In a nutshell, a “reef tank” is an ocean reef that you have put into a glass box. What you put in your reef tank makes a difference as the size is smaller and they need to get along with each other. In the ocean for example a certain species might be aggressive to another and the species will just migrate or move to a safer area in the ocean. In a 90-gallon tank known as a closed system, the species will not be able to flee as the system or ecosystem is limited. The animals you put into your reef tank have to cohabitate peacefully. Now, before you think it’s too hard to do this successfully in a tank you can do this, and Reef Builders can help you achieve your goals with a saltwater tank or a reef tank.
Reef Tank Systems
With the help of Reef Builders you can build a reef tank where species will get along with each other but in some cases will form a symbiotic relationship and help each other to thrive. For example, the popular movie Finding Nemo showed clownfish and its host anemone which illustrates co-existence. The clownfish bring the anemone food from the remains of small fish the clownfish eat and the anemone catches along with detritus that it deposits on the anemone. The anemone protects the clownfish by use of its stinging tentacles.
A reef tank system is what’s known in the hobby as a “fish only with live rock” system with corals. Because of the higher requirements of corals, the ecosystem needs a higher quality lighting system, higher quality water, and movement of the water (think ocean currents). In addition, because the ecosystem houses corals you need Reef Safe Fish, Reef Safe Invertebrates, and reef safe tank janitors.
Corals demand high-quality lighting in a reef tank system thus lighting for the corals must be provided. Why? Most corals are like plants that need light to survive. Some spammy content sites might give you a general rule for watts per gallon on a reef aquarium this does not apply with today’s available LED lighting for reef tanks. There are two types of popular corals SPS and LPS which have different lighting requirements.
Water quality is highly important in a reef tank because corals cannot tolerate the levels of nitrates, phosphates, and other toxins that most fish and invertebrates will withstand. This fact is one of the largest differences between reef tanks and saltwater tanks. Corals are picky. Super picky.
Nano tanks are very popular with the advances in innovation and science. Reef tank hobbyists can design their own reef tank filtration system by combining different filters to achieve their results. In some cases, your live rock will provide your biological filtration that is needed.
Reef Ready Aquariums
Reef ready aquariums system, has lighting, aquarium, and filtration already in place and allow you to buy the complete kit for one set price. These systems are popular because it simplifies the process of designing or assembling a reef tank system all by yourself. Although creating a reef tank system can be fun when you get the family involved, or you are stuck at home for an extended period.
While most corals require a high level of water quality and lighting, there are those easy corals that are less demanding, requiring a lower light level and/or a lower water-quality level, allowing novice reef tank keepers to attain success. The downside to the smaller tanks is that, when something goes wrong in the tank, it happens pretty fast, leaving little time to correct the problem before it turns into a disaster. With advances in the science of keeping corals and reef tank system designs, creating and maintaining a healthy reef tank is within almost anyone’s reach.
Not all corals are created the same most require a high level of water quality and lighting some are hardy (easier) and less demanding. These easier corals require lower light levels and/or lower water quality levels allowing newbie reef tank builders to achieve success rather quickly. We mentioned nano tanks (smaller reef tanks) earlier and they do have one downside if something goes wrong in the tank it will happen fast leaving you less time to react and make adjustments to your reef ecosystem. With our help, you can have your very own reef tank. Why? We’re Reef Builders.
Continue reading our Reef Tank Setup guide.