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ozorowsky
10/01/2017, 08:42 AM
Hey all,

Just curious. Aside from normal water changes and keeping eye on calcium, etc. Are there any dosings you would say that are truly worth it for coral color and growth?

I like mainly lps. I buy a frag here and there in hopes over time they will grow out to give me a nice reef aquarium.

hkgar
10/01/2017, 08:48 AM
Just maintain the big 3 at acceptable levels. Calcium, alkalinity and magnesium. Oh, and keep NO3 and PO4 at low acceptable levels.

Nothing else is necessary. < see that little dot? That's a period.

ozorowsky
10/01/2017, 08:51 AM
Just maintain the big 3 at acceptable levels. Calcium, alkalinity and magnesium. Oh, and keep NO3 and PO4 at low acceptable levels.

Nothing else is necessary. < see that little dot? That's a period.

Thanks! Just ordered my api reef test kit.

When you say keep the big 3 in check stupid question is how if one is too high or low. Debating buying acalcium reactor but just beginning my research there

NS Mike D
10/01/2017, 09:24 AM
amino acids proteins and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't remember. In a well balanced tank (read the cryptic zone thread) these compounds are being produced and in the water column. however, that's easier said than done, especially since we don't dedicate sufficient space to achieve that balance.

To make life easy, Red Sea's Reef Energy takes out a lot of the science and guess work. They also have other products to maintain water parameters along the same lines. Basically, you target either growth or color and select the type of corals (softies, lps or sps) and dose accordingly to target the N&P parameters for your goal and type. Not to worry if you have a mixed tanks, you target the lowest common denominator, like sps in a mixed tank.

If nothing else, they have very good educational videos to help understand coral water chemistry needs. Of course they also tell you how their products can make that happen so you buy them.

I have no complaints about Reef Energy other than the price. The feeding response (tentacle extension) occurs with 20 minutes of dosing and the corals do tell me when I slack and stop dosing for several weeks. Given how expensive corals are, the price is worth it.

I cant speak for other products, but my choice of Reef Energy was based on a lot of favorable reviews and the simplicity if the approach.

LPS, generally speaking do well with target feeding - like mysis, sinking pellets etc It's my experience that you can target the water chemistry for color (low nutrient) and get both color and growth when target feeding LPS.

billdogg
10/01/2017, 09:30 AM
I have a predominately SPS 120DT. LED lighting. IMHO, color and growth are excellent

I don't dose anything besides Calcium and Alkalinity (BRS 2-part). I'll add Magnesium supplement as needed (rarely)

I don't target feed a thing. I'll sometimes broadcast feed rotifers, cyclops, or reef chili, but only if I think about it (maybe twice a month?)

I do, however, have to frag things almost constantly.

NS Mike D
10/01/2017, 09:32 AM
re: API reef tests

API, stuggles to get reading in the low levels of N&P. I was testing zero consistently, but my tank was telling me otherwise (not issue with their other test btw). API does not include PO4 in the master kit, but save your money.

I switched the N&P tests to Red Sea and there you go, N&P readings that explained the algae and were more useful.

There are a lot of post with similar experiences with APIs N&P test not being exciting enough for reef tanks. Red Sea and Sefiert come up a lot as better alternatives.

NS Mike D
10/01/2017, 09:45 AM
I have a predominately SPS 120DT. LED lighting. IMHO, color and growth are excellent

I don't dose anything besides Calcium and Alkalinity (BRS 2-part). I'll add Magnesium supplement as needed (rarely)

I don't target feed a thing. I'll sometimes broadcast feed rotifers, cyclops, or reef chili, but only if I think about it (maybe twice a month?)

I do, however, have to frag things almost constantly.

I didn't want to get into target feeding v broadcast feeding. target feeding most likely wont work for sps since they prefer tiny food.

IMO, broadcast feeding of the foods you mention makes a lot of sense in that will make sure the corals (including LPS) are getting the nutrients they cant get from the zooxanthella and that testing for them isn't practicable.

A mature tank is more likely to have the microfauna needed by the corals. They cannot produce some of the stuff on their own and neither will the zooxanthellae so they need to get it from the water column. The zooxanthellae use N&P which is usually more than abundant, but corals also need fatty acids, omega acids and other good stuff.

hkgar
10/01/2017, 09:55 AM
Thanks! Just ordered my api reef test kit.

