The Other Way to Run a Reef Tank (no Quarantine)

ScottR

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Almost the one year anniversary of this thread which was a hot topic in my reef club almost after this thread was written. My own little addition to this: anytime we buy live seafood, I add a little to my tank. Most recently, we had razor clams. I took a whole clam and cut it up in the shell, threw it in for the fish to eat. Upon close inspection of the shell, there were feather dusters, barnacles, limpets and a tunicate on the shell. The limpets were spawning yellow goo immediately after putting it in the tank. The fish had a good meal and the diversity of the ocean continued in my tank.
 
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Paul B

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Scott, many inverts spawn almost immediately when you change their salinity or temperature. That's how they get urchins to spawn for research and why 24 urchins all spawned in my reef at the same time turning my tank into Half and Half.

I had an urchin collection business where I would SCUBA dive for them. :cool:
 

AeldariDrukhari

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Paul B. - great post. Glad to see a fellow long islander with a wealth of knowledge to pass on to other reefers. Just found this article but now I'm thinking about going to Long Beach or Pt. Lookout and grabbing some beach sand. Also do you frequent any LFS on the island that you like? I know the one's near the mall, also Franklin square and lynbrook. Just found a nice one in Albertson. Keep up the good work. - John M.
 
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Paul B

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Manny knows me well in Franklin Square, tell Him I said Hello. I moved from there and haven't seen him.
You should go to Bar Beach, now called North Hempstead town beach to collect mud at the boat ramp or fishing pier.
 

mayday0237

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Thankyou, The last fish I added was a gold flake angel that I bought private and had been in his tank for a year, and looked perfect, I had majestic, regal, coral beauty, and flame angels, 4 spot and pearl scale butterfly, sargassum trigger, purple, yellow and Naso tangs, 5 anthias, 3 yellow tail damsels, pair maroon clowns (female survived)cleaner wrasse (survived) in an 6.5 yr old 800L predominantly SPS tank, with most of the live rock coming from my previous tanks. As a side note I keep Japanese Koi and due to disease transmission there is virtually no market for private sales, most serious collectors think the risk is to high to put there collections at risk. Why didn’t I listen to myself....
Very curious as to how you added the majestic and the regal. I have a majestic who hasn't quite settled in but gets more cozy every day...I wanted a regal too but I'm pretty sure that could end in me being despondent with an epic fail.
I have a 180g with a 40 g-ish sump
Currently housing 10 wrasses in various stages mostly young.
1 nutty reef squirrel fish
1 baby yellow tang who turns into Tommy tuffnut
3 spastic electric damsels
5 tank raised clowns
1 green bubble anemone
1 cleaner goby
1 zebra bar goby
1 diamond watchman (orange spots) goby
1 coral beauty angel
1 flame angel
1 Harlequin tusk
And a small crop of palys green star polyps, xenia's, and whatever other softies were on the rack for 14-20$...
 

mayday0237

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I'm relieved to see a post like this. Food has really been the turning point so far for me, I also use lfs and rods foods. The BRS video about Reef chili was a game changer. I began to incorporate different sizes of food with vitamins and phytoplankton.
I am also not doing qt anymore... I used to medicate everything. It just seemed to be a deep abyss that I never could quite get done with. I was also a heavy prime user and have stopped completely for the same basic reasons you speak of. All the cycles, good and bad seem to need to run the course. The more I tried to stop bad things the more bad things happened.
I'm not advocating anything to others, and I'm certainly still learning after 11 years in the hobby mostly screwing stuff up and crying over dead fish...but after going thru the lovely tank of death for the last year and a half.. switching out every piece of equipment, checking water every day, priming, siphoning, feeding, medicating, blahblahblah only to discover I had bought nuclear tahitian moon sand. I learned the... "breathe and do nothing" (unless it's a water change.).. is the best long term strategy. Like babies they need the whole environment to adapt. As they do, the environment creates immunity and the more it has going on, the more likely the diversity keeps itself in check.
 
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Paul B

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This past month or two I added a blue striped pipefish, a bananna fish, a possum wrasse, a sunburst anthius and a queen anthius.

I haven't seen the banana fish since I put him in so he may have jumped out but I can't find him. My last three of them jumped out. More likely, he tried to jump out and killed himself hitting a light or steam punk contraption and the bristle worms ate him.
Unfortunately healthy fish can jump higher than not so healthy fish, just like Serena Williams.

