anything I should know before getting my first coral?

LifeOfAquatics

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hello, so I have a 10 gallon with an oce clown and an orchid dottyback (planning on upgrading to a 20 long and both fish are still very small), and I wanted to add some easy corals today. the light I have gives off 78 par at 12 inches and I'm planning on putting the corals around the 5-6 inch mark so they'll get roughly 100 par if I did the math correctly lol. anyways, I just wanted some easy corals to start off with that wont cause any trouble. so one of my main questions is how exactly do you go about putting a coral in your tank? i bought reef dip and heard that I should use only half the dose for it on the coral, is this true? or should I use the full dose? and also, how exactly should I put it in a tank? should I remove the frag plug and put the coral in the tank? i don't have coral glue yet but I can get it today if need be. is it necessary or can I just put the coral straight on a rock? also, I am not planning on quarantine as I still have a small tank so I didn't get a RODI unit, and so I don't have enough water nor do I have another light for the coral to be quarantine. yes ik it is risky but it is the only way, but I will use reef dip just in case. and lastly, what are some good corals to get? i already have pulsing xenia and toadstool. i am planning the pulsing xenia just because It is one of my favs and also, a 20 long isn't too big so even if it takes over a bit, it'll be easy to trim down. plus i just really like the look. also, should I acclimate my corals to my light or should I just turn on the light after putting the corals in the tank for a few hours? my light is adjustable (its a nicrew light), so how should I go about lighting? i am planning on setting the light on mainly the blue light at night with the white light in the morning. so, could you help answer my questions? please and thank you!
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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I would wait a couple months before trying any coral. Especially if using tap water. No telling what algae and other issues will show up.
im not using tap water, im using rodi water from my lfs. and its been about a month and a half since I started up the tank. just planning some easy forgiving corals to get used to them.
 

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im not using tap water, im using rodi water from my lfs. and its been about a month and a half since I started up the tank. just planning some easy forgiving corals to get used to them.
Ahh, got ya. GSP is pretty indestructible. Just keep it on its own island, not on any main structures. Zoas, xenia, mushrooms are other easier ones.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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Ahh, got ya. GSP is pretty indestructible. Just keep it on its own island, not on any main structures. Zoas, xenia, mushrooms are other easier ones.
ah i have heard so many horror stories with gsp that I'm a little hesitant. i would keep it on its own rock but I only got 2 rocks as of now and im planning one all for the xenia so maybe gonna skip on the gsp. bit scared of zoas bc of the palytoxins, I don't want to start right off with something poisonous. maybe later once I learn more abt them. def gonna go with a mushroom. also, could you please answer my question as to how to add corals to tank? half the recommend dose of reef dip and remove frag plug and glue to rock? is that it? is the glue necessary? thanks!
 
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This is what happens if you don't keep this devil weed away from your rocks.
 

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LifeOfAquatics

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This is what happens if you don't keep this devil weed away from your rocks.
could you answer the question about how I should add corals to my tank? should I do "half the recommend dose of reef dip and remove frag plug and glue to rock? is that it? is the glue necessary?" thanks!
 

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could you answer the question about how I should add corals to my tank? should I do "half the recommend dose of reef dip and remove frag plug and glue to rock? is that it? is the glue necessary?" thanks!
I've never dipped corals before so can't help you there. I usually just cut the knob off and glue or putty the rest of the plug to the rock.
 

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could you answer the question about how I should add corals to my tank? should I do "half the recommend dose of reef dip and remove frag plug and glue to rock? is that it? is the glue necessary?" thanks!

