Our Aquariums

Time in Operation and tank sizes

System established: June 2019

Display tank: Custom-built with 4-inch (10-cm) thick acrylic viewing panels and fiberglass bottom and rear wall 17,000 gallons (64,400 liters) 16x15x9 feet (488x457x274 cm)

Sumps: Polypropylene 2,500 gallons (9,500 L)

Quarantine tanks: 4 X 500-gallon (19,00-L)


• Dry Marco Rock 20,000 pounds (9,000 kg),

• Real Reef Live Rock 2,000 pounds (900 kg)

• Substrate: 1,000 pounds (450 kg) live sand

water circulation

• 2 X 45,000-gph / 10-horsepower industrial main pumps to filtration; volume of flow through sump - 1,200 gallons per minute)

• 1 X 45,000-gph 10 hp pump in closed-loop for flow

• 1 X 15,000-30,000 GPH Hydro Wizard Power Head - Max is up to 30,000gph

• What pumps are employed to produce this: 2 10 hp main pumps, 1 10 hp closed loop

• Total flow from all circulation pumps: 80,000 gallons (300,00 L) per hour, roughly 5 X total display tank volume per hour


• Mechanical Filtration - Diatom pool filter, 4 pleated cartridges; 1000-gallon sand filter filled with glass beads

• Chemical Filtration – 50-gallon media reactor filled with ESV Carbon; 50-gallon media reactor filled with Rowaphos GFO

• Protein Skimmers: 2 MRC 36” diameter 108” tall air driven

• UV Sterilizer: WLIM Company Large Unit (10 bulbs)

• Ozone: Clearwater Tech - 2.5 grams/hr

• Make-up Water: 4,000 gallons/day RO/DI

• 2 X water boilers with heat exchangers

• 4 X 5-ton Trane industrial water chiller units

• 6 X Trane industrial dehumidifiers


• 2 X 1,000-watt Maxspect LEDs

• 10 X 500-watt Maxspect LEDs

• 1 X 300-watt Maxspect LED

• Light cycle: Blue dawn on at 8 AM – dusk at 7 PM

• Full intensity: 10 AM ramp up for hour – down for hour at 5 PM

• with 1 hour to 100% 1 hour prior to turn off ramp down through blues. Controller Template used: Andrew Sandler Special

• PAR at top of the tank: 400 – 500 nm

• PAR at bottom: 100 – 250 nm


• Water changes: Weekly minimum 1,000 gallons (3,785 L). Once per month 5,000 gallons (18,900 L).

• Salt used: ESV B-Ionic 4-Part Salt Mix. Saltwater reserve held in 5,000-gallon vat.

• RO/DI water from commercial 4,000 gpd unit into 2 X 2,500-gallon holding vats.

• Water storage: How large is the holding vat:5,000 gals- Saltwater and two 2,500 RODI holdings tanks available

• Sand filter back washed once per week with 1,000 gallons up from holding tanks

• Detritus cleaned monthly

• Carbon changed monthly

• All pumps are cleaned monthly and rebuilt yearly. UV bulbs are replaced yearly.


• Testing: Daily—alkalinity, phosphates; 2-3 times per week—calcium, magnesium, nitrate; weekly—ATI ICP and Triton.

• Temperature: 77–78º F (25-26º C)

• Ammonia: not an issue

• Nitrite: not an issue

• Nitrate range: 7-15

• pH range: 8.1 - 8.3

• Alkalinity range: 8.5-9.0

• Calcium range: 440-480

• Magnesium: ~1,350 (but we will bring up slightly)

Feeding & Supplements

• Fish Foods: varied mix of fresh and frozen seafoods and seaweed; Nori dried macroalgae

• Coral Foods: Reef Roids, Benepets, Amino Acids.

• Other additives:. Amino acids; Acro Power—gallon jug every 3 days; Reef Moonshiners with a soup of Seachem Reef Trace.

• Two-part calcium/alkalinity supplement: 5 to 10 gallons of ESV B-Ionic once a month5 to 10 gallons of ESV B-ionic once a month

• Supplement quantities based on ICP & Triton testing

• Calcium supplied by aragonite reactor

• 41 gallons of Kalkwasser dripped in every night

• Nitrate control with sulfur reactor


Polo Reef is a work in progress, and it is near impossible to list the exact number of invertebrates in the tank. A current quick summary includes:

• 400+ x Stony Corals: SPS colonies are mostly Acropora at the middle and surface of the tank and Montipora, Seriatopora and Stylophora in the lower third of the tank as well as Turbinaria, Hydnophoras, Merulina species and others.

• 25 x Chalice colonies of various genera at the bottom of the tank.

• 3 x Soft corals, including one leather coral and two Sinularia colonies. All others added have been consumed by the angelfish.

• 5 x Heteractis magnifica anemones that host the clownfishes, which defend them.

• 1,000 x sea urchins, seven different species.

• 2,000 x snails of various species for algae control.

• 200 x Berghia nudibranchs to aid in Aiptasia control in the system, mostly out of the tank where the angelfish and butterflies could not get them.