One gallon "Reefbowl" still going strong

Leonard

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The Reefbowl (circa 2011): Petri dish on steroids
[h=2]It's a Small World[/h]Brandon Mason (AKA Brandon429) is an active member in many reefkeeping communities and has regularly shared updates about his grand experiment (if you can call a one gallon body of water that) throughout the years.* On New Years Day 2013, Brandon uploaded a new video of his Reefbowl.* It shows his seemingly impossible pico system still flourishing.
Approximately a dozen species of corals occupy nearly every square millimeter of the vase.* They're not only surviving; The corals are thriving.* The most notable success is the growth of the Blastomussa merletti.* Brandon purchased this ten-polyp Blasto in 1999, and since it was added to the Reefbowl, the colony has grown to over 100 polyps even after repeated fraggings.
So how does Brandon manage to keep such a tiny reef aquarium healthy for so long?* He credits the following four core techniques for his success:
  • Weekly or bi-weekly feedings paired with water changes shortly after.
  • Consistent dosing of C-balance
  • Use of hydrogen peroxide to control nuisance algae
  • Restricting evaporation (and consequently the need for constant topoff) by sealing the vase's lid
*
To learn more about the Reefbowl, read about its history, philosophy, and design in a (link removed due to malware on that site) Brandon published in 2010.
The Reefbowl may not appeal to the uninitiated eye.* Coralline and SPS encrust the glass.* There is no aquascaping to speak of (hey, it's one gallon for crying out loud!).* It's guaranteed to score low for WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor).* But to nano/pico reefkeepers, aquarium tinkerers, and microecosystem junkies, Brandon's overgrown saltwater vase is a thing of beauty.




Click here to view this entire article.

Please post your thoughts as well here!

 
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Legendary Corals

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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The science of the perpetual biosystem:


The ReefBowl in this thread was started in 2006

It's going strong today after many good thorough cleanings.

Pics litter the web in threads going back to 02 of various bowls

These vases are the most stable pico reef system I could assemble due to the unusual salinity control, beats the salinity stability of a 250 gallon reef. Vase reefs are repeatable by anyone, we have several first reefkeepers documenting them. Build yours, post here this thread is open to all pico reefs post your nine gallon one not a problem, we share ideas.





waf upgr Dec 2015
Today new led inst, had been power compacts since the start.

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The center red brain growth is an interesting detail...not a frag from a plug, but parts of the colony not stung clear by invasive red mushroom corals.

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the bowl is regrowing areas of stinging after forced removal of the mushroom corals. Septal ridges can be seen upon close inspection of the entire brain rock on the right, mos ago was a full brain colony and only recently have the chipped areas where mushrooms were removed plated back over by coralline.
Goal: leftover growth will simply plate over as a full live colony again in about 24 mos. Permit no more invasions this decade.

The mushrooms were upwards of 200 before cleaning, this round was nine years untouched. Buried under this growth was the very old blastos and the red brain areas still left unharmed. Blastos are peeking right in the middle in crowd shot below, a few years of plying for light. I had to intervene or lose the old growth. Old growth saved.

This nine year cleanup was done in 48 hours, no recycling of live rock or loss of benthic growth still plenty of fanworms and micro stars etc. Reef surgery... Simply removed and chipped out saved corals and rock before disturbing sand bed, held in a bucket two days as vinegar dissolved glass deposits. The dsb was not rotten, it had been preemptively blast cleaned a hundred times before as a safety hedge.

Disassembly isn't required to clean a pico sandbed, just do ten water changes pouring roughly to clean a small sandbed

Disassembly is required to get mushrooms out and remove sps growth, no more glass shading allowed.

Nine years is in my opinion about how long a typical mass- adding one gallon reef can run without pruning.
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Here is the old blasto mentioned in the article, wasn't stung back.
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brandon429

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A mirror was cut and installed today to help light the back of the tank the brain coral can be seen:
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Bought a discount distressed stn acro frag cheap, orange with green polyps it will be my fav after mass restoration. See how the base has stark lines where the skin was peeling in the frag tank? No dip needed, just put in reefbowl and give it three mos

update Apr ish it will have base mass. The feeding and export of the tiny marine system is generous, not restricted, since accessing a single gallon of water is easy.

I can spot feed roti feast, cyclopeeze and rods in amounts that feed a twenty gallon tank- so corals have abundant mass adding food. A water change shortly after exports all waste from overfeed.

It's not that I have to do this work, it can go two weeks hands off sparse feeding when not in rehab mode. It's that taking this extra work three mos sustained adds about 20 mins a week extra, and guaranteed stn reversal.

