View Full Version : 7 month old 125 starphyre peninsula

Matt Dean
11/06/2010, 10:01 PM
So, i thought I would share some pics of my 7 month old reef. I went to great expense and trouble to do things right and make sure I would have the tank i have been dreaming of since I was 10

Well, I think the money and effort was worth it! I have had NO algae problems ever. My phosphates have been 0 and nitrates have been 5 or 0 from the beginning. So, I have had very few problems and very healthy corals and fish.

Equipment consists of 5 X 2 X 20" 3 side viewable ductom starphyre peninsula tank with closed loop and coast to coast overflow. 55 gal acrylic sump. Red dragon pumps for return and closed loop. MP20 for additional flow w/ battery backup, Bubble King 200 skimmer, UV, GFO/GAC, refugium with chaeto/live rock, Tek 8 bulb 54 W T5 light, Reefkeeper Lite Plus controller, Profilux 3 pump doser fro Ca, Alk and Mg, GHL 4 fan Propellor breeze, ATO connected to my RO/DI.

I used some rock from my old 46 Gal tank and the rest is Marco rock. I have no dead spots for flow and have created a circular vortech of flow which keeps everybody happy. I can't wit to see the tank when it grows in in a year. ut should be incredible.

So, a pic is worth a thousand words...... (First the two sides of the tank)



Clams (The Deraso is much greener than in the pic) :



Some of the corals:







Matt Dean
11/06/2010, 10:06 PM



Some of the fish:






And here is the tank in the room that I renovated to accommodate the build!



Thanks for looking! Cheers, MATT

11/06/2010, 10:09 PM
Great Camera skills and beautiful reef. the scape looks very natural and and i think in another 7 months when all the corals growing in this is going to be one hell of a tank.

Matt Dean
11/06/2010, 10:13 PM
Thanks Chris, yes, that is what i'm thinking as well. When it all grows in, ti should be spectacular!

I just got the camera as a gift. It's an entry level DSLR with a stock lens. I am still trying to figure it out and will probably end up buying a better lens for it.


11/06/2010, 10:20 PM
Nice tank you have there!!!

Using only 1 MP40 to create the waves? amazing! Will be following your tank thread real close!

11/06/2010, 10:26 PM
Great looking tank! My in-wall 90 is in the same room as my recording studio too.

How do you deal with the sound of the tank? Do you do any live recording in that room too?

Matt Dean
11/06/2010, 10:33 PM
eniram78, I have a closed loop as well for flow. You can see the returns coming out of the rock. there are 2 returns on each side. There is a lot of flow in the tank. I made a mistke in my first post, it's an MP20, not 40.

Scherzo, with the herbie overflow and the Red Dragon pumps/Bubble King skimmer, the only noise is from the Vortech MP20. i spent a fortune to make this set up dead quiet. In the room, you can see the vocal booth with the french door on it. When I record in there, it's perfectly sound proofed!

11/07/2010, 12:10 AM
Wow, great job. Looks amazing!

What is your bulb combo? I like the color.

Matt Dean
11/07/2010, 06:18 AM
It's an 8 bulb fixture with 1 Duo white (17K), 1 Fiji Purple, 2 Blue plus and 4 blues.

Actually, I like it without the white, but my corals didn't, so, I put the white back in.

11/07/2010, 08:21 AM
Looking very very nice. Love the scaping. Very natural look to it as well. Can you post closeup shots of the various SPS corals please.

Also, how do you find the Starfire glass compared to regular glass in terms of scratching etc? I ordered my next tank with Starfire, but been reading many threads where poeple say starfire scratches more easily than regular glass.

11/07/2010, 10:05 AM
Thanks for posting more pics Matt! Love love love your tank. I hope one day the tank I have been working on for so long will come to life and look close to yours. Keeping you on file so I can ask you questions down the road. Thanks again

11/07/2010, 10:10 AM
It's obvious a lot of time, money, and effort was spent on this build, it really shows.

Beautiful tank Matt!

