Unconventional Reef Keepers: Are you one of them?

BRS

Would you consider yourself to be an unconventional reefer?

  • Yes in many ways (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 79 19.7%
  • In some ways (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 189 47.0%
  • Not at all

    Votes: 124 30.8%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 2.5%

  • Total voters
    402

Billdogg

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120DT/40 sump and a 60gFT/100g stock tank sump. Unconventional, but evolved somewhat from the early days when I used a reverse UGF and crushed coral.

I've had probably 15 different tanks over the years (30+), usually 2 or 3 at a time. I do water cahnges when my corals tell me to - especially my duncan - "Cousin It". When it starts to look unhappy I'll do a 40ish gallon water change, usually every 6 weeks or so, but as often as weekly or as infrequently as 2+ months. I do use a pair of Drew's Dosers for Ca and Alk, but no ATO, no auto feeder, as little as possible that can malfunction. I top off every few days - I do at least try to get to it before my eheim 1262 starts spitting bubbles into the tank. I go in spurts with testing. If something seems off, I may test. I'm more likely to just do a large water change. Skimmer? yes, but the cup gets emptied as an afterthought or on water change day (see above).

I have started QTing all fish, just because I have no desire to treat the DT for any one of many diseases that QT can prevent. It helps that my QT is set up next to the FT, so I can just pull water from the FT for the daily water changes in the QT.
 

Ardeus

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I haven't got a new fish or coral in 7 months and I decided that I won't be getting any new coral EVER and that I will only get a new fish if my fish population is reduced by half, and even then, not likely.
 

fish farmer

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My first tank was April of 2006. T5s were barely gaining momentum. It was halides, VHO, and/or Power Compacts. MJ1200 pumps for flow. Mag drive for returns. I am beyond happy we have progressed in the flow department.

LEDs have been a major step backwards in my opinion. Dry rock is an atrocity and I hope we, as a hobby, have a reasonable solution soon.

I am with you that I really don't care for the state of the hobby at this point. For a couple years I fell trap to the new style of reefing. I chased that rabbit for far too long. I am going back to what I enjoy and what works for me. I applaud those that can do things their way, whichever way that may be. New or old. It is the Instagram tanks that I really can't stand

My first tank was a halide and PCs on a 38 gallon in 2000 when everyone was recommending 75 gallons as a starter.

I actually skipped the T5 push being away from major forums from 2010 to 2017. I would probably run a halide if it wasn't for heat and lack of space above my tank....that would really shine on a 29.

Non programmable LED with two T5's now on a system that is pretty much what I had success with in 2000. Live rock, macro algae, skimmer, some circulating pumps, danner mag drive for return, ato and kalk on dosing pump. Sometimes I do WC's on schedule.
 

alinpez

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I grow acroporas on a 6 liters tank with no skimmer, no filters, no refugium.

I keep 0no3 and 0po4 but with 10 dosses of Infinity Xepta gel at day to keep the tank always with food, two days at week feeding with rots.

I do not water changes, maybe one every 1 2 months 600ml(10%).

A picture of it:
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2 months ago and size vs phone
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Cya!
 

fish farmer

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And I run my LED black box on a lamp timer. On the same short bus with those anti sun guys are the droolers using fancy lighting schedules. My old halide bulbs are laughing.
I have three lamp timers in use. One on the LED, one on the T5's and one on the dosing pump:D. I get the fancy ones that I can plug additional things into.
 

JCM

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Unconventional in what way? You tell me...

I don't care for LEDs and their fake colors. I HATE the blued out IG tanks that are populating all over. I find most YouTubers have terrible advice. I hate dry rock. I don't care for bare bottom tanks any longer. I ditched all my garbage Ecotech stuff. The only app controlled equipment I have now is my Sicce return pump and their app actually works unlike Mobius and MyAI. I can't stand the new named corals. The only named corals I have actively sought out has been some OG ORA stuff. I run halides.

Unconventional? Maybe by today's standards but I subscribe to a mugh higher standard that we had 15 years ago. I want a display tank and I want to SEE display tanks. Not all these frag tanks where no one gave two seconds of thought as to what will happen in 6 months when things grow and start fighting.

Send out the dogs :p

I agree with all of your points. I want my tank to look good from across the room, not in macro shots. I use T5's though and like ecotechs powerheads.
 

REEFTIDE

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Unconventional ways? lol I love me some 40-50% water changes and I strongly dislike having fish in the tanks LOL! If I wasn't so concerned about potassium overdoses I would remove them all together and have a purely chemical driven tank. So much easier when you don't have to deal with fish throwing a wrench in your plans...





I say this but our tanks are filled with gems, powder blues and cherry anthias LOL
 

BeltedCoyote

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I’m not sure where I would fall. I’m still in the build process but I’m doing a ton of research and building my own roadmap and plan.

basically taking bits of this and that from “the norm” and what some of the really successful people have done on here.

which is not to say I’m trying to imitate everyone. Rather I’m trying to determine what has proven results and building my system based on what makes sense to me (logically and scientifically) and fits what I want my tank to be.
 

