Takaki’s Japanese Nature Aquarium-style reef tank

We call all freshwater aquarists and need more of you in the saltwater hobby! If this beautiful split-tank design is any indication of how the spirit of a planted hobbyist carries over to the saltwater world … join us !!

Takaki Yagisawa is a freshwater aquarist with fifteen years of experience maintaining Japanese-style natural aquariums who recently made the leap into saltwater with this gorgeous split tank aquascape design. We came across this aquarium on Takaki’s Instagram account Takaki1980 and have to say we are very excited to see more and more Amano Nature Aquarium-style tanks on our radar.

Takaki’s tank is relatively new. He started researching saltwater aquariums in the summer of 2019 and set up this tank (his first saltwater tank) in January 2020. Before starting, he researched various reef nutrition and dosage methods before settling on the Red Sea reef maintenance program and then moving forward with that design.

Already a seasoned freshwater aquarist with a firm grasp of water flow, circulation, filtration and installation, he decided to build his own swamp, hideaway and installation to meet his needs. He documented the process on his R2R tank building thread, and an interesting point that came up was his overflow system.

He mentioned the use of a triple pipe overflow system that drew the attention of us North American hobbyists. He explained the system.

“The drainage enters through a cut in the outer pipe and falls through the top of the second pipe. In principle, the outer pipe does not have to be present. This is because the outer pipe prevents clogging and allows the water to drain from the bottom of the tank. “

“The water flows back into the tank through the first inner tube. This is the most unique point, and this pipe can make a hole in the tank. A special connection called a “gun” is required to insert this innermost tube into the drain pipe. “

The larger tank is 48g and the smaller tank is 26g. The displays are illuminated with 3x AI Hydra32HD and 3x AI NERO5 pumps for circulation. He also has a Red Sea Redsea ReeferSkimmer600.

He started out using the Red Sea Reef Foundation Elements just for dosing and maintaining calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium, but realized that with all the corals he needed a calcium reactor to keep up. He later added a ReefLive V-cal800 calcium reactor.

Not only is this two tank design very aesthetic, it also uses two separate displays so it can hold different fish and corals in each tank. He mentioned that this is a technique he learned from freshwater that is very helpful for temporarily separating fish, isolating corals that need to be restored, and for feeding new fish that need to be fed.

He uses the protein skimmer and the refuge for nutrient control. Bacteria are dosed regularly, but he does not give carbon sources as nutrients are almost undetectable.

He mentioned that the tank has very little denitrification effect because it doesn’t use a lot of sand or living rock. The small amount of food due to the small number of fish is also partly responsible for the nutrient-poor environment. Low nutrient levels are also the effect of the refuge.

Takaki uses Chaetomorpha crassa and the refuge makes up about 10% of the water volume. The lights are on 24 hours a day and a lot of seaweed grows in the hideaway. Plus a lot of microbes grow in the hideaway, he mentions, it’s a great snack for the fish!

The aquascape design started with dead coral skeletons and the placement of the corals and the overall design influence his experience with planted tanks.

He says, “In a natural aquarium, we divide the aquascape into foreground, central area and background and plant aquatic plants that are appropriate for each characteristic. Even in a reef tank, the layout is based on the amount of light the coral needs, but there are some similarities. “

Hats off to you takaki! Amazing performance on your first reef aquarium.


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