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Frag Tank Hiatt Style

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 6:13am

Fishbot,

You are quoting lots of stuff that I didn't write and is posted nowhere on this site. I believe it comes from Majesticreefs.com which is a Hiatt distributor but I never used their propaganda. I can sympathize with their feelings as I have met with similar criticism form hobbyists wanting to dismiss the Hiatt System on other boards. Fortunately on this board I have been encouraged to go ahead and try new things.

Here is a link to my first setup. It documents my first experience with the Hiatt System. Again I have never told anyone they need to use this system. I don't distribute their products. I have no friends or acquaintances affiliated with Hiatt, I just decided to try it and see for myself if it works, and it does.

http://www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=32518&KW=Hiatt

I welcome any civil open minded response. If you just want to rant then please don't bother.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 6:24am
One last note then I have to leave for the airport. In the 4 months I have been using the Hiatt system I have only lost 2 fish (Green Cromis) and 1 coral (a hammer that my clown fish killed by rubbing on it too much) I am growing SPS, LPS and Softies in a mixed system and all are doing well. I have started the frag tank to put cuttings from my display as all my coral is growing quickly. I bring this up only because of your comment about loosing animals. I think my losses stand up pretty good against most new hobbyists of 5 months.
 
Burt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 6:25am
My beef is that it is junk science. I have been keeping SW tanks for the last 19 years and consider myself an expert and I am being honest with you that this is garbage. The only way to have a fully ready for life tank in less than about a month or so is to take fresh (not what you buy at your LFS) live rock and fresh saltwater from the ocean and add it to your tank. I have done this while I was stationed in Hawaii and it is the only way. The claims on the majestic reef website are bogus. You would get much better results by adding one peice of fully cured liverock to your system (and sure throw in some Walmart brand carbon) then you can get with this "method". In fact you don't need much in the way of fancy hardware to have a great reef tank, just good lighting, good flow and a good mature substrate. Many of the members on this forum bought my corals when I tore down my last 125. No skimmer, no reactor, no carbon, nothing but good lighting and lots of LR & LS and flow.    
 
The reason you think it works is because you don't want to admit you got ripped off.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 6:31am
Ask your self what is "PH Rock"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 8:55am
Originally posted by Fishbot Fishbot wrote:

My beef is that it is junk science. I have been keeping SW tanks for the last 19 years and consider myself an expert and I am being honest with you that this is garbage. The only way to have a fully ready for life tank in less than about a month or so is to take fresh (not what you buy at your LFS) live rock and fresh saltwater from the ocean and add it to your tank. I have done this while I was stationed in Hawaii and it is the only way. The claims on the majestic reef website are bogus. You would get much better results by adding one peice of fully cured liverock to your system (and sure throw in some Walmart brand carbon) then you can get with this "method". In fact you don't need much in the way of fancy hardware to have a great reef tank, just good lighting, good flow and a good mature substrate. Many of the members on this forum bought my corals when I tore down my last 125. No skimmer, no reactor, no carbon, nothing but good lighting and lots of LR & LS and flow.    
 
The reason you think it works is because you don't want to admit you got ripped off.
 
 
I'm not going to comment on the validity of the Hiatt system as I have not seen Burt's setups in person, but I would like to address your comment about needing fresh ocean rock and actual NSW in order to have a tank "fully ready for life in less than a month"..?
 
While I used to collect NSW from time to time when I lived on Long Island, NY, I don't believe I ever used it specifically to start up a system. I know I never felt I had to use NSW to start up a system. And I know for sure that I have never used freshly collected live rock, ever. I would also state that in my 30+ years of keeping marine systems I have been able to establish thriving systems (with reasonable heavy bioloads) in far less than a month's time, without suffering undue loses to livestock.
 
Would access to NSW and true fresh LR be a benefit to starting up a new system? Certainly. Do you absolutely need them in order to do so? Absolutely not.
 
In over 3 decades of reefkeeping I have seen so many changes in this hobby. When I started out in the mid 1970s a UGF, dolomite gravel, coral skeletons and NO flo lighting were the "state of the art". Things like Live Rock, protein skimmers and metal halide lighting were unheard of at the time...
 
