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

Baneston

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I've been using a black lava rock and sanded grout background for 3 years now and have still never seen anyone else even using lava rock.

IMG_20180701_223005.jpg



3 years later.

PXL_20210301_145623577.jpg

PXL_20210301_145725863.jpg
Is that gravel with some type of goby???
 

rmurken

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DIY and chemistry are part of the charm of this hobby for me.

Made a very reliable kalk reactor out of an old Ca reactor, a dosing pump and a mag stirrer.

Instead of buying a reef PO4 supplement. I went with hydroponic grade MKP I had on hand for my FW planted tank. And for NO3, I used stump remover but was shamed into using NaNO3 sold by a molecular gastronomy company.

I use a canister filter to handle bio media and chem filtration—easy. Only thing is it might be why my NO3 now sticks around 20 (I only need to dose PO4 these days). But that has caused me zero problems.

I suppose if I wanted to go SPS dominant I’d have to look into keeping NO3 down a bit more but not even sure of that.

Oh, I started with IO Purple and plan to go back after a reef crystals distraction. I really just can’t with the salt mixes.

I have separate Cation/Anion DI cartridges and regenerate the stuff.
 

phillybean

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I'd say I'm a bit of an oddity.

Tank is inwall, 220 so 30" deep with no front access. 32" Tall stand, so no reaching in without a ladder.
I run an Apex, Trident, ATK top off, flow monitor, Lifegard 55 Watt UV, will be setting up a Auto Water Change this weekend. Blue PVC pipe with Blue LED's under a custom steel stand. All pretty modern.
I also have a DIY sump which is pretty custom, drilled holes for dosing and plumbing, fairly unique.
I'm also running 3 24" fixtures, two 250 Watt M.H. with 4 T5 bulbs each and a 8 bulb T5 only fixture. My fuge light is LED though. All bought used. As is the Skimmer, Return Pump, MP40's, one EB8.

I'm definitely a mix of conventional new school and more unconventional old school. Trying to combine the best of both worlds. The result is working though.
 

Steph72

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I still have a lot to learn and find myself humbled on a daily basis! Lol I’d say I’m more of a “conventional” reefer when it comes to how I manage the tank. On the flip side, I’m an unconventional fish mom! Lol I am absolutely obsessed with my fish, especially the baby Naso tang. I interact with them and talk to them all the time. The baby dances around like crazy when he hears my voice. It’s too cute for words. (Yes, I’m probably crazy but I don’t care! Hahaha)
 

gdw

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Unconventional views:
  1. Soft corals are more beautiful than SPS
  2. no water changes
  3. i enjoy the microcosmos more often than the corals, definitely more than fish
  4. I love fragging even if it means giving them away to new low budget hobbyists
  5. if a fish is not needed for reef or coral health it better had be interested in procreating, otherwise stay in the sea! (bossy mf :) )
  6. I do not like certainty, I love hobbyists with open minds and risky attitudes!
  7. and the pièce de résistance: I am patient
 

LacViet

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Unconventional for me is trying to have all kind of animals and corals in the same tank or more like nature. I have fish, soft corals, lps and sps, shrimp, crabs, pods, and algae. I like some oddities that only few people keep. I have angler fish in the tank along with damsels, gobies, blue tang, flame angel, cardinals, and clownfish. I have sexy shrimps, pair of coral banded shrimps, 4 cleaner shrimps, 2 peppermint shrimps, 2 tiger pistols shrimps, few small hitchhikers unknown pistol shrimps, few type of anemones.
I dont mind to have aptasia or asterina star fish, bristle worm in the tank as long as they not take over the tank. I also have trio of gold molly in the tank. I put oysters, clamps that I bought from supermarket in the tank. They don’t last long but i just want to try.
here is my current 45gal tank mix reef
41844524-EF85-401D-9C10-86CFE148FC6D.jpeg
58A5D4AD-433F-4197-BBE5-7489E89C9347.jpeg
 

Haydn

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Because I dislike tangs, any sort of tang.
And Smurf lighting
And silly names
And silly prices for 'Ultra' or 'Rare' labels
And colours you can only see under extreme ultra-violet with orange filters in your glasses
And fragging a zoa because it has dared to grow a new head in the frag plug
And buying a coral because just because you think 'Umm, I can get my money back when I frag it'
Being pleased when someone comments about my tank 'It looks like a natural reef' not a firework display.
I don't panic and bring out the nuclear deterrent if you spot a bristle worm, or small snail or a tiny Aip or your fish has a few while spots.

