Where Have You Been? Good Bye! What’s Next?

Hey everyone,

Well, it’s been quite a while since I made an update both on here and on YouTube. I just recently moved to Japan, so let me get you up to speed on what’s been going on and my upcoming plans.

Fluval Spec V Reef

Earlier this year in January I celebrated the 1st month of the Fluval Spec V setup. I was eager to pack it full of corals and enjoy the journey.

However, I ran in to a few stumbling blocks such as flatworms, Zoa eating nudibranchs and then bryopsis which led to a lack of updates. I should have documented the process. I’m sure it’s not the last time I’ll see those pests, so next time I’ll be sure to keep a record of the situation.

In short, I tried removing rocks, treating with hydrogen peroxide, raising the magnesium using Kent products to tackle the bryopsis with little success.

I finally bought some Fluconazole for the bryopsis, as mentioned on https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/bryopsis-cure-my-battle-with-bryopsis-using-fluconazole.285096/, and it worked great!

I tried manually removing the worms and Nudibranchs, but they kept getting worse. As a last resort I tried using Flatworm Exit and it killed them both off completely after 2 treatments.

Sold Spec V

By the time this battle was over, I had already begun plans to move to Japan so I started selling off corals and hardware.

2 Gallon Cookie Jar Reef

One of my best reefs was the 2 gallon cookie jar. It was a full living reef and because of that success it has changed the way I look at this hobby. I’ve also made a lot of great friends because of it!

During my battle with the Spec V, I made an error with water while doing maintenance on both systems which led to the death of some SPS in the jar. Within a day the contamination of death quickly spread through the jar.

I was able to save many pieces by moving them to the Spec V, but the jar was no longer the masterpiece it once was. Again, I knew I would be moving to Japan so I dismantled the whole thing. It was a sad day, but the future is bright!

What’s Next? Another Pico Reef In Japan!

I’ve finally moved to Japan, but still need to take care of a few things before I can really say that I’ve settled.

I plan on starting another pico reef, but before I do there are a couple of new challenges that I will have to overcome.

In the mean time I’ve been keeping an eye out for unique containers and corals that are available locally.

Japan has some amazing corals available that aren’t available in North America and the prices are very reasonable. I’m about 45 minutes from Tokyo, so I should have a lot of options nearby without having to order online.

I believe that is because fresh water setups are more common here and we’re surrounded by ocean where the corals are harvested which reduces shipping and import/export fees etc.

New Challenges

While I can get by with my level of Japanese fluency, I think I might miss out on some opportunities because it. I’m not too worried about that because what I’ve seen so far is awesome and I could always get help from my wife (Japanese native).

Keep In Mind For The Following: I live in an apartment and holes can’t be made in the walls for any purpose.


The heat in the summer time where I live will be around 35c-40c (95f-104f) with 90-100% Humidity. I’m concerned about not being able to keep a small reef cool in my apartment.

Here are options I’ve thought about:

Fan – Using a fan to reduce the heat. The problem is that the ambient temperature will be very high and evaporation won’t be as effective due to the high humidity. It’s something I can definitely try, but I don’t want to rely on this method with livestock just in case it’s not enough.

Air Conditioning – Why don’t you just use air conditioning? Electricity in Japan is extremely expensive. Is paying an extra $200 – $300 /month for 4-5 months on top of everything else to keep a 2 gallon jar or vase worth it? For me, not so much right now.

Chiller – I’m not concerned about the cost of a small chiller, but rather the extra line going in to the reef and its effectiveness. If the hot air is being exhausted from the chiller in to the same room and the room heats up like crazy etc.

I don’t know what to do at the moment. I thought about getting something setup without corals for this upcoming summer to test the heat ranges and cooling ideas, but I’d really like to start a new journey as soon as possible.

If you have any ideas or experience, please feel free to let me know in the comments below!


I live in a very earthquake prone country. In fact, we just had 2 quakes (4.4 and 4.8 about 20 miles away and 30 miles deep) that shook things pretty good last week around midnight.

I also live about 300 meters from the train tracks for a local train and bullet train. So there is a little rumble from that throughout the day.

Placement of the jar/vase will need careful consideration.

I’ve had suggestions like “just use straps”. Well, the buildings here are designed to flex and bow. Strapping down anything to the wall or floor is a bad idea because whatever you strap down will move as the walls and floor do.

The weight of my previous 2 gallon cookie jar was probably pretty good to keep it from moving around too much, so my best option might be to put it on my desk away from any edges (or buy a coffee table for it – there are tons of low tables here), but I’ll need to make some sort of base with anti-sliding mat underneath the reef jar itself.

At least that is something I can test before putting any livestock in.

Rock Work

I also need to be careful with rock work within the jar/vase. With constant rumbles and jolts, over time things are definitely likely to shift, move and potentially fall.

I have an idea about creating something I haven’t seen anyone else do in a small pico reef, but I’ll share that for a later date. Sorry 🙂

Website Updates & Final Thoughts

I have articles to write, edit and upload to fill out the “start here” page. There are some in progress, but I’ve been focused on business and other life stuff. They’re coming, slowly but surely!

I think that’s about all for now and sorry for the lack of pictures. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the beautiful Ma Rit Za who is constantly evolving and opening the minds of other reefers.

And let me know in the comments with any ideas you might have for keeping small reefs in hot climates and earthquake prone areas.

Thanks so much for all your continued support!