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Old 08/30/2017, 06:35 PM   #1176
Wrangy
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Would love to see the info posted here as well


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Old 08/31/2017, 07:46 AM   #1177
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Me too :-)

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Old 08/31/2017, 08:51 AM   #1178
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Originally Posted by DiscusHeckel View Post
More on Tropic Marin Reef Actif

Hello everybody,

A number of you recently asked me specific questions about this product here on this forum and on my Facebook page. Your questions raised issues on the difference between NP-Bacto-Balance and Reef Actif, copper contained in Actif and Reef Actif's role in nutrient reduction. I promised that (hopefully) I would provide you with intellectually acceptable answers.

I approached Herr Hans-Werner Balling of Tropic Marin yesterday and asked him a number of questions and sought clarification on our understanding of Reef Actif. I also took the opportunity to state my own understanding of this product so as to verify it.

I have just received his reply. Having read it, I have realised how little I know about reef bacteria. This area clearly presents a new learning opportunity for me. Below is the full transcript of my conversation with Herr Balling. I hope you will find it as informative as I have:

My fellow reefers and I would like some clarification on the following points please:

  1. QUESTION: What is Reef Actif’s objective in a reef tank? Is it for nutrient reduction or to make nutrients more accessible to corals, symbiotic bacteria living on corals and filter feeders, or both? Or what? My understanding is that it is a very clever transport mechanism that changes the state of nutrients from unusable (i.e. inorganic) to useable (i.e. organic) by corals and filter feeders by allowing symbiotic bacteria to decompose bio-polymers which lock inorganic nutrients?

    ANSWER: Yes, you are completely right. Reef Actif binds nutrients and changes them from the inorganic state to the organic state in this way.

  2. QUESTION: Are symbiotic bacteria different from heterotrophic bacteria? If so, how?

    ANSWER: Symbiotic bacteria are living on and in corals and fish. A balanced consortium of symbiotc bacteria protects its host and makes additional nutrients accessible to it. This is the case in corals as well as in fish.

  3. QUESTION: What does Reef Actif offer that NP-Bacto-Balance doesn’t? NP-Bacto-Balance contains a carbon source.

    ANSWER: Reef Actif offers a choice of polymeric substances that are only accessible to specialized bacteria. There is a pronounced beneficial effect to corals and also fish that is visible in just a few days. We found them testing substances that might adsorb nutrients. NP-Bacto-Balance has oligomeric substances that are accessible to much more kinds of bacteria and which do not adsorb nutrients to their molecular structure.

  4. QUESTION: What are exactly natural marine bio-polymers and how do they differ from other organic carbon sources, such as vodka, vinegar, sugar? The confusion here is that in the translated version you stated "REEF ACTIF contains a carbon source in the form of the mentioned biopolymers. These, like most organic compounds, are mainly carbon.” Specifically, if bio-polymers are a carbon source, then are they consumed by only specific bacteria? Is that why you used the term symbiotic bacteria? Are symbiotic bacteria different than facultative heterotrophic bacteria (Question 2 above).

    ANSWER: Vodka, vinegar and sugar are monomeric or oligomeric substances which can and will feed many kinds of bacteria including detrimental ones. These substances are metabolized and oxidized by the bacteria rapidly which may cause bacterial blooms and oxygen depletion. For our liquid organic carbon additives like NP-Bacto-Balance we chose the substance that caused the least bacterial slime buildup and to which corals seemed to react best. Reef Actif is even more safe and more beneficial to corals and fish than NP-Bacto-Balance. It has a prebiotic effect which means it seems to feed mainly harmless and beneficial (=mutualistic, mutualism = a beneficial kind of symbiosis) bacteria.

  5. QUESTION: Some people find a contradiction in the translated version regarding copper. For example, “REEF ACTIF does not contain copper as an effective substance” and “As a biopolymer mixture of natural origin, it can contain traces of copper.” What is the difference between containing traces of copper and not containing copper as an effective substance?

    ANSWER: Some trace element additives that make the corals lighten up contain copper as an effective substance which means the copper contained causes a more or less severe bleaching of the corals. Because Reef Actif also lightens up the corals (you describe the effect below {*}) it was suspected that it might contain added copper as an effective ingredient but this is not the case. As natural substances the biopolymers may contain traces of copper but they are not responsible for the lightening effect. We ascribe the lightening effect to the adsorption of nutrients and the conversion of the nutrients to the organic state like described above.

