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willsy555

Using Red Sea Coral Pro Salt for Tank Startup

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willsy555

Hi

 

I'm just in the planning stages of building a reef tank. It's going to be a Red Sea Reefer 170 based system with all the bells and whistles!

 

Due to various reasons, I decided on the Red Coral Pro Salt. Especially since it's quick to mix! I like the idea of mixing some water up on a Saturday morning and getting it all done in one hit! 🙂

 

My question is... Will this be OK for a tank start up? My plan will be to stock with some clean up crew, then some fish. And then a few weeks or months down the road after that, once I get into the swing of it, I plan to get corals. I don't plan to have corals at first, so I wonder where all those excess nutrients from the Coral Pro Salt will be used? Or will they just build up... Which I guess is not a good thing?

 

I'm specifically looking at the Red Sea recipes here for the mixed reef:

 

https://www.redseafish.com/reef-care-recipes/

 

Cheers

 

Will.

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Clown79

Coral pro is fine but realize, it has high alk.

 

It also has specific mixing instructions and can only be saved for 1 week.

 

For mixing you have to add the salt to water and hand mix vigorously.

After 2 hrs, you can add heater and pump.

It should not be mixed no more than 4hrs.

 

There are many salts on the market that mix quickly, like red sea blue bucket, aquaforest, tropic marin.

 

Instant Ocean is 1 that has a 24hr mixing instruction

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willsy555
2 hours ago, Clown79 said:

Coral pro is fine but realize, it has high alk.

 

It also has specific mixing instructions and can only be saved for 1 week.

 

For mixing you have to add the salt to water and hand mix vigorously.

After 2 hrs, you can add heater and pump.

It should not be mixed no more than 4hrs.

 

There are many salts on the market that mix quickly, like red sea blue bucket, aquaforest, tropic marin.

 

Instant Ocean is 1 that has a 24hr mixing instruction

Thanks...

 

So maybe I would just do a weekly 10% water change and add just Red Sea NO3:PO4-X Algae Reducer (as per the fish only recipe on the Red Sea website). I can do this whilst I don't have any corals. Does this sound OK? i.e. No other dosing would be necessary?

 

Then when I start adding corals I then should follow the mixed reef recipe from the Red Sea website. i.e. These items:

  • Foundation A – CALCIUM+ |3ml
  • Foundation B – KH/ALKALINITY |9ml
  • Foundation C – MAGNESIUM  |1ml
  • Trace-Colors A|B|C|D
  • NO3:PO4-X |2ml
  • Reef Energy Plus |4ml

Does this sound about OK?

 

This leads me onto another question... Is there a cheaper way to dose the above items rather than buying pre-made solutions from Red Sea in their fancy bottles?

 

I used to make up my own micro and macro solutions for EI dosing on my freshwater planted tanks. Thought it might be possible to do something similar for reef dosing?

 

Thanks for the help! This is all very new to me. Just trying to get my head around it all. 🙂

 

Will.

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Mrod1!

Depending on the types and amount of corals you may not need to worry about “nutrients” too much. If you are referring to trace elements water changes with most salt brands will help resolve this. 
 

As far as doing that also may not be needed for a while but main thing is to test before just deciding how much to add.  Until you know what is being depleted with your alk and ca, no need to add if they are in line.  In general best to test before adding or you can cause issues just the same as not adding if low.  
 

good luck but my suggestion is make sure you have some good testers for minimum calcium, alkalinity, phosphate and nitrate.   Also go slow on adding coral until you see some success if first time and good luck!  Many here can help you as you progress and run into any issues or questions along the way. 

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SliceGolfer

Greetings @willsy555

 

While the Red Sea recipes are great my advice is to push the brakes and slow down just a bit. What the recipes do not cover in great detail are the time and maturation steps required by your tank, and recognizing good vs bad. 
 

Red Sea Coral Pro salt is good, but give thought to your target levels long term. Do you want your tank to run closer to natural sea levels, like 7DKH, 400 Calcium, 1350 magnesium? If so, then switch to Red Sea Blue Bucket. When visiting your LFS, ask them what salt brand and what DKH do they target for their tanks. If you buy coral from a tank that is at 8DKH and place it in your tank with 11DKH (assuming RSCP salt) that’s quite a shock. RSCP salt cannot be stored as long as RSBB so if you build a water change station you’ll want a salt you can store longer.

