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

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Tamberav

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Mine isn't as bare bones as the title. I use a 20g fuge packed and I have a heavy bioload of fish with heavy feeding. I test alk once a week (I don't test anything else anymore as it felt like a waste of time). I change 10g of water every 3 months.

I see a lot of people use lower bioloads but fish are more important then corals so the fuge is important for my set up, not only for nutrient balance but microfauna as I have many breeding snails, pods, dusters, worms, starfish... etc... My breeding Strombus maculatus colony in the fuge is big $$$ maker. I would never remove it.

The fuge is little maintenance though. Just pull half and toss every 3 months with the water change.

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blasterman

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Wow. Now this is growth... no changes? Congrats. Wild...
Here's the left side. Its all zoa-village. The softies on the left chew up nitrate while montipora (and that fat birdsnest) eat phosphate like a boss. Nothing left to export. Other than adding gobs of baking soda and calcium chloride this tank is the cheapest I've owned. I dont even have a heater in it right now. My room temp is 75-82. Corals do not care.

Remind me again of why I need an apex controller, ramping programs on LEDs, trace element voodo...blah blah blah.

20210613_203546.jpg
 

JCM

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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....

Looks great! Water changes were the same as all my other setups. I'm not religious about doing them weekly but I'm not trying to go forever without one either. Normally once or twice a month, always 5 gallons. That tank was 45 gallons I think. 2' x 2' x 20" or so.
 

HomebroodExotics

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Here’s my 10 gallon that is just starting to settle in and take off. 7 months in. What you see in the tank is all I use. No sump, just a box filter, voodoo magic bcb basket, and carbon. No scheduled water changes (none really). Oh and tap water. I dose with all for reef.

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JCM

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Here's the left side. Its all zoa-village. The softies on the left chew up nitrate while montipora (and that fat birdsnest) eat phosphate like a boss. Nothing left to export. Other than adding gobs of baking soda and calcium chloride this tank is the cheapest I've owned. I dont even have a heater in it right now. My room temp is 75-82. Corals do not care.

Remind me again of why I need an apex controller, ramping programs on LEDs, trace element voodo...blah blah blah.

20210613_203546.jpg


Narrator: you dont...

Looks great! It really doesn't have to be complicated unless you make it so.
 

JCM

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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!

The tidal filter was fantastic! It was just a regular hang on the back filter but it pulls water from the surface rather than down low in the tank. It helped me avoid the gross slime that built up.
 

Shellbell

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Ha I literally just started on this site 10 min ago. Have had my tank running 3yrs on an aqua clear 50g and a penguin 75g. I run ceramic in the penguin only. I have a sponge and ceramic only in the (fluval) other. I removed a large purple tang recently because of the large swings in parameters (& it was 7"+). Things are finely getting better (algae) and I am back to 5g a week water change. Running 3 different powerheads, ehiem heater, 6 ati t5's on a current fixture. Bulbs are like 2yrs old and one of my mushrooms just fell apart so time for new bulbs. This is how to reef when your cash poor!
 

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Rob&VC

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Look at that purple! Beauty! I'm on Reef Crystal's too, so alk is slightly high along with Mag.
Thanks...its been steadying out nicely and Ive been able to add to it now...the dino mess almost ended my interest. Lesson learned out of that one though. Every overreaction has a worse reaction. Treated a minor cyano patch with a dose of chemipure and the tank went into organic meltdown and in 3 days it was what the heck yuck. Now I dont know if that would have happened if I had a skimmer but I think just a larger volume of water is the most important part of the whole system besides the live rock. I am just kind of experimenting with this tank in preparation for a larger setup and I'm glad I did.
As far as water changes I find myself stretching them out more as I feel out the tank, but I avg around 5 gal swap every 2-3 weeks. My last change the water was really pretty clear so I saved it for growing stuff and I think I'll go a full month next time...depending on parameters of course. I check weekly now.
 
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DaddyFish

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The tidal filter was fantastic! It was just a regular hang on the back filter but it pulls water from the surface rather than down low in the tank. It helped me avoid the gross slime that built up.
My absolute favorite HOB filter for freshwater or saltwater. One Tidal-110 per 50-gal is my rule of thumb. Great HOB!
 

vlangel

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I have run bare bones tanks and what I have now is still pretty simple although it has a sump. I started with a 56 gallon column tank with a power head, 20 year old live rock and deep sandbed. I also utilize macro algae for nutrient uptake. Maintenance was a 4 gallon water change once a week and clean glass. The tank was stocked moderately.

I added a 20 gallon basement sump which helped cool the whole system. A low energy DC pump returned the water to the display. Then I added a 30 gallon XH with a deep sandbed to use as a fuge and it drains into the 20 gallon sump. So although I have 3 different tanks hooked together, it is still only powered with 1 return pump, the display has 1 power head. There are no skimmers, no reactors, no dosing pumps and no controllers. It's a very stable system that relies on biology for filtration.
 

Nano sapiens

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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...

Skimmers can be useful (especially in high bio load and Acropora dominated systems), but certainly not a necessity for your average reef aquarium (as you a finding out).

My old 12g has little in common with your 90g, but being a nano 10%/wk water changes are enough along with just live rock and sand (22 years old rock and ~75% of the sand from a previous 55g...also no skimmer for 8 out of 10 years on that one).
 
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TnFishwater98

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I had a small mishap on my display tank so I’ve been running without a filter since May 23rd. It’s a 55 gallon with 90 lbs LR....Sp far everything is happy and stable. I am about to start up a new filter. Got it set up just haven’t turn it on yet. Lol
****I do have a HOB skimmer and small Refugium
 
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CanuckReefer

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Here's the left side. Its all zoa-village. The softies on the left chew up nitrate while montipora (and that fat birdsnest) eat phosphate like a boss. Nothing left to export. Other than adding gobs of baking soda and calcium chloride this tank is the cheapest I've owned. I dont even have a heater in it right now. My room temp is 75-82. Corals do not care.

Remind me again of why I need an apex controller, ramping programs on LEDs, trace element voodo...blah blah blah.

20210613_203546.jpg
Picked up a Monti to try sps a few months back and its not dying which is good, birdsnest picking up tomorrow. My Phos numbers are not out of whack but I feed carefully, and 99 % of time its my own frozen mix and live phyto. Those corals look fantastic btw....
 
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Ha I literally just started on this site 10 min ago. Have had my tank running 3yrs on an aqua clear 50g and a penguin 75g. I run ceramic in the penguin only. I have a sponge and ceramic only in the (fluval) other. I removed a large purple tang recently because of the large swings in parameters (& it was 7"+). Things are finely getting better (algae) and I am back to 5g a week water change. Running 3 different powerheads, ehiem heater, 6 ati t5's on a current fixture. Bulbs are like 2yrs old and one of my mushrooms just fell apart so time for new bulbs. This is how to reef when your cash poor!
This is awesome. Funny you just started here however much longer in the hobby/ trade and found this thread. Look forward to hearing more about your setup in future please!
 
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CanuckReefer

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Skimmers can be useful (especially in high bio load and Acropora dominated systems), but certainly not a necessity for your average reef aquarium (as you a finding out).

My old 12g has little in common with your 90g, but being a nano 10%/wk water changes are enough along with just live rock and sand (22 years old rock and ~75% of the sand from a previous 55g...also no skimmer for 8 out of 10 years on that one).
Makes me wonder what I was doing then, all those years and still now. It's walking a fine line for certain but discovering if I give it a bit more attention in doing it, all seems to still shake out.... love learning about how others seem to succeed similar.
 
BRS
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