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Volcano Reef Tank

Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 2009 at 12:10 am by
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Volcano Reef Tank. We recently came across a very unique reef tank. This 75 Gallon custom rimless reef tank, by Kyle Verry of, was designed with an exposed rock structure extending over 1′ out of the water. Kyle’s affinity to many crab species played an important part in the tank design and concept. Amongst the tank’s many inhabitants, Kyle had chosen to include Striped Shore Crabs (Pachygrapsus crassipes), which spend a significant amount of time out of the water. Although a young tank in many respects, we believe it is more than worthy of being a featured tank on Reef Tools.


System Info:

Main Tank: 75 Gallons 48″ x 24″ x 12″ Starphire Glass
Protein Skimmer: ASM G2
Lighting: 2 x 150W HQI Heliod
Circulation: Closed loop with a Poseidon PS4
Return Pump: Poseidon PS3
Sump: 35 gallons
Chiller: JBJ Artica 1/3hp

Tank Design and concept

This 48″ x 24″ x 12″ rimless tank was custom made with an overflow that is slightly offset (front-to-back) from being dead center. Kyle used dry rock to form a beautiful volcano-like structure featuring three waterfalls. This structure was built on, and hides the center overflow. The return is split in the back of the structure and is used to feed all three waterfalls. You will see several mangroves strategically placed throughout, adding a wonderful green element to this tank. The rock structure is only being held on by gravity, and maintenance on the overflow can easily be completed by removing two rocks.

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An ASM G2 Protein Skimmer provides the filtration for this reef tank. Additionally, Kyle has implemented an automatic waterchange system, which allow him to perform his 20-25 Gallons weekly waterchanges in about 3-4 minutes.



Lighting on this beautiful tank consists of 2 150W HQIs, which are strategically placed to keep the tip of the volcano dark. Kyle currently uses 12K Helios bulbs and pendants.



Kyle has added a selection of soft corals, including pulsating xenia, green star polyps, mushroom, and zoas. A school of blue-green chromis, are a staple in Kyle’s tanks. Alongside the chromis, a purple tang, dwarf lion fish, a dusky jawfish and various other invertebrates roam this spectacular reef tank.


Q & A

Here are a few questions that Kyle hears frequently.

Q.Does the tank, and in particular the volcano, have an odor?
A. Since Kyle used dry rock to create the structure, there was no die off and therefore not foul smell associated with the exposed tank.

Q. How do you keep the glass looking so clean?
A. Since the tank is only 12″ deep, it literally takes a few minutes to work your way around and clean every inch of glass. Sometimes less is more :)


Future Plans

Kyle plans on adding a dedicated circuit for this tank later on this week. The Metal Halides bulbs will be replaced with 14K Ushios in the near future. Kyle is also planning on implementing a refugium using the existing sump. We are confident that many exciting and impressive things are still to come from Kyle Verry of

Click here to check out Kyle’s Reef Tools Live profile for updated photos.


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6 Responses to “Volcano Reef Tank”

  1. Mike Johnson says:

    Wow. This is really cool. I wish that I had someone who could help me build something to this level. I have had a couple of “aquarium specialists” help out on projects before, but this guy seriously took it to the next level.


  2. Bruce Ewald says:

    Very impressed. Originall looking setup , very clean and interesting even to someone who has been in the hobby for years.

  3. Doug says:

    I was woondering how many holes you had to drill. Im guessing one inside the overflow and three for the returns. are the return holes drilled up through the bottom next to the overflow?

  4. Kyle Verry says:

    I have two holes outside the overflow and two inside the overflow. Real simple….since it is short, I get tons of movement.

  5. mike says:

    Beautiful tank Kyle,
    Did you have the tank custom made with the holes drilled?

  6. Matt says:

    I loved this design and wanted to know if you could tell me where you got the dry rock needed to create something similar to this? Thanks

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