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blennymower
11/03/2009, 12:31 PM
Hi everyone,

I'd like to know what YOU consider the secret to your reef success. Maybe it will help me in fixing my problems :fun2:

Some pictures would be nice.

Thanks

cilyjr
11/03/2009, 12:48 PM
i have had a lot of ups and downs since i started. i think regular testing of calcium mag and alk seems to have helped me alot

MarkD40
11/03/2009, 12:53 PM
I keep my fingers crossed alot. A refugium with Cheato and 24/7 lighting plus a phosban reactor made a huge difference in my set-up. Years of battling hair algae over in a month.

ininerider
11/03/2009, 12:56 PM
Not really a secret but ever since I started using a phosban reactor and using red sea salt and regular testing my tank has really thrived.....

ludnix
11/03/2009, 12:58 PM
I didn't really have success with any corals until I started testing. Now I feel I can confidently add corals and not have to worry whether they are going to make it or not.

The big ones were testing alkalinity and Calcium, I'm testing Magnesium as well, but it seems like I don't have to dose it ever.

http://www.reefsome.com/gallery/u/ludnix/November-09//thumbs/FTS-800x600.jpg (http://www.reefsome.com/gallery/focus/v/ludnix/November-09/FTS.jpg)

http://www.reefsome.com/gallery/u/ludnix/November-09//thumbs/FTS_BACK-800x600.jpg (http://www.reefsome.com/gallery/focus/v/ludnix/November-09/FTS_BACK.jpg)

euromomtx
11/03/2009, 12:59 PM
Keeping alk high. It's really helped with my nuissance algae. Even my (non-fishy) husband mentioned the other day that my snails are doomed because suddenly there's hardly anything left for them to eat.
High alk helps precipitate phosphates and also encourages coralline growth

ChadTheSpike
11/03/2009, 01:01 PM
I think its patience, diligence and maintenance. Few things are fixed overnight, fewer things are fixed with one application of a solution, and regular fiddleing with the things that need fiddling is what I think has allowed me to be successful at all this :)

Good thread.

lordofthereef
11/03/2009, 01:04 PM
Not overdoing things. IMO there is too much paranoia, hype, and "necessity" for fancy equipment in this hobby.

I love reading skimmer threads especially where people say things like "X skimmer performs so much better than Y I could never go back." Then you look at their tank and it looks like garbage. Lot of good the fancy tech upgrades did, huh?

corbett_n
11/03/2009, 01:12 PM
refugium saved my tank:
http://i161.photobucket.com/albums/t219/corbett_n/DSC00027.jpg

OwenInAZ
11/03/2009, 01:12 PM
For me, i think what's helped me the most is patience, and the ability to ride out a problem instead of jumping to a bunch of fixes at once. Also learning to get a feel for what's normal in the tank, so I'm not relying on a bunch of fancy equipment

mcoomer
11/03/2009, 01:13 PM
Clean the tank, change water, test parameters, adjust/dose. Repeat as necessary. Good husbandry is a must with our tanks. Put time and well thought out effort into these tanks and they'll shine.

ChadTheSpike
11/03/2009, 01:17 PM
oh, and I forgot... NOT over reacting to a problem that is not completely understood.

sruiz
11/03/2009, 01:24 PM
blennymower,

If I told you then it would not be a secret. (JK)

What kind of problems do you have with your tank?
I have had sucess by keeping it plain and simple. I never did an overload for my system , such as adding stuff just because it looks cool at the LFS. Really depends on what you are trying to keep in your tank. What works for me , might not work for you. I guess it can be pretty basic stuff such as Good water quality, good lights, good flow, and good protein skimmer can go a long way. Something I don't do is dose / add anything that I'm not testing for. As far as cleaning crew/ maintnance I have always gone with a lawnmore bleeny, diamond goby and turbo snails.

patsfan1130
11/03/2009, 03:22 PM
Good husbandry, patience & time are the key to success. period.

Imzadi
11/03/2009, 03:53 PM
ReefCentral... without a doubt.

It's no secret to you guys... but it sure is to the LFS employees. Everything I know, I know because of this forum... or mistakes. And the mistakes that I have corrected because of the experienced people of this forum.

