Daniel Knop                                                                                                                  Buchautor  –  Fachjournalist  –  Naturfotograf                                                                                                        Autoren-Webseite
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Making-of ...


I work with nano reef tanks a lot, and once in a while I need a contrasting experience. This is when I usually need to visit a good friend in Long Island, New York: Joe Yaiullo. The reason: He has a reef tank with 80,000 liters of volume – definitely not suited to what you call "nano reef tank". It is filled with aquarium grown corals and inhabits an enormous amount of colorful reef fish. I remember that once he called his tank "my baby and my mistress". I really can understand him. Joe is founder and curator of the Atlantis Marine World, a wonderful public aquarium.

My first dip in Joe's tank in 2006, six years after he set it up

My first dive in this tank was in 2006, six years after the tank had been set up. This was when my son Benny took the picture you see above. In 2012 I had a chance to return to this tank in order to take underwater photographs for Joe. Those pictures were the reason for him to take the risk of letting someone go inside the tank. Normally this is strictly prohibited and he is the only one that regularly does maintenance work in this tank. He told me he can find his way

through the extremly narrow path between the corals even with closed eyes. I found it as well, but with a lot of awareness trying hard not to brake any of the corals. Believe me: There is no space for a belly...


Please find a gallery of my recent Long Island dive below. Click on the first picture to get a slide show with short captions below the pics.

My first dip in Joe's tank in 2006, six years after he set it up
Joe's "baby and mistress" in 2012: an 80,000 liter beauty...
Preparing for the 2012 dive in Joe's tank
Said and done: My second date with Joe's "baby and mistress"...
Unbelievable stony coral growth – had I not been here I wouldn't believe this!
It feels very unique to be surrounded by a gigantic load of corals knowing that this biotope is manmade…
I've owned a 6,000 liter tank for two decades and been in there numerous times, but this here is an entirely different story…
Could you believe that this is not natural?
I instantly decided to fall in love with this reef tank!
Some of the big surgeon fish are way too large – Joe took it out later...
I asked Joe if I can stay in over night but he had no more air supply...
This huge Turbinaria reniformis colony grew out of five small sheets during 12 years! In a closed tank system!
Joe loves this shot because the fish in the back part of the tank show its enormous depth
Again: Can you believe this is not nature? The next picture will give the proof...
It is man-made...
A sensational visibility through the tank, from the side perspective no one has through the front glass…
Being inside the tank, all of the colors look far stronger than seen through the front glass
This picture shows the path that let me walk along between the corals. Extremely narrow – no space for a belly...
Stony coral colonies of this size in a closed tank system? You cannot believe it if you don't see it...
The educational value of this reef tank is tremendous!
A last wide angle view to the right section of the tank before getting out...
Joe said I cannot stay in over night...
My second unforgettable dive in Long Island, New York.
Joe's "baby and mistress" in 2012: an 80,000 liter beauty...