Today we have access to so many different types of equipment, foods, chemicals, and reefkeeping systems. While that is obviously a good thing it also leads to some contention regarding what is "correct", what is "the best way" and what actually works vs doesn't work... I am finding that the truth is there are many different approaches that can lead to successful outcomes.
 
Now I don't know if the Hiatt thing is truly workable or a "ripoff" as you said, but one thing I have learned is to keep an open mind and give things a chance to succeed (or fail) before I make up my mind... I don't see the harm in simply following Burt's progress and seeing how it all turns out.  After all, he's not trying to "sell us" on this system or hawking product - I don't see an ulterior motive here.
 
In the end it will either work or it won't. No need to pronounce it "junk science" just yet; time will tell us soon enough.
 
 
 
 
 
 
- My Current Tank: 150g Mixed Reef -

* Marine & Reef tanks since 1977 *
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 10:27am
I realize my posts may have come off a bit harsh. And I commend the OP for testing this as we all should do when a new concept is introduced into this hobby. However the failure of others with far more experiance than the "newb" OP to come out against this outright fraud and prevent him from wasting his time and money is deplorable. If anyone wants to have a serious debate about the merits of this system then lets do it.
 
And to reply to this comment:
 
Would access to NSW and true fresh LR be a benefit to starting up a new system? Certainly. Do you absolutely need them in order to do so? Absolutely not.
 
I did not say you needed them to start a tank I said you needed them to have an instantly cycled tank capable of supporting HEALTHY marine life. Obviously the posts here (and in other forums I visited while aghast at this scam) clearly prove that this system does not make a marine tank suitable for HEALTHY marine life after only 24 hours. No more than adding some ammonia chips to a bait bucket will provide any type of long lasting removal of nutrients.


Edited by Fishbot - August 18 2009 at 10:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 11:13am
Not to nitpick (after all, that would be so unlike me Shocked) but you didn't say "instantly ready", you actually said -
 
The only way to have a fully ready for life tank in less than about a month or so is to take fresh (not what you buy at your LFS) live rock and fresh saltwater from the ocean and add it to your tank. I have done this while I was stationed in Hawaii and it is the only way. 
 
(I "cut and pasted" that from your post  - I added the underline)
 
But back on topic Big smile
 
1) IMO, we really can't tell for sure if something is "outright fraud" unless we try / test it... we may have strong opinions, even backed with science and/or past experience, but for actual proof of failure you need to test
 
2) Having spoken with Burt a few times on the subject, I can tell you that he is well aware of the scepticism regarding the Hiatt system in general. I even expressed my own doubts. I will tell you he was still adamant in trying this out, which (of course) is his right. You may not agree with the science (or lack of science) on this, but uninformed and ignorant he is not. And, personally, I feel he has been careful and prudent in his actions so far regarding additions of livestock and then monitoring for any ill effects and reacting to that.
 
3) Having watched this topic progress for several weeks now, and having NOT seen a rush of newbies coming on here trying to blindly emulate the Hiatt system and crashing tanks left and right, I don't feel it my responsiblity to issue a "general warning" to the less experienced based on one persons efforts at testing this out.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
- My Current Tank: 150g Mixed Reef -

* Marine & Reef tanks since 1977 *
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 11:44am
Fishbot,
 
You are like many others who have found methods that work for you. Unfortunately you seem to think there is no other way but what you know and that anything new must be crushed before it has a chance to prove itself. I nearly abandoned trying the Hiatt system because people like you would rant and rave about how it wouldn't work, would kill my livestock, and so on.
 
I actually did research this product and this is where I met the most opposition to using it. It wasn't until I was introduced to Stan and Debbie Hunter at about.com. They informed me of their use of the product and documented their success. Here is a quote form one of their letters.
 
"We presently live in Kinston, NC, so don't have any example that you can see in CA. However, when we moved here from HI 3 years ago, Deb and I went to work in the Animal Jungle (a pet store) aquarium section. All of the aquarium systems were a wreck, when we got here. I redesigned and retrofitted all of the filtration systems in the store, using the Right Now! bacteria and TBPC carbon. You can see the results of some of the conversions in 1,000 gallon System and 2,600 gallon system. All of the systems "cycled" within 24 hours and continue (after 24 years of operation) to run extremely well."
 
