The tank that started the bare bottom craze

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kenchilada

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Anyone else remember these? This series was something of a bible here back in the 90's.

Just seeing this made me remember a lot about how reefing was back then. The lighting was very different... we didn't have the correct spectrums available at the time and most tanks you saw had a very yellow/green hue because of the lights. The Iwasaki 6500K bulbs were a game changer for growth, and then you started seeing people trying 20K Radiums and getting wild colors. I rememeber when a piece of green slimer was worth its weight in gold, because most SPS were brown. We didn't know how to color them up.

Also it was very common to see even large reef tanks loaded with caulerpa algae (feather and grape). Chaeto wasn't a thing yet where I lived. We knew the caulerpa could act as a nutrient sink, but we just grew it right in the display... no separate refugium. Lots of people ended up so focused on the caulpera (because they thought it was important for filtration) they would end up with dirty tanks.

In other ways, not much has changed. Kalk is still kalk, skimmers still skim, aiptasia still sucks. The basics I learned when I started still apply, and have outlived many fads that have tried to go against them.
 
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Midrats

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Anyone else remember these? This series was something of a bible here back in the 90's.

Just seeing this made me remember a lot about how reefing was back then. The lighting was very different... we didn't have the correct spectrums available at the time and most tanks you saw had a very yellow/green hue because of the lights. The Iwasaki 6500K bulbs were a game changer for growth, and then you started seeing people trying 20K Radiums and getting wild colors. I rememeber when a piece of green slimer was worth its weight in gold, because most SPS were brown. We didn't know how to color them up.

Also it was very common to see even large reef tanks loaded with caulerpa algae (feather and grape). Chaeto wasn't a thing yet where I lived. We knew the caulerpa could act as a nutrient sink, but we just grew it right in the display... no separate refugium. Lots of people ended up so focused on the caulpera (because they thought it was important for filtration) they would end up with dirty tanks.

In other ways, not much has changed. Kalk is still kalk, skimmers still skim, aiptasia still sucks. The basics I learned when I started still apply, and have outlived many fads that have tried to go against them.
Everyone should read those. Nobody reads books anymore.
 

dantimdad

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I remember that. But I remember all aquarium magazines. :p



I have that one among the many marine aquarium books I have. Still, my favorites are by Moe. Although I still refer to Dick Mills compatibility list in "The Marine Aquarium"
 
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Belgian Anthias

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Anyone else remember these? This series was something of a bible here back in the 90's.

Just seeing this made me remember a lot about how reefing was back then. The lighting was very different... we didn't have the correct spectrums available at the time and most tanks you saw had a very yellow/green hue because of the lights. The Iwasaki 6500K bulbs were a game changer for growth, and then you started seeing people trying 20K Radiums and getting wild colors. I rememeber when a piece of green slimer was worth its weight in gold, because most SPS were brown. We didn't know how to color them up.

Also it was very common to see even large reef tanks loaded with caulerpa algae (feather and grape). Chaeto wasn't a thing yet where I lived. We knew the caulerpa could act as a nutrient sink, but we just grew it right in the display... no separate refugium. Lots of people ended up so focused on the caulpera (because they thought it was important for filtration) they would end up with dirty tanks.

In other ways, not much has changed. Kalk is still kalk, skimmers still skim, aiptasia still sucks. The basics I learned when I started still apply, and have outlived many fads that have tried to go against them.

The first edition was published and printed in 1994. The book begins as follows:

Whereas today the average aquarium uses white sterile corals, it is entirely possible that the aquarium of tomorrow will contain nothing but living coral and fish. ( Robert P.L. Straughan, 1973, The marine collector's guide.)

A lot of modern reef keepers now still have problems keeping fish, filter feeders, and stony corals in the same tank as they never learned how to actively manage a high bioload. Too many starters still do not succeed in having a mature balanced tank and leave the hobby very disappointed although they tried everything available in the racks.
A mixed reef, a natural appearance!? A lot of modern reef aquaria are LNS or VLNS, not giving a glimpse of what a real reef looks like. Some look like a fairground attraction that does not resemble a piece of a natural reef at all.
If one target fluo corals one has other needs for lighting as to mimic natural light at a depth of 5m, 10 m or 20m.

Talking about a reef aquarium, not everybody is talking about the same thing.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Waynerock

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I miss the back and fourths I used to have with Bomber and I never had any problems or arguments with him. I also probably tried every system in my tank but I got whatever knowledge I have from Le Chin Eng and Robert Stroughn "The Father of Salt Water Fish Keeping".

