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July 2014 Tank of the Month



This Article Features Photo Zoom

Eren Yelkenci's (erenyel) 870L (230 US gallon) Reef Aquarium






First of all, I would like to start to express that my aquarium has been selected as one of the TOTMs, which had inspired me to switch to saltwater aquarium made me very happy. I would like to thank Reefkeeping Magazine for allowing this opportunity and to my wife and all my friends kindly that have supported me at this hobby.








I started on my aquarium hobby by feeding beta fish in a bell glass at my childhood years. I had a microscope and I used to have fun inspecting micro creatures. Later, I fed many species in freshwater aquariums and as mentioned-above I made a decision to switch to saltwater aquarium while I was inspecting TOTMs at your Reefkeeping site. After I got acquainted with saltwater aquariums, my intense interest gradually increased and I started to do non-stop scientific research. Soon after, aquariums became an important part of my life.

Photography was my main field of interest before aquarium hobby. After reef aquariums involving my life, I turned towards to aquarium photography and I am about to publish a photo book of which. Many formulation additives that I created to use for my aquariums became most preferred products in Turkey and well known abroad.

My first marine tank has been modified from fresh water one and I was highly inexperienced because of becoming beginner and unconscious in reefs. Therefore I experienced many problems. Ultimately, after two years from setup, I lost all of my creatures in that tank due to unfortunate blow of electrical fuse. This awful experience made me realize that either I should’ve done better planning or how esteemed responsibility to operate this job well done.

Forming my present tank, I aimed to create a more trouble-free system by combining my previous experiences in which I failed many, my researches and my dear friends’ valuable ideas. No matter how you install most powerful structure; hobbyists should always be ready to unexpected surprises. Especially if you give up or postpone following it …

I had many different experiences like that failure in dosing pump caused kH value ranging from 3-4 to 15-20. As a result of that kind of problems, from time to time I lost ground but not as much as that could change regular pattern of my tank, however I achieved to keep continuity of overall stability up today.

Although this hobby has many difficulties and to charge responsibilities, I consider reef aquarium hobby as the most precious one to make an effort among so far known. Of course that’s why it contains abundant natural wonder creatures.




System Profile

I organized this system as a SPS weighted mix reef aquarium. That’s why I didn’t keep height too much and attached a frag tank in order not to cause bad display due to broken corals.

I also attached draining systems to main tank, to SUMP, and to adding water compartment in case of overflow. I directly connected waste container of Protein Skimmer to drain and I set a plumbing which dispatches water again to drain through a valve in order to make easier at exchanging water processes.









• Main Display Aquarium: 870L (180cm x 90cm x 55cm) / 230 US gallons ( Aquarium
• Lighting: 12 x 80 Watt T5 (Main Tank) 6 x 24 Watt T5 (Frag Tank) 1 x 10 Watt LED (Refugium)
• Circulation Pumps: 1 x Tunze 6085 1 x Tunze 6065 1 x Hydor Koralia 7 (Main Tank) 1 x Tunze Wave box 6212 (Main Tank)
• Return Pumps: 1 x ATB 6000 (Main Tank) 1 x New Jet 6000 (Chiller & Reactors than Main Tank) 1 x NewJet 3000 (Frag Tank & Refugium)
• Filtration Equipment: Bubble King Deluxe 250 Internal Protein Skimmer Biopellet Reactor Active Carbon Reactor
•Dosing Equipments: Bubble Magus Dosing Pump Kalkwasser Reactor



In my previous tanks, I used metal halide and LED fixtures. Based on my experience as well as my technical and visual sense, I thought I may be more successful using T5 lighting.



Circulation & Return Pumps

I considered stability, silence and efficiency to decide the circulation and return pumps. I conceal the wave box and wave making devices to create a more natural view.

I linked cooler’s exit to main tank against any failure of return pump. That’s why loop could proceed in case of pump failure.



I thought about my aquarium's filtration system to achieve two main fundamental goals. The most important is to provide oxygen, and this is done with a protein skimmer. The second is to support biological filtration, for which I use biopellets. I am also using activated carbon at the same time for possible chemical build-ups. I don't use any other mechanical filtration methods.