Stan and Debbie were very helpful and assisted me with advice for setting up my first tank. It's been running flawlessly for 5 months now and if you care to you can follow the link in the previous post regarding its progress.
 
You can rant and rave all you want about how it can't work, won't work but I have done it and my lack of experience and scientific knowledge doesn't change the fact that I started with a totally dead system, added fish and coral within 24 hours and have a thriving tank today. I did use caution and had a backup plan in case of disaster just as I do with this frag tank. I moved methodically but at a pace that most said couldn't be done. Put simply it worked and is still working today.
 
Follow the links provided by Stan and Debbie Hunter. They have much more experience than I and have done a great job of documenting their experiences. As for a debate about the merits of the Hiatt System this thread is not the place for it. Feel free to start a new thread and rant to your hearts content. This thread is intended to document the progress of my frag tank plain and simple. I am not looking for your approval or pushing my experiences as Gospel however after starting 4 tanks and having the same result with all 4 I can say that if anyone else wants to try the system and follow it precisely they will have the same results.
 
Thanks Bob for having an open mind. Thats how progress is made not by closing your mind to all possibilities except those that have worked in the past.
 
Again the purpose of this thread is not to pick a fight or pick on a fellow hobbyist but to share something new with other members of the club. In fact if you feel so strongly about your opinions why don't you become a paid member and contribute rather than pounce on people who don't share your beliefs.
Burt

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I support all hobbyists and organizations involved in Marine Aquarium Keeping.
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I for one do not know anything about this type of set up but I say if it works for you that is awesome and I am always glad to read of new methods because some hobbiest just like to do things different.  After all if people werent always improving we still wouldnt know how to keep any kind of coral alive for more then a month or two.  And if you have been in the reefing hobby for say 19 years you would know that as well.  In the late 80's and early 90's people could keep some corals alive but sooner or later their corals checked out due to not knowing enough about how to house them.  Thankfully we have had some new ideas and we are continually learning how to house our critters better and there for they thrive in a captive environment. 
Thanks for keeping us updated and for letting us know what works for you.  To all that might want to criticize please have an open mind, after all, what works for me might not work for you.  I mean no skimmer that sounds weird to me and I know that my tank does 10 times better with one and I lost corals with out having one.  If it isnt broke dont fix it and keep an open mind, its a hobby and success stories are always fun and exciting.   I am glad that the Hiatt system is working for him,  Congrats and keep the updates coming please.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 12:44pm
And you guys wonder why your all broke and your tanks look like crap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 12:59pm
I for one think that Burt has done a great job in starting and keeping tanks thus far!

Fishbot, I have no idea who you are or where you came from but to only sign up a few days ago and then come in here preaching like you know everything is very childish and immature! I personally would like to see you banned from this site and all your posts deleted by a moderator. I know one of them is reading this thread. If you have a problem with the Hiatt system then test it and post your findings. Don't come in here being an ASS! Get off this site and go bug Reef Central!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 1:09pm
Originally posted by Fishbot Fishbot wrote:

And you guys wonder why your all broke and your tanks look like crap
 
Hey now! My tank only "looks like crap" because I have put off cleaning the front panel for like, 3... weeks... now...Embarrassed
 
 
Seriously, relax a bit and take a few deep breaths...this ain't Reef Central. We at least try to contribute in a constructive manner around here...
 
 
 
 
Big smile
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 1:59pm
Just now saw this thread....
 
Hmmm.  I don't have a problem with what Fishbot is trying to say... it's been said before regarding the Hiatt system.  Many people are very vocal with their discontent on this.  Looking into the specifics of a reef keeping technique is well within the realm of this site.
 
I do, however, dislike the tone.  But hey that's what makes us each individual.  Personally I think trying to prove a point (on either side) is best done with a smile and some compassion.  But not everyone sees it that way.
 
Adam
ps- maybe I should call Bill Hiatt today and see if he wants to respond here????  Not sure if that would be helpful or just lead to a downward spiral.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 2:06pm
I didn't know you knew Bill Hiatt. I have never met or spoken with him but would be ok with his response.
 
