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East1

A Veteran's Adventure - 1 Gallon Acropora Reef

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East1

 

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It's been a while since I've tried this, last time I tried to build a reef aquarium I ended up getting heavily sidetracked by some plant projects and ended up having to sideline what I wanted to do with my previous reef pretty heavily.

 

This did mean I got some pretty good time to focus and develop a coincedental experiement into something viable, below I've got some photos of a prototype system automating the rainforest, in my bedroom. The whole thing is on an integrated synthetic mesh that handles irrigation and provides cooling naturally, so I'm able to grow some really rare and restricted-range nepenthes, some of which only come from one or two mountains in Borneo and nowhere else on earth! 

 

All of the below systems are completely automated, I just add some RO water every few days and give it a trim when those ferns start to shade out everything else. 

 

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I've gained an intense appreciateion for how similar moss and coral actually are in some ways (both rely entirely on their environment to grow, you'd never find moss growing indoors even in delapidated buildings overtaken by weeds etc, similarly to coral, it's able to completely cover an area where the environment is favourable and completely unable to extend outside of this range. 

 

 

That appreciation does come at a cost and I've yet again found myself talking about corals, really missing the beauty of some of the LPS corals I used to keep in my old tanks, and so I'm considering trying a no-tech coral aquarium. I've just ordered a small glass vessel from the below LSA collection: 

 

Collection---MODULAR-3.jpg

 

I'm not really sure what else to say about this, I'm just excited to be back (and my other half is telling me 'I told you so, you always go through cycles of talking about coral') so hopefully making a post will prompt more than just talk! 

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WV Reefer
8 minutes ago, East1 said:

It's been a while since I've tried this, last time I tried to build a reef aquarium I ended up getting heavily sidetracked by some plant projects and ended up having to sideline what I wanted to do with my previous reef pretty heavily.

 

This did mean I got some pretty good time to focus and develop a coincedental experiement into something viable, below I've got some photos of a prototype system automating the rainforest, in my bedroom. The whole thing is on an integrated synthetic mesh that handles irrigation and provides cooling naturally, so I'm able to grow some really rare and restricted-range nepenthes, some of which only come from one or two mountains in Borneo and nowhere else on earth! 

 

All of the below systems are completely automated, I just add some RO water every few days and give it a trim when those ferns start to shade out everything else. 

 

541917044_WhatsAppImage2020-06-12at14_27_07.thumb.jpeg.c43b0bfcf26393311021a69b67d724d7.jpeg

17026232_WhatsAppImage2020-06-12at14_25.00(1).thumb.jpeg.4044b3c04578b0cbb7e2e8eeb206c854.jpeg

967300001_WhatsAppImage2020-06-12at14_25_00.thumb.jpeg.55177fb02eb1c732cec3e27cabde4b20.jpeg

17855512_WhatsAppImage2020-06-12at14_24_59.thumb.jpeg.10e755b304891fd4b242086a7918ea33.jpeg

 

 

I've gained an intense appreciateion for how similar moss and coral actually are in some ways (both rely entirely on their environment to grow, you'd never find moss growing indoors even in delapidated buildings overtaken by weeds etc, similarly to coral, it's able to completely cover an area where the environment is favourable and completely unable to extend outside of this range. 

 

 

That appreciation does come at a cost and I've yet again found myself talking about corals, really missing the beauty of some of the LPS corals I used to keep in my old tanks, and so I'm considering trying a no-tech coral aquarium. I've just ordered a small glass vessel from the below LSA collection: 

 

Collection---MODULAR-3.jpg

 

I'm not really sure what else to say about this, I'm just excited to be back (and my other half is telling me 'I told you so, you always go through cycles of talking about coral') so hopefully making a post will prompt more than just talk! 

The rainforest is awesome!

Cant wait to see what you do with the glass.😊

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East1
6 hours ago, WV Reefer said:

The rainforest is awesome!

Cant wait to see what you do with the glass.😊

Thank you! I love them, it's amazed me how well they're doing especially growing those cool-loving plants in my bedroom! 

 

I've spent the day browsing coral stores and trying to decide what I do with the tank, shall I spoil it with my ideas or keep it a secret? 

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WV Reefer
56 minutes ago, East1 said:

Thank you! I love them, it's amazed me how well they're doing especially growing those cool-loving plants in my bedroom! 

 

I've spent the day browsing coral stores and trying to decide what I do with the tank, shall I spoil it with my ideas or keep it a secret? 

Spoil it! 😄

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East1

I’ll half spoil it!

 

I am currently thinking bonsai in the literal sense of the word and not the usual bonsai style reefs, though that makes me want SPS and I have no idea how I’d do that in a simple vase aquarium.

 

in theory I could balance the top off water to be slightly harder and just dose based on evaporation rates or something, but I don’t know if that is just going to be a pain in the butt  

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East1

1104492748_WhatsAppImage2020-06-13at18_20_06.thumb.jpeg.17b454d3e69afc3f4352492e5e64efc7.jpeg

 

it's very heavy I wasn't expecting that

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East1

519735592_WhatsAppImage2020-06-13at18_20.06(2).thumb.jpeg.ef39f60d31e872760026dc7c73ebfb96.jpeg

 

 

That makes sense, it's basically a solid glass brick. Interesting.

