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

BRS

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Thishas been running with just a couple small powerheads since 2008. It took a serious hit with the recent freeze, tank dropped to ~60°, but here's a couple older videos. Besides loosing a 25 year old Sailfin also lost a 16 year old blond naso and a blue Linckia that had been purchased in 2009. A diadem urchin and pencil urchin that were full size in 2008 survived. FWIW Lee Chin Eng observed decades ago that corals filter the water (Exotic Marine Fish pg 86.10, Axelrod, Emmens & Burgess 1981). Over the decades research has only confirmed Mr. Eng showing corals are pulling particulate organic and inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus from the water and releasing Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) compounds into the water that promote autotrophic microbial processes (oxygen enriching) microbial processes. (In contrast, algae has been shown release DOC compounds that promote heterotrophic (oxygen depleting) microbial processes and promote pathogens in coral microbiomes.) Fortunately what is gaining wider acknowledgement is corals love the urea and ammonia excreted by fish and much prefer it to the nitrates people dump in their tanks.

This is so funny
 

Timfish

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I 'like the way you talk ' here lol. . . . and a Tiger Sea Cucumber that I have had for approaching 12 years?
Flow, stir the sand bed, the right lighting, and plenty of seasoned rock....

Thank you! I suspect a lot of the invertebrates we get for our ssytems should have life expectancies in decades like many of our fish. 12 years for a cucumber is probably exceptional to keep them compared to the average aquarists but I wouldn't be surprised to see at least some of the species live many decades.

As far as the blue linkia this one is by far the oldest one I've had and it was transhipped by an old importer (Carrelli) directly from Walt Smith so I suspect one reason it did so well is it recieved minimal stress in shipping. I also suspect, as you alluded to, the types of "food" or food webs in systems without skimmers may be very different since skimmers really skew the microbial populations in aquaria as well as skew the types of DOC left in the water. Many of the animals we keep feed off bacteria and bio films and and the types microbes in the water and in biofilms are directly affected by the types of DOC in the water. It may be impossible to keep some of these animals for thier normal life spans in systems with skimmers.

For a much better understanding of how types of DOC alters the microbes in the water and can negatively affects the biofilms on corals see Rohwer's presentation here.
 
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WV Reefer

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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....
Two of my tanks with only heat, light and flow:

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/wv-reefer’s-75-gallon-big-and-dirty.400080/

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/wv-reefer’s-12-gallon-long-and-dirty.399105/
 

Nano sapiens

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Congrats 'old-timer' ..... a decade on me ain't nothing! ;).....actually check that, several thousands of dollars and more heartache and triumph..

Maybe a few hundred dollars ;) I see people spending 10k (or more) on a medium sized reef system before it even gets wet and my jaw just drops each time...

Simple and smaller systems simply require less money up front and also less in long term upkeep (especially significant if one stays in the hobby for a long time). A hobby is most enjoyable for me when it's not a financial burden and part of the reef keeping challenge is to 'do more with less' while still providing a proper environment for corals to thrive.
 
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CanuckReefer

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@WV Reefer These are both outstanding imo. Nice work... Following each of them now, for ideas.
Are you in the Northern or Southern part of the State? We always stay up near Bruceton Mills area in a cabin, on some Mountaineer game weekends over the years. Find it to be a really nice area.
 
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CanuckReefer

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Thank you! I suspect a lot of the invertebrates we get for our ssytems should have life expectancies in decades like many of our fish. 12 years for a cucumber is probably exceptional to keep them compared to the average aquarists but I wouldn't be surprised to see at least some of the species live many decades.

As far as the blue linkia this one is by far the oldest one I've had and it was transhipped by an old importer (Carrelli) directly from Walt Smith so I suspect one reason it did so well is it recieved minimal stress in shipping. I also suspect, as you alluded to, the types of "food" or food webs in systems without skimmers may be very different since skimmers really skew the microbial populations in aquaria as well as skew the types of DOC left in the water. Many of the animals we keep feed off bacteria and bio films and and the types microbes in the water and in biofilms are directly affected by the types of DOC in the water. It may be impossible to keep some of these animals for thier normal life spans in systems with skimmers.

For a much better understanding of how types of DOC alters the microbes in the water and can negatively affects the biofilms on corals see Rohwer's presentation here.
Perfect, I have some valuable reading to do. Thanks much....
 

WV Reefer

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@WV Reefer These are both outstanding imo. Nice work... Following each of them now, for ideas.
Are you in the Northern or Southern part of the State? We always stay up near Bruceton Mills area in a cabin, on some Mountaineer game weekends over the years. Find it to be a really nice area.
Thanks.

