Past and Present Reef Tanks
I started reef keeping about 5 years ago (3/96). To make along story short I have learned that you need 5 things. First a very good source of water. Whether you make it yourself or buy it you need nothing but the best RO/DI water you can find, no phosphates!! Second, good skimmer. You have to get a good skimmer period. Get one that is rated 2x the size of your tank if you can. The CPR Backpack is great for any tank upto about 50 gallons! Third, you need 2lbs per gallon of good live rock. I prefer Fiji. Oh yea, aragonite works great for sand. Go for about 1lb per gallon. Make sure to wash thoroughly before you add it to the tank! Fourth, you need good lighting. Minimum of 4 watts per gallon. You cannot go wrong with Compact Fluorescents! Finally, use kalkwasser for make up water! I actually cheat by mixing up 5 gallons at a time and just pouring in as needed directly into my tanks. This is usually 16 to 32 oz. at a time with no ill effects.
135 Gallon Reef (Setup 11/98 to ?) This is my 135 Gallon Reef tank in my home. It is built into a closet space in our office. This really worked out great because beyond the wall behind the tank is our garage. This made it very easy to setup a 50 gallon sump in the garage with easy access to the sump. It also keeps the tank completely quiet. The only draw back is during the summer were the garage temperature gets around 90. I use a generic in-sump venturi skimmer rated for 200 gallons and the lighting is 2x110 VHO fluorescents and 3x175 watt metal halide.
50 Gallon Reef (Setup from 6/97 - 11/98) This is my old tank before we moved into our new home. (see tank above) This tank had a very good balance of LPS, SPS, leather and mushrooms. The tank had a CPR backpack and used both HO florescent and a 175 watt 10K metal halide lighting. I had very good luck with this tank!
40 Gallon Reef (Setup 12/00 to ?) This is a new setup in our new offices (Our company moved so it was a good excuse to setup a new tank, bigger of course!) It is a 40 gallon setup with a CPR Backpak and 2x55 watt compact florescent lighting. So far so good!
26 Gallon Reef (Setup 3/96 - 12/00) This was my original tank that I setup in my office at work. I learned alot from this tank. I believe that the newgroups are the best source of information anywhere! This tank used HO florescents and a CPR Backpack skimmer.