Reefers out there that go bare bones, no sump,skimmer, canister, carbon or fuge.....just rock and flow....

BRS

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Tell me what you are doing to maintain, and keep in touch with me if possible please. I am now at month 3 no skimmer. Flow is really good, Nitrates ticked up a tiny bit but pretty much still negligible. Phos non existent most part. No dosing, just the same twice weekly 2% on the water change. Recently installed a simple Aquaclear 50, on my 90 gallon for oxygenation after ditching the skimmer, I could always throw something in there if I need it. Carbon etc....Rock is 25 years in system about 75 pounds, substrate same. Just kinda waiting for a param to change or spike but nothing thankfully. My tank cleaning of glass is actually less? Once a week that way... Bioload is low as I feed my own frozen mix sparingly to 5 fish. Noticing happier corals, Nem and clean up crew ( they are workhorse Urchins, snails, Conch, Sand Sift Stars, Brittle Stars, Sea Cucumber, Shrimp, and multiple species of hermit) throughout..... @Tamberav I know you are on a relatively similar setup, any advice appreciated, to keep things on the level....btw @Revtree needs to do a thread on us minimalists , heck he probably has over the the years but it needs to be re-visited imo....
 
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BlakeStew

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Tell me what you are doing to maintain, and keep in touch with me if possible please. I am now at month 3 no skimmer. Flow is really good, Nitrates ticked up a tiny bit but pretty much still negligible. Phos non existent most part. No dosing, just the same twice weekly 2% on the water change. Recently installed a simple Aquaclear 50, on my 90 gallon for oxygenation after ditching the skimmer, I could always throw something in there if I need it. Carbon etc....Rock is 25 years in system about 75 pounds, substrate same. Just kinda waiting for a param to change or spike but nothing thankfully. My tank cleaning of glass is actually less? Once a week that way... Bioload is low as I feed my own frozen mix sparingly to 5 fish. Noticing happier corals, Nem and clean up crew ( they are workhorse Urchins, snails, Conch, Sand Sift Stars, Brittle Stars, Sea Cucumber, Shrimp, and multiple species of hermit) throughout..... @Tamberav I know you are on a relatively similar setup, any advice appreciated, to keep things on the level....
I have a 20 gallon long mixed reef with 2 clowns, 2 wrasse and loads of coral. I have a simple aqua clear filter with carbon and that’s it for filtration. Levels are stable and nitrates are non existent. Phosphates are at .03 no algae issues at all. I dose algaebarn’s oceanmagik everyday along with calcium and alkalinity. I do a 10% water change every other week. I’m pretty much as bare bones as possible. Fish are healthy and corals are growing steadily. The tank has been set up for 15 months.
3BDDC8DF-34BA-4DC4-9B7B-0B9F84BE9842.jpeg
 
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I have a 20 gallon long mixed reef with 2 clowns, 2 wrasse and loads of coral. I have a simple aqua clear filter with carbon and that’s it for filtration. Levels are stable and nitrates are non existent. Phosphates are at .03 no algae issues at all. I dose algaebarn’s oceanmagik everyday along with calcium and alkalinity. I do a 10% water change every other week. I’m pretty much as bare bones as possible. Fish are healthy and corals are growing steadily. The tank has been set up for 15 months.
3BDDC8DF-34BA-4DC4-9B7B-0B9F84BE9842.jpeg
This is what we love to see. Brilliant setup, looks great...the oceanmagik, looking it up.
 

BlakeStew

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This is what we love to see. Brilliant setup, looks great...the oceanmagik, looking it up.
Thank you! I seeded my tank multiple times with pods during the first few months to go along with the oceanmagik. They really help keep excess food from ruining water quality and keeping detritus at bay.
 
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Yes u can run a reef tank with a heater. Pump. And thats it... i prefer not to. Lol.
D
Well yes, there is a little bit more than just THAT lol, however, do not tempt me to reduce further I'm a simple man and just might... ;)
 

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I've run a few long term tanks like this. No sump, no skimmer, I didn't even have a heater for the longest time. Just good live rock, a good light, and a vortech or two. I'll attach a picture of the last one. I did end up running a seachem tidal filter (I think it was called) for surface skimming. Nothing in it though.

