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Old 12-10-2009, 12:16 PM   #1
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Why a year?

Ive been reading up on introducing various animals into a reef aquarium and specifically anemone(we reeeally like these critters). All reference materials advise to wait until the aquarium has been established for a year, but few references explain why. If a tank can cycle in a few weeks to a few months, and stability is based on proper maintenance & monitoring. What happens in my tank one year later that makes my anemone happy and more likely to survive?
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jmlorfam View Post
... and stability is based on proper maintenance & monitoring. ...
This really isn't an accurate statement, and that's probably why it doesn't make sense to you at this point.

"Stability" in a tank definitely won't happen if you are lazy on maintenance - that's for sure. But being on top of maintenance doesn't make the tank stable. It will help move the process along, but YOU don't have 100% control over the stability of a tank. Here's my take on it...

When you're starting up a tank, every new living thing you add to the tank effects the bioload of the tank. With that change, the whole system has to react and respond - additional bacteria will be produced, oxygen content will decrease and increase, and probably tons more things that we could never test. I like to think of it as a car with cruise control right after cruise control came out - when you went up a hill, you had anything but a consistent speed. You were either too fast or too slow. (Thankfully... better designs evolved and they're pretty good now!) After you're done adding livestock, your tank can finally go about trying to "stabilize".

What happens after a year? Nothing, really. It probably just developed as a rule-of-thumb based on how long it takes folks to stop adding fish to a tank, how long it takes them to understand maintenance, etc. There's nothing magic that happens after a year, but with how much is going on during that year it's safe to say water parameters are anything but stable. Our limited test kits for a few things may *say* it's stable, but there's a lot more going on then we can really test for.

Can you add an anemone after a month and have it survive? Maybe yes, maybe no. But I'm guessing enough folks have tried and failed, and the "collective wisdom" eventually got entrenched as a "rule".
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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Thank you

You nailed that answer. Thank you. You provided an amazing explanation that was so articulately presented no follow up is needed. I see now this guidline is refering to a process and i was getting hung up on a timeline. That'll teach me to be too literal.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:22 PM   #4
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Good Job Kurt. You ought to write an article in our article section on stability. Just using that info and examples you gave would make an excellent article. Very impressive.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:24 PM   #5
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Not saying that this is "the" answer... just my take on it. I'm sure others can add even more.
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Old 12-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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If it would let me give you some more reputation points I would do it but it wont let me. Good job anyway.
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Old 12-11-2009, 02:57 AM   #7
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also ill say that that time period will help us learn how to take care of the tank and will help us understand it so much better
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Old 12-11-2009, 11:49 AM   #8
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Although Im not from the saltie side, I will say that having your tank set up for a year not only allows you to learn how to properly care for it and learn from your mistakes, but it also gives the tank time to fully mature.
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Old 12-11-2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:22 AM   #10
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Oh man I cheated then lol. I had an anenome after 2 months. But no harm done and it's still very happy to this day! (8 months on)
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