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Old 11-21-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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It begins - first coral is in

So here we are, roughly 3 weeks to the day since tankageddon (for those who haven't seen my earlier posts, I live in NJ and the freak halloween snow knocked my power out for 5 days killing all the fish in my fowlr) and the tank is, if I do say so myself, looking as good if not better then it has in a long time. The dead loss has re-perked my interest and gotten me on a schedule (I'll admit the iphone aquarium app for tracking testing and whatnot helps, being a geek and all) - I've done my water changes like I'm s'pposeta, I've been diligently cleaning the tank inside and out, I've suctioned my gravel (still needs a bit of work but looking MUCH better) - coralline is coming back with a vengeance and the tank overall is looking pretty good.

Only fish is still the copper banded who seems to be slowly working his way through my aiptasia which is down to about a dozen or so blooms.

Trites, trates, phates all at 0 - calc, kh, ph all right where they're supposed to be according to the test kit and LFS (always nice when they agree) - temperature is holding at 78 at night, 81 during the day using only the heat from my lighting and the pumps in my sump.

So with some encouragement at the LFS, as well as the knowledge that if I was gonna do it now was the time...plus a good sale price...I added my first piece of coral. Nothing major - a random brownish/orange zoanthid - about 12 polyps or so on a rock frag. I have to admit, there was something very satisfying about plopping it in there all closed up and watching the blooms open up within a matter of a few seconds (I like to think its because my water quality is actually decent now)

Here's a pic of the zoans as they started to open, and opened almost fully under my night lamps.




So the question I have is this: I asked where in the tank they should go and was told to keep them towards the bottom (I have t5, not MH)...but one thing I didn't ask: do zoans typically like hi flow, or am I better off keeping the power heads pointed elsewhere? I currently have one powerhead rippling the surface of the water to keep it oxygenated, but I have 2 more 600gph PHs coming in tomorrow, and I'm not sure where I should be aiming them....do oans like flow? Are there other "hardy" corals that are going to want a powerhead pointed across them at all times?

Thanks, as always, for the advice - you folks have been great as I've been busting my hump trying to get this badboy back to a decent place. Taking it slow, but at least it will be presentable when the relatives show up for Thanksgiving.

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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Very nice coral, it looks great! Congrats on your first one!
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Please don't forget about the toxins in some corals (like zoas and palythoas)
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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you should adjust your heaters up to 80 so there is no fluctuation from night and day. no corals will do well with a power head pointed directly at them. all corals however, will benefit from some random turbulence.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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Zoas are good with moderate flow, but are generally easy going in my experience.

What app are you using?
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:36 PM   #5
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Zoas are good with moderate flow, but are generally easy going in my experience.

What app are you using?
I'm using "aquaplanner lite" - its ad supported and only allows for tracking of one tank (which is fine since I currently only have one and a small QT which has a clipboard hanging on it since its tucked away). Pretty snazzy. You put in all your test results and it actually charts it for you, reminders of tasks (i.e. change sump sock, test water, water change etc).
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:37 PM   #6
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Im in the middle of converting my tank to reef. T5s are just as strong as MH. Good Luck!!!!! And keep us posted! I added the hammer bubble and torch to my tank on sat. and the colt las week and the gorg. about a month ago. GL!!!!!
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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you should adjust your heaters up to 80 so there is no fluctuation from night and day. no corals will do well with a power head pointed directly at them. all corals however, will benefit from some random turbulence.
Thanks for the advice - I can do that. What is the ideal temp, 80?

I'm going to keep an eye on it as it is for a day or two - I had a thermometer in the tank that was showing the fluctuation that I honestly didn't trust - just got a new one this evening that is in there now, so I'll keep an eye on it. According to it the tank is at around 78 right now with just the moon LEDs on...we'll see what it's at around mid-day tomorrow and I'll definitely make whatever adjustments I need to. Dont wanna piss off my pretty new zoas
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:39 PM   #8
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Awesome, thanks!

My best coral advice is to take your time in planning. I got excited at first getting some mediocre pieces at my LFS and could have shopped around for some MUCH nicer pieces. It's amazing what's put there.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:41 PM   #9
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Im in the middle of converting my tank to reef. T5s are just as strong as MH. Good Luck!!!!! And keep us posted! I added the hammer bubble and torch to my tank on sat. and the colt las week and the gorg. about a month ago. GL!!!!!
In your experience is there anything that really REQUIRES mh at this point? I mean obviously there's different strengths of T5, and a bajillion different bulbs. I'd really love to be able to keep a clam in there eventually, but everything that I've read says "unless you have super duper uber-hailides, dont even bother trying 'cause that clam will be deadski"...

My fixture is the deepblue solar extreme - I'm planning on swapping out my bulbs for ones with a bit more of a blue tinge to it as the stock bulbs are very yellow, almost bordering on green.
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:44 PM   #10
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Awesome, thanks!

