Mixed reef long term sustainability pros and cons


Reefing newb
I need to throw this out there and see what other reef keepers have to say- Can everybody
in a mixed reef be happy?
With proper research of what you are keeping in your tank and making sure they have enough room....YES
i agree, my tank is 5 yrs ols and has always been a mixed reef. i research all livestock before i buy. i dont want to tear down my tank to catch a killer or put something in there that poisons everything or eats all my corals. everything has its own idiosyncrasys but research before buying helps a lot. the 20$ impulse buy that cost 3000$ in livestock is a little hard to take
I,m not so sure anymore seems overtime conditions favor a species and they thrive and dominate while the others simply survive..how can we house animals together that would not naturally be found together and expect to meet all there different needs and have all thrive?and not merely survive.
i dont know about that. keeping your water quality up, being careful about your stocking and not overcrowding, and good quality food makes a big difference. keeping your hands out of the tank has a big impact too. i think you can have a really nice mixed reef but you just have to take your time and do a little thinking when you buy. after all every reef in the wild is a successful mixed reef. every thing has its place. we can do that too.
In the wild every reef zone has a dominate animal-a patch of acropora(reefcrest) will not have a patch of elegance coral coexisting in the same habitat because the water parameters favors the
reefcrest animal and not the seagrass animal two hugley different enviroments how do replicate that in our small glass box and have both animals thrive?
Would we not be better keepers if we avoid the flower garden approach to reef tanks-maybe
just keeping animals that naturally occur together?
with out a doubt, thats what we should do, but realistically thats not going to happen with 90% of us, including me and probably you as well
Yes, I'm guilty very! My avatar says it all! But I'm trying (I have some pics on here of the change) just amazed at the growth of the species only tanks -There beautiful too -just wanted to pose the question to see if any of the long term keepers were feeling guilty Lol, but would you recommend a mixed reef for some one just starting out in the hobby?
well probably shouldn't but thats how i started. i saw a tank at someones house, fell in love and raced out and bought a 40 gal tank, bucket of salt, some rock, a hob skimmer, a hob filter pump and a anemone and 2 clarkis. the anemone was badly bleached, and the clarkis were an inch long. that was 6 yrs ago and i still have them. they are in the pix contest for this month. how i managed not to kill them i dont know. three tank upgrades later i am still at it and now have soft and hard corals as well as a bunch of other stuff. i tell you i learned a lot. if i knew then what i know now i never would have bought them right away. i am way more careful about purchases and if i dont think i have a reasonable chance of keeping the animal in good health i dont buy.
@jzaso, the more I understand tanks.... The less I know. I knew more 2 yrs ago than today. Mixed reefs are very tricky than a species specific tank is. Water flow and parameters affect the corals differently as we all understand. Sps and clams go great together, lps and zoa/polyps go good together.
When I think sps, I am not talking about 'beginner' sps, more along the lines of tri color acros, Millis, stags.
I love acans and Duncans but I'm huge in to sps. I have given up my elegance because of flow issues in that area for the creature.
Nems and sps should be kept seperate. The reason is because the nems shift, not move, and it looks like crap when they create the damage on an encrusted 8 inch colony of tabling acro. Can it be done...... sure can, it just won't be the brilliant looking colony I'd want to display.
lets add chemical aggression with the physical aggression to the mixed reef enviroment and we see why that type of system is so difficult to make thrive if not impossible, I - like you, want to display thriving happy animals-not surviving damaged animals seems like long term success would be grouping animals that naturally occur together, getting off thread but finally got my tricolor stag going after a year of doing nothing put it in a "low" light tank(<180par) two months ago
and now its showing amazing color and growth-just when I thought I had it figured out-not!