Daniel Leija’s 40-gallon Mixed Reef Aquarium [Video]


It’s been a little while since we last uploaded a video, but our YouTube channel is getting some fresh content with our recent coverage of Daniel Leija’s 40-gallon breeder mixed reef aquarium. This tank, which inspired us to get back to our reef keeping roots, is a simple setup that features all of the major varieties of coral (SPS, LPS, softies, Zoanthids, and even some Azoox) and is well stocked with some very interesting fish. The showpieces of the aquarium are the large chalice and frogspawn corals, and if you’re really into fish, a midnight angelfish and pinkbar goby will certainly catch your attention.

Besides the eye catching corals and personable fish, the reef aquarium also has some entertaining inverts. A pistol shrimp lives with the pinkbar goby and is constantly excavating its cave. Another pistol shrimp that doesn’t play so nicely with the shrimp goby has been banished to the refugium, where those characteristing snapping noises can often be heard. A bevy of Nassarius snails can be seen poking their proboscides through the sand, sniffing out food items. At one point, one of the snails emerges from the sand rather rapidly, as food was introduced into the aquarium (at our request of course). A tiny micro brittle star can be seen with its arms emerging out from under one of the chalice corals, and a brightly colored halloween hermit crab is cruising tank looking for food.

Daniel’s entire setup features a simplicity that is to be admired. That said, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean that it is also rocking equipment from the stone age. An aquarium controller turns various equipment off and on, as well as monitors water temperature and pH. A VorTech pump provides a majority of the flow, and a Reef Octopus sucks out the dissolved organic matter. A well-stocked refugium takes in any extra nutrients that aren’t removed via skimming. Lighting is provided by a Tek T5HO light fixture, though some Ecoxotic Panorama fixtures are currently being tinkered with.

We wanted to thank Daniel for inviting us into his residence for a peak at his aquarium. It’s a tank to be proud of and we certainly can wait to see how it fills in over the coming years.


About Author