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Grzegorz Grębosz – an interview with an aquarist

26 06, 2024

Interview with Grzegorz Grębosz about his beginnings and adventures in marine aquaristics

When and with what tank did your adventure with marine aquaristics begin?

My adventure with marine aquaristics began in 2013. The first tank I bought was a used one with all its contents. The tank's dimensions were 120x40x50 cm, which gave it a capacity of 240 liters.

Which marine organisms stole your heart, and which do you consider the biggest challenge to breed?

At that time, my heart was stolen by the Synchiropus splendidus, also known as the splendid mandarin. The biggest challenge has always been balancing different species of fish in one tank and selecting a reef-safe stock.

Hard corals are considered demanding animals. What is the secret to successfully keeping them?

Hard corals, specifically various species of Acropora, are very demanding animals, sensitive to any changes in parameters. The secret to keeping them successfully lies in providing conditions similar to those in their natural habitat, which often generates significant costs. The key factors are appropriate lighting, stable water parameters, and strong water circulation.

 

How many years have you been maintaining your impressive aquarium?

The aquarium has existed for over 8 years, but the results I manage to maintain were achieved more than 4 years ago.

What kind of tank are we talking about - please, Grzegorz, provide its dimensions, capacity, type of substrate, and salinity...

Originally, the tank had different dimensions and a mixed stock. The dimensions are 120x80x50 cm, giving a capacity of 528 liters. This system had no sand substrate; the bottom was covered by various colorful varieties of Montipora. It is also a hard coral that easily encrusts everything it encounters, creating a unique and spectacular view.

What type of filtration do you use?

The foundation of filtration is a strong protein skimmer; additionally, I use a substantial amount of filtration medium, currently AF Life Bio Fil. I occasionally use a roller-mat.

What type of lighting do you use, and how long is the light period in your aquarium?

I use EcoTech Radion XR15 Blue (4 units) and Radion XR15 Pro (4 units). Initially, I used T5 lighting, but only after switching to LED lighting did the corals begin to color beautifully. It was over 4 years ago when the tank started to pleasantly surprise me after the lighting change.

How much time per week do you spend maintaining this tank?

It's hard to say today how many hours a week I devote to the tank. Sometimes I limit myself to just feeding the fish, but there are times when I clean the entire system, which takes me all day. I've minimized the maintenance and duties to make this hobby enjoyable and not just a daily chore.

How do you monitor and stabilize water parameters?

Reliable supplements help me stabilize parameters. I run the tank using a mixed method for replenishing macro- and microelements. A calcium reactor combined with the Balling method. The dosing system is controlled by a computer that measures the KH parameter and adjusts the fluid dosage to the coral's consumption accordingly. I regularly test the most important water parameters in a laboratory. After receiving the results along with recommendations, I supplement any deficiencies.

What and how often do you feed the animals?

I've adopted a feeding system in the morning and evening, always manually adjusting the food dosage to the water parameters. Sometimes I increase the feeding of fish to raise the nutrient levels in the water.

What fish currently swim in your aquarium?

Currently, my tank is mainly inhabited by large fish, with a predominance of tangs. These include Zebrasoma flavescens (currently two), Acanthurus leucosternon, Pomacanthus imperator, Acanthurus pyroferus, Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, Forcipiger flavissimus, and several others.

What advice would you give to beginner marine aquarists? Where should they start?

I would advise beginner aquarists to read extensively on the topic of running a marine aquarium. If possible, take advantage of the knowledge of those who have already gained experience and are achieving good results. Patience is a virtue, without which it is hard to achieve good results in this hobby.

 

 

Aquarium information:

Display: 120x80x60

Sump: 60 l

Lights: Radion G6 XR15 Pro 4x,  Radion G6 XR15  Blue 4x

Wavemakers Vortech QD 40 4x

Skimmer Octo Regal 200 

Media Reactors AF 110 x2 - ZeoMix 250 ml, Phosphate Minus 200 ml, Life Bio Fil 10 l

Calcium reactor: Deltec AP600

Dosing pumps: Pacific Sun Core 7, KH Plus, Components Pro ~250 ml/daily

Water parameters:

Temp.: 24.7-25.5

Salinity: 35 ppt

Nitrate: 3-5

Phosphate: 0,02

Ca: 430

Mg: 1300

KH: 7.3 -7.5

Supplements & foods:

AF Amino Mix 3 drops every other day

AF Energy 3 drops daily

AF Build 3 drops daily

AF Vitality 2 drops every other day

AF Power Food 3 measuring spoons every 2-3 days

AF Growth Boost 2 measuring spoons every other day

AF Power Elixir 10 ml / daily

AF Liqiud Rotifers once a week

Aquaforest Lab microelements range – after ICP tests