[youtube width=”670″ height=”400″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYN705Qu6_U[/youtube]
If our previous video of Julian Sprung’s peninsular reef tank wasn’t evidence enough that he is an aquarist who reefs to his own wave, then this second video of his refugium coral tank ought to reinforce that notion. Not only does this “refugium” no boast any live rock, it is also not the scuzzy, under-the-tank algaefied water vessel that many people’s fuges turn out to be. We’re not knocking on the scuzzy refugiums, but simply pointing out that the refugium of a reef tank can be more diverse, and as interesting to look at as the primary reef display.
Mr. Sprung’s refugium is so packed with life that we were still discovering new creatures and unusual fish after staring at it for a few days. The only structure seen in this aquarium is a single mangrove tree, the same one from the original cover of The Reef Aquarium, which has roots growing down to the substrate which are obscured by a type of photosynthetic sponge. The substrate is a mineral-rich kind of “mud” which we were told has similar properties as Miracle Mud. With so many beautiful Goniopora flowerpot corals doing well while resting on the substrate as often prescribed, it’s easy to take his word on the quality of the mineral-rich substrate.
Some other interesting critters spotted in this reef include a magnificent fan goby, Flabelligobius, a stockpile of Diaseris slices, a nice fox coral Nemenzophyllia tubida and a diversity of macroalgaes filling in the gaps.Of course, the trimless look of the tank coupled with the spotlighting and the mangrove tree growing above the water line is just not something you’ll see everyday.