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Quote of the moment: It's hard to face the problem, when the problem is your face.


       Welcome To The Glass Reef


Aquariums have been a lifelong interest - I can still remember my first. It was just a mason jar which held a couple of tadpoles I had captured at a local farmer's irrigation pond. That was quite a few years ago, but I haven't lost a bit of the fascination I felt watching those "wanna be" frogs swimming around in that one quart glass.

Over the years the mason jar turned into a ten gallon aquarium. A little later it was a twenty, then a fifty gallon tank. I graduated from one aquarium to two - soon I had four. During those years it was only fresh water aquariums. I had heard from "the experts" that marine aquariums were just too hard for normal people to maintain. Then in the early 70s, while living in Europe, I happened to visit a store that specialized in saltwater aquariums. I remember that I couldn't believe my eyes! What an unbelievable world. The colors, the shapes, the life! There was a living tropical reef right behind that glass - I knew that I had to try my hand at this!

The years following that visit saw the demise of my fresh water hobby and the flowering of my interest in marine aquariums. I started slowly, reading every bit of literature I could find on the subject. My first couple of attempts were not exactly total successes. After a while though, I had gathered sufficient knowledge and experience to allow me to overcome most of the pitfalls that can (and will) plague the beginning marine aquarist. In the interim, I've had a number of marine aquariums.

The experience and knowledge gained through the years finally led me to attempt the crowning jewel of the saltwater aquarium hobby - the reef tank. The maintenance of stony corals (SPS) over a period of many months and, indeed, years is the dream of many a beginning hobbyist. Now, in recent years, technological advances, such as high efficiency protein skimmers, stream pumps that provide the necessary, in tank, flow, and appropriate light sources, combined with new knowledge about exactly what is required to nurture the corals we want to keep have made the dream into more than a possibility. It has become a reality.

My wife and I recently had a house built - the perfect opportunity to integrate a fish room and large "in the wall" reef tank. I did most of the work on the installation myself. I thought it would be a lot of fun to keep a journal of the process of creating the new system - and what better way to do that than this website.

So, what will you find here?

My website contains pages describing my 375 gallon glass reef, it's components, and many of the projects I've worked on during it's completion. I have tried to present the projects that tend to lend themselves to a DIY effort in a way that might provide a "nudge" to the reader in the direction of trying such projects for themselves.  In addition I've added any information I thought might help to complete the  picture of reef keeping, as it exists, today.  I hope my efforts can be of some help to other hobbyists striving for success in this wonderful hobby.

I've tried to set up the site's menus in a logical way:

An Overview - concentrates on system design, procedures, methods, and maintenance

Projects - articles describing the why and how of the many DIY projects that required completion

Equipment - short descriptions - and some reviews - of the equipment used in the glass reef

Livestock - some information about the creatures living in the glass reef and their needs

Photo Gallery - an exhibition of of some great, reef related, images from various talented hobbyists

Reef Stuff - a collection of tips, tricks, my thoughts on particular subjects and general reef related news

So - all in all - it's been quite an experience building my glass reef, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the knowledgeable participants of Reef Central (where I started a build thread about the glass reef), and all the great folks at the Tampa Bay Reef Club (where I am fortunate enough to be a member). Without their considerable help, I never would have been able to get this sizable project off the ground. 


Tom White - January 2009


Currently under general maintenance.

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