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Old 01-02-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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When is it safe to start adding frags?

My tank has been up and running for a month. My Ammonia and Nitrites are at 0 and Nitrates were close to 0 but went up so I did a 30% water change yesterday. PH and temp are staying consistant. I have live sand, approximately 60lbs of dead LR and 10lbs of current LR. At what point is it safe to start adding coral frags?
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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The key to adding corals is stability. Check all your reef parameters and make sure they are staying steady. Salinity, ALK, PH Calcium for examples.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:32 PM   #3
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Stability is definitely the key, but stability also implies consistency over several months. Just checking your water for a week and saying, "Yup... I'm stable" really doesn't tell the story. A new tank will really go through many different stages over the first few months.

In addition, if you're going to adjust your Ca/Alk levels from whatever they are now, get that going BEFORE you add corals. You will, as we all did, try to "tweak" something and end up throwing everything into a mess! It's much better to do that, and learn what you did, with just fish in the tank. Even better would be with nothing in the tank, but I'm not sure any of us are THAT patient!

So my answer would be... give it two or three months or so of stable water readings.
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:00 AM   #4
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Thanks Kurt for the info. Should I also be checking for Magnesium or iron?
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Old 01-03-2008, 12:52 AM   #5
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Iron?

I'm thinking you meant iodine. I check for magnesium, but don't do anything about it. I don't check or do anything with iodine (or iron!) either. The only thing I dose is calcium and alkalinity. Personally, unless you've got a tank stocked to the gills with SPS corals, I think water changes will take care of most of your "trace elements", depending on the salt you use.

Either way, one of the few concrete rules of reef keeping in my opinion... if you dose it, you need to test your levels of it.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #6
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Kurt, you are correct. I meant Iodine. It was much too late for me to be thinking when I wrote the reply.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:06 PM   #7
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It`s good to check these but IMO PWC`s are all that are needed to keep these levels where they need to be. In some salt mixes calcium and alk levels might need supplementing.
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Old 01-03-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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I would allow the tank to mature for at least 6 months before adding corals (sps and some LPS) 8-12 for an anemone. Some corals like certain Zoas and mushrooms are more tolerant to less established systems. However I still recommend waiting. The more established your tank is and the more used to caring for it you are the better the results will be. Take your time and be patient. This is one of those hobbies that you cant force to go faster. Enjoy learning and watching your tank grow and mature. Believe me you will be much happier with the outcome if you take your time.

I think my tank was 5 months old before I put the first coral in it.
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