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Old 08-26-2009, 02:59 PM   #1
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Adding suppliments & Coral growth

I was wondering how many of you add some sort of suppliment to your tank and what it may be? I add calcium every once in a while ( when tests show its getting low). I know some people i've heard add trace elements and such.. but I'm wondering if it does anything?

I try and do pwc once a week. usually 10-20 gallons ( I have a 55 gal tank). Ive added on a HOB fuge with algae and its finally ( though I still have a bit of hair algae growing) getting things under control better.. I have less hair algae than I did before.

I have some coraline.. only part of it is purple. Coraline on pumps , some small amt on rock is purple, the rest on the aquarium is green. My corals seem happy, but they're not growing.. still. I'm wondering what I should do. I didnt know if suppliments would help at all to help them grow better. I'm wondering if my nitrate was too high before and may have inhibited coral growth.

with my current situation ( see below) should I add a suppliemt ( trace elements, coral accell etc) ? or is something still out of wack with my water you think?

green star polyps and watermellon mushrooms

2 x 96 watt pc 50/50 bulbs
0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, about 10 or less nitrate( hard to read) - was closer to 20 before improvements trace phospate ( less than 0.1 ppm) calcium about 400-420ppm, ph 8.4 roughly, salinity 1.023, temp 78
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:21 PM   #2
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Your SG is a little low also your temp is a little low also. One more thing, your lights are on the low side but the animals that you have in there at the moment should be okay with the light that you have.
I use Kalk in my ATO to refill evaporation water. Other then that I use PWC to correct trace problems.
I think your growth problems are directly due to your low lights.
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Old 08-26-2009, 04:26 PM   #3
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I think your growth problems are directly due to your low lights.
I'll choose to disagree. Same lights:



If you're talking growth on just those two things you listed (star polyps and mushrooms) then you're probably beating yourself up for nothing. GSP seems like a finicky coral - I've never had them (too invasive if they do well) but it seems like people either hit or miss with those. And mushrooms won't really grow, but just wander and leave behind babies. But it takes a while for them to do that. Mine did reproduced quite a bit in the beginning, but haven't really added much over the last year or so. (Can't say I'm upset at that!)

Also... it seems like things take 4-5 months in my tank before they really decide to grow. They don't recede during that time - they just kind of stay looking just like they did in the LFS. Then, I'll finally start to see some new growth. Not sure if my tank is typical, but figured I'd throw it out there.

As thincat mentioned, your SG seems a bit low - probably wouldn't hurt to raise that up by a couple points over the next month or so. But nothing else really jumps out. Phosphates will directly impact coral growth rate, but yours don't seem too bad. Are you running any GFO? If so, what kind? You didn't list alkalinity or magnesium - have you tested? If so, what are those numbers?

To answer your original question though, I don't use any supplements other than a 2-part Ca/Alk solution every morning. 10-15% water changes every week, like clockwork.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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I dont use any supplements either. If you are doing weekly PWC`s you should be OK. To me all looks OK except salinity being a little low.
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:49 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great info Maybe that could be it. My SG was 1.021-1.022 before I got coral, I've tried to keep it either 1.023 or between 1.024. Do you recommend 1.025 maybe? I know for a FO tank its a lot lower, but i've heard the actual ocean SG is more like 1.025-1.026.

I've tried to keep my MH's on every once in a while for a 'light boost' for a few hours once a week ( probably doesnt do much) I dont keep them on because I dont have a high light demanding coral yet.

I try to keep my light covers wiped off, salt creep probably blocks out a lot. I imagine taking those down and really scrubbing them down might help ( when I do a bulb change..)

Intereresting to know about mushrooms and GSP - I started with them because they were supposidly easy / grew quick. My one LFS has a lot of corals, but nothing else 'easy'. I want to make sure I do it right with those. I'd love some pretty zoo's, but the LFS doesnt have any great ones.

I really should get a magnesium test I guess Last time I tested my alk it was in the normal range listed for the test ( dont remember the number.. need to test again)

Should I add a Kalk suppliment to my top off water? I've just been using Ro/DI fresh water.

Anyway, thanks for the info. Much appreciated!
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Old 08-26-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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I use Kalk in my ATO makeup water because my coralline algae eats away at my Cal and Alk levels and I need the Kalk to keep the numbers up. If you're not having any of those problems there would be no need to add it.
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Old 08-27-2009, 01:06 AM   #7
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Intereresting to know about mushrooms and GSP - I started with them because they were supposidly easy / grew quick. My one LFS has a lot of corals, but nothing else 'easy'. I want to make sure I do it right with those. I'd love some pretty zoo's, but the LFS doesnt have any great ones.

Thinking more about this, the whole "easy" coral thing has never really made sense to me. Granted, many corals are much more tolerable to mistreatment than others, but looking at all the corals in my tank tonight, I can't really say I treat some differently than others. Some I spot feed, some I don't - but that doesn't make one "easier" than another. I mean, spot feeding is just squirting food at a coral polyp... how difficult can that be?!

I think the normal "easy" coral recommendations are normally very inexpensive corals - ones that aren't going to break the bank if it doesn't survive. Take for example Duncans... those are about as easy as they get. But with the price tag on them, I sure wouldn't recommend it to someone as their first coral!

IF you thoroughly research the requirements of the coral (placement, flow, lighting, etc) and place a coral where it should be placed, and keep good water parameters, the vast majority of corals should be easy. If a coral dies, then it's not that it wasn't "easy"... it's just that it was improperly placed or was on the road to the graveyard before you even got it. Really no different than fish.

For example... zoanthids are supposed to be "easy", right? I went through four (I think?) rocks of zoanthids, just to watch them wither away. Water parameters were perfect. In retrospect though, I don't think I gave them enough light. I now have some palys and zoanthids much higher in the tank, and they're doing very well.

Guess my point is... dive in! Buy an LPS coral (after adequate research!) and go for it. Never know until you try!

Regarding SG... I used to keep my SG between 1.024-1.025 but have drifted to the 1.025-1.026 range. Nowadays, I get nervous if I over do my top off and it gets under 1.025.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
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Great post Kurt. I totally agree with the 1.025 SG.
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Old 08-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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Thanks a lot I'll try slowly upping my SG
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