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Old 03-15-2007, 12:22 AM   #1
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SPS Questions

I'm considering adding a few SPS corals in my mixed reef tank, but am trying to prepare for the potential chemical issues with the LPS. I have three brains in my tank that seem to battle each other quite regularly. They slime a lot. Right now, I have a AC 500 HOB filter acting as a mini-refugium with activated carbon in it, running 24/7.

My question is, is the AC 500 AC bags enough chemical filtration for the SPS? Will it be adequate to remove any chemical warfare that goes on? I will be planning on replacing the AC maybe...twice a month?

Second, I was looking at getting an Acro or so, to start. Are there any species that are easier to keep than others (assuming the LFS can correctly ID them anyways, whic I understand can be hit or miss)?. I'd ideally also like to attempt a plating montipora as well.

Right now my Ca is staying well buffered at around 500 ppm and my alk staying a little on the high side at around 14-16 dKh. 4 x 39 watt T5HO. Water changes twice monthly.

This is my first foray into sps, so any tips or tricks would be welcome

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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My question is, is the AC 500 AC bags enough chemical filtration for the SPS?
I use 1/4 cup GAC changed weekly on my system along w/ a 12% weekly PWC. The main culprit of chemical warfare w/ SPS is soft coral. LPS generally don't cause problems.
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I was looking at getting an Acro or so, to star.t Are there any species that are easier to keep than others
Acros are all going to be pretty sensitive and demanding-especially when acclimating to the tank. Some more tolerant SPS are hydnophora, stylophora, montipora, pavona, and pocillipora.
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buffered at around 500 ppm
Too high IMO. While it may not cause problems where it is, it will not take much to push it to where it can be detrimental to coral growth and start precipitating out of solution. 400-435 would be better. Above 12.5 dkh is on the high side as well. 10-12 is best.
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so any tips or tricks would be welcome
Stability and great water flow. Water flow is extremely important w/ SPS corals. Some would argue more so than light. SPS will brown-out, or just be drabby, and/or exhibit slow growth without proper flow. Once you mount a frag, leave it. I, and others, have had SPS RTN or STN(rapid tissue necrosis/slow tissue necrosis) just by moving their position. Even though flow, light, etc. seem to be identical. Once SPS get acclimated to a tank, which takes months if not a year or more for some, they are fairly hardy. Keeping PO4 as low as possible is very important. high PO4 will affect coloring as well as growth. PO4 inhibits calcification, and can stop it all together at high enough levels. Good luck, it sounds like your getting the SPS bug- your bank account just got the chills lol.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
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Lol, thanks a lot Mike! I was hoping you'd chime in!

My Ca mixes out of the bucket at 500 ppm, another down side of the Seachem Salt. The alk is too high as well with the Seachem Salt. I have an entire bucket to go through before I'm out of it. Do you think I should wait until then to start into SPS? I haven't tested lately to see how quickly the Ca changes... I need to do that.

I figured Acros were too sensitive to start out with, thanks for the beginner suggestions!

I have plenty of flow. Two AC 70's (400 pgh each), that should be plenty. Also just ordered some ROWAphos, to soak up residual PO4 in the tank.

I am definitley being bit by the bug! Hoping my bank account doesn't hate me too much!

Many thanks!
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:16 AM   #4
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Your welcome DT!
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Do you think I should wait until then to start into SPS?
Switching salt mixes would only complicate things for the corals as they acclimate to your tank. Best to do that before you add anything new. I recently started using Rowa-it's great! Not only does it eat up PO4 and silicate, my water is a good deal clearer, which I honestly did not even think was possible before.
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I have plenty of flow. Two AC 70's (400 pgh each), that should be plenty
I'm not sure what an AC 70 looks like. Do you have turbulent flow through out the tank? FWIW SPS tanks can easily have 25-50x an hour turn over in the display tank alone.
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Old 03-15-2007, 08:02 AM   #5
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As Mike stated usually it is your soft corals esp. leathers that do the chemical warfare. How close are your brain corals. Mine never slough but I have them far apart. I have 4 leathers in my tank but I also do 15-20% PWC`s which help. GAC as mentioned will help also.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:00 PM   #6
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Awesome, thanks guys!

With the AC70's, I have pretty turbulent flow.

800 GPH from the two powerheads
500 GPH from the AC 500
And the Aqua-C Remora

I guess that's about 28x turnover. With the shorter length tank, the flow gets everywhere!

I do not have many soft corals, simply some mushrooms and zoos. I think I read that leathers are the major issue, right?

Mike #2 ( ) my brains are 10 inches from each other, I thought that was enough, but apparently it isn't. Two of them seem to slime a lot, so I need to try moving them, or increase my amount of GAC.

I'm going to retest Ca and Alk when I get home from work, see what they read.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:31 PM   #7
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I keep mine 3 feet apart. 10 inches might not be far enough. I know they have sweepers that are several inches long.Something is bothering them.
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Old 03-15-2007, 01:31 PM   #8
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I have SPS, LPS and Leather in my tank and haven't had any issues at all. My SPS corals are growing fast enough that you can see a difference from day to day. I've started taking pics of them at 2 week intervals to show the growth of each coral. I have 7 SPS corals 6 LPS and one leather in my tank. With assorted mushrooms and zoos too.

I do PWCs regularly every other week about 25g or 20% total water volume of my system.
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #9
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Ziggy, thanks! Can you list the SPS that you do have? I'm hoping to pick up an easier species this weekend when we hit the BRK store.

I am having issues measuring the Alk and Ca with my new Seachem kit.... maybe I just need more coffee or something, I'll check it later.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:38 PM   #10
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I have 3 different types of Montipora Capricornus (Orange, dark green with purple rim and blue polyps, neon green with yellow rim) I have a tri colored Acropora SP and another acro that I'm not sure exactly what it is, it has shown the most growth of all the SPS I have, all of which I got from BRK. I also have a pink Pocilipora, which I got from BRK, it has finally decided it likes my tank and is starting to grow.
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