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Old 07-12-2015, 03:21 AM   #1
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General thought on reef keeping

So after so many dozens and dozens of encounters with customers and other saltwater aquarium owners I say with good confidence a vast majority of saltwater aquariums are under-powered in terms of water movement.

It is also not uncommon for customers to be quite amazed that they're being told they don't have enough flow. To our eyes a little pump looks like it's doing so much. We even sometimes think the fish have too much flow, as if that was really even possible for an ocean fish.. To some point yes, but typically just no...

Coral reefs, where these animals live, have water cranking through them at just incredible speeds. Just incredible. It may not look right to our eyes to see our tank on high blender mode but once you begin to acclimate your eyes and see the life respond positively to the water motion we begin to realize this is what is customary for them.

There are few few few times there is a tank where there can not have more flow...

Anyway... flow is very important and I just wanted to toss it out there..

Oh hey and also Chemipure does not work in saltwater... The resins do not work in sea water.
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Old 07-12-2015, 04:09 AM   #2
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Great topic and discussion.



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Old 07-12-2015, 08:21 AM   #3
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For an sps tank you can have plenty of chaotic flow, but many lps, like for instance bubble coral, frogspawn, hammer etc, will not tolerate high flow. So, for a mixed reef, I'd say placement is extremely important if you want to turn the vortechs all the way up.
Not only that but sporadic blasts of water will be tolerated by sps, but definitely not a constant pounding.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:16 PM   #4
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Defiantly made me rethink about my flow. Thanks for the good write up.
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:59 PM   #5
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For an sps tank you can have plenty of chaotic flow, but many lps, like for instance bubble coral, frogspawn, hammer etc, will not tolerate high flow. So, for a mixed reef, I'd say placement is extremely important if you want to turn the vortechs all the way up.
Not only that but sporadic blasts of water will be tolerated by sps, but definitely not a constant pounding.
You'd be surprised at how much flow a mature euphyllia can withstand. Once they have about 6 heads they grow tightly together so they can support each other. They also inflate themselves depending on the direction of flow and how much they're getting. Most corals will adapt.

In terms of aquarium flow it may be true euphyllia can be placed incorrectly, but overall they should still get good flow. As long as you're not blasting a single or 2 headed euphyllia they will begin to grow their skeleton to support the flow accordingly.

My 20gal is mostly LPS and they have all grown to support the higher flows. Now they hardly move.

Even soft corals will grow to support the water flow their receiving.

And you could easily grow many SPS skeletons strong and sturdy to the point they could receive direct pounding of water flow. It's not typically most fragmented pieces are not used to this pounding but can completely grow the be able to.

As your coral reefs begin to encrust and grow you should consider adding more flow as well. As there is more coral there is more of a need to have water flow bringing the elements to them and around/past them.
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Old 07-12-2015, 03:27 PM   #6
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Yes and no. There is a limit to that. I could turn both of the mp40's I have in my 55 reef up to max and it wouldn't be pretty. It would kill off my hammers, duncans, and who knows what else. I don't think my acro or mushrooms would care that much, but when I added the second mp40 I did kill off one of the heads of a duncan colony because of the flow. Too much is just as bad as too little. It is a balancing act.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:31 PM   #7
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I think in your instance the coral placement and angle of circulation pump was off. I would agree two MP40 on full blast is A LOT for a 55g but not too much with proper aquascape and angle. Point them towards the surface.

There is hardly ever never too much flow, just incorrect placement. Corals will grow their skeletons to support WHATEVER flow they're in. LPS just has to get big before it can protect it's longer polyps
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Old 07-12-2015, 11:38 PM   #8
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I have been in most all these environments back when I did underwater photography. X is pretty much right. Coral polyps will take root in areas where the light and flow are within the parameters of that type of polyp. Kind of like vegetation on dry land, these guys prosper based on the conditions they are in. Respiration and feeding are the main reasons flow is necessary as well as flipping the polyps around for photosynthesis. But acros will actually change their growth patterns to accommodate the flow they get. I have a big tabling acro that I have kind of sculpted over the years by using flow patterns. It's all fascinating.


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Old 07-13-2015, 03:27 AM   #9
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Hey all, just trying to learn more here.

Newly planted trees in a landscape, when tied down tightly to anchors will form poor root systems, but take off the ties (or loosen them so the tree can move back and forth in the wind) and watch the roots anchor that tree in and then the sway of the wind will actually strengthen and increase the size of a trees root system.

Though if you have a newly planted tree and it hasn't had time to start developing its roots down into the soil it will just tip over if it isn't at least tethered loosely.

So it seems that the roots will strengthen trees or corals depending upon the type of wind or flow; and maybe increasing the flow gradually might be beneficial to increase the Corals strength/create stronger growth...? (I know more about trees than coral or SW so far) .
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:41 AM   #10
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Hey all, just trying to learn more here.

Newly planted trees in a landscape, when tied down tightly to anchors will form poor root systems, but take off the ties (or loosen them so the tree can move back and forth in the wind) and watch the roots anchor that tree in and then the sway of the wind will actually strengthen and increase the size of a trees root system.

Though if you have a newly planted tree and it hasn't had time to start developing its roots down into the soil it will just tip over if it isn't at least tethered loosely.

So it seems that the roots will strengthen trees or corals depending upon the type of wind or flow; and maybe increasing the flow gradually might be beneficial to increase the Corals strength/create stronger growth...? (I know more about trees than coral or SW so far) .
Yeah straight up that's the best way. But plants don't necessarily require more flow whereas when corals do grow they will require this gradual increase
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:09 PM   #11
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I heard a theory on birdsnest somewhere throughout my travels.