Everyone on the site has always been friendly and helpful. They don't always agree and thats fine and I learn a lot from the opinions of others. This was just my first run in with someone attacking me personally without provocation.
 
Thanks Bob and Ryan for your support.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 2:10pm
Maybe we could get hiatt as a speaker at a meeting and hear his side of it!
Also I like the debates as long as they are friendly and constructive although I don't really like the comments that are basically = "I'm right and you guys suck",  I personally would never use the Hiatt system but to use a generalization that all of the club members tanks suck because people here have open minds is beyond me.
But that's just my opinion. 



Edited by Chad - August 18 2009 at 9:16pm
What?! You pooped in the refrigerator, and ate the entire wheel of cheese?! I'm not even mad.... That's actually amazing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 2:26pm
Originally posted by bfessler bfessler wrote:

I didn't know you knew Bill Hiatt. I have never met or spoken with him but would be ok with his response.
  
 
Bill shipped a rather large box of his rock, bacteria, carbon, and stuff to my lab for analysis.  The idea was to look into the method/products and see what we could get out of it.  In the end our lab had to pass on the analysis.  I sent it on to a colleague at another university.  I don't believe anything solid came from the project.
 
I've spoken with Bill many many times.  He's one of those guys that turns a 3 minute phone call into 20 hours of talking.  While I'm sure he'd be happy to post here, I'm not sure if it would help or hurt this discussion.
 
I'd call him now, but I have plans this weekend and don't want to be on the phone.  LOL
 
Adam


Edited by Adam Blundell - August 18 2009 at 2:33pm
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Originally posted by Adam Blundell Adam Blundell wrote:

I've spoken with Bill many many times.  He's one of those guys that turns a 3 minute phone call into 20 hours of talking.  While I'm sure he'd be happy to post here, I'm not sure if it would help or hurt this discussion.
 
I'd call him now, but I have plans this weekend.  LOL
 
Adam


I'm not sure what's funnier, that Bill will keep Adam on the phone or that Adam expects us to believe that he has real plans this weekend! LOL


Edited by Ryan Thompson - August 18 2009 at 2:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bfessler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 3:50pm
Now this is the light hearted conversation I love about this club.
 
When I first saw this system I tried to research it and ran into a lot of the same contention that just raised it head here. It made it hard to get any real useful information about the products because the Hiatt camp was preaching that this was the newest and best thing since Salt Mix and the naysayers were beating it down with blanket statements. That's why I haven't pushed its virtues as gospel just reported my experiences. I haven't tried to explain the science behind it, (probably because I am not a scientist), I just want to get some unbiased info out there.
 
I don't think the Hiatt system replaces traditional methods so much as provides a way to start off more quickly. I think that as the tank matures and the dead rock and sand become live that the need for this bacteria becomes less important. Aside from having no noticeable nitrogen cycle my tanks have gone through the same maturation process as traditional tanks, from Brown to Green to Pink. As my corals are growing I am beginning to see a need to watch my alkalinity although Calcium levels have remained high. I keep thinking about removing the Carbon and PH Rock to see what happens but now that my tank is looking good I don't want to rock the boat.
 
I hope my posts have been informative and unbiased. I am not trying to win converts or sell the product but at least you know that there are other options for cycling a tank and if the kids really want a Nemo they don't necessarily have to wait a long time to bring it home. I love playing with tank and filter designs and trying new things like Ceramic Reef Rock, it's become an addiction to me as it for many of you. I really like finding ways to make a reef work without taking things from the wild reefs when possible. Since my Clownfish killed my Wall Hammer all the corals in my tank are frags from your tanks and my live rock is all Ceramic or LBTR (with the exception of 1 small piece that I purchased from Fish 4U, so thanks everyone for your contributions to my reefs and the community of the Club.


Edited by bfessler - August 18 2009 at 3:53pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 6:50pm
So Adam are you saying you agree with the "science" behind this system? You have a degree in Marine Biology right? I am I the only one who thinks this method is total BS? Come on... 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fishbot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 18 2009 at 7:04pm

I will wager $100 that you could get the same "results" of this method in an identical tank with just aragonite sand, a tiny chunk of LR to seed and a bag of carbon from good ole Wal-Mart. Thats how one should really test the validity of this system -- with a control tank.

  
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