THE BULLET PROOF REEF REVISITEDDuring the past five years, hundreds of these systems have been set up using the simple list of materials we provided on our web page.
The one thing that we have learned, by being able to keep track of the progress so many people have shared with us about their Bullet Proof Reefs, is the importance of starting with low powered lightning. By starting the reefs with 40 watt lighting, many people have been able grow a healthy crop of coralline algae. The use of inexpensive lighting for the first year has made it possible for many families to build a reef systems on a budget.
THIS IS A PICTURE OF AN 18 MONTH OLD 55 GALLON REEF AQUARIUM THAT IS SET UP USING THIS METHOD.
Sally Jo has slowly added lights to the system and it now has VHO lights. She started with 40 watt lights
CREATING A SIMPLE INEXPENSIVE RESEARCH AQUARIUM FOR USE IN MEDICAL RESEARCH AND LIVE ROCK FARMING
The simple system used to farm soft corals is a very good project to give your family this winter. You can use the reef system to teach responsibility and an appreciation of nature. We have found this reef aquarium to be a very good home aquarium project for the family.
MANY TYPES OF MARINE INVERTEBRATES ARE BEING USED IN MEDICAL RESEARCH. OUR MISSION IS TO MAKE ALL MARINE AQUARIUM KEEPING SELF SUSTAINING. PROPAGATION FOR A SELF SUSTAINING LABORATORY WILL PROVIDE A CONTINUING SUPPLY OF BOTH HOBBY AND RESEARCH ANIMALS.
WE developed a 55 gallon marine reef system, using one Visi-Jet protein skimmer,and two Maxi-Jet powerheads. The Aquarium Systems Company has a newer skimmer called the Sea-Clone Skimmer that we are now using. It is still inexpensive, but the new skimmer hangs on the back of the aquarium. This skimmer is so simple to use that it can be operated by anyone who wants a simple inexpensive invertebrate aquarium.
The research we are conducting here at the Geothermal Aquaculture Research Foundation in Boise, Idaho requires me to establish dozens of separate reef tanks. is the most important ingredient in this type of reef system!
The Sea-Clone protein skimmer is installed and it is operated at full volume. At this time, 50 mixed snails and 32 Mexican red legged hermit crabs reef janitors are added to control the various diatom and algae blooms.
THESE NEW XENIA ARE GROWING VERY FAST
We choose to use standard 55 gallon aquariums for this project because they are readily available. These tanks also allow us to use the standard 4 foot 40 watt lights. The list of materials used in these reefs is quite basic. All of the products used are available at a well stocked aquarium store.
SOME TIMES I FORGET TO SAY THAT YOU MUST USE INSTANT OCEAN BRAND SALT. I LEARNED THIS SO LONG AGO, AND SO MANY TIMES, THAT I THINK EVERY ONE JUST DOES IT. YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE BEST RESULTS WITH INSTANT OCEAN.
- 1) 55 gallon show aquarium 48" long
- 2) 1- Sea Clone Protein Skimmer
- 3) 2-Maxi-jet power heads (1200)
- 4) 1- heater
- 5) 2-4 ft 40 watt "Triton" bulbs with end caps
- 6) 1-4 ft 40 watt "Blue moon" bulbs with end caps
- 7) ballast for 3 - 40 watt bulbs
- 8) 1-"Triton" enhancer light cover
- 9) 40 lbs.CaribSea Seaflor special grade Aragonite gravel. You can use crushed coral gravel
- 10) 40 lbs. AragocreteTM or Aragonite base rock
- 11) 5 pounds Live Sand Activator - GARF GrungeTM
- 12) 50 Mixed snails and 32 MIXED hermit crabs
- 13) base rock for attaching research invertebrates
I set up the 55 gallon reef tank by placing the protein skimmer in the back corner. I use the dry base rock to construct a loosely spaced stack that allows water to circulate. I operate the skimmer with the flow adjustment open to the highest flow. I believe this extra aeration is beneficial to the system. I have had no problems with the extra air in any of systems I am running.
The "Maxi-jet" power heads are used to create a flow across the front of the tank. I do not fix one of the power heads in any one position because moving it around creates different currents in the tank. I have found that by turning the power head slightly each time I observe the tank I can create flow patterns that keep the detritris from clogging the live rocks. I have observed polyps feeding on the debris from these "mini-storms". It does not require much movement from the power head to create a large change in current in the reef tank. This change in current is very easy to observe in the long tentacle type corals.
When first establishing these reef tanks, after adding the base rock and the live sand activator, I do not feed the system at all for the first two months. Place the Triton and Blue Moon lights on the tank and cover them with a Triton Enhancer. Leave the lights on for 14 hours a day. I have found that each tank goes thru a definite series of blooms. During the first month you can expect the entire tank to turn brown. This brown bloom is made up of diatoms. This is the time when to 50 mixed snails first earn their keep.
During this phase you may have to empty the skimmer cup each day.
THESE ARE THE BEST THINGS TO ADD TO YOUR TANK EACH WEEK
THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO TREAT YOUR MAKE UP WATER
- SeaChem Reef Plus
- SeaChem Reef Complete
- SeaChem Reef Calcium
Only fresh water needs to be added to tank as water level goes down.
The salt will stay in your tank.
When we first started the research we used Kalkwasser or Pickeling Lime in our fresh water.
We now use two SeaChem products that are powders that work better. We use Reef Buildertm and Reef Advantagetm.
Reef Advantage - we add one tablespoon to each gallon of fresh water
Repeat this for one week when you add fresh water.
Use SeaChem Reef Builder during the second week you add fresh water.
Change back to the SeaChem Reef builder again.
Change 5 gallons each month to replace minerals . The more water you change the better the reef will do.
OUR FIRST CORAL ORDER FORM
FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS WE HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO PURCHASE, TRADE, AND SAVE AS MANY TYPES OF CORALS AS WE CAN.
We are having a special on all of the coral cuttings. WHEN YOU PURCHASE 5 AT THE REGULAR PRICE OF $100 WE WILL GIVE YOU TWO FREE CORALS!. If you have any questions please use this form to ask them. WE WILL PHONE YOU AND HELP YOU PICK THE BEST CORALS FOR YOUR REEF AQUARIUM.
We will continue to provide the most current data on reef farming for both education and profit.