Inspirational aquariums: Prodibio reef


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This colourful reef tank image was supplied by French water treatment specialist Prodibio as stunning proof that its products really do work!

In many ways the main picture optimises what most reefkeepers aspire to achieve with clear water, colourful fish and corals.

Corals need very low nutrient conditions to thrive, especially the short polyp stony (sps) corals displayed here.

Contrary to the usual phosphate-removing resins, this aquarium has achieved low nutrient values through adding special bacteria, which, when combined with the remarkable skill of the tank’s owner, has created what you see here.


The branching effect is created using sps corals, namely Acropora and Seriatopora. These are some of the most sensitive and demanding corals available to reefkeepers, although they offer a unique yet natural coral reef effect.

At all times, water conditions must be the same as on a natural coral reef if these invertebrates are to survive and thrive.

Blue background

What helps this tank look so good is the blue background. This can be achieved simply by buying background paper from your aquarium shop, painting the back of the aquarium blue, or by getting an aquarium manufacturer to apply a blue “vinyl wrap” It’s cheap, quick and easy, and gives you the look instantly.

Water flow

Sps corals need a very high turnover of water —typically 30 times the display tank volume every hour or more. This tank is around 250 litres gross volume, so Vortech pumps create powerful, yet alternating flow patterns to replicate those on a natural coral reef.

These can pulse, create waves, surge and stick on the glass via a magnet fitting, so the aquascape remains uncluttered.

At a glance

Tank size: 100x 50 x 50cm/39 x 20 x 20”, 250 l/55 gal volume.

Start-up costs: £3,000-4,000, including pumps, lighting, sumps and livestock.

Ease of project: Difficult, but achievable.

Time needed: A week to set up, six months to mature.

Check out some of our other inspirational aquariums:

Discus the centrepiece

Modernist approach

Low maintenance island tank

Planted pico

Zebra plec breeding set-up

Calming moss tank

Rocky cichlid tank

Fun iwagumi

Classic nature aquarium

Medium sized reef tank

Posh nature aquarium

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