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Cultivated Reef

The Ryukyu Shallows, an abridged take.


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I didn't realize there was a dedicated biotope section here in the forum. For those that are following my journal, take this as the quicker and lighter version. I'll save all the thought processes and ramblings for the journal so you enter my head and get what is going on for the tank. Here, you'll find the basic information and the broad brush strokes that describe this biotope reef.


Abstract: I will reflect a shallow (under 5m depth) patch reef found in Okinawa or Yaeyama Islands, but also reflect temporal changes in that system. I have chosen this system as Japan hosts the northernmost limit of what is considered Indo-Pacific/Western Pacific reef systems spanning from the Ryukyu Islands to off the mainland in the Kagoshima Prefecture and outer Tokyo Bay. It's geographical uniqueness is earmarked with similar species composition and distribution patterns as featured in the Great Barrier Reef and Philippine Sea reefs. For simplicity and goal purposes, I have selected a soft coral dominant system. Husbandry practices will still remain uptight, but allow for wider leeway for parameters given the type of corals chosen. Also I have selected winter time as I hypothesize that a lot of urban runoff from rainy season and harvesting will impact nutrient levels in the local waters. From a practical standpoint, I'd rather not have my LEDs and heaters run for very long, making it easier to pay the energy bill. Sunrise and sunset times will reflect average times on December 21st in Naha, Okinawa. Stocking attempts will be made down to exact species so that I have the best representation of a Japanese reef, and from what I gathered from research. Because of shifting conditions environmentally in the Ryukyus and greater nutrient loads anthropogenically, my guess is that soft corals will be more dominant as the waters run richer than normal. Soft coral dominant communities follow a pattern to areas with greater nutrient concentrations. Nonetheless, I will still carry very common hard corals based on composition data that can be kept at a novice/intermediate level. At some point "SPS" corals will be introduced as they're responsible for much of the coral reef building.


Parameters as of 2/29/20

  • Ammonia 0
  • Nitrite 0
  • Nitrate >10
  • Phosphates 0?
  • Alk 8-9 dkh
  • Ca 400-420
  • 35 ppt (about 1.025 sg)
  • 72 degrees F


Life Support System:

  1. AC70 from a previous tank with AC70 foam, Fluval 106 polishing pads, carbon+purigen, and biomax rings
  2. 2x Koralia 240s
  3. Fluval 100w heater
  4. Current Orbit Marine LED 24-36" with altered settings set to 6500k
  5. Instant Ocean Reef Crystals
  6. RODI water from Whole Foods, self-test thrice for nutrient loads.
  7. New Life Spectrum Pro-biotix .5mm pellets
  8. Reef Roids


Dosing: Seachem Reef Fusion 2 part, 1x every morning @ 8mL; Aquavitro Fuel 5mL 2x/week



  1. 2x A. ocellaris var. Frostbite
  2. Watchman goby and pistol shrimp pair
  3. Clean up crew with 10x Nassarius snails, 8x Trochus banded snails, 5x Cerith snails
  4. A hitchhiker sea sponge!?
  5. Multiple leather coral colonies featuring Sinularia, Sarcophyton, and Lobophytum
  6. Favia speciosa
  7. Acanthastrea echinata
  8. Caulastrea furcata
  9. Fungia repanda(?)
  10. In the future: Pocillopora damicornis and Montipora digitata


Other info: 20lbs of CORALine and about 22 lbs of rock, 20 base and 2 live.

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