George Pillas

Bristol, UK

George PillasGeorge Pillas comes to the EcoTech Expert community from Bristol in the UK. His stunning Evolution Aqua 1500, 110 gallon/ 500L aquarium showcases true expert-level hobbyist technique, with a stunning collection of coral and fish. While the Triton method adds a level of complexity to Reef Keeping, George employs it in this system with impressive results.

I just love being able to watch a thriving reef from the comfort of my living room. Its all amazing to me – everything from the colorful fish and coral to the weird inverts.

The Hobbyist

For many there is a moment that captures the imagination and launches one’s life as a reef hobbysist – for George that was a trip to Australia.

We were travelling around Australia and I think saw a picture of a sea dragon somewhere, I knew I wanted one. Obviously I could have one but ended up reading more and more about how to keep marine fish alive and eventually took the plunge. My wallet has been empty since.

With 9 years in the hobby George has experienced all the strug- gles a seasoned reef keeper would consider a coral keepers rite of passage.

Just like everyone else, I made every mistake there was. I bought the wrong fish, the wrong gear, the wrong corals and had a few disasters here and there. I even had a power outage once when on holiday and lost everything.

Traveling around Australia got me interested in marine life – my wallet has been empty since!
George Pillas

His latest tank is nearing 4 years old and with the learning ex- periences molded into a plan and philosophy the results speak for themselves. Challenges are a rite of passage in the hobby – but are also what makes success so rewarding.

When I was forced to start over I knew exactly what I wanted and I have been very fortunate since. One thing that I learn over the years is to stop trying to ‘improve’ everything. When the tank is happy, don’t change a thing.

Fish, Coral & Bradley

A mature tank with a great deal of livestock. There’s always a favorite and in George’s case that is Bradley a personable Copperband Butterflyfish.

I knew it was going to be a challenge when I bought him 3-4 years ago but I have been completely captivated by his inquisitive nature. He always follows me around the room and begs tirelessly for yet another tasty meal. After all this time he is doing great AND definitely not to be trusted with clams…

George's Equipment

Equipment is an important part of the successful hobbyist puzzle. George has evolved his equipment selection over time, with the tank in its current state (at time of documentation) using largely EcoTech lighting and Flow, a Nyos Skimmer and a Neptune Apex controller and Dosing System.

A total of 6 Radions provide lighting. George uses 3 G4Pros, 1 G3Pro and a G3 Base. The spectrum he runs is a full although relative to the Radion’s capabilities leans heavier on the blue side of the potential output spectrum. A gently ramping photoperiod starting at 7:30 completes around 9PM. Peak intensity is around 2PM reaching 52% total output for the lights (73% before spectrum adjustment).

I wanted to have the best gear and Ecotech makes just that. Reliable, powerful and with lots of cool functions. What else could you ask for?
George Pillas

In tank flow is provided by 2 MP40QD and 1 MP10QD pumps. George’s Schedule combines some random modes with constant speed modes alternating which pump does which throughout the day. The mixed program patterns ensure detritus removal and adequate flow for the hard corals.

Return flow comes from a Vectra M1.

The Tank

Age: 3-4
Display: 110 gallon /500L
Sump/Additional: 15 Gallon/56L
Salinity Target: 35PPT
Temperature Target: 25-25.5 C
Parameter Target: Ca=450, ALK=8-9, Mg= 1500
Water Changes: The triton method does not require water changes but occasionally I syphon some detritus from my sump and replace with freshly mixed salt water.
Other Dosing and Feeding: I’m using Triton Core 7 so my parameters are similar to the recommended parameters by Triton. I also dose traces and amino acids. The tank is heavily stocked so it gets fed several times a day.
Tested: Regularly.

  • 1 Yellow Tang
  • 1 Copperband Butterfly
  • 1 Kole Tang
  • 1 Potters Angelfish
  • 3 Carberryi anthias (Nemanthias carberryi)
  • 3 Indo wreckfish (Pseudan- thias squamipinnis)
  • 2 Radiant Wrasse
  • 2 McCosker's Wrasse
  • 2 Pintail Wrasse
  • 1 Bluethroat Flasher Wrasse
  • 1 Female Tonozukai Wrasse
  • 1 Solarensis Flasher Wrasse
  • 1 Male Pyleii Wrasse
  • 2 Whitecap Gobies
  • 3 Pipefish
  • 1 Filefish
  • 1 Orange Spot Flymo Blenny
  • 1 Twinspot Goby
  • 2 Ruby Dragonettes
  • 2 Speckled Trimma Gobies
  • 1 Tevagae Trimma Goby
  • Possibly 5 Panda Gobies
  • 2 Flaming Prawn Gobies
  • 2 Possum Wrasse
  • Various Acroporas
  • Motiporas
  • Green and peach coloured birdnests
  • Acans
  • Blastomusas
  • Micromusas
  • Trachyphyllia
  • Euphyllia
  • and more.
  • Conches
  • Spiny sea cucumbers
  • Variety of big and small algae snails
  • Lots of little dove snails
  • 10-15 tuxedo urchins
  • Cleaner shrimp pair
  • A few pistol shrimps
  • A large serpent star
  • Harlequin shrimp