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Old 02/13/2018, 03:14 PM   #1
nanoreef16g
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Rock Minimum

I want to start a frag tank in a 20 long AIO. What's the minimum amount of rock I can get away with? Could I use those ceramic biological filter bricks instead and just line the bottom? I have room for either a fuge or a skimmer. I'm assuming it's better to go with the skimmer? Is no sand bed a big deal? I heard that a sand bed may be more important than rock and I could use a sand bed and a couple of the bricks and be fine.


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Old 02/13/2018, 03:38 PM   #2
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If its just frags in a 20 gal all in one, you don't need rock or sand. Water changes should be enough to keep up with it.


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Old 02/13/2018, 03:57 PM   #3
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In general the more surface area the larger bacterial population the tank will contain (can sustain)..
Both rock and sand VASTLY increase the amount of surface area.. (like feet with glass only to acres with sand/rock)

In general the more surface area is usually better..
There is no set or guaranteed/proven minimum though..

And yes there are other ways to have a successful system but a substantial bacterial colony helps immensely
And yes there are artificial ways to increase surface area too..


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Old 02/13/2018, 05:13 PM   #4
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One of the bricks probably would be enough, assuming that the frags are the usual photosynthetically-enabled corals and the feeding rate is low enough. That type of corals probably emits little to no ammonia. You could skip the sandbed, as well. Heavy feeding might leave a fair amount of food in the water column, but I think it'd take a lot to overload one of the Marine Pure blocks. I can't quantify anything, though.


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Old 02/13/2018, 05:44 PM   #5
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One of the bricks probably would be enough, assuming that the frags are the usual photosynthetically-enabled corals and the feeding rate is low enough. That type of corals probably emits little to no ammonia. You could skip the sandbed, as well. Heavy feeding might leave a fair amount of food in the water column, but I think it'd take a lot to overload one of the Marine Pure blocks. I can't quantify anything, though.
What is the capacity of water and planktonic bacteria to oxidize ammonia or assimilate ammonia? Wouldn’t carbon dosing heterotrophic bacteria be a viable replacement for autotrophs and their requirement for surfaces? Seems to work in the shrimp industry. They calculate the amount of carbon they add based on nitrogen input. Given the light feeding of frags, the water might not become cloudy and the bacterial flocs could be food.


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Old 02/13/2018, 06:03 PM   #6
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Carbon dosing could do the job as well. I'm not sure it's worth the effort given the fairly tiny amount of ammonia to be processed, but I am assuming a lot about what's going to go into the tank when I make that statement. Also, I am assuming that everyone is as lazy as I am.


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Old 02/13/2018, 09:09 PM   #7
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I’d say I’m pretty damn lazy but I do manage a weekly water change. The tank will be for zoanthids, Acans and shrooms. I’ll probably add a Sixline Wrasse and snails to aid in clean-up. I have a hang on fuge I’m going to add also.


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Old 02/13/2018, 09:56 PM   #8
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Okay, the fish will create a bit of an ammonia load. I'd add one of the blocks, personally, and see how that goes. I don't remember many posts about tanks that only have blocks, though.


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Old 02/14/2018, 09:56 PM   #9
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Maybe that Stax rock?


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Old 02/14/2018, 10:03 PM   #10
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It looks like it should be fine, but I haven't seen it or read much about it.


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Old 02/16/2018, 12:57 PM   #11
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It looks like it should be fine, but I haven't seen it or read much about it.
Thanks for all your help!


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Old 02/16/2018, 07:51 PM   #12
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You're welcome! Please let us know how well your tank works for you!


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