How to successfully keep SPS Corals!

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by revhtree, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    I hope the ugly phase has past (cloudy water, algae blooms, diatoms, etc)...After the cycle I seeded the tank with 30LB of LR (15+ years old) with sponges covered to help speed up the process. The chaeto is growing out of control with this 24 hour LED cycle. However, I have yet to see the rocks purple up which tells me I still have sometimes to go!
     

  2. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    That's good. Coralline takes a bit of time to get going. I'd just try to keep things stable as your biologial bacteria do their thing over the next few months. Just keep the numbers from going undetectable, and if you have to add or remove nutrients do it slow.
     
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  3. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    You are correct....."ULNS" can be a very dangerous strategy, especially when a tank is just getting started. I would dispense with this strategy ASAP.

    Check out some links under the Coral, Stress or Nutrients sections on my blog.

    Here's a few fun ones:
     
  4. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but I was not aware just running a bag of chemi pure and some chateo could result in ULNS... This is my tank as of today and the (established refugium)

    20170620_215522.jpg

    20170624_021516.jpg
     
  5. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I rarely test for no3/po4 in any of my tanks. If no3 is high, as long as I have a 16:1 ratio and no nuisance algae I don't care. ..Unless something looks wrong, it doesn't really matter to me what those numbers are. That said, when my last system got to about the 6 month mark my corals started to pale and lps started to pinch so I checked. Undetectable nitrate, phosphate .005. (Two zeros). I whipped up some of twillards formula and started dosing. For three days whatever I put in the system sucked right up before I could even test for it. So I hit a little bit harder on day 4 and it jumped from zero to about 2 and burned the tips of some of my sps. Also adding stump remover will lower p04. I picked up some freshwater phosphorus and I add 1/2 ml every few days to keep it around .02. Once you figure out how much your system is using of the stump remover use a dosing pump and manually dose it twice a day. It doesn't take much. 2 ml a day is my sweet spot right now. The nitrate definitely brightened color, and the phosphate is probably the number one thing that I've done to help my LPS.

    You could probably remove some of that chaeto to keep from pulling the nutrients too low, but be careful as it's obviously outcompeting the algae in your display. Before those rocks get fully mature I'd be really careful with manipulating things. Even if your numbers are considered "wrong" the Corals are used to it, so change things slow.
     
  6. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    By "not very good" I should have said, not very intense. Lux readings along that edge of the tank were 1000-2000. Granted that's at the surface along the glass so probably 5-6" down, even if along the glass they are getting more light than that, just based on spread and angle. But, one must also factor in depth which negates at least some of the additional spread I would think.

    I haven't had a chance to reach out to AI yet but I do wonder if I should really be seeing half the output from the non-HD compared to the HD.

    But on a brighter note (ha), my Nanobox ships early next week! My hope is for more even spread of light with the four pucks and no lenses.

    I will have to look for one of those feeding stations as it appears it's purpose is to get the food below he surface so it doesn't just float on top and leave via the overflows? I am and have always been kind of inconsistent with feeding. Maybe this will help.
     
  7. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    This is very helpful thanks.. I have not tested Phosphates /nitrates but feel now I definately need to start.. I test Alk and Ca every other day while my tank gets stable and want to avoid dosing any kind of unnecessary nutrients. Hopefully I can increase the nutrients some by minimizing the refugium 24-7 light schedule - 80% of the algae in the fuge was actually removed before the picture I upload! In addition I will start feeding the corals and dosing amino acids so this should help kick up the nutrient. Good point to note is the tips on my corals are not bleaching so hopefully I can continue to maintain this system - Who knows everyones tank is different,, I am bit concerned my rocks are still white white after 3+ months!
     
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  8. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    The microbial food web is a poorly understood area of life that's more-or-less always been surrounded by mythology. Generally speaking, it's also probably one of the hottest areas of research. So it's not really too surprising that we aren't born knowing the info ;) – some of it wasn't even known to science, let alone our hobby, when I started my tank. :D

    So The Questions Are...
    How much can a bag of ChemiPure ab/dsorb?

    ...and...

    How much nutrients did your system have in excess?

    If the answer to one question exceeds the answer to the other, then "you're there". :)

    And if "you're there", then you know one exceeded the other without knowing the answer to either question.

    "How?" might be an open question, but in a new-ish tank there's never a lot of nutrients...pretty much by definition. N-, P- and C-cycles are all just building up, just getting started....i.e. may be almost "empty"......so it's actually a little precarious at that stage of a tank's development. That's one of the main reasons I like to remind folks to go even slower as often as I do. (Is "Going Slow" The Most Controversial Reefing Topic?) Keep nutrient loads more stable. Reduce spikes and starvation events to none if at all possible. For example, I'm adding an auto-feeder to my tank to try and eliminate more inconsistencies.

    Modern Methods
    What are seemingly the most common methods used to start tanks these days give almost no attention to the microbial food web outside of encouraging a few bacteria at the very beginning. Even back before we (as in science, humanity) knew so much about the microbial food web it was more normal to let things develop naturally.

