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Old 09-04-2008, 04:43 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ccCapt View Post
We use it because it comes from the ocean and we know it's safe.
I have read so many articles over the years that recommend crushed coral or aragonite primarily because of their Ph buffering capability. Is all of this incorrect and faulty information?
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:05 PM   #12
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I would call it inaccurate.
A calcium reactor is filled with reactor media, which is calcium carbonate in 1 form or another. Could be crushed coral, aragonite, sea shells, etc. Now run that reactor without adding the co2. What happens? Nothing. Why? Because the pH must be 7.5-7.3 before the media starts to dissolve. This is why co2 is needed. You must drop the pH of the water so it can dissolve the media.
Now if you have a very deep sand bed, it is possible the pH deep within the sandbed can get low enough to dissolve some aragonite, but it would just precipitate back out of solution when it hit the higher pH water. It would not have any buffering affect.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #13
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Well, basically I'm living the dream.

One of my customers has a lot of cash - he's well off. He used to be in the saltwater fish importing game and he wants to get back into it. maybe sell enough online to recoup his costs and get some nice fish for his fish room while he's at it.

He has no knowledge of coral but loves looking at my tanks and we've spent hours and hours talking about coral and fragging (which I've done an extensive amount of in the last year and a half - I have frags all over both my nanos) and he's decided to invest some coral as well. I put together a brief proposal for him. He entrusted me with 2k starter fund and as much as 7k to do what I need.

My goal is to do precisely what he asked - set up a small ebay business so the coral/fish pays for itself and anything else is gravy. He's completely aware that I plan on taking frags of all interesting livestock for my own tanks and he's totally cool with it. So my intentions are to make a frag propagation center, buy some premium colonies which I intend to chop up into frags and then mount on large pieces of LR to then grow into colonies. I'm not planning on being commercially available for around a year.

All I need to do is keep the water params in check, build a website, and collect free coral for the forseeable future.


now for the tanks - there would be a canister filter on each with LR rubble and each frag would probably start mounted on at least a 1/2 lb chunk of LR so there will be LR in the tank and canister, but no "reef wall" structure. One of the other things I liked about the crushed coral substrate is that if any frags fell to the tank floor they could attach themself to a small piece of the cc which could then be superglued to a larger piece of LR. Again, I do not want to plumb these because when we migrate to the 4'x4'x1' coral tanks these two tanks will be my incoming shipment QT tanks - one for LPS/softies and one for SPS/clams.
Do you have a successful reef tank set up? What kind of corals do you have in it? How long has it been set up? What kind of equipment do you have on your system?

I think you are going to find that for optimal growth in your corals a canister filter and CC substrate are not the way to go. If you are going to take a year before going "public" then you are going to need excellent filtration on your frag system. I have been growing frags for about a year and a half now. Believe me when I tell you there is a lot more to it then a tank with water and a canister filter. You need flow, lighting, filtration more then likely you will need to dose CA and Mg.

My advice is to a) Drill the tanks and plumb them together and have a large common sump packed with LR and a fuge full of macro or b) use overflows and plumb the tanks together and have a large common sump packed with LR and a fuge full of macro. Have you considered going bare bottom with the frag system? You aren't going to get buffering from the CC and without a sandy bottom you can easily siphon any gunk off the bottom.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:33 AM   #14
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I have read so many articles over the years that recommend crushed coral or aragonite primarily because of their Ph buffering capability. Is all of this incorrect and faulty information?
Can you post links to these articles? I would like to read them also.
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:38 AM   #15
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Hmmm... I never thought about putting rubble into my canister filter. Has anybody else done this? What are the pro's and cons?
We usually recommend to people using canisters to put rubble in one of the compartments to aid in filtration. My thinking is that nature does such a darn good job of filtering why not follow and try and mimic as best as we can??
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:22 PM   #16
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Do you have a successful reef tank set up? What kind of corals do you have in it? How long has it been set up? What kind of equipment do you have on your system?
I have:

