Tank Trials: Ultra Low Maintenance Tanks | BRStv Investigates

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by randyBRS, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Weaselander

    Weaselander New Member

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    I would love to see a 60 - 80 gallon LPS tank with a Triton lite method. I mean a large fuge, maybe no skimmer, and Kalk topoff w/ monthly Mag and trace added and no water changes. I think if you keep the Alk/Calc requirements on the low side, this could be a nice, but easy to maintain tank.
     
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  2. Menachem

    Menachem New Member

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    My $0.02 is to try with just a custom hang on fuge along the whole length of the tank (and carbon) no sump, no skimmer! And Triton dossing to the fuge
     
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  3. Bradley Keck

    Bradley Keck Member

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    Thanks Ryan! You are exactly right. The fact is all the work you guys put into BRSTV has given me a far more informed decision on what I purchase than any other hobby I have had in the past. It is the nature of technology, R & D, and progress within reefing that makes this all possible and I have realized that the decision to build my system the way I am is going to work well because of the rational behind it regardless of the next new thing. That trigger sump and h80 are going to work well for what I need them to do. I have to remind myself that there is always going to be something bigger and better right around the corner, but that doesn't mean our current set-ups and equipment are obsolete. Keep up the great work and thanks for the kind words:)
     
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  4. Sam Ross

    Sam Ross Member

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    Very excited for what we will learn with this new series!
    I personally would love to see a fishless tank and how that would change the variables in a ULM tank.
    I have a NUO 10g fishless mixed reef that i would consider ULM, inexpensive, and very healthy. Would be cool to see
    you guys try one with a focus on being as minimal as possible for those of us that love our little coral gardens.
     
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  5. crash29ca

    crash29ca Active Member

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    I love the idea of this. With doing multiple tanks I feel you should try and incorporate different levels of automation and also price points. ULM means only having to feed during the week a as little maintenance on the weekend as possible. Less than 30 min a week. Don't forget some things like feeding can be part of enjoying the tank. I know Ryan said he misses dosing his little blue bottles which can be part of the tank enjoyment as well. Definitely keep different financial points in mind as well. Thanks guys.
     
  6. Coolbreeze69

    Coolbreeze69 Member

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    Formula for ULM

    ULM = ((ULE) + (CTN) + (Q)) - (TCR)
    ULE = Ultra Low Equipment
    CTN = Close to Natural
    Q = Must be quite in operation
    TCR = Total Cost Running

    The more equipment you have the more pieces of items that need to be check over which equals more time, regardless of its time frame or size. Now adding in more close to natural as possible means you should not have to supplement with exotic supplements and maybe even creating some of it own food to feed the animals. All the above can reduce the cost of running the system and having more time to enjoy.

    Meeting the above items does not have to limit tank size or equipment as it would be based on the occupants.

    One area that would be nice to cover is if the reefer started with softie and then wanted to move to LPS what additional equipment will be needed from going to one to the other. The same for LPS to SPS, lets face it, have you seen or hear of a reefer who did not want to move up to SPS at some time in there travels?

    As a system engineer, I believe in computer systems to monitor our systems as it should be able to give you signs that things are changing and you need to attend to your system, so this should not be an issue with cost as these systems are available in different sizes and if equipment is keep to a minimal then even the smallest units can be used.

    I have watched and followed BRS for years as well as these forums and have been working on designing my system over the past three years. Finally made the last purchase tonight so I can get it up and running. Show tank will be in my living room as a main focal point and used the above formula.

    Current system build

    DSA Neo 105 rimless with stand
    Trigger Systems Triton Sump
    EchoTech Vectra M1
    Apex - Lab Grade
    H80 Tuna Flora Refugium LED Light - will connect to Apex in time.
    Trigger Systems Sapphire ATO 10 Gallon Reservoir
    Neptune Systems Auto Top Off Kit
    EchoTech Marine XR15w G3 Pro Marine LED Light Fixture (3)
    EchoTech Reef Link
    Gyre XF130 Pumps - (3)
    Gyre XF230 Advanced Controller - (2)
    Neptune Systems DOS & DDR Dosing System Package - (2)
    Hydor 505 Performer Skimmer

    I am currently missing some heaters and do not know which ones to use, as well as having one or two. If I have two of them then if one fails the system should be able to maintain temperature and would not require immediate attention. Any ideas will be welcome.

    Based on the occupants that will be going into the system I should not need anymore equipment and when I am away from home the tank should be fed by the copepods from the sump and the ATO will take care of evaporation and therefore keep my parameters stable.
     
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  7. Donovan Joannes

    Donovan Joannes Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have been running a low maintenance mixed reef for more than 2 years now. I learned along the way that after maturity, I can slowly remove certain equipment and routine maintenance. It took almost 2 years for me to end up with a very simple setup.

    My current setup:-

    Small 2 compartment sump
    Bacteria driven denitrator
    Algae through or river as per Santa Monica
    2 x Jebao RW8
    DIY light on Arduino controller
    IV dripper (kalk and magnesium)

    Maintenance as per my previous post. Close to 3 months ago my chiller went kaput, one less equipment to maintain. To my surprise corals can adapt high temperature (30.8 celcius highest so far).