11/07/2010, 10:12 AM
BTW - Whereabouts in Toronto did you get most of your stuff? I am in Toronto frequently

11/07/2010, 10:14 AM
very nice job :)

11/07/2010, 10:16 AM
Great looking tank! Those wrasses are gorgeous; was it hard to acclimate them and get them feeding?. Nice man-room too.

Matt Dean
11/07/2010, 04:42 PM
Thanks everyone.

Almost all the gear and quite a few of the corals are from Oakville Reef Gallery. They are fantastic to deal with. Great quality. I also get corals from Reeft Raft and North american Fish Breeders.

The wrasses were not hard to acclimate at all. I lost one Blue Star Leopard wrasse that just buried itself and never surfaced again, but the rest were easy to acclimate and easy to keep.

I have found the Starphyre glass just as strong and scratch resistant as regular glass. I have hit it with rock several times and not a scratch. I'm not sure why people are saying it scratches easy. I have found the opposite.

I'll get some SPS pics later tonight.


11/07/2010, 04:49 PM
Nice! I LOVE that room and the decor!

Matt Dean
11/07/2010, 05:30 PM
OK, so as promised...more pics! Here's some more corals in the tank. It's not all the SPS, but some of them:











11/07/2010, 05:37 PM
Man, great tank, great pics, great camera work! I can't believe that's an entry level DSLR. I guess kudos to the cameraman if it is! :thumbsup:

11/07/2010, 06:03 PM
Absolutely stunning, I love your man cave, and your tank. I really like the fact that it is 4 sides viewable. I'd love to be able to swivel my chair around while on the computer and take a look at my fish and corals. I think your coral placement is awesome and when it fills out it will be even more impressive. Also it looks like you have a very nice even amount of flow in your tank. You must have spent a fortune on pumps alone! I am trying to decide between the Tek 6 bulb fixture for my tank or an ATI powermodule 6x80w. I really want a 8 bulb set-up to get the most out of bulb combo's, but I don't think I'll be able to budget it. Did you find that the Tek fixture got hot without an internal fan?

11/07/2010, 06:51 PM
Very nice, and excellent photography. The room looks like a true man-cave too :)

Matt Dean
11/07/2010, 07:05 PM
Thanks. Yes, it is quite the room. I live down here. First place I go in the a.m. and last place I go before bed. i LOVE having the tank right behind me. NTW, it's 3 side viewable. the back is all overflow.

As for the pumps for flow.... yes, it was $2000 for the two red dragon pumps and the MP20, but worth every penny. Dead quiet and reliable. You can't even hear the red dragons turn on and off.

The Tek light does get hot without the fan. From everything I have read, the ATI is a better fixture in every way, unless you go for the Tek Elite. i would LOVE to have an ATI, but I have spent all I am going to spend on this tank as far as gear goes.:crazy1:

I must agree, though. Having 8 bulbs is better than 6 for getting the color you want.

11/11/2010, 07:50 AM
Nice tank

11/11/2010, 08:02 AM
Thanks. Yes, it is quite the room. I live down here. First place I go in the a.m. and last place I go before bed. i LOVE having the tank right behind me. NTW, it's 3 side viewable. the back is all overflow.

As for the pumps for flow.... yes, it was $2000 for the two red dragon pumps and the MP20, but worth every penny. Dead quiet and reliable. You can't even hear the red dragons turn on and off.

The Tek light does get hot without the fan. From everything I have read, the ATI is a better fixture in every way, unless you go for the Tek Elite. i would LOVE to have an ATI, but I have spent all I am going to spend on this tank as far as gear goes.:crazy1:

I must agree, though. Having 8 bulbs is better than 6 for getting the color you want.

Well, you can always pat yourself on the back for money well spent as it looks like you've enjoyed it yourself. Did I say that I love your coral placement?:D Thanks for the info on the Tek fixture I'd love to get an ATI also, but the TEK with its price just seems more pallatable. How much was the fan that you have running? Where is it placed in regards to the fixture?

Mike de Leon
12/01/2010, 06:51 PM
Hey Matt, Great work on the tank. Looks awesome! Good Luck on the shortcake.

Mike de Leon
12/01/2010, 06:53 PM
Great work on the tank Matt! Looks awesome!
Good luck on the shortcake.