  6. QUESTION: If we use NP-Bacto-Balance, K+ and A- elements as part of a nutrient reduction strategy and decide to use Reef Actif as well, is it a good idea to increase the amount of A- and K+ elements beyond the recommended levels as corals start to grow faster, which has been my experience.

    ANSWER: The K+ and A- Elements may be dosed to the double recommended dosage if the trace element demand is high. It is best to decide if the effect of the increased dosage is beneficial watching the corals. If you can´t see any beneficial effect of the increased dosage after one or two weeks it is better to stick with the normal dosage.

{*} After using Reef-Actif since 25th May 2017 in conjunction with NP-Bacto-Balance, A- and K+, I can clearly see subtle improvements on my corals and reef in general. Corals are now growing much faster, their colours look a little more pronounced (possibly because of zooxanthellae expulsion), sponge growth accelerated and aquarium glass cleaning frequency has dropped.
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Great questions Bulent! Thank you for taking the time to reach out to Hans. It clears up some misconceptions I have had.

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+1!
Thank you, Bulent for going to all that effort. Very informative.
Belongs on a couple pages.


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Old 08/31/2017, 05:24 PM   #1179
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+1!
Thank you, Bulent for going to all that effort. Very informative.
Belongs on a couple pages.
Thank you Matt.


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Old 09/30/2017, 01:22 PM   #1180
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Hows the deltec doing now that's its been up and running for a bit? Any noticeable difference in the tank with the skimmer pulling more out? Looking to pick up a deltec and am torn on the 1455 or the 1660 for 150g tank with 30g sump.


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Old 09/30/2017, 04:33 PM   #1181
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It is a very good skimmer. I installed it on 26th August. It has a manual self-cleaning head. I turn the lid three times a day. I set it up in such a way that it collects between 10 mm-15 mm skimmate everyday. This is a lot more than my previous skimmer, Deltec SC 1350, collected in one day. Being an oversize skimmer means that if there is a sudden nutrient overload, e.g. cleaning the front glass or after dosing TM Reef Active, it reacts quickly and produces skimmate in greater amount. Other times, it still seems to maintain its foam head, but produces smaller amount of skimmate.

I would say Deltec SC 1455 would be ideal for your tank unless you stock it with very large number of fish (like I do) in which case perhaps the 1660 may be a better choice.


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Old 11/08/2017, 03:07 AM   #1182
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Update time:

My tank is still plodding along despite the fact that I messed it up last September. When I went away for the last leg of my vacation, I was really ill. I forgot to switch on my ATO. Furthermore, I committed a cardinal sin by installing a new equipment, a second hand Deltec SC 1455 skimmer, before my departure. I should have known better that you never ever make any changes or install new equipment just before you go away. The skimmer flooded the sump after my neighbor fed the fish. As a result, the tank effectively ran without skimmate collection for ten days. Furthermore, when I arrived home, the return pump was almost running dry. Thanks to kalkwasser dosing, the return compartment of my sump did not completely empty. Phew.

Corals did not appear to be affected though. However, my poor health clouded my judgement once again I raised the Bacto-Balance dose to 2ml per day from 1.7 ml per day without any good reason. Within a few days, my huge Montipora setosa colony started to strip its skin, which is exactly what happened in June 2016. When I checked my records, I realised that I raised bacto-balance dose to 2ml at that time too. Lowering the dose back to 1.7 ml per day ensured that the colony started to recover fairly quickly.

Due to these mistakes, overall health of my tank is not as good as it used to be. Coral growth stopped last September. Even though it restarted it is not as good as it used to be. Moreover, I am not happy with the lack of polyp extension on some of my colonies either. I am beginning to think that TM Reef Active may have something to do with it. I have recently lowered the dose and observed that polyp extension improved very slightly. I am stopping dosing temporarily to find out if polyp extension will recover.

Finally, it is not all bad. Coral colours give me something to cheer about. Here are some short underwater videos I recorded in the past few days with Go-Pro:








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Old 11/08/2017, 06:38 AM   #1183
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Wow. Awesome work Bulent. Those SPS look yummy.


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Old 11/08/2017, 07:09 AM   #1184
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looks very nice!

