Mr. Saltwater Tank’s 225 Gallon VIP Tank 1 Year Update

In the first year of a saltwater aquarium’s life, usually the owner either quits the hobby or has completely fallen in love with their tank. In the case of one of my VIP clients, he’ll readily admit that he has a new love in his life.

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Comments for this article (60)

  • Mark H. says:

    Sweet build Mark, good to see updates on other tanks.
    When are we going to see an update on yours?
    Thanks again and keep them coming… 🙂

  • jrockflimflam says:

    Beautiful. I had to watch it twice. So he isn’t using Kalk?
    You were pretty specific to mention the Lens; what benefit do the TIR lenses give, if any?

  • dave says:

    A great tank. Love the variety of fish, The tank is designed great and you should be proud of yourself. Could you do a tank build for me?
    I am going to start a 120 Gallon FOWLR tank.

  • Jason says:

    Hi Mark. Are you stocking his tank for him or is he doing it himself?

  • Doug Day says:

    Do you have any info on moving a tank? I know you have done a presentation but I have not seen info on your website. Thanks in advance.


  • Matt says:

    Nice tank … 🙂 he’s nuts though… I’d leave that beauty well alone… 😀

  • Chris Kennedy says:

    that a Great looking tank.i would leave a Great looking tank happy and sometimes that can be hard to do.on the radions is his lights set a 14k,18k or 20k? Great show Mark

  • Lars says:

    Beautiful tank…thanks for the “encouragement” and “discouragement”. 🙂 We have a 90 we put in place also about 13 months ago that doesn’t even come close to comparing. Ok Mark, I want your guides to see what I’ve been doing wrong, if the techniques and “husbandry” you mention in the video are in the guides.

  • Wally says:

    is there a different between “real reef rock” and live rock?

  • Crawford says:

    Jrockflimflam: I think what Mark was trying to say is that the corals are alive, growing and healthy without the lenses. The lenses would focus the led’s and make the light stronger, so he’s saying that these LED’s are fine, even without added lenses (previously rumored to be needed) which adds to your cost as I think the lenses are fairly expensive when you have to buy a lot of them

  • Hector Morrobel says:

    Hi Mark gr8 tank you build, im a new reef junkie like a lot of people will say. But love the hoby from day 1 i’ve learned alot from watching your show gr8 info and pointers. I started with a 54g corner tank and now i have a 75g tank that i purchased used and want to start everything from the start. Can you give me some pointers. On what lights can i use ect. I want it to be a reef tank, my first tank was a feef tank but alot of my corals kept on dying and i felt like i was just throwing money away. Almost broke my marige over this hoby lol. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP!!

  • devon.vincent says:

    What do you mean he doesn’t feed the corals

  • veeral says:

    how is the mandarin surviving in a tank with dry rock/sand? what is it fed?

  • Wally says:

    Sorry, awesome build Mark!

  • Lars says:

    I’d be curious how big the corals all were when added?

  • J.R. says:

    Mark, great update! Love to see these types of videos. Another glowing success story of the essentials and the K.I.S.S. theory that you provide us.

  • Steve Dodd says:

    hi nice tank , but how did you get two tangs liveing together in the same tank ?

  • You show that there are 3 Radions, but in the video behind you, it appears that there are 6.
    Nice tank though.

  • Rob… The tank behind me is not the same tank as the VIP build tank with the 3 Radions

  • Paul W says:

    Mark, you mention “no feeding of the corals…” Should we not feed our corals? You seem to suggest feeding corals ends up fouling our tanks. Is that your experience?

  • Jim says:

    Great job Mark! I agree that I wouldn’t do anything different considering his results, BUT, I am glad that some people do because this is how we learn. This guys tank may get extremely better, (or worse, hope not), give us another update before 13 months please?
    Thanks Mark…

  • Allen says:

    Great Tank. I’m glad you showed us the tank before the owner destroys it. You will have to show us an update showing…”This is what happens when you don’t follow to rules!!!” in 12 months.

