A Huge Problem IMO as to why tanks crash and we have so many problems with just about everything.

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Paul B

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Yes, that is correct if you want a natural system. It is OK for a quarantined or medicated system as those are not natural and you would need to kill everything that could infect a fish.
 
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Devaji. I would lose the UV sterilizer as it is not needed in a natural system and may be detrimental.
My water is crystal clear and couldn't be clearer.
Sponges and coral will remove any tiny particles. Of course I run a reverse Undergravel filter which probably also contributes to the clarity.

I would also lose the pellets unless you soak them in vitamin A.
Get as much clam in there for food as you can and less mysis. Mysis are OK but mostly indigestible shell that is not calcium and will do no good.

If you use some potting soil, take it from your garden and not from a bag. Use just a little at a time.
Of course sea mud is better but hard to come by where you live.

I already have the UV bought it last BF new in the box :(

more live foods maybe i'll just get a bunch of live white worm cultures going so they can eat live food 80-90% of the time. i do soak the pellets in seclon but i'll try to keep that to every once in a while. not sure if I can find clams here or not.

ok jut got back from the store. they have bottle neck clams "live" on ice. as a vegan I know nothing about this grouse stuff is that what I want?
 

Rjukan

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Hey @Paul B whats your take on cavair from Alaskan salmon? "Thirty percent of salmon caviar is protein. Salmon roe oil, which constitutes 13-15% of the product contains Omega-3 fatty acids."
Reason I ask is I love it, and would gladly get extra next time to share with my fish. Last time I gave them some and they seemed to like it a lot. Would that have the bacteria we are looking for? Thanks.
 
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Paul B

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Davali, if you already have the UV, use it. You don't need to feed live food every day. Just a couple of times a week to keep living bacteria in their guts.
Clams are great and with a few worms, the only foods you need.

Salmon roe is great as long as it is not canned. When they can things they have to heat it to kill everything and wouldn't do any good for gut bacteria. But still much better than dry food.
 

HuduVudu

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Davali, if you already have the UV, use it.
@Devaji ... sunk cost effect is a human hueristic. Don't let it impact good decision making. I have sold/given away more equipment than I care to admit but when something isn't needed it isn't needed.
 
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@Davali ... sunk cost effect is a human hueristic. Don't let it impact good decision making. I have sold/given away more equipment than I care to admit but when something isn't needed it isn't needed.

yeah I hear that I once have away a 240 gallon tank with stand and new MH lighting. this was back in the day when MH & VHO was all the rage.
still waiting for the good Kamra from that...haha
 

vlangel

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I am apparently showing up late for the party, (seeing that this thread is already 15 pages) but I have found much of your observations in your tank to be the same in my tanks. I wished that I could say that my tank has had the same longevity as yours but I can not, although the live rock and much of the sand has been re-used as I transferred from tank to tank. (LOL, I am a woman and it's our prerogative to change our mind, right?).

Anyway I too have used my soil out of my garden to add to the sandbed for my system. I garden with homemade compost so there are no chemicals in the dirt I put in my tank but undoubtedly there is lots of bacteria and other stuff! It's way cheaper than buying Miracle Mud and has worked out fine.

I have also had the best luck when I put newly bought fish in my sump to acclimate to my water conditions without the harassment of tank mates, but no prustine quarantine tank. It seems like they are better off in my stable system than a newly set up QT tank. After a week I move them to the display. That has worked the best for me in acclimating new fish.

I guess different folks do things differently and just goes to show that there are different ways to keep a reef.
 
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Paul B

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Vlangel, Hello. I am glad you told me you are a woman as Vlangel could go either way. :)

Your tank sounds very healthy :cool:
 

vlangel

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Vlangel, Hello. I am glad you told me you are a woman as Vlangel could go either way. :)

Your tank sounds very healthy :cool:
My username is a motorcycle reference. I ride a Volusia VL800. I was only 40 years old when I chose vlangel, so the angel part seemed more appropriate than it does now for a 60 year old, LOL. Age is only a number however and my hubby still thinks of me as an angel.

Yes, I have had good success with my tanks over the years and my reefing style is more similar to yours than many of the newer reefs. I am a 'keep it simple stupid' gal. I stay away from equipment that can fail and let as much simple biology as possible govern my tank. My current tank system is the easiest, most economical reef I have had, and I enjoy it thoroughly.
 

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I am not the smartest fish keeper in the world, but I am probably one of the oldest. Being one of the oldest, I have also had more time to study this stuff and more time to make mistakes. Mistakes are one way we learn. A very good way.

It's actually how they train you in basic training in the Army or Marines. By forcing you to do impossible tasks, knowing you can't do them, then punishing you for not doing it correctly. Eventually, you learn what they want you to do while never completing those tasks correctly.

Trust me, it works.