    WP_20171202_20_15_39_Pro.jpg

    WP_20171202_20_30_01_Pro.jpg

    WP_20171128_19_00_04_Pro.jpg
     
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  8. Markp5

    Markp5 Member

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    Great idea should be a great learning curve for everyone
     
  9. Newb73

    Newb73 Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    We aren't reefing with ESP., voodoo, hope, and mysticism any more.

    Advanced aquarists use fact and science.

    Or are we?? Ha!
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  10. Newb73

    Newb73 Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    I use every control possible and STILL modeled much of my system after Paul....very much of it.
     
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  11. Newb73

    Newb73 Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    That is a fair point. It takes time for a tank to really mature and i find the more life you put in them and the older they get, the less tasks they REQUIRE.

    I also find that newb tanks with tasks being neglected is pretty much a prescription for failure.
     
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  12. JDP

    JDP Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
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  13. neverdie

    neverdie Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    BRS videos are a great contribution to the hobby and I have learned/enjoyed them a great deal.

    I vote for testing three set ups:
    IM AIO (I am setting up a 30L so that would be great for me)
    40 breeder with sump (Popular set up for DIYers)
    Red Sea XL (Beautiful tanks, for those with the budget and space)
    I think these setups will address the needs of a variety of hobbyists, of varying budgets, space and DIY skills. Additionally I think that the information generated from these set up can be applied setups of differing configurations.

    BRS' scientific approach to testing techniques and approaches to reefing is aiding us all.
     
  14. SalinFL

    SalinFL Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I'm waiting on the arrival of an Innovative Marine 80. I'm hoping this series addresses the small, medium, large and extra large tanks.
     
  15. jasonrusso

    jasonrusso Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Explain. It's an 80 gallon tank.
     
  16. Mandelstam

    Mandelstam Well-Known Member

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    I'm not dissing controllers, I'll be adding them one after the other to my reef I'm sure. But at the same time I think that just pure automation is missing the goal when designing a ULM system.
     
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  17. 6avin

    6avin New Member

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    To me ULM means minimal time consuming tasks. It would be great to see actual times for the maintenance tasks on these builds. Even with all the high tech gadgets, could a stony coral tank be maintained in a comparable time frame to a softy and polyp tank?


    Something small but with a decent sized sump. Lack of water clarity is more noticeable on larger tanks. Also likely means less components to clean.
     
  18. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I think my mostly LPS 100 gallon tank is very low maintenance. I change about 100 gallons of water a year which I probably don't have to and the tank makes most of it's food for the many pod eaters such as mandarins, ruby reds, pipefish etc.
    I use a DIY ATO which only needs maintenance every six or so months to change the resins which I buy in bulk. That involves dumping them out and pouring in more. I have no test kits, medications quarantine or hospital tanks and if I want to test something, when I go to a LFS to look around, I bring some water for them to test for free.
    I feed clams which I buy live and freeze along with LRS food and live worms. My biggest chore is hatching brine shrimp every day which I put in a feeder to keep the fish spawning. That takes about 4 minutes and my hatchery which separates the eggs from the shrimp.
    I have a small bottle of bleach which I add to my skimmer cup every week to keep the tube clear which brings the waste to a five gallon bucket that I only have to empty every month or two.
    Of course I clean the glass with a DIY magnet, razor cleaner.
    I add an ounce of calcium and alk every week or so (if I remember)
    I have a DIY algae scrubber that once a month or so I slide out to rinse. 5 minutes.
    My substrate is dolomite with a reverse UG filter that I stir up once a year with a diatom filter. That does take about an hour but most of that time I am just waiting for the diatom to clear the water while I sip some Grand Marnier while listening to some Vintage Linda Ronstadt.
    The tank is 36 years old. No problems yet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  19. Sharvey103

    Sharvey103 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    My thoughts for the trials:
    1)Smallest tank size 150 gallon
    2) ATO directly tied to RD/DI unit
    2) Chaeto
    3) GFO and GAC are still easy.
    4) A controller is a must have.
    5) 1 main pump and 1 reactor pump
    6) Automatic/remote monitoring of everything you can. PH, Salinity, ORP, Temp, PAR, flo, leak points etc.
    8)Address frequency type of feeding of fish and coral
    9) LEDs and T5s for SPS
    10) Balling method
    11) Dosing pumps, no manual dosing.
    12) Skimming and potentially ozone for ORP control
    13) Run a nitrate reactor, they are zero maintenance for year(s) at a time.
    14) Filter socks and minimize changeout based on previous BRS experiment
    15) SPS moderatley stocked with fish
     
  20. mucky1957

    mucky1957 Well-Known Member

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    to me ULM =....spending 2 minutes every other day cleaning the glass and topping up the water. I only dose nopox. My external filter is cleaned once a month and I do a 15% water change then as well. Powerheads are cleaned every 6 weeks or so....and that's about it. Helps when the tank is softies dominated I suppose.
     
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