Introduction: A Low Maintenance/self Sustaining Saltwater Ecosystem
I have always been fascinated with miniature ecosystems. When I became interested in saltwater aquariums, I was always attracted to the smaller systems. At first many would say that it was difficult to maintain a small aquarium. After experimenting with many setups I came up with a setup that is easy to maintain and self sustaining for long periods of time. Here are the instructions in how to create one.
Step 1: Materials
The most important component of the build is the PJ reef lamp. This lamp can be purchased at PJreefs.com. It includes special LED lights that allows for corals to grow and thrive.
The other required components are a:
- Hand towel
- Water pipette
- Gel super glue
- Live rock
- Corals and macro algae
Optional items if you want to make your own saltwater,
- Saltwater mix
- RO/DI water
- Small pipette
Step 2: Preparing the PJ Reef Ecosystem Saltwater (optional)
Saltwater is readily sold in local fish stores. The only problem is that quality varies from store-to-store. PJ reefs will be offering their own saltwater already made at their website.
Here are the steps in making your own saltwater
1) Purchase RO/DI water.
2) Mix saltwater mix according to the saltwater mix label instructions.
3) Dissolve saltwater mix in the RO/DI water.
4) Check with refractometer that the water is at 1.025 sg.
5) Clean refractometer.
Step 3: Creating the Ecosystem
Next step is building the PJ reef ecosystem
- Add the live rock to the jar.
- Remove the corals one by one from the storage container.
- Add superglue on the back of each coral or the rock they are attached to.
- Attach corals to the rock.
- Put 2 macro algae in the system.
- Make sure that everything is attached and placed correctly.
- Check that water level is at the height of jars cover.
- Adjust accordingly.
Step 4: PJ Reef Ecosystem Requirements
Now place PJ reef ecosystem on the lamp. There are four maintenance requirements to keep a successful PJ reef, they are:
1) Maintain temperature between 70°-83° Fahrenheit. No drastic changes.
2) Saltwater change every 3-6 months, preferably 3 months.
3) Addition of pure water every month or so to compensate for evaporation.
4) No over addition of corals and animals.
The ecosystem will change and you will see many of the live rock inhabitants begin to reproduce and estabilize the ecosystem.