Hooray for Joe! We are proud to see you speak at Reefapalooza Chicago in Octorber

By Toni Nancy Xiong
on October 08, 2019

Hooray for Joe! We are proud to see you speak at Reefapalooza Chicago in Octorber

Ever wondered why some people can have a super enjoyable reefing experience, while others huff and puff, and labor through it all?  The process makes all the difference!

Joe is going to expound his knowledge in this area, and give step by step instructions on how to start and maintain an "ultra low maintenance" reef tank.

This one is not to be missed.  If you cannot personally attend Reefapalooza Chicago, don't worry.  BRS.tv will be recording the entire thing and will share it on Youtube.

 

Joe's thoughts on Dry Rock vs Live Rocks

By Toni Xlong
on September 13, 2018

 

Recently there was a thread on Reef2reef where reefers were debating the merits of each type of rock and more specifically the issue of Dinos.

Joe chimed in and here's his reponse:

"Love all of this people! 
Joe here-

Having done this for 30 years now, I would like to share my quick opinion on the subject of dead vs live rock. 

It is kind of a no-brainer that from a naturalist or purist point of view, the best biological substrate for a reef tank would be the actual rock found on a coral reef. It contains many strains of healthy bacteria that have been proven to be absolutely beneficial to the biological stability of a delicate marine system. Not having these bacteria will increase the chance of nuisance algae and pests from taking hold, especially in the chaotic and unbalanced nature of a new tank. The reality of reefing today means experimenting and trying different substrates since live rock is almost impossible to find, and also quite damaging from an environmental perspective. (This is a whole different topic) After-all, the rock itself, whether live or dead really is inert so as long as the material is not toxic or causing other detrimental issues, we are really limiting our conversation to the effects of biological seeding via live rock vs biological seeding vs alternative methods. 

When all the pros and cons are weighed I think there is a growing argument to choose a live rock alternative such as Marco Rocks. Closer attention will have to be paid to the biological balance of the system and it has always been Marco Rocks stance to go slow, seed with bottled bacteria or with bacteria inoculation from an older, established system, etc. I personally think people start up a tank and lack the patience that it needs to slowly mature. With my own tanks, I use dry Marco rock and leave the lights off for the first month or two. I run all filtration but do not add fish. I feed the tank sparingly and seed it with a few pieces of rock from an older tank. Snails or urchins can be used to keep the minimal algae growth in check. They also kick the detritus up and into the water column where it can travel to the filtration. Not keeping fish in the tank allows the copepod and micro-fauna to absolutely explode. After one month it will look like a copepod tank. They will become the apex animal in the tank! Utilize extra strong flow during this stage and just let the tank become stable. Up the feedings as the algae becomes more and more encrusting and calcified in nature. (Harder to remove from the glass is a great test) 

The rock will become coated with a biological film that will inhibit the growth of unwanted algae/dino. Should you see a dino outbreak, UV sterilization has been seen to be quite effective. (For many common strains). 

At the end of the day it is a personal choice of what substrate to use but if done right, many of the problems mentioned above can be avoided in part or entirely while also feeling great about not having wild rock ripped from the ocean to start your tank."
If you would like to follow this thread, go to this link: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/a-brand-new-marcorocks-reef-tank-in-socal-250g-tank-using-prime-cuts-and-premium-shelf-rock.450454/

A brand new MarcoRocks reef tank in SouCal, 250g tank using Prime Cuts and Premium Shelf Rock

By Toni Xlong
on September 04, 2018

Here's a video of the 250g build, with Joseph Caparatta
Greg Carroll (The voice of Reefapalooza:)) finally got his big 250 gal reef and it’s ready to rock. He enlisted Joseph Caparattato design and build the Aqua-scape using a combination of MR’s finest products. The pvc bottom of this SPS reef received carefully selected Single Side Prime Cut pieces for solid foundational support. Above that sat the Premium Shelf rock mixed in with Key LargoMarcorocks. Once the design was complete, key pieces were removed and locked in forever with E-Marco-400 cement. This turned out beautifully! Can’t wait to see the next stage.

Pro Tip - when designing the size of the reef always subtract 20-30% of height from the final vision to account for the corals! Far too often the corals are growing where the fish wants to be swimming!

 

Here's a quick interview with Joe at the 2017 MACNA in New Orleans

By Toni Xlong
on January 15, 2018
Farm Boy Reef Channel:
Macna 2017
Joseph Caparatta interview:
Unique corals, DaStaCo, MarcroRocks, and Pax Bellum macro algae reactors. =)