About this project
I would like for everyone to have the ability to bring a part of the reef to their desktops. I had always been fascinated with the complexity of reefs but when I was young I was not able to own a saltwater aquarium due to the cost, complexity, and maintenance that saltwater tanks demand. After several years of careful observation, research and experience I designed a small aquarium that was very low maintenance and was able to maintain a large biodiversity of life including certain corals.
When I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Neurobiology, I began to experiment with saltwater aquariums. I was surprised to learn that there were few miniature-sized saltwater aquariums because it was thought to be nearly impossible to own without complex equipment. The equipment that was available was large and cost several hundred of dollars, which did not include any corals. Therefore I began to experiment with small tanks.
My first tank was a 3 gallon saltwater aquarium. The equipment was complex, maintenance was very high and initial cost was expensive. Although the tank was beautiful, and won many awards, I knew that without specialized care the tank would not thrive. I began to ask myself, "Can I make a small, low maintenance saltwater aquarium that I can carry everywhere?"
I went through other tanks observing and recording my observations on how to simplify the system. At one point I had put together a small aquarium made from a jar for my girlfriend. It began to grow and started to look like a miniature reef. Up to this day, it is still growing and harbors a massive amount of biodiversity with little maintenance.
So I began reproducing several jars which I began calling, PJ reef ECOSYSTEMS. Each jar began to grow and had its own biodiversity. I designed a prototype lamp that would be ideal for the balance and low maintenance of the tank.
At this point I have several dozens PJ reef ECOSYSTEMS going and are ready to be shipped out. I need your help to expand the project so that you can own a saltwater aquarium on your desktops. Also, with the funding I will be able to order a finished lamp and begin shipping aquariums in a few months.
Dimensions of PJ reef LAMP and ECOSYSTEM
Approximate dimensions PJ reef Ecosystem: 6" x 3" diameter inches
Approximate dimensions PJ reef LAMP : 9" x 5" x 6" inches
Description of PJ reef ECOSYSTEM
The 2-3 month old PJ reef ecosystem will at least contain 1-2 types of corals and a macroalgae.
The 4-6 month old PJ reef ecosystem will at least contain 2-3 types of corals and a macroalgae
The 7-12 month old PJ reef ecosystem will at least contain 3-4 types of corals and a macroalgae.
Also the rock contains many types of organisms such as crustaceans and sometimes small starfishes. As the rock ages it will begin to form many colors especially red. This is due to organisms depositing minerals and calcium on the rock.
General Maintenance Requirements for a PJ reef ECOSYSTEM
There are four maintenance requirements to keep a successful PJ reef ECOSYSTEM, they are:
1) Maintain temperature between 70°-83° Fahrenheit. No drastic changes. No direct sunlight.
2) Saltwater change every 3-6 months, preferably 3 months.
3) Addition of pure water every month or so to compensate for evaporation.
4) No over addition of corals and animals.
Once the goal is reached, a stretch goal will be announced.
Risks and challenges
These systems require very low maintenance but are still living creatures that can only tolerate a certain range of change.
The biggest hurdles are:
- Being able to ship these small aquariums across vast distances with guarantee that the living organisms will arrive safely. Currently only overnight shipments can guarantee live arrivals. I shipped corals before and know how to safely ship them across the country.
- Because these aquariums are very unique in design, I constructed a website that will help you understand these ecosystems. These aquariums are NOT MAINTENANCE FREE and do require a certain level of knowledge. I will do my best to provide backers with equipment, supplies and information through the PJ reefs website after funding has ended.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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