Have a Neptune Apex? Want to help coral research?



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Oct 6, 2018
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Do you have an Apex controller? Are you interested in contributing to coral research?

I am a 16 year old aquarist from Austin, Texas. Late last summer, I noticed that my skimmer was overflowing and after ruling out several other possibilities, speculated that a coral had spawned in our tank. Using our Apex controller, we noticed that the aquarium showed a drop in ORP (oxygen reduction potential) at the same time. When we spoke to our aquarium advisor, he told us that he had seen this drop in many of the tanks he maintains here in the Austin area. Since ORP is hypothesized to drop when corals spawn, and late August to early September is the time of year when many species of corals are known to spawn in the wild, we believe that some of our corals, as well as the corals of others may have spawned at the exact same time. This led me to wonder whether corals spawn in home aquariums more than scientists and hobbyists thought.

I am hoping to study this topic further to see if spawning events can be detected in aquariums by measuring ORP and possibly other parameters. Unfortunately, when I reached out to Neptune Systems about the possibility of receiving information about their clients’ water parameters at this time of year, they were unable to provide me the information in a way that would protect their clients personal information. For that reason I am looking for help directly from you, the reefing community.

I ask that you all monitor your tanks for signs of coral spawning and your ORP this summer and fall. The best way to do that would be to observe your tank for unexplained cloudy water and extra foam in your protein skimmer. Then, if you observe such signs, please post any relevant details and a screenshot of the ORP graphs from your Apex app or web page. The more times that you can consistently report this data, the more helpful it will to my research.

I understand that there are many factors that go into coral spawning such as species, temperature, ph, and other parameters but at this point I am only looking for anecdotal evidence reflecting changes in ORP during coral spawning season. Important dates include the entire week of August 2nd, the only full moon in the month of August, and the week of September 14th, the only full moon in the month of September.

I will continue to update this forum as the project goes along. I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we attempt to monitor coral spawning in the home aquarium. It’s not every day the the reefing hobby gets to be on the front line of coral research and one can only imagine what successful coral spawning in aquariums could do for reef preservation and restoration.

Thank you,

Noah Gorelick
Top Shelf Aquatics


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Jan 30, 2014
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I would be willing to bet that at least 3/4 people keeping Reef’s have no idea what ORP is, let alone actually monitor it.

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