I looked over your notes not too long ago again on facebook. You were having better growth and better PE when you first started dosing reef activ correct? Maybe going too far over the recommend dosage is what caused the reduced PE. I am interested to see how that turns out for you, I have barely used mine so have not noticed a difference at all.

Everything still looks great though! I am interested in using the bacto balance but since I am currently using vinegar, I am not sure how much it would help. especially since my nitrates are so high, right before I started dosing vinegar on Sunday they were over 64


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Old 11/08/2017, 08:31 AM   #1185
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Beautiful corals..
Keep it up.


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Old 11/08/2017, 09:50 AM   #1186
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Hi Bulent, your corals still look amazing!

I recently increased my Reef Actif dosage from 1/4 spoon 3x weekly (half recommended dose) to 1/2 spoon 3x weekly (recommended dose) and did not observe any noticeable reduction in polyp extension.

2ml per day on Bacto Balance seems really high for a 65 gallon tank. I'm dosing 2ml per day on my 180 gallon and it keeps my nitrates at 0.2 and phosphates 0.03 to 0.05. I would imagine any higher dose in my tank driving nutrients too low and causing corals to strip too.


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Old 11/08/2017, 12:18 PM   #1187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahin View Post
Wow. Awesome work Bulent. Those SPS look yummy.
Thanks Sahin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codydemmel4 View Post
looks very nice!

I looked over your notes not too long ago again on facebook. You were having better growth and better PE when you first started dosing reef activ correct? Maybe going too far over the recommend dosage is what caused the reduced PE. I am interested to see how that turns out for you, I have barely used mine so have not noticed a difference at all.

Everything still looks great though! I am interested in using the bacto balance but since I am currently using vinegar, I am not sure how much it would help. especially since my nitrates are so high, right before I started dosing vinegar on Sunday they were over 64
You are correct Cody. At the early stages, the growth was great. Note that I am not overdosing (see table below). I dosed 1/2 the recommended dose three times a week as opposed to recommended dose X 3.

You did not mention your phosphates. If they are low, then Bacto-Balance is unlikely to work.


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Old 11/08/2017, 12:32 PM   #1188
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Originally Posted by GSMclowns View Post
Beautiful corals..
Keep it up.
Thanks. I will keep up the good work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by illumnae View Post
Hi Bulent, your corals still look amazing!

I recently increased my Reef Actif dosage from 1/4 spoon 3x weekly (half recommended dose) to 1/2 spoon 3x weekly (recommended dose) and did not observe any noticeable reduction in polyp extension.

2ml per day on Bacto Balance seems really high for a 65 gallon tank. I'm dosing 2ml per day on my 180 gallon and it keeps my nitrates at 0.2 and phosphates 0.03 to 0.05. I would imagine any higher dose in my tank driving nutrients too low and causing corals to strip too.
Thank you.

2 ml per day on Bacto-Balance for a 65-gallon tank is well within the recommended dose. The maximum dose for my system is 2.5 ml per day.

Each close system is different. For this reason it is difficult to make direct comparisons. My tank a different fish bioload than your tank, I probably feed my fish differently and with different frequency and amount. My tank has a different bacterial history, etc. The list goes on. For my system the optimum and safe Bacto-Balance daily dose seems to be between 1.7 and 1.8 ml per 250 L.

Anyway, I seem to be in control now. I have noticed that my sunrise millepora has started to extend its polyps a little more today and so has my sunset millepora. Once the polyp extension is back to normal I will shoot another short video and re-start Reef Active dosing at a much lower strength. Fortunately, I know what that is, thanks to my good record keeping.


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Old 11/08/2017, 12:53 PM   #1189
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Hi Bulent
Ref Bacto Balance. How long into dosing this gear to see an effect on nitrate and phosphate?
I have a bottle in the fridge, it's largely unused, l've attempted using it ( l like the balance idea ), but have always chickened out after say 7-10 days when either phosphate or nitrate has increased and l've gone back to Nopox.
I'd say my current phos is .113 and nitrate around 2-5. How would you approach that on a 450 liter system?
Appreciate any tips.
Mike


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Old 11/08/2017, 01:21 PM   #1190
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superpuma View Post
Hi Bulent
Ref Bacto Balance. How long into dosing this gear to see an effect on nitrate and phosphate?
I have a bottle in the fridge, it's largely unused, l've attempted using it ( l like the balance idea ), but have always chickened out after say 7-10 days when either phosphate or nitrate has increased and l've gone back to Nopox.
I'd say my current phos is .113 and nitrate around 2-5. How would you approach that on a 450 liter system?
Appreciate any tips.
Mike
Hi Mike,

Firstly, you do not need to keep bacto-balance in your fridge. Just keep it in a cool dark place. I keep my bottles under my desk.

