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What would happen if...?

TMB

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So, I’m sitting here looking at a brand new tank (well, newly set up - none of it is actually new), and wondering what would happen if I added SPS to a new tank? No fish, not cycled yet (or maybe it is, more on that later), no other critters added.
And here it is...
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This set up as it is now is just the basics:
60 gallon cube
Heater
Radion G3 Pro
BM NAC7 Skimmer
Jebao SLW-30 wave pump
Rock work from dry rock
Full disclosure - the rock is used from one of my tanks - dried out for 2 weeks in the AZ sun, and cemented together into what you see. There was also a HUGE bacterial bloom in the tank for the first 2 days and has since subsided. Did bacteria survive the sun? I don’t know but iI’m going to find out.

The tank has been running for 6 days now. So... way early to be doing this

Anyone interested in seeing what happens if I add some SPS and document the progress?
I think there could be some really interesting tests here. Like is lighting enough to support the coral? Or do we “need” fish?
Or, if lighting isn’t enough - what If I try round 2 as new coral and food of our choice? I.e. Reefroids and lighting? Will that be enough? I’m really interested in the foods, and which ones work. So that will definitely be coming.
I have a basically unlimited supply of “easy SPS” so no problem there, we can do all the tests we want and see what happens

Well, it’s already under way. Let me know if you want to see any test in particular.

Here’s day one... Purple Stylo in new tank! I plan on weekly updates if anyone’s interested.
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@Sisterlimonpot @SawCJack00 @jporter17 interested in my little experiment?
 

Ranjib

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I would be very interested in knowing what happens. I always feel dry rock + new tank is a very hard combo to get sps going. But i have also seen couple of veterans pull it off like no ones business. Almost all of them had their chemistry dialed down.
 

ScottR

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Hopefully it works out for you. I’ve had trouble keeping some SPS in newer tanks. Some pull it off easily. I’m not as lucky.

btw the bacterial bloom is probably from the organics that died off in the rock.
 
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SPR1968

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If you can keep the water chemistry stable, and at the correct parameters you can do it. I’ve just done it and am doing it, with my ‘big tank’

You need to keep the basic foundation elements rock solid, but also get some nitrates in there at around 5-10 and keep phosphate locked down very low at less than 0.03 to avoid any algae/diatom issues. I use rowaphos and heavy for this and since day one.
 
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TMB

TMB

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I would be very interested in knowing what happens. I always feel dry rock + new tank is a very hard combo to get sps going. But i have also seen couple of veterans pull it off like no ones business. Almost all of them had their chemistry dialed down.
Glad you think it will be interesting, hope you come along for the ride with me. I agree that there have been success stories with dry rock - as well as failures. I’m hoping to learn more about keeping SPS than I would have if I followed the process that I know (think I know) works.
By dumbing down the process to the absolute most basic I can get, I think it will be fun and interesting.
 
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TMB

TMB

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nail biting.gif

I gotta follow. The suspense is just too much! You'll have to keep them well fed without a fishy bioload.
Sweet!! I need some experts here to guide me:eek::). The nutrition question is something I absolutely intend to learn through this, so I’m expecting there to be failures. No way to learn anything if there’s nothing but success.
 
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TMB

TMB

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Hopefully it works out for you. I’ve had trouble keeping some SPS in newer tanks. Some pull it off easily. I’m not as lucky.

btw the bacterial bloom is probably from the organics that died off in the rock.
Yes, I agree - some are not as lucky. Why is that? Hopefully we earn something here that all can use going forward. It’s also guaranteed to work out for me/us, because i’m Not going to “try” and keep this frag alive, I’m going to see what happens with different “life support” conditions. I.e. light, nutrition, chemistry, or even “stability?”.

One other thing - I have probably every piece of equipment known to man sitting in my garage - so adding stuff along the way won’t be an issue. I have plenty of dosing pumps, reactors, and whatever, that can be used along the way.

Thanks for posting!
 
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TMB

TMB

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btw the bacterial bloom is probably from the organics that died off in the rock.
Ah, you caught that? Isn’t that interesting? Does that mean that bacteria also survived to chew up the die off? That is exactly what I wondered. Guess we’re gonna find out.:)
 
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TMB

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i'm guessing no prob..skimmer,alk ,cal,ph stable :cool:
If you can keep the water chemistry stable, and at the correct parameters you can do it. I’ve just done it and am doing it, with my ‘big tank’

You need to keep the basic foundation elements rock solid, but also get some nitrates in there at around 5-10 and keep phosphate locked down very low at less than 0.03 to avoid any algae/diatom issues. I use rowaphos and heavy for this and since day one.
Totally agree with both of you, and we might get that far along in this process. But before I start adding anything else that I “think” I need to be successful - I want to find out what the minimum is. And hopefully what has the biggest effect.

I’m also super curious about algae - will there be any without fish? Will this tank go through the uglies? Or do we cause that with cycling, fish, CUC, and whatever also we add before it comes? We shall see.
 
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TMB

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If anyone is thinking I’m and idiot - you can’t do that - or you need to do “X”. Please post here and say so!

I am totally expecting opinions different than mine. If I were always right (which I’m not), I would be a pro and an expert, and already know all these answers. The nay sayers will help me think through problems that come up!! So let them fly!;):)
 

vetteguy53081

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Parameters would have to be ideal and stable .
I personally would not attempt with the ever changing levels the first month or two not to mention the acquisition of diatoms, cyano, dino and so firth which generally iccurs the first month to 3 months and will quickly have an adverse affect on the coral.
 
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TMB

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Parameters would have to be ideal and stable .
I personally would not attempt with the ever changing levels the first month or two not to mention the acquisition of diatoms, cyano, dino and so firth which generally iccurs the first month to 3 months and will quickly have an adverse affect on the coral.
Completely agree, and appreciate the honesty.
I should come clean with a couple things for everyone, while we go through the journey together:
1. I have a relatively large system (~400 gallons) with frag tank attached to the main system that is thriving.
2. I have not really decided if I would let a frag completely die before "saving" it by putting it back in the frag tank.

Thanks for the post!
 

EMeyer

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It sounds like a good experiment approached with the right attitude. Very cool.

My prediction is an ugly stage with out of control nuisance algae, because of the lack of microbial diversity. If you set up an identical tank but used live rock or dry rock + live mud & sand, I predict the one with the proper microbial diversity would avoid this ugly stage.

Important to test these things, I'll be curious to see how it goes.
 

tvan

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Hmmm, Mother nature authored the coral reef, you are trying to circumvent mother nature. All thanks cycle, all the time. New tanks do it badly. Mature tanks do it with grace. This has been proven time and time again. Poor little coral.
 
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