Innovation is what makes our world great, and what produces change. In 1996, after six years of research, EcoSystem demonstrated the EcoSystem Method utilizing Miracle mud, which was both innovative and a change from the standard methods then being used to maintain reef aquaria. Since then, several competitors copied this concept and brought out their own versions of a mud substrate, having done little research into the advantages and disadvantages of their product. To try and determine the differences in these substrates, EcoSystem has set up three equivalent tanks, each of which uses a different mud substrate. These three mud substrates are Miracle Mud from EcoSystem Aquarium, Mineral Mud from CaribSea and Fiji mud from Walt Smith.
The tanks are set up the same and utilize the same equipment with only the mud substrate being different. These tanks will house exactly the same corals and fish and will utilize the same lighting for each tank. Water parameters will be recorded weekly and the health and growth of the fish and corals will be documented both in a log and via pictures and video. We expect that this experiment will demonstrate the differences in these systems over time.
In the Fall of 2001, Tom Frakes, published his experiment comparing two reef aquariums side by side. In this Seascope article one used the Berlin method and the other the EcoSystem method. Today, we would like to repeat and expand that study in our EcoSystem Aquarium showroom/laboratory. We have set up four equivalent tanks, each of which uses a separate filtration method. The 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 the EcoSystem method. The tanks will house exactly the same corals and fish and utilize the same lighting. Water parameters will be recorded weekly and the health and growth of the fish and corals 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.
You can also follow us in our blog http://www.ecosystemaquarium.com/ as well as some of the experiments we are now working on. Thanks, Leng Sy President/CEO
This custom 28-gallon EcoSystem MINI aquarium (watch this video) has been set up since early June, 2011 using our standard EcoSystem method with Miracle Mud. This is a mixed reef aquarium containing soft, LPS and sps corals. Everything has shown impressive growth since the tank has been setup. Here are some facts about this tank:
1. Lighting: double ended MH, 150w/14K (USHIO) plus the tank receives about two hours of indirect sunlight daily.
2. Filter: EcoSystem Method filter with two 15oz Miracle Mud trays inside the refugium in the back panel of the MINI aquarium.
3. Rock and sand: About 20 lbs of cured live rock and about 4 lbs of sand
4. Water: ECO salt mix, weekly water changes between 1.5 – 2 gallons, water top off daily
5. Calcium: 10 ml of ECO 3-part calcium based on the Balling Method is added daily along with about 3 ml of ECO Reef Solution.
6. Water parameters: temperature 74 – 80 degree, pH 8.3, specific gravity 1.023, nitrate – undetectable, phosphate – undertectable, dKH 7.7, calcium 480 ppm, magnesium 1470 ppm.
The success of this tank will be updated every 3 months with additional pictures showing growth as well as other observations.
Is it possible…that you NEVER have to feed your marine fish again? The answer is yes. But, given the confined space that we have in our aquariums and the lack of well-preserved live rock that is present in our aquariums, we are limited in our choice of fish and the number of fish that we can keep in this type of aquarium. In a test 400- gallon aquarium, I found that I could keep about 12 fish without extra feeding of any type. The fish included: a flame angel, golden angel, multi-color angel, flame back angel, yellow coris wrasse, six line wrasse, mandarin goby, yellow tang, blue face angel, saddle back butterfly and a sohal tang.
From this experimental aquarium (been up for 12 months) I was able to demonstrate that there was enough food for some small fish that feed predominantly on algae or copepods swim from rock to rock looking for food such as the pygmy angels, small wrasses, gobies, etc.. to thrive without it being necessary to introduce additional food. However, if too large a number of fish or when medium to large fish are added not all of them would do well. In this instance it is necessary to add additional refugia algal baskets in order to provide for the nutritional requirements of some large fish. I hope to determine which fish do well over the long-term in this system as well as what if any change occur over time…but now is the time to promote keeping fish healthy!
Have you ever wondered why fish have such vibrant colors and are healthier in the living coral reef aquariums? There are several reasons: First, corals can only thrive in a low nutrient, stable environment. Second, corals are filter feeders. They are natural predators of parasites that prey on fish. However, as you have been told over and over by your friends that you can’t have healthy live corals in an aquarium that house a lot of fish! That is what you have been told…until now.
With the EcoSystem Method of filtration, you now have the option of having a lot of fish in your reef aquarium. The question now is…what kind of reef aquarium would you like? A coral reef aquarium in which you have a lot of colorful corals and a lot of reef safe fish or a fish intensive reef aquarium in which you can have whatever fish you would like in the aquarium but with specific corals that fish either don’t like to eat or would grow fast. The followings are some possible corals that will thrive even in fish intensive aquarium when using the EcoSystem Method of filtration.
Have you heard…it is now possible to NEVER feed your marine fish again in an aquarium using the EcoSystem Miracle Mud filter! I discovered this unimaginable phenomenon in marine fish keeping, by chance, almost three years ago, with my own fish (a yellow tang, a flame angel and a copper band butterfly fish) kept in a grey storage bin.
What are the benefits? Being able to observe fish behave naturally as they would in the wild is quite amazing!
All fishes kept in this reef environment are always healthy, vibrant in colors and live longer than in the environment that is commonly practiced in a marine fish-only aquarium setup.
What followed was an experimental marine/reef aquarium set up to discover which fish, how many of them, what corals and inverts would thrive using this new concept of marine fish-only in marine aquariums. The experimental aquarium was set up in October of 2010. Rockwork was provided by my friend, Len Liebrand. Since the time of the tank setup, NO home-made or commercial prepared fish food has ever been added, with the exception of some grape caulerpa harvested regularly from an EcoSystem refugium running on this tank. All the fish are healthy and fully nourished.
Here is a list of fish in this tank from oldest, introduced 8 months ago, to the most recent…
2 Yellow Tangs;
1 medium Adult Blue Face Angel;
1 large Sohal tang;
1 Flame Angel;
2 Flame Back Angels;
1 Golden Angel;
1 Multi-Color Angel;
1 Nahacky angel;
2 Yellow Coris Wrasses;
2 Clarki damsels;
1 large rabbit fish (donated by a customer);
1 large naso tang (donated by a customer);
1 juvenile Chrysurus angel;
1 small Majestic angel;
1 juvenile imperator angel
There will be a few more fish going into this tank in the coming months. More details…later.