Sorry the valium will kick in it a minute or two................
 

ckgriffin2000

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My story is so conventional it is UNCONVENTIONAL.... I've tried it all in a short period of 5 years. Learning curve? Bare bones minimum initially. Simple. Cheap.. no high tech stuff at all. unconventional! A few cups of sand! Hahhaha. A 45 gallon corner tank? Pentagon? Yeah.....one big live rock or two. A heater. A canister filter. Some type of standard white florescent light that came with the tank. Omg... the horror.......READ A BOOK ON salt water Aquariums... and then thought... oh.. .I'm ready know! . Then..purchased .. a CUBE! 60 GALLONS AND A SUMP! filled with the latest and greatest technologies.....driving up the credit card balances to new. Lofty heights never reached before in reefing! Expensive fish, coral, testing equipment...led's, dosing.... bah!.... Hahahhah. yeah... that ended badly after 3 years of spending cash and the seal broke. Tank blew out.. death and destruction to all things and machines ...That was a mess at 3am that I don't wish on anyone. Next...is the The recovery tank... I GOT AN Evo 13.5. The easiest tank to run in the world!!!! Love it! Weekly 4 gallon water change, change a little cut square of filter floss, maybe every 30 days, change a tiny carbon bag (tank has softies) .... it is SOOOOO EASY..... my kids ask why the corals in the EVO have grown better than any other tank? And of course with all my research, reading, internet forums, and talks... my answer is.... I DONT KNOW. I don't know because I do NOT test the Evo. I use a Hanna salinity checker when making water.... but.... nope... no tests... it just grows and it's happy. And I m happy Now..don't you all worry.... . I plan to ruin my current enjoyment in reefing. Yep. I did it.... I Ordered and received a Waterbox Marine X90... building now..... conventionl.??? Here we go again..... pray for me and my refinance! Hahhahaha. Enjoy ...
 
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DracoKat

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I am a lazy reefer.

I have not done a water change in... over thee years now. I wanna say close to 4. I laugh when people tell me "But you MUST do water changes every week!" Nah. my skimmer and carbon does a good enough job. I clean my skimmer cup regularily.. but my carbon reactor, whenenever I Remember. few times a year.

I rarely dose because I am that lazy. But when I do, I don't measure, I just pour a bit in. And I don't test either. I judge things by my corals, if they're growing and happy, I am happy. If they're grumpy, then I know something's wrong.

Have not had a death of fish in a few years either, so I must be doing something right!
 

Ruben Sacramento

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Lets' see...
No water changes for over a year on a 500L mixed reef (not running triton, Calcium reactor or balling method)
Sump has no baffles and the only things in it are a skimmer, 3Kg of bio media, carbon reactor and heater
Personal custom built LED black boxes with real reef full spectrum
"Natural looking aquaescape"
Maintenance is basically biweekly glass and skimmer cleaning and also water chemistry testing
 

Paul B

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LOL, I don't have enough ink to list all the unconventional stuff I do from the driveway gravel and asphalt that I found in the sea for my rock.
I dump in amphipods or anything else I find in the sea



I never bought anything except pumps. My "Thermometer" is a large brass guage from 1907 which I took from the coal boiler in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. My skimer is 5' tall.

The waste goes into that bucket and there is a wire from a GFCI dangling in there which shuts off the pump if water reaches it.



Most of my real rock that I dove for I replaces with stuff I built from cement and rock.









I made my evaporative chiller that uses almost no power.



This was my original rotating algae scrubber.



I built this scrapper before they were sold.



I don't use a sump and this was my overflow surface skimmer that fed my protein skimmer.



I don't remember what this does.



My lights were water cooled copper tubing.



It had real radiators to keep it cool.



This is the water cooler radiator for my copper algae scrubber



I keep rebuilding diatom filters



I collect seawater all winter, warm it up and dump it in my tank



When the hobby first started I filled my tank with water from the East River next to Manhattan. I used to pour in a cup of Clorox Bleach to kill all the bristle worms and other things. (after I took out my fish of course) That Clorox treated water is still in my tank. :p

Of course I used to keep copper pennies in the tank for ich and if I had to operate on a fish to remove a tumor, I put iodine on the cut and never lost a patient.
I "cure" Pop Eye" in a few seconds with a hypodermic needle, I use an undergravel filter and I would never quarantine.

