Reef Aquarium Guide
Through the years of operating the reef aquarium, I gained some insight on a variety of subjects. Live sand for one; I had acquired most of my sand prior to the availability of Southdown Play Sand. I spent a significant amount on the substrate which is Aragonite from Carib Sea.
Reef Aquarium Guide & Substrate
Looking back I would have made much deeper beds in each tank, the aragonite dissolves each year and anything less that 3 inches is really not a functional DSB, but rather a nutrient trap.
Reef Aquarium Guide Live Rock Formation
I built my rock formations on the back of the aquarium glass upward, so tearing down was necessary. In addition to deeper beds, I should have acquired smaller amounts of live sand from many different sources rather than a large amount from one source.
Reef Aquarium Guide Live Rock Placement
Live Rock Placement and live rock itself were two areas which I now would need to make other decisions. For starters I paid a handsome amount to have such a variety of source rock. In addition I have some rather large pieces that were overpriced and in conjunction with the theme of the live sand I would now prefer to have purchased a variety to supplement the structure with Tufa (base) rock a less expensive alternative that yields the same look over time.
Placement of the rock was the second error in retrospect. I had felt the structure was fairly large and airy; on the contrary I should have pushed for more. I think I could have constructed the live rock to give the reef aquarium a much more open feel and enjoyable for the marine life. The specific density of poundage to aquarium gallons could always be made up in the sump on a shelf.
Reef Aquarium Guide Too Much Hardware
Unnecessary aquarium supplies early on, many enthusiasts like myself, became aquarium hardware junkies. I was more obsessed with the hardware and reading of probes, than signs of health or lack there of from the corals. Many of the pieces of aquarium hardware are functional and add value for specific circumstances, events or conditions.
My trend in the last few years has been more towards simplicity as it relates to; aquarium pumps, protein skimmers, and reef aquarium lighting. The hardware was a learning experience from the standpoint of both the action of the engineering and the reaction from the live coral.
Reef Aquarium Guide Salt Water Quality
Saltwater quality In particular, the water makeup for a reef aquarium is the key to success. I had begun my system with D.I aquarium water as a stand alone. After investing in a Microsiemens meter and doing testing for three months, I learned our tap water is not consistent in quality. The reading of tap water was about 500 Microsiemens; the D.I. water was in the neighborhood of 45. When the deionizers approached exhaustion the reading would climb over 125. I then moved to a Reverse Osmosis system for the aquarium producing water at about 25 Microsiemens, which worked very well. Lastly, I added a DI cartridge on the end of the RO unit and I have eliminated the headaches of outbreaks of Debresia, Aiptasia, Valonia, and Cyanobacteria all together. The output of the combined unit is about 6-9 Microsiemens so the reef aquarium water is very stable.