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afilter 09-29-2005 02:09 PM

Adding supplements for Corals?
Well as of last night I have officially entered the reef world with the purchase of my first coral. :)

At the advice of the LFS I started out with a candy coral (good price) which is suppose to be pretty easy and should do ok in my current lighting while I upgrade. I placed it in top 1/4 of tank directly under t-5 fixture.

I plan to take it real slow since I still need more lighting and want to watch my CB closely to see how it reacts.

Below are some basic I pulled up on the candy (cane) coral

Care Level: Easy
Light: Moderate
Water Flow: Medium
Placement: All
Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
Color Form: Brown/Green, Green
Temperament: Peaceful
Ideal Supplements: Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements
Origin: Fiji
Family: Faviidae

Yes, I do plan to add more lightning in the near future I am just spacing it out over time. I have elected to go with the new corallife slim double T-5 fixtures and plan to get 2-3 more. They are only 56w, but what I have learned is they are almost the equivalent to a PC 130w because of the high output.

My question is about adding supplements. I have used trace element 1x per week in between pwc in the past, but nothing else with the belief that pwc replace much of what is lost.

As you can see above others supplements are recommended for this coral. I have also been leary about adding supplements with the idea you should not add anything for which you do not test.

My reading tells me the Calcium and Strontium are probably a good idea and I picked up a bottle of each. The bottles recommend dosing twice a week, but I think I would start out once a week into the pump area of the sump. Thoughts?

Then, what about iodine? I see some other corals may need that as well as it is recommended for inverts. Honestly my inverts such a the shrimp molt regularly and I am not sure about this.

What about testing? If I follow the recommendations or less is it going to be necessary?

I am a newbie to corals and any help is appreciated.


macman7010 09-29-2005 02:31 PM

Hey afilter,

Candy cane corals are pretty easy overall to maintain. As far as T5 lighting I have no idea how it compares to power compact. I elected power compact personally since it doesnt put out quite as much heat as metal halide lighting, but on my reef tank I have about 7.5 watts per gallon of light.

To keep easier corals you will need at least 3.0 watts per gallon of light, and you want to mix both white spectrum with blue actinic spectrum. I have a 50 50 mix of both but my Blue comes on first in the morning followed by the white, then the white goes out first in the evening followed by the blue. Also you want to shoot for a 12 hour photoperiod for any coral.

As far as additives you want to maintain a Calcium level of 400-450 ppm, and you can add strot. mag. and iodine as recommended but be sure to test for all of those. Varying corals have different needs so you want to keep an open eye for those. I would add zooplankton occasionaly as it proves a worthy feeding oppurtunity for any coral.

As far as idoine some use it some dont. I use Kent Super I - Iodine Additive and have found that it produces good results. It allows corals to recover better from Over Illumination and adds inverts when they molt, but as you said yours are molting fine without.

afilter 09-29-2005 02:44 PM

One of the benefits of these T-5 fixtures is they are cooler and are suppose to use less energy than pc not to mention cost($52.99 per 48" double fixture with bulbs).

I currently use a 12 hour photo period, but all my lights come on at the same time. Since each fixture comes with a blue and white bulb I could arrange them so two fixtures are all blue and two are all white and set the timers as you recomend. How much time is there between blue and white lights coming on?

When I get done I should have the equivalent to 5-6 wpg which should be adequate for low-moderate light corals and the BTA I want to get for my clowns.

macman7010 09-29-2005 03:03 PM

Yeah 5-6 wpg is pretty good overall. I wouldnt chance keeping clams under T-5 Lights though, but again I dont know much about T-5. I let me actinic come on an hour before the white, and stay on an hour after the white. This seems to work good, there are other combinations and really just making sure you get them enough light without over illuminating is what counts.

malkore 09-29-2005 03:23 PM

The thing about T-5 lighting being almost double the output of PC's...only works with the right reflector. You need one of those TEK 5 reflectors for it. The mirrored, parabolic shape is more efficient than what they can do with PC bulbs, due to the double tube shape of PC's.

You end up getting much much higher lux in the bottom of the tank. Lux is basically a way of measuring lumens and how far they penetrate. Lux is 10 times higher with the Tek reflector than without, and 5 times higher than any other commercial T-5 reflector, mylar and gloss white paint.

I didn't believe the claims either until I saw some 'home research' that someone in the chat room shared (I think it was greenmaji)

afilter 09-29-2005 04:03 PM

These units definately have a mirrored reflector, but not sure what kind. Not sure about a TEK 5? All I know is that one of these 48" 56w units almost doubled what I had for out put with my standard twin tube with mirrowed reflector(I had just replaced bulbs about 2 months ago. I thought my my lighting was fairly bright before. Now 8)

I am looking forward to getiing 2-3 more as budget allows, so I should have 3-4 by x-mas. Just in time for some nice gift certificates. hint..hint :lol:

lando 09-29-2005 08:34 PM

Congrats on the new coral! suppliments such as trace elements are really not needed and can acttually be dangerous to add to a tank. Regualr water changes will help to replenish any depleted trace elements. Do not waste your money on them. Depending on your CA/ALK levels you may need to use a buffer to control them. The cardnal rule is to not put anything into your tank that you do not test for.

afilter 09-29-2005 10:35 PM


Originally Posted by lando
The cardnal rule is to not put anything into your tank that you do not test for.

Exactly why I bought a calcium test kit tonight on the way home.:wink:

I was very happy to see the coral out and looking magnificent, better than at the store. I am going to test my levels and wait on adding anyhting until I do some more research and determine it is absolutely needed.

Here is a pic:

afilter 09-29-2005 10:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Oh, earlier tonight I noticed some feather like objects coming from the branches, not the polup. Are these the sweeper tenacles or could have I a hitchhiker? I only noticed them on one half in between the polups.

Here is a pic:

afilter 09-29-2005 10:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Oops try this one:

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