I could go on for days, but you get the idea. :cool:
 
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CourtNjoeZreef

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I still have a lot to learn and find myself humbled on a daily basis! Lol I’d say I’m more of a “conventional” reefer when it comes to how I manage the tank. On the flip side, I’m an unconventional fish mom! Lol I am absolutely obsessed with my fish, especially the baby Naso tang. I interact with them and talk to them all the time. The baby dances around like crazy when he hears my voice. It’s too cute for words. (Yes, I’m probably crazy but I don’t care! Hahaha)
Arent we all a little crazy?!?!?! i talk to my fish like they are my homies... all 12 tanks
 

Dburr1014

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LOL, I don't have enough ink to list all the unconventional stuff I do from the driveway gravel and asphalt that I found in the sea for my rock.
I dump in amphipods or anything else I find in the sea



I never bought anything except pumps. My "Thermometer" is a large brass guage from 1907 which I took from the coal boiler in the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. My skimer is 5' tall.

The waste goes into that bucket and there is a wire from a GFCI dangling in there which shuts off the pump if water reaches it.



Most of my real rock that I dove for I replaces with stuff I built from cement and rock.









I made my evaporative chiller that uses almost no power.



This was my original rotating algae scrubber.



I built this scrapper before they were sold.



I don't use a sump and this was my overflow surface skimmer that fed my protein skimmer.



I don't remember what this does.



My lights were water cooled copper tubing.



It had real radiators to keep it cool.



This is the water cooler radiator for my copper algae scrubber



I keep rebuilding diatom filters



I collect seawater all winter, warm it up and dump it in my tank



When the hobby first started I filled my tank with water from the East River next to Manhattan. I used to pour in a cup of Clorox Bleach to kill all the bristle worms and other things. (after I took out my fish of course) That Clorox treated water is still in my tank. :p

Of course I used to keep copper pennies in the tank for ich and if I had to operate on a fish to remove a tumor, I put iodine on the cut and never lost a patient.
I "cure" Pop Eye" in a few seconds with a hypodermic needle.

I could go on for days, but you get the idea. :cool:
Now that is unconventional!
 

Dburr1014

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I myself refuse to believe some of the "conventional" thought processes. I have done some things that go against what is believed to be true. I have been chastised for it on this board by some nameless people.

I once had an ick outbreak. I had a purple tang, a wrasse, 2 clowns, a gramma, and a pj cardnal in a 20 gallon hospital tank. I messed up my copper testing half way thru and the ick came back in the HT so they went over 100 days in that tank while the display was fallow. No losses. Hiding places, bacteria, ammonia lock pulled them all thru.

I once switched tanks. My 5" Dsb was pulled out and installed in the new tank. In 2 days ammonia was 0 and all the live stock was put in. No losses. The fish were in buckets in the basement at 68 degrees and the coral had the heaters. Think of all the anorobic bacteria that was released.

I once poured bleach in my overflow to kill hundreds of aptaisia. I caught the bleach in a bucket in the basement and rinsed until I didn't smell any bleach. No losses.

If you take educated guesses, I think most of the time you will be okay.
 

OREGONIC

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- I do minimal water changes (more common with reefers now then a few years ago)
- I dont let a little algae in the tank bother me, its food for my tangs to nibble on and diversity.
- I stir my sandbed every month or two and do the entire sand bed at once.
 

squatchaquarist

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I haven’t been reefing a long time, but here are some of my unconventions.

For filtration I only use one HOB and a HOB Reef Octo skimmer that only runs half the time. Live rock mixed with dry. Two cheap powerheads.
I run two AI Primes and an old freshwater LED.
I don’t stress patches of hair algae alongside my macro and corals. I will go in and pull it off by hand when it gets unruly but I’m not going to drive myself nuts about eradicating it. Micro algae provides food and habitat for diversity and assists in nutrient export.

I only keep the front panel of glass “clean.”
I sent my water to ATI with the inclination to start the moonshiner dosing regime, dosing only what I need. Not super unconventional but it doesn’t seem super popular.
I dump a lot of food in the tank (LRS, Roids, store bought and home grown phyto, rots, and pods, Yello Sno, assorted Reef Nutrition products, nori). My macro, micro, and water changes keep nutrients in check Well fed fish tend to be disease resistant and at peace.
 
BRS

If Reefing was a school what letter grade do you think you would be making?

  • A

    Votes: 63 11.4%
  • B

    Votes: 246 44.4%
  • C

    Votes: 180 32.5%
  • D

    Votes: 41 7.4%
  • F

    Votes: 22 4.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 2 0.4%
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