Matt Dean
12/01/2010, 09:51 PM
Thanks Mike,

It was nice meeting you and seeing your tank. Looking forward to watching the Strawberry Shortcake bloom!

02/02/2011, 12:20 AM
One of the best tanks I've seen, very inspiring.

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 07:14 AM
Thank you bsg. That's very kind.

U have since made some changes in the last month. I sold all the large SPS colonies and bought a bunch of nice frags. I was able to get a Re Planet, Strawberry Shortcake, Blue Tortousa, Orange Digi, etc. It should be much more colorful. Also, I got an LTA for my clowns. They had killed a nice brain by "loving it" to death and were starting to take interesting in my goniopora. So, I needed to get them a host.

U also changed the one rock on the left to make a lower platform for some nice SPS. It's more open and brighter now. In a year, it's going to be amazing, for sure.

I will wait a little while before posting pics. I'm not a fan of FTS with a bunch of little sticks in it! :)

02/02/2011, 10:11 AM
Very nice tank and corals!

Curious, are these red bugs?


02/02/2011, 10:18 AM
Very nice tank. Hope to see more pics soon!

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 10:25 AM
Thanks guys. No, they are not red bugs, although they do look like it. It's just the color of the polyps on the coral.

I will share my "birthday present". I had to beg the LFS owner to give me this clam out of his display for 3 weeks before he caved in.


I also scored a beautiful red-mouthed elegance coral that has double in size a month after I put it in. I may have to sell it within a year if it grows any more.



02/02/2011, 10:33 AM
Interesting. Is that how the polyps starts out? I was talking about those. Anyhow, don't want to deter your thread but make sure you are at least aware.


02/02/2011, 11:21 AM
Very nice matt, you have surely got it figured out!

Beautiful tank! Can't believe that's only 7 mo. Wow..

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 11:41 AM
dzhuo, honestly, I don't know. The coral has been like that since i got it several months ago and it is doing very well - as are all my SPS. I would think that if it was red bugs there would be some negative effect by now. I will look closer when the lights come on and see if there are any indications. That is a pretty enlarged macro shot.

Thanks for the concern and input. I appreciate it.

02/02/2011, 11:59 AM
Very nice looking tank. Very good work.

02/02/2011, 12:13 PM
Beautiful tank you've got there. Love the selection of fish!

02/02/2011, 12:22 PM
Great tank and amazing pictures.

02/02/2011, 02:10 PM
Your Everywhere!

Great tank!

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 02:13 PM
Hehe:spin2: No I'm not, Shiver. I'm at my desk, as always. LOL!

Thanks everyone. These are the fish I have always wanted, short of a Regal and Emperor Angel, but I like LPS and Zoas too much to have either of those. I know it is a heavy bio load, but I have excellent nutrient export and water is pristine since day one.

02/02/2011, 02:52 PM
Matt, if you don't mind me asking, I see your lock-line returns up top and down in the aquascaping. Is your tank drilled on the bottom? I think I see your drain on the bottom too. Where is your over flow located and where do you keep your brute cans for mixing water and water changes?

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 03:04 PM
Yes, the tank is drilled on the bottom. It's a closed loop with one intake and two returns. each return is split into two to go to each side of the tank - since it's a peninsula. This creates a 'vortech' of flow from the returns to the closed loop with the MP20 sending it back tot he overflow.

The overflow is on one end - coast to coast with a Herbie method drain. It's dead quiet. With the Red Dragon Pumps and Bubble King skimmer this setup is amazingly quiet. all you really hear is the MP20 and the bubbles of the skimmer if the doors are open. Everyone comments on how quiet it is.

I mix my water in 5 gallon pails in my laundry room on the next level up in my house (4 level back split). I mix it as I need it. I lug the pails up and down when i do a water change. Not that big a deal.

02/02/2011, 03:25 PM
Ok thought so, I like the setup a lot. I Bet you have good flow down in the aquascaping.

I not fimiliar with the word Peninsula. What is that?

One other HUGE question...would you choose the Tek 8 bulb 54w T5's over those new Ecoxotic Panorama LED systems.. (17.5" or 23.5") if you had to do it again and why?

