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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.

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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.

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