Mike Shur's 280 Gallon Reef

Tank Tour: Mike Shur’s 280 Gallon Reef

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.


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.

Additional Resources

If you would like some help with a new tank build, including help designing a custom aquarium, or help re-configuring your current setup then you can visit this page for more information. And if you are looking to add some equipment, I do sell GHL, Pax Bellum, Reef Octopus Calcium and Kalk Reactors and Royal Exclusiv products, including Dreamboxes, which is the equipment I use and recommend. I also sell Reef Brite metal halide and LED fixtures as well as Maxspect & IceCap Gyres.

As for additional insights and information, please explore my many other reef tank and SPS related articles as well as my YouTube channel. For an even deeper dive into reef tank care you can check out my Reef Keeping Master Class. This online course is an immersive and one of a kind educational tool designed to help reef aquarium hobbyists build and maintain a beautiful SPS reef tank. The course is a series of video presentations with some supplemental video from my YouTube channel. There are also quizzes to help students retain and understand the information presented in the course.

Need some frags…..I can help with that as well 🙂 Please visit my SPS Frag store to see what is available.

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