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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it really a little slice of nature? Are there any processes going on that even closely resemble nature?

What's going on in the environment that you're trying to create and how would you go about doing that in a glass box?
 

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If I was to build you an area designated as just for you, with everything possible, could I make you comfortable? Ok, I could have plenty of food, TV and lots of other creature features for the average public, to make things easier but I probably could provide for you better because of our understanding of humans and their needs in general. Another thing you could say you would be better off with a plasma big screen and a water bed which I could then supply you, so your life in your designated area would be better. Unfortunately fish and corals aren't that easy to communicate with. Obviously we provide the bare necessities for the survival of our fish and corals and we do have science to thank for that but do we provide enough!
My observation of wild life in general, some more than others, is they would risk dieing to be freed without thought every time, every chance, no matter how well you provide for them, free and out they would go and no second thought. It is their nature to do so, instincts and for survival. You catch a fish take it out of water and put it in a bag, confined immediately. Transport it, eventually your let loose into a larger space but still confined. Eventually your caught again and bagged once more, the finally released once again. What are the odds of you making it, how many of your type have to die to get to your home?
Ok yes I'm guilty as charged, I love nature and animals and feel very lucky to get to enjoy my small glass box but at what cost? I saw this past weekend off the coast of California the rivers dump plastic at an alarming rate, not the big pieces but the fine particles, for every 27 pounds of particulate plastic is one pound of plankton in the sea waters. Makes me feel really great that all this is happening, fish eating this plastic and so are we. The good thing is they are working on a plastic the will dissolve eventually, not like the stuff that last forever like today's plastic. This is another subject but sickens me none the less.
So when you ask if we recreate what is in nature I'd say some aspects yes but for the most part no but maybe a better home at some level.
Whew sorry, maybe more coffee is in place but remember this, what we provide and enjoy does come at a cost.
 
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Spanky said:
Is it really a little slice of nature? Are there any processes going on that even closely resemble nature?

What's going on in the environment that you're trying to create and how would you go about doing that in a glass box?
ooooohhhhh looks like you opening up another can of worms.... imo we are minutly resembling nature....we tank out every nasty creature that WE dont want in our tanks... so we take out the rule of survuval of the fittest. we do not replicate the ammount of current that hits a reef everyday...we try but we are short in that area...imo what we provide is a safe sanctuary that provides a living space that is adiquate....kinda like a nursing home ....
 

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i cannot speak for the fish. i only know if you placed me in a room with a tv of any type, i would seriously consider any option available to escape that hellish torture. yes just the thought of being subjected to tv for any amount of time and death would be a viable option. whos to say it's not somewhat that way with an animal/fish. some might adapt easier than others and some not at all.
 

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This is a subject I'd like to know more about, unfortunately I'm very limited on this matter, as you can tell I missed it all together above LOl. Please elaborate!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll give you a hint.

Again, these systems are not about critters. They are possible only because of bacteria. The bacteria supports every thing you put in that box. The more you put in there, the more bacteria you have to have to support it. The more surface area you have available for bacteria to colonize, the more bacteria you can have. Bacteria will colonize detritus also. That's all there is to it, no big secret.
Also realize that every single thing in that system is placing demands on the system to support it, including the bacteria. Bacteria can actually create the greatest demands in some systems. Everything has respiration, food requirements, waste, etc and those needs have to be met by that system too.

And it's all made possible by bacteria.
 
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Spanky said:
Bacteria will colonize detritus also.
if it is all about bacteria, and it can colonize deterious...why do we try an rid all of it (deterious).... wouldnt it be somewhat functional to have "some" deterious granted it isnt the best looking stuff
 
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knowing spankey i agree....but i decided to just cut to the chase...and have it awnsered... by him by asking him the same question he is asking us hoping i can in a round about way get it from him soon instead of waiting for the 500th post on this thread :) but shhhhhhhh i dont want him to know that lol
 

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Whew now there is so much to be said here so if I screw it up feel free to correct me, well take that back, we all know I'll be corrected anyway.

Lets start this thing......at the beginning the earth was just starting to form........uaa oh wait...fish tanks ok..


