New pico reef, 3 years old 1 gallon vase

Discussion in 'Reef Fishes' started by brandon429, May 22, 2009.

  1. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    So...I was hoping to cross-share a little strategy among our tanks despite their differences in size. I could stand to use a little more of your clean up crew workers to give me a little more leeway in my stocking approaches, and someone out there might benefit from applying this vision of pure-approach algae control in addition to the clean up crews they rely on so heavily, while not really addressing core issues such as how much surface area do you need, how 'clean' is 'clean' to you at maintenance time, and what are you willing to do to prevent eutrophication long before it occurs...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
    brandon429, Jun 22, 2009
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  2. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    short descriptive for lack of a better term:

    eutrophication=algae encroached, dominated or wrecked aquarium. implies waste accumulation outpacing export or fixation (by plants). Natural systems go through eutrophication at times and there are natural mechanisms that reinstate balance. Preventing eutrophication in an aquarium is unnatural, it's against nature and it's cycles of destruction/competition and selection, that's why it's hard to prevent in any tank that approaches a ripe ole age.

    oligotrophic=good tank. May have outbreaks from time to time but has the husbandry, forethought and biological balance to prevent major shifts in the primary producers of the ecosystem.
     
    brandon429, Jun 22, 2009
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  3. brandon429

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Shweeet setup. Not something I could attempt (and I can just picture my kids picking it up and shoving it in their toybox just because LOL) But awesome setups!
     
    wontonflip, Jun 23, 2009
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  4. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    Thanks for stopping in, yes nerf balls are banned from my house sadly :) !
     
    brandon429, Jun 23, 2009
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  5. brandon429

    daugherty part time reefer

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    that is a really amazing setup you have there. i would love to try and build one but like wonton said i think the kids would couse to many problems for me to try it.
     
    daugherty, Jun 23, 2009
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  6. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    Hey but if actual physical damage isn't a risk then don't let the size fool you, these are less maintenance in many ways that any size tank that would be larger, here's why:

    What you are doing is basically trading a fish or two (and the resultant concentrated bioloading) for hundreds of dollars of equipment and the usual required footprint of a reeftank. Without a fish, you can pack coral in just plain silly and the water won't register any wastes. The main waste comes from the food, but quick water changes take that back out and leave only the goods in the closed polyps! Coral mucous is mainly carbon and light proteins, and does not degenerate into wastes like exclusively respiring animals would produce. I have read that for each bit of waste the polyp produces in respiratory activity (food burning, not breathing respiration) the zooxanthellae suck it right back up or at least such a portion that corals do not liberate wastes to a considerable degree, this is why the system runs clean as it does year after year.

    one can either stock with simple corals that absorb nutrients primarily and change water bi weekly and feed light, or step it up like the second video into bulk feedings and bulk water changes
     
    brandon429, Jun 24, 2009
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  7. brandon429

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    But then I would never get my kids to stop asking me why our little tank has no nemos in it LOL

    How do you get away with doing 100% water changes after every feeding, though? Wouldn't that cause problems?
     
    wontonflip, Jun 24, 2009
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  8. brandon429

    dcantucson

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    I wondered that too wontonflip. Wouldn't that just make the system need to cycle?
     
    dcantucson, Jun 26, 2009
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  9. brandon429

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    I think he mentioned that earlier that the wastes that are produced are quickly taken care of by the corals themselves. The only addition of wastes is from the food. You get the excess food out quick enough you won't have to worry about any of your levels spiking.

    I could be off though.
     
    Gdbyrd, Jun 26, 2009
    #29
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  10. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    Excellent questions and discussion for sure.

    regarding the water changes, taking all of the water out gets me the most waste export and it does not affect the nitrifying bacteria that are stuck to walls, rocks and the animals themselves which oxidize ammonia. There are nitrifiers as well in suspension that get removed at water change, but they pale in proportion to those located within the massive surface areas found in the curves and notches of the reef itself. THis is also why using UV sterilizers in large systems has no effect on cycling nitrifiers, those can only sterilize what passes through them but will not harm the surrounding bacteria that do most of the work.

    100% water changes are ideal in any system, the single best analogy is your car's oil. Imagine pulling up to the station and having them change 20%. 20% helps you avoid algae about 20% as well as a full change would, but in the case of larger systems these giant changes are impractical. I'm just saying they would help a system, not hurt it. When fish are involved you just have to take care to match the params perfectly, I don't have to match them perfectly with these corals, they are tough.

