View Full Version : Considering a Switch - Some Questions

11/15/2016, 12:27 AM
Hey all -

I have read the product guide and I still have a couple questions. My tank would fall into the category of SPS dominated, but it is already established. Tank is 80 gallons, SPS dominated mixed reef, about 2 years old.

I have a refugium with macros, an Algae Turf Scrubber, and run GAC (rox 0.8) through a reactor. I also have a large skimmer. I have been using the ProdiBio line but I am not super impressed with it. ZeoVit is too high maintenance for me so I am looking for an alternative.

I was using Red Sea Reef Energy A+B for a while and I started to have a massive bryopsis outbreak so I cut back on all feeding and supplements like crazy. I have the Bryopsis mostly under control now but my corals are not looking so great. In the past 8 months since my Bryopsis got out of control I stopped running GFO in favor using an ATS and I stopped carbon dosing. I just recently started back on up on carbon dosing using Red Sea NOPOX instead of my home made VSV mix.

I use AquaVitro Salinity for my salt. I dose standard 2-part, Red Sea NOPOX, and occasionally AquaVitro Fuel. I am still only feeding lightly once or twice a week because I still have some nuisance algae and I am scared to let it get back out of control. When I do feed it's either LRS reef frenzy or PE Mysis and maybe some Goniopower or Reef Roids.

Going through the guide, since my tank is already well established do I skip the stuff in step 1 and 2, or do I need to still use some products there? In step 3 and in other areas where there are a bunch of products followed by OR the component 1,2,3 parts, does that mean that the system boils down to just using the component 1,2,3?

Where does the zeo mix come into play? How do I know if I should use the Reef Salt or the Probiotic Salt? Is this system like ZeoVit where you have to use dozens of products and spend a fortune?

Basically I am looking for someone to break it down for me in simple terms of what one with a well established tank set up like mine would do to switch over to the AquaForest system entirely? Where would be the best place to start, what aspects of my system need to change/go away to support the AF system?

My goal is to be rid of nuisance algae, have a clean tank and get deep vibrant color out of my SPS but to do so in a relatively low maintenance manner (meaning not dosing 6 products every single day or having to pump a zeo reactor), 2-3 days a week of hands-on maintenance is fine. I also go on vacation for a week here or there so having it be friendly for automation is a big plus.

Thanks in advance!

11/15/2016, 05:09 AM
I think it is possible, and with AF it is not necessary to fully commit to the entire regiment. With a smaller volume, like yours, I would think the Component 123 system would do well at maintaining your ionic balance. This also offers mineral dosing in the same 3 dosable liquids, so from a chemistry standpoint, that would be quite easy to employ. From a biological side, I would begin to add biological media, like siporax or matrix, even AF is about to have there version out soon, Life Bio Fil, which is pre-seeded with bacteria, so that there is no wait time to develop bacteria in the pores of the media, nice option. This really sets the tank up for transitioning, as the bacteria builds, it begins to out compete for nuisance algae, by dropping nutrients below their threshold, usually starving them out. To maintain these values and low levels, the Probiotic System includes the Probiotic Reef Salt, Pro Bio S(bacteria), and NP Pro(liquid polymer carbon source). These combined help to maintain proper bacteria levels and fuel to keep the populations dense. This system requires a skimmer(set to dry), and active carbon. The Probiotic Reef Salt cannot be mixed and stored, so some turn to AF Reef Salt for this option, and still run the full system, just less than the probiotics in the Probiotic Reef Salt. Some tanks run inherintly high on PO4, usually due to it being bound in rock and sand, so the use of Phosphate Minus is great with the system, it helps to keep and maintain very low PO4 in an environment where multiple fish and coral feedings occur. Some have moved to the stack method, especially with heavy fish populations. In addition to all the above, some like myself, use a single fluidized reactor with Zeo Mix(Zeolites) on the bottom, AF Carbon(GAC) in the middle stacked on top of Zeo Mix, then on top of the AF Carbon, use AF Phosphate Minus, then set the flow rate so that the Phosphate Minus tumbles, but not to escape the reactor. This is possible because the Zeo Mix does not require pulsing or shaking, these medias are simply changed out every 4-6 weeks. Coral Energy, Build, Vitality, and Amino Mix are offered to strengthen, feed, and provide vitamins and carbonate reinforcement. These can be dosed with Energy and Build dosed one day, and the next use Vitality and Amino Mix. Pro Bio S and NP Pro are dosed usually in the AM. It is possible to miss doses, and travel without any dosing. I have done this many times. I simply return to normal dosing when I get back from vacation along side a good water change. This should be enough info to get you going. Cheers :)