I have preferred the balling method ever since my first reef tank and I'm very happy with it. In fact, over time I created my own formulas and shared them. ReeFlowers additives are produced using these formulas, and are used in Turkey and many countries by many hobbyist. There are four reasons I use kalkwasser; It does not affect the ionic balance, only adding calcium directly and alkalinity indirectly. I dose at night to minimize the fluctuations in pH between day and night. 


Aquarium Development Process


I bought almost all my corals as frags and raised them all. At first, there were much more montipora species than acropora species, then I concentrated on acropora species towards oncoming periods.

I pruned them off periodically because of SPS reefs entangling each other and getting out of water level in times and more importantly because of visual regularity.

Corals developed so rapidly beyond my previous experiences and above my expectation. When my first setup reached to certain maturity, I realized that I had used more rock and made some mistakes in placement of reef species.

Upper corals became dominant over below corals in times and front coral’s thick branches caused to disappear of visual deepness by avoiding placed in the rear. Because of this and related issues, I made a decision to make overall rock design variations after two years. PHOTO-8 After renewing my design, I treated more carefully in replacement of corals in order not to suffer that I had experienced in my first project and pruned reefs too often. I currently prune once in two month as partly and once in six month as generally.


Additives & Feeding

I normally don’t use additives except balling products and kalkwasser. I prefer to use potassium, which I believe its critical factor for pigmentation process and strontium, which provides tough and strong skeleton especially for SPS. Additionally, I keep a product on stand-by which forces to remove ammoniac and bind to active substances in order to response promptly against any biological and chemical problems that is composed rapidly. Reef Crystals Salt (Water Changes) ReeFlowers kH Blend (with Dosing Pump) ReeFlowers Calcium Blend (with Dosing Pump) ReeFlowers Magnesium Blend (with Dosing Pump) ReeFlowers Ionic Balancer (with Dosing Pump) ReeFlowers Enriched Kalkwasser (Kalkwasser Reactor & Dosing Pump) ReeFlowers Potassium Blend (When Needed) ReeFlowers Strontium Blend (When Needed) ReeFlowers RemOrganics (S.O.S Situations like Ammonia problems, etc.) I use Ocean Nutrition Formula One as a fish-feed which has low phosphate value that I need on a daily bases for normal balance of my tank. Beside, I prepare a mix cocktail which combine of other fish-feeds once a week.


  • Ocean Nutrition Formula One
  • Ocean Nutrition Formula Two


  • Tetra Pro Vegetables 
  • Tropical Daphnia 
  • Tropical Krill 
  • Tropical Kelp Algae 
  • Tetra Spirulina 
  • Nori Seaweed


  • Cyclop Eeze









Water Parameters:
  • Salinity: 34 ppt
  • Alkalinity: 8.5 dKH
  • Calcium: 460 ppm
  • Magnesium: 1380 ppm
  • Nitrate: 1 ppm
  • Phosphate: 0.02 ppm



Temperature Control

I think for the most stable and reliable temperature, the heater and chiller should be integrated. For this reason, I have chosen a chiller with both heating and cooling functions in a single unit (Teco TC 20 Chiller). I set up the aquarium's temperature for 26,5 oC (79.7 oF) in winter and 27,5 oC (81.5 oF) in summer.


Periodic Maintenance

Periodic maintenance has been boring for me every time, cleaning glass, making test, cleaning the protein skimmer etc. For this reason, I try to find ways to facilitate maintenance work. For example, protein skimmer is connected to the waste water exit and I set up the daily waste collection 3 lt. In this way the skimmer throat is polluted lately and offset the increase in salinity caused by balling and automatically change the water every day is made. In addition, using the freshwater part, I can change 10% of water through valves and keys.