I don't know if the possum wrasse is OK as I also have another one and I very rarely see him. He has been in the tank for a few years, maybe 5 or 6 so when I see "him", I am not sure if it is the old one, or the new one.

The Sunburst anthius is a good hider and I also thought she croaked. Then I found her hiding place and she is fine. Now she comes out but only if she can't see me. Apparently, I am not as good looking as I thought. ;Bucktooth


I didn't see the Queen Anthius at all in 3 weeks. I did catch a glimpse of her yesterday and she seems fine. The Queen anthius and sunburst anthius live in schools and don't like to come out alone. But the sunburst was like about $70.00 so I don't want to buy a school of them. I will get at least one more. OK, Maybe two.

My tank is 6' long and there is an awful lot of hiding places because I built most of my rock and I built it on purpose with hiding places. There are also very few places where my reef structure touches the gravel as I also built supports so the fish can swim and hide all over the place and I will never see them. I built it with the fishes feelings in mind, not mine which is one reason they live so long.
There may be some Loch Ness Larvae hiding in there.

If you can see the fish, they can see you. And many of us are not that good looking so we scare them.

If I want to find most of them, I shut the room lights and put a bag over my head. :rolleyes:

Then come out and laugh.

I also have a large, about 6" decorator crab that I may see once a month just before the lights come on.

I don't care if I see these things, I just want to know they are alright. They think the same of me.:cool:

My decorator crab is so healthy he does one hand push ups every day.

 
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ScottR

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This past month or two I added a blue striped pipefish, a bananna fish, a possum wrasse, a sunburst anthius and a queen anthius.

I haven't seen the banana fish since I put him in so he may have jumped out but I can't find him. My last three of them jumped out. More likely, he tried to jump out and killed himself hitting a light or steam punk contraption and the bristle worms ate him.
Unfortunately healthy fish can jump higher than not so healthy fish, just like Serena Williams.

I don't know if the possum wrasse is OK as I also have another one and I very rarely see him. He has been in the tank for a few years, maybe 5 or 6 so when I see "him", I am not sure if it is the old one, or the new one.

The Sunburst anthius is a good hider and I also thought she croaked. Then I found her hiding place and she is fine. Now she comes out but only if she can't see me. Apparently, I am not as good looking as I thought. ;Bucktooth


I didn't see the Queen Anthius at all in 3 weeks. I did catch a glimpse of her yesterday and she seems fine. The Queen anthius and sunburst anthius live in schools and don't like to come out alone. But the sunburst was like about $70.00 so I don't want to buy a school of them. I will get at least one more. OK, Maybe two.

My tank is 6' long and there is an awful lot of hiding places because I built most of my rock and I built it on purpose with hiding places. There are also very few places where my reef structure touches the gravel as I also built supports so the fish can swim and hide all over the place and I will never see them. I built it with the fishes feelings in mind, not mine which is one reason they live so long.
There may be some Loch Ness Larvae hiding in there.

If you can see the fish, they can see you. And many of us are not that good looking so we scare them.

If I want to find most of them, I shut the room lights and put a bag over my head. :rolleyes:

Then come out and laugh.

I also have a large, about 6" decorator crab that I may see once a month just before the lights come on.

I don't care if I see these things, I just want to know they are alright. Then think the same of me.:cool:

My decorator crab is so healthy he does one hand push ups every day.

The pipefish did a javelin throw on the banana. Pretty sure.
 

MnFish1

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This past month or two I added a blue striped pipefish, a bananna fish, a possum wrasse, a sunburst anthius and a queen anthius.

I haven't seen the banana fish since I put him in so he may have jumped out but I can't find him. My last three of them jumped out. More likely, he tried to jump out and killed himself hitting a light or steam punk contraption and the bristle worms ate him.
Unfortunately healthy fish can jump higher than not so healthy fish, just like Serena Williams.

I don't know if the possum wrasse is OK as I also have another one and I very rarely see him. He has been in the tank for a few years, maybe 5 or 6 so when I see "him", I am not sure if it is the old one, or the new one.

