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Old 02/18/2013, 02:33 PM   #76
stevedola
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A SPS guru in my area told me when I started that Stony colors are dependent on 3 things:
Low Phosphate level
Strong lighting
Stable well monitored Alk as close to NSW as you can obtain.

I have tried to adhere to his advice and throughout my years of reefing have noticed that when my corals are suffering its from 2 things...too high alk or too low. I maintain my Alk at 7.0-7.5 with as little fluctuation as I can manage. I personally can see the difference in coral color when in the past I have raised my Alk over 8.5. The richness and saturation becomes weaker. I have not encountered a PO4 issues in my tanks because I dont feed much and do biweekly water changes pretty religiously...the last time I checked it with my Hanna it was .02---which is good (in my experience). The only time I had issue with lighting what my attempt at LEDs... My experience with MH and T5s are that enough of either will grow SPS well. In the past, I have been absent minded and forget to put the doser on and my alk will dip to 6 or even 5 dkh...my stonies are still healthy at 6. No signs of color loss but at 5 corals show signs of tissue death and fading. So in my experience theres a range of value to achieve in regards Alk (6-8) with no color loss/tissue necrosis.


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Old 02/22/2013, 07:52 AM   #77
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I keep a large reef display in my classroom that my students often take the lead in monitoring and maintaining. I give them some basic training and direct them to certain readings and then take a monitoring role rather than boss

I still get involved when things start looking shabby which I am glad to say is fairly rare.

after reading this thread it got me thinking about the relationship at a deeper level. I pulled the log sheets from the last three years and have to admit that I too see a possible pattern between coral color and the nutrients and alk levels

different student groups have kept slightly differing alk levels and not always kept the tank fed at the same level. we have seen coral color levels ebb and flow through time. I wish I had demanded an observational coral color scale added to their reports but will from here on out

before someone reminds be: I know that we should be striving to keep the conditions constant through time but its the nature of having different student groups and letting them have a bit of time to work out cooperation and team work to get the job done. By allowing the teams to devise their own protocol they take ownership to much richer levels than if I gave them a "to-do" list A "to-do" list does not get you calls from grads a couple years later asking how "their" corals are doing.

cheers to all who have added to this conversation as it is one of the better threads going right now


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Old 02/23/2013, 12:26 AM   #78
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woww... what a good read


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Old 02/23/2013, 12:42 AM   #79
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I agree. Been stalking this thread for a few weeks. My tanks is back on the right track bc of this thread


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Old 02/23/2013, 11:30 AM   #80
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Tagging along. Great info.


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Old 02/25/2013, 03:39 PM   #81
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when watching alk levels it is good to also watch Ca and Mg just as closely. if alk drops, but Ca and Mg do not. this indicates an increase in bacterial activity. a sign that the system is becoming more eutrophic. the bacteria are using the carbonate for an elemental carbon source. why carbon dosing works.

if the system is having a chronic low alk problem. a good indication that there is a lot phosphate build up in the system. should look at ways to remove the source of food for all of this bacterial activity. detritus could be hiding behind the LR structure or within the substrate itself. the calcium carbonate structures are no longer able to maintain a phosphate level lower than what is necessary to maintain NSW alk levels.

G~


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Old 02/26/2013, 09:28 AM   #82
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This is a fantastic thread with great sources of information. I thank all who have contributed. There's a lot to be learned here and I look forward to implementing a few very minor changes to my system in hopes of achieving brilliant color in my sps.

Following along for this one, for sure.


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Old 02/27/2013, 04:18 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano sapiens View Post
Bio-markers are the most useful. Assuming all your typical parameters are spot-on, if your SPS are pale and you have very little or no algae growth, then you would slowly increase food input and observe the reaction over time. Adding more fish will accomplish this, or the addition of extra marine foods into the system.

Removal of waste products is crucial, especially as feeding increases. Regular detritus removal ('vacuuming') will go a long way to removing the source of nutrients, such as phosphate, that degrade the system.
When you say "Regular detritus removal ('vacuuming')", do you mean every couple of days per week or once a week with water changes?
Every couple of days would really take the fun out of this hobby.