I was a Noob at one time and that time was the 1950s, yes the world as we know it was around then and so were fish. We had the same problems then as we do now but a few of us learned, after many dead fish what we were doing wrong and I think I got it.

Most people in this hobby do something and it works, and they think they found the secret, but we may be talking about a time frame of a few months or a couple of years. A common hermit crab lives over 12 years so if we keep one for a couple of years, it is not "Great Success". To have a reef tank for four or five years without crashing, although is an accomplishment that few people ever attain is also not a Great Success and we should strive for more. We should always strive for more.

IMO a reef tank should be immortal or "live" as long as it's owner. Of course fish are not immortal, but most of them live much longer than people stay in this hobby.

Corals are immortal and can keep living while growing new polyps on top of older ones. That’s how reefs grow.

I feel the biggest mistake we make (and us Geezers who started this hobby are the cause) is keeping our tanks to clean.

Our gravel or sand is to clean, and our food is to clean and our water is to clean.

I will get to clean water later as it even sounds weird to me.

Fish, birds, whales, lizzards, earthworms, Liberals, Conservatives and us all have a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Viruses, bacteria and parasites have been here longer than us and will be here when we all go to Mars because this planet has nothing left but plastic.

In a tank, any tank, except a quarantined or medicated tank, bacteria run everything. We forget about them, but it is the bacteria that call the shots, not us.

Bacteria have their own problems as viruses also affect and kill them. Bacteria hate that.

Parasites are also infected by bacteria and viruses.

Probably funguses also, but I am guessing.

Anyway, we call those things “disease organisms” because they can make us sick, but we forget that without them, we couldn’t live.

Our stomach is loaded with both beneficial and harmful bacteria. They live in harmony along with the funguses and viruses. Seawater is loaded with all of those things and that is natural and the way it should be.

We have problems when we mess with that system. If we kill bacteria, the viruses can take over as can the parasites.

If we for instance use copper, we will kill the parasites and bacteria, but not the viruses.

We really can’t kill the viruses (as Covid 19 taught us) because viruses are not alive to start with but we can disintegrate them using UV light or ozone.

So if we kill one of the pathogens, we allow the remaining ones to thrive and cause problems.

We can of course kill everything by using drugs along with UV and Ozone but should we?

It sounds like a good plan but have you seen anyone who just had Chemo and radiation to kill cancer?

Those people have no immunity to anything and although they are kept in a sterile environment, many of them die anyway because we can’t live like that in the real world.

Neither can fish.

In some cases we do have to resort to that drastic measure and sometimes it works. But not usually and it could take years for that fish to regain its compliment of stomach flora where it could live a normal life free from disease with a functioning immune system.

The problem with killing everything is of course that the bacteria, parasites and viruses will all infect the fish at different times and whichever comes first can overwhelm the fishes immune system because those things no longer are living in harmony where they can all keep each other in check.

In nature none of those pathogens get the upper hand because they evolved to counteract each other.

If we disrupt the cycle, we cause problems and tank crashes.

I propose, and it has worked for decades for me and other successful aquarists with long lasting reefs, that instead of trying to limit or eliminate natural pathogens leaving the fish open to disease, we cultivate those things, "in proportion" with each other leaving the fish with a strong immune system that it evolved with.

Remember, in the sea the fish are living with every aquatic disease there is with no problem. They only have problems after they are collected, shipped and put in our tanks.

There is no reason for them to have problems as my fish realize including my almost 30 year olds.

I know many, or all the fish we buy don’t look very good and are all infected with something. But remember, they are “always” infected with something because fish eat and breathe pathogens as they live. In the sea their immune system has no problems dealing with those afflictions because the fish is not stressed and is eating there natural food which is loaded with bacteria.

It’s the pathogens that tell the fishes immune system what method to use to eradicate that organism.

Remember in the sea fish normally eat living prey. They rarely eat sterile pellets, flakes or freeze dried anything. The prey they eat is always loaded with bacteria, parasites and viruses in the same proportions as are already in the fishes gut. Fish and us can’t digest food without bacteria which is the reason so many fish die while being medicated with copper or other drugs. It kills their stomach bacteria. It’s simple.

I mentioned before that our water is to clean and that may sound counterproductive because coral reefs are thought to be pristine. But the difference in water from a coral reef and our tanks is that the water on a coral reef has been there long before Betty White was born and many of our tanks were started a week from last Tuesday. Seawater actually gets better with age, to an extent.

If new, clean seawater was so good, why do new tanks look lousy? Why do new tanks, with all new water have so many diseases? Why do Noobs lose so many fish?

It’s because bacteria, viruses, corals, seaweed, rocks, meteorites, shipwrecks, whales and waste water from frankfurter carts in New York City all end up in the sea and all of those things are what fish evolved in. OK, maybe not the frankfurter carts. But it takes time for those organisms to reach a point where they are in sync with each other and none of them out weigh or out perform each other.

