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ninjamyst

Are we over complicating tanks?

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So my 90 gallons tank been in disaster mode for the past 9 months, battling dino, GHA, and cyano.  Lost most of my corals except for a few that I saved in a small 5 gallons tank. 

 

I set up the 5 gallon tank as an emergency and all I have in there for filtration is just some Seachem biomedia and filter pad.  Nothing else.  No live rock, no carbon, no GFO, no heater, no ATO, nada.  The only equipment is a underpowered 90 gph pump and Nanobox Tide.  It's as simple as it gets.  On the other hand, my big tank is running 2 media reactor with carbon and phosguard, a skimmer, tons of bio media, UV sterilizer, two heaters, dosing pumps, APEX, the works.  And this little tank is THRIVING.  Dying corals from the big tank, covered in dino / GHA / cyano are recovering in this tank.  The dino / GHA / cyano has not spread.  I didn't even cycle the tank!  I do weekly 20% water change and that's it.  Not dosing anything.  LPS, zoas, acans, even simple SPS like monticaps and stylos are doing great. 

 

I used to be one of those guys that invest tons of money into equipments and additives.  No more.  Just going to keep things simple and let nature do its thing.  

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Yes!!!! We do over complicate imo. We get sucked into all kinds of stuff from marketing. I switched to the KISS method 4-5 years ago in my LPS and soft coral tank. My last Red Sea Reefer didn’t have a skimmer. Only thing I dosed was 2 part and Brightwell Coral Amino. I never ran carbon or any sort of gfo. My sump was packed full if macro. I thought it looked pretty awesome. My new tank will be ran the same way but have a skimmer since I have a tang. 

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That’s what I been sayin’. 🤦🏻‍♀️

 

 

 

 

 

 

😄

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It’s not that difficult but people try to make it difficult. Tank looks off do a water change and try to reset. You have to export the waste. The one that drives me crazy is “zoas” like dirty water. No they don’t they like nutrients in the water. They don’t like high nitrate and phosphate systems they loose the pop. 

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From my perspective many seem to make their tanks way more complicated then is necessary. I am in a red sea reefer group and I am amazed how many people buy the red sea brand of everything under the sun, the come posting they are constantly battling something.

 

I keep my tank pretty simple, 

 

Skimmer, light, return pump and heater is all the equipment I have. The only thing I dose is alk and calcium, and I do a water change twice a month.

 

 

 

I

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I am pretty sure I got dino because I drove my nitrate and phosphate to 0 to battle cyano.  Then I kept thinking I have nutrients issue so I add more and more carbon and phosphate remover and stripped my tank of all nutrients necessary to sustain corals.  I added uv, purigen, all kinds of bacteria in a bottle, and more snake in a bottle.  That's when all my acros died.  I am dosing nitrate and phosphate now and corals are slowly recovering.  

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Agree completely.  I need my tanks to be simple because I don't have time to mess around, or worry about equipment failure.  

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9 minutes ago, squamptonbc said:

From my perspective many seem to make their tanks way more complicated then is necessary. I am in a red sea reefer group and I am amazed how many people buy the red sea brand of everything under the sun, the come posting they are constantly battling something.

 

I keep my tank pretty simple, 

 

Skimmer, light, return pump and heater is all the equipment I have. The only thing I dose is alk and calcium, and I do a water change twice a month.

 

 

 

I

I went aboard the aquaforest train and bought all their shit.  Now they are sitting in my fridge.  Going to throw them all away soon 

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LR, 2 part, good lights, and refugium is all you need. I’ve never run carbon or gfo. Went skimmerless earlier this year. Haven’t done a partial in 2 mos. removing the chaeto exports nutrients and 2 part replenishes everything else. 

 

I’m basically triton without the triton 3 part. Everything is much happier now.  

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Absolutely. Every year it seems the more stuff I throw away the happier things get. I test my SG once a week when I do a wc and alkalinity maybe once a month just to make sure it's decent or if things look bad. Dropped the media reactors, the doser, the filter sock, carbon, one pump when it broke a few years ago. When the skimmer goes in a few more years, I'll probably drop that too!

 

ATO is my only requirement because I'm lazy and it's easier to toss kalk in the rodi than dose 2-part.

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2 minutes ago, jservedio said:

Absolutely. Every year it seems the more stuff I throw away the happier things get. I test my SG once a week when I do a wc and alkalinity maybe once a month just to make sure it's decent or if things look bad. Dropped the media reactors, the doser, the filter sock, carbon, one pump when it broke a few years ago. When the skimmer goes in a few more years, I'll probably drop that too!

 

ATO is my only requirement because I'm lazy and it's easier to toss kalk in the rodi than dose 2-part.

Oh yeah with SPS ATO is a must. Forgot about that. Gotta keep them params as stable as possible. 🙂

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People add way too much stuff, for sure. Mechanical filtration for the win. No carbon, GFO, pellets, nada. Clean water+ bright lighting 🙂 

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It’s funny you bring this up, as the guy I buy coral from has three beautiful high tech frag tanks growing high end SPS, and he just set up a pico jar tank without filtration and it looks (and he admits) the best out of all his tanks (jar is full of high end acros). Not only is it his easiest tank but the coral look the healthiest. Similarly, I have been able to keep acros healthy and happy at nutrient levels that many say should nuke tanks. I think there is too much emphasis on zero nutrient rather than stabile healthy systems. 

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I have 3 tanks.

 

All very simple systems yet the 2 I do no dosing, very minimal testing, waterchange every 2 weeks, are doing the best.

 

 

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For me, I feel maturity is wildly under appreciated.  It's common to start a tank with dry rock and almost immediately start stocking fish and coral (once a biofilter has become established).  The rock might be still leaching phosphate, there is no coralline algae and there are a limited amount of microbes (bacteria, plankton, and other micro fauna).  A food chain is hardly established and livestock is dependent on prepared foods.

