About our Saltwater Reef Tank

My name is Devon and I live in Missoula, Montana. I’ve been keeping saltwater tanks since 2004. I started out with freshwater aquariums in 2002 then made the logical progression to the more expensive, time consuming saltwater aquarium hobby… My better half, Shelby, has been there all along the way helping me attain my degree from Bend Over University.

Our custom 270 gallon reef tank (90″ L x 20″ W x 30″ D) ran for a little over 5 years in one location, then made the BIG move in January 2014 to it’s current location in our basement. Building a fish room was a lot of work but I love having the finished product for maintenance (wife approved)! Under the display tank is a 100 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank sump, 1/3 hp chiller, Reeflo Snapper/Dart Hybrid Pump (return), BRS GFO Reactor, Algae Scrubber and a Reef Octopus 6″ Recirculating Skimmer. Incorporated with the display tank is a 90 gallon refugium with a deep sand bed (DSB) and macro algae. I use Chaetomorpha macro algae and turtle grass in the fuge for nutrient export. Inside the display tank I use two EcoTech Marine VorTech MP40 pumps to add flow and turnover.

For lighting I have recently upgraded (2-15-15) the display tank to a 72″ MakersLED designer heatsink with 8 – Cree Lumia 5.2 LED chips (70 watt full spectrum) from LEDgroupbuy (previously a Current 3 – 150W MH w/ LEDS & 3 – 2′ 96W T5 Tek lights). The refuge cultivates algae with a 48″ 324W T5 Tek light on the refuge.

Hope you enjoy my blog posts (right column)!

A couple photos of what the tank looked like BEFORE the move:


A couple photos of what the tank looked like AFTER the move (1/14):

300 Gallon Reef Tank

300 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium

A couple update photos from 3/15:


  1. beautiful!! i hope to have a tank this size someday! i had a 120g a few years ago. i have been out of the hobby for 2 years and just getting back into it!

  2. What an amazing tank!!!

  3. Thank you so much! It’s a bit of a habit.

  4. Tank pics are tough to get right, good job!

  5. That is a very impressive tank…great pics too!

  6. Thanks! It keeps me busy. I too like classic cars and such so I look forward to your posts.

  7. Devon, Thanks for stopping by my blog and “liking” my Jellyfish post. My you and Shelby have an impressive reef tank. Truly amazing and awesome.

  8. nice aquarium. Does it take a lot of work to maintain it?

  9. Thanks, I think you get out of them what you put into them. I’ve tried to automate most of the tedious processes thought.

  10. Nice aquarium! My hubby isn’t falling for my ‘let’s do a saltwater tank because I want a lionfish in it!’ line – says it’s too much maintenance :( Thanks for visiting my blog!

  11. They are a little bit of work, but it’s rewarding!

  12. Didn’t know there was a hobby like this! Maybe I should start upgrading my aquarium :p

  13. wow! love the mantis shrimp pics and video! thanks so much for posting! a couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and i were listening to a radiolab about colors and they said the mantis shrimp have some of the most complex eyes on the planet. it’s worth a listen http://www.radiolab.org/2012/may/21/

  14. They are indeed awesome creatures! I love when he comes out and just looks around. Thanks for the link!

  15. The tank looks awesome! I have to say i’m quite envious, i’ve always wanted something like this in my home, one day….

  16. Thanks! You should go for it!

  17. Hi Devon, I think your blog is great and you are always interested in helping others out with their fishies.

  18. Hi Devon – Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog. I really like your tank. I can only imagine the amount of work it takes to maintain it. If you ever make it to Milwaukee, stop by the Reiman Aquarium. The have a really nice frag swap each fall.

  19. Thanks, it’s an addicting hobby! Watch out!

  20. hi Devon, thanks for liking my post…aqesome pics

  21. Impressive! My parents used to breed tropical fish but I don’t think I got that gene. I can kill a goldfish in a week, flat!

  22. wow…amazing work Devon…thanks for visiting my blog,…I love scuba diving…so its very interesting to read about your work

  23. Thanks! I wish I could do bit more scuba, hopefully in the future.

  24. yes its never too late..I was in Hawaii recently and loved the Manta Rays there…but I am keen to see your tanks some day …

  25. Well the hope is to build another one, bigger! :)

  26. Would love to buy frags from your monti caps. Do u sell frags, if so please call or text me at 321.863.8277. Thanks

  27. Hello Rodney,

    I do not really sell any frags that need to be shipped. Just trade around with the local reefers. :) Looks like you are in Florida?

  28. I can appreciate the effort put into the tank. Well Done.

  29. Hi Devon, thanks for visiting my blog :) I have to say, that is an awesome aquarium!

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