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Same frag after just a few weeks blast feeding and water changes. Still waiting for basal material to grow, but count new green corallites:
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http://www.reefs.org/forums/topic27584.html <--old pico reef science unfolding

Micro freshwater life pods have an indefinite biological lifespan. I have a 3 gallon version with twelve feet of emersed growth almost 14 yr old ecosystem. Has a substrate designed to never exhaust. This planted sphere with top growth could be used to produce corn for feed, it is the most self sustaining ecosystem I could build.
Went seven years without a water change in the early 2000s, part of the inexhaustible substrate plan. The grains of the substrate are flourite which is rather inert initially but also has the character of never breaking down over time. Rock hard grains hold spaces open, shrimp waste fills the gap and this is designed to be perpetually self-dirting. I guarantee this is an indefinite lifespan ecosystem, 85+ yrs coming up bet. It'll be passed down as required :)

If the shrimp colony ever dies off just put in some wild type guppies same diff

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Old planted sphere
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Best reef aquarium LED lighting

brandon429

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Thanks for posting~ haven't had a visitor yet that's awesome. Updating some micro systems with built in LEDs. These are daylight three led strips.
Low heat, set and forget biosystems they are testing long term with neo shrimp

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It then became necessary to have a drone control aquarium stand.
 
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brandon429

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Fw micro biomes

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Three are terrariums with moss that is rare for my area but I found it in a tiny shady spot on a mountain outside Abilene TX

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tube delivery system below for injecting pressure co2 gas into inverted API test tubes :)

They re dispense gas slowly back out in five hours, refill once mid day, the co2 inverted panflute delivery system invented here. This panflute array is hidden inside that half gallon tank above behind the trees
 
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Eckolancer

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That link to nanoreefblog is a malware link. Redirects your phone to a site that will take over your phone. At least it did on my iPhone. Do not click on OK click home button then hold down safari button like you are going to delete safari. Select show reading list, then say done this will give you option to close out that page without clicking on ok. Mods should remove this link from this site.


 
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brandon429

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Hey I've posted that link on a bazillion places since 09 and that's a lot of threads still routing people back there...is there a Google report way of getting that site deactivated? It's formerly nanoreef blog d com

Surely there's some way to google report it and have it de webbed? The article is now taken down but someone offered to host it soon as replacement at different site
 

brandon429

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Never tried cactus that's great idea


This one has co2 pumped in under the lid, then sealed shut to lock in an o2 co2 system and left weeks before uncap. You air out a bit, shoot co2 in the lid hard then seal then lid down and remove the feed line at the same time. Produced emersed grown althernanthera which is then exported to other tanks for red shots.


The red shrimp pico below is the half gallon planted tank as of 2/28/16
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brandon429

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Hey I want to earnestly earnestly recommend the dirted walstad method specifically over the others. It's about carbon

You may already have a plan disregard but if not my friends are getting free walstad bowls from me and their homes are filling up with lighted spheres that run pretty hands off, with plant growth you have to prune and cut out. Opposite of live for two mos, go chlorotic and die off. That's typical carbon starving

The plant growth you want, the carpeting, it's the carbon in fw systems just like we all stress over phosphates on this side of things IMO just to chat about the similarities. The typical starting approach for micro fw setups using avg plants is too carbon restrictive/unavailable so things go yellow in two mos and green algae set in. The walstad method is abundant co2 long lived and simple. It's fine gravel not big gravel of any color capped over some organic potting soil mix (not the kind with boosted ferts, the organic clean moist dirt + peat type, all clean stuff)

Of course gas injection off a regulated pressure bottle and a co2 diffuser is tops in planted tank work. My half gallon planted tank above is both sealed and pressure gas injected because I was trying to miniaturize the common planted tank setup, but a walstad build would have grown the same and been no hassle at all, no extra clutter behind the tank. Do post your work


Also just throwing out stuff that helped me

There is a certain fert system of dry powders everyone is using online called ei method and its powdered ferts from greenleaf aquatics

Best ferts I've ever seen they run plants ideally. This guy on planted tank.net called 'aquarist' can sell you two years worth for 19$ so you don't have to assemble macros and micros off the site. Hope this all helps as options in some way

My terrariums above are walstads. I use a gravel drain layer first in the terrarium
Gift for friend S.E enjoy!

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But the aquatic planted bowls I do dirt on bottom cap on top.

The method is any container, vase, bowl,
Miracle grow organic potting mix pick out any fertilizer pellets if applicable
Put dirt as first layer. Press it firm lock it in

Cap it nicely with small grain aquarium gravel for freshwater, deep cap you can plant and work in.

The water shouldn't be tap, use any brand spring or drinking water specifically that.

Plant into that layer of gravel carefully, don't disturb bottom layer, fill with water slowly and don't skimp on lighting. If you do that above, and use a freshwater light that can be referenced in any successful plant grow thread I guarantee you it will work. You can breed cherry shrimp in it right off the bat. Need small fertilizer additions for iron in the least.
B
 
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brandon429

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terrarium update + micro jar with wire led light stand and pen lid for reference. It's not a jar of moss it is a scape made with magnifying glass and tweezers meant to be a hilly trees scape when magnified. I have to use eyelash scissors to keep it cut down
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