For you guys with Sps dominated tanks

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Kfactor

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Hi all I just got my new tank going about a month ago and want to go all sps corals . Since it’s a new tank am going to make sure everything is good and wait a bit to add corals . My question is I don’t really want to wait a year just with fish in the tank but I don’t want to add sps corals to soon ether if you were in my situation how long would you guys wait it out ? In this tank I want to get all my dream sps corals and don’t wait to add any softy’s at all and for lps maybe a few scolys
 

zoa what

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If you don't wait at least 9-12mos to establish good LR and good water chemistry and good bacteria balance. ... if you put SPS like Acros in there, you might as well just get a stack of $20 bills out of the ATM and slip them one by one out a cracked window on the Highway driving to work every morning.

If you want colorful things in a hurry, buy an old muscle car and teach yourself how to custom paint ghost-flames and skulls on the cars hood.

Paint this on the hood. Lol
Lettering Message GIF by STABILO
 
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Kfactor

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What’s your substrate? Try to grow coralline algae first. Once you get that going, your tank is ready for acros.

If you were planning a tank, I would have suggested you get 100% live rock form the ocean.
I have special grade sand I with I could have got all live rock but here in Canada it’s very hard to get
 

resortez

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A good start is sharing numbers, tank mates & rundown of your set up. Also, light schedule & feeding regiment. I will say, there’s no substitute for a well established & mature tank. A month in? Sounds like a bad gamble to me but still would be good to get a brief history of the tank. One thing is certain, these animals require tons of patience from you & it will test your patience, believe me. Another thing, do all the required reading before taking the plunge. Read up on the specific sps you want & their requirements like flow, light, placement, behavior, etc. Also, the need for a QT because there are tons of threads on r2r where you can find all the failures of sps tanks & a lot of the failures come from not QTing coral. Get familiar with spotting RTN, worms, unhealthy specimens & the difference between mariculture & aquaculture, pros & cons of both. Stability is key, so dial in your tank. Have it ready for sps, the reason for an equipment rundown, it’s to make sure you have everything you need. Hope it helps.
 

blasterman

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Hi all I just got my new tank going about a month ago and want to go all sps corals . Since it’s a new tank am going to make sure everything is good and wait a bit to add corals . My question is I don’t really want to wait a year just with fish in the tank but I don’t want to add sps corals to soon ether if you were in my situation how long would you guys wait it out ? In this tank I want to get all my dream sps corals and don’t wait to add any softy’s at all and for lps maybe a few scolys

The key with SPS is the tank is nutrient stable. No weird nitrate dives or increases and preferably between 5-10. Phosphate around .03.

For this to happen you typically need a tank that's well past the ugly phase because nuisance algaes cause huge problems with nutrient stability. This is why mature tanks do so much better with SPS..its not the time thing. Its that they are past the ugly phase and have stable nutrients. This usually happens around 5-6 months.

You can cheat the beast as a matter of saying by using live rock that comes from healthy tanks because you then are forklifting the mature biology from one tank to another. The problem with this is live rock can also come from a bare tank with just rock in it and no biology and it doesn't help much.

Some tanks mature faster than others. As a couple other indicators that you might be ready to try some entry level SPS is that you don't have fast moving algae blooms, no cyano, no weird fish deaths, and you aren't doing water changes to keep nitrate lower than 20 *sigh*. I dont use coraline algae as a limus because my tanks don't grow it and I have fantastic SPS growth. I also don't consider LPS or zoas to be starter corals and not by default hardier than SPS. Shrooms maybe.

If your tank fits this criteria my favorite starter SPS is German blue digipora. They can tolerate new tank conditions and will change color according to water issues. Pocillopora is a close second followed by purple stylo. Do not get a birdsnest.
 

The Camaro Show

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The key with SPS is the tank is nutrient stable. No weird nitrate dives or increases and preferably between 5-10. Phosphate around .03.

For this to happen you typically need a tank that's well past the ugly phase because nuisance algaes cause huge problems with nutrient stability. This is why mature tanks do so much better with SPS..its not the time thing. Its that they are past the ugly phase and have stable nutrients. This usually happens around 5-6 months.

You can cheat the beast as a matter of saying by using live rock that comes from healthy tanks because you then are forklifting the mature biology from one tank to another. The problem with this is live rock can also come from a bare tank with just rock in it and no biology and it doesn't help much.

Some tanks mature faster than others. As a couple other indicators that you might be ready to try some entry level SPS is that you don't have fast moving algae blooms, no cyano, no weird fish deaths, and you aren't doing water changes to keep nitrate lower than 20 *sigh*. I dont use coraline algae as a limus because my tanks don't grow it and I have fantastic SPS growth. I also don't consider LPS or zoas to be starter corals and not by default hardier than SPS. Shrooms maybe.

If your tank fits this criteria my favorite starter SPS is German blue digipora. They can tolerate new tank conditions and will change color according to water issues. Pocillopora is a close second followed by purple stylo. Do not get a birdsnest.
For you how does the German blue chance based on conditions?
 

jamesdomini4

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I have special grade sand I with I could have got all live rock but here in Canada it’s very hard to get
I honestly don’t think there is a great answer to when you are ready. I am having good success so far, keeping SPS in a very young tank (started 6 weeks back). I started with rock from the ocean and dose live phytoplankton everyday.