I am ultra cautious when it comes to organic carbon dosing. I would start with 1/8th of the recommended dose, i.e. 0.56 ml per day. After two weeks increase it by 0.2 or 0.3 ml per day. You will see downward movement in both nitrates and phosphates as well as overall appearance of your corals (better polyp extension and colouration) when the dosing reaches 2.25 ml per day (i.e. 50% of the recommended dose). You need to be patient and stop testing nitrates and phosphates. If you are using GFO, I would stop using it as well because GFO will interfere with the NO3/PO4 balance that bacto-balance tries to establish in your tank. After a prolonged use (say over 1.5 years), the ratio between the two should be around 10:1. Do you have a bottle of A- elements? If not so, consider buying one and dose 4.5 ml per day.

PS.Any news from Wayne?


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Old 11/08/2017, 01:48 PM   #1191
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Hi Bulent and Thanks

I'll try and be patient and do as you say, l have the A and K elements too.
I want to succeeded with the BB to get the polyp extension, even though my corals thrive l just don't get the polyp extension.

Nothing from Wayne for a couple of years, l texted him, but nothing, l can only imagine he's gone back to the uk.

Hitting the uk next week to pick up a beautiful A. Nigricans, been after one for a long time.

Thanks Again

Mike


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Old 11/08/2017, 01:59 PM   #1192
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Hi Bulent!

Thanks for the response, I must have read the dose you are making wrong. I thought you were doing 1/2 the recommend dose (of the whole week) 3 times a week so really 1.5x the recommended dose, but I realize that is wrong now.

For my levels, nitrate is somewhere over 64 with the red sea pro test and phosphate is around 0.08 with the hanna ulr but I am getting more algae growing in the tank now since I added more fish. I need my siporax to kick in which hopefully it will in the coming weeks. I also started to dose 30ml of white distilled vinegar on Sunday to hopefully help combat that too. The skimmer is definitely pulling more dark skimmate since I started the vinegar.

I definitely was interested in the bacto-balance but I figured I need to have my nitrates a lot lower first. Then I was not sure if I needed to stop the vinegar or just continue the two together. with the high nitrate I am noticing less PE then before on most of my pieces. I also am using a small amount of GFO.

I am looking into possibly using bacto-balance or the Prodibio Bioptim


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Old 11/08/2017, 02:18 PM   #1193
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Originally Posted by codydemmel4 View Post
Hi Bulent!

Thanks for the response, I must have read the dose you are making wrong. I thought you were doing 1/2 the recommend dose (of the whole week) 3 times a week so really 1.5x the recommended dose, but I realize that is wrong now.

For my levels, nitrate is somewhere over 64 with the red sea pro test and phosphate is around 0.08 with the hanna ulr but I am getting more algae growing in the tank now since I added more fish. I need my siporax to kick in which hopefully it will in the coming weeks. I also started to dose 30ml of white distilled vinegar on Sunday to hopefully help combat that too. The skimmer is definitely pulling more dark skimmate since I started the vinegar.

I definitely was interested in the bacto-balance but I figured I need to have my nitrates a lot lower first. Then I was not sure if I needed to stop the vinegar or just continue the two together. with the high nitrate I am noticing less PE then before on most of my pieces. I also am using a small amount of GFO.

I am looking into possibly using bacto-balance or the Prodibio Bioptim
I have never had success with white vinegar. Even at very low doses, my acroporids had STN on two different systems and times. I do not know why. However, I used TM Elimi NP and Bacto-Balance together. I noticed bacterial slime build up in my sump after a while and stopped using it. I used KZ ZEObak with Bacto-Balance. Every time I used it, coral growth increased, which was not surprising because corals used bacteria as food source.

This is my third tank and I never ever had high nitrates even in my 94-L nano tank without a sump. The highest I measured was 10 ppm. The only common thing is that I always used very strong flow in my display tanks (in excess of 100 times per hour turnover).


