Approximately 4 months ago we set up three identical systems using different substrates in the refugia. As seen in the photos from those tanks in Jan. 15, 2012, algae has become so problematic in the tanks that use the Fiji and CaribSea substrates, that frequent removal of the algae was necessary in order to prevent it from overgrowing the corals. So in order to continue our experiment long term, more snails were added to each tank after the nuisance algae was brushed off and removed. In addition it became necessary to siphon detritus from the tanks, change ECO Phos and activated carbon. We also started adding low dose of kalkwasser solution instead of just regular RO/DI water for evaporation. These changes stabilized the systems and all of the corals are growing well. However the coloration of the corals is different depending on when different substrates are used, such that the blue color is good but not red in the CaribSea tank, while red is good but not blue in the Fiji tank. The best growth and colors of corals is in the EcoSystem tank, however they have to be seen in person for the differences to be fully realized.
In the early Spring of 2001, Jim Poe, the owner of a local aquarium shop in Southern California, and a well known discus breeder, did an experiment comparing two discus aquariums side by side. One used what was then the best method available, the Wet/Dry method, and the other tank used the EcoSystem method. Today, we are repeating and expanding that study in our EcoSystem Aquarium showroom/laboratory. We have set up two equivalent tanks, each of which uses these same separate filtration methods. The tanks will house 7 baby discus fish that have been bred and partially raised by Brian Taimuty of Wet Pets and Friends in Pittsburgh, PA. Water parameters will be recorded weekly and the health and growth of the fish will be documented both in a log and via pictures and video. We hope this experiment will demonstrate the differences in these systems over time. Please follow this experimental introduction and the bi-monthly update.
Our 3 experimental reef tanks comparing tanks using different substrates are already showing some significant differences. Since the tanks are set up the same and have approximately the same water chemistry parameters, which are close to those of natural seawater, these differences are surprising. Especially since they are being seen after the tanks have only been set up for approximately 2 months. These differences are the amount of encrusting algae that is occurring in the tanks using the Fiji and Caribsea substrates. This algae is actually becoming problematic and is starting to stress the corals. In an attempt to reduce this problem and to see the differences in the mud long term an additional 7 snails were introduced to all tanks. Unfortunately in these two tanks even these additional snails are having difficulty controlling the algae.
Have you ever wondered what if live rock both natural and cultured was restricted or banned from being harvested by government or by local authorities? Or if it became so pricey that it would cost so much to fill up your reef tank that it was cost-prohibitive for most hobbyists to use? Let’s hope that will not be the case…but let’s prepare just in case. In this 500-gallon reef aquarium, run using the EcoSystem method, we will attempt to demonstrate two main goals:
No live rock or very minimal of live rock will be used (just enough to place corals on it) to run a successful and thriving reef aquarium; and Protein skimmer and planting caulerpa algae in refugium is an option but not the rule.
Happy New Year! Here is the one month update on the three reef tanks which only differ in which type of mud substrate is being utilized
The tanks are set up the same and use the same equipment with only the mud substrate being different. These tanks house exactly the same corals and fish and other invertebrates. To try and show the differences between the substrates and their possible effect on coral, the corals are placed in approximately the same place within each tank
Water parameters are recorded weekly and the health and growth of the fish and corals is being documented both in a log and via pictures and video. We expect that this experiment will demonstrate the differences in these different substrates over time. The corals and invertebrates in each tank are: SPS: ORA red planet, Oregon blue tort, purple nana, green Bali stag horn, Leng Sy cap, setosa montipora, red capriconous. LPS: Duncan, Acan from Australia; Soft corals: green finger and green polyp devil hand. Fish: one yellow tang and one blue tang; Inverts: 4 Astrea snails and one peppermint shrimp.
Here is the one month (December) update of the four equivalent tanks, which are comparing the 4 primary filtration methods. These systems include a Berlin tank, a tank using both a protein skimmer and Miracle Mud (Paletta method), a modified Paletta method tank where the skimmer is only on for 6 hours each day and a tank using only the EcoSystem method. These tanks are housing exactly the same corals and fish.
SPS: ORA red planet, Oregon blue tort, purple nana, green Bali stag horn, Leng Sy cap, setosa montipora, red capriconous.
LPS: Duncan, Acan from Australia;
Soft corals: green finger and green polyp devil hand.
Fish: one yellow tang and one blue tang;
Inverts: 4 Astrea snails and one peppermint shrimp.
The corals are evenly placed in the approximately the same places within each tank. They also utilize the same lighting and equipment other than filtration, so that the differences between these methods will become apparent over time. Water parameters are recorded weekly and the health and growth of the fish and corals will be documented both in a log and via pictures and video.