  • Control Water Parameters
  • Clean glass


  • Replace activated carbon
  • Clean filter for chiller
  • Clean protein skimmer container
  • Control of kalkwasser reactor
  • Control of biopellet reactor
  • Control of balling containers
  • Perform 10% water change


  • Change T5 lamps
  • Clean circulation & return pumps
  • Clean protein skimmer


Livestock (Currently)

I took care of many creature species since setup my tank. Some of which are still in my tank but others has been exchanged with different species. I would like to write a list of creature that I owned currently as below. But pictures include whole creatures both I fed since setup, and I removed some of which.






  • 9 x Squammapinnis Anthias
  • 5 x Dispar Anthias
  • 7 x Chromis
  • 2 x Bangai Cardinal
  • 8 x Apogen Cardinal
  • 10 x Yellow Tang
  • 7x Blue Tang
  • Naso Tang
  • Kole Tang
  • Brown Tang
  • Desjardini Sailfin Tang
  • Chelmon Butterflyfish
  • Flame Hawkfish
  • 2 x Fire Clownfish
  • Blue Mandarin
  • Red Scooter
  • Dragonet Jaguar Wrasse
  • Orchid Dottyback (Fridmani)







  • 3 x Tridacna Crocea
  • Tridacna Maxima
  • Tridacna Derasa
  • Red-Green Mini Carpet Anemone
  • Blue-Purple Mini Carpet Anemone
  • Pink Reef Lobster
  • Harlequin Shrimp
  • Starfish Dolabella
  • Emerald Crab
  • 80 x Conch
  • 30 x Turbo Snail
  • 6 x Blue Legged Hermit Crab
  • 2 x Cleaner Shrimp







  • Green-blue Acropora sp.
  • Turquoise Acropora sp.
  • Blue-purple Acropora sp.
  • Green Acropora sp.
  • Pink Acropora sp.
  • Green Acropora Staghorn
  • Turquoise Acropora Staghorn
  • Blue Acropora Staghorn
  • Red Acropora Millepora
  • Pink Acropora Millepora
  • Pink Seriatopora hystrix
  • Yellow-green Seriatopora hystrix
  • Seriatopora guttatus
  • Purple Seriatopora (Bird of Paradise)
  • Purple Stylophora pistillata
  • Velvet green Psammacora Contigua
  • Montipora undata
  • Orange Superman Montipora
  • Green Montipora danae
  • Blue Montipora danae
  • Montipora Stellata
  • Green Montipora sp.
  • Red Montipora plating coral
  • Purple Montipora plating coral
  • Blue Montipora digitata
  • Lilac Montipora digitata
  • Orange Montipora digitata
  • Green Montipora digitata






LPS & Soft

  • Pink Scolymia sp.
  • Red Australomussa sp.
  • Blue Australomussa sp.
  • Red Cynarina Lacrymalis
  • Green-Purple-Red Brain Coral
  • Green Star Polyps
  • Orange Fungia coral
  • Pink Goniopora sp.
  • Green Goniopora sp.
  • Purple-pink Chalice
  • Yellow - Green Candy Coral
  • Blue - Green Candy Coral
  • Yellow Ricordea florida
  • Blue Ricordea florida
  • Orange Ricordea florida
  • Pink Ricordea florida
  • Green Ricordea florida
  • Pink Ricordea Yuma
  • Orange Ricordea Yuma
  • Green Lavender Mushroom
  • Purple Lavender Mushroom
  • Blue Mushroom
  • Red Mushroom
  • Green Oval Elephant Ear Mushroom
  • Pink Zoanthus
  • Orange-black Zoanthus
  • Green Zoanthus
  • Yellow-green Zoanthus
  • Yellow-red-green Zoanthus








I believe that oceans are miraculous and amazing living spaces, which we couldn’t discover literally forever. Almost each discovery regarding oceans produces new areas which should be discovered. By each discovery we understand that we know less than we guess. We should care about each one of these impressive creatures that leaves its nature to come our homes as guest. We have to do our best to provide optimal environment for them. I would like to thank again to Reefkeeping magazine which give me opportunity to share my Marine tank experience in such an important platform. My best regards to all reef brothers from Turkey… Eren Yelkenci





Feel free to comment or ask questions about my tank in the Tank of the Month thread on Reef Central.

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