  • David says:

    Hey Mark,
    I have a full led array & am still trying to dial in the settings. Can you let me know the settings on the Radions on the build you featured? I.e what is each color set at, photo period, ramp & intensity?
    Would really appreciate your input on this. My sps does a lot of encrusting but very little if any upward growth. My parameter are:
    Mg 1280
    Ca 450
    KH 3.4meq/L
    Ph 8.1
    Temp 77.8
    Phosphate 0.090
    NO3 0.900
    I know your super busy so get back to me if you can

  • dave says:

    great tank, lots of growth and great colors !! i would LOVE for you to go back to this tank in 1 more year Mark to see how his Zeovit plan works out. We know the Current method is working great, lets see what happens when he starts tinkering with it, will it do better, worse or stay the same. Please follow up with this tank if you can !! thanks Mark for all your hard work !!

  • Ed says:


    So where did you get the rock for your vip client?

  • Mike Mueller says:

    That was good to see!
    Question for you Mark. Is that the 90 gal tank behind you that you did the Radion Gen 1 test on or is that your 225 gal tank?

  • Wally says:

    Can someone please tell me if there is a difference between real reef rock and live rock? Please!

  • dustin says:

    Wally…real reef rock is a type of rock that started out dry or dead…meaning it had no life when adding it to the tank. Live rock has bacteria/life/coraline algae/etc… already on it. Many people suggest you “must” use live rock when starting a tank to help seed the tank and is a must to have a successful reef tank. Mark showed that using dry (dead) rock and sand can be used to create a successful reef, instead of using real expensive live rock. hope this helps

  • Wally says:

    Thanks a lot Justin.

  • schordy says:

    Beautiful work…..done right! Love your videos, Mark….I am always learning new and appropriate info and since I am a less than 2 year “reef junkie” rookie, learning, trying and improving is the part of this hobby I enjoy the most….and my tank looks surprisingly good!!

    One question, my 90 vortech 40’s are setup exactly like your 225 gallon build….what program are you running them? I have mine set using EcoSmart Nutrient Transport mode (at around 40-50%)…any thoughts or suggestions? Much appreciated.

  • schordy…I run lagoon mode during the day and tidal swell at night.

  • Mike…that tank behind me is my 235 gallon tank.

  • Ed…I got my rock directly from real reef. Unless you are an aquatics store, you’ll have to buy real reef rock through a dealer/store as they don’t sell direct to consumers.

  • dave…I’m sure I’ll be back checking in on that tank! And when I do, I’ll film it.

  • David…I’d first try to get your phosphates down. 0.09 (assuming you mean ppm or mg/mL) is high for a SPS tank.

  • Paul W…I don’t recommend feeding corals other than non-photosyntethic ones.

  • Steve…those fish were introduced at the same time.

  • Lars..the corals were of various sizes. Some colonies, some mini colonies, some frags

  • devon…I mean he doesn’t feed the coral any coral food products.

  • veeral…the tank was seeded with coppepods and amphipods so the mandarin has plenty to eat

  • Jason…I helped the client with stocking choices at the start. Now he does it on his own

  • rschord says:

    Mark……You do not use “night mode” at night….You use tidal swell? Just confirming..thx

  • Terry says:

    Mark, great build. Thanks for the update on the VIP build. Very nice. Was wondering if you could tell us the program and intensity settings on the radions. I have 2 radions on a 90 gal 24″ deep tank with the lights about 6″above the surface and am running a custom color close to 20K at 100%intensity and am wondering if it is too much?

  • mike says:

    wow what a beautiful tank,great job,but I would not do the zeofit,he is asking for trouble imo.

  • Farhan says:

    Thanks Mark, for sharing this video

  • Deborah Findley says:

    Amazing! Set up 90gal 8months ago, No previous experience, sorta Love Hate relationship, very trying at times but I like the results! Very interesting hobby, I am very lucky to have one of the largest aquarium stores in the State of Arkansas in my town with a knowledgeable Chemist owning it, and He is very patient!

  • jrockflimflam says:

    Deborah, If you are talking about Hot Springs, AR and you are going to the only place in there. Run away. I don’t know if Mark wants us talking specific fish stores on his site but there are much betters ones in the state.

  • Devin says:

    Hi Mark-
    Great show…can you give a quick list of the corals he has, particularly the big softy in the middle?


    Devin H.

  • devon.vincent says:

    Do I have to use rodi water for my tank because my LFS does nt sell rodi water and I can’t afford it

  • devon.vincent says:

    Do I have to use rodi water for my tank because my LFS does nt sell rodi water and I can’t afford it so what do I do

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