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Old 02/27/2013, 05:07 AM   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwilli View Post
When you say "Regular detritus removal ('vacuuming')", do you mean every couple of days per week or once a week with water changes?
Every couple of days would really take the fun out of this hobby.
I don't think anyone is saying vacuum your sand every couple of days. If you can do it while you're siphoning water out for your water changes, you should be good.

Peace
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Old 02/27/2013, 11:38 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwilli View Post
When you say "Regular detritus removal ('vacuuming')", do you mean every couple of days per week or once a week with water changes?
Every couple of days would really take the fun out of this hobby.
If you are looking at just the system, and ignoring the chore, then ideally the less time that detritus sits in the tank and decomposes the better.

More practically, removal of detritus via vacuuming with every WC would be what most would opt for. I perform a 5% WC, twice a week, and I vacuum a different section of the Nano tank each WC. Every few months I also vacuum under the various base live rocks, but this would not be so practical in a large tank


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Old 02/27/2013, 07:24 PM   #86
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If you are bb, you are lucky in that you can point powerheads down permanently, and stir up the particles to feed the corals more.


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Old 03/01/2013, 11:58 AM   #87
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Fantastic info, speaking as a newbie with great aspirations, I try to soak up threads like this
I understand now the detritus issue...
My plan for my sps, few fish,65 gal reef tank was for a lot of rock for sps attachment,
But also to create deeper, craggy areas at base of rock into rocky rubble for a cryptic or at least semi cryptic zone, help with filtering, zooplankton production
Worry this will in fact create a detritus trap, buildup of inorganic phosphates....
Any advise would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 03/01/2013, 12:34 PM   #88
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As long as you have little animals down there that will break up the settled food particles (and thus allow those particles to flow around and feed the corals), you should be ok.


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Old 03/01/2013, 03:43 PM   #89
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I too, have found greater success with my alk being at a level slightly lower than 8dKH. I also keep my PO4 levels as close to zero as possible.
Since I like to keep my corals a bit “fat and happy”, I let my NO3 level stay in the range of 5ppm.

I do get great growth and color; however, I find that the colors of my corals are more “intense” and “rich”, than they are “bright”. I attribute that to the slightly elevated level of NO3.

I think that extra bit of nutrient keeps them a bit more healthy .. with a bit of a reserve for a day when a mistake might throw off one of the other parameters.




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Old 03/01/2013, 06:28 PM   #90
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Thanks Santa Monica
Will make sure lots of space for movement, small crabs etc available
Sounds like from Reefin Dude, the main worry would be increase in detritus, leading to low alk which we are trying to achieve....within reason
Its all a balance of opposing forces and systems, right?
Just wonder if adding a semi cryptic zone will help stabilize the aquarium by adding further filtering/nitrate consumers, or will it make it more unstable...


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Old 03/01/2013, 07:10 PM   #91
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Well it's important to remember that cryptic can't do anything about phosphate. It will be absorbed for a while (3 to 12 months) by the rock, and then be full.

Ironically, it is possible that cryptic can actually add phosphate to the system long-term (after the rocks are full) via the breakdown of the (presumed) additional feeding that will occur by the user. If feeding is kept constant, however, phosphate should not increase as long as the animals in the cryptic can keep up with eating all the particles that settle there.


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Old 03/01/2013, 07:29 PM   #92
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So, I'm pretty new to the SPS keeping game relative to many. I think this thread is great, and has explored what would seem like the major factors/parameters in keeping healthy SPS.

What about (what id consider as) secondary parameters, like potassium, strontium, etc?

My last grouping of frags I put in my tank was about a month ago. Most made the transition to their new environment smoothly. A 3.5" blue stag browned out completely. Although a small ORA red plant colony transitioned smoothly and seems happy, it's skin has been light very pale pink (practially white), with light red/dark pink polyps.

