About Our System

About the Raising Reefs’ System:

I prefer a simple set-up for my corals.  In all my tanks, I have a bare bottom setup with plenty of live rock.  I have over 1250 gallons of tank volume.  

Balance: One of my systems uses a calcium reactor, while the other uses a doser.  I rarely use activated carbon, phosphate removers, or nitrate removers. I have never used biopellets.  A few years ago I tried carbon dosing, I found out the hard way and bottomed out my nitrates doing this, which led to my corals being pale.  Thankfully, I nursed the tank back to normal and the corals survived. I am constantly monitoring my tank levels, and I just do water changes if my nitrates or phosphates go higher than the normal range.  For me, keeping my systems as simple as I can works for me.

Lighting: I have been a fan of Metal Halides for a long time.  However, with the heat issues in the summer, I am giving up on my halides and switching to LED’s to join my T5 and other LED lights.

Flow: I try to give the corals as much flow as possible without directing the flow directly on the colony.  I also use a refugium with Chaeto that I harvest every two weeks.

Feeding: My tanks have many different species of fish.   The majority of my fish are Tangs.  They are not only beautiful fish, but do a great job keeping algae in check.  I feed the fish a half sheet of seaweed and a small chunk of frozen food daily.  I sprinkle dry plankton to my mushrooms and LPS.  


  • Temperature: between 77° and 80° F
  • Ammonia: 0 ppm
  • Nitrite: 0 ppm
  • Nitrate: < 10 ppm
  • pH: between 8.0 and 8.3
  • Specific Gravity:1.026
  • Alkalinity: between 8.1and 8.5 dKH, tested daily
  • Phosphate: < .10 ppm
  • Calcium: 390-410  ppm
  • Magnesium: 1400 ppm
  • Potassium: 420 ppm
  • Live Rock: 1-1.5 lbs per gallon

About Sonny

Captive-raised corals are the future.  In order to help these corals survive the changing planet, we must recreate ideal conditions to raise these corals ourselves.  Raising Reefs specializes in growing hundreds of SPS colonies. These corals are kept in a healthy, pest-free environment. Because these colonies have adapted to the home environment, they transfer well to suitable tanks.

I started in this hobby as a teenager in the mid 1990’s with a 90 gallon reef tank.   Freshwater and saltwater tanks have always been a part of my life, and sustaining colorful, healthy corals has grown into an obsession and passion for me.

I have created this site for the coral enthusiasts out there.  My goal is to provide sustainable corals to everyone in the United States.  Raising Reefs’ colonies are not fresh from the ocean. Most of these pieces have been in captivity for years.

From the 1990’s until today, I continue to learn from the experiences of myself and others to make the corals as happy as possible.