Reef tanks & no filtration!

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Nano sapiens

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Meant to ask you, do you dose at all? Looks mostly softies ( and looking great) like myself , so perhaps not. Also where in N Cali are you? My nephew works for one of the Techs out there in San Fran, and loves it. We were out there a few years back , took the drive up from LA ended up in Mendocino for a few days, was great touring the wineries and relaxing. Special spot. Intend to go back

Oh yes, I have to dose the 'Big 3' as I actually have more stonies by number and volume than softies...just looks like lots of flapiness since I have quite a few fleshy-fleshy LPS.

East Bay area. Yup, lots of nice places around here to visit :)
 
Fritz

CanuckReefer

Simple...Salt, Water, LR, Lighting and Flow.
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Oh yes, I have to dose the 'Big 3' as I actually have more stonies by number and volume than softies...just looks like lots of flapiness since I have quite a few fleshy-fleshy LPS.

East Bay area. Yup, lots of nice places around here to visit :)
Wondering if I'm going to have to dose in near future. Trying some SPS, small birdsnest and Green Monti. They are doing ok healthy but not growing that quickly , which really I don't expect with SPS anyway. Also have a Pipe Organ healthy but has recently stalled on growth, and they seem to produce a decent sized skeleton too. Duncan is growing at prolific pace (30 heads now?) and likely eating up a fair amount of elements. Trumpet healthy but not massive growth. Thoughts?.
 

Dr. Dendrostein

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I want to see anyone who’s running a reef system without a sump and or hob and what their take is on it along with pros and cons ! Thinking on what exactly I want to do when I upgrade tanks. I did have a jbj 45 aio on order but canceled it due to it being on hardcore back order and debating on weather or not to have a tank with a sump or a aio filter system or nothing at all and just do water changes on a rimless tank.
7.5 g nano, 5 pounds dry rock, no skimmer, 8 months old
 

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Nano sapiens

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Wondering if I'm going to have to dose in near future. Trying some SPS, small birdsnest and Green Monti. They are doing ok healthy but not growing that quickly , which really I don't expect with SPS anyway. Also have a Pipe Organ healthy but has recently stalled on growth, and they seem to produce a decent sized skeleton too. Duncan is growing at prolific pace (30 heads now?) and likely eating up a fair amount of elements. Trumpet healthy but not massive growth. Thoughts?.

Duncan's are typically found in lower light areas, but are adaptable to higher light. Since your's is growing so well and others that require more light are growing quite a bit slower, it's quite possible that your light level is the major limiting growth factor (assuming flow is correct for the various species). Many BN morphs (but not all) like a good amount of light as do Montipora. Trumpets and Pipe Organ like light too, but a bit less than your SPS.

The old say 'Be careful what you wish for' applies here :) Once stony corals really take off keeping up with their calcification demands can be a challenge. I can usually get away with using a saturated solution of Kalkwasser. But when things are really growing well, the system gets close to the limit of regular Kalkwasser and once or twice I've had to use a bit of vinegar to make it just a bit more potent without resorting to an additional product such as a 2-Part.

True mixed reefs are tough and in many ways the smaller the tougher (less space for light/flow variations). Even when everything is going well, there seems to always be one or two corals that are just 'grumpy' no matter how thoughtfully they are placed. I've found the best thing to do when starting is to first follow a general 80/20 rule, so get 80% of the corals 'happy' and then slowly work on the 20% of the grumpy ones by slowly moving them to potentially better locations and your time (weeks) to observe any changes (assuming you don't see an obvious problem like continuous polyp closure, loosing flesh, etc.. The worst thing to do is to start fiddling with the system's light and flow when most of the corals are happy just in order to try and improve the condition of a few grumpy corals.
 
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CanuckReefer

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Duncan's are typically found in lower light areas, but are adaptable to higher light. Since your's is growing so well and others that require more light are growing quite a bit slower, it's quite possible that your light level is the major limiting growth factor (assuming flow is correct for the various species). Many BN morphs (but not all) like a good amount of light as do Montipora. Trumpets and Pipe Organ like light too, but a bit less than your SPS.

The old say 'Be careful what you wish for' applies here :) Once stony corals really take off keeping up with their calcification demands can be a challenge. I can usually get away with using a saturated solution of Kalkwasser. But when things are really growing well, the system gets close to the limit of regular Kalkwasser and once or twice I've had to use a bit of vinegar to make it just a bit more potent without resorting to an additional product such as a 2-Part.