20180305_154231.jpg
20180305_154231.jpg
 
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I've run a few long term tanks like this. No sump, no skimmer, I didn't even have a heater for the longest time. Just good live rock, a good light, and a vortech or two. I'll attach a picture of the last one. I did end up running a seachem tidal filter (I think it was called) for surface skimming. Nothing in it though.

20180305_154231.jpg
20180305_154231.jpg
Looking awesome! I debated a surface skimmer for a bit, around the time I dumped my HOB skimmer, but since that surface slime seems to have dissipated? How old the rock in these systems you have run? Thanks.
 

JCM

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Looking awesome! I debated a surface skimmer for a bit, around the time I dumped my HOB skimmer, but since that surface slime seems to have dissipated? How old the rock in these systems you have run? Thanks.

I wish the surface film had went away, I wouldn't have added the filter otherwise. I bought that rock from a local reefer who had his tank setup for about 10 years. I had that tank setup for about 3 years. That picture must've been from the first year or two (still no heater). It thrived for 3 years, then less that 24 hours after our cleaning people were here, every coral in the tank was dead. They swear they didn't use any chemicals around it but I don't believe them. Would a sump/skimmer have kept things alive? I don't know
 
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I wish the surface film had went away, I wouldn't have added the filter otherwise. I bought that rock from a local reefer who had his tank setup for about 10 years. I had that tank setup for about 3 years. That picture must've been from the first year or two (still no heater). It thrived for 3 years, then less that 24 hours after our cleaning people were here, every coral in the tank was dead. They swear they didn't use any chemicals around it but I don't believe them. Would a sump/skimmer have kept things alive? I don't know
Wow! Ya, thats certainly odd....were you running activated carbon at the time ? I don't really ever....not for 15 plus years... not sure if it might have handled the chemical onslaught or not....
10 year rock....yep, sign me up.
 
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JCM

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Wow! Ya, thats certainly odd....were you running activated carbon at the time ? I don't really ever....not for 15 plus years... not sure if it might have handled the chemical onslaught or not....
10 year rock....yep, sign me up.

No, no carbon or anything else. It was 100% live rock, light and flow. I never figured out what happened. Either the cleaning people used some kind of chemical near it or one of the kids threw something in I wasn't aware of. Which would be odd, they knew the rules and loved the tank plus it had a mesh top. Or being so minimalist finally caught up with me? Seems unlikely because it was 3+ years old at that point and everything looked great until a day before it went to hell.
 

blasterman

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20L - No skimmer, no water changes, no fuge, single powerhead, no other filters, no controllers or monitoring. Im re building my sump right now to be more flexible. I dont have to have it, but with the heavy alk and calcium dosing it really helps.

Everything grows nutz in this tank. I just gave a 5gal bucket of montipora to the local reef shop because I had no more room.

The trick is to keep bioload low to start, and once corals get thick nutrients vanish from the tank. Even tap water doesn't phase it any more.
20210613_145138.jpg
 
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I wish the surface film had went away, I wouldn't have added the filter otherwise. I bought that rock from a local reefer who had his tank setup for about 10 years. I had that tank setup for about 3 years. That picture must've been from the first year or two (still no heater). It thrived for 3 years, then less that 24 hours after our cleaning people were here, every coral in the tank was dead. They swear they didn't use any chemicals around it but I don't believe them. Would a sump/skimmer have kept things alive? I don't know
One more query on your setups, how often were your water changes and how much? I am currently on the 2-3% every 4 days in my 90, religious....seems to be ok thusfar after ditching the skimmer.
This is us btw files attached. We won't win reef of the year, but we might just get success for less....
 

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CanuckReefer

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20L - No skimmer, no water changes, no fuge, single powerhead, no other filters, no controllers or monitoring. Im re building my sump right now to be more flexible. I dont have to have it, but with the heavy alk and calcium dosing it really helps.

