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Old 01/19/2008, 08:43 AM   #1
Froggy
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Lessons learned and wasted time.....

I just wanted to share some experiences I have been having with my 75 gallon reef. I will start off by saying, " I have a long way to go" but I feel I am now finally on the right track. Thanks in large part to everyone here on Reef central.

I have been struggling with my tank for the last couple of years getting growth and color out of SPS added to my system. I have always kept Alk steady at around 8.5 DKH, Calcium 450-460 PPM, and specific gravity 1.024- 1.025. Temp is steady at 78 degrees year round. This is what I have done to try and improve things :

First I upgraded my skimmer to a needle wheel Euroreef CS 6-1 ( comparable to the newer RS 100 model ). Not much improvement overall and actually SPS became even more pale.

Second I thought " My lighting sure is lacking" as I have always used 2 175 watt Halides and 2 110 watt Actinic VHO's. I tried the Iwasaki 15 K Aqua 2's as they are the best out there in the 175 watt bulbs. I did see some improvement but growth was still slow and the SPS color were still very pale.

I mistakenly thought it was in my best interest to keep nutrients as low as I could and fed the tank sparingly. My fish load was also fairly low with 4 fish in the tank. My in tank flow was about 20 X turnover with the wrong type of flow ( multiple jet type powerheads ). I have since over the last few months upgraded my flow to over 50 X the tanks volume using Sureflow 1600 Maxi- mods and Seio's. I have also went from feeding a few times a week at most to 2-3 times daily. I added two more fish totalling 6 and added a pretty big waste producer in a Foxface rabbit. I now feed a mix of Mysis, Cyclopeeze, Prime reef flake, and Formula 2 along with dosing DT's Phyto every other day. Since increasing the bioload, feeding more often, and upping the flow I am finally starting to get some results I have been looking for. I think I am on the right track now. I think the increased flow and feedings has made the biggest difference. I am now seeing growth and the SPS are finally getting some color.

I just thought I would share my experience on how feeding and increased flow has improved my tank well beyond the changes in lighting has solidifying my belief now in the importance of flow and corals needing more than light alone to do well. Of course, a good method of nutrient export is also needed to handle the bioload and nutrient import to give the balance needed.

I do have a sandbed in the tank of varying depths and do not run any form of phosphtate removing resons. I do run carbon 24/7.

Thanks RC for the great info and helping me along.

Some pics to follow....


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Current Tank Info: 120 gallon mixed reef with TBS live rock, 8 X 54 watt TEK T5's, Euroreef RS250 skimmer
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Old 01/19/2008, 08:50 AM   #2
Froggy
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Here are a few tank shots from today.





ORA tort


Green Mille


Birdsnest


Unk


Comparison ORA Chips improvement pic
Before changes


After changes


Still have a way to go but I feel things are getting better now. Thanks again all for the informative threads...


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Hello, my name is Joe and I am a reef addict.

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Current Tank Info: 120 gallon mixed reef with TBS live rock, 8 X 54 watt TEK T5's, Euroreef RS250 skimmer
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Old 01/19/2008, 08:57 AM   #3
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That is the strangest cap growth I have ever seen.


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Old 01/19/2008, 09:36 AM   #4
Froggy
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Quote:
Originally posted by fishfanatic06
That is the strangest cap growth I have ever seen.
I would agree with that

I am not sure why it has grown that way. It is just now starting to spiral a bit on the top right corner. The rest of it has grown in wierd places and has an odd growth pattern. Flow is about all I can come up with as to why it has chosen to grow this way.


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Current Tank Info: 120 gallon mixed reef with TBS live rock, 8 X 54 watt TEK T5's, Euroreef RS250 skimmer
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Old 01/19/2008, 09:43 AM   #5
MACH5
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That's great to hear Froggy. I had similar issues with my acros a while back. Since I started a more agressive feeding schedule, my corals have colored up very nicely. No doubt these animals need to be fed... lighting alone is not enough nutrition for these guys!


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Old 01/19/2008, 10:10 AM   #6
BlueCoast
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Glad you are seeing some good results! Always nice to see our labor come to fruition.
I would recommend taking a look at adding some ROWAphos or other GFO for phosphate removal.
I have been saying the exact things you were for the last 6 months or so. Played with the lights, moved corals to no avail....

I started feeding more (love rod's food) and noticed better polyp extension. After adding a 2 little fishies reactor in about 2 weeks I have already noticed MUCH better colors on the growth tips of the corals.... FWIW


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Old 01/19/2008, 10:27 AM   #7
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Nice improvements

I think a lot of people struggle with the term "low nutrient"

The healthiest reefs of the world have virtually no DOC's or dissolved nutrients in the water... but they have an abundance of good nutrients /food constantly available.

So the trick is... keep as much food available to your corals as you can without diminishing your water quality


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