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The amazing lil 1.5 gallon vase aquarium called Maritza

By Leonard Ho - Posted Nov 04, 2014 09:00 AM
You wouldn't think a tiny, filterless reef aquarium could possibly work, but Mary Arroyo's "Maritza" has been thriving for almost two years now. We aren't talking about a monospecific display either. Maritza is fully stocked with SPS, LPS, and soft corals.
The amazing lil 1.5 gallon vase aquarium called Maritza

Go small or go home!

Brandon Mason inspired many nano/pico aquarists to attempt low-tech vase aquariums with his one-gallon Reef Bowl, which he started in 2006 and, as we reported, was still going strong as of 2013.  Obviously aquariums with volume this small are finicky and require diligence to upkeep, but many aquarists are lured by the challenge, novelty, and aesthetics of itty-bitty reefs growing within unconventional vessels.  Mary Arroyo's Maritza is perhaps the finest example of a successful pico reef vase we have seen.

Maritza's equipment and maintenance rundown is as simple as they come:

  • Weekly 100% water changes
  • Air pump for oxygenation and circulation
  • 1" Polyfilter squares fitted over the airline output to act as a diffuser
  • 27W LED lighting
  • Sealed top (same as the Reef Bowl) to prevent evaporation/salinity swings.
  • No dosing

This is the spectacular result:

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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