There has been an explosion in popularity of reef jars. There are several reasons for this explosion in smaller saltwater aquariums:
Fancy gadgets aim to control these four parameters. The main goal is to maintain stability.
Understanding ocean chemistry has come a long way since a decade ago. The intricate balance between calcium, alkalinity, magnesium and trace elements is well understood. With this knowledge, companies now create a well balanced synthetic saltwater mix. When mixed with high-quality RO/DI filtered water, it creates the perfect environment.
Weekly water changed is key to the success of a reef jar or vase.
Light does not travel well in water. High power LEDs are necessary to penetrate large water columns. A taller aquarium requires higher wattage lights.
Reef jars are small. One can exceed the proper level of lighting with the use of lower power LED lighting. LED lights made it possible for miniature reefs go mainstream.
LED fixtures are slim and sleek. Over a small container, an LED fixture looks modern and adds to any decor. LED fixtures offer an endless possibility of shapes, colors, and sizes.
Technology has no caught up with water flow in micro-ecosystem yet. At PJ reefs we have been adapting micropumps and applying them to reef vases and jars.
Currently, the easiest method to accommodate some form of water flow is through the use of an air pump. The flow should be random. With careful placement in a reef jar, air bubbles can create different types of flow patterns. Livestock will dictate the type of flow necessary. Low maintenance corals need minimal water flow. High-end corals like SPS (yes SPS can grow in jars) need higher water flow.
Unfortunately, the look of water pumps makes them unattractive besides a reef jar or vase. Few alternatives exist for vases smaller than 3 gallons. At PJ reefs, we have been experimenting with centrifugal water pumps. These pumps are sleek and a great alternative to air pumps.
Micro pumps will become more popular.
Temperature control households maintain a steady temperature between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This happens to be a desirable range for reefs. Households that have no temperature control can still maintain a reef.
Very few reliable mini heater exist for consumers. To make a heater reliable one must use a controller. The controller turns the heater on/off as the temperature varies.
Peltiers and reptile heat tapes are some alternative eating methods. Hobbyist use Peltiers to cool down water. A Proper understanding of how to use Peltiers can be an efficient way of cooling a reef jar. A hobbyist can also use reptile thermal heat tapes as a source of heat for the reef jar. Placing the heat tape underneath the jar hides unnecessary equipment.
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