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How to make 90 gallons look small

By Leonard Ho - Posted Oct 17, 2014 09:00 AM
Matt Barnes has a problem. A good problem. The corals in his 90 gallon have grown so large they make his 90 gallon reef look tiny. A new 180 gallon system is now in the works.
How to make 90 gallons look small

Expansionism run amuck.

In two year's time, Matt's leather coral, rhodactis mushrooms, and Montipora (the three will henceforth be referred to as the triad) have stretched out to cover nearly every living surface of his 90 gallon reef.  Matt had to remove most of his SPS corals, which were quite sizable themselves, because he was concerned he could not properly care for demanding corals since he frequently traveled.

Well, the triad quickly took advantage of the available real estate.

The leather coral grew from a 2" cutting when he acquired it seven years ago to ~30" in diameter today.  Its resident maroon clown (what won't clownfish host in?) is one happy camper!  Matt says "There were purple hairy mushrooms there too, [but] unfortunately they lost the great mushroom war of 2013."  To the victor goes the spoils, and the hairy mushroom now rules the entire east end with an iron fist.  The orange monitpora perched on top completes the uneasy triad truce.  A few other inhabitants (frogspawn, acropora, gorgonian, et al.) vie for what little space is left.

Matt's tank is 90 gallons with a 60 gallon sump.  It is lit by six T5-HO bulbs, filtered by a SWC Cone Skimmer, and maintained with 20 gallon monthly water changes.   Matt doses nothing to his aquarium out of fear that his corals will grow even more quickly.  Despite his efforts to stunt growth, it's now time to move all his livestock into bigger digs.

Here is a photo from 2012.  Two years really flies by!

barnesoldtank.jpg

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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