Featured Saltwater Aquarium: Subscriber Reefer505

With the high-tech equipment available today, it’s no wonder one of our subscribers has a beautiful miniature reef in the heart of New Mexico. Gone are the days of waiting for that next exotic vacation to see your favorite fish and corals. Now you can bring them straight to your living room. Reefer505, from Rio Rancho, NM, has done just that. His tank features a 240-gallon saltwater aquarium setup with 670lbs of live rock and 200lbs of sand! Take a sneak peek inside his aquarium, learn what keeps it running so smoothly, and hear his tips for the advanced and beginner aquarist.

What Goes into a Saltwater Aquarium Sump Tank?

As with any successful saltwater aquarium, a solid filtration system is key to mimicking the ocean’s water parameters. Reefer505 run’s a Trigger Tideline Sump Tank, 2” of Miracle Mud, and 1” of sand on top of that. His sump also houses 8lbs of live rock in addition to macro algae. All great ways to naturally filter your saltwater aquarium.

Equipment for your Sump Tank

Most hobbyists would argue that you should maintain your tank naturally, avoiding harsh chemicals or artificial filtration systems. Many do not work as well as or have adverse side effects. None-the-less, most aquarists would agree that certain kinds of high-tech equipment should be part of your sump tank or refugium. Protein skimmers top that list and Reefer505 recommends running a Bubble Magus Curve 7 protein skimmer. It has been a key piece of equipment that keeps his tank clean and running smoothly. You may also consider adding a UV sterilizer to your sump if green water, algae blooms, or diseases plague your aquarium.

Water Flow & Temperature in a Saltwater Aquarium

Reefer505 understands that a 240-gallon tank requires strong water flow for proper filtration and to evenly heat his tank. His aquarium features two MP40 powerheads and a mag 12.5 split for the return. For his heating system, he uses two 300 watt Eheim heaters that keep his corals in their happy “safe zone” temperature of 75-78 degrees Fahrenheit. Most corals are sensitive to water flow and temperature, making a good setup and proper placement essential for their health.

Take a Sneak Peek at this Reef Aquarium!

Now that you know what makes this tank run, let’s take a sneak peek at the fruit of Reefer505’s efforts. His saltwater tank is thriving with fish and corals! He runs 4 Hydra 52HDs lights to keep these critters happy. At first glance, you’ll notice a heavily mixed variety of mushrooms, euphyllia, zoas, and other LPS and SPS corals. Let’s take a closer look at all that has gone into making this reefscape.

Corals & Fish in Reefer505’s Saltwater Aquarium:

The heavy mixture of corals in this tank would keep most of us entertained for hours! Reefer505 has many different mushrooms ranging from common green to hairy purples to yumas. He has toadstools, duncans, bubble coral, and a few different pocilloporas including rainbow, purple, and pink. As far as euphyllia, he has bicolored, teal, green tip, and purple tip hammers as well as purple tip frogspawn, green tip frogspawn, and a variety of octospawn as well.


Zoanthid Collection:

Blue tubbs, yellow hornets, rainbow hornets, hawaiian sticky punch, headless horseman, fire and ice, darth mauls, fruitloops, african blue steels, bam bams, radioactive dragon eyes, rastas, gumby’s, chunky, common button polyps, gorilla nipples, scrambled eggs, space monsters, blue eyed bitches, red people eaters, alpha and omega, pandoras, and utter chaos.

Montipora Collection:

For montipora, he has leng sy cap, jedi mind trick, chili pepper, Idaho grape, orange digitata, orange cap, purple undata, orange setosa, rainbow encrusting, sunset monti, and superman monitpora. However, Reefer505 says he is careful about keeping too many because overgrowth can become a problem.

Chalice Collection:

For chalice, he keeps rainbow aussie, burning embers, joker’s chalice, avatar, pink, cosmos, Saturn, Miami hurricane, pumpkin eye.


For SPS, Reefer505 has purple stylophora, rainbow stylophora, ponape bird’snest, about 3 different rainbow acropora and millipora, red planet, green planet, meteor shower, purple fuzzy Marshall, tried color valida, myagi tort, pink lemonade, highlighter acro,purple bonsai, raspberry shortcake, strawberry shortcake, green slimer, red dragon, blue voodoo, Joe the coral acro, many different deep water acropora, stag corals, miliporas.

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Tips for Saltwater Reefkeeping from Reefer505

Advice for Beginner Saltwater Aquarists

“My advice for beginners would be to take it slow and don’t get upset when bad things happen.” Everything is a learning experience in this hobby. Also, “Avoid impulse buying and do your research when purchasing livestock,” both fish and coral. The last thing you want is to place a coral on your rock such a xenia or anthellia where it will grow wild and take over fast. It is just as important to research your fish. Not all fish are reef safe and “please, don’t add a Mandarin to a 30 gallon tank” says Reefer505.

Advice for Advanced Reeferkeepers

“My advice to advanced reefers is to remember that it’s about water keeping, not coral keeping. Don’t chase after one coral when 200 other corals are doing great. For example, I had a Jason Fox Flame Acropora start to develop Rapid Tissue Necrosis. Meanwhile, the other 50+ acros were doing great. I did not change my chemistry, I dipped it and said a prayer. It didn’t make it. Oh well. It’s part of the hobby. Also, test your water often!”

Lasly, “do not add anemones to your main tank” says Reefer505. “They are beautiful but need a designated tank. Eventually, they will move and kill something or worse, hit the powerhead. Both have happened to me.”

Tell us about your saltwater aquarium. If you have a saltwater tank you would like featured, large or nano, we want to hear about it.  Subscribe to our forum, where you will receive exclusive giveaways and discounts on corals, and tell us about your tank here.

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