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Old 01/09/2008, 09:29 AM   #1
guntercb
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Question 75 Gallon and Less Simple Tanks??

Hello,

I currently have a 120 and I don't seem to have as much time to maintain it as I would like. I am thinking of downgrading to a 50 gallon breeder. Anyway one of my concerns is to get a tank that looks great on a lower budget, be simple, and takes less time to maintain.

Does anyone have a tank of less than 75 gallons that they believe they don't spend much time maintaining? If so, can you tell me something about your setup (or a web link if you have already posted).

I am kind of thinking of using no skimmer, but do larger percentage water change (I am hoping this will be easy in a smaller tank) and using Kalk in top off water to maintain Ca and Alk.

Anyway, I am curious to see who can win the prize for the simple easy maintenance tanks. Let me know....

Cheers,
Chris


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Old 01/09/2008, 02:08 PM   #2
Salty Irishman
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Smaller Tanks

I'm currently running a 40 gal breeder with good results and low maintenance. I will be moving up however to a 58 gal Oceanic for the simple fact of a wider tank width (13"-18.5") to accommodate a new Outer Orbit light fixture and, I just like the width of a wider tank. I do run a skimmer 24/7 except during feedings for a few hours. I also use a filter sock in the sump once a week while using a powerhead to blow the reef off. Top-off is a wine carboy (5 gal) w/saturated kalk, gravity fed and dosed when level drops below pick-up in sump. Again very simple, no motors, switch's etc and has been working well for yrs. This is as big as I care to go simply from a maintenance standpoint. I thoroughly enjoy the hobby and never want to feel like it's just too much, IMHO that is! Best of Luck!


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Current Tank Info: 58 gal Oceanic RR, Outer Orbit 2x150w 14K HQI-Mh, 4x39w T5HO 420nm/460nm, 15 gal sump, Aqua C Urchin skimmer, ACJr Controller, EcoTech MP10's x 2 for circ
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Old 01/09/2008, 03:04 PM   #3
not_sponsored
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If you want less maintenance you will need to run a skimmer. Emptying a skimmer cup is way easier than doing a water change IMO. I have a 75 gallon and spend about an hour a week on maintenance.


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Old 01/09/2008, 03:28 PM   #4
ernestlives
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I was always under the impression that bigger tanks were easier to maintain than smaller ones...


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Old 01/09/2008, 03:37 PM   #5
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not necessarily, I have a 2.5g nano that is super low maintenance. A pair of perculas, gsp, sane anemone and some frogspawn. I can do a 50% water change really really easily, but doing it once a week is a pain, so I run a small refuge and do a 50% WC once every 2 months.


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Old 01/09/2008, 03:46 PM   #6
seapug
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My 28gal NC HQI anemone tank is about as simple as it gets. Filtration is completely natural via lighted Chaeto in the rear compartment and a small bag of carbon that gets changed out once/month or so. All I do is feed, add a little top-off each day and swap out a gallon or two of water once/week. If I installed an ATO I could completely ignore the tank for weeks at a time.


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Current Tank Info: 200 gallon custom Marineland DD peninsular tank. LPS dominated mixed reef. Previous 90 gallon mixed reef TOTM April 2009.
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Old 01/10/2008, 08:32 AM   #7
guntercb
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Salty Irishman - Yeah I like at least 18-inch deep tanks too.

Not_Sponsored - Thanks for your suggestion on the skimmer.

Seapug - I was actually thinking of using a Chaeto Fuge if I do a simple tank lower maintenance tank with no skimmer.

Hum, my tank now may be about as simple as I am going to get. I do a 5 gallon water change weekly (should probably do a little more but one bucket = 5 gallons), change filter socks 2x weekly, empty skimmer 2x weekly, add water to my top off once weekly, and does 3 ounces of A and B solution nightly. I guess this is about as simple as it is going to get on any tank? I just have some cyno algae and my corals are not growing as well is I would like. I think more water changes would help. I need to start a new thread for this. I guess the only think a smaller tank would do is cut my operating cost.

Does anyone else have a simple low maintenance reef they want to tell us about?

