Our mission

Dennis' Tank Journal


Supporting Member
As a young child I was introduced to keeping aquariums by my dad. He kept a 30 gallon fresh water tank for many years. When I got college, many of my fraternity brothers were into freshwater aquariums too. So I started my own. I kept cichlids, oscars and arowanas. The arowanas were my favorite. I raised a few from hatchling size to 18 inches. My favorite LFS was Nippon on Geary Blvd in SF. They had so many fish to choose from. I was so impressed with their selection. That’s when I really got interested in saltwater fish, but as a college student, I couldn’t afford it until later in life. Later, Nippon started keeping reef tanks and selling coral and I was hooked. After college I bought a used FO setup that included a lionfish. I kept that for a couple years then bought 30 gal with a wet/dry filter and a cheap pine stand. I kept that for about 4 yrs raising fish and keeping brown/tan LPS unsuccessfully. The lighting consisted of fluorescent bulbs. After learning and reading more, I moved up to a 60 gal tank with a sump and real live rock. I used 2 250W MH bulbs on this setup. This time I was more successful at keeping LPS and softies. I also started keeping montipora with great success. However, I had many tank crashes with this set up. It seemed like every time I went on vacation, I would return to a disaster of some sort. The equipment was subpar and unreliable. This tank was up for about 6 years. As I learned more I got the itch to start another bigger tank. So I ordered a custom sized 110 gal tank with center overflow and black back,, sump, stand, and canopy.

I’ve had this set up for the past 12 years. I started off with a euroreef skimmer, same 2 250W MH bulbs, refugium with caulerpa, and Geo calcium reactor. Over the years I’ve had the skimmer pump go out twice, the calcium reactor regulator fail which led to a major tank crash. I’ve had a serious planaria outbreak that was left unattended. This led to my entire tank being covered by orange planaria. It was disgusting! So had to add Flatworm Exit to the tank and this led to another full tank crash and I had to start all over. Over the past 12 years my interest in the hobby has waxed and waned. I’ve had times of good success and then there were times where I just neglected the tank and all the corals suffered.

Currently, I have maintained a strong interest in my tank for the past year and things are going well. There have been no crashes. My corals are doing well. Updated equipment includes: Kessil AP700, Geo Ca reactor with CarbonDoser Electronic Regulator, phosphate reactor, Jebao gyre pump, Reef octopus 150 skimmer, and Tunze ATO. .

My plans are to start dosing trace elements but I’m not sure what kind yet. The stand is looking a bit worn out and needs painting and the hinges are rusted out so need replacement too. The exterior tank has been scratched up by my daughters. They were young and scratched it up when tank was a few years old. Not sure how they did it. Over the years the interior has been scratched lightly with the magnetic cleaner too. So I plan to sand and buff the interior and exterior soon to get the scratches out.

My favorite corals are the RBTA. I’ve had them for about 12 years and they keep spontaneously splitting over the years. I’ve sold some but I’ve had over 12 RBTA in my tank at once. Currently there are about 8 in there. I wish I could get them off the rocks so that I could sell some and give some away. But it’s been too difficult. I also plan on getting a blue maxima clam on I find the right one.

I’m looking forward to keeping more SPS as I know this will be more challenging.

Any comments, suggestions and questions are welcomed.

Here are some pics of the tank about 8 years ago.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
glad to hear you’re getting that desire and itch back. I think we all go through those dry spells of auto-pilot. Good luck with your come back.
Your tank looked / looks great.