Tank of the Month - December

December 2005 - Tank of the Month
Dave Tea


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1.  Your name, location and occupation. Include how long you have been an aquarist, how long you have been a WMAS member and how you heard of our club.

Name: Dave Tea
Location: Brigham City
Occupation: Arborist
How long have you been in the hobby? 3 years
How long have you been a member of the club? 3 years
How did you hear about the WMAS?  Shane Heil

2.  Describe your tank. Acrylic or glass? Size in dimensions and gallons. How long has it been set up?

Acrylic / Glass: Glass
Size in gallons: 75
Dimensions: 48 x  24 x 18
Age: 3 years (at Dave’s house)

3.  Describe your lighting system, including your photo-period. Add what you would change if you could.

2 x 175w MH (10K XM Bulbs)
2 x 96w PC (Actinic)

4.  Describe your filtration system. Include: How deep is your sand bed, plenum, your skimmer size and model and how long you run it, your circulation pumps (how many and their size in gallons per hour), your sump/refugium  including Reverse Daylight, biowheels and skilters, HOT systems, clean up crew.

The sand bed is considerably deeper than most reef tanks; 5-6 inches. The tank houses approximately 60 lbs of fully encrusted LR. Water from the display tank flows into the sump through a filter sock and then into a chamber with Berlin Skimmer. The water is returned to the display using a RIO 2500.  A smaller powerhead (RIO 900) is also included in the tank for additional water movement.

5.  What are your maintenance techniques? Include water change schedule.

Monthly, 30 gallon water changes along with changing the filter sock. Glass is scraped as necessary, however, the large rock anemone makes this difficult as it has grown directly on the front glass.

6.  What additives do you use? Kalkwasser, Strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Magnesium, Other

No additives are regularly used on this tank. All top off is all RO/DI water. Calcium and alkalinity are maintained by water changes and are not regularly monitored.

7.  Describe  your feeding philosophy. Include your schedule, and what you prefer to feed your system?

Dry flake daily. (every morning). Frozen brine weekly. Green water occasionally.

8.  DIY ie, Calcium reactor, stand / hood, skimmer, sump, ect.  Any Do-it-yourself items of interest? Web-sites that you may have referenced?

Tank was purchased completely set up and moved into Dave’s house. He was literally tank sitting (the whole set-up)  and fell in love with the hobby and decided to buy the tank.

Green water and rotifers are grown to support the breeding of the tomato clowns housed in this tank.

9.  Stand and Canopy

Wood: Oak
Color: Natural
Special Characteristics: The top of the hood is completely open.

10.  Items of interest: Favorite or unusual Fish, coral, or invertebrate

Favorite Fish:  Pair of breeding tomato clowns
Favorite Coral: Pink cauliflower (2 months old)
Favorite Clam:  6” Derasa

11.  Can you include a table showing your elemental levels of Ca+, alkalinity, S.G., temperature, pH and other interesting testables?

Parameters are not routinely monitored.

12.  What experiences and challenges have you had with the tank? Any lessons learned? Is there anything you do differently than others (or differently than previously)? If so, why?

Avoid acrylic tanks. The 300 gallon acrylic tank is difficult to clean. Coraline is difficult to remove and seems to grow very well in the areas were the acrylic has been buffed and polished.


75 gallon – glass
300 gallon – acrylic
20 gallon – glass
18 gallon – glass  x 3
28 gallon – glass
Plus breeder tanks and phyto tanks.

The hobby dominates Dave’s house. There are many display tanks throughout hosting 6 pairs of mated clownfish of different species and 17 anemones. Unfortunately, not all the pairs are as prolific as Dave’s tomato clowns. These two fish spawn regularly and Dave’s ability to rear the fry appears to be limited only by the amount of live foods (rotifers) that can be maintained.

Dave’s success in breeding and raising clownfish fry is unprecedented in the WMAS. He has spent countless hours researching proven processes and has learned through experiments of his own how best to raise the fry through to adult specimens. If you’ve bought a juvenile, tank raised tomato clown at any location along the Wasatch Front, it likely came from Dave. He is currently building a greenhouse to expand his hobby and provide a space that he can fully dedicate to his passion.

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