Like the one that b s c1 has on his tank. Here is a pic of what i'm talking about. These and the Tek T5's seem to make the prettiest reefs.



02/02/2011, 04:44 PM
Best aquascape I seen, I might use something like that in a 210 I'm setting up. Great looking tank.

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 04:52 PM
Thanks pwfish. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Reefaholic, I personally prefer the look of T5's. I'm not a fan of the shimmer effect (I know, I'm weird) I think the LED's look great, but I like the clean look of the T5 fixtures.

that being said, I think it comes down to choice of bulbs. I use 6 Blue/Blue plus, One white (15K or 17K) and one KZ Fiji Purple which really makes the colors pop.

02/02/2011, 05:52 PM
tank looks amazing wish mine looks half that good one day.
I like how you set it up like that. I was thinking of doing an in wall tank, but seeing yours gives me a few other ideas.

02/02/2011, 07:16 PM
Beautiful tank and great pictures.I like your fish selection too.With a tank like this you never think of the money you spent.Well worth it .

02/02/2011, 07:22 PM
Thanks for responding again. Yeah, I'm not sure what to go with. Ur T5's are looking real good. How was the price and increase on ur electric bill!!?

02/02/2011, 07:40 PM
Great looking tank! The scape is open, variable and natural looking. Good luck growing out those new frags, though something tells me they'll be quite large in no time. Thanks for sharing!

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 08:29 PM
Nice to get so many kudos. i REALLy put my all into this one.

Mark54321, if I think about the money, I'll cry :sad2: I budgeted on 6 grand and it ended up around 13 grand!! LOL! The corals and livestock will be worth a fortune in a year or two:frog: But doing it right has been great. Virtually no problems and everything is healthy and happy.

Reefaholic, I honestly can't say. I upgraded everything together and couldn't tell you the difference in my bills. IT's not cheap, for sure, but it's worth it. With my studio, 2 offices and home theatre, I am used to paying for electricity:rollface:

SpencerG. Everything grows like weeds in my tank - except for a couple of slow growers like my Strawberry Shortcakes and my Red Planet. Otherwise, some frags have tripled in size in less than two months. Everything is coloring up nicely, too. I'm quite pleased.


02/02/2011, 10:03 PM
Wow....you must have a wealthy wife to afford that budget!! Ha Ha..

Matt Dean
02/02/2011, 10:08 PM
Ha ha! My wife doesn't work. She's in school full time at the moment. It's All ME, baby!

02/03/2011, 06:32 AM
Matt, GREAT looking tank. I'm always interested in other people's choices for corals. The first picture in the thread dated "11/07/2010, 12:06 AM" has an orange/red/green lobophyllia or echinata or acan or favia. What is that type of coral?

02/03/2011, 07:26 AM
Exceptional job, Matt! Your aquascaping is second-to-none, IMO.

Matt Dean
02/03/2011, 08:19 AM
Matt, GREAT looking tank. I'm always interested in other people's choices for corals. The first picture in the thread dated "11/07/2010, 12:06 AM" has an orange/red/green lobophyllia or echinata or acan or favia. What is that type of coral?

If it's this one you mean:


It's an Acan. I must be honest and say the camera picks up more color and detail than the eye does looking into the tank, but it's still a very nice piece.

Thanks Iwishtofish! I was determined to get an interesting layout. I am very much into aesthetics, as is my wife, so, with her input, I tried to make it looks great without corals. I think if your tank looks interesting and beautiful without corals, then - if you think it through - you can't lose when you stock it!

That being said, i have changed the left side a bit. Made more of a lower platform on the front left rock for some SPS. It opens it up and it much nicer and brighter.

02/03/2011, 08:24 AM
camera used??

and great choice on the red dragons I also have one, you get what you pay for, if your not touching it you'd never know it was on!!!

Matt Dean
02/03/2011, 08:34 AM
Yes! They are the Mercedes of pumps, I believe.

The camera is Sony's entry level DSLR, the a230. I am dying to get a nice lens to take pics. I nice Macro would really help. But for a $400 camera, it's pretty good.

02/03/2011, 02:04 PM
What substrate are you using?

