Haw long should you wait before adding SPS corals to your tank

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How long should I wait

  • 8 months

  • 1 year

  • 1 year 6 months

  • 2 years


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Bouncingsoul39

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Depends on what rock you use. I use cultured real ocean live rock from KP Aquatics and had SPS in my tank in the first week and Acropora at second month.
For dead terrestrial rock, probably need to wait 6-9 months.
I want to point out that when this hobby was first getting started in the 80s, they only used dead coral skeletons and dry rocks and could never successfully keep SPS corals.

The discovery of the benefits to using real ocean live rock, led to the eventual success with SPS coral. It was the key. The hobby has forgotten that and been lied to about it by BRS as well. No one would buy Live rock from BRS because shipping cost a fortune. They always bought it at the LFS and it was a profitable staple of LFS sales.

Once BRS realized this, they made a propaganda youtube video about how evil live rock is and how horrible little hitchhikers are and scared new hobbyists away from it to push their garbage dry rock. Shame because people trusted them as an authority.

All of it hurt the hobby because starting a new tank with dead dry rock is much harder and takes much longer than with real ocean live rock.
 
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Pntbll687

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It is usually said that you must wait until you add SPS corals to your tank, but there are many different opinions as to how long you should wait. Let us say your starting the tank with dry rock, live sand, and adding about half the amount of fish possible.

I would say it will dependent on the experience level of the reefer.

Little experience - a couple months at least
Some knowledge of what is going on - maybe a month
Seasoned reefer with good knowledge base - day 1

It comes down to what the reefer wants and how well they can maintain a system.
 

elorablue

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I added my first sps at 2 months to my dry rock dry sand tank. A monti and a cyphastrea. Now 4 1/2 months in I have 12 acropora as well. Everything doing very well and haven’t lost a thing so ya whatev’s. We'll see in another 6 months how things are. There are NO absolutes in reefing.
 

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Pntbll687

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I added my first sps at 2 months to my dry rock dry sand tank. A monti and a cyphastrea. Now 4 1/2 months in I have 12 acropora as well. Everything doing very well and haven’t lost a thing so ya whatev’s. We'll see in another 6 months how things are. There are NO absolutes in reefing.
NICE!!!
 

LordofCinder

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I added red monti cap and green slimer about a month after my tank cycled (2.5 months after adding water), they are both doing great. But I admit I added others that died. Live and learn I guess
 

NJTaxMan

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I can't vote. My choice is not up there. I put SPS and LPS in almost immediately after my tank cycled (2 weeks?) and they are doing fine. Granted they have not 'taken off' but they are encrusting , growing, they are healthy and things are nice. I get why people stick with rules of thumb..but if you have some decent experience and you are willing to pay attention to your tank...waiting that long just is no longer necessary.
 

Garf

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I can't vote. My choice is not up there. I put SPS and LPS in almost immediately after my tank cycled (2 weeks?) and they are doing fine. Granted they have not 'taken off' but they are encrusting , growing, they are healthy and things are nice. I get why people stick with rules of thumb..but if you have some decent experience and you are willing to pay attention to your tank...waiting that long just is no longer necessary.
I agree but a build thread or a photo would be good.
 

Kfactor

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Am going to try a tester arco in my new system it’s been running for about 3 months ish . My main display was dry rock but added some live rock to the sump all see how it goes lol . I just can’t stand looking at a bare tank with 4 fish lol
 

Garf

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Am going to try a tester arco in my new system it’s been running for about 3 months ish . My main display was dry rock but added some live rock to the sump all see how it goes lol . I just can’t stand looking at a bare tank with 4 fish lol
Even if that acro don’t work out, the bacteria that came with it will enable other acros to survive. I have absolutely no scientific evidence for that, just experience.
 

Kfactor

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Even if that acro don’t work out, the bacteria that came with it will enable other acros to survive. I have absolutely no scientific evidence for that, just experience.
Yea that’s what I was kind of thinking and the acro was only 30$ I don’t like to see things die but there’s only one way to see if the tank good
 

Dkmoo

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It is usually said that you must wait until you add SPS corals to your tank, but there are many different opinions as to how long you should wait. Let us say your starting the tank with dry rock, live sand, and adding about half the amount of fish possible.
I would caution against adding it before the 1 year mark for the following reasons.

