During my recent trip to New York I stopped in to visit another long-time reef keeping buddy, Mike Shur, to check out his amazing 280 gallon reef tank.


I believe the last time I saw Mike’s tank was nearly three years ago and boy has it grown into a spectacular reef tank! It is just loaded with beautiful corals and some fantastic looking fish that are fat and healthy.

Video Tour of Mike Shur’s 280 Gallon Reef

As for his setup, the total system is 400 gallons, with water from the display upstairs traveling downstairs to an Elite Aquatics sump, which is home to a Bubble King Delux 300 skimmer. A separate sump filled with live rock and teaming with pods and sponges is also plumbed into the system.


From the sump water is pushed up to the frag tank, then on through an 80W UV sterilzer, which is on for 8 hours a day, and then it travels through a chiller and back up to the main tank. The whole system is driven by two Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon pumps. For phosphate control, Mike uses an algae scrubber.

To keep up with the calcium and alkalinity demands of his corals, Mike uses a ProfiLux controller to dose ESV’s two part solution. 20 mls of ESV B-Ionic Transition elements are also dosed daily to boost algae growth in his scrubber. ESV activated carbon and salt are used as well.


RODI water is used for top-off and a liter meter is employed to do daily 5 gallon water changes.

T5 Lighting

As for lighting on the display, Mike runs T5s with Mitras LED strip lights. The T5s are on for 8 hours while the LEDs run for 12 hours. Over the frag tank Mike recently started using EcoTech Radion XR15w G4 LEDs.


Visually it might seem to be a complex system but in reality it is a fairly basic setup with not many moving parts. Obviously, it is working extremely well for Mike.


Shop ARID Reactors Now




If you are looking for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my book, A ReefBum’s Guide To Keeping an SPS Reef Tank: A Blueprint For Success. And you can see all of my reef tank videos online now as well as my Live HD Webcam.


Happy reef keeping!