We start out with a cleaned tank, glass or acrylic etc. Depending on the person we will add LR or supports for LR, then some sort of substrate, DSB, Plemtum or CC. Then we add the LR on the supports or by whatever means, also a sump, various other filter types. We then seed the sand or substrate if we even decide to have one. We can get this seeding from various resources supposedly replicating bacteria found in the ocean floor. The LR itself is contained with the actual bacteria and such critters found where it is harvested, We try to replicate a broad range of variables. The temperatures, salinity, currents, food supply etc.. we attempt to replicate to some average. The problem with averages is we speak for the many but not the one. To have a varied tank with life for all over the ocean we try and find this medium that will support everything, and hopefully well enough to flourish. We add a clean up crew and eventually corals and fish, not in that particular order but some how, some way. Here is where the fun begins, we feed the fish, we feed the corals (maybe) and critters inside. If we over feed we cause problems(maybe). Fish eat and the more they eat the more they poop. This floats around until it falls into a spot where it can settle or get filtered out. If left in the tank the bacterial cycle starts, eating poop to make more poop, which in turns gets eaten by more bacteria etc... OK that is just one bacterial cycle, there is more, like stated above bacteria is everywhere, you can use a UV sterilizer but still not get it all. It lives within everything alive and everything alive relies on it (this is for all living things).
Now what types of bacteria is out there and what bacteria is good and bad? Is there a such thing as bad bacteria when you look at it from a stand point that if we didn't have it what would happen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank goodness you don't have to know the different types and kinds of bacteria, they tend to fall in line on their own.

Are you grasping the fact that no matter what you do, how many critters you add or subtract, all you're really doing is running a bacterial filter. Some are better than others.

Yes, bacteria can get out of whack too. Unfortunately closed systems do that and it's easy for infectious strains to get established in closed systems.

Just to touch on DSB's again. Has anyone considered that it's only a bacterial filter? and a settling tank?

As far as detritus goes. Remember detritus is a complex. It will break down into compounds that have various effects on closed systems. It's that process that can cause you problems. It's also that process that places demands on the system to support it.
 

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That does give me a wake up call. I agree it seems the best filter system you make is bacterial, regardless how we do it.

Back to that sewer treatment idea, first it was said you must have a tank to support so much raw sewage for some time to allow bacteria to break it down. Then later they recommend seeding it with bacteria to speed the process up. Later it was discovered the process would perform even better with something to constantly keep it stirred.

Obviously this constant stirring doesn't hurt the bacteria. I think it also reduces the amount of vacuuming required.

Can this process be carried on to an aquarium?
So maybe a bacterial thread on different types of bacterial filters is in need and pros and cons of each?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
But Scott, that's all you're doing with a reef tank. You're running a bacterial filter.

i.e. take a clean empty bucket, aquarium, anything that will hold water. Fill it up with new salt water (nothing else) and put in a small piece of shrimp. See how long it takes to completely dissolve and disappear.

No matter what you put in a reef tank, it's supported by bacteria.
 

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So what it boils down to is the type of bacteria you set up an enviroment to keep. The tank and its inhabitants cant survive with out certain bacterias. The whole concept of cycling a tank is basically establishing a bacterial population.
So what the real question is what can we do to create an enviroment for the bacteria with out creatig an enviroment for the bacteria we dont want???? and then what can we do to eliminate the undisirable bacteria that we may have or be harboring???


Mike
 

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Sounds like we need a bacteria meter!

Then from what I'm understanding, maybe a better understanding of what types we have to start out with and what methods best used to keep the bacteria we want. I would imagine knowing how to keep and maintain your desired bacteria would allow for a better environment. Hate to say it but identifying these bacteria would be key to good design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
For one thing, identifying the types of bacteria is a effort in futility. They are going to be there no matter what you do, so trying to control them is a mute point. You can monitor to see if they are doing what they are supposed to do to certain extent. Ammonia, nitrates, etc.

What I was trying to get you guys to understand is that you're just running a bacterial filter. Doesn't matter if it's called live rock, live sand, wet/dry, fluidized filter, bio-tower, whatever.

I see a lot of reference to all this life in closed systems and get the feeling that people think somehow all this life and diversity is what's making these systems work. Well, it's not. Everything in that system is supported by bacteria. The more life you have in there, the more demands you're placing on bacteria and the system in general to support it.
 
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