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Old 01-02-2009, 02:52 PM   #1
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First Corals, more random questions

Ok, so I have done a couple of water changes since the last time I posted and Nitrates look to be about zero (API test kit isn't the easiest to read)

I went to my LFS and checked out what they had and did some talking and they owner said in his opinion of what he had there the green open brain coral would probably be the easiest thing for me to start on. Does anyone agree that this would be a fairly easy starter? And how fast do they grow? All of the open brain corals at the two fish stores in the area are just the small one inch by two inch single rings (don't know the proper terms for the sections)

Since my last post I thought of another potentially big issue I have. Since last spring when I started my tank I have only been using tap water in my tank with conditioner. Up until now my tank has been a FOWLR and I have had no issues with this method. I spoke with the owners of the two fish stores in town and both have beautiful display reef tanks that they say they use just tap water in. Both tell me that the city's water is fairly clean (for tap water that is). I did a test of some water that I had mixed after my last PWC and found no detectable nitrates.
I plan on buying some type of water purification system but I need to let my wallet recover for a little while before investing in that. Do I need to hold off on all corals until I get that or do you think something like a brain coral would be able to survive a couple of months with the water I'm currently using?
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:58 PM   #2
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There are a lot of successful tanks that use only tap and have only ever used tap. It all depends on how good your source water is.

What do you have your SG at? FOWLR vs Corals there is usually a difference in SG. I keep my system at 1.025 for a full reef. You can get away with lower levels with FO or FOWLR.

The brain coral is a fairly easy coral to deal with. I have one that is rather large and it does well in my system. It is a coral that depends on light as well as food from the tank, meaning it will eat fish food that floats into it. I usually give mine a shot of mysis once every couple of weeks. The coral does best when on the sand bed. When it is happy it will inflate and the tissue will get damaged if on the rock work. They don't like a lot of flow but do need some. Lighting requirements are in the moderate range.

I don't know if I would call it a good beginner coral but you should do well with it if your system is established and your parameters remain in good standings.
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:04 PM   #3
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I used to keep mine at about 1.023 but I slowly adjusted it up to 1.025 so I should be good there. Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-03-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:13 PM   #5
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Being that I work for a water municipality, I know what goes in tap water. I would never use it but there are some that use it and you cant argue there results. Here is a good article on tap water.

Chemistry and the Aquarium

As far as the coral the brain coral is an excellent choice. They like the substrate from my experience. I have never fed mine as they get all they need from the lighting and water column. Nothing wrong with what Allen said about an occasional treat of mysis.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the article, from the looks of things I should be good in the short term using tap but i'll look into getting some type of purification unit soon.

I went ahead and purchased the brain coral yesterday. It's already looking better than it did in the store, the colors are great and it extends it's tentacles when I turn off the lights and I was surprised at how long they were, one was about eight inches.

With corals do I need to give the system a month or so to stabilize before adding another like with fish or can I add them at a faster rate?

There was a leather at my LFS that they called a devil's hand that looked interesting. The other day it was standing up and looked pretty cool, but today when I stopped in to pick up some salt it looked droopy. They said that it was normal and it would do that for the first few days if it was put in a system as well until it adjusted. I'm thinking about making that type of coral my next purchase whenever I'm able to get my next coral. Would that be a good choice? And do they prefer to be on the live rock or sustrate?
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