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Old 01-10-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
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When am I coral ready??

I have never owned a coral before and having corals is why I have spent 2000 dollars so far. I have a 46 gallon tank with 80 pounds live rock, 196W compact flourescent lighting, Turboflotor multi skimmer, 2 hydor koralia 2's 1 maxi-jet900. A whisper powerfilter holding live rock rubble,Chaeto. Using Reef crystals salt with RO/DI water. I need to start a calcium supplement which I will do soon once I decide the best way. My question is when can I start to add some life to my tank. I was wondering if I could add 1 pulsating xenia to start and then in 1 month after I start supplementing calcium if I can add a starter pack of corals from liveaquaria. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...fm?pCatId=2140 would this be rushing things I sure wouldn't want to throw away 100 bucks. I still need to add a sump/refugium and I want to increase my cleanup crew before I add a coral. I just am wondering how do I determine the time frame in which to do so????
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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Well I cant really answer your question because I am pretty new myself however I was wondering how the chaeto is doing in your powerfilter. is there enough room for it ? How do you get a light on there ?
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshsReef View Post
Well I cant really answer your question because I am pretty new myself however I was wondering how the chaeto is doing in your powerfilter. is there enough room for it ? How do you get a light on there ?
It doesn't thrive as much as it will in my Refugium when I get it set up I have just a live rock holding it down so it doesn't float away. And Don't have any lighting really other that my kitchen light. I has grown but really slow....
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:40 PM   #4
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I think your tank is still quite young? I wouldn't spend $100 on LPS yet. Get some mushrooms or zoa's and see how they do first. Both are almost impossible to kill.

Also, what makes you think you need to dose calcium? What's in your tank that uses more ca than normal water changes replenish? Soft corals won't deplete your ca and LPS very little. Test, test again the next day, then test again. See how much ca is being used before you spend more $ on supplements you may not need.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:50 PM   #5
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Until your tank is established and has been through a few PWCs I wouldn't add any coral to the tank. It was 6 months before I put my first coral in. As for dosing calcium you aren't going to need to do that unless you have a heavy load of SPS corals. I have tons of SPS in my tank and I don't dose CA. Regular PWCs every other week replenish what CA is used by my corals.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:53 PM   #6
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Here's another good thread about the same thing...

When is it safe to start adding frags?

Regarding Ca supplementation... it all depends on how much Ca your salt has in it to start with, and how much coraline algae you want. Even with LPS corals only, you can still have a fairly good Ca usage if you like/want coraline algae.
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:36 AM   #7
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Its been going Since about August with my first batch of live rock.. I started adding RO/DI water in October(just bought theRO/DI unit 3 weeks ago to make my own) My tank was semi-established until I had my disaster with the entire bottle of flake food in the tank and I changed all of the water. But the live rock was still cycled. I added more live rock,Protein skimmer about 8 days ago. I just started my testing chart I figure 2 weeks more and then start building my clean up crew, after about 6-8 weeks add some corals, I guess the beginners mushroom pack..... Try that for about 3 months and then add a serious LPS coral around late spring/summertime which is the best time to ship because of ambient temperature outside during shipping.

About supplementing my calcium level from my test has read 360 with RC and my alkalinity about 150 I have read to get calcium above 400 at least for a healthy reef and will have to supplement for sure to get the beautifull purple coraline coverage I desire......

Does this sound like a good plan??
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:24 AM   #8
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I've been told/read many times that after your tank cycles you can start adding coral. I personally add it very slowly and make sure everything is fine rather then drop 200+ and find out you missed something. Grab a few frags of polyps of mushrooms and see how they respond. Most are very hardy.

After you've got some experience you're really only limited by your lighting. You said you have a 196W PC? If thats all you're running its not a ton of light but you can still get some low light corals to start and see how they do, then work your way up from there.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:57 AM   #9
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Yeah, I will upgrade my lighting later on for now I just want to gain some expierience before I slap down 600 on a light.. So if I am successfull for a year or 2 I will eventually get a better light.. So It looks like mushrooms are a good place to start. Is DR Fosters&Smith probably the best place to purchase some, I wish there was a good place on the west coast so that everything I ordered didn't have to go from Florida to Seattle its a long trip
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:47 PM   #10
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I think you have a good sound plan in mind. Stick to that and I think you will be successful! As for your lighting I think you will be fine with 196w on a 46g tank. Now you might not be able to have a clam but I think you will be just fine even with a few SPS corals placed higher in the tank. BTW keeping a chart on your tests, PWCs and additions is a great idea! I have been doing that for 3 years now. Excel is great!
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