Cheers,
Chris


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Old 01/10/2008, 09:33 AM   #8
Salty Irishman
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My corals weren't doing as well as I would like even with supplemental feedings of Cyclop & Dt's. I was running skimmer and filter socks 24/7. Removed socks and shut skimmer off when feeding for at least 3 hrs and the corals have done a 180! I have to believe the food simply was not staying in the water column long enough to be utilized and, anything of benefit that was in the water column was being removed. I now only use the socks for clean up as mentioned earlier.


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The only thing that remains the same, is that everything changes...

Current Tank Info: 58 gal Oceanic RR, Outer Orbit 2x150w 14K HQI-Mh, 4x39w T5HO 420nm/460nm, 15 gal sump, Aqua C Urchin skimmer, ACJr Controller, EcoTech MP10's x 2 for circ
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Old 01/10/2008, 09:46 AM   #9
flipteg
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i run a very low maintenance 30 gallon reef tank... i can post some picture if you want... i think the key to a low maintenance aquarium is a refugium with macro algae, and a rather over sized protein skimmer...

i don't think my tank is over loaded by any means... 2 clownfishes, golden angelfish, and a banded goby... i have tried running the tank with just the refugium and no skimmer... the first two months were great... nuisance algae in the main tank started dying off... nitrates were at zero... the problem with macro algae is sometimes they are tempermental... in my experience, sometimes they grow and fill my refugium in just a week... sometimes it takes more time to fill the same space... during those temper tantrums, i can see it taking its toll on the main tank... although everything is healthy, there is something i can not put my finger on that is not right about the system... the addition of an over rated skimmer allowed the macro algae to afford some slack...


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Old 01/10/2008, 09:59 AM   #10
LeslieP
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I have a 55g mixed reef that I feel is pretty low maintenance. I do 10g water changes every 2-4 weeks using RO/DI water - that takes ~1-2 hours as I use that time to clean out the powerheads & skimmer. I have a HOB bak-pak skimmer and a small HOB CPR refugium filled with Chaeto. I made a kalk dripper out of a gallon water jug and top off with that every day or so, or just plain RO/DI when I'm being lazy. I have LPS, softies, zoos an RBTA and SPS along with several small fish and everything is thriving. I only feed ~3x per week and that is a home made food that I make up twice a year.


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Old 01/10/2008, 11:04 AM   #11
edwar050
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Dude I think you need to look at a cube. I have a 120 as well and will be downgradeing to a 60 cube becuase of these reasons

-Smaller water changes will be more effective
-only half the space to clean
-only about 2/3 "with sump" the energy consumption
-I will add a vortech powhead w battery backup to reduce
heat/minimize chance of catastrophe
-I will have a little bit of an oversized skimmer off of my 120
-I am looking at getting a rimless 60 cube to maximize on gas
exchange and the fact I won't have to build a canopy and ease
of maintenance

I would seriously look at a 40 to 60 gallon cube with no overflows and no skimmer and consider doing a large 10 day or so 20 to 30 gallon water change. Running without a skimmer though kinda scares me as far as if anything were to die those suckers act as an awesome saftey net.


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Old 01/10/2008, 12:39 PM   #12
cobra397
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well dont know how much credit i have BUT with that said I have been in saltwater since march. i have a 75 gallon tank with 30 gallon fuge that has rock and chaeto in it. Also a 15 gallon sump with skimmer. the only thing is my sump section has to be filled about every 3 days for evaporation. a ATO would fix that i guess. ever since i added the 30 gallon fuge my tank waters have went from 75% quality to 98%. My corals look and started spreading alot. dont really feed a whole lot just a pinch or two of different foods everyday, i do skip days sometimes. need to do a water change but i usually do 5 gallons every two weeks or a bigger change at the end of the month. so far so good.. I better knock on wood.


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Old 01/10/2008, 02:01 PM   #13
guntercb
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SaltyIrishman - Yeah I think my corals might not be getting enought to eat too. So removing the socks may be an option for me to try.

Flipteg - Yeah, I have heard micros can grow well and then crash. I proubly would go with Cheato. I have not heard too many issues with it crashing.

LeslieP - Thanks for the update on your tank. Homemade food! I need to start making my own feed too. Maybe the dry flake food I feed is the why my corals don't grow well.

Edward050 - Yep the Cubes are cool, but I like a more rectangular tank and the 40 breeder seems to fit the bill.

Corbra397 - Good luck with you tank. Sounds like you have it running well.

Cheers,
Chris


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