October 2015 TOTM: paul87

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My name is Paul.  I am a 28 year old flooring installer from Clarksville, TN.  I have always had a strong interest in the ocean in general and especially all of the mysterious and undiscovered marine life that dwells within this deep blue watery area that covers over 70% of our planet’s surface.  When I was younger I had my share of many 10 gallon freshwater tanks through the years, whether it be fish I bought at the local fish store or critters that I caught in the rivers, ponds and creeks in my area.  I am an animal lover in general really as me and my wife also have 2 dogs and 1 cat and my iguana that is going on 8 years old soon.  Years ago, my wife decided to get an aquarium for the African clawed frog which soon provoked me into getting my own tank.  I started off with a green spotted puffer, one of my favorites.  As he aged I slowly converted him to brackish, and later on it became full marine when he fell off.  I progressed my tank into a FOWLR with a few marine fish, then slowly made my way into corals.  It started off in a 35 hex front tank which then switched over to a 38 tall rectangle tank with an open top to let light in for the coral.  Now everything resides in this 40 gallon breeder I picked up at Petco’s $1 a gallon sale. T he dimensions were a lot more “coral friendly”.  I built my own stand, plumbed everything together myself using the “Herbie method”.  I have done a lot of growing and trading corals (wheeling and dealing) to get to where I am now.  This hobby is truly rewarding when things go in your favor and you are able to recreate a small piece of the big blue in a small glass box in your own home.  For me it provides a certain peace, interest and a sense of accomplishment.  Thanks to forums like Aquarium Advice I always had somewhere to go for questions and info to get me where I am!



    • 20 gallon acrylic sump with refugium containing LR and Chaeto
    • Aqua C Remora protein skimmer (MJ1200 pump)
    • BRS media reactor running GFO (MJ1200 pump)
    • 2 Hydor Koralia Power-heads with Smart-Wave controller
    • Danner Mag 3 return pump

  • Xen-Lux 120 watt LED reef lighting (Bridgelux) (10 hours ON/14 hours OFF)
  • Aqueon Pro heater
  • Auto-Aqua Smart ATO (5 gallon bucket reservoir)



  • 5 gallon water change 1-2 times a month
  • Mag-Float cleaning every day or 2
  • Scrape and clean the glass 1 time a month using an Aqua-Blade
  • Rinse all pre-filters (sponges) as needed (often) (skimmer, return & reactor pumps).  Note: I do not use any sort of “sock filter” in my sump. The silt that gathers in my refugium has never seemed to have any negative effects on the system.
  • I dose 3.5 ml of 40% vodka into my system every day. (1.75ml AM/1.75ml PM)
  • Check water parameters once a week (or if anything seems unusual)
  • Temperature – 78-76 F
  • Salinity – 1.025
  • pH – 8.2
  • Ammonia – 0 ppm
  • Nitrate – 0 ppm
  • Nitrite – 0 ppm
  • Calcium – 440 ppm
  • Alkalinity – 8 dKh
  • Phosphates – 0 ppm





  • Orchid Dotty-back
  • Melanursus Wrasse
  • Eight Line Wrasse
  • Orange Spotted Blenny





  • Mini-Maxi Anemone
  • Crocea Clam
  • Halloween Hermit
  • Red Linkia Starfish
  • Scarlet Reef Hermits
  • Many types of snails (banded trochus, nerite, nassarius, astrea, cerith, and possibly others)


  •  Several types of Acropora and Montipora
  • Several types of LPS such as Blastos, Wellso, Acans, Xenia, Blue Sympodium & a Lobo
  • Several types of Zoanthids and Palys such as Kyrptonites, Bam Bams, Red Hornets, Green Implosions, Reverse Gorilla Nipples, Sunny D’s, Gobstoppers, Green Bay Packers, many unknowns, and so on…..)


FEEDING:  I try to feed every other day. I always feed frozen foods except for Reef Chili. I have been sticking with LRS Reef Frenzy, but have also used San Francisco Bay & Nutramar Ova prawn roe. I combine the main food with the reef chili to give the small corals and inverts some nutrients. I target feed the corals often, but not every time I feed.

CONCLUSION: Thank you AA and all the friendly members here for selecting me to be this month’s TOTM! I feel very honored as there are a lot of deserving tanks out there. I still only consider myself to be a rookie, because there is so much to still be learned and observed in this hobby. It’s been a long, hard and time consuming road to be where I am now with my tank, but this tank is only really just beginning.

Filed under Featured, TOTM.