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Unread 04/13/2012, 10:39 AM   #1
bnumair
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Acclimation of new Corals and water parameters

I felt the need to write this as there are stickies for proper acclimation on fish and inverts but not much detail on corals. So I provide this, along with maintaining a proper chemistry in the reef.
I hope my years' worth of knowledge are good enough to put newbies in right direction.
If there are any flaws in this write up please notify so it can be corrected.

First thing to remember is: acclimation should never be rushed. Patience is very important in this hobby.
Also some people like to QT their new corals. Some don't.
I personally don't qt. I use a coral dip and move them to the display tank.

There are 3 different methods I've seen in my many years of reef history. i will explain both, thus helping new people to choose the way they like.

FLOATING METHOD

Turn off aquarium lights.
Never open the box in bright light - this can cause stress or trauma.
Float the sealed bag in the aquarium or sump for 15-30 minutes
Don't open the shipping bag at this time. This will allow the water in the shipping bag to adjust slowly to the temperature in the aquarium, while maintaining a high level of dissolved oxygen.
After floating the sealed bag for 15-30 minutes, cut open the bag and roll the top edge of the bag down one inch to create an air pocket within the lip of the bag. This will enable the bag to float on the surface of the water. For heavy pieces of live coral that will submerge the shipping bag, so in this instance, place the bag containing the coral in a floating plastic bowl or specimen container.

Add 1/2 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag.
Repeat this step every four minutes until the shipping bag is full.

Lift the shipping bag from the aquarium and discard half the water from the bag. Float the shipping bag in the aquarium again and proceed to add 1/2 cup of aquarium water to the shipping bag every four minutes until the bag is full.
Remove the filled shipping bag from the aquarium and discard the water. Never release shipping water directly into the aquarium.
Place the coral on the bottom of the tank while keeping the lights off for the day. Give corals at least 12 hrs before turning lights back on.

DRIP METHOD

this is a more common method people use.
Turn the lights in you tank off.
Always start with floating your purchase for 15-30 min in the sump or aquarium to bring temperature equal to your tank water.
Then cut open the bag and remove as much water that lets the coral just remain barely submerged. Take airline tubing with a ball valve and start a siphon from your main display tank. Let it drip into the bag at the rate of 2-4 drips per second. When the water volume in the bag/bucket doubles, discard half and begin the drip again until the volume doubles once more – about one hour.
After this coral can be transferred to the main tank.
Again place the coral on the bottom of the tank while keeping the lights off for the day. Give corals at least 12 hrs before turning lights back on.

CORAL DIP METHOD

Lots of people (including me) are beginning to adopt this method.
I use CoralRx---so i can explain its method.
Turn the lights in the tank off.
Start off with floating the bag in your sump or aquarium for 15-30 min to bring temperature equal.
Once the temperature is matched then prepare a bucket with 1 gal of your tank water mixed with 20ml or 4 caps full.
Mix it well.
Using a small power head, keep the water moving and place coral in the coral dip. If you do not have a power head, gently shake coral in the coral dip. Keep coral in the coral dip for 5 – 10 minutes. After 5 – 10 minutes, remove coral and discard the coral dip. Do not reuse the coral dip as dead parasites may release toxins.
Rinse coral with clean saltwater and transfer to aquarium. Do not add Coral Rx directly into aquarium.
Place the coral on the bottom of the tank while keeping the lights off for the day. Give corals at least 12 hrs before turning lights back on.


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE

Last edited by Sk8r; 04/13/2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Unread 04/13/2012, 10:49 AM   #2
bnumair
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Now lets talk about parameters and their acceptable ranges.

Temperature: 76-84 is the wide acceptable range, but I like to keep mine between 78-82 range.

Salinity: across the world, ocean salinity ranges from 1.021-1.027. A domestic reef should be as close to 1.025 as possible. i keep mine at 1.026 (35ppm)

Ammonia: always needs to be Zero
Nitrites: Always needs to be Zero
Nitrates: 0-20. i keep mine at zero by using a sulfur denitrator. There are other methods to keep nitrates under control, starting with simple water changes, etc.