I know I would not be in the hobby right now if it wasn't for RC, due to the fact that I would have a dead tank, and a PBITAWA situation...

Secret, maybe not... but it is what I credit to any success I do have in Reefkeepin.

blennymower
11/03/2009, 04:48 PM
Keeping alk high. It's really helped with my nuissance algae. Even my (non-fishy) husband mentioned the other day that my snails are doomed because suddenly there's hardly anything left for them to eat.
High alk helps precipitate phosphates and also encourages coralline growth

How high do you keep the alk?

blennymower
11/03/2009, 04:48 PM
I keep my fingers crossed alot. A refugium with Cheato and 24/7 lighting plus a phosban reactor made a huge difference in my set-up. Years of battling hair algae over in a month.

What do you keep in your reactor?

blennymower
11/03/2009, 04:57 PM
blennymower,

If I told you then it would not be a secret. (JK)

What kind of problems do you have with your tank?
I have had sucess by keeping it plain and simple. I never did an overload for my system , such as adding stuff just because it looks cool at the LFS. Really depends on what you are trying to keep in your tank. What works for me , might not work for you. I guess it can be pretty basic stuff such as Good water quality, good lights, good flow, and good protein skimmer can go a long way. Something I don't do is dose / add anything that I'm not testing for. As far as cleaning crew/ maintnance I have always gone with a lawnmore bleeny, diamond goby and turbo snails.


I love this hobby, only been in it for two years and lately I've been disappointed how bad my sps frags have been doing. I also believe in a simple regiment as you and others have explained here.

For the record I have a 75 with a refugium TEK T5 6 lamps, Octo 160 skimmers, and good flow. I only dose Cal, Alk, and Mag. Although I haven't done a WC in a month or two.

Figured I might as well ask fellow hobbyist here what they consider the secret to their success.

Toddrtrex
11/03/2009, 05:07 PM
For me -- time, water changes, and learning from my mistakes.

For time, it is two-fold, the longer I have been doing this to more I learn/realize what I don't know. And the more time I spend with my tanks the more I learn about them and can tell when something is off before it becomes an issue.

My tanks,

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/toddrtrex/33/FTS8_26_9.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/toddrtrex/Fish%20stuff/RadiumFlash.jpg

The white balance on this shot is way off, but it is fairly current

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y189/toddrtrex/758_30_9.jpg

kevantheman35
11/03/2009, 05:41 PM
reefcentral is my secret, without it and help from local club members, my talk would never survive

Mentat
11/03/2009, 05:48 PM
Take care of the water with good simple husbandry. Do one change at a time and be patient for results before changing or adding something else.

nukemdanno
11/03/2009, 06:41 PM
http://i359.photobucket.com/albums/oo39/nukemdanno/FullTank11-03-09.jpg

Good Husbandry for me that's water changes every two weeks, aggressive skimming, keep CA, ALK, MG all in check, change filter sock every week. Blow out rocks before water changes. Prune macro algae every two weeks. Change light bulbs on time. Stare at you fish/coral, your tank will let you know when something is amiss.

Mine is currently recovering from me doing a restaurant opening and not being around for 2 months. It takes time to sort stuff out. Everything is almost back inline and this is where it's at ATM.

Darejohn
11/03/2009, 06:45 PM
just be patient, and use good water!

Darejohn
11/03/2009, 06:45 PM
oh, and good flow helps!

flying_dutchman
11/03/2009, 06:59 PM
Stability, water changes, and research every fish, invert, coral you plan to add. Oh and Patience!

uncleof6
11/03/2009, 07:24 PM
ReefCentral... without a doubt.

It's no secret to you guys... but it sure is to the LFS employees. Everything I know, I know because of this forum... or mistakes. And the mistakes that I have corrected because of the experienced people of this forum.

I know I would not be in the hobby right now if it wasn't for RC, due to the fact that I would have a dead tank, and a PBITAWA situation...

Secret, maybe not... but it is what I credit to any success I do have in Reefkeepin.

Hey guy, long time no read...

To the thread, to reveal a secret means it is no longer a secret, but generally has something to do with experience, and knowing the how and why of things.