That’s a gorgeous area. We used to camp and fish on the Cheat River……. I’m currently in Parkersburg but I’m in the middle of a move to Florida.
 
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CanuckReefer

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Bumping, for more info from others or how those already responded tanks are making out....so far so good here. A bit more 'dust ' when I stir up the sand bed but thats it....I pull poly filters every few days, Nitrates are steady around 5, phos about .05- .1 usually....I feed my own frozen mix...
New Stylo today along with a branching leather...thinking an Alk test is in my future, never done one before but the SPS I should bite the bullet and purchase the test kit....
 
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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
Back to this for a second please....I have a Monti thats not dying, but growing very slowly, same with two different Stylos one a teal birdsnest, the other a green Stylo, bought today. My softies are prevalent, and workhorse at chewing up nitrate growing exponentially, your thoughts on SPS eating up Phos? I'd love to see it although I don't have much.
Long and short I,think with the SPS I'm finally going to have to test for Alk and or Cal regularly. Perhaps dose? I don't mind doing it but I've always been a small water change every few days bumps my coral....with more I want to grow now, its probably test/ dose time. Never done it...help me out as a 25 year newbie that way lol.
 
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Timfish

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Perfect, I have some valuable reading to do. Thanks much....

You bet! Maybe you've already seen these but here's some links if you're interested, starting with some videos:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching

Richard Ross "What's up with phosphate"



Nitrogen stuff:
Ammonium Uptake by Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Reef Corals

Amino acids a source of nitrogen for corals

Urea a source of nitrogen for corals

Diazotrpophs a source of nitrogen for corals

Context Dependant Effects of Nutrient Loading on the Coral-Algal Mutualism

Context‐dependent effects of nutrient loading on the coral–algal mutualism(1).png



Phosphorus stuff:
An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts


Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

DIP DOP POP.jpg


Feeding stuff





Mud



Microbial, algae and DOC stuff:
long-term stony coral survival in the Coral Reef Exhibit at Reef HQ Aquarium, Townsville, Australia with an ATS was measured in days, not years. (See figure 3) (This page may have been removed, I can send you a copy of the .PDF if you're interested)

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality

Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.
Coral DOC improves oxygen (autotrophy), algae DOC reduces oxygen (heterotrophy).

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality

Effects of Coral Reef Benthic Primary Producers on Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Activity
Algae releases significantly more DOC into the water than coral.

Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species.
Starch and sugars (doc) caused coral death but not high nitrates, phosphates or ammonium.

Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns caused by coral and algae

Biological oxygen demand optode analysis of coral reef-associated microbial communities exposed to algal exudates
Exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria.

Microbial ecology: Algae feed a shift on coral reefs

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages.

Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching

Elevated ammonium delays the impairment of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis during labile carbon pollution
(here's an argument for maintaining heavy fish loads if you're carbon dosing)

Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.

Allelochemicals Produced by Brown Macroalgae of the Lobophora Genus Are Active against Coral Larvae and Associated Bacteria, Supporting Pathogenic Shifts to Vibrio Dominance.

Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

Biophysical and physiological processes causing oxygen loss from coral reefs.

Global microbialization of coral reefs
DDAM Proven

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate, Fig 3

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes

Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms



Sponge Stuff:
Element cycling on tropical coral reefs.
This is Jasper de Geoij's ground breaking research on reef sponges. (The introduction is in Dutch but the content is in English.)

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

Differential recycling of coral and algal dissolved organic matter via the sponge loop.
Sponges treat DOC from algae differently than DOC from corals

Surviving in a Marine Desert The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen are quickly processed by sponges and released back into the reef food web in hours as carbon and nitrogen rich detritus.

Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)

The Role of Marine Sponges in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles of COral Reefs and Nearshore Environments.
 
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CanuckReefer

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You bet! Maybe you've already seen these but here's some links if you're interested, starting with some videos:

"Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas"

Changing Seas - Mysterious Microbes

Nitrogen cycling in hte coral holobiont

BActeria and Sponges

Maintenance of Coral Reef Health (refferences at the end)

Optical Feedback Loop in Colorful Coral Bleaching

Richard Ross "What's up with phosphate"



Nitrogen stuff:
Ammonium Uptake by Symbiotic and Aposymbiotic Reef Corals

Amino acids a source of nitrogen for corals

Urea a source of nitrogen for corals

Diazotrpophs a source of nitrogen for corals

Context Dependant Effects of Nutrient Loading on the Coral-Algal Mutualism

Context‐dependent effects of nutrient loading on the coral–algal mutualism(1).png