The Sunburst anthius is a good hider and I also thought she croaked. Then I found her hiding place and she is fine. Now she comes out but only if she can't see me. Apparently, I am not as good looking as I thought. ;Bucktooth


I didn't see the Queen Anthius at all in 3 weeks. I did catch a glimpse of her yesterday and she seems fine. The Queen anthius and sunburst anthius live in schools and don't like to come out alone. But the sunburst was like about $70.00 so I don't want to buy a school of them. I will get at least one more. OK, Maybe two.

My tank is 6' long and there is an awful lot of hiding places because I built most of my rock and I built it on purpose with hiding places. There are also very few places where my reef structure touches the gravel as I also built supports so the fish can swim and hide all over the place and I will never see them. I built it with the fishes feelings in mind, not mine which is one reason they live so long.
There may be some Loch Ness Larvae hiding in there.

If you can see the fish, they can see you. And many of us are not that good looking so we scare them.

If I want to find most of them, I shut the room lights and put a bag over my head. :rolleyes:

Then come out and laugh.

I also have a large, about 6" decorator crab that I may see once a month just before the lights come on.

I don't care if I see these things, I just want to know they are alright. They think the same of me.:cool:

My decorator crab is so healthy he does one hand push ups every day.

I'm surprised that you don't have a cover on your tank?
 
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Paul B

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I have never had a cover but I have also never had a sump so I have my skimmer hanging over the side as well as the manifold that feeds the UG filter and the algae scrubber hangs over the tank. I just have to much "junk" on top of my tank so I have lost quite a few fish.

I do have a 10" plastic piece that goes around the back which helps a lot and the front cover keeps fish from jumping out the front. They can still jump out the sides and over the back plastic as well as go on top of the lights.
I just have too many places for them to jump.
 
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AeldariDrukhari

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Paul B. - I am trying to purchase your book online, and the links setup on the website are not working. Do you have another way that I can purchase your book? Thank you,

John M.
 
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Paul B

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John, doesn't it work if you click on that link under this post in orange? It's on Amazon.
Maybe I will buy another one as I forgot what I wrote. :cool:

100% of the profits go to MS research. I get zilch, zero, nada, nothing, a big goose egg.
 

AeldariDrukhari

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John, doesn't it work if you click on that link under this post in orange? It's on Amazon.
Maybe I will buy another one as I forgot what I wrote. :cool:

100% of the profits go to MS research. I get zilch, zero, nada, nothing, a big goose egg.
Paul,
It was on Amazon, I must have been searching for it incorrectly because it was saying currently unavailable. Also the links on Saltwatersmarts.com are not working. Just purchased it on Amazon. That's unfortunate about no individual profits, but that is generous of you for a good cause. Thanks again,

John M.
 
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Paul B

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Saltwater Smarts doesn't work because the people who own it don't bother with it any more so it is just sitting there doing nothing. They are going to take it down eventually.
For some reason Amazon always says it's unavailable, but they print them as they sell them so I am not sure what that is about.

They sold so many that Amazon had to buy lumber at Home Depot to make paper because they used up the rain forest. :p
 

Flame2hawk

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WOW...I have a tough time getting my head around this approach but I don’t have to make the choice since my tank already has the “sterile” approach of having used QT most of the time but not all the time. Always dipped in fresh water to keep all the nasty’s out. I have and am currently using copper in my display to achieve this sterile environment in my FOWLR display. It w/b great if we could start using this method with the next fish but if something broke out, I don’t think the sterile babied fish could survive. So I’m stuck with continuing to strive for sterility and using the QT tank....currently have 6 Lyretail anthias in QT who are on day 4 and heven’t eaten yet. The QT will hopefully help me get them to eat and fat and happy before they go into display and have to compete with many others for food. I might be considered an ”inbetweener” as I use the Q tank as an observation process and don’t medicate unless needed. Mostly used to get them eating, fat and happy.....my head is still spinning a bit on this suggested approach but scientifically makes sense......It’s the equivalent of what we try to do today with humans where rather then letting the body’s immune system fight things we introduce antibiotics Until they are no longer useful.....

I do however have a question....I live on the beach. Would it be safe for me to take 5 pounds of sand mud from the bottom of the shoreline and add to my “sterile” tank after I remove all the copper? Would I potentially be introducing some bad bacteria that can kill my babied fish who now have low immunity? I have hesitated doing this but would like to introduce some live sand to help re boost the sand and refugium after copper treastment......thoughts welcomed...thx.
 