Jim

zezeta
11/03/2009, 09:19 PM
I've only been keeping a salt water tank for a little over 2 months now but there are a few things that I have already figured out:

- Keeping my hands out of the tank. Mother nature has the great ability of fixing itself and sometimes the more you mess with your tank the more harm you do. I still make sure to feed and move any new corals around until they look healthy but when you have any kind of blooms (algae, bacteria, etc) its best to just let it run its course.

- Research, research, research. I studied about salt water tanks for about 3 months before I ever purchased anything. I'm glad I did because I already knew what it meant to cycle a tank and about adding live sand and live rock.

- Patience. I do not have very good patience and rushed adding a few fish to my tank which resulted in a bacteria bloom. Luckily everything came out alright in the end but I know I will be more careful on how quickly I add things into my tank.

- Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Also make sure to have a backup plan. Its understandable that you might not be able to fix all problems (long power outages) but you should have a plan if you need to do any emergency water change or livestock move.

BeloitReef
11/03/2009, 10:15 PM
The 2 biggest secrets for me are:

1. Keep my hands out of the tank. I used to move things around but now I just leave everything alone unless something absolutely needs my attention. I have been amazed at what now grows in every little spot in my tank.

2. Patience. It has been mentioned alot and is the one thing I tell everyone who wants to start this hobby. If you are not willing to be patient then this hobby is not for you. Patence can mean months of waiting and not just days or weeks. This includes a FOWLR but especially a reef tank.

Beloitreef

porthios
11/04/2009, 12:36 AM
a tank journal.

i include what i see, test results, what i do and why i do it.

can't tell you how many times i've misremembered stuff and been saved by going back through my logs..

Metal Man 1221
11/04/2009, 12:59 AM
ReefCentral... without a doubt.

It's no secret to you guys... but it sure is to the LFS employees. Everything I know, I know because of this forum... or mistakes. And the mistakes that I have corrected because of the experienced people of this forum.

I know I would not be in the hobby right now if it wasn't for RC, due to the fact that I would have a dead tank, and a PBITAWA situation...

Secret, maybe not... but it is what I credit to any success I do have in Reefkeepin.

i have to agree with Imzadi, just about every thing i know about reef keeping is credited to this website, and plain old research on the web, there is some great advise on here though, if you havnt discovered it yet there is a search link, so you can find just about anything your looking for, but experiance is where the real learning begins, if your new i will guarentee that things will die on you before you get the nack of things

its a great hobby
good luck

Johnny C
11/04/2009, 01:00 AM
I love reading skimmer threads especially where people say things like "X skimmer performs so much better than Y I could never go back." Then you look at their tank and it looks like garbage. Lot of good the fancy tech upgrades did, huh?

LOL... this is very true, good point.

ReefCentral has been my savior in this hobby. Plus, doing research on products/livestock before purchasing.

Here's a RLY good read on this topic... http://www.************.com/2009/10/31/thoughts-reef-aquarium-husbandry-good-small-measures-frequency/

blennymower
11/04/2009, 08:40 AM
I agree with the point have made about high tech tanks. Nothing wrong with it if you have the money in my opinion, but I want to keep it simple. It's pretty annoying in my view to look at a really nice tank is simple and then have a very HIGH TECH tank that's a lot crrappier.

jbird69
11/04/2009, 08:47 AM
I just pay close attention to the tank. I am intimitely familiar with everything in there and notice right away if something is "off". Its kinda like your car, you will notice the smallest "noise" or "pull" or "smell". The quicker you deal with it, the smoother and longer itll run. Same with a reef tank.

Bob 1000
11/04/2009, 09:11 AM
I consider my Natureef denitrifier to be a huge secret.. I just switched over from a 180 to a 300 gallon tank, took all the old live rock out and had nothing to hold on to good bacteria in the system(125 sump) for almost 3 months and had no die off of my sps(over20species) or my 4 fish (acantherus tangs).. How many people here have switched tanks and took all the rock out and kept their sps alive??

sanababit
11/04/2009, 10:24 AM
patience about not overreacting when something goes wrong with your tank (fish dying, sps bleanchin-rtn'n, algae on rocks, pests-aefw-redbugs-etc) or any kind of advice that you dont agree with like you need to do this (temp swings, WC, MH vs T5, etc) or you need this type of equipment (latest skimmer, latest controller, latest pumps, etc), that has keept me in this hobby for almost 3 years and still loving it, what i do is read or hear any advice given and take the parts that i want to apply to the tank and proceed with them, it has worked for me, try it out

sana

Erniethisle
11/04/2009, 10:29 AM
i think a important key in this hobby is water changes?

