Ultra Low Maintenance Quarantini

RuuToo

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So, after getting bitten yet again by incoming pests (and devastating 4 years of montipora growth), I've decided to start to really stop messing about with incoming frags and do a proper dedicated long-term quarantine tank just for corals. There's a couple of issues here:

a) I have no space (like, almost none)
b) I am incredibly lazy, and hate doing maintenance

So what do I want?

A small setup that requires as close to zero maintenance as possible, and can house/grow out a couple of dozen frags at a time. Ideally I want to put a heater, a light and flow into a small tank and be able to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 months, even for demanding SPS.

The one trick that I have up my sleeve is that my main tank is also an ultra low maintenance beast, and I have a couple of gallons of super awesome trident-maintained excessively monitored saltwater that currently goes down the drain every day. It's high in calcium and alk, low in phosphates and nitrates and has just a *hint* of montipora eating nudibranch.

I've been wondering if I can take this liquid gold, and re-purpose it into a small but mighty frag tank/long term coral prison. With a small enough tank, and a large enough volume of water passing through it I'm hoping that I can eliminate the need for pretty much anything in there beyond heat, light and flow - no dosing, no testing, no skimmer, no top off.

I have also wondered if it might also be possibly to heavily feed such a tank (with roids/chili) to keep a large (or larger than normal) amount of food in suspension without fouling the water over time (40-50% automated daily water changes are fun), and maybe even keep a small clam as a biological filter.

This also, I hope, has the added benefit of pre-acclimating everything to the main tank's water chemistry so when it is time to move to the main display they have essentially been living in the same water for months.

Something like this:

tank2.png


Anyway - more to come, since this is happening as we speak, but I would appreciate comments, thoughts, general feedback and abuse.

Dave
 
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RuuToo

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The equipment is now in place. I’m going with a neotherm heater, a tunze submersible light and a hygger mini powerhead. The tank is a 5 gallon aqueon and I have given it a teeny tiny surface skimming overflow. It’s pointless, but it looks cute.
 
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RuuToo

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So, I finally got around to running a PAR meter (a seneye) against the tunze lights, and holy *** I was not expecting what I saw. This little monster of a light is only consuming about 12 watts of power (I'm just running it at full blue), so I just jammed a couple of frags up near it figuring that they could probably get 150 PAR and do OK during QT.

Well, it turns out that while they may not have a huge spread, they do have some punch (being underwater and not losing anything to the surface clearly helps) - the PAR readings are ~400 on the top rack, and about 180 on the bottom rack (probably about 100 at the bottom of the tank).

I was actually contemplating adding a second light (I have one on hand), thinking that it might get a "decent" 250 to the frags, but I think if I do that I am literally going to be microwaving the poor things.

I've added a pink pocillopora and a green stylo in there in addition to the green birdsnest, and honestly they are looking *super* happy so far.
 
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RuuToo

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I’ve been dosing reef roids every couple of days (with a huge “contact time” for the broadcast feed - probably at least 18 hours), and I threw some marine pure media in there to avoid any ammonia complications. I did a nitrate test and it’s still running at about 1, so I’m gaining confidence that I can blast food in here and keep things at insane levels without blowing up nitrate or phosphate levels.

I also added an arrow crab named “twinkle tree”, because my daughter has always wanted one and I don’t see the harm in having a tiny cleanup crew for the tiny tank. She provided the name.
 

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