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    Pappone Induced Flashback to Italy & The Mature Reef of Ferdinando D’Amora

    Italian reef tanks have earned a reputation of featuring mature, colorful and thick SPS corals. In the past this was been attributed to heavy feedings, amino acids / hormones, and elevated calcium and alkalinity levels that seemed to be employed by many Italian reefs with this distinct “look”. Rewind just a bit and the word […]

    italian reef tank 1

    Italian reef tanks have earned a reputation of featuring mature, colorful and thick SPS corals. In the past this was been attributed to heavy feedings, amino acids / hormones, and elevated calcium and alkalinity levels that seemed to be employed by many Italian reefs with this distinct “look”. Rewind just a bit and the word Pappone seemed to be in every reef keepers vocabulary along with the Blu Coral Method; both became hot button topics among the reef interwebs.

    For those unfamiliar with these terms, Pappone is a mix of various seafoods that are blended into a fine mush (with sugar added) and fed at night to feed the corals. The “Blue Coral Method” takes pappone a step further and calls for elevated levels (calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium) and also uses human growth hormone (HGH) prior to feeding the pappone–note that most logical reefers opted for amino acids as an affordable (and legal) stand in, rather than using HGH.

    Pappone itself is a simple coral food very much like the DIY recipes shared by Eric Borneman and others. It seems the basic idea of SPS feeding has caught on as more and more reefers feed their “tanks” and not just their fish.  In my opinion the timing of the pappone popularity was a good one–prior to this many Acropora keepers put their tanks on a strict diet leading to unhealthy corals and anorexic fish.

    What brought me into this Pappone induced flashback was the beautiful aquarium of Ferdinando D’Amora, shown at the very top and below. While Ferdinando does not appear to use pappone, or HGH for that matter, he has created a stunning reef tank that shares the aformentioned Italian reef characteristics of mature, thick and near overgrown corals. For more information on this reef, it was featured in the latest issue of Reef Italia Magazine in a TOTM style format.

    Italian Reef Tank Acropora coral

    This is a true coral garden. Maybe it’s not your style, but I think any aquarist can appreciate the growth, color and health of this aquarium. For additional eye candy, see the Reef Italia article and video.

    5 Comments

    1. Maximiliano Kniaz
      November 9, 2009 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      It’s Nando, one of the best reef tanks in the world.

    2. November 9, 2009 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

      stunning setup.

    3. November 14, 2009 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

      Makes me want to cry with envy and my general lack of knowledge regarding Italian. Interesting that he didn’t use GH.

    4. Ferdinando D'Amora
      November 19, 2009 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

      I can confirm!… never used GH.

    5. November 19, 2009 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

      @Ferdinando, Buongiorno, tuo acquario é bellissimo! I hope all is well.

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