I was also under the impression that we needed to keep everything sterile. I wouldn’t think to put my hands in the tank without rinsing many times to get every trace of soap off.

I tried very hard to keep dirt out of my tank and vacuumed up every last bit of un eaten food.

I was wrong.

Now I take mud from a salt water bay and throw it in. I take garden soil (without pesticides) and throw it in. I feed earthworms full of dirt. I feed clams, mussels and whiteworms with as much dirt attached as I can find.

I never quarantine or medicate unless I purposely buy a very sick fish that I know will not live through the night and I experiment with questionable results.

I never worry if a fish I buy is in the same tank as fish with spots.



What I do is take that fish home as soon as I can and after a short acclimation, place it in my tank and try to get natural food into it. Natural food with living bacteria in it which is not usually commercially purchased food.

That food is deep frozen or irradiated to kill bacteria. I do use that food but I always supplement it with the foods I mentioned because without fresh, living bacteria, fish will always be at risk of dying from just about anything.



If you don’t believe any of this, go and watch Oprah give away Cadillacs to stray cats.

I happened on this post some time ago and have been taking your advice. I stopped testing. Stopped dosing everything. Stopped worrying over every little parameter or every little hydroid or crystal clear water. Feed when they look hungry. Let nature take it's course.
And I wanted to share with you that a coral I bought months ago, and thought was dead, has not only come back but is overgrowing the dead parts. And that's not the only one.
I am now a diehard believer in your way.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I need to find some mud...
 
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Paul B

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Vangel, my "Angel" of 47 years is also in her 60s. Unfortunately I went past that a little while ago. :oops:

Thats great Anihiel1. But you shouldn't stop testing all together. Once in a while is nice, just don't aim for perfect parameters or chase numbers. Calcium and alk still have to be added if you want to keep SPS and some LPS. :cool:
 
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Paul B

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The understament of the year. :p

Yes, I don't want people to think I buy a fish and stand by my door so I can throw the poor creature 50' to my tank after he bounces off the wall and I test the parameters by putting some of my water on my tomato plants to see what the tomatoes taste like.

A couple of things we should do like change some water, not a lot but some and add some calcium and alk. I never test for anythjng else. Ok, maybe once a year I will test for nitrate but just so I can post it because there are plenty of people who live to argue with me but fortunately most of them left the hobby many years ago.

I have done a lot of things, been a lot of places and lived a lot of years and I am to old to argue. If you want to quarantine for five and a half years, soak your fish in tree stump remover and take your fish to a chiropractor every time he burps, so be it. Good luck with that. :cool:

In March when my tank reaches fifty years old, I will think of it as a success even though many people will say it is like playing Russian Roulette just because I used to date a Russian Girl. :p
 
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Paul B

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I am making some dynamite Manhattan Clam chowder, (My favorite) so I figure I would post a picture of one of the clams that I use. These are the same clams I feed my fish, but I am not going to save any of them for the fish today. They can eat cake.



thumbnail.jpg
 

Anihiel1

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Vangel, my "Angel" of 47 years is also in her 60s. Unfortunately I went past that a little while ago. :oops:

Thats great Anihiel1. But you shouldn't stop testing all together. Once in a while is nice, just don't aim for perfect parameters or chase numbers. Calcium and alk still have to be added if you want to keep SPS and some LPS. :cool:
I generally rely on 'how they look' and if they're not looking right then I'll test to see what is lacking/off. I do dose coralvite weekly and purple up every few times. I haven't really tried sps, I'm keeping zoas, favites, toadstool leather, acan, and some gorgonians. All the easy stuff LOL. What do you recommend...?
 
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Paul B

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I only use a two part calcium and alk. I dose it by hand and for some reason my tank uses an awful lot of alk. I need about 3 ounces a day but very little calcium. The corals including all the SPS are growing nicely. The easiest SPS IMO are Montipora and acropora. The rest of them I have I have no idea of their names and I would have to look them up. I really don't care much about names and have a very lousy memory with names. Especially people. The VA tells me that may be due to my PTSD but I think I didn't remember names before I was in the Army.
 
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Paul B

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I bought a paper back copy of your book, for just in case the internet goes away, but we're still able to get reef tank supplies still.
Creativeballance, what did you think of my book, or do you use it to level your tank? :cool:
 
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Creativeballance, what did you think of my book, or do you use it to level your tank? :cool:

Lets see.

Traditional wood shim. Set and move forward until level. May take a couple surrounding the tank and/or stand. Once level cut/trim and done.

Or.

In a hurry, don't have shims, never used shims, don't know what shims are due to public school cutting vocational classes, and grab the first thing within reach to level the tank :) Lets see, 33 pages should do it.

Kidding of course on all fronts but the public school rant. Hope all is well with you and yours Paul.
 
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What is the best "cleaning product" or home recipe for cleaning reef tank equipment?

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