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Cultivated Reef

pico reef w/ minimal live rock


IWannaGoFast

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So I thought I was done w/ reefing but you know how it is, as soon as I sold off all my reef equipment to go back to planted tanks, I wanted to start a reef again...

 

I'm going to be setting up an ADA 20C w/ an aquaclear 50 for filtration. The tank is about 2.5 gallons w/ the filter.

 

The scape I have in mind will have very very minimal live rock, and will be SPS dominated, I can do daily waterchanges, or at least a few times a week so I probably won't run a skimmer, although a mame style skimmer isn't out of the question. 1 very small goby and some sexy shrimp will be all the non corals in the tank.

 

How feasible would it be to have very little liverock in the display tank? maybe 1 lb or so. Is there anything I could throw into the filter? I use purigen in my planted tanks, would this work for a reef too? What about biopellets?

 

Thanks for the help everyone!

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How feasible would it be to have very little liverock in the display tank? maybe 1 lb or so. Is there anything I could throw into the filter? I use purigen in my planted tanks, would this work for a reef too? What about biopellets?

 

Thanks for the help everyone!

 

My understanding is that it won't be a problem as long as the bioload is small. Everything inside the tank that the current hits will be part of the biological filter. Anything that's part of the filter that is not live rock will produce nitrates, but that can be mitigated with water changes. The theory is the live rock not only converts Ammonia->Nitrite->Nitrate but also helps convert Nitrate to Nitrogen gas. The sandbed can do this as well, with various opinions on how deep and how efficient, and how dangerous. :)

 

In the end the most efficient means of filtration will be chosen by the bacteria, so if live rock is limited it will colonize on something else. Like freshwater (where the majority of my experience comes from) you'll have to be careful with changing media to prevent a "cycle". Obviously something like a biowheel woudl work similar to bio balls, but if for some reason you miss water changes the nitrates will be climbing fast. Again, depending on bioload and how well the rocks you have work as part of the bio filter.

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