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Activated carbon has been used for years and is very popular to use in both freshwater and marine aquaria due to its effect at making aquarium water look sparkling clear. The effect of activated carbon on marine fish in aquaria is well known.  Heavy use of activated carbon over prolonged periods of time can lead to the development of hole in the head disease, also called lateral line erosion in fishes. This effect is commonly seen in tangs and angelfish, but can even be seen in damselfish when carbon is used continuously over a long period of time.   However, the effect of activated carbon on corals is not well documented in reef aquaria.  It is our experience that the heavy use of activated carbon in reef aquarium can kill corals.  This effect will show when otherwise healthy corals suddenly start bleaching from the tips.



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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When Mike Paletta introduced this 400 gallons reef tank to the world in late 1997’s, it created a lot of excitement in the reef aquarium communities. Not only that that this 400 gallons SPS dominated reef aquarium was running with a new filtration system (the EcoSystem Method) with no protein skimmer, it also had a lot of healthy fish in it! In fact, it was considered a breakthrough in reef aquarium filtration technology at that time…

Stay tune for the next update installments of the new breakthrough 400 gallons marine fish-only aquarium.