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Old 04-30-2010, 02:11 AM   #1
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Tips for Acropora?

Hello all,
I picked up some random acropora frags some time ago (remember, I had the red bug problem that is now over with thanks to Betadine). I dont know which kind they are. One is green and the other is a purple brown.

They dont seem to be growing at all. I was under the impression that they were quick growers. Maybe something isnt right with my tank?

I have a 20g tank with a 96W (2-12,000K , 2-Actinic) T5 light. I have the frags up on the top of the rocks about 10in from the bulbs. My flow is from a Koralia 2 powerhead and a Koralia 1 power head facing each other (the Koralia 1 is now in a bucket with some live rock rubble curing). There is an additional flow from a Fluval 305 filter (160GPH or so). The Koralia 2 is pointing up to the surface right above the acropora frags.

My water parameters:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Phosphate : 0
Calcium : 520ppm
Alkalinity : 9-10dKH
pH : 8.2
Salinity: 1.024

Now keep in mind, Nitrate and Phosphate ARE present as there is the annoying light brown whispy algae present that forms on the sides of the tank every few days. I am now running Clearmax in my Fluval and am adding some Cheato to the main tank as soon as it gets here in the mail.

Lighting: 12,000k bulbs stay on for about 7hours and the Actinics for 10hours. ( I cut down on lighting to combat the algae).
Feeding: I feed every other day. Mysis and Formula 1 pellets (mysis on one day and pellets on another day). Mysis is thoroughly washed in DI water before feeding. Fish get a few bites each. Clean up crew makes dang sure nothing goes uneaten .

Now, I know Acros are finicky critters, but I dont even know if they are happy. They extened polyps at all times. Thats about all I can say about them. They dont look sick (as far as I can tell), but they just havent made ANY progress since I got them a month ago. (No white tips which indicate growth).

Do I need more flow? Better powerhead placement? Longer lighting? Higher dKH? Anything pop out at you that would be a red flag? I have a montipora plate coral that is doing outstanding nearby! Has totally anchored to the rocks and has copius new growth. A Crocea clam also sits nearby which has plenty of growth.

Thanks!
Matt
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
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It sounds like you are fine and doing everything right. My guess is that they are just slow growers. Any fish that might be nippers on the off chance?
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:09 AM   #3
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Got any pics of the corals? Some are just realy slow growers. I would raise your SG. The average SG on the reefs where SPS corals come from is 1.026. There is no advantage to keeping it lower except saving a few cents on salt.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:54 PM   #4
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Hello,
I dont have any fish that nip at the corals, but my clowns like to piss off my clam from time to time.

Maybe they are just slow growers. I will raise the salinity up to 1.026 and see how they respond.

Here are some pictures..
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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Lighting would be my best bet why there not growing as "quick".
Most acro's require a lot of light, If you want good growth get a 250w MH at 14k or even 10k if you want growth.

I've spoken to alot of acro growers lately because i want to get into it the right way and most say they use 400w MH @ 14k.
They'll do ok under t5 HO, but you will not see the growth that MH will produce.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyb View Post
Lighting would be my best bet why there not growing as "quick".
Most acro's require a lot of light, If you want good growth get a 250w MH at 14k or even 10k if you want growth.

I've spoken to alot of acro growers lately because i want to get into it the right way and most say they use 400w MH @ 14k.
They'll do ok under t5 HO, but you will not see the growth that MH will produce.
i dont think you put a 400w over a 20g tank you will fry everything. i dont think that would be the right way.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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Oops, Didnt read the 20g.

Still, T5HO will not grow acro's no where near as good as MH.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:16 PM   #8
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Yeap, 20g. MH is more than I can spend anyways. T5 was a splurge for me. :-(

I dont want them to grow like crazy, (no space for a large colony), just want to make sure they arent dying.

I have no idea what kind they are (I really should ask more questions before buying!). I was warned that acros are tricky! Google makes me believe the green one is called Green Acropora and they seem to be a slow growing kind. I didnt even try to look up the other since there seem to be countless purple brown acros.

Maybe I should switch to 14000k bulbs? Theres only 6in of water above them now.

A side question: I have a xenia problem. Can I use some aiptasia control products to kill them? I yanked a ton out last week and had the xenias start a nuclear war. There are more in places that I cant get my hands into easily enough to yank. They are taking up good spots for better corals!

Matt
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:17 PM   #9
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Got any pics of the corals? Some are just realy slow growers. I would raise your SG. The average SG on the reefs where SPS corals come from is 1.026. There is no advantage to keeping it lower except saving a few cents on salt.
After reading the OP this was the only thing I came up with too.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:17 PM   #10
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Oops, Didnt read the 20g.

Still, T5HO will not grow acro's no where near as good as MH.
This is not entirely accurate. A lot depends on the reflectors
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