Zoanut
11/04/2009, 10:32 AM
I talk to my corals.

Ritten
11/04/2009, 10:36 AM
Weekly water changes, good flow, 24/7 use of carbon and polyfilters.

flying_dutchman
11/04/2009, 10:38 AM
:lol:

Perez14
11/04/2009, 10:46 AM
Victoria.

blennymower
11/04/2009, 11:09 AM
I talk to my corals.
:D I haven't had the success of transferring my ability to talk to my dog over to the corals.

Mark
11/04/2009, 11:51 AM
Sometimes the big secrets are the common sense items that so many ignore. What works for me is:

1. Keep your bioload low. Understocking a tank can single-handedly help you avoid algae outbreaks, stress, and ultimately disease.

2. Quarantine fish. Not many people do, but your success with delicate fish improves exponentially.

Lastly, it's important to understand that tanks are chaotic for the first year of operation. After 12 months or so, things get easier. The system balances out and has a more "auto-pilot" feel to it. This is why small changes are recommended, and not big ones.

ziyaadb
11/04/2009, 11:57 AM
its a secret. LOL.

I am still a beginner, so some great advice on here

sam11909
11/04/2009, 12:33 PM
1. RC
2. patience
3. refugium
4. a good DT light
5. filter sock
6. testing often
7. good flow
8. small bioload

gowingsgo
11/04/2009, 02:07 PM
patience patience patience & weekly water changes did I mention patience. I think that is the hardest thing to have in this hobby "patience"
I also love my Auto top off setup did wonders for my tank

usefulidiot213
11/04/2009, 02:22 PM
I have to agree with crediting RC. The good habits of water changes, Testing Calc, Alk & Mag, Good flow and everything else I learned from RC. With out this site I don't really know how my reef hobby would have worked out.

Good Thread by the way.

Paul B
11/04/2009, 02:32 PM
Oh this is easy, But I have to warn you, you may find my methods unusual.
I believe you need to occasionally add bacteria from the sea. I use mud for that from New York. I add a dish of mud for a few days, then remove it, I just want the bacteria, I also like to add as much NSW as I can. I only change some water 5 or 6 times a year but a little more is better. I don't like my tank too clean, I want to see some growth of my rocks. If I see bare, nice clean rocks, I know something is wrong.
I do not like or use a DSB as I feel their lifespan is much too short, most of my animals die of old age and that could be 18 or 20 years for some animals and I don't want to have to tear the tank apart every five or ten years.
I feed food that is full of oil like live black worms and salt water fish eggs like Salmon.
I keep my fish in breeding condition, in that condition, they rarely, if ever get any sort of disease or paracite, I do that by feeding what I said.
I like algae, If I see some, I am happy. No algae=unhealthy tank. I don't want the tank covered in it, just a little.
OK I'm done :dance:
Have a great day.
Paul
http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh270/urchsearch/DSC01323.jpg

DT's_Reef
11/04/2009, 02:44 PM
My corals have a lot more growing in to do, but they've been doing fantastic since I:

1. Stabilized Alk at 8-ish. I use a Profilux doser to keep it steady. My SPS love it. If Alk's good and doesn't spike, then my CA is good too via 2-part and doesn't even need to be tested.

2. Keep phosphate really low, but feed enough so that the system isn't nitrate/nitrogen starved

3. Use common grey-legged (red/orange antennae) Mexican hermits which keep my rocks way cleaner than snails ever did...don't need many of them either

4. Good skimmer

With the above, aside from wiping the glass once a week, my system stays sparkling clean, including the sand.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=363&pictureid=1974

blennymower
11/04/2009, 04:02 PM
Good Stuff

bigdaddy76
11/04/2009, 06:02 PM
I would said regular water changes and always
make sure to clean ur hands before sticking in
the water.