Reefer Madness

Sometime in the next few months I will have to take down my reef tank. In a wierd way I’m looking forward to it because it will give me an opportunity to start over with a smaller tank. My current tank was my first reef tank: 175 gallons. Most people start with a small tank and get bigger, but I’m going backwards.

Why am I looking forward to it?

  1. I can use the lighting I have for my 175 on a 50 or 75 gallon tank. This should provide a lot more light per gallon and allow me to grow SPS corals. Something I’ve had a hard time doing in my tank.
  2. If I transplant some of my current livestock to a smaller tank, it will look a lot better.
  3. Not having a tank as the centerpiece of your living room will give me more freedom to monkey with sumps and pumps.
  4. Maintainance will be a helluva lot easer if I can reach down into the tank and touch the bottom without the use of a chair.

In conjunction with my senior project, I’m going to see if I can get a sample of stromatolite and see if I can grow it.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

4 replies on “Reefer Madness”

A bacterial mat. In the case of my research project, they are fossilized bacterial mats. They are the oldest known evidence of life on earth. There are stromatolites which still exist in Australia and the Bahamas.

So, addition to the pet’s I’d have to buy to bury with you if you were to die, would you want your reef to be buried with you as well?


I don’t think lighting was your biggest issue with SPS corals. You had flow issues, and I don’t think you were dosing a calcium or a carbonate additive, or running a calcium reactor. SPS corals are huge consumers of those two things. With your lighting, you should have at least been able to keep SPS corals near the top of your reef.

I keep some species of SPS corals (montipora and pocillopora) under regular normal output fluorescent lights, and they do fine. They aren’t all that colourful because they aren’t creating great gobs of UV inhibiting pigments, but they grow.

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