Creating a Balanced Nano Ecosystem… Digitally.

At home, I have a Nano Reef Aquarium which I have been growing for about four years. My interest in reefs and nano aquariums grew from regular visits to pet shops and seeing all the beautiful corals and fish. I researched Reef aquariums further and fell into the world of Nano Aquariums. The beauty of Nano Reefs is that they become almost a self sustaining ecosystem. They need no filtration system as the live rock and bacteria help create a nitrogen cycle. A 10 percent waterchange every week helps keep the water in balance.

My tank is about 10 gallons and has been through many stages to get to its current configuration. I have replaced the stock lighting with a 150 Watt Metal Halide system which provides ample lighting for the corals which thrive on symbiotic algae. A surface skimmer I created out of a cassette case removes surface scum to allow full penetration of the light. I use a day/night timer which switches the lighting into night-time simulation, including LED “lunar lights.” I will soon be adding a secondary power head on a wave-maker timer, simulating tides and further improving water circulation.

Keeping a Nano Reef Aquarium is no easy task. Everything must stay in balance to keep the ecosystem thriving as any small change in a water quality parameter can affect the ecosystem with lethal effects to the inhabitants. The Specific Gravity (salinity) must be kept consistent. Water pH, Nitrate, Nitrite, Calcium, and Copper levels must be closely monitored. Addition of iodine and molybdenum also ensures a happy tank-hold.

Creating an interactive application takes the same amount of careful monitoring and balancing. A change in one parameter or function can cause the whole application to crash. All interactive programs and tools are carefully planned and executed so that when a master CD-ROM is created, a new website launched, or a new tool implemented, it thrives and takes on a life of its own.