Welcome to the first article in English of RoyalTanks, in which we are going to interview one of the most famous Reefer on the social in the world. We are talking about David Notter.
David has an incredible talent for making everything seems simple, but that simplicity hides a great attention to detail. The tank picture above is an example of that: a clean and organized layout make it one of the most beautiful aquarium in the world. It is something different from the simple corner of the barrier, a perfect mix between nature and design, the culmination of a brilliant mind and many years of study.
To make this possible David knows that he can not insert fishes that are too large or in high quantities, a perfect management of No3 and Po4 means that everything is perfectly clean, as if it were enclosed in a glass ball. The attention to the details does not take place only in the tank, but obviously it also passes through the sump. Don't expect to find a misplaced pin, it wouldn't be like him.
Let's not get lost in further pleasantries and let's start the interview.
Hi David, Can you describe the aquarium? What do you doses and in what quantity?
The supply system for the corals is the Reefelixer from Oceanart. It is an all for one system based on bacteria. It is not as well known as other balling systems right now but the guys have done a great job and I am sure it will gain in popularity. I also dose Easyreefs SPS Evo plankton daily.
Do you do water change? And How many? What's your value management?
Every two weeks 20% of the tank volume.
No3 = 5 - 10 Po4 = 0,01 - 0,05 KH = 7,5 CA = 400 - 440
These are the values that I measure myself from time to time. I also do an ICP analysis every month at ATI to always know how it stands around the trace elements.
Coexistence between sps, who burns who for your experience (some examples)?
When SPS corals touch each other, one will always be the stronger. However, since they are not very aggressive like LPS and do not have active fighting tentacles, you can let sps grow very close to each other. With LPS it is more difficult. I have a lot of LPS and some have been touching each other for a long time without hurting each other. I have tested this for a long time. Acans, Scolys, Trachy and Zoas can touch each other without problems. I am always asked how I can keep the corals so close together without them dying. If you look closely I do not have just any LPS next to each other. There are only a handful of species.
What's your preference about the lights for SPS? And for LPS?
For a pure SPS tank I would probably always go for a T5. But since I have the Radion g4 pro and see the growth of acropores under this LED I would maybe try it first. I find this LEd absoult ingenious. I advise with each lamp first to measure the PAR values to get a clue of the intensity.
For LPS corals it makes absolute sense to have the blue parts of the lighting more intense and stronger than the white parts. LED lighting is particularly suitable for this. LPS corals pop their colors really fancy with strong blue light. Of course you should know the PAR values. LPS corals can tolerate higher PAR values, but they must be acclimated very slowly. I have most LPS corals at 250 PAR.
Do you prefer to set up aquariums with or without sand?
Yes, i think sand looks much more natural. it also makes the tank brighter. The surface for bacteria that the sand offers should not be underestimated.
Do you prefer a constant movement or a varied one?
I have had a alternate flow in every tank so far. This seems to me better for the animals than a constant flow. At night I set the pumps to 100% constant flow for 15 minutes to stir up deposits.
What's your ideal arrangement of the rocks?
It is important to plan the scapes well. I often see how there are too many rocks in the tanks. This can make it difficult to find the right flow. Also, the scapes often look good as long as there are no corals on them. Then corals are simply glued on it without any system. Terrible! You always have to imagine how the scape will look with corals. The shapes and colors as well as the growth of the corals must be considered.
So what are you trying to accomplish when making a new aquarium?
I'm lucky enough to be a creative person, which often makes it easier for me to think out of the box. For me it was always a surprise that my tanks raised so much interest. But I already think a lot when I start a new tank. I always try to find a kind of motto that I follow. For the RS170 with the many acropores the motto was "40 Acroporas in 40 Gallon", for the RS Nano Max "Floating Reef" and for the Nyos Opus "Shapes and Colors". Following a clear path and focusing on it helps to structure the tank well. Unfortunately, I see far too often poorly designed tanks that somehow have no goal. It also helps if you first draw the tank according to your ideas and get inspiration. Of course, I do not follow a strict guideline where which coral is placed. This must then be individually adjusted during the setup. If you follow your hobby with passion it will always be a beautiful tank.
Having a motto can make a difference, and Dave's case is definitely one of them. The abilities to have a clear drawing in mind, and to carry it out with such a variety of animals, is all in the mind of the artist who, piece by piece, composes the work like a painter making a painting. What I admire most in his masterpieces is, as he himself admitted, the ability to see outside the box, to go beyond what already exists and to mix perfectly nature with the house, as if everything has always been arranged like this.
As you may have noticed, I have a great admiration for him, I hope with this article I have transmitted to you the emotions I feel every time I see his aquarium. I thank you for the time spent on the blog and I wish you a happy Easter.
Thanks again my friend.