When you say keep the big 3 in check stupid question is how if one is too high or low. Debating buying acalcium reactor but just beginning my research there

Don't consider a calcium reactor as yet. I would go from manual two part dosing to automated two part dosing and then to a reactor. For the, probably, small amount of alkalinity your tank is using the expense is not at all necessary. Here is a good article on making your own two part and mag for dosing.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/

Here is a link to successful coral keeping that is pretty good.
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2253547

Bpb
10/01/2017, 03:49 PM
Definitely steer clear of a calcium reactor. It will be overkill by a long shot. You really need a very heavy and healthy sps load to make decent use of one. With a mostly lps dominant tank and not packing it absolutely full, even on the lowest settings you’ll likely be adding way too many minerals to the tank. I have a decently stocked sps dominant 90 gallon tank with several colonies that are 10-12” in diameter as well as several dozen varying sized frags and even 1/2 strength kalkwasser in my ATO is too much supplement. I own a calcium reactor that I took offline a couple months ago due to a leak and to keep alk stable I basically had the effluent at a slow stream and the co2 at one bubble per 5-10 seconds (which translates to the reactor basically being off). My media level in the reactor dropped maybe 1” in the last year and my co2 tank still reads full. You really need ALOT of sps to make decent use of a calcium reactor.


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Ron Reefman
10/02/2017, 04:33 AM
I'm with billdogg on this one. I have a 125g tank that has zoas, a couple softies, a few lps and lots of sps. My tank is fairly well packed with coral and just a year old. I dose Ca, alk and occasionally Mg to maintain a 420 to 440 Ca, 7 to 9 dKH and a 1300 to 1400 Mg.

IMHO all the stuff you see to help coral grow and color up is wasted money for you and stupid easy profit for the companies selling the stuff. Even the Red Sea coral chemistry.

ozorowsky
10/02/2017, 07:22 AM
Thank you all!! :)

I'm glad to not have to be spend TONS more money.

ktownhero
10/02/2017, 09:05 AM
To make things even simpler, you can just look into dosing kalkwasser when the time is right. It's a great supplement.

ozorowsky
10/02/2017, 09:22 AM
To make things even simpler, you can just look into dosing kalkwasser when the time is right. It's a great supplement.

Thanks!

What do you mean "When the time is right"?

ktownhero
10/02/2017, 09:27 AM
Thanks!

What do you mean "When the time is right"?Don't dose until there is a reason to dose. Don't add anything to your tank unless there's a reason for it. Tanks don't need dosing until there is a fair bit of coral and growth. Monitor your alk and CA (alk more than CA) and when you see if start to drop faster than your water changes can handle, then look into dosing.

I'd venture to guess that most newbie failures are due to adding things that aren't needed to their tank. They try to mimic successful reefers not paying attention to the fact that tank maturity and coral density drive your needs, not what other people are doing. Hth
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ozorowsky
10/02/2017, 09:52 AM
Don't dose until there is a reason to dose. Don't add anything to your tank unless there's a reason for it. Tanks don't need dosing until there is a fair bit of coral and growth. Monitor your alk and CA (alk more than CA) and when you see if start to drop faster than your water changes can handle, then look into dosing.

I'd venture to guess that most newbie failures are due to adding things that aren't needed to their tank. They try to mimic successful reefers not paying attention to the fact that tank maturity and coral density drive your needs, not what other people are doing. Hth
Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

Makes sense to me!

xCry0x
10/02/2017, 01:51 PM
Thanks! Just ordered my api reef test kit.



Do yourself a favor, return the API kits and buy salifert tests for Alk/CA/Mag.

Vastly superior kits.

Also, when you decide to start testing phosphates, don't waste your money on anything besides a hanna checker.

hkgar
10/02/2017, 02:22 PM
Do yourself a favor, return the API kits and buy salifert tests for Alk/CA/Mag.

Vastly superior kits.

Also, when you decide to start testing phosphates, don't waste your money on anything besides a hanna checker.

The 736 Hanna Phosphorous checker, not the standard Phosphate.

Also, I like the Red Sea Pro for nitrate

ktownhero
10/02/2017, 02:59 PM
The 736 Hanna Phosphorous checker, not the standard Phosphate.

Also, I like the Red Sea Pro for nitrate

I like the Red Sea kits for everything that the Hanna Checkers don't do. I don't get the love for Salifert, but to each their own.

skimjim
10/02/2017, 03:10 PM
I went into this reefers basement one time and saw a bunch of medical-style dosing pumps (like over 10 pumps)...dosing all kinds of trace elements.

I asked him, "Hows that working out for you?"

He replied, "its a lot of work staying on top of all these trace elements. this tank over here with SPS i wiped out everything because my iodine got out of whack....&^%$ SPS!!"