    A little pure ammonia at the beginning.
    At best, seeded with a bottle of bacteria and some dry rock.
    Any real inoculation of microorganisms doesn't come until the first cleanup crew, fish or coral are added in many cases.

    But I'm ahead of the story....back up...

    Once there are signs that bacteria are established (e.g. no ammonia, presence of nitrate), the rest of their time and energy is spent mercilessly battling and trying to kill off everything that starts growing after that....cyano, green algae, et al.

    It seems more and more common for nutrient reduction tools like GFO and carbon dosing to be applied to a tank very early in it's development. Sometimes from Day One. The idea seems to be "preventing" nutrients from building up in the first place rather than as a tool used to moderate the buildup of nutrients. It may sound like a small distinction, but this is not how these remediation tools have been successfully applied in the past. It's something fairly new, and seems to have bad side effects in many cases.

    +1

    Unnecessary nutrient. ;) OK, not quite unnecesary, but not what I'd suggest dosing.

    Amino's are N+C....or even N+C+P in some cases....long story short is that KNO3 is a better nitrogen source. Seachem and Brightwell have suitable products. (I'm sure others too....these are plant fertilizers.) There are some threads on here for DIY KNO3 using Spectracide Stump Remover too.
     
  9. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I would not apply amino's at this point. On a side note some of them may cause a bacterial bloom. That happened to me a long time ago due to a problem I didn't have and strongly recommend by my lfs. Aside from that with the system being new there won't be a depletion from the original salt introduced with trace elements. Also you don't have many corals using those elements yet. If your salt mix happens to have a certain trace that is already high, followed by no demand, and then adding more of that potential element you could do more harm then good. If you can test for specific things and find them to be low, so be it, but we don't know what and how much is in those bottles without testing for them. If you need nutrients definitely add them, but the right ones. Just a thought :).
     
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  10. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    OH man - Great suggestions here.. Definitely tricky stuff getting the right balance for SPS reef...Everything one recommends i've learned comes with a disclaimer. Need lots of flow but not too much, SPS love Low nutrients - but they bleach if you over do it... I guess the best practice is take it slow, observe and adjust slowly and patient and husbandry is key!

    On a side note I went to Reefapalooza today - I've never been to one of these and to have it 30minute from my home was awesome! I got some hardy aquacultured corals from fellow hobbyist and corals already having great polyp extension.
     
  11. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    +1
     
  12. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    Interesting note: I am in the midst of setting up a new tank and have the Profilux 4 to control it. This is the first time ever (despite having an Apex Jr for years) that I will be monitoring pH. Since installing the probe on the new tank last weekend, pH has read 7.7-7.8, which is a little low maybe. The weather has cooled and a couple windows in the house have been open the past day or so. I looked at the pH reading this morning, 8.0. I attribute it to the open windows.

    But, the question is, is this something I need to worry about overall or just let pH do it's thing?
     
  13. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I've always struggled with ph. Sometimes there isn't much you can do about it. You haven't monitored it before now. Have you experienced problems before you seen it on a screen? Probably not. Maybe growth has been hindered a bit. Probably not beyond that.

    I had no way to monitor it for a few years either. Once I started monitoring it it was dipping down below 7.8 every morning in the winter. (Michigan). I plumbed my skimmer outside and it raised it just a touch. I tried a bigger air volume skimmer too. That didn't change anything. After the line was ran outside it never got below 7.8, but never much above 8.0 at its peak either. A well planted fuge will help offset this too, as the plants suck up co2. Ironically enough I tried an experiment this week. Weather has been decent, the family has been out of town. I left multiple windows open all the time I was home. Every day my ph has increased equaling a solid .1 raise over 4 days.

    From a scientific standpoint, it is what it is. You do what you can, help offset the swing, and it's usually in an acceptable range. Keeping my kh on the low side doesn't help.
     
  14. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    My PH stays around 8.1-8.3 but I attribute this to the tank being next to a window and 24-7 lighted refugium.. Studies show high PH increase calcification and growth - proven with BRS video!.. however, like many things, this is just one of the way you can have success growing corals. If your not happy with your growth id recommend CO2 scrubber (cheap, failsafe, and guaranteed results);)
     
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  15. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    I'm not happy/unhappy. The tank is empty so far. It was just an observation really. Mostly because I can/am monitoring pH for the first time. I don't even have the lighted fuge set up yet. But, will be interesting to see the effect it might have. :)
     
  16. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    It seems like most of the time the best thing you can do with a pH meter is to not look at it. ;)

    Seriously, your first mission with it needs to be just watching to see what is normal for your tank.....watch what happends during a water change....during dosing.....during feeding....in the middle of the night.....after lights out.....before lights on.....etc. Then you'll know when something is "off".
     
  17. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    Unless necessary, I don't plan to do anything in reaction to pH readings. I'm far too lazy to chase that number too. :)
     
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  18. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    Don't pay much attention to PH unless using Calcium reactor or Kalk!
     
  19. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Boot the family! Can you tell which day they went on vacation? It's apparent they are inhibiting growth! Lol

    IMG_6326.PNG
     
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  20. wowkingjames

    wowkingjames Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the info, all your tanks and corals are awesome.
     
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