Congratulations to birdman204 for earning the tank of the month award for November. His Minibow Nano reef is an outstanding example of taking a 7 Gallon Minibow to the limits with lighting and equipment. Information and photographs of his Minibow Nano Reef are below, direct from birdman204 himself.
7 Gallon AGA Minibow
Unfortunatley, I am very obsessive...
I'd like to start by saying thank you to our site administrator for taking the time to notice my work and creating a wonderful site full of great people and wonderful information. The obsession started in the beginning of June w/ a FOWLR Minibow. I had a Coral banded shrimp and an Ocellaris clown. Well, the Coral Banded basically picked on my clown till death.... Then I searched for some info, and found Nano-Reef.com. It was over from there. I dunno how I am gonna stack up to Liquid's tank as his was TOTM at the time I signed up, and I was blown away! I can't wait till My reef fully matures.
Reefkeeping By Nature
I used to have my hands in the tank ALL THE TIME. No more. I leave stuff alone now. Unless a coral is being threatened or has been bulldozed completely, I let everything be. Example, I was worried about my Yellow polyps growing rapidly and stinging my Crocea. I spent a week trying to keep them from growing around it. When they grew too close, the clam just opened up over them. Hmm.... Coulda saved myself a bunch of greif. The only things requiring my attention now are my orange zoanthinds. The Hermits think the rock they are on is a shell and they continue to flip it over again and again. Even now , if they flip it over enough , and it lands right side up, they will leave it alone for quite some time. Again, let everything be. If the lights are off for a day , which I do occasionally, so be it, there are storms in the tropics. If I stir up the sand too much, same thing. Most things will heal over time.
"But if you tame me, then we shall need each other.
To me, you will be unique in all the world
To you, I shall be unique in all the world...
You become responsible, Forever, for what you have tamed."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
As soon as I read this, My reefkeeping world changed. I am aware that some decisions have been bad on my part. But with tiny ecosystems in your care, you must do all you can to care for the animals, and be able to care for them. In no way am I coming down on people for keeping hard to or impossible to keep animals. I myself have a Yellow Diodogorgia, and a Dendronepthya. I have done everything in my ability to care for and provide food for these animals. The diodogorgia is fed 2 times a week, and the dendro is fed 3 times a week. I have experimented with more and less for both animals. The Diodogorgia seems to be faring well and possibly showing new growth. The dendro seems like a downhill battle. It is still kicking, but not with the vigor it used to. Never again will I buy animals with such special care requirements. As to the advanced hobbyist side, I would still not recommend them. Time can be adversely spent enjoying the rest of the tank animals. Everything else in my care has been flourishing.
Maintanence and Feeding Routine
I have tried almost all of the snake oils on the market, from Kent's to C-Balance to Sea-lab. My Maintanence, testing , and dosing schedule was RIDICULOUS. I have since switched to 1/2 strength Kalkwasser in all of my top off and weekly 1 Gallon water changes of homemade Tropic Marin Seawater. I am so Happy with the minimum amount of work required. The only thing I need to do is make sure the topoff jug is full. I need to mix about a gallon of new Kalkwasser every 5 to 6 days. That's It! None of this 5 mL in the morning , 5 mL at night..... 2 drops that roll off your tongue into the tank water, a drop of frog blood........ You get the idea.
Some Inhabitant Photos
With no fish, I simply need to feed my Rics, and Brain every week or two w/ aqua yums silversides, or krill. The shrimp and the hermits, also go beserk over this stuff. I switch what I feed them each time, and also use Forumla One on occasion as well. The Diodogorgia is fed w/ Cyclops-eeze soaked in SW, then target fed about every 5 minutes for an hour 2 times a week, and the dendro is target fed 3 to 4 times a week, depending on when I dose DT's. The only things that are time consuming are feeding the non-photosynthetics. I will probably never get another one again, But I am stuck enjoying taking care of these beautiful creatures. I need to harvest the Chaetomorpha from my fuge about every three weeks, I take out 1/2 of the giant ball. Check the temp, and test water params and salinity once a month and I am a happy camper.
- Salinity - 1.025
- PH - 8.0 night / 8.3 daytime
- Alk - 7 - 8 dKH
- Ca - 415 - 420 ppm
- All others no longer tested for Nitrate steady at around 12 ppm
Some Montipora Digitata Photos
To Chris Marks our administrator for creating a wonderful place full of awesome people. To Gilman and his magic camera for making my little slice of the ocean look so beautiful, and for choosing some of my livestock for the 2004 Nano-Reef.com Calendar. To Darya and Lizbeth, fellow Nano-Reef'ers I have had the pleasure of meeting and trading various items with. Mail order livestock is the way to go IMO because almost always you will be recieving captive raised corals, and I have ordered from both of the following with positive results... To Scott at GoochsCorals.com and Chris at SaltyFishOnline.com for their efforts in keeping the captive grown coral industry alive, even if it is a cottage ( or greenhouse) industry. There are so many other amazing individuals out there doing this and I would be at a loss to list ALL of the amazing people that I look forward to making purchases from in the future. Oh and to all the very cool people here on the site. No adJeCTives can describe the number of colorful people I have met here.
Some Zooanthid Photos
I sit and stare at this little box of water for ( I still can't believe it ) almost an hour a day, and I have had the thing for almost 8 mos. It was supposed to be a predecessor to my 240 Gallon monster, but now the big tank can wait!!! I cannot say how happy I am since switching to the Kalk top-off, and my uneasy fortune to not be able to keep fish, as now, instead of always worrying about this or that. All I have to do is check the top off level, and sit back and enjoy the beauty that is a captive coral reef.