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David's BiOrb Life Nano Tank

David's Fish Tank

About the Fish Keeper:

Name: David Johnson

Area: North East

Fish Kept: Marine Corals and Inverts

Years in the Hobby: 1

Favourite Fish: Lemon Meringue Wrasse


David has a Reef One BiOrb Life which has been modified. The system uses the standard BiOrb Intelligent light running 12 hours on and 12 hours with a moonlight cycle. The major modification that David has made is the addition of a 25lt 3 compartment sump, housing the additional equipment to keep the system's water quality in check. This includes a TMC V2 Media Reactor running Rowaphos, a TMC V2 Protein Skimmer and a Jebao 800lph return pump. For circulation in the tank, there is a Hydor Koralia 900 with Wave Maker. In addition, there is one 8" submersible white LED tube and 4 x 8" actinic blue submersible LED tubes - all running on a digital plug with a 9 hour on, 15 hour off cycle.


Nano reef tank with live rock filtration in the display tank and ceramic media and live rock in the sump.

Species Kept:

2 clown fish, one regal tang, one lemon meringue wrasse, one condylactis anemone, one conch snail, two astrea snails, two nassarius snails, one blue legged hermit crab, one scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp, flame scallop. Two Zoa frags.

Maintenance and Upkeep:

(Q) What do you feed your fish

(A) Raw chopped prawns, rotifiers, frozen brine shrimp, reef soup, live brine shrimp, hikari  marine s pellets

(Q) How often do you feed your fish

(A) Twice daily for frozen brine, twice weekly for raw chopped prawns. Rotifiers once daily, reef soup and live brine shrimp once a month.

(Q) When you do a water change

(A) Weekly

(Q) What % of water do you change

(A) 15%

(Q) How often do you clean your filter

(A) Weekly


(Q) What's the best tip you would offer to someone new to our hobby

(A) Don't buy a nano reef tank unless you're prepared for the amount of effort keeping levels right until the tank begins maturing. Don't rush into stocking the tank, wait at least 6 weeks between stock introduction to allow for the filter to accustom to the increased bioload.

(Q) What's the biggest mistake you've made in fishkeeping

(A) Not letting the tank cycle naturally. I used ATM's Colony and although it worked, I overstocked the tank over period of two weeks and the tank crashed. Luckily, I only lost my two mature scarlet skunk shrimp and a hermit but I will never ignore experts advice again!!!

(Q) What's your favourite piece of equipment and why

(A) The TMC media reactor is an absolute god send. I was having trouble with diatoms AND cyanobacteria but since the reactor has been up and running with rowaphos and a carbon filter inside the unit, phosphate levels have maintained a constant 0 for the last 6 months and the tank's water is crystal clear.

(Q) What's next for you and your fishtank

(A) I'll be upgrading the lighting on the Biorb from the standard lighting to an AI Prime so I can look at introducing SPS coral to the tank now it's more established. I'm also looking at getting an auto top up system and digital monitoring system for checking water parameters remotely when I'm away on holiday. I'm also looking at setting up another tank (around 300 litres) but this is going to be a project over the next year as it's going to be built into a chimney breast in our home.