Everything grows nutz in this tank. I just gave a 5gal bucket of montipora to the local reef shop because I had no more room.

The trick is to keep bioload low to start, and once corals get thick nutrients vanish from the tank. Even tap water doesn't phase it any more.
20210613_145138.jpg
Wow. Now this is growth... no changes? Congrats. Wild...
 
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I’m following this thread just so that I can add all of you running these bare-bones tanks. I just got back into the hobby after a seven year hiatus and I want to be just like you!
Can be done! If anything, that I've noticed its get some really well seasoned rock.
 

Rob&VC

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I am on month 5 with a standard 20g and only use a Aqua clear 50 and a small jjagger wavemaker. I have a little over 20lbs of live rock and I have carib sand. I cut my own floss for the filter and use a bag for carbon and hold it down with the square foam filter block. I also use a tunze ato with a weak kalk mix. I'm on the tail end of a dino infestation which has lead to some algea, but I also had some chemistry to learn. Now my parameters are holding good...nitrate is around 3, phos .05ish, alk is high due to reef crystals at 11ish and cal hovers around 430. Been this way for over a month. All in all I'm happy with the tanks progress...most of my problems are my lack of patients lol.
reef.jpg
 

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I plan to be bare bones once mine is up and running. I voraciously read all of the posts related to minimalist setups so this is great. It seems like I always end up going down the Google rabbit hole everytime I check in on this site because someone always mentions something I haven't heard of before like the "seachem tidal filter" and "oceanmagik". LOL

The tanks posted here are gorgeous!
 
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I am on month 5 with a standard 20g and only use a Aqua clear 50 and a small jjagger wavemaker. I have a little over 20lbs of live rock and I have carib sand. I cut my own floss for the filter and use a bag for carbon and hold it down with the square foam filter block. I also use a tunze ato with a weak kalk mix. I'm on the tail end of a dino infestation which has lead to some algea, but I also had some chemistry to learn. Now my parameters are holding good...nitrate is around 3, phos .05ish, alk is high due to reef crystals at 11ish and cal hovers around 430. Been this way for over a month. All in all I'm happy with the tanks progress...most of my problems are my lack of patients lol.
reef.jpg
Look at that purple! Beauty! I'm on Reef Crystal's too, so alk is slightly high along with Mag.
 

HB AL

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Tell me what you are doing to maintain, and keep in touch with me if possible please. I am now at month 3 no skimmer. Flow is really good, Nitrates ticked up a tiny bit but pretty much still negligible. Phos non existent most part. No dosing, just the same twice weekly 2% on the water change. Recently installed a simple Aquaclear 50, on my 90 gallon for oxygenation after ditching the skimmer, I could always throw something in there if I need it. Carbon etc....Rock is 25 years in system about 75 pounds, substrate same. Just kinda waiting for a param to change or spike but nothing thankfully. My tank cleaning of glass is actually less? Once a week that way... Bioload is low as I feed my own frozen mix sparingly to 5 fish. Noticing happier corals, Nem and clean up crew ( they are workhorse Urchins, snails, Conch, Sand Sift Stars, Brittle Stars, Sea Cucumber, Shrimp, and multiple species of hermit) throughout..... @Tamberav I know you are on a relatively similar setup, any advice appreciated, to keep things on the level....btw @Revtree needs to do a thread on us minimalists , heck he probably has over the the years but it needs to be re-visited imo....
Yes with an extremely low bioload few fish or just a frag tank alot of rock and just flow would be no problem. Although I I follow my own KISS program, no controllers, manual dosing, etc... all I have is a ton of rock and the sump has a skimmer, a couple bags of carbon and phosgaurd, bioballs and more rock and rock rubble and I dose nopox. All this because I have a heavy bioload feeding my fish 10 to 12 various types of Hikari frozen cubes and a chunk of Rods all daily. Oh also I don't do water changes and in my current tank it's been a little over 4.5 years now. But I agree with ya that lots of live rock is a big key factor either way you go. Here's a pic of my tank for reference. There's 15 fish in there 6 of them triggers.

20210513_154816.jpg
 
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