I started shaking my head in utter disbelief. This guy was more into playing SCIENTIST than being a reefer.

He saw me shaking my head and asked, "What?!?"

I asked him, "All this money on trace elements? why not just buy a great salt mix and do weekly waterchanges. you'd probably save money..."

He said, "Naaaaah. i like tinkering with stuff."

In my head i said to myself, "Yeah, you like killing corals because your iodine is 1000parts-per-million off. What a waste of time&money"

So OP, just find a great saltmix and do weekly WCs. Its a nice idea to play Biologist with dosing but you're just gonna get yourself in trouble and kill stuff and WASTE a lot of time and MONEY.

Good luck

Ron Reefman
10/03/2017, 05:19 AM
IMHO there is nothing wrong with API test kits. They get a bad rap around here, but I've used them for 12 years. I have Salifert and Red Sea kits as well, there really is not enough difference to make the statement that one is better than another. It's all marketing and people's perception that if they spend more money they get a better product. It's like saying you should drive a BMW because your Ford is inferior. API works just fine and so does the Ford.

ozorowsky
10/03/2017, 05:26 AM
I went into this reefers basement one time and saw a bunch of medical-style dosing pumps (like over 10 pumps)...dosing all kinds of trace elements.

I asked him, "Hows that working out for you?"

He replied, "its a lot of work staying on top of all these trace elements. this tank over here with SPS i wiped out everything because my iodine got out of whack....&^%$ SPS!!"

I started shaking my head in utter disbelief. This guy was more into playing SCIENTIST than being a reefer.

He saw me shaking my head and asked, "What?!?"

I asked him, "All this money on trace elements? why not just buy a great salt mix and do weekly waterchanges. you'd probably save money..."

He said, "Naaaaah. i like tinkering with stuff."

In my head i said to myself, "Yeah, you like killing corals because your iodine is 1000parts-per-million off. What a waste of time&money"

So OP, just find a great saltmix and do weekly WCs. Its a nice idea to play Biologist with dosing but you're just gonna get yourself in trouble and kill stuff and WASTE a lot of time and MONEY.

Good luck

Thanks! I use reef crystals. They should be ok right?

homer1475
10/03/2017, 06:23 AM
Reef crystals, IO, fritz, red sea. Salt is salt, pick one that will mix up to what you want your parameters to be.

FoxFace Fish
10/03/2017, 09:00 AM
imho there is nothing wrong with api test kits. They get a bad rap around here, but i've used them for 12 years. I have salifert and red sea kits as well, there really is not enough difference to make the statement that one is better than another. It's all marketing and people's perception that if they spend more money they get a better product. It's like saying you should drive a bmw because your ford is inferior. Api works just fine and so does the ford.

amen

ktownhero
10/03/2017, 09:36 AM
IMHO there is nothing wrong with API test kits. They get a bad rap around here, but I've used them for 12 years. I have Salifert and Red Sea kits as well, there really is not enough difference to make the statement that one is better than another. It's all marketing and people's perception that if they spend more money they get a better product. It's like saying you should drive a BMW because your Ford is inferior. API works just fine and so does the Ford.

Agreed. In my experience, the Salifert test kits are of the lowest quality in terms of actual materials. Everything feels so cheap. Maybe they are accurate, I don't know, but using a travel size plastic soap bottle for reagent doesn't exactly feel accurate. API kits feel of higher quality. The Red Sea Kits are of extremely high quality. Hanna are the best of course though, but I only care to use them for stuff like Alk and Phosphorus.

Ron Reefman
10/04/2017, 05:56 AM
Our local club did a test where everybody brought their test kits to a meeting. We all tested water from one known source. The tests were all over the ballpark and some were even outside the ballpark!

It turns out that the person doing the test is just as important, maybe even more so, than the brand of test kit. Different people with the same kit got quite different results. Some people swapped kits and got the same different results. We tabulated all the results and there was no clear better, let alone best, test kit brand. API, Salifert, Red Sea and others all had some accurate results and some far less than accurate results.

ozorowsky
10/04/2017, 06:29 AM
Our local club did a test where everybody brought their test kits to a meeting. We all tested water from one known source. The tests were all over the ballpark and some were even outside the ballpark!

It turns out that the person doing the test is just as important, maybe even more so, than the brand of test kit. Different people with the same kit got quite different results. Some people swapped kits and got the same different results. We tabulated all the results and there was no clear better, let alone best, test kit brand. API, Salifert, Red Sea and others all had some accurate results and some far less than accurate results.

very interesting!

urban_s
10/04/2017, 01:03 PM
Good to know.