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vetteguy53081

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WOW...I have a tough time getting my head around this approach but I don’t have to make the choice since my tank already has the “sterile” approach of having used QT most of the time but not all the time. Always dipped in fresh water to keep all the nasty’s out. I have and am currently using copper in my display to achieve this sterile environment in my FOWLR display. It w/b great if we could start using this method with the next fish but if something broke out, I don’t think the sterile babied fish could survive. So I’m stuck with continuing to strive for sterility and using the QT tank....currently have 6 Lyretail anthias in QT who are on day 4 and heven’t eaten yet. The QT will hopefully help me get them to eat and fat and happy before they go into display and have to compete with many others for food. I might be considered an ”inbetweener” as I use the Q tank as an observation process and don’t medicate unless needed. Mostly used to get them eating, fat and happy.....my head is still spinning a bit on this suggested approach but scientifically makes sense......It’s the equivalent of what we try to do today with humans where rather then letting the body’s immune system fight things we introduce antibiotics Until they are no longer useful.....

I do however have a question....I live on the beach. Would it be safe for me to take 5 pounds of sand mud from the bottom of the shoreline and add to my “sterile” tank after I remove all the copper? Would I potentially be introducing some bad bacteria that can kill my babied fish who now have low immunity? I have hesitated doing this but would like to introduce some live sand to help re boost the sand and refugium after copper treastment......thoughts welcomed...thx.
I see Miami as your location. I am moving to Doral. I am entertaining the thought of using Ocean water but am against sand and any unwanted pests, bacteria and dwellers that will emerge into boogymen and haunt my livestock.
 

Big G

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I see Miami as your location. I am moving to Doral. I am entertaining the thought of using Ocean water but am against sand and any unwanted pests, bacteria and dwellers that will emerge into boogymen and haunt my livestock.
Years ago, a buddy of mine lived near the ocean in SoCal. He was a diver and used ocean water to maintain a tank with an octopus. It was so cool. The darn thing was an escape artist though. But it was amazing and smart too.
 

vetteguy53081

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Years ago, a buddy of mine lived near the ocean in SoCal. He was a diver and used ocean water to maintain a tank with an octopus. It was so cool. The darn thing was an escape artist though. But it was amazing and smart too.
I would love an Octopus BUT I swear they carry an instruction manual on escaping in captivity !!
 

MaccaPopEye

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I see Miami as your location. I am moving to Doral. I am entertaining the thought of using Ocean water but am against sand and any unwanted pests, bacteria and dwellers that will emerge into boogymen and haunt my livestock.
Personally I LOVE using Natural Sea Water (NSW) and so do many other people who live in Australia. I think if you live somewhere near the ocean it's a bit silly not to. It has so many good things in it, IMO the bacteria and boogymen that you are scared of are the things that most people are missing from their tanks that they really should have!

Now I collect 400L at a time using 2x 200L drums and a petrol powered transfer pump. But when I first started in the hobby I would collect using a bucket and 4x 30L drums (that is as many as I could fit in our little car's boot). Dip the bucket in the ocean, pour into the drums and repeat.

Then when I put the NSW in my tank I do use a filter sock as I also don't wan't sand and large particles to come in with the water (purely for aesthetic reasons), but that doesn't stop bacteria and all the other good stuff from coming in.
 

ScottR

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Personally I LOVE using Natural Sea Water (NSW) and so do many other people who live in Australia. I think if you live somewhere near the ocean it's a bit silly not to. It has so many good things in it, IMO the bacteria and boogymen that you are scared of are the things that most people are missing from their tanks that they really should have!

Now I collect 400L at a time using 2x 200L drums and a petrol powered transfer pump. But when I first started in the hobby I would collect using a bucket and 4x 30L drums (that is as many as I could fit in our little car's boot). Dip the bucket in the ocean, pour into the drums and repeat.

Then when I put the NSW in my tank I do use a filter sock as I also don't wan't sand and large particles to come in with the water (purely for aesthetic reasons), but that doesn't stop bacteria and all the other good stuff from coming in.
I collect NSW from the South China Sea. As crazy as it sounds, the water is actually really nice. Never had a fish die from parasites. I don’t even QT fish. They live as they would in the ocean.
 
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