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coral, food and water


Inspgadget

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On the internet i read a lot different thoughts  about  po4 and no3 should bij 0ppm for sps, but i also see alot about the importance of of po4 and no3.

Is there more recent info about ideal values?

how to deal with a mix of sps, lps and other soft corals?

what do they need like extra food additives, fyto plankton? There is so much info, i dont know what is right.

I started an pico, but i really like an acro tricolor and a hystrix, i am estimating how realistic it is.

Thanks

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Those are two "fairly easy" sps, if you're willing to swap the hystrix for a ponape they're less prone to suddenly dying off in the center (and they grow more slowly).

Some birdsnest actually tolerate lower light really, really well, but they won't tolerate ALK swings at-all.

 

In terms of nutrients, you'll get mixed answers, Tidal gardens and WWC both grew acros in 50+ N03 and 1+ P04, Sanjay's tanks are all fairly-high nutrient as well, but we are not they.

FWIW I'd say keep N03 between 10-25 and P04 between .01-.05 if you can, otherwise I wouldn't drive yourself nuts about it.


From what I've read and experienced; the real challenge with SPS is keeping ALK stable, then keeping Calcium and Magnesium about right, then getting them the right flow and light, and then you worry about fine-tuning PH/Nutrients and dosing all kinds of trace elements and micro-nutrients/aminos if you want absolutely perfect colors and growth.

 

People have, and continue to, keep Acros in Pico tanks, and you may be able to get away with it by changing 30-50 or 100% of the water out every, or every other, week depending on your water volume. (Keep in mind that birdsnest will grow large and it will get there quickly if it's happy, taking up a ton of space and wreaking havoc on your ALK)

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Thanks for your extensive reply. good info!

You are right, maybe the hystrix grows out of the tank too quickly (if i am lucky). Maybe i should only go for acro tricolor and the rest LPS.

I think i can control KH with a dosing pump, but all the elements en micro nutrients is very hard i think, partly because i work very irregularly and will probably often forget to add it. this is also the reason i dont want fish, so i need to add some po4 and no3 someway. maybe adding some fish food 1 or 2 a week to keep the bacteria active and end up with some po4 and no3.

With waterchanges, can i get also micro nuctrients in my tank, so i possibily dont need to add stuff?

Talking about water changes, i wonder; how long wil an color survive when the tank is half empty?

I think my light will be ok. i have an aquaknight v2 36w, and my tank is an dennerle cube 20l, net 15l. But how do i now if the coral gets enought light, or too much?

 

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You'll need a topoff, unstable salinity from the water level dropping can and will kill just about any coral you try.

You can directly dose N03 / P04 to hit and maintain any level you want, no need to add food.

It's likely that weekly waterchanges will maintain your trace elements, it works for many of us.

The HiParGero will struggle to grow acropora unless they are very, very high in the tank.

 

You can find many resources here for too little/ too much light and many species will react differently.

My advice would be to start with small, inexpensive frags of the corals you'd like to try out before getting too serious.

For example it's likely a Tricolor validia frag can be had for the price of a fast food sandwich from a local if you look around and make friends with local reefkeeping groups.

 

You can also find great information on Tidal gardens, reef builders, and BRS youtube channels to get you kick started on what you need to know.

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In terms of easier sps corals you could try branching cyphastrea, anacropora, various "slimer" acropora (acro. yongei), red dragon, tricolor is an oldschool that many folks have success with (others would be miyagi and garf bonsai). 
There are more I'm forgetting, but I'm not a huge stick guy.

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Never had any issue with p04 levels and my sps, if anything they grew better with my p04 higher.

 

Acro's are the sps that are less tolerant of water issues.

 

0 p04 is an old method and generally it causes not only a decline in corals but can lead to dino's. 

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Thanks alot for the info. This forum is great!

I made an vloater , so the waterlever is always the same.

I'll try with a decent waterchange what is workable for me, and use the balling methode to keep the kh, mag en calcium, and add po4 and no3 (that sounds easy, but are the bacteria for the ammonia and no2 get bored and die?) by dosing pumps

In my area i know people who sell corals, and also tricolor for very little, like 5 euro for a nice frag, so i can try. If i cant get it working, i only keep LPS

(i have some experience with SPS and LPS, about 10 years ago, but the acros died after a couple of months. And my stylo, hystrix and calendrium growth where OK. The advice these days was to keep the tank very clean. Now i looked at my waterparameter from that time (2008 to 2010), and i think my tank was too clean for acro's, i also had cyano problems despite the wodka method.)
Soon i will open a journal, the tank is starting up for about 3 weeks now.

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Encrusting montiporas have been pretty hardy for me, growing in fairly high nutrient levels. 

 

You don't want your tank to be too clean. You want a healthy layer of slow-growing, well-behaved algae on your rocks, to provide competition for the pest algaes that can irritate corals. That can't develop without nutrients. You also want scavengers and copepods, which need food to live. And most importantly, your corals need nutrients. 

 

As a rough guideline, it's good to keep phosphates at or above 0.03ppm, and nitrates somewhere around 5ppm. If they go higher, that might be fine- just look at the corals and see if they look stressed. If the corals aren't stressed, it's probably fine. You don't want to let the nutrients get much lower than that. Particularly not phosphate- zero phosphate risks dinoflagellates, which are a really nasty pest, and zero phosphate will also kill your corals. 

 

Oh, and feed things. SPS don't necessarily need direct feeding (though they can benefit from suitably-sized foods), but LPS should really be fed at least once every couple of weeks, preferably once a week or more. Turn off the pumps, place a piece of food on top of the coral's mouth with tongs or a pipette, and let it engulf the food before turning the pumps back on. 

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6 hours ago, Tired said:

Encrusting montiporas have been pretty hardy for me, growing in fairly high nutrient levels. 

 

You don't want your tank to be too clean. You want a healthy layer of slow-growing, well-behaved algae on your rocks, to provide competition for the pest algaes that can irritate corals. That can't develop without nutrients. You also want scavengers and copepods, which need food to live. And most importantly, your corals need nutrients. 

 

As a rough guideline, it's good to keep phosphates at or above 0.03ppm, and nitrates somewhere around 5ppm. If they go higher, that might be fine- just look at the corals and see if they look stressed. If the corals aren't stressed, it's probably fine. You don't want to let the nutrients get much lower than that. Particularly not phosphate- zero phosphate risks dinoflagellates, which are a really nasty pest, and zero phosphate will also kill your corals. 

 

Oh, and feed things. SPS don't necessarily need direct feeding (though they can benefit from suitably-sized foods), but LPS should really be fed at least once every couple of weeks, preferably once a week or more. Turn off the pumps, place a piece of food on top of the coral's mouth with tongs or a pipette, and let it engulf the food before turning the pumps back on. 

Are the copepods for the tank's balance, als alge control? becaus the corals dont eat them, i am not keeping fish. 

BTW: How do i know if i feed the right amount of phyto for the corals en copepods? can i see if i give too much or too less

Edited by Inspgadget
Typo
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Copepods are part of the tank's microfauna, which help to make a stable environment, and some corals do eat them. 

 

Unless you need a ton of copepods for some reason, you don't need to dose phyto to directly feed the copepods. A reasonable number of them will do just fine of their own accord. 

 

As for the corals, LPS and soft corals should be given pieces of frozen food or pellet food, not phyto. Only very small-polyped corals can eat phyto. 

 

Some people dose phyto to their aquariums, to feed microfauna, filter-feeding animals, and SPS to some extent. You could look up how much people typically dose for an aquarium of a certain size. Feeding phyto is an optional thing that can be good for the tank, not a required thing. 

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