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- Nov 17, 2016
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Love all my corals that I have bought from Graham. Very generous with the portions the stuff I get from him all make it too.
can we see a picture of your POTO Flamethrower? I need to buy this piece!!Just wanted to say I’ve bought a lot of corals from Greg, amazing stuff, generous frags, and great packaging. If you’ve got the cash grab a piece of the POTO Flamethrower, nothing like it in my 200gal tank full of high end Acros. Can’t wait to see what a full grown out colony of that stuff looks like!
Greg, my stuff is growing like a weed right now too and my coloration looks exactly how yours does in your pictures... might be a good time to add some more of your stuff to my
Holy Jesus! Your sticks are insane! Mind sharing your secrets (lighting, flow, params, equipment, ect, ect?)
This is what a Frag of Bill Murray I bought from Graham has grown into
Man, lots of great info up above.
I’ve come to many of the same conclusions myself especially when it comes to PH. I have a GHL controller on my tank and out of everything I monitor (too many things, it’s overkill), PH is what I look at the most to reference the health of my tank.
Graham, what do you do during the summer or winter when you notice high CO levels in the ambient air? Open doors or windows and pay the bill to re-heat/cool the house?
I’ll definitely try your plug on a plug method. I can see why and how that would achieve its desired result. Also I feel like I should start a backup colony of flamethrower and some of my other pricy pieces.
This is awesome information! I love asking the REAL established stick guys how they achieve such great success! I am definitely newer to keeping (alive and THRIVING) SPS so hearing your tactics really help. I live in the desert with my wife, 4 kids, dog and cat. I try to keep the windows open as much as possible but when it isn't possible I notice my pH dropping to as low as 7.6 and doesn't get higher then 7.9. I've noticed turning on the whole house fan helps but doesn't do the trick like fresh air does. I've tried CO2 scrubbers (with so so success), kalk in ATO, I run a refugium with a kessil H380 12 hrs a day opposite of my DT which I like to think helps but who knows. I think the next thing I need to do is run a one inch line up the wall into the attic to draw in fresh air.Thanks! I don't think I have any real secrets. Just tried and true husbandry. I keep alk around 8 dkh, I monitor all of my systems with alk monitors that test every hour. My dosing practices are established, so as long as I keep my alk stable everything else will be as well.
For my systems on two part I add things like Sr, K, and I to the CaCl mix to keep them at NSW levels based on ICP-OES testing. I'm not convinced these make a big difference, but I add them anyway since I took the time to figure out consumption rates. On my sytsem with a Ca Rx it is not necessary, the media has enough to keep these at NSW.
I try to keep pH on the higher end with heavy skimming and by bringing in outdoor air. I think this helps with growth and stability. I monitor ambient CO2 to know if the air is getting too stagnant. High CO2 will cause pH to drop, which will in turn slow growth, which will then cause alk to start creeping up due to reduced consumption, which then leads to instability. This takes an active effort when temps or humidity are high during certain times of year. It's also my leading theory on why some folks experience seasonal die off.
For nutrients I was letting them get quite high over the years. Something like 0.6-1.0 ppm PO4 and 25 ppm NO3. My worst time in reefing was years ago when GFO and ULNS were heavily marketed, I lost a ton of SPS keeping ULNS. Ever since then I've run higher nutrients with a lot of success. Last year when my one system hit 1.2 ppm PO4 I noticed reduced growth and some browning out. So then I started bringing my PO4 down systematically with LaCl. I've had a lot of bad experiences with GFO, so I avoid it. Bringing down PO4 with LaCl on a doser is very predictable unlike GFO. My PO4 is around 0.10-0.15 ppm now. Growth has improved as a result. I'll maintain it here. Surprisingly NO3 came down on it's own when I brought down PO4. It's around 1.0 ppm now. I'd prefer to keep it higher, and worry that it may hit 0, but no issues yet. Oddly, I have more issues with algae at these lower nutrient levels than I did at my previos higher nutrient levels.
For lighting it varies by tank, but they're all some combo of radion G5 blue, t5s (predominantly t5 blue +) and reefbrite XHO. I'm an old school reefer and was running a lot of radium metal halides until last year. I finally bit the bullet and replaced all my halides with G5 blues. A single XR30 is not sufficient to replace a 250W halide in a large reflector, so each halide got replaced by two XR30s or 4 XR15s. As a result the spread is a lot better, and I am getting a lot better growth and coloration just due to the spread.
I've been keeping SPS for ~15 years, and love the look of halides, so I was a bit slow to move to all blue lighting. All my tanks are now absrudly blue compared to back when I started keeping SPS when radiums 20k and phoenix 14k bulbs were considered blue. But from what I've seen the vast majority of SPS grow faster and color up better under modern lights that are much more blue and have better spread.
Looks like they are doing great for you! And thank you for the kind words.
Bill Murray is a fast grower and has that exact same growth pattern for me as well.
Flamethrower loves to encrust. Takes a long time to start throwing branches. Since I sell frags and most people want branches I have a trick I use to make it throw branches sooner. I mount a plug on top of a plug. That way when the encrusted base covers the top and side of the plug the only place it can keep encrusting is on the shaded, bottom side of the plug. If it wants to increase the area exposed to light (which is one of a corals prime objectives, except NPS of course) it has to throw branches. This is not really important though for most folks that just want natural growth, I only do this for propagation to get branches earlier since people want to buy frags with branches not just encrusted chunks.