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You are here: Home Volume XII Septeber 2013 Featured Aquarium: vpreef's 360 gallon reef

Featured Aquarium: vpreef's 360 gallon reef

By vpreef Posted Sep 18, 2013 11:00 AM Pomacanthus Publications, Inc.
Australia is home to the the world's most famous natural coral reef. It's also home to some pretty incredible captive reefs. We present vpreef's (John D's) outstanding aquarium. At less than a year old, it's already a real showstopper.


You don't really get to see many tanks coming out of Australia so I am very humbled at the opportunity for Advanced Aquarist to feature my aquarium.

At first when I was contacted to do an article I was a little hesitant and worried that my tank, being so young at only 11 months compared to many you see featured around the globe, may not be quite up to the standard. However, having said that I borrow the quote: "It's not always about being where you are now but where and what you are striving to be." This is only the start of what hopefully will be a long journey with this tank.

I hope that you enjoy the photos and through them are able to feel the enjoyment and relaxation I receive from our great hobby. For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with the ocean and diverse life forms it features. It is truly another world and I love that this hobby allows us to keep a small part of it in our homes. I am really grateful to be given this opportunity to share and showcase a little of what we 'Down Under' have to offer...



Display tank:

  • 1350 litre (360 US gallons)
  • 2440mm Long x 765mm Wide x 730mm high (96x30x28.5")
  • Starfire Glass for front and two sides.



The sump is a custom built 6ft x 2ft x 2ft (180 gallon) tank with changeable filter sock section and three partitions to house skimmer, reactor and return pump. Built into the sump is a 100 litre RO reservoir.


Water Parameters:

  • Alkalinity 7.6dkh
  • Calcium 380 - 400ppm
  • Magnesium 1450ppm
  • Phosphate 0 - 0.02ppm
  • Nitrate 0.25ppm
  • Specific Gravity 1.024
  • Temperature 24.9 C



  • Royal exclusive Super Marin 250 Skimmer
  • 2 x ATI Powermodules: 8 x 54w T5, 8 x 36w T5, 5 x 75w LEDs
  • 4 x Tunze 6205 Stream pumps
  • Waveline DC10000 Return pump
  • Vertex Libra dosing unit
  • Tunze Ozmolator
  • 2 x 300W Eheim heaters
  • Aquatwist UV Sterilizer
  • Reef Dynamics 1000 Biopellet Reactor
  • ORP Meter


Lighting Schedule:

  • T5s are on for 6 hours a day:
  • 8 x Ati Blue Plus
  • 6 x Ati Aquablue Special
  • 2 x Ati Pure Actinic
  • Blue, Royal Blue and White LEDs run at 100% over a 12-hour period where they ramp up and down from 0 - 100 - 0 % power. Red LEDs are run at 15% for only 4 hours during the morning.


Feeding Schedule:

I feed three times a day a mixture of Spectrum pellets, Hikari seaweed pellets and mysis shrimp. I will also give the tangs some nori twice a week.



I try and keep it as simple as I can in this area. I perform a 10-15% water change every fortnight using Brightwell Neomarine salt. I mix this up overnight in a 200L tub located in my laundry. The tank water is siphoned down a drain out the window. Topping back up is via a pump in the laundry tub connected to a hose, which I wind out to the tank. Quite simple and only takes about 30min a fortnight and avoids any heavy lifting which is great for me as I have a back condition.

I top up the cal, mag and alkalinity reservoirs as required. These are automatically dosed via the Vertex Libra system.

The top-up reservoir gets filled once a week directly from my RO unit via air tubing which I wind out to the tank … nice and simple.

I clean the glass front and sides every 3 - 4 days and the back glass gets a scrape every 3-4 weeks.

Skimmer pump and Tunze pumps are cleaned at the six-month mark.





  • Gemmatum Tang
  • Naso Tang
  • Yellow Eye Kole Tang
  • Yellow Tang
  • Power Blue Tang
  • 5 x Bartlett Anthias
  • 5 x Lyretail Anthias
  • Mystery Wrasse
  • Orange Back Fairy Wrasse
  • Pair of Picasso Clownfish


  • S.Gigantea Anemone
  • Hermit crabs
  • Turbo snails
  • Tridacna clams




  • Acropora - Various Species
  • Montipora - Various Species
  • LPS and Mushrooms - Various Species


Just like to say a big thank you to my wife for supporting me and to my fellow reefers who share my passion. I would also like to thank Reeflections Aquarium down here in Melbourne who has provided me with endless advice and awesome quality stock.


A few parting Zoa photos:

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