 

I wouldn’t add (dose/supplement) anything to the tank until you feel good about what’s happening inside. Assuming you start with dry rock, be sure to understand all the phases the tank will go through as it matures. Adding chemicals to force nature into your mold could end badly and your tank will be 20 gallons of fish soup. For example, starting with only dry rock, you’re going to go through the normal ammonia to nitrite to nitrate cycle, with lights off. When ammonia and nitrite hit zero, then you do a 90% water change. This is when I like to add one or two fish depending on tank size.  I also start my lighting cycle here. Over the next couple weeks, you’ll see different algae stages, from dusty brown, to green, to hair, to coralline. These are all good. Why? Because of dry rock. There is no life in it, it’s dead. These different algae stages are adding life and bio diversity, establishing a solid bio filter and building bacteria. It’s in these algae stages you’ll add clean up crew, like snails and another fish that grazes on algae. During these algae phases, you’ll test weekly for nitrate, phosphate, alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium. It’s very likely that Alk, ca, and mg can be maintained with normal water changes. Don’t be alarmed if your see Alk dropping even though there are no corals in the tank. This is normal and part of the development cycles. Nitrate May rise, it may drop. The only food source during this time is the fish poop. Phosphates may rise, due to fish food. N03=fish poop, P04=fish food. 
 

You may also find that due to the sterile ecosystem you are building, nitrate and phosphate don’t rise, and you have an ultra low nutrient system. Both of my tanks were started from dry rock and for the first 6 month were nutrient limited. I dosed nitrate and phosphate to prevent cyano and dinos from growing. While they both are bacteria and part of a normal tank maturation, they’re highly undesirable because they are ugly.

 

So, bringing this back to your questions. My advice is do not add something to the tank you cannot test for or see measurable results. Don’t try to force nature into a mold. Each tank is different. Start with the following recipe, and blend the Red Sea program into it when it makes sense to do so:

 

Get or use only RODI water always

Understand your city’s water quality so you get the correct RODI unit

Use Red Sea Blue Bucket salt and maintain 35ppt salinity

Get a solid ATO unit for stability 

Maintain 8DKH, 420 calcium, 1400 magnesium

Maintain 5ppm nitrate and 0.10ppm phosphate

Test nitrate, phosphate, Alk, calcium, and magnesium every weekend

Avoid API test kits, look at Salifert, Red Sea, Hanna

Supplement if these levels are low

Do water changes as needed

Keep extra salt and fresh water on hand

Dose NoPox if N & P will not drop with water changes

Dose N & P if levels are too low

Get a great clean up crew

Avoid crabs as they like to destroy corals

 

I dose using Bulk Reef Supply mix your own elements, as well as N & P supplements from Green Leaf Aquariums.

 

Hoping this helps as you plan your reef 🙂

 

 

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Clown79
16 hours ago, willsy555 said:

Thanks...

 

So maybe I would just do a weekly 10% water change and add just Red Sea NO3:PO4-X Algae Reducer (as per the fish only recipe on the Red Sea website). I can do this whilst I don't have any corals. Does this sound OK? i.e. No other dosing would be necessary?

 

Then when I start adding corals I then should follow the mixed reef recipe from the Red Sea website. i.e. These items:

  • Foundation A – CALCIUM+ |3ml
  • Foundation B – KH/ALKALINITY |9ml
  • Foundation C – MAGNESIUM  |1ml
  • Trace-Colors A|B|C|D
  • NO3:PO4-X |2ml
  • Reef Energy Plus |4ml

Does this sound about OK?

 

This leads me onto another question... Is there a cheaper way to dose the above items rather than buying pre-made solutions from Red Sea in their fancy bottles?

 

I used to make up my own micro and macro solutions for EI dosing on my freshwater planted tanks. Thought it might be possible to do something similar for reef dosing?

 

Thanks for the help! This is all very new to me. Just trying to get my head around it all. 🙂

 

Will.

I wouldn't be using anything to reduce nitrates and phosphates. You need that in your tank and you can easily strip them put with products, especially when it's not necessary.

 

 

You should only dose alk, ca, and mag to replenish what the corals are using to keep target levels stable.

 

That requires a lot of testing before you start dosing. Blindly dosing leads to fluctuations and major problems.

 

There is no need for all these products to maintain a healthy system.

If you can't test it, don't dose it.

 

I personally wouldn't use anything besides waterchanges and eventually when you have a decent amount of corals, alk, ca, and possibly mag but this is to replenish what the corals consume and you need to know how much before dosing them

 

Nopox should only be used if you have a very good skimmer.

 

Testing. 

In the beginning, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate during cycle.

I wouldn't really do any other tests until after cycling. 

 

Parameter levels- there is a wide range of acceptable levels, stability is very important for corals, particularly salinity and alkalinity.

 

I would do a lot of research. Go through member journals, see how there are a multitude of ways of running a reef.

 

 

 

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