Coral can first be added to an aquarium when it has finished its Nitrogen Cycle, and the various algae blooms have passed. Adequate lighting, regular maintenance, frequent water changes, and stable water parameters will then help the coral grow. There is no right or wrong answer and every aquarium is going to run a different timeline to another. Patience is the key here and if you can hold off adding your corals until after the following items have been completed it will pay off:
- Cycle
- Blooms such as :
  • Green Hair Algae
  • Diatoms
  • Dinoflagellates
  • Cyano Bacteria
- Stable water. If you can keep your water stable in every parameter then your livestock will thrive. As a beginner you will most likely want to begin with soft corals as these are the most tolerant to swinging parameters, however, they can only tolerate so much. Best are:
Softies – Soft Corals:
Zoanthids & Palythoas
Mushrooms
Leathers
Polyps
Xenia

Large Polyp Stony Corals:
Hammers & Frogspawn
Torches
Bubble Corals
Candy Canes
Brains


The reason why you want to dip your corals is it’s going to prevent pests from entering in your aquarium. Dipping corals also inhibits the introduction of good critters such as amphipods and copepods. Coral dip removes good and bad critters from your corals. Adding corals to your aquarium is a great way to introduced microbiology lifeforms to your aquarium. The first step to getting your coral dip together is using the shipment water with the recommended dose of whichever coral dip you use. I use coral RX because it’s been around for forever and has worked great for me. I strongly recommend that you follow the directions provided by the coral dip manufacture to ensure proper use.
Stir the dip every few minutes for 20 minutes to get any critters to fall off the coral. Try to move water all over the coral and specific areas such as the base of the coral because that’s where often critters like to hide. Coral dip doesn’t harm the coral but it doesn’t make it very happy either, often you’ll see the coral react to being within the coral dip. Chalice corals seem to be the most reactive in dip forming a very thick mucus layer during their time in the dip.
Once your coral has been in the dip for 20 or so minutes, it’s time to remove it from and place it into fresh salt water to rinse off the dip. When the coral is in the new water, I try my best to move the water around the coral as much to remove any of the dip that may still be on the coral. Once this is done it’s time to add the coral to your display tank.
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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Coral can first be added to an aquarium when it has finished its Nitrogen Cycle, and the various algae blooms have passed. Adequate lighting, regular maintenance, frequent water changes, and stable water parameters will then help the coral grow. There is no right or wrong answer and every aquarium is going to run a different timeline to another. Patience is the key here and if you can hold off adding your corals until after the following items have been completed it will pay off:
- Cycle
- Blooms such as :
  • Green Hair Algae
  • Diatoms
  • Dinoflagellates
  • Cyano Bacteria
- Stable water. If you can keep your water stable in every parameter then your livestock will thrive. As a beginner you will most likely want to begin with soft corals as these are the most tolerant to swinging parameters, however, they can only tolerate so much. Best are:
Softies – Soft Corals:
Zoanthids & Palythoas
Mushrooms
Leathers
Polyps
Xenia

Large Polyp Stony Corals:
Hammers & Frogspawn
Torches
Bubble Corals
Candy Canes
Brains


The reason why you want to dip your corals is it’s going to prevent pests from entering in your aquarium. Dipping corals also inhibits the introduction of good critters such as amphipods and copepods. Coral dip removes good and bad critters from your corals. Adding corals to your aquarium is a great way to introduced microbiology lifeforms to your aquarium. The first step to getting your coral dip together is using the shipment water with the recommended dose of whichever coral dip you use. I use coral RX because it’s been around for forever and has worked great for me. I strongly recommend that you follow the directions provided by the coral dip manufacture to ensure proper use.
Stir the dip every few minutes for 20 minutes to get any critters to fall off the coral. Try to move water all over the coral and specific areas such as the base of the coral because that’s where often critters like to hide. Coral dip doesn’t harm the coral but it doesn’t make it very happy either, often you’ll see the coral react to being within the coral dip. Chalice corals seem to be the most reactive in dip forming a very thick mucus layer during their time in the dip.
Once your coral has been in the dip for 20 or so minutes, it’s time to remove it from and place it into fresh salt water to rinse off the dip. When the coral is in the new water, I try my best to move the water around the coral as much to remove any of the dip that may still be on the coral. Once this is done it’s time to add the coral to your display tank.
should i use the shipment water for the dipping process? if I do, when should i drip acclimate the coral to the tank water? or should i first acclimate the coral to the tank water, then proceed with the dip? and also, i bought reef dip, should i use 1/2 the recommended dose or should i use the full dose? thanks! and i should remove the frag plug right? will it be hard to get to come off?
 