A monti and a stylo that I added 4 weeks back has shown good amount of encrusting. I added an acro a week back and it’s doing ok as well. I guess I will know how that goes in a month. My rocks are covered in coralline and it’s growing everywhere.
 
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Kfactor

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A good start is sharing numbers, tank mates & rundown of your set up. Also, light schedule & feeding regiment. I will say, there’s no substitute for a well established & mature tank. A month in? Sounds like a bad gamble to me but still would be good to get a brief history of the tank. One thing is certain, these animals require tons of patience from you & it will test your patience, believe me. Another thing, do all the required reading before taking the plunge. Read up on the specific sps you want & their requirements like flow, light, placement, behavior, etc. Also, the need for a QT because there are tons of threads on r2r where you can find all the failures of sps tanks & a lot of the failures come from not QTing coral. Get familiar with spotting RTN, worms, unhealthy specimens & the difference between mariculture & aquaculture, pros & cons of both. Stability is key, so dial in your tank. Have it ready for sps, the reason for an equipment rundown, it’s to make sure you have everything you need. Hope it helps.
I will post my tank and setup with numbers when I get back to town I should be back tomorrow
 

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I would go to LFS’s and pick up some more live rock to add diversity. After a few months you could remove the pieces you don’t want. Also once you determine your willing to try some frags get some common inexpensive montis or even basic Acros. Don’t spend too much. If you keep your parameters in line they should do ok even if they don’t blow up and grow super fast. Essentially by adding those frags you will also be adding biodiversity. The reason it takes a year or more for a tank to mature is because it takes time to build up the flora and fauna necessary to have a “mature” reef tank. And extra sources of good flora and fauna will help allot. Even small pieces of rock could have something your tank doesn’t already have and be a huge benefit. Talk to local reefers and LFS. There many sources to get that biodiversity from. If it wasn’t Across the border I would mail you a container of sand and some rubble. Good luck
 

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I absolutely get the advice stated above, and have personally watched several sticks take 9 months to start really growing. That said, it seems like it can be done, and done well:


I can’t help but think there’s something missing in the current widely accepted start-up strategy that tolerates 6-9 months of suffering (“ugly phase”). What should we being doing differently?
 

Mistahman

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I am by no means an authority on reef tanks, but I started my sps dominance tank 3 months ago and I have a bunch of acro frags. Haven’t lost the first one, thank god. My only problem is I can’t get a nitrate reading! I started with dry rock in another tank with a couple fish for a couple months.
Pic not very good.
 

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JCM

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I absolutely get the advice stated above, and have personally watched several sticks take 9 months to start really growing. That said, it seems like it can be done, and done well:


I can’t help but think there’s something missing in the current widely accepted start-up strategy that tolerates 6-9 months of suffering (“ugly phase”). What should we being doing differently?

I agree with your point but using Roberto's tank as an example is funny. He's not exactly inexperienced.
 
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Kfactor

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I agree with your point but using Roberto's tank as an example is funny. He's not exactly inexperienced.
I have read though his setup and the way he does things and it’s a really good read and probably way out of my League. I’m in no hurry to add just looks really bare bones so to speak lol. I want to make this tank every thing I have wanted in a tank and go all sps in this one . My old tank I could keep sps they never did the best but none died and on this tank I want to do everything right and do things properly and I’m sure I will have a few bumps down the road lol
 

Overbrook

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I agree with your point but using Roberto's tank as an example is funny. He's not exactly inexperienced.
I absolutely didn’t mean to imply he was inexperienced; far far from it.
His experience and sustained success over multiple tanks, with a method contrary to what is preached, is sorta my point.
 

reefinatl

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Hi all I just got my new tank going about a month ago and want to go all sps corals . Since it’s a new tank am going to make sure everything is good and wait a bit to add corals . My question is I don’t really want to wait a year just with fish in the tank but I don’t want to add sps corals to soon ether if you were in my situation how long would you guys wait it out ? In this tank I want to get all my dream sps corals and don’t wait to add any softy’s at all and for lps maybe a few scolys
I had zero issues getting Joe's rainbow, purple Nana, pink lemonade birdsnest, green slimer and a variety of montipora established healthy and growing within a few months but I also had a live/dry mix and livesand. No sps expert but no issue keeping the easier stuff colorful and growing. No way would I be so cavalier with $200 frags. I don't think I paid over $30 for anything but a trachy in my tank.
 

JCM

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I absolutely didn’t mean to imply he was inexperienced; far far from it.
His experience and sustained success over multiple tanks, with a method contrary to what is preached, is sorta my point.

I know, I agree with you. I've admired his tanks for 15 years now it seems. Not easy to replicate though.
 

Junkmanthom

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Hi all I just got my new tank going about a month ago and want to go all sps corals . Since it’s a new tank am going to make sure everything is good and wait a bit to add corals . My question is I don’t really want to wait a year just with fish in the tank but I don’t want to add sps corals to soon ether if you were in my situation how long would you guys wait it out ? In this tank I want to get all my dream sps

corals and don’t wait to add any softy’s at all
and for lps maybe a few scolys

Get on YouTube and watch videos by Coraleuphoria. Abe is very smart and realistic. Try to find one person that is successful and follow their path. Too many ways of doing things leads to too many failures. Don’t ask for everyone’s opinion. Find someone like abe and listen well. This is the way to achieve that dream tank. Oh, and LED’s are expensive and wayyyy overrated. Imho
 
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