April 2007 nTOTM- Nanokiper's 30G SPS-LPS Tank


New member
April nTOTM â€"œ Nanokiper SPS and LPS tank


Having seen so many spectacular systems in Reef Central, I felt mine could not compare. And of course now that my tank was chosen to be the April nTOTM, I am honored to represent my country, the Philippines, and share my tank with aquarists all around the world.

I would like to acknowledge my local club, PMALS and reefphilippines, for they have been a great help in this hobby. Lack of equipments to choose from and people with experienced and expertise, SPS husbandry seemed to be a dream turned reality here in the Philippines. The group’s effort through discussion has provided me access to this wealth of information and helped to minimize pitfalls of a new reef keeper, but I've still managed to make lots of mistakes and learn quite a bit the hard way.


I started my first reef tank 3 years ago. After having been fairly successful with softies in my 18 gallon tank, I decided to set up a larger reef tank. My tank actually began last year in the form of a fowlr tank but after seeing sps dominated tanks, I was convinced to convert it into LPS and SPS dedicated tank. My objective is to have optimum tank parameters with minimal operating cost


The tank is a 30 gallon AGA with twin overflows. One overflow is piped to deliver water to my evaporative cooler which then exits to flow over my fuge. The second overflow delivers water into the skimmer and has a ball valve fitted to control the flow rate. I designed and built the stand by myself. I used a 2 inches by 12 inches solid wood stand to ensure that the cabinet can carry the load and it has worked out very well.

My sump is located inside the cabinet. It has two compartments, the refugium where the chaeto is being housed. This refugium has a 5" deep sandbed and is used for amphipods, copepods and bristleworms. The fuge is lighted by two spiral type power compact light. To achieve the desired 5000 K color temperature, I am using a combination of warm light and day light since this lamp is not available in the Philippines. The other chamber is for the return pump suction and float switch of my auto top off.


Planning and fabricating tanks equipments boost my interest in the hobby. I built my own counter current monster skimmer, kalkwasser reactor with RO water auto top off, and evaporative cooler. I am fascinated with my corals thriving and seeing my DIY’s working and doing their job.

The skimmer is a three feet high four inches diameter with two medium size air wood powered by high capacity air pump. Water from the tank’s surface skimmer is directly fed to the protein skimmer resulting in dark waste product.

Calcium is added by DIY Kalk reactor filled with 5 table spoons of Aquaz kalkwasser every two weeks. Reverse osmosis water is supplied to the reactor by DIY auto top off pumping system. Reactor is made of bent acrylic sheet and PVC pipes. Accrylic tube cost is ten times fold than acrylic sheet price. The 5mm PVC tubing is very cheap since I purchased it from scrap dealer. My friend who has a machine shop business helped me in fabricating the top and bottom flange. I am using Ehiem 1046 pump for kalk mixing. One time I forgot to turn off and left the pump running for more than 1 hr. Fortunately’ the pump is still in good condition. Mixing is now controlled by timer to prevent recurrence of the problem.

To achieve reef required water temperature with minimum evaporative cooling, you need to remove source of heat out from the tank. Three fans are installed in the hood to remove the heat generated by lights and replacing humid air to enhance evaporation especially during night time. A DIY evaporative cooler with drip tray and pads to enhance heat exchange and air and water contact surface is installed in the sump. It does a good job of cooling the tank, enough to combat the Philippine summer since my 1/10 Hp chiller was not fully utilized. The chiller was set at 29 C during the hottest days and activated once when the tank temperature reached 30 C. Temperature readings range from 28C in the morning and 29C in the evening during lighting period.

My lighting consists of two 10000K Sunpro T5, 1 Bluepro T5, and 6500K Midday T5. All T5 lamps are provided with parabolic reflectors. One of the problems of a nano tank is lighting (watts per gallon) especially that I am keeping light demanding SPS corals. I am limited to four T5s due to space limitation of the hood. The 6500K Midday T5 is overdriven to increase photosynthetic effect of the lamp. Though light combination does not have a good color balance of blue and white, the two suns and Midday lamps will be lit first for the first 7 hours providing the photosynthetic needs of corals then the Midday will shut off once the blue pro has been turned on during the 4 hour viewing time. It will simulate sunlight in the late afternoon aside from correcting the color balance and saving electrical energy.


Water circulation in the display tank is provided by closed loop manifold piping system driven by Resun pump (2800 liters/ hr). The manifold piping has two suction ports located few inches above the DSB of the main tank, exhaust ports are directed to the top portion of the tank to create water turbulence. Water from the sump is delivered to the display tank by Resun (2800 liters/ hr) external pump.


