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BodiBuilt
11/09/2007, 11:00 PM
If you were given an oppertunity to "become responsible" for the livelyhood of many rare and precious corals...what is the most efficient method for setting up a new system to sustain them(A.S.A.P.)...

(P.S. ~ If I fail, corals die...)

Your advice is greatly appreciated! : )

hahnmeister
11/09/2007, 11:40 PM
No sand to cause a cycle (fresh or existing sand).

No fish (at first at least) to make waste.

A good amount of cured liverock.

A simple, reliable container... a rubbermaid stock tank.

No sump needed, just put a skimmer in the vat with the corals. No refugium, no reactor (at first), etc.

Heaters... duh.

Get a Laguna pond pump if you have alot of corals, or a Mag-Drive, oceanrunner, etc... depends on the size of what you are considering I suppose... 20g? 50g? 100g? 300g?

Get a halide pendant with a good 'growing' bulb like a 10,000K. Oh, and a decent reflector or else its all for nothing. If you lack a spare halide, is there a patio window, skylight, greenhouse... etc... some sort of way you can get alot of natural light into the tank (enough to sustain until you get the halide). I once ended up just putting a vat in a patio door and tilting a morror above it at about 45 degrees to angle light into the vat. It was just for growing plants in freshwater, but it worked.

Okay, mix the salt with RO water right in the tank w/ powerheads or pump and heater. This is really the only point you need to be at to handle corals.... temp and flow are your first priorities, and about 24-36 hours of mixing the salt (if you can mix some of your tank water in by doing a big water change on your main tank, this will help 'age' the water). Then, get some LR in there if you can. If you cant, dont worry, there are options even, and chances are, the corals will be on some chunks of LR already.

The next worry is going to be light... within 24-36 hours, if the corals dont get light, there are going to start being problems. Even a shop light, or mirror above the tank to direct natural light will aid. Corals are used to days with cloudy dark skies or storms... but not pitch black for days. So some sort of temp light source wil buy you time, and eventually you will need a full-blown light of some sort... a halide pendant or something.

Then the last need is water quality upkeep. A skimmer in the tank is the best way, and can handle it all. If not this, then a big ball of chaeto (nutrient export through algae). Otherwise live rock is the best bet. This also includes calcium uptake though too... you will want some way to dose calcium and buffer alkalinity. You might want to buy some bulk buffer to dose (2 part solution dot com). Phosphates and nitrates shouldnt be a problem w/o fish.

So thats the broad response... kind of 'what I would do' if I had to say... take all my buddy's corals from his 500g in an emergency. I would have the 300g stock tank up, a spare skimmer up, a couple pond pumps going, a couple heaters, and a halide pendant or two blazing. The hardest part would be coming up with RO water fast enough... my RO only makes 60 gallons per day at best. It would take me a week to fill the vat 100%. I suppose, I could just start with 100gallons and fill it as I went along.

But tell me more... how many? what volume system do you think you need? Heck, we could be talking about 12 gallons worth, in which case... buy a used nano-cube...lol. Are their fish? What equipment do you have? How soon? What kinds of corals?

dc_909
11/10/2007, 12:35 AM
Give them to me :) :)


hahnmeister said it all

BodiBuilt
11/10/2007, 01:08 AM
WOW!...
Hey hahnmeister!...what are you trying to do , read my mind? (it's working) lol...
Sorry for not posting some "tank paramiters", but I was "fishin for hits"... you pretty much nailed it though.. : )
The "new system" consists of a frag grow out tank which measures 48"x24"x8" (35g?). It is in a stand that holds a 55g refugium (upstream), and a 55g sump below...
I do not have time to cycle the refugium, so initally it will be just the frag tank and the sump. The sump has a skimmer, and a large space to be filled with "prime" established L.R. I have been growing out (25-45#as much as will fit) I estimate the total water volume to be less than 100g (90 or so) of actual water volume...
I plan to take @ least 50% water from an established tank showing good water paramiters except nitrate which is about 20ppm. The frag tank will have 6x54w T5HO to start, and I hope to be able to afford to upgrade (add) 2x175w MH.
I have made a DIY circulation system guarenteed to ensure good flow...

On the down side... I will need to cycle the refuge seperately so it wil be of no immediat benifit. There will be nothing but "prime" L.R., a good skimmer, good circulation, decent lighting,and some love...

All advise is welcome... : )