In this instruction i will show you how to keep a small coral-reef in a vase for your desktop.
This picture shows the picoreef after 7 month.
Step 1: First Steps
What do we need?
1. A jar, or a vase. Make sure it has enough space for cleaning the windows after put the liverock in the middle. Width ca. 15-20 cm. Height: 15-30 cm
2. Put the coral-sand into the vase. 1cm height is enough.
3. Mix the marine water: Make sure the water has a temperature between 24-26 ° Celsius. Put the hydrometer into the distilled water and add the marine salt. After a while the hydrometer will float. When the watersurface hits the mark on the hydrometer, the saltvalue is correct.
4. Put the Liverock into the vase and add the saltwater. Make sure your liverock is constantly wet bevor mixing the water.
5.Turn on a blue lamp, or a reeflamp. I use a philips hue lightbulb with different day/nightlights
6. Turn on the waterpump
7. Wait and ejoy your picoreef.
(Make shure your picoreef is ca. 25° Celsius. Depend on your country you will need a small heater in winter, and a small fan in the summer for cooling the watersurface)
Step 2: Waiting for Live
Now you can wait.
You will be able to see the first small animals, like seastars, or small worms at the first hours.
After one or two weeks, there will be a bacteriaperiod. The bacterias are important because they decomposed the dead organisms and reduce nitrate.
Step 3: Alguetime
After 2-3 weeks when the nitrate is gone the algues will start to grow.
Thats a good singn and you can start to add some snails, or hermit crabs as cleaning crew.
No feeding needed, the liverock is full of small organisms.
If you like this marine biotope like in this pictures (without corals) you can let it grow and see what comes from your stone. There are a lot of easy anemones, and no need of waterchange in this stadium.
ATTENTION: Please make sure you refill purified water with destilled water. You can mark the height of your watersurface at the backsite of the jar.
You can reduce the refillprocess when you cover the jar.
If you want to add some corals please inform what they need for their heath. Feeding, wavemotion, light.
This is a little bit more complecated.
Step 4: This Is the Nightmode
At night many anemones and corals glue under blue light, because they are hunting for placton and small organisms.
Have fun with your Desktop Picoreef!