    I think the amount of waste the algae uptake in the coral tissues is certainly there but negligible compared to the amount of food I was feeding. If every piece of mysis was inside a polyp I might not have to change the water so much, but you can see the spillage which is dumping a whole lot of nitrogen into the system...100% water changes are the key.

    so, in this system, the different between a 20% water change and a 100% water change is literally 3 seconds more siphoning and three seconds more refilling. So, with each water change in this tiny reef model I am illustrating two critical points:

    a. the resiliency of reef animals. My temp and specific gravity are never matched perfectly, only generally, and these animals have an innate tolerance to these cycles which is something like the abuse they get on a reef flat in fiji after rain storms (which alter temps and salinity greatly)

    b. the fact that 20% changes are not helpful compared to 100% changes in any system, and if it were, oil changes in your car would only cost 5 bucks per quart changed every three months! lol. Of course changing some water is better than none at all, but an important discussion point here is why do 98% of reefs or fish tanks develop crappy algae over time...changing only small amounts still leaves nutrients to sink up in the tank and in time will become liberated back into the system and begin visual degradation of the tank (eutrophication)

    I want to also point out detritus removal is a water change's heartbeat. The more detritus you can remove in a change regimen, the less actual volume of water change is needed. When you change water, you are changing out the chemicals liberated into the water column from *stored up pockets* of waste in your system. The water change does not remove these generation sources if you only suck up tank water!! It only resets your water column to 'clean' and therefore it can catch and hold your waste dumps until the next removal. Skimmers also help in this...part of the reason I employ these heavy changes is also because I don't want to strip my system to the bone every time I clean it, I can't, it's packed too much. For the pockets of waste I do have, I need to be taking out as much trash as I can at cleaning time so algaes won't have any food sources. You guys have filters and skimmers to lessen this loading a bit making 100% changes ideal, but not required when paired with good tank husbandry. My reefs illustrate that 100% changes certainly don't hurt, and these mechanics can be extrapolated upwards to the science of larger tanks indeed!

    I would also like to point out the difference in water change habits between these two videos. These reefbowls are two different ones. In the vid with the boxer crab and shrimp and all the feeding, that was the tank that gets changed out two or three times a week because I am choosing to feed it heavily to keep these kinds of corals. In the video where the sealed reef tank was there, that reefbowl had corals that didn't require a lot of feeding so that bowl ran two weeks in between water changes, matching what you guys have in a maintenance routine yet only at the gallon level. One does not have to change as often as I do, I just do it to see how much a tank can support.

    Hey what did you guys think about the sealed half gallon sps reef that does not evaporate, how nice would topoff elimination be in a hundred gallon reef!! Too much heat though. if you scaled up my system to a normal sized one, your cooling fan would be as big as your house he he
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009
    brandon429, Jun 26, 2009
    #30
  11. brandon429

    dcantucson

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    Makes sense. Thanks for the info Brandon.
     
    dcantucson, Jun 26, 2009
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  12. brandon429

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    Doesn't the 100% water change kinda outweigh the water used to do top offs in our systems?
     
    mng777777, Jun 28, 2009
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  13. brandon429

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Well, it obviously works for your system, Brandon. Awesome explanations. I'm not attentive enough to pay attention to my tank the way you do (I once neglected to do any maintenance, cleaning, or water changes for a month...hehehe).
     
    wontonflip, Jun 29, 2009
    #33
  14. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    --good question 7777

    It may not outweigh it as most people have to add more than a gallon at topoff time in larger tanks where the same species of coral are kept...and, those water changes aren't required that often in the bowl, only when doing hard feeding to drive the corals. So it is possible to set up this gallon system and only do changes bi weekly, but after a few years that coral loading gets kinda boring. also, remember we are comparing -water changes- in my reef to topoffs in yours...if you were comparing water changes to water changes there'd be no competition, the bowls are simpler.

    these reefs are easier to run than larger setups because the maintenances are so quick and lacking volume...also, this is the barest/cheapest way one can set up a reef, nothing is simpler nor as cost effective. the only tradeoff is the changes, an easy tradeoff to see this much coral in one's living room on a cost effective budget...
     
    brandon429, Jun 29, 2009
    #34
  15. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    I rearranged some information for a new video below, just bored. I was just imagining the idea of thousands of people keeping ready-to-ship reef orbs that are designed as stand-alone or plumbed units slaving off larger systems to ship anywhere in the world re-seeding is needed, such as after an oil spill or weather event/mass bleaching.

    I was postulating that since the tanks are micro sized, pre-designed such that test kits aren't needed to run them (only a basic ops manual) and they are the cheapest viable marine ecosystems one could set up, maybe it would be micro-Noah's ark one day. The point of my video was to showcase the reasons why keeping a pico reef with these design aspects is simpler than keeping a reeftank any size larger, and that appeal could function on a mass scale to reseed damaged reefs.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThIuQcBpHVw]YouTube - 1 Gallon Reef Tank--Pico Reef Dynamics[/ame]
     
    brandon429, Jul 17, 2009
    #35
  16. brandon429

    brandon429 pico 1

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    funny enough I've already tested the shipping aspect of these as well, on my way to the public displays and colleges. I usually drain them and stick wet paper towel all inside it, empty, and it rides for hours like this. In the particular picture above I just carried the micro reef completely filled to the display resting it on my armrest for the ride.

    No reason I couldn't build the orb ones in lexan bowls for shock prevention, and ship them like this via fed ex. maybe if climate warming turns out to be bad this could be a practical microship to macro reinvigoration
     
    brandon429, Jul 17, 2009
    #36
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