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should i use the shipment water for the dipping process? if I do, when should i drip acclimate the coral to the tank water? or should i first acclimate the coral to the tank water, then proceed with the dip? and also, i bought reef dip, should i use 1/2 the recommended dose or should i use the full dose? thanks! and i should remove the frag plug right? will it be hard to get to come off?
What coral ? They dont need to be drip acclimated. You can chose to keep the frag plug if you want.
 

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ah i have heard so many horror stories with gsp that I'm a little hesitant. i would keep it on its own rock but I only got 2 rocks as of now and im planning one all for the xenia so maybe gonna skip on the gsp. bit scared of zoas bc of the palytoxins, I don't want to start right off with something poisonous. maybe later once I learn more abt them. def gonna go with a mushroom. also, could you please answer my question as to how to add corals to tank? half the recommend dose of reef dip and remove frag plug and glue to rock? is that it? is the glue necessary? thanks!
If you're worried about GSP but planning Xenia, someone has scared you on the wrong coral. Gsp won't float off and take over everything. Xenia absolutely will
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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If you're worried about GSP but planning Xenia, someone has scared you on the wrong coral. Gsp won't float off and take over everything. Xenia absolutely will
I am worried for gsp bc it encrusts. I really like the look of Xenia and I have metal tongs for when I need to get rid of some. Xenia floats off? Never heard of anyone say that. I am just gonna keep it isolated on its own rock. And it can’t grow on sand right?
 

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I certainly wouldn’t attach any corals with or with out plugs directly to rockwork until your sure they’ll be happy where you want them. This means acclimating them to light and flow and observing. After a while off things looks happy, you can attach directly to rock (removing the plug makes for a more natural look but plugs will eventually be concealed).

As for dipping them:

I’ve read different techniques and some depend on how many corals you’re planning to add at once.

If it’s just a few, you can acclimate them to your tank water first. Then in that same water (container) add appropriate amount of dip solution. Ensure good water movement around the coral or stir/mix gently by hand using a tool.

In second container rinse the coral in a different batch of tank water gently. Add to tank.

Discard water from dip and rinse.

Not sure how, but Xenia do break away perhaps when they need more space? They’ll then colonize their new location. YouTube has lots of examples. As long as you want the work, it’s fine.

Good luck!
 
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should i use the shipment water for the dipping process? if I do, when should i drip acclimate the coral to the tank water? or should i first acclimate the coral to the tank water, then proceed with the dip? and also, i bought reef dip, should i use 1/2 the recommended dose or should i use the full dose? thanks! and i should remove the frag plug right? will it be hard to get to come off?
Drip acclimate is for fish not coral. Bag water is fine when mixed with tank water in a different container which also reduces shock from new water . You are matching the tank water parameters before introduction. You will finish by acclimating to light often starting with low light and gradually increasing to desired intensity over 24-72 hrs
 
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Drip acclimate is for fish not coral. Bag water is fine when mixed with tank water in a different container which also reduces shock from new water . You are matching the tank water parameters before introduction. You will finish by acclimating to light often starting with low light and gradually increasing to desired intensity over 24-72 hrs
Ok so, I should first add water over time? Once the water doubles/triples, then I’ll start the dip. After the dip, I’ll just gently swish the coral in another container with my display tanks water. And then start my light from the lowest setting and increase to my highest setting over 1-3 days right?
 

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You’re probably good to try some softies and see how they do and then can try adding easier lps in a few months if theyre doing well. I wouldn’t overthink it just keep up on water changes and test out some easier corals (xenia, gsp, mushrooms) and slowly add/test more difficult/expensive ones once you see the easy ones are growing well
 
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LifeOfAquatics

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You’re probably good to try some softies and see how they do and then can try adding easier lps in a few months if theyre doing well. I wouldn’t overthink it just keep up on water changes and test out some easier corals (xenia, gsp, mushrooms) and slowly add/test more difficult/expensive ones once you see the easy ones are growing well
Any softies in particular you’d recommend? This will be my first coral and they’ll have abt 100 par.
 

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Ok so, I should first add water over time? Once the water doubles/triples, then I’ll start the dip. After the dip, I’ll just gently swish the coral in another container with my display tanks water. And then start my light from the lowest setting and increase to my highest setting over 1-3 days right?
Yes
 

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