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Nano sapiens

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About Nano sapiens

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    Nano Reefer

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    East bay, CA

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  1. Nano sapiens

    An Education & New Start for "The Phoenix"

    Good to see that you didn't give up after the catastrophe 👍 1. It's very common to see fish (and often too many) added too soon to a new tank. A reef aquarium needs time for the bacteria colonies to to become established, stabilized and begin functioning at peak efficiency. Adding corals early on is much easier on the system as they produce relatively little waste when compared to fish. 2. I had two Ocellaris Clownfish in a 12g for a few years, but eventually they outgrew their surroundings and had to be moved to a new home. Having a deep bodied 4" fish die in about 10g of water volume, and not catching it quickly, would have very likely been a destructive event even for a very well seasoned tank. Can't say why yours died, but they can live up to around 20 years or so. 3. I wouldn't rule out fish in a 10g, just go with those that are small and don't have a relatively large body mass. Certain small Gobies and Blennies are good choices. 4. I don't see any mention of sand bed maintenance, so my guess is you are leaving it alone. As the tank ages the sand bed will become less and less efficient at processing waste unless the detritus is removed periodically. The nitrate issues that you are partially addressing via skimming are a result of this and experience with these small nanos has shown that it is likely you'll run into nasties like cyano, dinos and/or green hair algae if you don't touch it. Vacuuming a portion of the sand bed with each water change is effective and will go a long way in keeping nitrates in check. This will allow the system to function more effectively/efficiently over the long term (measured in years/decades as there is no age limit for a reef tank, regardless of size, when the appropriate maintenance is performed regularly). Enjoy the journey!
  2. Nano sapiens

    Ninja's Red Sea Reefer 350

    Don't give up, you can get this back into shape again like your earlier photo above 👍 Teenyreef has the right idea: "When I was struggling so much with my 10g, I completely stopped carbon dosing and just started doing large water changes including extensive deep vacuuming of the sand bed and scrubbing the rocks. I didn't get immediate improvement, it took about a six weeks of doing this every other week before I saw improvement. But after that it really turned around." So many of these imbalance issues are due to attacking one specific issue or other with a chemical, which then allows some other organism the chance to get the upper hand later on due to the changes that these products induce in the system. This often results in a 'see-saw' effect of continuously cycling through one nasty outbreak after another. IME, the best approach is to develop a consistent routine to reduce the overall organics that inevitably built up in the system by physically removing the sources (manual pest algae removal/detritus removal). It's not a 'quick fix' methodology and can take weeks (or even a few months), but it's the best way to bring a system back to a more stable state that precludes pest organism blooms (the goal is control, not total elimination...which is virtually impossible anyway).
  3. Nano sapiens

    My 12gal Bonsai Reef

    Is the anemone taking food?
  4. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    I concur. IME, NR has the least peer pressure of all the major reef keeping sites. Perhaps being focused on small reef aquariums is the reason as many younger folks that are new to reef keeping drop in and, being new, tend to be more open to various reef keeping possibilities.
  5. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    Well, ain't that true for all of us 😏
  6. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    Many, many years ago I used to have the same mindset and bought the 'Grunge' from GARF and some stuff from IPSF for my old 55g. Interestingly, as the years went by between new additions I noticed that over the long haul I still had basically the same subset of little critters that I started with. I totally agree with starting off with good quality ocean live rock (preferably at least 50%) as it provides the vast majority of the little critters that will ever survive long-term in a reef tank. But for those who start with dry rock, Grunge and similar is a very good idea. My current 12g hasn't had much added in a few years, just a few small odd coral pieces/frags here-and-there that added perhaps a tiny amount of biodiversity. I still have the original critters from the beginning setup that are obviously amenable to captive conditions (colonial hydroids, limpets, collunista snails, bristleworms and various tiny crustaceans and worms). The only critters that I added on purpose were small common brittle starfish (my original live rock had none) and a stable mysid shrimp population from feeding non-irradiated frozen mysids. IME, when a system is stable and the small stuff hasn't been killed off via meds, heater malfunctions or other calamities, enough biodiversity is typically maintained naturally to maintain system stability.
  7. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    A 'natural system' reef tank has no need for added amino acids. If this were not true, then long-term aquaria like mine would be full of unhealthy organisms. The sale of amino acids came about due to the prevalence of ULNS/LNS systems for SPS dominated systems. One is basically putting back in what one has taken out via super-efficient filtration and/or lack of sufficient nutrient inputs.
  8. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    In recent years, scientists have realized that the reason that the water column is so depleted of nutrients is due to tight recycling/sequestration. The system is actually 'nutrient dense', but the nutrients are locked up in the micro and macro fauna/flora. Any influx of nutrients from the 'outside' are readily consumed/sequestered. Microbes play a huge role in this process and it has been said that if one doesn't understand the microbes (and their functions), then one doesn't truly understand the reef.
  9. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    ...and that succinctly sums it up in just one single word 😄
  10. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    I would say that may be true for some systems, but my experience differs. In my small 12g 'bare-bones' system I've had a few Acros. The Red Planet type below grew from a teeny-tiny frag to a 4" piece that became too aggressive/too large and had to be rehomed: This one was a single frag-spike and one was given to me as a present by my son. It nearly doubled it's mass in a couple months with all the base spiking activity. I ran out of room for it, unfortunately: I have had a type of Granulosa in my system for eight years that has all but died out in the hobby (prossibly because it plates well, but only produces 'nub'ins' instead of spikes under LEDs). I guess the takeaway to all this is that many Acros will grow and do well in 'simple' systems, but they need a lot of space as they can grow really quickly once they get 'happy'.
  11. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    When I think about how many people enter and then leave this hobby, I fear that there are likely a lot more failures than we read about. Many of the approaches to reef keeping (past and present) have been developed with only a partial understanding of why things are done a certain way. As a result, deviations to a particular 'method' would sometimes result in success, sometimes in failure. Today, with the coral reef/coral research done in the last 10-20 years, we now have a better idea of what is going on in a reef system (although we still have much to discover). A lot of this information is contained in scientific papers that are not all that accessible to the average aquarist, so lots of digging and then reading/interpreting are required to determine what should, or shouldn't, be applied to our captive systems.
  12. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    In my 12g I've had 10 years of things growing into, on top of, underneath, around the sides... Basically, if it isn't in danger of being annihilated, then I just let it be. Can be ugly at first, but it's surprising how the balance of power tends to equalize over an extended period of time (nature always tries to find an equilibrium). However, as a new reef aquarist, I'd suggest that you err on the side of caution and intervene if you see major damage occurring to prized coral. Here's an example of a number of my different coral species that have been interacting for quite some time now:
  13. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    That pretty much sums it up. As well as being underappreciated, I have come to the realization that there is real ambiguity in the reef keeping community (especially for newbies) as to what 'mature' actually means for a reef tank.
  14. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    I've followed you're ups and downs for a while now and glad to see that you have adopted a more simplified approach 👍
  15. Nano sapiens

    Are we over complicating tanks?

    Wow, really? Guess after 30+ years of proclaiming to keep reef tanks without all the mech, chem and fancy stuff that that would make me an even bigger liar...and that my tank will soon crash so hard that a black hole singularity will open up and crush everything in sight 😏 I guess I'm lucky enough to have started reef keeping way before social media was even a thing. Very little, if any, peer pressure.