My best coral advice is to take your time in planning. I got excited at first getting some mediocre pieces at my LFS and could have shopped around for some MUCH nicer pieces. It's amazing what's put there.
I appreciate it. I'm definitely taking my time, and I will admit I'm willing to pay a little bit more at my LFS then going through, say, mail order. I'm sure I could find better prices online, and I'm sure that places like liveaquaria are reliable. Truth is my LFS is run by a guy who loves what he does. Its a great pet shop (he does a fantastic reptile business too), but his bread and butter is a huge supply of salt and freshwater stuff. He gives great advice and is always happy to help out (after my tank crashed he gave me a couple of frags from his display tank to help get the bacteria flow going as quickly as possible). All around a good dude that I'm happy to give my money to.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:01 PM   #11
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Im really not sure how much lighting the clams need. Sorry. I feel that lighting requirements are usually overrated. My sister accidently kept a bubble tip nem under 1 or 2 T8s and it was fine. If your giving the clam food it MAY work..... not sure tho. GL!!!!!
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Old 11-22-2011, 12:13 AM   #12
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I'm all for supporting the LFS, just be patient for the special corals to come in.

If you're debating MH or T5 for a new fixture, go LED. I believe you save in the long run when you compare energy cost & bulb replacement over a few years. You also get infinite Colour & intensity control & programability all in a single unit.

My T5 will be going the way of Ecotech Radions soon enough.
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Old 11-22-2011, 07:22 AM   #13
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Unless you cant afford the ridiculously high price of quality leds. Mh is the cost effective top dog as of right now, it will be several yrs before you start to save with leds, by that time plasma should be a viable option. The price of leds will drop and mh will house anything you want.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:45 AM   #14
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If you do a cost breakdown of purchase price, energy consumption and bulb replacement, I think you would be surprised at just how quickly you come out ahead with LED. Yes it's more upfront, but much less down the road.

It might be a slightly different story if you already have a MH/T5 set up; it would take longer to balance out as you'd have to balance out the loss taken when selling your old lights.

For example: I bought a T5 fixture for around $300, in about 3 years the bulb replacement alone would equal out to the cost of a Radion LED. That's not factoring in energy consumption.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:56 AM   #15
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Yes three yrs in which time prices of leds will continue to drop, and the tech can continue to improve. There are a lot of companies claiming reef ready on their leds but livestock isnt growing as well as when the user had mh. Not saying its crap tech, but you really have to do your homwork to make sure... Not really the case with mh, saving a few bucks on the unit will still land you with a product you can use for anything.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:59 AM   #16
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Yes three yrs in which time prices of leds will continue to drop, and the tech can continue to improve. There are a lot of companies claiming reef ready on their leds but livestock isnt growing as well as when the user had mh. Not saying its crap tech, but you really have to do your homwork to make sure... Not really the case with mh, saving a few bucks on the unit will still land you with a product you can use for anything.

+1 from me.

I will wait it out and see what goes on in the next year or two. Prices will drop and the technology will get better. I do agree that the leds' are a better option over the long term as far as $$ but my first priority is making my corals happy NOW. lol
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Old 11-22-2011, 09:10 AM   #17
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Well, first off sorry about the highjack! I guess it's a matter of personal preference, but I for one would not recommend shelling out cash for tech that will be relatively obsolete in a few years. Yes, there are some substandard fixtures, but some amazing ones as well. And if you have an LED fixture which is ideal in terms of PAR, much of the advancement left is software related, which should be upgradable anyways.
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:49 AM   #18
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Hey I'm happy for the hijack, always glad to hear about new stuff.

I had been running CFLs when I was just doing fowlr, but recently upgraded to the T5. I had given LEDs some thought, but truth told I just found both that and MH to be quite cost prohibitive. I opted for the T5 because of the massive number of options in terms of bulb spectrum, the "less boiling hot water" feature that it has over some MH, and as mentioned above the more reasonable pricing. I spent $250 on a deep blue solar extreme, which I love - I'm not planning on replacing the lighting all around, just the bulbs to something with a more blue-ish spectrum. The stock bulbs are VERY yellow/green and it gives everything a slightly algae/vomitous look

If anyone has suggestions for bulbs, I have the 48" solar extreme...I'm going to be getting in on the "bulk buy" that this group is doing in a couple of weeks and am going to be shopping for bulbs
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:56 AM   #19
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I would recommend ATI aquablue specials, they are at a 12k spectrum and give a nice blue ish hue to the tank. I also use ATI blue plus for my Actinics. These will be on sale for the BRS buy too. I just re-did my bulbs on the last group buy. lol
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Old 11-22-2011, 10:56 AM   #20
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How many bulbs? I hear the ATI can't be beat; maybe 50/50 Aquablue Special 12000k & Blue Plus
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