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Old 07-23-2004, 09:00 AM   #1
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Easy SPS's

Is there such a thing? I am acclimating my current softies and LPS's with my new MH setup and I wanted to start researching SPS's. Are there any that are good for starting out? My tank had been up for a year and I put the MH setup on in hopes of getting some SPS's and maybe a clam.

Any ideas?
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Old 07-23-2004, 09:58 AM   #2
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The montipora family is one of the easier ones to keep I would start there.

Montipora digitata, Monti-cap...several nice ones out there.
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Old 07-23-2004, 09:59 AM   #3
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There are actually quite a few "easy" SPS or at least not so difficult species

Before you move onto those though I would be sure you have a good grasp on your tanks chemistry. Monitoring regularly and have thought out a good maintenance routine for dosing alk/Ca. Once you start adding a decent amount of scleractinians, the demand on the CaCO3 will shoot up quite a bit.

That said though I would look into types like Montipora, Pocillopora, Porites, Pavona, Stylophora and the like. For the first while anyway I would avoid Acroporids. They can be a bit more challenging but given the right equipment set up and proper tank maintenance should give you no more trouble than any other coral.

One thing to be cautious of when adding new stonies to the tank is start them out as low in the tank as possible for the first few days-week. They need to light acclimate as much as to the water chem. If placed to high in the tank too quickly it can cause bleaching. After a short time period you can then inch them up every few days until they are in a good spot and can be secured with epoxy of cyanoacrylate based super glue gel or both.

If your going to keep a mixture of coral types ie... soft, LPS and SPS; I would be sure to use carbon as often as possible or 24/7. It will help remove any nematocyst or other chems given off by corals when they are looking for "growing room" or something has gotten too close. It will help avoid RTN.

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Old 07-23-2004, 10:11 AM   #4
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Thanks steve and squishy!

I have some pickling lime on hand and have looked into dosing calcium but have not done it yet. Based on the charts I have seen the CA and ALK seem in balance but CA is a bit on the low side. Was 375-400 last time I checked. I will check both tonight and see how it comes up. I did a water change last night so it should be at it highest right now. I use IO salt right now so I anticipate having to use kalk.

Do most start with frags? Seems like e-tropical have some SPS ranging from $20-35 for 1.5" - 2.5" ORA frags. Is this typical size and price? I have a LFS that sells lots of corals, so I will check there first.
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Old 07-23-2004, 10:21 AM   #5
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The important part of maintaining the chem is not so much the levels you keep but rather the balance between the two. As long as the alk/Ca is kept within the range or NSW it will be just fine. Keeping the chem higher than NSW has very little benefit in a matured tank.

If you can find TR frags they will be much hardier than WC colonies as well as being ecologicaly friendly. Personally I prefer frags over even TR colonies. It allows for the coral to grow into a certain area rather than moving things about to accomidate a large chuck of coral. It will also allow for more diversity.

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Old 07-23-2004, 10:52 AM   #6
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Seem like I have read that most try to get CA in the 450 range. How low is ok as long as alk is balanced? Would a CA of 350 with a balanced ALK still be ok?
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Old 07-23-2004, 10:57 AM   #7
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350 ppm Ca is on the low side and could lead to problems. Try to keep the Ca in the 380-420 ppm range with a balanced alk. Having the Ca as high as 450 ppm will not do anything as far as increased coral growth or health. They will deposit the same amount of CaCO3 as with lower levels. I would also suggest keeping tabs on the Mg at least monthly depending on what CaCO3 suppliment you end up choosing. Mg should be 3x the Ca level to help maintain the alk/Ca balance.

Just remember when looking for balanced numbers, don't kill yourself trying to get it exact. Just be in a general range of what's recommended and you will be just fine.

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Old 07-23-2004, 12:06 PM   #8
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Steve-s has again shown his knowledge to be expert and exact. Kudos to you steve. I was going to suggest something very similar only much less eloquent. The advice of trying not to kill yourself to be exact is probably the best I've read. Always try but don't kill yourself as trying to make changes to correct a minor deficeincy can cause swings in another areas. Consistancy and subtle with any changes are best.

To touch on the prices of things; keep in mind local trades are great. Local clubs are a good way to do this. Also, IMO local prices and even online prices are still a bit on the high side for my taste depending on the coral. I'll talk with you more privately on local ways to keep more money in your wallet.

R-
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Old 07-23-2004, 01:25 PM   #9
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don't alk and PH go up and down together?
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Old 07-23-2004, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Steve-s has again shown his knowledge to be expert and exact. Kudos to you steve.
Heck, I should be giving him kudos. Steve is always helpful to me. Definately an asset of AA.com

Thanks steve.

Sumphead aint bad either

If only I had some locals to to get in touch with. There is a Louisville Marine Society that is having a conference/seminar this month with Anthony Calfo, Steve Pro and Morgan Lidster. It is $50 a head and I am not sure what will be discussed. Supposed to have a frag workshop Not sure if I will go though.

Mike
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Old 07-23-2004, 01:51 PM   #11
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Wow.. I would jump at the chance to attend that! 8O
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Old 07-23-2004, 07:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kenor33
don't alk and PH go up and down together?
Not as you might think. Alkalinity and pH are definately linked chemically but one does not really control the other. Think of it more as a dependancey than control if that makes sense.

See what you make of this article:
The Relationship Between Alkalinity and pH by Randy Holmes-Farley

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Old 07-23-2004, 09:01 PM   #13
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thanks alot steve, was confused 8O
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Old 07-25-2004, 11:31 PM   #14
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I was not able to make it to the seminar Had to go see Thomas the Train instead

Anyway, I tested my CA and Alk last night. CA should be 390 or so. (Test kit is Seachem and volume left in the dropper was .22). ALK is 2.5 meg/L. This seems to be in line. CA is higher than I expected since I use IO and I have heard IO is low on CA.

I assume with SPS's, the CA/Alk will get used up but with just a couple frags, will my levels be ok with just water changes or should I try and get the CA up above 400?
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Old 07-26-2004, 12:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ellisz
Anyway, I tested my CA and Alk last night. CA should be 390 or so. (Test kit is Seachem and volume left in the dropper was .22). ALK is 2.5 meg/L. This seems to be in line. CA is higher than I expected since I use IO and I have heard IO is low on CA.
If your basing the balance off the alk then yes the Ca is a tad low but nothing I'd go nuts about. Just eek the Ca up a bit each time you make additions or correct the saltmix first. It's really not that off though.

Quote:
I assume with SPS's, the CA/Alk will get used up but with just a couple frags, will my levels be ok with just water changes or should I try and get the CA up above 400?
It really depends on the growth rate and amount of corals. Sometimes water changes will keep up but as you add more corals and the ones you keep get larger, the demand will definately grow as well. In the beginning at least the water changes should help but I would definately look into a 2 part liq additive or kalkwasser to keep up with higher daily demands. Doing water changes more than weekly can be a rather large pain in the .....

As you add scleractinian corals, keep a written log and test every few days for the alk and Ca. This will give you an idea of the rate of depletion and help you decide what would be easiest to maintain them.

Cheers
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