It's best to buy them as small frags rather than full colonies because they will have grown to adapt to the flow that they were in. When moved to a different area with flow that it wasn't accustomed to it can cause die off.
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Old 07-13-2015, 01:00 PM   #12
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I heard a theory on birdsnest somewhere throughout my travels.

It's best to buy them as small frags rather than full colonies because they will have grown to adapt to the flow that they were in. When moved to a different area with flow that it wasn't accustomed to it can cause die off.
This is true of any tightly grouped SPS. Tabling acros, etc. Not only are they used to water going past them at ridiculous speeds (especially if wild collected) but also from certain directions primarily, and this has been adapted into their growth pattern. Even the angle of light SPS is getting. It's very common to experience some sort of whiting on larger colonies. It's best to immediately frag a wild colony before even putting in captivity.

Another thing I'd hit on birds nest is in a low flow environment these guys grow like twigs and break really easily. Gosh isn't annoying for those of us with hands in often? Or with larger fish even. The higher flow will force the skeleton to be more sturdy. It will also really get those small polyps to reveal themselves.

It is also true with more focus on other elements part of the skeleton than calcium such as strontium there will be a stronger, sturdier skeleton structure as well.
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:39 PM   #13
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Oh hey and also Chemipure does not work in saltwater... The resins do not work in sea water.
you have said this before.
could you elaborate and provide supporting documentation?
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Old 07-13-2015, 03:11 PM   #14
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General thought on reef keeping

I'm sorry, but that is inaccurate. It works in both FW and SW.


http://boyd--enterprises.com/chemipure/

I do however agree with you about the birdsnest and other acros, they do "beef up" if they grow in high flow.


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Old 07-13-2015, 06:18 PM   #15
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you have said this before.
could you elaborate and provide supporting documentation?
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I'm sorry, but that is inaccurate. It works in both FW and SW.


Boyd Enterprises | Chemipure - Boyd Enterprises

I do however agree with you about the birdsnest and other acros, they do "beef up" if they grow in high flow.


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Of course Boyd would make have their claims on their website too?

Let's open the discussion then on why chemi pure is ridiculous.

Basically it's GFO, Purigen, an alternative to carbon, and some ion resins. I'm sure the GFO will act like most GFOs do. The white stuff in there is basically a polymer exchange resin that can bind some organics. Pretty much like seachem purigen. The carbon is really just carbon unless it's extracting different types of organics. Which is unlikely, but could be complimentary to carbon if this is so.

GFO, Purigen, and Carbon all have different life spans. Why throw it all in one media bag when you can save money and itemize things out and use them to each 100% capability rather than throwing out good product.

The claims are that it removes nutrients. So yes obviously the GFO will remove some phosphate. The Purigen alternative will absorb all organics that lead to nitrate basically. An ion exchange resin in seawater will not usefully absort most inorganic ions such as ammonium, nitrate, or phosphate. There may be some heavy metals it can still get but not working towards the claims they're making.

Great product for a freshwater situation, but in seawater they just don't work..

And let's think about the sizing options for CPE? Dang you gotta use a lot of that stuff for bigger tanks. Why not just get a $12 100ML bag of purigen that lasts 6 months, some GFO in bulk, and a quality carbon. You're saving money and not putting wasted products in the tank.

So I wouldn't say it's an inaccurate claim considering the ion resins they're claiming are responsible for nutrient export do not work. It's the polymer ion taking ammonia basically, and GFO removing phosphate and a cheap carbon. I mean what's the appeal here?
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:23 PM   #16
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Not having appeal to you and not working are two different statements. I've used the stuff before and it did decently...I much prefer using Purigen and Phosguard in my system.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:40 PM   #17
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Not having appeal to you and not working are two different statements. I've used the stuff before and it did decently...I much prefer using Purigen and Phosguard in my system.

I should have been more specific when I said do not work I specifically meant the ion exchange resins do not. They just don't do what they claim they do in seawater.

In my response I further explained why the product is not appealing but explained the benefits that they can offer. Thanks

Please understand the product is composed of many many things and portions of it simply DONT WORK. The ones I listed out can I be bought individually (and more cost effectively) if their benefits are appealing...
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:09 PM   #18
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No, it doesn't work as well as running them individually. They work, just not as effectively as you want them too. And that is fine, if a product did everything that everyone wanted it to do there wouldn't be a need for other products. It is up to the consumer to decide if it is a fit for their tank. I wish it was for mine as replacing one thing every so many weeks is much easier than tracking the purigen, how many recharges are left on whichever batch, replacing the phosguard.... We are picking peanuts out of poop for an ease of use product.
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:21 PM   #19
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So you should revise your statement to chemipure doesn't work as effectively and cost efficiently as its individual compounds?
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:25 PM   #20
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No, it doesn't work as well as running them individually. They work, just not as effectively as you want them too. And that is fine, if a product did everything that everyone wanted it to do there wouldn't be a need for other products. It is up to the consumer to decide if it is a fit for their tank. I wish it was for mine as replacing one thing every so many weeks is much easier than tracking the purigen, how many recharges are left on whichever batch, replacing the phosguard.... We are picking peanuts out of poop for an ease of use product.

No I mean there are actually portions of that product that DO NOT work in seawater. Like actually don't work haha/

It's not a matter of effectiveness. It is true there are more effective products that we can buy in place of the portions of chemi-pure elite that do work. The benefit here is you don't have a product claiming no water changes needed and it works 4-6months on the back of the label. Carbon and GFO sure don't work that long hahaha... (I mean maybe in a reactor scenario where water is filtered through carbon reactor then immediately through a GFO reactor this would extend the GFO life, but thats not the case in the media bag. Dual stage reactors are sweet. Basically an RO filter for the tank..

So come one buddy, the labeling is inaccurate on the back and we know in saltwater the ion exchange resins (NOT THE POLYMER ION EXCHANGE) don't work.

Do you understand now?
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