Instructables

A low maintenance/self sustaining Saltwater ecosystem

Picture of A low maintenance/self sustaining Saltwater ecosystem
Clip #44_frame-3.png
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.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials

2013-05-13 14.16.47.jpg
2013-05-13 14.17.36.jpg
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 
- Tweezers
- Gel super glue
- Saltwater
- Live rock
- Corals and macro algae

Optional items if you want to make your own saltwater,
- Stirrer
- Saltwater mix
- RO/DI water
- Refractometer
- 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.
jamob1 year ago
Wow that's not bad at all! Wish this was available a year ago before I threw $400 into my nano. Great idea!
neetz4 months ago

Hi! I would love to buy one of these , I have always wanted a saltwater aquarium but I don't have the room or time for a huge one! Do you have to have experience with saltwater aquariums to keep one? Is it hard to maintain? I have only kept freshwater aquariums. What do you feed the coral, animals?

thank you!

Ptyochromis6 months ago

Very neat idea. I have one concern/question. We know that corals rely on water movement to supply them with oxygen and food so what does this system do about water flow and gas exchange?

I'd like to know about this also.
slo5oh6 months ago

This instructable reads like a sales pitch for PJ reefs. I personally don't see this working with NO water flow, but anyone can buy a glass cookie jar and a full spectrum LED bulb (look for 6500k to 10000k on ebay) and try it on their own. Live rock can be purchased at most mom and pop fish stores.

deth2all10 months ago
Sweet, now the fun part, trying to find a way to build one myself for cheaper...
jamob1 year ago
How much did the cylinder tank and lamp cost?
pjreefs (author)  jamob1 year ago
Hey jamob, it cost $100.

The live rock and corals are aquaculture.