 

Pests take hold because there is an imbalance.  Attempts to combat problems are often harsh and may even set your tank back in terms of maturity.  Leaving pests unchecked (without natural competition) can be just as bad.  It's no wonder why some tanks seem to constantly battle cyano, dinos, and pest algae.

 

Lots of equipment and expensive gadgets aren't necessary (although some are helpful and/or convenient).  But when you look at successful, yet truly simple, tanks, you'll probably notice signs of maturity.  They may have started with live rock, maybe they have introduced macroalgae, and you'll often see coralline algae covering rocks and/or equipment.  Random supplements can sometimes do more harm than good; I wish that I could convey that better to beginners.

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11 minutes ago, seabass said:

For me, I feel maturity is wildly under appreciated.  It's common to start a tank with dry rock and almost immediately start stocking fish and coral (once a biofilter has become established).  The rock might be still leaching phosphate, there is no coralline algae and there are a limited amount of microbes (bacteria, plankton, and other micro fauna).  A food chain is hardly established and livestock is dependent on prepared foods.

 

Pests take hold because there is an imbalance.  Attempts to combat problems are often harsh and may even set your tank back in terms of maturity.  Leaving pests unchecked (without natural competition) can be just as bad.  It's no wonder why some tanks seem to constantly battle cyano, dinos, and pest algae.

 

Lots of equipment and expensive gadgets aren't necessary (although some are helpful and/or convenient).  But when you look at successful, yet truly simple, tanks, you'll probably notice signs of maturity.  They may have started with live rock, maybe they have introduced macroalgae, and you'll often see coralline algae covering rocks and/or equipment.  Random supplements can sometimes do more harm than good; I wish that I could convey that better to beginners.

Very well said and agree. 

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11 minutes ago, seabass said:

For me, I feel maturity is wildly under appreciated.  It's common to start a tank with dry rock and almost immediately start stocking fish and coral (once a biofilter has become established).  The rock might be still leaching phosphate, there is no coralline algae and there are a limited amount of microbes (bacteria, plankton, and other micro fauna).  A food chain is hardly established and livestock is dependent on prepared foods.

 

Pests take hold because there is an imbalance.  Attempts to combat problems are often harsh and may even set your tank back in terms of maturity.  Leaving pests unchecked (without natural competition) can be just as bad.  It's no wonder why some tanks seem to constantly battle cyano, dinos, and pest algae.

 

Lots of equipment and expensive gadgets aren't necessary (although some are helpful and/or convenient).  But when you look at successful, yet truly simple, tanks, you'll probably notice signs of maturity.  They may have started with live rock, maybe they have introduced macroalgae, and you'll often see coralline algae covering rocks and/or equipment.  Random supplements can sometimes do more harm than good; I wish that I could convey that better to beginners.

100% agree

 

 

 

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Whoa! KISS tank fan here too!

 

I’m all for the simple approach. I think it forces you to understand what’s going on WITH your tank, rather what’s going on with all the whiz bang gadgetry. The effectiveness of said gadgets are hard to determine, especially when multiple approaches/gadgets are combined. 

 

For filtration, my tank runs filter floss, with carbon and phosphate pads from Deep Blue - yeah those basic sheets ppl throw into fresh water tanks.  That’s it. 

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I love my tank nice and simple as well. I started with live rock, sand, pumps, hob filter and heater. I had one small patch of green hair algae and that's it. I could just be lucky I haven't had to deal with Dino's or cyano.

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I get random online hate for my reefing methods. I’ve been told I am a liar.  I’ve been told that my tank will crash any day and that i am pushing my luck/rolling the dice. 

 

That’s why I was so happy to be chosen for TOTM......... so that I could help show that you don’t need all the extra stuff. 

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1 minute ago, WV Reefer said:

I get random online hate for my reefing methods. I’ve been told I am a liar.  I’ve been told that my tank will crash any day and that i am pushing my luck/rolling the dice. 

 

That’s why I was so happy to be chosen for TOTM......... so that I could help show that you don’t need all the extra stuff. 

That and the fact your tank is awesome!

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1 minute ago, Cannedfish said:

That and the fact your tank is awesome!

☺️ 

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4 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

I get random online hate for my reefing methods. I’ve been told I am a liar.  I’ve been told that my tank will crash any day and that i am pushing my luck/rolling the dice. 

 

That’s why I was so happy to be chosen for TOTM......... so that I could help show that you don’t need all the extra stuff. 

You deserve it 😀

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I really enjoy observing various methods.  Understanding how @Subsea is successful can be just as helpful as understanding how @metrokat is successful.  Once you can get your head around different methods, you can easily see why Christy's methods will hold up well.

 

I know that I've changed my approach a number of times.  Sometimes I feel like I'm on to something,  I remember when I first started, I thought about writing a thread on the bulletproof reef.  Of course, I thought I knew more than what I actually did.  Later, I remember feeling dejected and wondering what I actually did know.  I've come to realize that reefing can also teach you a little humility.

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I agree we sometimes go overboard...we think more stuff can be helpful and perhaps for some tanks it can be in specific cases.

 

In the beginning chem filtrants, etc... may help alleviate symptoms in a tank but in the long term I agree, they actually can complicate the natural balance of things.  

 

More things means more things to replace, maintain, and commit time to monitoring.  That kind of pressure even cause some to quit as it’s “too time consuming”.  My tank actually runs better without any chemical filtrants. I’ve run tanks successfully more than a decade ago with just a HOB filter lol.  I do run a skimmer but I feed heavily now and have a higher bioload.  

 

 

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