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My Aquarium

This is a discussion on My Aquarium within the Fish and Amphibians forums, part of the Water Gardening category; This is what occupies my time when it is too hot or too cold to ...

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  1. #1
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    John
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    Greenhouse
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    Cattleya, Cymbidium
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    Default My Aquarium

    This is what occupies my time when it is too hot or too cold to be outside.


    It is a 55gal aquarium and contains mostly soft "medium light" corals and a few critters that serve as the cleanup crew.
    Nothing spectacular about the tank, except that the aquarium is old enough that the rocks have taken over the task of biological filtering. It no longer needs artificial biological/chemical filters.

    It is also getting close to becoming self sustaining, in terms of the food cycle. Tiny amphipods and crustaceans breed in amongst the rockwork and the fish and other critters feed on live food. I rarely need to drop in any fish food, and all critters are healthy.
    Algae feed on light and bio waste > amphipods & other tiny crustaceans feed on the algae > fish feed on the amphipods > fish produce bio waste > algae feed on the bio waste.
    The corals do their own thing and do not appear to disrupt the food cycle.

  2. #2
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Bruce Brown
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    That is really beautiful, John. I would love to have a reef tank. I hear that that hobby is just as addictive as orchids though. lol!
    Cheers,
    BD

  3. #3
    JUDIUK is offline Senior Member
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    Default

    That's so soothing to look at! It must be good for your blood pressure, Judi

  4. #4
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    Default Beautiful...

    You're created a self-sustaining biosphere...and a beautiful one at that.

  5. #5
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    My father was really into reef aquariums. He built his own tanks and he had some very large ones. He would go down stairs and putter all day, it was really nice that he had something that would keep him active. He had one aquarium that had a nice reef in it and a couple of fish. Over several weeks he noticed that his fish were disappearing until he didn't have any fish. He couldn't find any dead fish either. Then one day he noticed a rather large claw on top of one of the corals. That explained the mystery of the missing fish. You have a very nice tank there and I know a lot of time and care has gone into it to make it so self-sufficient.

    Julie

  6. #6
    desertgal's Avatar
    desertgal is offline Senior Member
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    Lovely tank. Thanks for the explanation of how it works.

    Katie

  7. #7
    wetfeet101b's Avatar
    wetfeet101b is offline It's not dead! It's just permanently dormant.
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    Thanks

    I find that orchids and corals have very similar traits, and I can pretty much apply the same philosophy and approach to both hobbies.

    Orchids and corals have relatively slow metabolism compared to the rest of the flora/fauna kingdom. Something you change or tweak today may not manifest results until after a few days or weeks later.
    Nitpicking and constant fussing with either of them usually ends up with an upset coral or orchid

    The temptation for impulse buying is always there. This has lead to the collapse of way too many reef aquariums because they put in way too much bioload than the system can sustain. It then results in the need for supplemental feeding and speeds up the waste buildup of the tank.
    I have seen some 50-100 gallon aquariums that are so overpopulated that they sit next to a life support system the size of a refrigerator.

    I do not have a lot of fish, critters and corals because that is the maximum population that my aquarium can naturally sustain.
    It has taken me about 10 years to tweak it to this state. (and have killed way too many fish and corals in the process than I could count - same with orchids, right?)
    Even at this point, introducing even one more fish or coral could disrupt the balance and could take months for the tank to re-establish its pecking order once again.
    I have taken a "hands off" approach to the aquarium, with the exception of the mandatory regular water changes.

    My biggest nemesis with this tank is that it is completely dependent on electricity. Light and water circulation are the lifeblood of this aquarium. If I lose both for a prolonged period of time, the entire ecosystem will be disrupted.

  8. #8
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    Porch/Patio.
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    I'm impressed, what a beautiful aquarium set up. I'd never heard of reef aquariums like that. I can see why it would be as addictive as our 'chids. I'm guessing why we all end up with so many is because when you can't play with them anymore you go looking for a new one to repot and dote on. lol Kinda like empty nest syndrome....
    Connie

  9. #9
    Piper's Avatar
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    You've created a biological work of art, John, and a very attractive one at that! Congratulations and thanks for sharing it with us!

    McJulie

  10. #10
    IdahoOrchid's Avatar
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    Wow, that is a total dream of mine. I am afraid I would not be able to keep it cool enough in the Summer though.

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