1) although there are a few hardy SPS, I'm assuming when most people talk about SPS, their goal is to eventually get acropora. So, generally speaking, SPS needs a lot of stability to flourish. Maintaining the perfect parameters is only one side of the coin. The other half are all the environmental conditions we cannot measure and control - bacteria, microfauna, DOC, pods, and how they weaving a intricate web of cause and effects. This half we cannot hope to control. Dosing bacteria and pods is going to be hit or miss bc we cannot measure how they interact with one another si its all guesswork. This intricate web is just as important as maintaining water chemistry (no3. Po4. Alk, ca, mg, ph, etc..) and this web is only achieved in the tanks natural maturation process, and unfortunately, the only thing that get you there is time.

2) With out a mature tank, its not impossible to keep SPS, but it will be a lot harder. Inevitably, due to what I mentioned above, your tank will go thru cycles, SPS will be the first to go from these fluctuation.

3) in these forums you have take all the "I added everything right away and everything is fine!" response with a grain of salt bc there is going to be a lot of confirmation bias bias there - people are a lot more likely to respond to you when they have a good outcome than if they had a bad one. People are a lot less likely to respond to you if they added SPS right away and everything died. In fact a good % of those people will also give up the hobby altogether and not even show up in these forums. Even the ones that had positive results fall under these two subcategories 1) those who admit still having losses, STN, issues and 2) those whos tanks are still too young to really claim that they are successful. What you really want to see are those cases where people added SPS right away and 1 year later they still had good results. Just by reading the different "help my SPS is dying" posts in these forums, I can tell you for a fact that the type of "success stories" that you are looking for is far and few in between. These is why the #1 advice thats been repeated over and over again, and the 1 point in the noobie guide, is "take things slow"

4) if you are looking for a challenge by all means do it. Just be prepared when you run into issues and suffer coral loss. Just based on the help posts in these forums, I would estimate 4 out of 10 who do what you do end up with big issues causing resets, 4 out of 10 will have issues that can be overcome but will have between 30% - 60% SPS frag survival rate. And 2 out of 10 will have q successful run of 75%+ frag survival rate.
 

Garf

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I would caution against adding it before the 1 year mark for the following reasons.

1) although there are a few hardy SPS, I'm assuming when most people talk about SPS, their goal is to eventually get acropora. So, generally speaking, SPS needs a lot of stability to flourish. Maintaining the perfect parameters is only one side of the coin. The other half are all the environmental conditions we cannot measure and control - bacteria, microfauna, DOC, pods, and how they weaving a intricate web of cause and effects. This half we cannot hope to control. Dosing bacteria and pods is going to be hit or miss bc we cannot measure how they interact with one another si its all guesswork. This intricate web is just as important as maintaining water chemistry (no3. Po4. Alk, ca, mg, ph, etc..) and this web is only achieved in the tanks natural maturation process, and unfortunately, the only thing that get you there is time.

2) With out a mature tank, its not impossible to keep SPS, but it will be a lot harder. Inevitably, due to what I mentioned above, your tank will go thru cycles, SPS will be the first to go from these fluctuation.

3) in these forums you have take all the "I added everything right away and everything is fine!" response with a grain of salt bc there is going to be a lot of confirmation bias bias there - people are a lot more likely to respond to you when they have a good outcome than if they had a bad one. People are a lot less likely to respond to you if they added SPS right away and everything died. In fact a good % of those people will also give up the hobby altogether and not even show up in these forums. Even the ones that had positive results fall under these two subcategories 1) those who admit still having losses, STN, issues and 2) those whos tanks are still too young to really claim that they are successful. What you really want to see are those cases where people added SPS right away and 1 year later they still had good results. Just by reading the different "help my SPS is dying" posts in these forums, I can tell you for a fact that the type of "success stories" that you are looking for is far and few in between. These is why the #1 advice thats been repeated over and over again, and the 1 point in the noobie guide, is "take things slow"

4) if you are looking for a challenge by all means do it. Just be prepared when you run into issues and suffer coral loss. Just based on the help posts in these forums, I would estimate 4 out of 10 who do what you do end up with big issues causing resets, 4 out of 10 will have issues that can be overcome but will have between 30% - 60% SPS frag survival rate. And 2 out of 10 will have q successful run of 75%+ frag survival rate.
Hmm;
Easy ones can do ok ina young tank.
 

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