Phosphorus stuff:
An Experimental Mesocosm for Longterm Studies of Reef Corals

Phosphate Deficiency:
Nutrient enrichment can increase the susceptibility of reef corals to bleaching:

Ultrastructural Biomarkers in Symbiotic Algae Reflect the Availability of Dissolved Inorganic Nutrients and Particulate Food to the Reef Coral Holobiont:

Phosphate deficiency promotes coral bleaching and is reflected by the ultrastructure of symbiotic dinoflagellates

Effects of phosphate on growth and skeletal density in the scleractinian coral Acropora muricata: A controlled experimental approach

High phosphate uptake requirements of the scleractinian coral Stylophora pistillata

Phosphorus metabolism of reef organisms with algal symbionts


Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

DIP DOP POP.jpg


Feeding stuff





Mud



Microbial, algae and DOC stuff:
long-term stony coral survival in the Coral Reef Exhibit at Reef HQ Aquarium, Townsville, Australia with an ATS was measured in days, not years. (See figure 3) (This page may have been removed, I can send you a copy of the .PDF if you're interested)

Indirect effects of algae on coral: algae‐mediated, microbe‐induced coral mortality

Influence of coral and algal exudates on microbially mediated reef metabolism.
Coral DOC improves oxygen (autotrophy), algae DOC reduces oxygen (heterotrophy).

Role of elevated organic carbon levels and microbial activity in coral mortality

Effects of Coral Reef Benthic Primary Producers on Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Activity
Algae releases significantly more DOC into the water than coral.

Pathologies and mortality rates caused by organic carbon and nutrient stressors in three Caribbean coral species.
Starch and sugars (doc) caused coral death but not high nitrates, phosphates or ammonium.

Visualization of oxygen distribution patterns caused by coral and algae

Biological oxygen demand optode analysis of coral reef-associated microbial communities exposed to algal exudates
Exposure to exudates derived from turf algae stimulated higher oxygen drawdown by the coral-associated bacteria.

Microbial ecology: Algae feed a shift on coral reefs

Coral and macroalgal exudates vary in neutral sugar composition and differentially enrich reef bacterioplankton lineages.

Sugar enrichment provides evidence for a role of nitrogen fixation in coral bleaching

Elevated ammonium delays the impairment of the coral-dinoflagellate symbiosis during labile carbon pollution
(here's an argument for maintaining heavy fish loads if you're carbon dosing)

Excess labile carbon promotes the expression of virulence factors in coral reef bacterioplankton

Unseen players shape benthic competition on coral reefs.

Allelochemicals Produced by Brown Macroalgae of the Lobophora Genus Are Active against Coral Larvae and Associated Bacteria, Supporting Pathogenic Shifts to Vibrio Dominance.

Macroalgae decrease growth and alter microbial community structure of the reef-building coral, Porites astreoides.

Macroalgal extracts induce bacterial assemblage shifts and sublethal tissue stress in Caribbean corals.

Biophysical and physiological processes causing oxygen loss from coral reefs.

Global microbialization of coral reefs
DDAM Proven

Coral Reef Microorganisms in a Changing Climate, Fig 3

Ecosystem Microbiology of Coral Reefs: Linking Genomic, Metabolomic, and Biogeochemical Dynamics from Animal Symbioses to Reefscape Processes

Aura-biomes are present in the water layer above coral reef benthic macro-organisms



Sponge Stuff:
Element cycling on tropical coral reefs.
This is Jasper de Geoij's ground breaking research on reef sponges. (The introduction is in Dutch but the content is in English.)

Sponge symbionts and the marine P cycle

Phosphorus sequestration in the form of polyphosphate by microbial symbionts in marine sponges

Differential recycling of coral and algal dissolved organic matter via the sponge loop.
Sponges treat DOC from algae differently than DOC from corals

Surviving in a Marine Desert The Sponge Loop Retains Resources Within Coral Reefs
Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen are quickly processed by sponges and released back into the reef food web in hours as carbon and nitrogen rich detritus.

Natural Diet of Coral-Excavating Sponges Consists Mainly of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC)

The Role of Marine Sponges in Carbon and Nitrogen Cycles of COral Reefs and Nearshore Environments.
This is awesome stuff Tim...I now have my Sunday morning reading material. I haven't seen any of it lol. I am starting to see my white sponge coming back to life over the last 3 or 4 four months skimmerless. It was slowly fading away before. I'm pretty sure its no coincidence. Corals seem happy ( newer branching leather is growing like a weed, pipe organ has perked right up).... My nitrates seem to have leveled around 10, and phos is still almost non existent...my eye is on the system a little bit more, but thats ok, keeps me entertained!
 
BRS

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