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re: tank lifetimes - MiamiBob's tank has to be reconstructed regularly

There is an article in "Practical Fishkeeping" August 1998 where the author,
Les Holliday deals with this problem.  He noticed that tanks which do not
have a large calcareous base can keep on going well for over 10 years.
These reef tanks do not have coral sand, rock, tufa rock or other such
materials in them.  Tanks did not have coral sand as a substrate and very
little living rock.  They contained "glass shelving to build a reef slope"
and "the corals were stacked to form a natural-looking reef slope".
"Reef-like, but inert, ceramic rock filled in the spaces around living
corals until such time as the colonies spread to cover the whole of the

Apparently with this type of set-up there was never a problem in the
long-run with keeping nitrate and phosphate levels down.

I know that this is a freshwater website primarily, but I remembered that I
had read something about this in the recent past, so I dug it up.  (Nothing
much to do in totally snowbound Toronto except water changes, reading and

Dr. Momfish