Suzy & Rob Applegarth's Reef Tank


    Our marine aquarium is 180 gallons of aquatic wonderland, a miniature world full of biodiversity and nature at it's best. The canopy, stand, sump and overflow box were all handcrafted in our garage.  It is all biologically filtered. No filter floss, mechanical removal or stinkin' bioballs to be found anywhere near this tank!  We feed all natural foods to our system.  Phytoplankton and rotifers are farmed in our basement, along with brine shrimp.  Our lighting system is minimal, with normal output fluorescent daylight and actinic bulbs highlighting our clownfish haven on the west side of the tank, and power compact lights on the east side.  We like the soft colonies of mushrooms, pulsing xenias, small polyps and sea fans.  But in our tank, it's about the fish.  The corals are just a background (and filter) for our pets.

    I caught my fish obsession when I was 8 years old, with a fish bowl of fancy guppies and snails caught from a creek near our home. I went through the usual procession from freshwater to saltwater when I received a kit to grow Sea Monkeys for Christmas in the 60's. I've had a tank ever since.

    Rob began his infatuation with things behind glass early in life, also.  Rob didn't just have normal things like fish and plants, though.  He kept snakes and reptiles and guinea pigs and turtles (sick and wrong, huh?).

    Together, we have have decades of experiences in the hobby.  We've lived and learned, had tanks crash and thrive. Throughout the years, we've learned no matter what works now, things change and we gotta flow with the water motion.

Some Rules to Swim by:

  1) Never lean on your tank!  This rule is very self explanatory.  Learned that one when I was nine!

  2) Never put a canopy on that stinks of freshly painted gloss lacquer!  Patience is not over-rated in our hobby.  Learned that one in my 20's.

  3) Never turn your back on a lionfish!  Rob spent 6 months on antibiotics when he learned that rule!

  We've been members of WMAS for 8 years.  We haven't had a crash or major fatality since we've joined.  I figure I'll always have aquatic pets of some sort.  And I still get a kick outta the Sea Monkeys in the basement.

                                                                                  Suzy "Patience" Applegarth