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Old 07-10-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
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getting started

hey everyone! my name is seymour, and i happened to stumble across this website and i figured maybe you guys can help me out with some problems i am having with my first reef tank. this might be too long of an explanation so get ready lol

i have a 37 gallon tank with a 2X65 compact flourescent light (one white light, one actinic). the tank has been set up about 3 months, and has had coral in it for about 2 months.

i've got about 50 lbs of "arag alive" sand, and i have a lot of live rock but i am not sure exactly how much live rock i have.

my coral inventory consists of 4 different corals: green button polyps, some type of blue mushrooms, a green devil's hand coral, and a rather large toadstool coral

i did my research to a certain extent before taking the plunge into the reef setup, only to find out (only 90% sure of this being true) that all those supplements (i.e. calcium, strontium, iodide, trace elements, magnesium, etc) are completely useless and actually cause more harm than good on a reef tank.

so i first got my green button polyps, and they opened up really wide and were looking very well for the first 2 months that they were in there. about a month ago i picked up some more coral, a green devil's hand leather coral and some sort of blue mushrooms. all was going well and all looked pretty good for quite some time.

i then picked up another coral, a really good sized toadstool coral. i did a decent sized water change (about 6 gallons) the day that i added it. after that point, everything continued looking pretty good for the next few days, until about a week ago i noticed my button polyps were closed up, and my devil's hand is now slumped over and does not look nearly as good as when i first added it.

and it's pretty much been that way for a little over a week now. there were a couple days that my toadstool slumped over too, but now it's looking spectacular, though i wish i could say the same for the rest of my coral.

EDIT: ALSO: my kH is 10 and i have been keeping it buffered with baking soda.

long explanation i know haha, sorry! surely i have to be doing something wrong, any thoughts?
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:16 PM   #2
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Have you tested the water? If so what are the parameters?
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
i did my research to a certain extent before taking the plunge into the reef setup, only to find out (only 90% sure of this being true) that all those supplements (i.e. calcium, strontium, iodide, trace elements, magnesium, etc) are completely useless and actually cause more harm than good on a reef tank.
For a reef tank of your size and with the coral load you have it is simply not needed to dose "reef" suppliments. Doing regular water changes will be more then enough to keep all levels where they need to be.

I agree. a total ist of parameters will be needed...temp, SG, Ph NH3, NO2, NO3, CA, ALK would help
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lando
Doing regular water changes will be more then enough to keep all levels where they need to be.
I agree that PWC`s will do what you need done. What are your water test results? Also you have two leathers in your tank. They are not near each other or anther coral are they? Sometimes leathers will preform chemical warfare in the tank causing all corals to suffer. Where is placement of your two leathers?
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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WELCOME TO AA! I think like everyone else has said, post your paramaters. How many hours a day are the lights on? Are there any fish in the tank? If so what kind?
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:32 PM   #6
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Have you been having temp swings in your tank? I noticed that in my smaller tank when the temp went up and down more then 3 degrees in a day that things didn't do well. Smaller tanks are more difficult to keep the temp regulated.

Making sure to test your water is very very important Lando gave you a list of things you should test on a pretty regular basis.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:54 AM   #7
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Re: getting started

Supplements reconstitute the basic makeup of your water as it is used up within the system. They do have their place and being deemed completely useless is bunk. The most important supplements considered is calcium and alkalinity with magnesium being fairly useful if not a must overseas. The need for dosing depends on specific levels of calcification, which is affected by alkalinity. I do agree of the probable allelopathy at play. Oftentimes leather corals will negatively influence the growth or polyp extensions of surrounding corals and in such small quarters entire tanks can be affected. It is commonplace to witness leather corals trading off a withdrawn and almost sickly appearence during this chemical warfare or during a shed, in which I have found carbon (Purigen can be tried) as a relief. Do make sure water flow is optimal for leathers.
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Old 07-12-2007, 05:36 PM   #8
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alright i'm back! thanks for all of the responses

i've tested water a few times when i first started adding corals, but unfortunately i do not have my test kit any more and i have to get a new one. i will do that as soon as i can, probably tomorrow. all i have now is one for carbonate hardness and one for phosphates.

ammonia and nitrite should be 0 i would assume, and i haven't a clue of where my nitrates are at.

temperature is at 78-79 every time i check it, and i mainly keep my salt maintained between 1.025-1.027. i use a hydrometer for it, but i compared it's accuracy when i had my LFS test my salt it was off by .001.

current is good in the tank for doubled up my filters on the tank

i think you guys are probably onto something though about the leather coral toxins factor, only because i literally had no problems until i added that big toadstool. now, the toadstool looks great, and my blue mushrooms look pretty good, but my green polyps and my devils hand aren't so well

i wish i could post a picture of my coral placement but i don't have my photos on this PC; i will get one up tomorrow

let's just say the toadstool is in the very center of the tank, the polyps were next to it but now i moved them away to the outer edge of tank, and the devils hand is up on a ledge on a rock that i have placed high above everything else in the tank, right under the flow of one of my power filters

best description i could give

the big toadstool was originally in a small 24 gallon nano display tank at my LFS, and all of the corals in there didn't seemed to mind...weird!!

i have to get off here for now! thanks for the input, i'll get my test kit ASAP and check back on here tomorrow

:-/ hopefully i'll figure this out!
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