The Monaco Style Aquarium

It appears that this technique not only results in deni- places a second sheet of screening on the bottom layer of trification, but also that the dissolution of calcareous sand sand to prevent burrowing fishes and other organisms from returns important ions — calcium and carbonate in partic- disturbing the bacteria that will develop deep in the bed. A

ular — to the water. Jaubert reports extremely low levels of top layer of substrate — composed of aragonite sand, coral nitrate and phosphate, high levels of calcium and alkalin- pebbles, shell fragments, or similar materials of reef origin ity, along with exceptionally fast coral growth rates, with is added. If dry sand layers are used, the system is typi-

out the use of skimming, large water changes, or calcium cally "inoculated" with desirable bacteria and other organisms found in wild reef substrates by mixing in a portion of additions.

The live sand approach is analogous to the Berlin live sand or allowing the organisms to migrate from healthy, method in that it relies on natural processes occurring in recently collected live rock.

low-to-zero oxygen conditions, either within the rock or in

From this point, the aquarium is constructed along fairly the undisturbed sand bed. (Unlike an undergravel filter, conventional lines. Jaubert has employed powerful airstones there is no forced water flow through the live sand layer, to induce water movement. This style is more fully discussed but rather a very slow diffusion.) in Chapter Three.

Jaubert's work has been introduced to American aquarists by such authors as Tom Frakes, Charles Delbeek, Julian Sprung and Bob Goemans. Goemans, along with other hobbyists, has adapted Jaubert's methods to home aquariums with initially encouraging results.

A layer of plastic light-diffuser grid, commonly known as eggcrate in the electrical trade, is supported above the bare aquarium floor by sturdy, inert plastic spacers, such as PVC pipe sections. This creates a plenum, or water space, roughly 1 to 2 inches in depth. A layer of fiberglass or plastic screening is placed on top of the eggcrate and this is covered with a layer of aragonitic coral sand or gravel with particles ranging in size from about 1 to 3 mm.

This material may be procured from reef collectors as "live sand" or may start out as clean, dry aquarium sand and al- One of California coral breeder Steve Tyree's 180-gallon reefs: proof that lowed to take on a life of its own. Jaubert previously unkeepable small-polyped stony corals can thrive in captive systems.

Steve Tyree Reef

out as clean, dry aquarium sand and al- One of California coral breeder Steve Tyree's 180-gallon reefs: proof that lowed to take on a life of its own. Jaubert previously unkeepable small-polyped stony corals can thrive in captive systems.

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Aquarium and Fish Care Tactics

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