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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

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OK, so a pretty dull and ugly stage to look at right now to be honest, but if I get my thoughts down, hopefully can prevent the later issue of not remembering how things started out.


Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are a twin tank system, the by-product of a bad urge to tinker, combined with a environmental scientist turned systems analyst reacting to discovering some rampant confirmation bias running through hobbiest level info for reef keeping. They are a sealed pico design, and a big part of what attracts me to that is the attitude of the reefers and pioneers in this field. So many rules have been broken already that the resistance to change and innovation is much lower. My kinda people 🙂



Dr Jekyll is a good an upstanding tank who will follow accepted best practice where possible. He is my control



Mr Hyde will not be following best practice. I will throw whichever half baked ideas I see fit at it to see what happens. He is "Experimental". I use quotations there because I want to say at the outset, scientific method will not be followed, rigorously or at all. I'm doing this for my own entertainment, and with so many potential variables and very long duration required before a system can be declared stable I would need hundreds of almost identical tanks running simultaneously to satisfy scientific method for all the things as I would like to examine. Mr Jekyll will have things thrown at him, I will eyeball their impacts against the control and make judgement calls.



Possibly I will run a third tank (if I can get away with it) which would be a Frankenstein's monster. Taking the best bits of Mr Hyde and stitching them together to see what happens. I'm pushing my luck with two of these atm and I have no successful results to implement now anyways, so this will be a possibility for later on.


I am also an Australian, sourcing items locally and internationally. I will try and keep a record of what I source from where, but at this stage of course I cant back up any recommendations up with results or experience, please just treat it as a list of "look what i found" suggestions.


Experimental suggestions are welcome. I have a few in mind already, and can only test so many at a time, but if someone has a belter of an idea I will be very happy to hear about it.


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Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @Armstrod👋


It's great to see more reef jars coming online, this is a fun concept with two twins! (One evil? 😈). What kinds of things are you hoping to keep?

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Ah I should have said, the whole concept sounds a bit off the rails if there's livestock involved.


Plan is coral only, maybe some snails if needed. For the more out there ideas Mr Hyde will likely run empty with just live rock and sand while I watch parameters and try to determine if it's safe to proceed to introducing/reintroducing coral.


Ideally I'd like to frag out and have exact same species in both tanks to keep variables consistent.


As for corals, I'm seeing what frags come up cheap at the LFS. I'm just evaluating the tanks stability and waiting on more equipment to arrive currently, so we will see whats in stock when the time comes. 


At this stage I'm primarily looking for hardier species, softies, maybe some zoanthids later, but there was a tiny hot pink morph frag that caught my eye on my last visit who may be Dr Jekylls first guest if its still there when the tank is ready.

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Equipment. (Please keep in mind, this is only a list of items I've been able to source and initial impression. I wouldn't go as far as calling them recommendations as they're unproven and I'm inexperienced.) 


Wins. (I'm happy with these so far, but past performance is no indicator of future results, do your due diligence)


This took a lot of hunting, I couldn't find anything suitable anywhere, and was about to pull the trigger on a $160 piece of glass, when the local kmart suddenly got these in stock


$19 AUD. 38cm(h) x 25cm (d). Empty will comfortable hold between 14l (just below neck, giving larger surface area) or 15l (partway up neck). Nice thick glass, and clear with no join lines.


Lynns. (These are giving me the shits but I'm putting up with them. Category name is a long story... )

Air Pump

***Add brand later***

Sourced at local pet shop, cost too much and its a noisy little bugger with a deeper thrum that can be heard through walls in surrounding rooms. I can do better but it works.


Bins. (Yeah, these didn't work out.)

Ebay Water Heaters.

These actually look great, are small and do the job. But they're stainless steel. Researching after the fact show that any stainless can leach. I might try one in Mr Hyde at some point but the facts behind the no S/S in marine environment does look legit. Would be great for a freshwater setup though.

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