Incredible 8000L (2000+ gallon) Portugal Coral Farm

by | Apr 18, 2011 | Advanced Aquarist | 0 comments

Incredible 8000L (2000+ gallon) Portugal Coral Farm

One of six grow-out tanks, stocked full of beautiful coral frags


First and foremost, Advanced Aquarist thanks Ricardo Pinto of for sharing his blog with us.

A bank of grow-out tanks

Machado de Sousa’s system was started in 2007.   Here is a brief summary of his impressive coral farm:

  • A 650L (~170g) Maternity Tank where the parent colonies are housed.
  • A 450L (~120g) Nursery Tank where new polyps and tiny frags are kept until they are moved to …
  • Daycare Tanks (what USA hobbyist would refer to as “grow-out” tanks).  Machado de Sousa uses a total of six 780L (~200g each) Daycare Tanks! (see photo to the right)
  • A 100L (~25g) aquarium to temporarily house freshly glued frags
  • A 200L (~50g) quarantine aquarium used for treatment and observation.
  • A 2000L (~500g) sump system consisting of “live rock, DSB, mangrove, skimmers, calcium reactor, degassing calcium reactor, reactors for bio-pellets and zeolites, heaters, etc.”


I was surprised to find this coral farm is a non-commercial project.  Machado de Sousa is a civil engineer by day.  This is what you call passion and dedication!

Please head over to’s outstanding blog post for a lot more information (including detailed equipment lists) and pictures on this amazing system.

As Richardo Pinto describes it to us: “This is a non-commercial project and it has inspired many reefers in Portugal and Spain.”  Correction, my friend: It has inspired many reefers around the world!


Photos of the Portugal Coral Farm

The Maternity Tank
The Maternity Tank

The Sump System
The Sump System


Added:  Here is a video by Machado de Sousa (primarily of the Maternity Tank).

  • Leonard Ho

    I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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