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Old 09-09-2003, 06:18 PM   #1
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"Natural" Reef?

This is sort of cross-posted for a quicker response:

What if an aquarist was willing to do religious water changes equalling or exceeding 10% of tank volume weekly (i.e. 10-gallon changes, 3 times weekly, for a 120-gallon reef)...

Would the tank fare well without any sort of filter or skimmer? is the water change and vigorous circulation via powerheads, coupled with the 1-1.5lbs LR enough to keep the water conditions pristine?

If there is no skimmer on the tank, less nutrients are being removed, right? And at least 10% of the volume is turned over weekly, with fresh seawater. So would this eliminate the need for additional supplementation?

What if a skimmer WAS run on the system? Would the water changes so frequently be enough to keep the element levels up without any sort of additional supplementation?

This is just an idea I have been playing with...


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Old 09-09-2003, 06:29 PM   #2
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I run my tanks with out a skimmer 8O

I do weekly to biweekly water changes of 10% or so on them. I also feed very spairingly and try to stock somewhat on the light side.

The amount of rock you describe coupled with a DSB will be plenty of biological filtration for a light to moderitly stocked tank. Skimmers are suggested for hobbists because of our habit of overstocking and overfeeding.

Even with seawater as a viable source I would still suggest the synthectic mix's. The reason is that many people recommend quarinteening seawater for a period fo time before using it as well as the need to collect the water from a source off shore.

The need for additional supplementation would depend on your coral load. If you have a light coral load then ya you could get buy with no supplementation by simply doing regular water changes. If you have a very heavy coral load you will probably not be able to do it with regular water changes.

Oh and I think you will be supprised at the response times.

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Old 09-09-2003, 06:33 PM   #3
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It would depend on the bio load. The bio load in our tanks is much higher than on the reef. I know you see huge schools of fish on the reef, but there is a HUGE volume of water there also. Many people have successful tanks without skimmers, but they carefully monitor water parameters and many have a skimmer on standby if they need it for a couple of days. A tank with a reasonable bio load and not too many calcifying corals would probably do well that way...most folks who have nano reefs rely on only water changes to keep water quality good and trace elements supplied. If, on the other hand, you had a heavy fish load and a bunch of SPS corals in there, I think you'd need a skimmer and probably some calcium supplementation other than water changes. JMHO.
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