Of course SCUBA diving helped immensely as there is no better way to learn about fish then to spend time with them on their own terms.

I was never a fan of BB tanks although I think they can be just as healthy as any other tank. I like the look of gravel and the fact that much more bacteria will live in gravel then glass just for the fact that there is more surface area, no other reason.

Over the fifty years my tank has been running many systems came out and they were all publicized in "books" as there was no internet. As those systems were developed and touted as the best thing since slice bread, I tried them all. (Except BB) I never emptied my tank that I could remember but I went through the Jaubert phase Berlin, bio balls etc. Actually I tried to incorporate those systems in my already running system, sometimes with questionable results and sometimes almost crashing the tank.

Occasionally the tank looked like it did crash and many people today would have emptied it and started over. ;Yuck

I am friends with Bob Goemans "who used to be a big name in the hobby. He lives in Arizona and has been to my home to talk" corals" (The Benefits of Live Sand)

I had outbreaks of everything at one time or another. Now my tank has a sponge "situation" and I think it will until I take it down and I may soon as it, and me are getting old.

I don't know what to call my system because there is no name for it but for the past few years I have this annoying, encrusting, photosynthetic sponge that requires quite a bit of maintenance such as trimming. I recently removed a couple of pounds of it.

I love the look of it as it looks like blue montipora but it will cover real montipora and some other corals so I have to keep watch on it.


Many of the tanks on here make me jealous and sometimes I think, maybe I should have done this or that. It's to late now so I will just keep my tank the way it is, whatever it is and enjoy it and other people's tanks on here knowing that there are numerous ways to do this and many ways to enjoy this fantastic hobby. :)

The only thing that bothers me in this hobby is the arguments on forums. I left some forums because of it.
I realized a long time ago that this stuff we are enjoying in this hobby is not that important to anyone else but us. We are not curing cancer or saving the oceans. When I started in this hobby there was almost no one else in it and it was very quiet then with no arguments. The few of us that did have a tank conversed and tried to convey information that we discovered without confrontation as to what system was better. Everything was new, every creature we tried to keep was a challenge. :cool:

I miss those days.
I hope you dont take it down soon sir! Wish I was closer to you I would love a chance to come help you with the heavy maintenance that gets hard for you to do. Your tank is an institution
 

Rick.45cal

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These were great reading. The forum before the forums.
AFE848C9-9B1B-4A8F-A5A6-D766ED62921E.jpeg

I remember anxiously awaiting the “Reef Notes” article every month in Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine to come out so I could read them. Long before he published the first one of that series (I have all those books now, as well as the 3 part series that came later).
 
Lazy's Coral House

MnFish1

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For whoever asked - 'Gelbstoff' - is a German word - which literally means 'yellow stuff - or material' - that can build up in water - so lets say you create a new bucket of saltwater - in a white bucket then siphon out the same amount of tank water into another white bucket - the tendency is that the 'tank water' will look yellow - compared to the 'blue' of the new water'. Both buckets are clear - but there is a yellow tint to the water with 'gelbstoff'. This is thought to decrease light penetration through the tank, etc. So - to remove it - carbon is effective. as are water changes. Sponges, etc - do not remove it.
 

Shooter6

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To the OP and the question at hand... "Tell me why do you think this worked so well?"

Regarding the water clarity with no mechanical filtration or sand... my guess - not many fish!

I am looking at the water clarity and comparing it to the BB system that I am running as a BB newbie (4 months), and my water is not that clear - despite running BB, mechanical filtration, and UV.

In addition to being new... I have lots of fish and relatively few corals at this point. I am hoping that as the tank matures, and the biomass of corals goes up... my water clarity will improve.

So I add the question... who has a Berlin style tank with LOTS of fish and clear water?
Youtube o2manyfish.
I believe he uses the same name on here
 

Belgian Anthias

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First published in 1970 containing everything needed to manage the carrying capacity of a reef aquarium. It also contains a formula for the determination of the carrying capacity.
Our first marine aquarium was based on the publication of Frank De Graaf,
Frank De Graaf. Handboek voor het tropisch zeeaquarium. Tweede druk. A.J.G. Strengholt N.V. Amsterdam, 1969.
Later published in the US
Graaf, Frank de. Marine Aquarium Guide. Harrison, N.J.: Pet Library, 1973.
The book contains all information for setting up a marine aquarium, much later better known in US as " The Dutch System". Frank de Graaf was never credited for " The Dutch system". Our first marine aquarium was an original so-called "Dutch System", set up in the early seventies!
 
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