About the Reef

Walt Disney is famous for saying, it all began with a mouse – in my situation, it all began with a cat. About 11 years ago I met Inky, no larger than my fist – no older than 2 weeks – she stole my heart when she curled up on my shoe. From that day forward my obsession with animals grew, and grew, and grew. In the past 12 years I have cared for a wide variety of animals – some four-legged, some winged, some gilled, and some shelled. With each pet purchase I dreamed of the day when I could own my own Reef. I had many tropical fish tanks, then advanced to African Cichlids, and then in the summer of 2007 it finally happened – I started my first salt water reef aquarium. How? Now that’s a funny story.

When we moved from our tiny city row-home to the suburbs, we suddenly had some room to stretch out. I took an old tank and filled it with my son’s favorite fish – puffers. Day after day we’d watch the puffers grow, but over time natural attrition took its course and they were history. We had a beautiful hexagonal tank and no fish – while some may say, let’s call it a day and deconstruct the tank, I decided it was time to construct my own reef aquarium. The progress was slow and steady: water conditioning, coral algae growth, snails and hermit crabs, and then the rest- fan worms, starfish, clownfish, anemones, shrimp…and more.

That was the first phase of Como Reef. I learned as much as I could through research, experimentation, and trial & error. After many success and a few failures another opportunity presented itself. My oldest son decided that his little brother needed a fish tank in his room just like he had. Who am I to argue with a four-year-old that makes a very good point? I set up the new tank and moved the cichlids from my 45 gallon tank in our living room into it. Now I was left with an empty 45 gallon tank. hmmm...

Of course it was not long before I pulled out the pvc cement and plumbed the two tanks together via the refugium filter in the basement. Now Como Reef is a 100+ gallon system consisting of two display tanks and a shared filtration system in the basement.

Now I am in the process of building the reef in the new tank while makeing some small adjustments in the original. Please check back for updates.