-10 gallon nano in my office, been up for 2 years. 25-30lbs live rock, 20 lbs live sand. 1 penguin 550 ph, 1 maxi jet mini powerhead. HOB filter filled with LR rubble. Current 80w PC fixture. Visi-therm stealth heater. Tank has:
1 two head hammer
1 single head frogspawn
12-15 assorted zoanthid/paly colonies
large pearl bubble coral
favia brain colony
pink lobophyllia brain
2 large colonies green star polyps
2 head blue candy cane
1 colony daisy polyps
7 assorted ricordea polyps
small colony clove polyps
10-15 assorted frags of the above sprinkled throughout the tank

-20 gallon nano in my home, been up for 8 months, before that was a 15 gallon nano that got upgraded that was up for 8-9 months. 60+ lbs live rock, 40 lbs. Live sand. 3 maxi jet PHs, Aqualight pro lighting fixture - 1 150w HQI MH, 2
65w actinics. Visi-therm stealth heater. Fluval 205 canister filter filled with LR rubble, SeaClone 100 protein skimmer
Tank has:
6 head Duncanopsammia
4 head frogspawn (office nano is frag)
4 head blue candy cane (office nano is frag)
4 head branching hammer (office nano is frag)
1 medium pink stylophora
1 large colony green center blastomussa
1 medium pagoda cup
1 green bali slimer acro
1 small pink birds nest
1 small cadmium pocillopora
medium yellow porites colony
1 medium hydnophora
6-10 small colonies assorted mushrooms
2 pink ricordea polyps
2 green ricordea polyps
1 orange monti cap
1 small superman encrusting monti
around 10-15 zoo colonies assorted
1 medium green star polyps colony
colony of yellow polyps
2 head rose candy cane
1 medium yellow/red gorgonian

and two large tanks (180 FOWLR and 210 Reef) that I have been maintaining for residential customers for about 3 months (180) and 7 months (210)

I'm not new to reefing, fragging or SW but I've also not been in the hobby for 10+ years, either. I do feel that I have enough of a knack for SW reef to benefit for my arrangement with the owner though.


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I think you are going to find that for optimal growth in your corals a canister filter and CC substrate are not the way to go. If you are going to take a year before going "public" then you are going to need excellent filtration on your frag system. I have been growing frags for about a year and a half now. Believe me when I tell you there is a lot more to it then a tank with water and a canister filter. You need flow, lighting, filtration more then likely you will need to dose CA and Mg.
And again, when we move into the retail space at the first of the year a more complete system will be completely designed from the ground up with 4x4x1 coral tanks and sumps and pro grade filtration etc. the current tanks that I am about to set up will then be the holding / QT area for new arrivals. I AM NOT TRYING TO MAKE A BUSINESS WITH THESE TANKS I AM SETTING UP RIGHT NOW - I just need a place to house my growing frag collection (and a few livestock acquisitions I haven't been able to resist) so I can get them out of my home and office tanks for a few months while maintaining the ability to integrate these tanks into the later setup as QT tanks for new arrivals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy953 View Post
My advice is to a) Drill the tanks and plumb them together and have a large common sump packed with LR and a fuge full of macro or b) use overflows and plumb the tanks together and have a large common sump packed with LR and a fuge full of macro. Have you considered going bare bottom with the frag system? You aren't going to get buffering from the CC and without a sandy bottom you can easily siphon any gunk off the bottom.
I would actually prefer bare bottom if the substrate is not going to buffer the PH. I suppose a fuge is a good idea even at first. If plumbing is really the answer, for obvious reasons I would prefer to use overflows.

Thanks for all your help, folks. I appreciate it.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:46 PM   #17
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I didn't mean to sound like I was suggesting you didn't know what you were doing. I asked the questions I asked to get an idea of your knowledge and experience level. I haven't been in the hobby for 10 years either, at least not with SW. I have done a lot of trial and error, what I have found to be most beneficial to good coral health is excellent filtration. I get that through mostly natural sources, LR, LS fuge and then my skimmer. I also do PWCs every other week without fail. Even if you are only setting things up for a short period of time you will still want to do it as best you can. I just don't think canister filters are going to give you the water quality you want. Lighting, water quality and flow are very important to SPS growth. My recomendation is always to have a sump with a fuge when dealing with corals. If you decide for now to go with canister filters I would make sure to do frequent water changes and have pleanty of flow in your frag tanks.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:30 PM   #18
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No problem, I wasn't offended or anything, and your answers make sense.
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