Acropora, Poccillopora, Porites, Seriatopora, Branching montipora digitata. Montipora capricornis, Turbinaria peltata, Echynophyllia, Acanthastrea lordwensis, Acanthestrea echinata, Blastomussa, and Scolymia brain coral.

I got collection of Acanthastrea corals, I placed them in the right and left side of the tank since they don’t require intense lightings. These are the tank’s part that have no direct lighting, T5 bulbs are shorter than the tank hood.

Right and left side aquascaping with different varieties of acanlord.


Blastomussa sp.

The orange montipora digitata is one of my favorite among my SPS, this is a very hardy coral that it survived during the 12 hours journey from my hometown to Manila.

Green acropora sp.

Lucky enough to have pink poccillopora, the base had bleached for unknown reason so I decided to frag it.


Fish: 1 true and false Percula clown, Purple firefish

True percula is one of my favorite fish.

Invertebrate: Snails and Shrimps

Cleaner and blood shrimps, most of the time the blood is hiding in the live rock.


My maintenance routine includes a 10% water change every two weeks. Water volume of 5 gallons is replaced with fresh artificial saltwater. Instant Ocean salt with reverse osmosis water is used to prepare this water. My weekly schedule includes cleaning of the skimmer and tank glass. Dosing of supplements includes few drops of iodine every two days and 10 ml of amino acids twice a week. Other additives used as needed are AquaZ Ca chloride, AquaZ hydro Magnesium, AquaZ Alkalinity.


The fishes are fed with once every two days with Omega one with garlic pellets and Sera granule. Corals that are capable of swallowing frozen food are fed two days prior to water change, in particular the scomalia and Acanthastrea colonies. Frozen food is thawed and then target fed using an improvised baster. This helps to minimize uneaten food. Once per week feeding of Golden Pearl mixed with tank water. The coral feeding regime is designed to minimize nitrate concentration.

Tank water parameter, using Aquaz bottled additives and JBL test kit
Magnesium- 1200
Calcium- 440
Alkalinity- 9 dkh

Maintaining a small reef tank is challenging. A reef tank is never "finished," no matter how often friends and relatives may ask. Especially a tank as young as mine, it is just getting settled and will hopefully become even more beautiful over time. I'm very thankful to my good friend DocMike who helped me understand water tank chemistry and gave tips on coral husbandry. Unfortunately, he has to quit in the hobby to push through his career in medicine. To Deuece67 who invited me to join the April’s nTOTM contest. Maraming salamat.


New member
Many thanks to Reef Central for most of my DIY's came from this forum.

Counter current skimmer and the waste product.


Kalk Reactor, it is now controlled by timer set at 3x 5 mins mixing per day.

Evaporative cooler with drip tray and cooling pads.

Some close up shuts of acanthastrea lordwensis



Acanthastrea echinata sp.

Orange cynarina sp.


Thanks for viewing. :)


Premium Member
great job, i never quite noticed corals in the fish stores in Manila (especially Cartimar), only their fish. your DIY skills are unbelievable!


New member
great tank nano!!! you got one cool tank!!! seen it in person, one great tank indeed...


New member
I'm drooling over all the clams. I think?:lol: How many are in there?

Great tank. Awesome DIY. And beautiful LPS specimens. All shown with a great eye for naturalistic symmetry.

Congratulations and a well deserved acknowledgment of your obvious dedication to the aquatic husbandry.



Premium Member
Thanks, you just gave me an idea with the manifold system. Now I just have to figure out how to adapt it and use a SCWD on my return. Great tank, you got my vote.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9902350#post9902350 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by nano7joy
I'm drooling over all the clams. I think?:lol: How many are in there?

Great tank. Awesome DIY. And beautiful LPS specimens. All shown with a great eye for naturalistic symmetry.

Congratulations and a well deserved acknowledgment of your obvious dedication to the aquatic husbandry.


I got lots of croceas and two maximas. In a small environment like my tank where most of my SPS are located at the top, I placed my clams in between to give them enough light and moderate water flowrate.


New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9905243#post9905243 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by GrandeGixxer
Thanks, you just gave me an idea with the manifold system. Now I just have to figure out how to adapt it and use a SCWD on my return. Great tank, you got my vote.

Thanks, here's a photo of the two suction ports of the manifold piping system. The pvc elbow and tee in the upper right and left corners are connected to the skimmer and fuge.



Premium Member
Thanks for the extra pic, I wish I ad drilled my tank for a closed loop when I was setting it up.