Calcium: 420-480 is the most acceptable range. i keep mine at 440.
Alkalinity: 7-11 dkh. I keep mine at 10.
Magnesium: 1300-1450. i keep mine at 1350.

How can one achieve these perfect levels?
There are several methods.
I am going to post a Link from Randy's article to explain chemistry in detail.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE

Last edited by Sk8r; 04/13/2012 at 12:56 PM.
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Unread 04/13/2012, 12:38 PM   #3
Biscuit37
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Very well done! Thanks for taking the time.

~Tyler


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Unread 04/13/2012, 04:30 PM   #4
SKurj
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Thank you!!


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Unread 04/13/2012, 07:39 PM   #5
WrongGenotype
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Great post - I always dip my corals in CoralRx. Recently dipped a new addition and was shocked to see how much crap came off from a supposedly clean tank.


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Unread 04/15/2012, 05:00 PM   #6
bnumair
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Here is an article that i was looking for. Its Randy's article and it talks about the proper water parameter. Happy reefing.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.php


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE
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Unread 04/19/2012, 09:08 AM   #7
igot2gats
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How long do you keep your corals on the sandbed for? How long before you move them up to the live rock?


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Unread 04/19/2012, 12:50 PM   #8
bnumair
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i would say keep new corals low in the tank away from strong intense lights for about 3-5 days. then move them to middle part for another 3-5 days. after that to their final destination. this process is basically Light acclimation.
all tanks and lights are different. you want to give ur new corals a chance to get used to the new home and new lights.


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE
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Unread 05/03/2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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Great post - thanks for sharing!


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Unread 05/07/2012, 03:48 PM   #10
IvanAcuna
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Great Post, specially to new guys is this hobby like me!!


Marineland 56 Gallons Tank
Es-shops overflow box PF-800
Aqueon Pro Flex 34500 Model 1
2 Pumps 500 gph
Coral Life Super Skimmer 65 Gallons
Aqua-top SWP-2300 610 gph "return Pump"
Marineland Reef Capable Led Light 24-30

60 pounds Live Rock
70 pounds Live Sand
10 pounds Live sand "refugium"
1/2 pound Chaeto Algae

Life Stock

50 Gallons Reef Cleaner Pack from Reef2go
1 Yellow Watchman Gobi
Small frag of 8 Zoa Polyps

I will start to dozing by the end of the week with
E.S.V. B-Ionic Magnesium and E.S.V. B-Ionic 2-Part Calcium Buffer

My parameters are this
PH 7.8 - 8.0
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 5-10 ppm
phosphates 0.25
Calcium 420
KH 179 ppm

I know that my light is not the best light to SPS corals but I can not buy a chiller right now so I got that one.

Any help it is appreciate, Thanks


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Unread 05/07/2012, 04:40 PM   #11
Reefer_Madnes
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Thanks...keeping this thread in favorites


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Unread 05/09/2012, 02:01 PM   #12
salman01
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what happens if you just add coral rx to the bag let it sit for half hour and then add it to the tank. will this kill the coral


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Unread 05/09/2012, 05:09 PM   #13
bnumair
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i have seen this done before but i personally dont recommend that Salman. the dose of the med is hard to calculate this way. plus the water corals are shipped in will increase ph and ammonia as soon as it comes in contact with air making it toxic within 30 min and on. so i strongly suggest to get 1 gal from the tank or freshly made saltwater (atleast 24 hrs ago) and out 4 caps in it. or if you are using other dips made by variuos companies please follow their instructions.


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE
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Unread 05/14/2012, 10:48 AM   #14
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Drip method is the best method'


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Unread 05/14/2012, 11:38 PM   #15
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I dip using 1/2 dose of coral rx. 1 full dose is a waste for a coral or 2. It's just to get you to run out of product more quickly, so you have to buy more. I don't turn off my lights, but i will place on the sand bed to start. Never an issue with this method.


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Unread 05/16/2012, 05:00 PM   #16
rfrain01
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Great information!


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Unread 05/30/2012, 08:17 AM   #17
shiladitya1991
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Can we keep the actinics on during the first day of the coral introduction or is it total blackout.??.. Secondly do you cut off the encrusted portion of the frags from the frag plug?? If so when do you cut them,after light acclimation or before that??


