Is my tank ready for corals?

BRS

Ketan

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
Also please don't use API test kits if you can. Salifert / Red Sea is much better, Hannah PO4 and Alk testers will be cheaper in the long run IMO.
 
CORAL MANIA Live Event!
OP
jamesdomini4

jamesdomini4

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
439
Reaction score
351
Location
Charlotte, NC
GSP should only be put on an isolated rock away from main rock work or else it will be everywhere. Keeping corals is not only dependent on parameters in range but keeping stable parameters. The latter takes some getting used to and is a combination of good habits + good equipment. All in all it will take you a few months or even years to get where you can grow corals. Good news is that there is plenty of good knowledge material on YouTube and on this forum.

I am slowly keeping coral alive and growing them too. I am doing this since 2014 with hit and miss success. Main culprit was not able to keep ALK and PH in good range all the time. I also am battling high NO3 and PO4 but now I am able to grow chaeto successfully in my fuge, so I am hoping low nutrients in a few months.
What were the main challenges you faced trying to keep Alk and pH up?
 

duffer

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
861
Reaction score
662
Location
Rochester,NY
To answer one of your question, I would get your mag down also, to around 1350-1400..if your nutrients are that low you will want yoir alk around 8...go slow..
 
OP
jamesdomini4

jamesdomini4

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
439
Reaction score
351
Location
Charlotte, NC
To answer one of your question, I would get your mag down also, to around 1350-1400..if your nutrients are that low you will want yoir alk around 8...go slow..
I added sodium bisulfate yesterday. I will test my tank for alk if a few hours today. My target is 8.3 alk.

How can I reduce magnesium? Is there a product that I can use to reduce magnesium? Should I reduce calcium as well?
 

Dkmoo

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
626
Reaction score
708
Location
Nyc
What were the main challenges you faced trying to keep Alk and pH up?
Alk can be help up relatively easy with dosing,, pH is harder to keep above 8.2-8.3 with Co2 concentration is the biggest culprit. In a heavy bioload tank its easy for pH to drop to 7.7 even as alk stays up at the 8 to 10 range.

If tank had more co2 then your room air, then increasing air exchange will work. However, often times its the indoor air itself that has high Co2 which is common esp in winter when all the window are closed. If that's the case, opening windows and adding indoor plants will help.

More drastic measures include co2 scrubbers and changing your alk dose from using sodium bicarbonate (ie, red sea foundation B) to a product based on sodium carbonate (ie, the BRS soda ash) or DIY the soda ash, very easy to do.

Adding a fuge can help too.
 
AS

Ketan

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
What were the main challenges you faced trying to keep Alk and pH up?
Main challange is to remember testing Alk and doing it manually. Ideally it should be tested everyday if you have a tank full of hard corals. If less corals then every 2-3 days or even weekly testing should suffice. Most beginners don't do that. I wasn't. Now I am getting better with regular testing.

Without automated testing and dosing, it is a cat and mouse game specially if you have lot of frags growing and consuming calc and alk. Initially it would work with just water changes, then with Kalkwasser in the ato. Just make sure you test alk at least 2-3 times a week and keep it stable around 8 DKH. Right now I am dosing Kalwasser in my ATO and alk has been stable. I also have a CO2 scrubber and along with Kalk, my PH remains around 8. I would like to be above 8 but this is the best I can do right now.
 

Dkmoo

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
626
Reaction score
708
Location
Nyc
Main challange is to remember testing Alk and doing it manually. Ideally it should be tested everyday if you have a tank full of hard corals. If less corals then every 2-3 days or even weekly testing should suffice. Most beginners don't do that. I wasn't. Now I am getting better with regular testing.

Without automated testing and dosing, it is a cat and mouse game specially if you have lot of frags growing and consuming calc and alk. Initially it would work with just water changes, then with Kalkwasser in the ato. Just make sure you test alk at least 2-3 times a week and keep it stable around 8 DKH. Right now I am dosing Kalwasser in my ATO and alk has been stable. I also have a CO2 scrubber and along with Kalk, my PH remains around 8. I would like to be above 8 but this is the best I can do right now.
If you want to raise ph to 8.2/8.3, which i agree will be a lot better for your corals, i think you can safely do it by simply raising your alk. 8 is good but 9 or 10 ain't bad either if raised slowly. If you dont want to increase kalk bc ur CA is already high, you can then supplement with soda ash. If you are worried about precipitation, raising mag should help.

My mixed reef has been running at 9.5 dkh, 8.3 ph, 475 ca, and 1400 mag for a few month now with very good results and very little precipitation. Its a 4 year system so already mature but I was only able to achieve these levels for the ph after I installed co2 scrubber a few months ago.
 

Rickybobby

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
669
Reaction score
456
I found out myself for a general range of corals. That when I see coraline growing on the tank. It’s good to prettt much handle anything. I had issues with some corals surviving up till this point. Now it seems to be very successful
 

Ketan

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
The tank maybe "ready" now or any moment in time doesn't mean coral will survive long term. Think of raising corals as raising babies. They need regular feeding, diaper changes and care and handling. I have very little coralline on glass. Some on my pukani rocks. I have lot of corals thriving and some died.

But everyone needs to start somewhere so the above logic of having coralline growing is a reasonable logic because coralline need good Ca and Mg levels as well as good PH.
 
OP
jamesdomini4

jamesdomini4

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
439
Reaction score
351
Location
Charlotte, NC
I wanted to share this update with all of you.

I used sodium bisulfate, followed by a 15% water change to lower my alk. Now my alk sits at 8.1 dkh.

