How to successfully keep SPS Corals!

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

  1. pdiehm

    pdiehm Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    So, if I'm using 60lbs of Pukani (give or take), with some rubble in my sump and the marinepure block...you're saying the excessive denitrification will lead to cyano? I thought the object was to have enough biological filtration, and that you can never have too much.

    Since my tank is cycling, I have no corals, should I take my marinepure block out? That said, I should have enough flow going on with the bare bottom setup to keep cyano from forming, but not something I really want to battle either.

    I have read this thread from 1 to current today at work. From what I gather:

    Calcium 400-450
    Alk: 8.0-9.0 dkh
    pH 8.1-8.3
    Mg: 1350-1400
    Nitrate: 0.5-1.5ppm
    PO4: 0 (though there's other PO4 we can't test for)
    Salinity: 1.025-1.026

    Questions I need to ask about my actual setup:

    Should I split my return into 2 lines while it's vacant and empty at the moment? Leaning toward no, but I know so very little.

    My Fritz RPM Salt mixes up at 8.5 dKH, 420-425 calcium and 1350-1400 magnesium. I'm thinking these should be the numbers that I eventually dose to.

    the plan is to stock the tank with fish, and maybe October/November get 1 or 2 SPS frags (ie: Monticap, and a Green Slimer). Hoping to have my 6x80W T5 with 2 Blue+, 2 Actinic, Coral Plus and Purple+ set up by then too. Would like to get some Zoa's for the bottom of the tank and create a zoanthid garden, and they actually may be added to the tank long before I get any sps frags, perhaps a few weeks after I re-introduce my clowns.

    that's my plan. Feel free to amend, advise, whatever else :)

    I'm sure I'll ask about 500 more questions as I get closer to adding the sticks.
     
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  2. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I hate to say it but that's a carryover from freshwater fishkeeping to the old hi-tec era of saltwater keeping.....folks had little or no live rock and ammonia is a lot more toxic in saltwater.

    So....history was made and we could not have enough bio-filtration.

    Great sums were spent on wet/dry filters and other associated gadgets that were supposed to help. (Some actually did.)

    Unfortunately, the history was not un-made when it became trivial to have enough bio-filtration.

    That's just not how the internet works. ;)

    If you look around, you do see lots of folks running minimal live rock these days, so there are signs! But there's mostly nobody running around trying to get people to use less live rock "because they don't need it". Not a very compelling argument even if it's true. :D And there's nobody doing that even if it were both compelling AND true. :p (Is that an answer?)

    #reefsquad, can we give folks an Excellence badge when they digest one of these big R2R threads?? Just like this one, some guy read through @Paul B's "40+ years..." post the other day!

    (Not joking. Serious request. No idea who to ask though.)

    Consider these good ranges – no bad numbers in there. Stability is the key to all of them. Don't stress too much about specific numbers once your tank's norms are established.

    This info is out of date. If your PO4 gets down to undetectable levels you're whole tank will be very unhappy in short order. The same is only slightly less true for NO3.

    (tell me if that color-coding made no sense)

    The most important thing to know about nutrients at your stage is how to avoid a big algae bloom:
    Don't create a big spike in nutrients. That's the secret. :)

    But due mostly to tradition everyone usually stocks their tank with the biggest animals first (fish) and very often they are added all at once, or within a very compressed timeframe. That's a situation that can hypothetically be managed, but not something any beginner should try.

    Add the smallest first and space them all out...some tiny things like snails are OK to add in small groups, but I wouldn't add other critters more than singly until your reefing legs are firmly under you and the tank is fully established and healthy. (Establishing the bio-filter is only the most basic, initial phase of a tank becoming established.)

    I wouldn't bother if you didn't think it was a good idea in the first place. Flow will come from powerheads, so the only purpose of this is to return water from the sump.

    Yes. :)

    I would consider doing fish last in the order for the reasons mentioned above. PM me for more details if you want. :)

    I would.
     
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  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    L O L

    Don't do nuthin. relax.

    at a point, we've done all we can do and have to see how the garden grows.

    (except splitting the lines, you have to see what the flow looks like.:)) I run a 10x flow so its substantial.
     
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  4. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Forgot to add some recommended PO4/NO3 ranges.

    PO4: 0.05 – In a healthy tank the numbers can almost not matter at all. But in most conventional tanks where algae blooms are problematic, keeping PO4 low can limit algae blooms. Keeping it zero is going too far though. :)

    NO3: 5-10 ppm – Again, in a healthy tank numbers seem not to matter too much. But in a more typical tank keeping NO3 low can also help to limit algae blooms. Zero is also going too far.

    (Preventing algae blooms is a much better business to be in than limiting or fighting them.)
     