True mixed reefs are tough and in many ways the smaller the tougher (less space for light/flow variations). Even when everything is going well, there seems to always be one or two corals that are just 'grumpy' no matter how thoughtfully they are placed. I've found the best thing to do when starting is to first follow a general 80/20 rule, so get 80% of the corals 'happy' and then slowly work on the 20% of the grumpy ones by slowly moving them to potentially better locations and your time (weeks) to observe any changes (assuming you don't see an obvious problem like continuous polyp closure, loosing flesh, etc.. The worst thing to do is to start fiddling with the system's light and flow when most of the corals are happy just in order to try and improve the condition of a few grumpy corals.
Noted! This 80/20 rule I can see.... well said. Not going for any more SPS in near future. In fact pretty much nothing coral wise, will observe next few months and adjust as needed. A new fancy worthwhile invert? Well I just might... Feather Dusters did very well in my earlier higher nitrate systems, might try one again soon, and hope my pygmy angels don't pick at it....
 

PeterZammetti

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I want to see anyone who’s running a reef system without a sump and or hob and what their take is on it along with pros and cons ! Thinking on what exactly I want to do when I upgrade tanks. I did have a jbj 45 aio on order but canceled it due to it being on hardcore back order and debating on weather or not to have a tank with a sump or a aio filter system or nothing at all and just do water changes on a rimless tank.
This is a great question and one of the major reasons I started a channel this year on YouTube to show people what is absolutely needed for a successful reef and what can be used later to minimize your workload once a tank is established. I also did the lowest cost tank I have ever done weighing in at 800.00 US. Now that the channel is progressing, I have been adding product discussions to show the extra equipment I am now adding after accomplishing a beautiful reef for under 1k. Here is the exact must haves for a mixed reef. Tank/stand. Sand/Live rock. Filter(for biomax/chemipur/sponge or poly) mechanical filtration is really necessary. Heater. Wave maker or pump. Reef lighting (tons of normal under 200.00 ones which will work). Of course the debate of protein skimmers comes up every day. Should you have one. Yes. Do you need one. No. We have been keeping reefs for many moons before they were invented however, they make life easier once you find your perfect addition for your tank. The reason I start every tank with biomax is because I tend to use less than the recommended live rock in my tanks because for me it is about the coral not the rock. If you want to see my latest setup search my name in YouTube...Peter Zammetti
 

TexanCanuck

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For me, a sump is a MUST … not just because of the additional filtration (which I am a fan of), but because it allows me to get all hardware OUT of the display tank … I just don’t like seeing a heater or anything else in the main display. I like how much “neater” my display is when all you have to look at is an overflow and a return line.

Whether it’s an external sump or AIO is personal preference… I like an external sump simply because it’s easier to clean and gives me space for future hardware if I find something I want to try out.
 

Nano sapiens

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Filter(for biomax/chemipur/sponge or poly) mechanical filtration is really necessary. Heater. Wave maker or pump. Reef lighting (tons of normal under 200.00 ones which will work). Of course the debate of protein skimmers comes up every day. Should you have one. Yes. Do you need one. No. We have been keeping reefs for many moons before they were invented however, they make life easier once you find your perfect addition for your tank. The reason I start every tank with biomax is because I tend to use less than the recommended live rock in my tanks because for me it is about the coral not the rock. If you want to see my latest setup search my name in YouTube...Peter Zammetti

There are many ways to accomplish a successful reef tank, but when talking about the minimum needed (as is the topic in this thread), a mechanical filter is not necessary when a 'typical' reef aquarium amount of LR and/or LS is present (your comments about your using minimal amount of LR is noted as a reason you find it a necessity). In the typical reef aquarium, LR and LS (if used) basically function as both mechanical filters via the advective process (and to a much lesser extent, diffusion of substances into the substrata) and biologically via the formation of periphyton/biofilms that act like flypaper trapping particulates (best reference explaining these processes that I know of is 'The Reef Aquarium Vol 3, Delbeek/Spring). Additionally, in a well populated system coral and other filter feeders ingest particulate matter and can gain nutrition from the material itself and the microfauna coating the particulate surfaces.

Protein skimming, like any other filtration method, can be beneficial or undesireable depending on the system. Beneficial for systems with a continuous high organic load such as a heavily fed/populated aquarium and/or if additional oxygenation is desirable or required due to these and other possible factors. For low nutrient systems, the opposite can be true since 'nutrients' are removed by skimming that could have potentially been utilized by the organisms.

Interestingly, a study around 2009 by Dr. Ken Feldman (Advanced Aquarist) showed that protein skimming can skew the type/species of bacteria in the system since some do not adhere to the bubbles' surfaces to end up in the skimmate. Whether this has any long term negative effects in a reef system remains unknown at this time.
 
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