It's the best tank we have ever built on BRStv!  

Those are some pretty big shoes to fill and when we first set out with the BRS 360, this was our goal - an impressive show tank that combined ALL of the lessons learned throughout BRStv history. While our objective to produce the best tank in BRStv history has not wavered, the journey to get there has certainly taken some dramatic twists and turns. Looking back, the challenges that Ryan and the team have faced with the BRS 360 have resulted in 4 very profound lessons in reefing philosophy. What started as a teaching tank for the community has evolved into a teaching tank for all of us, Ryan and the BRStv team included. 

BRS 360 Full Tank
BRS 360 Front View
BRS 360 Royal Exclusiv Sump
BRS 360 Sump by Royal Exclusiv


Patience Is Not Enough

This widely repeated approach is no secret to the aquarium community at large. Patience and time will eventually produce balance and stability. Vague, yes, but often a very reliable route to achieving a moderate level of success. In the case of the BRS 360, patience alone was not enough.

In an attempt to lead by example, the BRS 360 went through an extended cycling period without lights, yet we were still met with unmanageable outbreaks of pesky slime.  Why did this happen?  

Immediately introducing a full blanket of 300+ PAR promoted the rapid growth of photosynthetic pests and we did not intentionally introduce microorganisms to compete with those pests - Learn more in our Biome Cycle Video Series

    • It was set up as a bare-bottom tank - lack of habitat for microorganisms as well as no natural sources for biodiversity. 
    • We did not add any pods during the cycle to help compete with pests
    • Corals, which often bring a host of beneficial microorganisms, were not introduced throughout the cycle

Biology Is The Answer

Consider the unique biology of each aquatic creature in your aquarium as a key decision-making factor. While environmental elements like lighting, flow, and water chemistry are crucial, they represent only a part of the picture. Each marine species in your tank has its own unique biological needs. By shifting focus from generalized care to an approach that emphasizes these distinct needs, we can ensure optimal health for each fish and coral. This individualized care strategy leads to more vibrant, sustainable reef ecosystems and fosters a more respectful and harmonious relationship between us and the marine life in our care.

Let this approach guide your choices around light, flow, water chemistry, habitat, and nutrition. 

Challenge What You "Know"

Progress doesn't come from defending what we know. Don't ignore the importance of questioning and reassessing your existing knowledge and approaches in reef tank management. This means stepping out of our comfort zones to experiment and learn, acknowledging that progress in the hobby comes from such explorations. Embracing new methods or ideas, even if they are just new to us, can lead to significant advancements. This mindset is not just about accepting new concepts, but actively seeking them out and testing their validity, thereby fostering collective growth and understanding within the reef keeping community.

Dare Greatly!

Embrace challenges and learn from failures. At one point, Ryan admits that the 360 felt like his biggest, most public failure. Despite wanting to shut the tank down at times, the 360 has become one of the nicest, if not the nicest tank here at BRS. This mindset encourages taking bold steps and experimenting, understanding that setbacks are part of the learning process. The emphasis is on the journey of growth and discovery, recognizing that true progress and innovation often come from venturing into uncharted territories and daring to try new approaches, even in the face of potential failure. This perspective fosters resilience and a deeper understanding of the intricacies of maintaining a thriving reef ecosystem.