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Reefs balanced on the head of a pin...

Posted 04/02/2013 at 05:43 PM by Stolireef

As I noted in my first blog entry, I've had my share of ups and downs in this hobby. Someone one described me as a builder rather than a custodian (in the caretaker rather than janitor usage). I think many of us in the hobby fall into my category. In my experience, the result is that we struggle to keep our hands out of the tank. We fiddle, we tweak, we adjust, etc. with few if any noticeable benefits.

I was thinking about my second successful reef tank this week as I was looking through some old pictures. That brought up some sad memories of when I had to pull it down for my move to AZ. As is often the case, once I knew it was coming down, my husbandry efforts really fell off a cliff. Oddly enough, not only did things not suffer, almost everything in the tank thrived. I had some of the best SPS and LPS growth I've ever seen. I went nearly four months without a water change, supplement, glass cleaning, or carbon change. To my embarassment, I only fed irregularly.

Somehow, all of this neglect led to a very stable environment. I'm sure if I had let it go much longer, a crash would have occurred but it did clue me in on a simple concept. Sometimes, the most stable structure is not necessarily the neatest. I can stack a hundred bricks on top of each other in a perfect tower and a light breeze will knock them down. On the other hand, I can make a big pile of bricks and it would take a hurricane to even budge them.

I'm seriously considering moving to this approach. Very stable parameters but perhaps imperfect by some standards. Not sure if I'm ready to take the plunge but it is food for thought.
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