Gogol_frag

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Unconventional - Not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.
Unconventional Reef Keepers - Reef Aquarium Hobbyists who say, nah..I'll do it my way and still succeed. (my definition)

There are so many ways to do so many things in reef keeping and not everyone always does the same thing to accomplish the same goal. That was a mouth full! What's even better is that in some instances reef keepers employ certain methods, ideas and practices that many others might consider unconventional but are still very successful. Their motto is..."I'm not a part of this system!" :p Let's talk about it today!

1. What reefing practices, methods or ideas do you employ that others might consider to be "unconventional reefing?"

2. What's the craziest thing you have ever done in reefing that was a success?



unconventional yellow tang.jpg
Largely conventional, but unconventional in some ways:

  1. I will never have a crustacean in my tank and am yet to meet a reef safe crustacean.
  2. Three of my first 10 corals are SPS - two Pavonas, one Green Pocillopora
  3. I don't run a sump on my 170 Gallon tank
  4. I grow my own phytos and zoos for food, and biodiversity.
  5. I love bacteria products - and have so far added heterotrophs, autotrophs and purple Non-Sulphur (photoautotrophs) - again in the hope of biodiversity.
  6. I use Kalkwasser as my one part dose
 

Fennel

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Unconventional - Not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed.
Unconventional Reef Keepers - Reef Aquarium Hobbyists who say, nah..I'll do it my way and still succeed. (my definition)

There are so many ways to do so many things in reef keeping and not everyone always does the same thing to accomplish the same goal. That was a mouth full! What's even better is that in some instances reef keepers employ certain methods, ideas and practices that many others might consider unconventional but are still very successful. Their motto is..."I'm not a part of this system!" :p Let's talk about it today!

1. What reefing practices, methods or ideas do you employ that others might consider to be "unconventional reefing?"

2. What's the craziest thing you have ever done in reefing that was a success?



unconventional yellow tang.jpg
I will test lower priced frags out in a small tank for hardiness, parameter and temp fluctuations before I commit to years of watching it grow. Calicum carbonate antacid, baking soda and epsom salt are quick fixes I will use to penny pinch. Sometimes they just work better. Little frags are not the big piece of coral, so I have that as an excuse. Most hardy by far is micromussa lordhowensis. I like nano tanks, but parameters kept in check are a bit-- uh, difficult to maintain.. great hobby, just looking to save a buck.. if it can be done anyway..
 

Darwin

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I use to be anal about chasing numbers and testing everyday, for some odd reason I lost corals that route. Even tho i glance into the tank daily, i dont bother with numbers unless something looks wrong, since then hardly any coral loss
 

CanuckReefer

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I assume most would consider me 'unconventional' .... I'd describe myself a minimalist I guess

90 gallon, no sump, fuge, or cannister, and over the last week just dumped my skimmer, it wasn't pulling much anyway and Nitrates near zero consistently. Don't test much, other than Nitrate, Phos occasionally. I don't dose, and utilize IO Reef Crystals salt. Don't quarantine as I purchase fish so infrequent that a QT tank doesn't equate to value for me. My local retailer does it for me over the last 5 years and I pay a bit extra. That is a Coral Beauty, an Anthia I lost unfortunately, and an Eibli Angel. The other 3 fish ( YT, Ocellaris, and Three Stripe Damsel) have been 17 years.
Softies, a few LPS, lots of inverts and CUC.

Feed my own frozen mix, sinking pellets occasionally, Dulse, and Green Seaweed. Dosing Live Phyto every 3 or 4 days. No more Roids, as I find they didn't really matter for my stock.
Polishing Powerhead, several Hydors, Jebao WaveMaker and UV . Skimmer off line last week or so, no measurable difference yet, but can always set it back up if I need to. 2 four foot T5's and a Fluval 3.0 LED to do dusk dawn and add a bit of shimmer. Water changes 2-3% every 4 days religious.

It's not for everyone but it works for me. My long standing (roughly 65-75 lbs?) of Live rock does the heavy lifting.... I don't mess with the setup too much.

Some really interesting approaches here. And its a pleasure to view all of your beautiful pictures fellow reefers.... Nice topic Rev.

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CanuckReefer

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Started my tank in Sept of 2020. By Christmas, it was almost fully stocked with soft, LPS & SPS corals. Mostly colonies and just a few frags.I believe in letting mature do it’s thing. If something is too close and recedes, we’ll, that’s what would happen in the wild. Everything seems to be thriving. The first few months, I was doing 1 gallon water changes DAILY. Now I do them 3 times a week ( every other day).
Tank is a 13.5gal Evo. No skimmer, no sump, no fuge.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone else doing it this way but I gave it a shot and couldn’t be happier.
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I quite like the look of your setup Mike, and subscribe to your consistent, but minimal water changes. 2-3% in my 90 every 4 days.
 

monkeyCmonkeyDo

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Danielr2r. Revtree. Just like the last anxiety thread. I hate to say it but i am unconventional with most things. I stray away from the popular or trend. Usually i am doing the popular thing 3-5yrs before or after its been popular. LOL
I am human...
D
 

ACReefer

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I have been doing a reef tank for 8 years, I have a canister filter with just bio balls, a hang on the back filter with Chaeto and refugium light. I also have hang on the back skimmer. My corals are doing great and growing and multiplying. I have Montiporas, hammers, Zoas,mushrooms,acans and favias. All in a 75 gallon tank.
 
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