What constitutes a Reef Tank anymore?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by dallasg, 14 Dec 2011.

  1. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    yet another of my controversal threads, dont get offended, engage in healthy debate, enjoy and thanks for the soup!

    "what exactly is a reef tank anymore"? (mods be gentle)

    Is a reef tank is supposed to be a reasonable duplication of a natural reef? or is it becomming someones "Isaac Asimov-ish" like interpretation of a underwater scene from a distant planet?

    an observation, as there are no "bragging rights" for growing tunicates, worms and feather dusters but there is incentive for bightly colored "shinny reef things" its as if "success' is measured in blue acros, not in a stable diversified reef tank, thats full of life

    anyway
    someone please tell me lest I keep spending money on these designer zoos & acros (and yeah my tank is headed there also)
     
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  3. rakabos

    rakabos

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  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    to me a reef is fish, corals, inverts and critters all living together
     
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  5. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    we need to re-evaluate what exactly we are doing :) also nice to have a debate every now and then

    been looking through threads of tanks, and while there are plenty nice tanks out there, we do often overlook the hidden gems
     
  6. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    what do you clasify as hidden gems?
     
  7. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Very good point !!!

    popcorn is in the mic:lol:
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    now thats the question isnt it?
    thats why i started this to get everyone open to the others
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. shaunn

    shaunn

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    a reef is a living eco system that supports its self
     
    Last edited: 14 Dec 2011
  11. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    This thread wont need any popcorn.

    I have understood a "reef tank" as bieng one that has fish and inverts (including corals, shrimp, etc).
    Replicating what is seen in nature is hard and wont look as nice as the Azimov-ish tanks we all try to have. Keeping a tank of bright blue acros is easy. Keeping one filled with rare (photoshopped) zoas is easy. Its getting a balance of everything that becomes difficult. What one thing needs in the closed system of a home aquarium might be detremental to somehting else. To keep a tank that looks natural you will need to have a balance of everything, including the unwanted pests.
     
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  12. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    now thats what i am looking for, @459b i knew i would get a good reply from you :thumbup:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Lol yeah diferent stroke for different folks i guess. A reef tank can be anything with saltwater in and a rock
     
  14. keyaam

    keyaam

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    When I started out a "reef tank" was defined as a closed ecosystem with a diverse population of inverts,fish, corals and liverock. Today this is known as a mixed reef!! Reefers are concentrating on specific types of coral/fish because their needs are not all the same.
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    depends on what part of the reef you want to replicate.
    And then you have to shrink that down to our little glass boxes.

    High up, exposed to waves and loads of sunshine. Cleaner water due settlement being way down below. That would represent a SPS dominated landscape. And the fish and other inverts found around these type of environment. Also big powerheads plus loads of turnover. Top quality lights, as in MH 250W or above. Good quality water and all the equipment to reach that goal.

    Lower down, softies as in zoa, leathers, polyps, pincushions. More detritus floating around raining from above. Less flow, less intense lightning. But in general corals that fit together in that habitat.

    LPS, and clams, depending on the coral, somewhere between the bottom half of the SPS system and top part of the softies.

    Tank all sorts...
    everything thrown together? Blue Acro next to pincushion?
     
  16. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    nice, to add some imagery to RiaanP's post

    [​IMG]
     
  17. student

    student

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    I'm with Tremayn
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    having started this, its us as reefers and forum users that are shaping what we call a Reef Tank. SPS seems to be the flava but NPS are now becoming more accesible due to reefers improving the technology, and a few have pioneered it here on MASA
     
  19. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    shouldnt a reef tank be what you want it to be?
    yet we are all drawn in awe to TOTM tanks, even when ours are just as good in their own right...
    what is that invisible drawcard? we see a 100k SPS LED "insert name brand here" tank and all go moggy
    do these "attractive tanks" all employ the same tactics?

    a real life example would be in us humans, what makes certain people more attractive than others, well studies have shown that facial symmetry is the key we all look for, what does that equate to in reefing...
     
  20. Nico Kortenbout

    Nico Kortenbout

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    Hay there. The way I figure it there are 2 kinds of "reef tank". And on the forums each has its name already. These are:
    Reef tanks
    Mixed tanks

    A Reef tank IMO is a tank that seeks to duplicate a reef in its natural environment. Hence this would include only corals, inverts, fish, and other bits and pieces found together on specific reef systems in specific areas. For example: a simulated "aliwal shoal" reef would include dominated softies with some LPS and no SPS, higher nutrients, and fish specifically found on the shoal. This type of reef (as mentioned by @459b) would have all the little nasties, algaes etc, that we as hobbyists would not normally like in our systems. If memory serves correctly this idea is borne out by @Paul B and his 40 year old reef (if I have misquoted, please forgive me :blush:). There are ways of placing these algaes in special areas away from our DT (algae scrubbers come to mind).

    A Mixed reef would be a reefers choice. A mix of that reefers favourite fish, corals, inverts and bits and pieces. It would not necessarily mimic any one specific area, but be an eclectic mix of SPS, LPS, softies, fish, inverts that the reefer likes, has researched and knows can coexist in the same system. These systems are "sterile" systems, LNS or ULNS with super clear water and an almost unnatural water quality.

    Hope this is not too inflammatory, its just my 2c worth. :biggrinx:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  21. dallasg

    dallasg Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:

    Nicely put, Paul B is a perfect example....
    he will also know where i got the topic from
     
    Last edited: 14 Dec 2011
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