 

I somehow got it for like $15, now the price on amazon is 3 times that so thanks Jeff I guess. 

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WV Reefer
39 minutes ago, East1 said:

519735592_WhatsAppImage2020-06-13at18_20.06(2).thumb.jpeg.ef39f60d31e872760026dc7c73ebfb96.jpeg

 

 

That makes sense, it's basically a solid glass brick. Interesting.

 

I somehow got it for like $15, now the price on amazon is 3 times that so thanks Jeff I guess. 

Very nice......it definitely looks heavy. 

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East1

1771610463_WhatsAppImage2020-06-13at20_30_30.thumb.jpeg.92f655e6f53cb7eb921c5837ed8ffe64.jpeg

 

Basically the tank and filtration so far. It's a bit more white and crisp in person but I like that moody dim effect. 

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East1

I'll probably re-do the bending of the acrylic bracket, I mis-drilled the first hole and now it's annoying me. 1082582941_WhatsAppImage2020-06-13at22_21_29.thumb.jpeg.92744618e80b545bb5d0146e8f981513.jpeg

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debbeach13

Looking forward to watching this set up. Following

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East1

1495156880_WhatsAppImage2020-06-14at14_50_30.thumb.jpeg.ee9c024fcf93ed4ef3ebaefaae328bf3.jpeg

 

Re-did the bracket and added a proper pre-filter with some sponge so there's some filtration now. It also looks way tidier. 

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East1

While I wait for stuff to arrive I'll write a little more of my theory behind this tank - 

 

The fascination of this tank is the line between what is the reef, and what is the tank and how there is no line between the two, one defines the other in a way that neither can be defined in isolation. 

 

Philosophically the life gives reason to the vessel, and the vessel enables the life, and this fascinates me because the current state of the environment is heavily challenged by the fact that as a species we aren't really acknowledging the fact that the earth defines our existence as much as we define it's capacity to house us. 

 

 

coming to the asthetic aspects of the tank, I mentioned Bonsai earlier.

Bonsai in it's truest sense, literally tray planting, is the core inspiration here. I explore creating a scape within a pot, scaled down to replicate a slice of reef in miniscule form, one that I can remove entirely and rehouse should the need arise, for asthetic and practical reasons. 

 

taking this a step further, as there is minimal equipment aimed at water movement and not filtration, minimal feeding by housing autotrophic life primarily, water changes in theory should never be required for export of nutrients, and would primarily be for mineral replenishment and reduction of exudates (hormones, chemical warfare compounds etc). Feeding would then be mainly nitrate, and perhaps minimal frozen food should I get a shrimp or something 

 

To elaborate on this, it's important to understand how a coral reef functions - in land ecosystems, plants produce oxygen via photosynthesis and metabolism of carbon dioxide, however on my research into corals and macroalgae, it seems that carbon is widely available as bicarbonates and this fuels the metabolism of the reef - and is inline with the anecdotal experience I have, where SPS will do poorly in high-alk (high bicarbonate) water when nutrient is low, because the metabolic pathway is interrupted due to the imbalance. 

 

Thus, there should be an ideal solution - at least once the tank is stocked - of pure water, bicarbonates, magnesium, calcium and the lower volume elements we're familiar with, that if dosed regularly would allow this tank to grow indefinitely, with water changes aimed at infrequently resetting the balance rather than trying to manage waste and replenishment. This solution would be dependent on exactly what is stocked, and if I'm able to synthesize this correctly I anticipate I'd be able to keep even acropora in this tiny vessel without any water changes, as long as the balance is adhered to. 

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debbeach13

Sounds simple enough. LOL

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East1
3 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Sounds simple enough. LOL

LOL tell me about it! I really want to just throw some acropora in there and trial it. 

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debbeach13

Watch out for Ratvan he is an enabler. 🙂

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Ratvan
17 minutes ago, debbeach13 said:

Watch out for Ratvan he is an enabler. 🙂

I really should ask that place for commission

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East1

I'm ooonly holding off on some SPS because I got a torch yesterday and I've been waiting for it to open up. Also some LR rubble, sand is still on it's way so I can scape that pot.

 

 

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East1

 

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East1

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Still waiting for sand 

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Ratvan

Top down shot?

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SaltyGallon
On 6/15/2020 at 12:32 PM, East1 said:

This solution would be dependent on exactly what is stocked, and if I'm able to synthesize this correctly I anticipate I'd be able to keep even acropora in this tiny vessel without any water changes, as long as the balance is adhered to. 

 

I like your thinking/post and the simple approach - but curious how will you account for swings in temp and salinity? Both of these irritate soft corals in my small system, so I don't think SPS/acros will be too chuffed either haha! It's the stability in these small systems that's the kicker - mother nature does it annoyingly well. Replicating that is the challenge...

 

Cool Halimeda and tank 🙂

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East1

Part of the solution would be the fact that it has no nacl so it effectively acts as an ATO.

 

 

that way, using evaporative cooling to reduce temperature and volume of the water in the tank, it allows the mineral replenishment mechanism of adding this solution balanced in dose to average evaporation and maintains stable salinity. 

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SaltyGallon

Gotcha. The trouble people run in to when putting kalkwasser in their ATO to achieve the same purpose is that often mineral consumption occurs at a different rate to evaporation, so you get an imbalance. All depends what you're keeping and what it requires 😊

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