I stared dosing potassium in effort to increase and maximize algae scrubber production this past tuesday evening. So in the past 3 days I've slowly raised potassium levels from 370, up to about 415. All of a sudden (tonight is the first I've noticed it), the blue is coming back in the stag!, and the red planet's skin looks a healthy blue greenish color. Both in the same day. Kind of hard to notice in the pics, but they have both definitely changed/are changing for what looks to be the better.

resized_0062.jpg

resized_0054.jpg



Quote:
Originally Posted by Briney Dave View Post
I keep a large reef display in my classroom that my students often take the lead in monitoring and maintaining. I give them some basic training and direct them to certain readings and then take a monitoring role rather than boss

I still get involved when things start looking shabby which I am glad to say is fairly rare.

after reading this thread it got me thinking about the relationship at a deeper level. I pulled the log sheets from the last three years and have to admit that I too see a possible pattern between coral color and the nutrients and alk levels

different student groups have kept slightly differing alk levels and not always kept the tank fed at the same level. we have seen coral color levels ebb and flow through time. I wish I had demanded an observational coral color scale added to their reports but will from here on out

before someone reminds be: I know that we should be striving to keep the conditions constant through time but its the nature of having different student groups and letting them have a bit of time to work out cooperation and team work to get the job done. By allowing the teams to devise their own protocol they take ownership to much richer levels than if I gave them a "to-do" list A "to-do" list does not get you calls from grads a couple years later asking how "their" corals are doing.

cheers to all who have added to this conversation as it is one of the better threads going right now
Dave, you sound like a good teacher. Hats off to you, my friend.
Sent from my iPad


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Old 03/02/2013, 05:26 AM   #93
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Shorty, I tried to pm you to say thanks but for some reason I was not able to . Thanks for the kind words


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Old 03/03/2013, 12:47 PM   #94
creefer01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _shorty_ View Post
So, I'm pretty new to the SPS keeping game relative to many. I think this thread is great, and has explored what would seem like the major factors/parameters in keeping healthy SPS.

What about (what id consider as) secondary parameters, like potassium, strontium, etc?

My last grouping of frags I put in my tank was about a month ago. Most made the transition to their new environment smoothly. A 3.5" blue stag browned out completely. Although a small ORA red plant colony transitioned smoothly and seems happy, it's skin has been light very pale pink (practially white), with light red/dark pink polyps.

I stared dosing potassium in effort to increase and maximize algae scrubber production this past tuesday evening. So in the past 3 days I've slowly raised potassium levels from 370, up to about 415. All of a sudden (tonight is the first I've noticed it), the blue is coming back in the stag!, and the red planet's skin looks a healthy blue greenish color. Both in the same day. Kind of hard to notice in the pics, but they have both definitely changed/are changing for what looks to be the better.
I'm interested in what people have to say about this. It was suggested to me that I check, and if needed, dose potassium. I've not done so as the thought was my weekly WC would replenish any consumed trace elements. I will be getting a potassium test kit and tracking consumption to find out.


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Old 03/03/2013, 02:54 PM   #95
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Also the food you feed contains huge amounts too.


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Old 03/03/2013, 06:04 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by creefer01 View Post
I'm interested in what people have to say about this. It was suggested to me that I check, and if needed, dose potassium. I've not done so as the thought was my weekly WC would replenish any consumed trace elements. I will be getting a potassium test kit and tracking consumption to find out.
You really don't need to worry too much about K. The Zeovit users report a drop but not sure why. I test using Salifert and it never requires dosing.


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Old 03/03/2013, 06:35 PM   #97
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Thanks shaggs. I'm going to invest in a test kit and at least track it for a while. I'm interested to see how it fluctuates, if at all.


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Old 03/03/2013, 06:58 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creefer01 View Post
Thanks shaggs. I'm going to invest in a test kit and at least track it for a while. I'm interested to see how it fluctuates, if at all.
Your most welcome.

The Salifert test is the best ATM. Very simple and clear to use. Very noticeable colour change at end point too.


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Old 03/04/2013, 06:59 AM   #99
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I like the Red Sea Pro Reef Colors Kit


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Old 03/05/2013, 04:40 AM   #100
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Hey Kevensquint...thanks so much for these ideas on getting your color back on your sps. I recently (for the first time) got my nitrates and phosphates down to 0 and guess what happened? Exactly what you said would happen...my sps colors faded a lot very quickly (although no apparent impact on acans and chalice coral colors for some reason). Hoping that using a little less Rowaphos and keeping the KH down to NSW levels will help bring some vibrant color back!


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