquarium Diary - Part 1

reef art


The Big Blue Reef Tank Diary - Part 1 - Introduction.

My husband Adam has been keeping fish for most of his life, 30 odd years - over the last decade this has included saltwater fish and corals.
After having many tanks at our home (even a 3 tier tank rack in the kitchen!) and keeping such exotic things as tank bred seahorses, freshwater turtles and even moon jellyfish in the past!
He has finally decided to concentrate all his efforts on just one big tank, a new marine aquarium.

After much planning,  scrimping and saving the new tank arrived at the beginning of January and he is thrilled with it.

here she is:

blue aquarium

The Big Blue - The glass itself is just shy of 6ft long to fit in an alcove - being a little over 2ft deep and 2ft tall front to back - approx 750 litres -  with front opening hood and nice sump underneath. Note as its a custom build only includes the bare bones / pipework - but savings have been made on buying some 2nd hand equipment such as lighting and reactors.


Messing around with dry reef rock structures for the new tank.....


current progress - no water in yet!

reef aqua scape rock with acrylic rods how to builddrilling rock

acrylic rods support some of the rock. Just drill hole correct diameter and thread through - mush easier with dry rock - be careful with the drill though - the rock can catch and spin round! ☢



Over the last few weeks he has gathered various pieces of equipment, such as new lighting, reactors, pumps etc...and is now nearly ready to actually get it wet!

The tank is an upgrade from a now slightly tatty looking 5ft Boyu tank (a sumpless system) - the livestock contents of which will be transferred to the new aquarium in good time. (once its all set up and settled - no need to rush he keeps saying!)

the old tank - sumpless 5ft marine aquarium

Former glory! - the old tank - MAINLY LARGE ANEMONES AND SOFT CORALS  - as you can see there's no sump so the skimmer is sticking out of the display - This tank has been running for around 5 years pretty successfully  but its actually a lot older, it was an old freshwater setup before - the cabinet is now starting to fall apart and we are in need of an upgrade!! - Plus the fish and corals will surely benefit from a bit more space!

large saltwater tank with coral

old tank shots...............

top down look reef tank

from the top....

The new dream tank! 😊💙

This will actually be the first large reef aquarium in the house that actually has a sump! - In the past both are larger marine tanks were sumpless systems which was a lot of hassle when fitting skimmers etc.. and of course trying to hide the equipment in the display is not easy either. Adam was clever in that the tanks still worked without a sump but sumps certainly do make life easier - hes now loving the space under the new tank for all the gear to go!

reef tank sump pipework diagram

The livestock that will eventually be transferred to the new aquarium is dominated by a large colony of bubble tip anemones (approx 15 individuals) that we have had for many years (rose and green varieties - we only started with 2! they have reproduced) plus some large toadstools, green mushrooms, photo synthetic gorgonians. Fishwise the king of the tank is 'Rocket' a large squirrelfish who shares his home with 2 dwarf angels, a blue tang, a lunar wrasse, a gold striped maroon clown and false grammar amongst others.


top down ND aquatics aquarium setup

the plumbing looks something like this on the new tank...


There is a ton of liverock already in the system that will be placed in new tank along with some newer rockscape. There is not a lot in the way of CUC apart from a few snails (the lunar wrasse made short work of some of the previous inhabitants over the years) but Adam plans on adding some larger turbo snails and crabs to the new system once stable to help sift the sand and eat algae.

The water will be going in at some point in the next week and you can Follow the progress of this tanks evolution!



Don't forget we sell the excellent Coral Fusion and other instant plankton products for marine aquariums  - here>>>>>>>>