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Old 11/10/2017, 02:00 PM   #1
mattm118
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How do I get ready for soft corals?

Hi first post here, this community seems really helpful and knowledgeable so I hope you all can help.

I have set up a tank 2.5 months ago and all seems to be well enough for the stock I have now, but I would really like to add some soft corals to make my tank a reef tank.

The tank
-10 gallon
-suitable powerhead
-HOB filter(cheap aqueon)
-Current USA Orbit Marine Aquarium LED Light (18 to 24")
-Water mixed at LFS, they use Instant Ocean/RODI
-11lbs of Live rock

The current livestock (all been in for a month)
-2 Astrea Snails
-2 Turbo Snails
-One Peppermint Shrimp
-One Blue Legged Hermit Crab

I plan to add soft corals as this is my first saltwater tank, I would really like to add these 4 from my LFS
-Pulsing Xenia
-Green Star Polyps
-Red Mushroom
-Metallic Green Toadstool Leather

So I tested my water yesterday and the results were
-Ca 320
-Mg 760
-Phosphates .12
-Alkalinity 3.8
-NO3 0
-SG 1.026
-Ammonia 0

What I would like to know is, what should I get all of these numbers to before I introduce the new corals to my tank? Also, what are some good products to do this, and how do I go about dosing those products.

Thank you


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:23 PM   #2
crawlerman
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seems really odd that you have such low mg, ca, and alk. Makes me wonder if your salinity is a lot lower than you are testing. How are you testing salinity? If you are using a refractometer, did you calibrate it with calibration fluid? Before doing anything I would say take a sample to a your local fish store and have them test everything. Most do it for free.

You should be getting 400 cal, 11dkh, 1350 mag. at 1.026.


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:32 PM   #3
mattm118
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I used my hydrometer and got 1.027, then took the sample to LFS and they said 1.026.


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:42 PM   #4
mcgyvr
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So what you need to do first is learn how to test
Then how to keep parameters stable..
Based off the information posted so far you are NOT ready for any corals..

Your alkalinity could be 3.8 though.. Are you reporting it as dKH or meq/l?
Its fine if meq/L and WAY low if dKH..

But yes your cal is low and mag is WAY low..
What salt mix are you using? Something is not right there..
Did the LFS test your other parameters? if so did they say anything about them being so far out of whack?

Read this to start also..
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php

Also.. Its very likely that dosing will not be in your future.. So don't get sold on that stuff.
Your water changes along should keep everything in check..

But something is really wrong with your important alk/mag/cal... So lets get that all squared away first... Lets make sure we are starting with correct numbers..


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Old 11/10/2017, 02:49 PM   #5
crawlerman
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Odd, the numbers I gave are what fresh mixed instant ocean should test to. Here are some guidelines, as long as you are in the ranges you are fine. Once you figure out where you want your numbers you want to keep it stable at those numbers. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php


My targets are 420 Cal, 7.5 dkh for alk, and 1300 mag. I use seachem products to maintain my alk. my cal and mag are maintained through water changes.

Do you have a lot of coralline growth, I'm just trying to figure out what is using up all of your cal, mag, and alk? How often do you do water changes?


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Old 11/10/2017, 09:58 PM   #6
mattm118
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All of these tests were done by the local store. I've been doing a 1 gallon change every week. It seems I may just need to switch salts and where I get my water from


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Old 11/11/2017, 12:03 AM   #7
Jon0807
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Keep an eye on that peppermint shrimp. I caught mine munching on a ricordea a while ago and banished him to a QT tank.


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Old 11/12/2017, 12:55 AM   #8
JohnZena
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattm118 View Post
All of these tests were done by the local store. I've been doing a 1 gallon change every week. It seems I may just need to switch salts and where I get my water from
I use instant ocean and my calcium is way high with fresh saltwater. When I first started using it, when I use the box recommended amount of salt my numbers were way low and i had to add more salt to have my salinity correct.

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Old 11/12/2017, 05:05 PM   #9
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If you are running corals, a reef salt (as opposed to fish salt) will help you keep your levels. Softies are not as fussy about calcium, but getting it to 420, your alk (they are fussier about that) to 8.3, and your magnesium to 1350 will lock those readings down so they're easier to maintain steady. Your reef won't use that much calcium, so it should stay stable until the magnesium slowly drops. Watch that, and you should be ok. You do need a refractometer, a dip bucket for coral dipping, and a little observation tank if your corals will include zooanthids, particularly---you not only dip, you need to hold them for observation to prevent egg hatches.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge lps reef: 3 firefish, yellowhead jawfish, yellow watchman, 3 chromis, tailspot/starry blennies, pink margin fairy wrasse, mandarin, kalk, radion pro, gyre, Eshopps s-200 skimmer, basement sump.
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