Greg Hiller Corals
Greg Hiller Corals
Greg Hiller Corals
My Tanks:
400 Gallon
110 Gallon
65 Gallon
54 Gallon
Small Polyp Stony (SPS) Corals
Large Polyp Stony (LPS) Corals
Soft Corals
Anemones, Mushrooms, and Zoanthids
Contact Me:
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My Tanks
110 Gallon SPS Reef
* In late 2005 this tank was taken down and all corals were transferred to a new 400 gallon tank. The entries and photos are left here for reference.

Description: The tank is a standard Oceanic 110 gallon tank, 5 feet long, 18 inches wide. It started out as a 125 gallon acrylic fish only system, and was slowly converted to a reef tank. When the metal halide lighting was added, the top of the acrylic tank began to split due to the proximaty of the MH bulbs. At that time (September 1998) all of the occupants were transferred to the 110 gallon Oceanic glass tank. The photos below are from June 2000.
Here is a recent shot of the 110 taken in September 2004. Some colonies have grown to the water surface and have been removed or fragged back multiple times. Clearly the tank is overgrown and looking crowded - time for a bigger tank!
Click on the images to get a closer look!
Lighting: 2 - 250, 6500K Iwasaki metal halide bulbs on an Icecap electronic ballast, also, 1 - 5ft 140 watt URI VHO blue and 1 - 5 ft 140 watt URI VHO Aquasun bulb. The VHO's run for 13 hours, MH for 10.
Water movement: A GRI 520 pump moves water from the sump one floor below back up to the tank. The water is alternately directed though two nozzles on either side of the tank by a motorized " ball valve controlled by a mechanical Intermatic timer set up with a random cycle. Additional water movement is provided by a single Hagen 802 powerhead on the left side of the tank on of the time, only during the light cycle.
Sump:A simple Rubbermaid 50 gallon tub. Hookups for the skimmer, calcium hydroxide additions, heater, and the calcium reactor are all located here.
Water Quality & Maintenance
Temperature: 77-80 F during the winter, 78-84 F during the summer (cooling by enhanced evaporation and chiller when necessary). The 78-84 F temp swing often occurs in the space of eight hours with no obvious stress on the inhabitants of the system.
Calcium maintenance: All evaporation make up water is saturated calcium hydroxide (use calcium oxide AKA vertical quicklime purchased in 50# bags) preped from RO/DI water. The calcium hydroxide water contributes about 1/10 the total calcium demand for the system, but also helps to keep the pH up.

Most of the calcium is provided by a homemade calcium reactor (6" dia X30") packed with crushed limestone from a local quarry that I had a chemical analysis performed on (cost from the quarry is $0.05/lb). The calcium demand of this tank has been approximately calculated by the drop in alkalinity if the calcium reactor is shut down, the demand is 20lb calcium carbonate/year.

The alkalinity is kept within the range of 2.8-6 meq/l, and the calcium generally runs >400 ppm.
Magnesium: The magnesium level is tested every few months and if necessary ESV B-ionic magnesium is added to keep the level at >1200 ppm.
Salinity or Specific Gravity: The specific gravity is measured occasionally and maintained between 1.022 and 1.025. I typcially target 1.0235.
Nitrate: The nitrate in the tank usually runs in the 10-20 ppm range. I generally don't follow it very often, as IME it has little relation to the health of the corals and fish.
pH: The pH of the tank typically runs from 7.8 to 8.1.
Trace Element Supplementation: I occasionally add iodine, 1 drop of Lugol's solution per 20 gallons once every few weeks when I think of it. Other trace elements are likely added as the calcium reactor substrate breaks down.
Nutrient removal: An ETS 700 skimmer powered by a GEN-X pump runs continuously. I've been very happy with this skimmer. Cleaned about once per week.

5-10% water changes are performed every month or so. Sometimes these changes are made by siphoning detritus out of a calm area of the sump. Often times the water changes are made when water is needed for fragging/propagating corals or for shipping corals.

Nutrients are also removed from the system by the growth and subsequent removal of corals or fragments of coral.
Cleaning: Other than the occasional removal of detritus from the sump (mentioned above), the only cleaning of the tank is a once to twice weekly scraping of the glass for better viewing. No rocks are ever moved or disturbed.
Rock structure: All rock in the tank was collected as sun bleached, rain washed coral skeletons collected up on the beach, away from the water on vacations in Hawaii and Honduras. The tank was seeded with a small piece of Marshall Islands live rock. Some 'Reef-Rock' brand fossilized coral rock has been used to propagate corals on. In many cases the corals/rocks in the tank are held in position with acrylic rods poked into the rockwork.
Sand: Sand was Oolitic dead sand from ESV, seeded from sand of various tanks. FWIW, there does not seem to be much life in this sand, but it does not seem to cause a problem for the system.
Fish: (X) years in my care as of 7-2000. (last fish lost was a C. argi that jumped one year ago, before that one jawfish was lost during a tank move two years ago)
  • Pomacanthus navarchus - Majestic Angelfish/Blue Girdled Angelfish (4)
  • Acanthurus leucosternon - Powder blue tang (3)
  • Chelmon rostratus - Copperbanded butterfly fish (4)
  • Zebrasoma xanthurum - Purple tang (3)
  • Labroides dimidiatus - Blue streak cleaner wrasse (4)
  • Premnas biaculeatus - Maroon clownfish pair (4), occasionally laying eggs for the last 1 years.
  • Opistognathus aurifrons - Yellow headed jawfish (4)
  • Valenciennea puellaris - Orange-spotted sand-sifting goby (3)
  • Gramma loreto - Royal Gramma (4)
Invertebrates: Nearly all of the corals in the tank were grown from small fragments, most obtained by trading with other hobbists.

Besides the corals, there are a few peppermint shrimp for Aiptasia control, and a multitude of snails and several species of hermit crabs.
Feeding: Fish are typically fed twice a day with a variety of frozen and dried foods. Dried algae sheets for the herbivorous fish are hung once to twice per day. The fish in this system have been very health, and rarely show any aggression towards one another. The exception has been the purple tang which has been very slowly healing from a bout of head and lateral line erosion that occurred while being treated with copper nearly 2 years ago. Other than a few still open areas on the tangs face it is otherwise very fat and healthy.
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