Matt Dean
02/03/2011, 02:48 PM
It's Carib Sea Special grade reef sand. I like it. It's not too fine, so it blows around in the flow, but fine enough for snails and placing corals.

02/07/2011, 04:55 AM
Anything new matt?

02/07/2011, 06:02 AM
like your tank. love the clams. keep at it. glad you are enjoying your hobby

Matt Dean
02/07/2011, 08:49 PM
Well, there's lots new, but not sure I want to post a pic of the tank in the current state. Not sure if I mentioned it, but I have sold off all my large SPS colonies , as I had an opportunity to acquire quite a few very nice frags. (Strawberry Chortcake, Red Planet, Blue and Purple Tortousa, Bird's Of Paradise, Tri-Color, Ponape Bird's Nest, Pink Aussie, etc.) After seeing how fast everything grows in my tank, I thought i could do a nicer, more colorful reef with a bunch of frags. Also, I have an LTA for my clowns now, but it has almost doubled in size since I got it just before Christmas. (As I said, everything grows in my tank) A couple of frags have tripled in size in a couple of months, a lot have encrusted and expanded nicely.

So, I may break down and take some pics of the frags the display as it sits now in the next couple of days. I'll post pics if/when I do.


02/07/2011, 09:27 PM
Matt, your tank is beautiful...i cant wait to see new pics of it..love to see it in person..i am in Toronto all the time and i have never been to ORG....where is it? i was at Aquatic kingdom last week, they have lots of nice stuff there, but all the aptasia scares me..i wanted to go to RR, but it is closed on Mondays and low an behold i didnt know that till i was in the parking lot...LOL, i have never been out to NAFB, scarbourough is a long drive for me, even though i grew up there all my friends are in the miss/etob area...at any rate your tank is exceptional as is your equipment list, i didnt even know we could get all that nice stuff up here...

Matt Dean
02/08/2011, 05:35 AM
Hey N.R.W. Thanks.

ORG has amazing dry goods and they can order most things if they don't have it. All my equipment is from them. ORG is right across the street from the Big Al's in Oakville (Kerr Street and Speers).

I too, am weary of buying anything from Aquatic Kingdom. I just don't trust the store. Reef Raft is great. My clams are from there, as are some of my corals. All other corals are from ORG. It's my first stop.

Drop me a note when you are in Mississauga and maybe you can come by and have a look.


02/08/2011, 07:14 AM
Well done!

Matt Dean
02/21/2011, 09:06 PM
Well, I had a chance to try out a video camera. I didn't like it and I had very little time to do a good job, but I took a couple of crappy vids and, as promised, here they are to show you where the tank sits now.

As you can see, i have LOTS of frags now and a massive LTA - that i am trying desperately to remove, but it won't budge. Anywho.....enjoy. i hope to one day to shoot and edit a decent video.


There are 2 vids, since it's a peninsula, so you'll need to ckick on the Studio Side video to see the second part.

Also, while you're there, you can check out my animated music video that I have playing in Europe and around the globe right now! It's the one called "Thank God It's Friday!"


Sohal Tang Tim
02/21/2011, 09:24 PM
I have been to hundreds of homes seeing people's reefs in the past
20 years I have been in the hobby....

Matt's tank completely blew me away when I saw it...

Your not going to believe it but even these gorgeous pics do not do it
justice... I left his home thinking THATTTTTTTTTTSSSSSSS why we
are in this hobby!!!!!!!!!!! Mind boggling beauty! He is quite meticulous...
and it shows immediately....His choice of coral types and the excellent quality
of them...they are impecable specimens.... I love and his aquascaping
is quite neat too!

The tank just jumps out and bites your face right off!!!!!!!! The ATI might
be better then the TEK but..when you see this tank...you will not be able to imagine better colour!...It just cannotttttt be possible!!


Matt Dean
02/21/2011, 09:43 PM
You are very generous with your praise, Tim ;) i appreciate it I'm glad you liked it. You'll need to come by in another 8 months or so when everything grows in.

every night before bed, Daniela and i sit and watch the tank to destress its so nice to see everything healthy and happy and colorful.

I hope one day to finally make it up north to see your tank.