- Review score
- +0 /0 /-0
Midwest ReeferBuild Thread Contributor
Thanks so much for the detailed response, @HuduVudu !These answers are mine and mine alone. Other "non-QTers" might agree or not. Everyone has their own view.
Until recently I have used Tropic Marin Pro. Had to change to the regular Tropic Marin because of difficulty getting the Pro. I just started using NSW because I am cheap.
Meh. Six of one half a dozen of the other. I don't see much of difference.
The synthetics have a come a long way. There are some traces that they limit or keep out because of hobbyst pressure, but I just dose those back in.
I am very close to the Gulf. Also the place that I can collect from is cleaner than where I was before, so I take advantage of that. I don't think you should use NSW unless it is cheaper for you. It seems that paying a higher cost for the water provides little benefit.
I recommend live rock for all types of tanks. A mix of rock is fine, but the dead rock takes quite some time to seed even with quality live rock. I am not against dead rock, it just is much more difficult to build boiology using this. You are counting on additions to your tank to seed biodiversity. In a fish only system with a dead rock start this ends up being a very very difficult proposition.
I don't like large tanks the physical size and weight scare me. I don't sleep well at night when an aquarium starts to push 80 gallons. Where I am at glass aquariums are the most common and glass scares me even more. This is a huge limitation for me because larger tanks are much much much more forgiving. One of the counter-intuitive facts in this hobby is that small aquariums are much more difficult to keep. I try to keep my tanks between 20-40 gallons. I prefer 1/2 cubes because of the surface area (better gas exchange). I also like this look. I have worked with bigger tanks and larger systems but I prefer smaller even though they are more difficult.
I have a mixed reef, but have run all in the past.
Yes conceptually. Using a concept will provide different implementations for each.
Refugiums are mis-understood. Running micro-fauna through a return pump is a bad idea and IMO destroys the benefit. I wouldn't call what most people make a refugium. That said, I run the DT as the "refugium". Sometimes because of fish selection you want a seperate area to grow things out. This is in my mind a valid approach.
I do not use skimmers because I believe that the benefit of gas exchange outways the destruction of free floating life. I have used skimmers in the past, they are excellent for gas exchange, but that is how I view them. I don't like them for export.
I do not and will never use UV. All destruction no benefit.
No ozone. Hard to control. I have considered it but I have found other ways to deal with the benefits it brings.
I use plenums. I have used them for many many years. I currently use them for trace elements and micro fauna. The have specfic ways that they need to be implemented for them to work properly. Most information online doesn't work well. Also the fear of H2S is unfounded. I ran an anaerobic digester and was dumping pretty large amounts of H2S into the tank. It wasn't great but it didn't kill. I think H2S gets a bad rap because in an anoxic situation when the area gets opened up and goes aerobic, the resulting ammoniu and nitrite spike is what will kill.
For me the plenums provide anoxic break down, but more importantly they provide a low leve stable buffer calcium addition. Kind of like a low level calcium reactor. My 20 gallon ran for 5 years on a small plenum and it grew stylo an porities. This was not ideal and the levels where not ideal, but it shows that the low level constant addition is important.
The straight under gravel is sub optimal, though usable. I haven't used one of those in years, and would probably never use one again.
Very very diverse. Soft coral, to LPS to SPS. To say mixed reef is kind of an understatement for my tank.
My tank currently favors LPS, because they are for me easier to care for. I have just recently began being able to keep the more difficult SPS, so my tank is changing in that respect.
I don't really water change. My wife gets bored and picks algae out of the tank. We feed life white worms, which is pretty challenging. We also do some maintence with those. I am working on phyto grow out, so I am in ramp up with that. I have been testing KH daily for a bit because I am trying to get my relatively new CaRx dialed in. The CaRx has been difficult because of my low demand on a smaller tank. I have figured out tricks though that are working to deal with that problem. I dose iron filings daily. Check specific gravity regularly because I haven't figured out how I want my top off to work. I also check my controller from my desktop daily for temp.
Mostly I think that KH is the most important because it will tell you to check others if it gets out of line. I think magnesium is really important, and I think iron is super important. Observation is a really good skill to have and it comes with experience. I can tell when something is starting to slide out of whack. It is way better to catch something early than to have it get out of control before you notice it. It is also really important that when you do figure out something is wrong that you don't panic and start changing things. This is a really bad tendency, and it takes experience to be patient and figure out what has happened and the best way to deal with it.
Ohhh hell no! What I do today is light years ahead of the things in the past. The learning with this hobby has been constant. Much of what I do to today comes from the many many failures of the past.
Biodiversity means balance to me. I have dinos, they are not out of control. They are not particularly welcome, but I am not going to go on a jihad to remove them. I believe in de-centralization. This is a really inefficient way to deal with the world, but the HUGE upside is that catastrophic failures are heavily muted. I think of it like good insurance. Pyramid vs Monlith. Mostly the tank will settle into it's own rythm. I add stuff on occasion, but I just try to keep the tank from the physical stable so the nothing dies back too much.
I fully understand that, for each of us, our own methods are based on personal factors and experiences and on our own research and are ultimately opinions. This is exactly why I look for information like that which you provided so I can research and try to understand each specific facet of the different methods available.
I'm going to re-read all of your points and take them into my considerations for my build.
One thing seems certain to me: regardless of methodology, QT or not, stability is an important key and requires both significant research and proper maintenance of the method employed.