Is your Reef Tank "MATURE" and how long does it take?

BRS

Would you consider your tank to be a mature reef?

  • YES (tell us why in the thread)

    Votes: 170 41.4%
  • NO (tell us why in the thread)

    Votes: 170 41.4%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 68 16.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 0.7%

  • Total voters
    411

sfin52

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I think my tank is mature enough now. :)

After you get through the stage where the corals are growing enough that you don't have any of those "coral plugs" showing and coral is naturally growing on rocks so you can't move them, you have a good supply of "mulm" or dying algae, sponges, etc. in the dark recesses and in the back.

Things are spawning and you have no idea what you are seeing in the caves, fish only die from jumping out or old age. Antenna are sticking out from many of the pores in the rock. When you turn off the lights you can see tiny "plankton" creatures swimming towards the surface or scurrying under the rocks.

Then the tank is mature.
This right here.
 

mdb_talon

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I guess i define a mature tank much differently than many. Things like stable parameters for example i dont really factor into whether i think it is mature. I can have an aquarium with stable parameters within a couple months...but certainly dont define it as mature.

In the context i believe we are discussing here i consider a mature tank one that has a wide variety of biodiversity (pods, worms, critters, etc) that is mostly self sustaining. I also dont think there is an endpoint to say now its mature. My frag system is mature in many ways. It is not nearly as mature as PaulB system though.

I also think you can set back the maturity of your tank. One of the reasons i wont use something like vibrant on an established tank is i believe it can set back the tank maturity. You cant eradicate all algae and microfauna without also eradicating some of the countless critters that need that to survive.
 

Reefs anonymous

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7600FF80-F5D4-4201-B3CA-40823C65EB39.jpeg


Immature reef
845D9AE9-4A20-46FB-9AD1-2E52CEC6AE22.png


mature reef. LOL
 

sixty_reefer

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What's your reccomendation for acquiring that sort of fauna in a dry dock tank without access to live rock?
The best way to get a great number of biodiversity is by keeping an eye in your local LFS for fresh corals on LR. They normally full of life. It doesn’t have to be large a small piece of rock will contain billions of bacteria and other organisms and if the conditions are right they will multiply really fast.
 
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SC017

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The best way to get a great number of biodiversity is by keeping an eye in your local LFS for fresh corals on LR. They normally full of life. It doesn’t have to be large a small piece of rock will contain billions of bacteria and other organisms and if the conditions are right they will multiply really fast.
I was thinking about asking my LFS for any kind of rock or rubble they had had lying around in tanks or sumps for that reason.

Also pondered buying some copepods to jumpstart that kind of culture as I'm pretty set on wanting a Mandarin, even if the LFS sells ones that eat non-live foods.
 

sixty_reefer

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I was thinking about asking my LFS for any kind of rock or rubble they had had lying around in tanks or sumps for that reason.

Also pondered buying some copepods to jumpstart that kind of culture as I'm pretty set on wanting a Mandarin, even if the LFS sells ones that eat non-live foods.
That’s a good idea as long as the rock isn’t on fish only sets. I tent to get this sort of things from coral only tray as it’s less risky to bring pests also fish only tanks can contain copper in the rock and eventually leach on to the tank water. If you trying for a mandarin please avoid inserting amphipods to the tank as they will prey the copepods population
 

mguili1947

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Thanks to @jfoahs04 for the QOTD idea!

We hear the term "mature reef" thrown around a lot within reefing discussion and it seems that the maturity level of your tank is a level in which good or bad things happen. What types of livestock you can keep, whether or not you have to keep fighting algae, etc. But what makes a tank mature and how do you know when you get there? Let's talk about it!

1. What does having a mature reef tank mean and how long does it take?

2. Would you consider your tank to be a mature reef, why and why not?


image via @MJC
MJC.jpg
Yes
 

Treefer32

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Maturity of the reef or of the hobbyist? I've been in the hobby off and on for 15 -20 years. My knowledge I have now is way beyond what I had 10 years ago. The technology available to hobbyists including hobby grade test kits are beyond what was available ten years ago.

I went from a 220 gallon system to a 350 gallon system with around 2 year break between the two. What I've learned on my 350 gallon systems merged with my previous knowledge. I'm way more mature than I was with my previous 220 system.

My 340 gallon reef is 4 years old with quite possibly 10 year old rock that's been used then dried out, then used, etc. I consider my reef mature because I've significantly matured as the hobbyist. I now have a greater understanding of corals and their needs. Much more than I had 5-6 years ago.

I battled hair algae for a year on a 125 I had bought from another reefer and inherited all their problems. If I had known about the impact of nitrates and phosphates on corals and hair algae back then. I would not have spent hours every week manually scrubbing rocks and pulling hair algae.

So much wasted time on activities that had low chances of succeeding back then. Now with the Hanna checkers for phosphates and nitrates, and the filtration systems available now that were really hard to get ten years ago or had to be jerry rigged yourself with high risks of failures and floods.....

Maturity is something gained through experience, knowledge, and wisdom to discern the two. My tank is now mature in terms of bacteria and stabilized with the same dosing parameters for close to a year. And I don't need to test more than once every 6 months because my tank and I matured together!
 

ReefGeezer

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My tank, started with dry rock & sand, is about 9 months old and certainly not mature. Been through the diatom, cyano, hair algae phases. Even had a little Dino outbreak. Now dealing with some sort of fuzzy light colored bacterial that grows on the glass, plastic, and rocks, and kills Coralline, and a encrusting red sponge (I think). Things are getting better now. The growth of the fuzzy stuff has slowed to almost nothing, spots of purple Coralline are showing up, and the red sponge is disappearing.

Maturity, in my mind, is when the organisms in the system are capable of recycling nutrients, limiting pathogens, and providing input into the food web. Things like sponges, tube worms, pods, corals, clams, bacteria, planktonic life, algae, & etc. all participate in that process. Once this happens, corals encrust and grow more quickly and, at some point, organic/inorganic nutrient levels (and the devices used to manage them in the immature system) become less critical.
 

cocoReefer

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+1 for cycled tank
+2 for coraline cover
+3 for each year without crash
+4 for coral colonies not frag plugs.
+5 for overcoming plague/pest/crash without loosing livestock.
+6 for spawning events
Get to at least 10 points and we can talk maturely about maturity. Just my opinion of course.
 

sixty_reefer

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MnFish1

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1. What does having a mature reef tank mean and how long does it take?
It is undefinable. If you look at some of the Aquabiomics data - there is tremendous variation between successful tanks. Suggesting that - maturity is a bit of a myth (IMO).
2. Would you consider your tank to be a mature reef, why and why not?
Yes, since it not a definable term - its fine - everything is growing and doing well. IMHO - if I was listing 10 things on whats important for a tank whether 1 day or 20 years old - one of the least of the 10 would be 'maturity'.
 

Sharkbait19

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Is a reef ever mature? I mean, the ocean is constantly evolving and has been "maturing" for billions of years. Same goes for tanks. There's always something to improve upon or evolve.

If you're simply asking if my tank is stable... well, things are no longer dying left and right, so in that sense, yes.
 

Kiwi reefer

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My tank has been running for a little over two years

I wouldnt say my parameters are stable enough to call it "mature"

Personal opion i would call a tank around the five year mark a mature tank, because it shows us that its stable enough to support life long term and should in theroy have a good amnount of good bactera built up to help it thrive
 

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BRS

Have you ever had a nano reef tank?

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