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Old 03-30-2019, 11:16 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Simple setups anyone?

Hi folks,

I've been reading reefcentral [0] and there are some brave soldiers on there going the minimalist route of no sump, no protein skimmer, low flow, cheap led lights etc.

Madness? Is anyone doing anything of the sort? Have you known anyone who's done it and went back to a more elaborate setup?

Please share your thoughts/experiences.

ps. This should've been in general discussion, not fish/coral. Sorry, it's late


Last edited by alexashka; 03-30-2019 at 11:18 PM..
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Old 03-31-2019, 02:01 AM   #2
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I have been running my 65 gallon reef for 6 years now with Chinese led's, an Aquaclear 110 and a hang on back refugium. I have great growth and colours. I do not however grow SPS. I have never tried them so no idea if they would grow. I have gorgonians, mushrooms, soft coral, zoas, hammers and frogspawn and rock flower anemones.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:55 PM   #3
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My reef is pretty simple. It's a sumpless bare bottom 40B with an mp10 on each short end, a heater and a diy led light over top. I dose kalk with a peristaltic pump. I top up with RODI through a humidifier float valve. I use an autofeeder. The only controllers are a pair of simple on-off timers. I leave the two LED dimmer knobs maxed except on those occasion when I want to feel like I'm in the movie Avatar.

Maintenance is minimal I clean the glass. I siphon detritus periodically and replace with freshly mixed salt water. I top up my kalk system and refill my top up res weeklyish. I refill the nori clip daily. sometimes I treat my fish to a frozen cube. I also prune coral, sometimes i mount the frags.

Full disclosure my system has been running for nearly 30 years and contains a box and a half (50lbs?) of liverock I bought in 1989. IDK how much that counts for.

I keep mostly softies with some acans, porites, leptoseris montipora and a goniopora. Some corals are original others recent aquisitions, all thrive.

Fish are a spawning pair of blue devil damselfish and a 5" purple tang. I guess I just like mean fish. The male bites me whenever I do maintenance, the tang has not yet managed to cut me. Otherwise They are all fat, healthy and get along. The damselfish are a mated pair now and exhibit an entertaining evening chase/lead ritual.

My 40cm clown/anemone cube is simpler still. It relies on a seachem HOB filter with media removed housing a heater, an autofeeder and a 25watt DIYLED. Top up is daily by hand. 2.5 gallon water changes are performed weekly . I set it up in 2013

Due to my Haddoni anemones requirements I have a 5 inch sand bed in this tank. There is a single hand sized piece of liverock in the tank along with a ball of Chaeto held in place with an algae clip. Actual water volume might be 10 gallons. I house a pair of occelaris clowns with the Haddoni.

I know, I know. You can't keep a Haddoni and two occellaris clowns in a 40 cm cube, or so the "experts" on RC would insist. I aquired the green haddoni in 1994 Prior to the cube it lived in a 20 gallon for most of it's captive life, I've found I can regulate it's size with feeding and I feed it weekly. The two clownfish were purchased as juveniles in 2013 they are a mated pair now and the female deposits eggs on the glass like clockwork so long as I keep the temperature above 81F.

It is possible to keep some pretty simple and even low budget tanks.

Last edited by Nightstar; 04-01-2019 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #4
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It is very doable but just means a bit more work and a keen eye.

Before I went into this hobby as a business, I kept a 35gal and 55gal reef with canister filters and no skimmer.

Of course we want the end result of a stocked and beautiful looking KISS reef but go slowly and be Uber OCD picky of what you put in. Trust your gut.

A larger volume helps in the "forgiveness factor" as the plethora of equipment helps with keeping water parameters in check.

Testing regularly helps you know what's going on and as you get to know your system and seeing the trends, then you can back off the frequency in testing.

Overall stability, keeping water parameters in check, picky of livestock additions and patience are key to enjoying this hobby, no matter if KISS or all out automation.

I started out with a 35 and 55gal with just canister filters, Fluval internal filters and no skimmer. They did very well with LPS, softies and clams. A lot of work changing out the carbon and PhosGuard weekly and bi weekly water changes but it was part of the routine.

In the business I carved my niche in the technical aspects and automation. Great when you hit the 500+gal range .

Now in Cgy, I've been vasolating between going balls out or KISS with a a Jaubert plenum and Adey refugium/algal turf scrubber.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:19 PM   #5
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I think it is possible to have a minimilistic system, no sump, no skimmer, no fancy lights, and have a very succesful Reef Tank, but i doubt youll be able to keep SPS long term or a big system, anything over 65 gl, l think that you,ll have to do water changes regulary in the least but it,s certainly possible to be succesful.
Myself, i like the sump for extra water volume and the fact that you can hide the equipment, i think you have to atleast go with T5HO.
I have upgraded to a 6ft tank, a 125 not so much for coral but for bigger fish to swim and in turn found the love of the softie, i did suffer losses of Frogspawn and Hammers lately due to a Euffelia fungus, not the lack of a skimmer or sump or bad water quality.
125, 6ft Dual Overflow, 55 Sump, Swc 150, Jebao 5000, 2x Heaters, 2x Gfo Rx, 2x QP900, Led, T5Ho,

160 lbs Rock, 3 inches Argonite, Big Fuge with Cheato and Rock,

Frogspawn, Torch, Grn and Blk Flor, Brain, Leathers, Cabbage Coral, Crotea Clam, Zoas, Mushrooms, Gsp,

Foxface, Purple Tang, Leapard Wrasse, Engineer Goby, 2x B&W Clowns, 10 Turbos, 10 Nazz. Emerald Crab, Blood Shrimp, 2x Pepperments,
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:22 PM   #6
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Im running a 20 gallon with just a bit of foam in a AC110. My light is an IC loop with the free wave pump. I do a 5 gallon water change once a month. Easiest tank fresh or salt that I have ever run. I used cooked PUKANI rock and let the tank run without lights with a bottle of rotifer/ copepods from Canada copepods feeding them phyto daily for about 2 months before adding coral and turning on the lights. Never even have to clean the glass ever. it can be done, just slowly.
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