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  5. Ashish Patel

    Ashish Patel Well-Known Member

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    I tested by Phosphates (ULR hanna) yesterday for the first time and got a .05 reading... I knew I had some phosphates after removing the Chemipure elite.. .05 reading was after throwing tons of frozen mysis into the tank for a week so assume it will measure lower assuming normal schedule.I think my chaeto is more the enough to keep the phosphates at .03-.05. Nitrates - only tested it with a API during cycle... I don't think this is useful as its always bright yellow and not going to show Low range.
     
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  6. pdiehm

    pdiehm Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yah, I have plenty of flow with the gyre pumps. With them running at 85% for majority of day, I am probably in the 20-25x flow.
     
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  7. pdiehm

    pdiehm Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Ok, broke out the seneye.

    for my Photon 48, my readings were between 220-250 at 60% blue, 50% white, with the corners in the 60-70 range.

    at 80% blue, 50% white, I was in the 280-300 range at top of the rocks in the picture I posted above.

    For grins and chuckles, I went to 100% blue, 50% white, and I was mostly in the 370-400 range, with spots in the 440's.

    I lowered whites to 30% and kept blues at 100%. PAR readings at the highest point of the rocks was mostly in the 330-360 range. It would drop into the 290's, primarily due to my water movement, I am assuming.

    Bottom of the tank at 100/30 was about 240 center bottom, 180's bottom half to the corner, and drop off into 60-80 range in the corners.

    Which are the better settings to start out at (If I kept the Photon 48, because I am seriously seriously thinking about moving to a 6x80W T5)?

    Since I want zoanthids on the bottom, would these settings be too much light?
     
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  8. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Aim for an average of 100 on the bottom and see what the top coral zone averages at.
    If it's over 400 and see what happens at the bottom.

    Set the color by eye. You can change the amount of blue later without much impact on par.
     
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  9. pdiehm

    pdiehm Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have them numbers with around 100 on the bottom (based on my 48" light vs 60" tank, and rocks), the PAR drops to 35-40 in the corners. Anyhow, with PAR in the 100-120 range, at the highest point the PAR averaged out to be mostly in the 250-270 range.

    I'll retest with dead center bottom under 130. But gotta wait for daughter to go to bed.
     
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  10. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Yea your right in the zone. You could bump up pretty safely.
     
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  11. pdiehm

    pdiehm Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    ok.

    more tests. 50% Blue/30% white yielded 90-110 on the bottom middle, 60-70 half to the corners, and 30-50 in the corners. Highest point on rocks ranged from 170-190 on average. a few hotspots hit in the 220's.

    50%/40% got me in the 120's on the bottom but not significantly higher on the rocks. Nothing approaching 250 on average.

    Tried Reefbreeders recommended SPS settings of 60%/51%, and was 160 on the middle, and on average 280 or so on the rocks.

    60%/40% got me 115-140 on the bottom middle, 80-100 half to the corners, and 60-80 in the corners. High points on rocks averaged 240-260 or about 9500 lux.

    Quite possibly 60/40 is a starting point, and every week raise it 5%. I have enough lower level rocks, that I can use as acclimation, or get a frag rack and move up and down the front panel.

    If I keep the Photon 48, I can use my money for the T5 to get an autofeeder, and get a group of anthias and ditch my flasher wrasse idea.
     
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  12. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Just go with the photon you'll be happy. It's a great light.
    No need to set acclimation now nuthin in the tank.

    Pick a level and stick with it and shop accordingly. Sounds like you won't be doing a lot of low light stuff.
     
  13. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    The good thing about leds is being able to have variation in par away from the center towards the sides away from the hot spots. It sounds like you are close. With t5 it's less shadowing which is great for sps, but the tank is so evenly lit it's hard to please many different types of corals. Right now my Zoe's are slightly bleached at the bottom, my acans have to be slightly shaded with rocks, and some of my sps at the top could use a little more light in the 225 par range. Take advantage of those dimmer corners.
     
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  14. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Going through the thread, I took some averages of members who had posted results and parameters that stuck to the original posts criteria and dropped the results into a spreadsheet.

    upload_2017-7-7_9-53-19.png
     
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  15. fishbox

    fishbox Well-Known Member

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    Wow 12hrs of light avg. I think I'm only running 8. No sps yet though. Still a newbee
     
  16. madweazl

    madweazl Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    These results were pulled from Mike Paletta's thread covering eight well respected reef tanks.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Scott.h

    Scott.h Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    For someone new starting out reading this, keep in mind these tanks are mature well balanced systems which makes a big difference. Also we only generally test for 6.8% of the elements within saltwater
     
  18. Jim C

    Jim C Well-Known Member

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    How do you do water changes when the salt mixes at a higher alk than your tank?
     
  19. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    I use a pump.


    Seriously, I'm at 8. IO is 11. I don't do more than 20% really. The difference in alkalinlity is generally not an issue. That's just a volume thing.
    Some, match the alk.
     
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  20. Jim C

    Jim C Well-Known Member

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    Funny that's my alk and I use IO as well. Thanks!
     
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