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Unread 05/31/2012, 06:49 AM   #18
bnumair
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiladitya1991 View Post
Can we keep the actinics on during the first day of the coral introduction or is it total blackout.??.. Secondly do you cut off the encrusted portion of the frags from the frag plug?? If so when do you cut them,after light acclimation or before that??
Actinics can do harm just as good as white lights. i wold keep all lights of for the first 12 hrs of introducing the corals. for example: if you got home with corals at 4pm kill all lights and put the corals low in the tank and leave lights off till next morning..
i never cut the frag once i get it. i leave it on the plug. once i have acclimated the frag to lights and want to put it at its final position in tank i cut the step of the frag plug with clippers epoxy/superglue gel the bottom to the rock let the frag grow on and over.


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE
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Unread 05/31/2012, 09:17 AM   #19
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Thanks


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Unread 05/31/2012, 03:20 PM   #20
_Mackus_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnumair View Post
After 5 10 minutes, remove coral and discard the coral dip. Do not reuse the coral dip as dead parasites may release toxins.
Rinse coral with clean saltwater and transfer to aquarium.
If I'm getting many small frags (~10) at once, should I dip each frag one at a time, a few at a time, or can I do all at once?

Should I discard the coral dip water in after dipping each frag/batch or can I use the same dip for the whole session and then discard afterwards.


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Unread 05/31/2012, 08:49 PM   #21
bnumair
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Mackus_ View Post
If I'm getting many small frags (~10) at once, should I dip each frag one at a time, a few at a time, or can I do all at once?

Should I discard the coral dip water in after dipping each frag/batch or can I use the same dip for the whole session and then discard afterwards.
you can make a coral dip batch and put as many frags in it as u can fit as long as they dont touch each other and remain dipped under the coral dip mix.
After doing this discard the mixture and start a new water coral dip mixture for next set of frags. never use old mixture.

I usually save the styro foam box that previous frags/fish came in. i have a frag rack made out of egg crates with 1" legs. rack is probably 6-8" long 3-4" wide and 1.5" high with legs. it will fit roughly about 20-25 frags.
when i am expecting frags in a lot. i make a dip water in the styro foam box place the egg crate frag rack inside the styro foam box and start placing my new frags on the rack making sure they dont get to close to touch each other and remaining under water.


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE

Last edited by bnumair; 05/31/2012 at 08:55 PM.
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Unread 06/01/2012, 10:05 PM   #22
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What an awesome post. I learned a whole lot from this just in time because I will be adding my first frag in a week or two! Thanks again!


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Current Tank Info: Green Chromis, Yellow Clown Goby, Green Mandarin, Diamond Goby, Percula Clown, and CUC
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Unread 06/05/2012, 08:54 PM   #23
Michigan Mike
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I didn't find coralRx at my lfs (sketchy) but i did a freshwater dip on my zoa and it had a bunch of stuff drop into the water. Is this practice better than nothing and with what corals?


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Unread 06/06/2012, 06:40 PM   #24
bnumair
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Honestly i have never dont freshwater dips on corals. to what i know freshwater dips should only be performed on Zoa to rid flatworms and some parasites. the process i am aware of s to match the temp and ph of the water to ur tank water and some even suggest hypo-salinity rater than straight ro/di. leave coral in just for 2-4 mins.
I personally have never tried it but from what i have read its not much recommended.
here is a similar discussion on RC regarding FW dips for corals and most have negative comments about it.
http://www.reefcentral.org/forums/sh....php?t=1320372


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Water Quality: NO3 0,Phos 0,Cal 440,Alk 7.5,Mag 1300

"Reef Fast, You Crash, Reef Slow, You Pass" Mike's Reef 3:16

Current Tank Info: 350g DT,95g sump, 50g Frag tank, 4800gph return 4x Sea swirls. 6x AI Vega Color. 200# Pukani rock, dual recirculating skimmer, Biopellet, GFO Carbon rx's, Cal rx. Closed loop. 1.5hp chiller, genesis renew. Apex & RKE
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Unread 06/10/2012, 01:02 AM   #25
alienz
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why is it that there isn't an acclimation step when usimg the dip method? Other than for temp?


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