However, this dropped by pH to 7.3. I do not have a protein skimmer, but I have a refugium. I decided to add an airstone to my sump's filter socks chamber and aerated with indoor air. pH did not climb above 7.4 after close to 48 hours of this.

I then routed my air intake to take outside air. The pH is currently sitting at 8.0 (slightly above, I used API for pH) after 12+ hours of outside air. I am so excited about this.

However, I have noticed that my heater is working all the time now. I moved the heater and the thermometer to opposite ends of the display tank before adding the airstone. My tank temp is consistently at 78f despite my heater working all the time.

Should I be worried about the heater overworking? The outside temp is between the high 50s to low 30s.
 

Ketan

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
10
What is the heater power wattage? Keep a close eye on the tank temp. You only have a 29+10G system that can get hot pretty quickly. Your heater should be around 100W I think. I am using 2X 200W heaters in my 80 Gallon system.
 
OP
jamesdomini4

jamesdomini4

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
439
Reaction score
351
Location
Charlotte, NC
What is the heater power wattage? Keep a close eye on the tank temp. You only have a 29+10G system that can get hot pretty quickly. Your heater should be around 100W I think. I am using 2X 200W heaters in my 80 Gallon system.
The heater is a 100W Eheim set to 78f.
 
OP
jamesdomini4

jamesdomini4

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
439
Reaction score
351
Location
Charlotte, NC
I will add another thermometer to the opposite end of the tank (near to the heater) and look for temp fluctuations.

Will try to add one to the sump as well.
 

Dkmoo

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
626
Reaction score
708
Location
Nyc
I wanted to share this update with all of you.

I used sodium bisulfate, followed by a 15% water change to lower my alk. Now my alk sits at 8.1 dkh.

However, this dropped by pH to 7.3. I do not have a protein skimmer, but I have a refugium. I decided to add an airstone to my sump's filter socks chamber and aerated with indoor air. pH did not climb above 7.4 after close to 48 hours of this.

I then routed my air intake to take outside air. The pH is currently sitting at 8.0 (slightly above, I used API for pH) after 12+ hours of outside air. I am so excited about this.

However, I have noticed that my heater is working all the time now. I moved the heater and the thermometer to opposite ends of the display tank before adding the airstone. My tank temp is consistently at 78f despite my heater working all the time.

Should I be worried about the heater overworking? The outside temp is between the high 50s to low 30s.
it should be OK - heaters are designed to work a long time and it'll only be temporary for these few months until things warm up in NC.

Some things to consider if you plan to use "outside air" long term to mitigate your pH issues:
1) what's the quality of your outside air - is it near a major street/high way where pollution could become an long term issue?
2) is there a lot of vegetation/plants that's maintained by your municipality where they may spray insecticide/fertilizers in the summer?
3) outside insects taking residence inside your air tube (spiders, ants, mites, etc..)

If any of the above is a cause for concern, then maybe a co2 scrubber is your long-term solution.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

UnderseaOddities

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
367
Reaction score
205
Location
Sharon
As long as there is no gradient like a 3 degree drop at night and only then hardcoral would dull up in Color a little and be unhappy for a couple of days you should be good as long as it Doesn't drop fast or like stated above a hardware malfunction like a crack or buildup and you dont have any coral or sensitive inverts like nems cucs or stars so you should be good this is pretty normal my 29 stays at about 78 during the day and drops to 76 at night as far as ph I would add what they call a microbial buffer some kind of bacteria or bacillus added on the weekly this can keep ph in line but your system is still young so you'll have swings until it ages and you get on a steady schedule like anything consistency is the key
 
Last edited:

UnderseaOddities

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
367
Reaction score
205
Location
Sharon
Even when your topping off manually you are lowering the temperature by a degree or two so swings will happen the main thing in a system that small is reducing evaporation and topping off consistently and doing water changes weekly to biweekly depending on bio load and filtration,having a product like seachem stability and sachem pristine and maybe something like no3po4x as far as bottles will help you in the beginning
 

UnderseaOddities

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
367
Reaction score
205
Location
Sharon
I added sodium bisulfate yesterday. I will test my tank for alk if a few hours today. My target is 8.3 alk.

How can I reduce magnesium? Is there a product that I can use to reduce magnesium? Should I reduce calcium as well?
Chemistry can be challenging sometimes even if you're a pro and have 1000s in equip,if you're new and can't pinpoint what's going on exactly,why not do like a 70%water change in order to get the water pristine again for optimum uptake and ion exchange,chemistry can be frustrating,so why not save yourself the money on bottles and just do a large scale water change then do a 15 percent a day or two after to save yourself the guesswork. This way you will know for sure there is a optimum balance
 

UnderseaOddities

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
367
Reaction score
205
Location
Sharon
At least 50 if you're having a serious problem but if there are no signs of stress,I wouldn't worry to much sometimes as refers we worry ourselves to death changing this changing that listening to some guy on the internet and sometimes these changes all happen to rapidly building up making the problem worse...self inflicted damage by being a worry wart,sometimes minute swings happen even in nature and can't be helped but indoors under synthetic conditions we must do everything in our power to keep it consistent
 
First Choice
BRS

Do you have any special reefing upgrades or projects planned coming up?

  • Yes (please tell us what in the thread)

    Votes: 81 52.6%
  • NO

    Votes: 55 35.7%
  • Maybe (tell us)

    Votes: 16 10.4%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 2 1.3%

Online statistics

Members online
2,693
Guests online
6,418
Total visitors
9,111
Budman's Corals LLC
Top