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Old 11/08/2017, 02:21 PM   #1194
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Hi Bulent and Thanks

I'll try and be patient and do as you say, l have the A and K elements too.
I want to succeeded with the BB to get the polyp extension, even though my corals thrive l just don't get the polyp extension.

Nothing from Wayne for a couple of years, l texted him, but nothing, l can only imagine he's gone back to the uk.

Hitting the uk next week to pick up a beautiful A. Nigricans, been after one for a long time.

Thanks Again

Mike
Wow. I jealous about A. nigracans. Are you getting it from Abyss? I may be going there this Saturday if I can manage to espace from my mother-in-law's house in Manchester.


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Old 11/08/2017, 02:23 PM   #1195
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Advanced Aquarium Consultancy in Harlow, it's worth the drive from Sheffield😉.


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Old 11/08/2017, 05:03 PM   #1196
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Hey Bulent, Great videos!
I am totally in love with that gomezi. It is simply stunning.
So is your sermentosa.
Sorry to hear about the slight overdose. Luckily you are experienced enough with the product to have only upped it slightly.
Lately, I've tried to find that balance between anticipating what my tank may need after some ‘disturbance’ and waiting for it to tell me what it needs.. often they are not the same thing. Problem with waiting is sometimes you cut it very close to disaster.. but I gues if you anticipate but get it wrong, disaster could be waiting there as well..
Bulent your colonies incredible and the colour are great- the blue gomezi and sermentosa do not get better than that!


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Old 11/18/2017, 03:51 PM   #1197
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Hey Bulent, Great videos!
I am totally in love with that gomezi. It is simply stunning.
So is your sermentosa.
Sorry to hear about the slight overdose. Luckily you are experienced enough with the product to have only upped it slightly.
Lately, I've tried to find that balance between anticipating what my tank may need after some ‘disturbance’ and waiting for it to tell me what it needs.. often they are not the same thing. Problem with waiting is sometimes you cut it very close to disaster.. but I gues if you anticipate but get it wrong, disaster could be waiting there as well..
Bulent your colonies incredible and the colour are great- the blue gomezi and sermentosa do not get better than that!
Thank you for your encouraging words Matt. I appreciate it.

The growth has already re-started and most of my acros are showing good polyp extension. I will wait for another few weeks before starting to dose TM Reef Actif again.

Moreover, I am going through yet another deforestation process. I sold my oldest Acro colony today (see its latest video below) to a local refeers. I kept it for more than six years. I will also be reducing the size of my largest tabling acro next week. It has grown to 11" across within just under two and a half years from only a 2"-frag. The space vacated by the departure of the acro colony will provide space for a few of my existing frags that have good future potential. When upgrade is not a possibility, this is what I have to do every so often. That said, deforestation renews my interest in my reef and re-energises me.

Best wishes

Bülent




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Old 11/20/2017, 03:06 PM   #1198
reefmutt
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Amazing. The water to calcium ratio in your tank must be very very small.
Enjoy the redo. It’s always fun to get new corals and watch them grow out.


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Old 11/20/2017, 03:13 PM   #1199
DiscusHeckel
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Originally Posted by reefmutt View Post
Amazing. The water to calcium ratio in your tank must be very very small.
Enjoy the redo. It’s always fun to get new corals and watch them grow out.
What does "The water to calcium ratio" mean Matt? What is the significance of this indicator? I have never heard of it before. I am actually not getting new corals. I am repositioning corals that do not do well in their current position. The only new addition to my tank lately is a single saddleback anthias. I bought it because it was on its own in my dealer's tank. I bought it quite cheaply. It is eating very well.

Thanks


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Old 11/20/2017, 03:49 PM   #1200
kainic
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Originally Posted by DiscusHeckel View Post
What does "The water to calcium ratio" mean Matt? What is the significance of this indicator? I have never heard of it before. I am actually not getting new corals. I am repositioning corals that do not do well in their current position. The only new addition to my tank lately is a single saddleback anthias. I bought it because it was on its own in my dealer's tank. I bought it quite cheaply. It is eating very well.

Thanks
I think Matt refers to the water to coral volume ratio. Your corals are so big that you might have less water than, for example, me that I have smaller colonies. It's a compliment in Matt's way.


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