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Old 10/07/2018, 01:53 AM   #1
Tastee
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First SPS - What do I look for?

Hi Reefers,

I have just added my first SPS corals to my tank and I would really appreciate some advice about what to look out for over the coming weeks and months to see how they are faring.

My tanks is a Red Sea Reefer 250, with an Apex monitor and DOS dosing pumps. Temp is set to 25C (77F), in our cooler months stays within 0.3C, in summer will go as high as 26.5C (80F) before the chiller kicks in. Flow comes from the return and a Gyre, currently about 50x turnover. Lighting comes from a three-cluster Maxspect RAZR 420R.

Inhabitants are Yellow Tang, Lawnmower Blenny, Sixline Wrasse, Orchid Dottyback, Fire Goby, pair of Occ clowns, 2 BTA, Hermit crab. Corals are a Hammer, Sinularia, 2x Gonis, Mushrooms, Favia, small Xenia colony. CUC is a Nassarius snail, 2x small Turbos, 2x small Trochus, sand sifter starfish. Tank is 12 months old.

Current parameters are Salinity 1.025, pH 8.3, kH 7.8, Ca 440, Mg 1480, PO4 0.01, NO3 0.00. I dose NoPoX daily, currently at 0.8 ml/day. My target for PO4 is ~0.02 and NO3 ~1-2. Currently NO3 is lower as I have just dealt with a GHA issue, which is now under control, so I am monitoring and reducing the NoPoX gradually. I dose Aquaforest 3 part daily currently at 5.5ml/day. ATM I find my tank consumes more Alk than it does Ca and Mg, but are still dosing all 3 components equally. I will be testing Alk, Ca, Mg, PO4 and NO3 twice a week to see how that changes with the new SPS. I recently increased dosing 0.5ml as I saw Alk, Ca and Mg were dropping slightly (before the SPS went in).

Attached is a photo of the tank overall, plus one of the new corals. There were three of them, but the Cane had polyps at both ends, so I cut it in half, inserted the big half on a convenient hold on the left, and popped the small end upright on the right.

What should I look out for over coming weeks and months to see how they are travelling?

I am comfortable with my parameters, and monitoring them closely, but unsure about flow and light intensity. I donít have a PAR meter so canít measure that. I would love any tips you can give to spot where I need more/less flow or light.

Apologies for the reflections in the photos.

Thanks in advance!





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Old 10/07/2018, 05:31 AM   #2
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Here are a couple of photos 9 hrs after the corals went in. I think the pink one on the right may be already a goner. All of these were bought from my (trusted) LFS who is renovating one of their SPS displays.





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Old 10/07/2018, 07:44 AM   #3
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For the most part you want to watch for tissue necrosis (either slow or rapid (STN/RTN))
The skin will basically peel away and expose the stark white skeleton beneath it.

Beyond that just continue keeping parameters stable and start watching for new growth which is usually white growth at the tips of each branch that will slowly turn skin colored.
Examine for polyp extension too..
New growth/polyp extension are typically signs of healthy corals..

If you start to see RTN/STN you can frag the healthy sections to hopefully save them before it spreads to that.. It does't always work though..

Don't consider a coral a goner until its stark white skeleton is all thats left and algae starts to grown on it..

As it looks like you still have a good amount of "new tank algae" there on the rocks,etc... I'd caution you to hold off on any more SPS purchases until that starts to go away more..


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Old 10/07/2018, 07:46 AM   #4
jmareef1022
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Nice tank and beautiful colonies that's for sure. Couple questions though how old is the tank and how much flow you have. I really hope they perk up for you.
I know you probably love that sinularia but that could also be an issue , me personally I would trade it and focus on hard corals. Gl


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Old 10/08/2018, 01:53 AM   #5
Tastee
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Thanks for the feedback Mcgyvr & Jose.

The tank is currently 12 months old. Installed 23 Sep 17, first fish 21 Oct 17, last fish added 21 Apr 18. Prior to adding the SPS the last corals added were the two Gonis and Hammer on 5 Aug 18.

Iím not sure how to best describe the flow. The return pump is a Torque (Jebao) DCT-4000 operating at 100%. Rated at 1,056 GPH. The wave maker is a Maxspect Glamorca-GP03 rated at 3,000 GPH. I currently run this on the following program.

1. 00:00 Gyre 50%
2. 02:00 Gradual Pulse 30%
3. 07:30 Continuous 30%
4. 08:30 Pulse 50%
5. 13:30 Continuous 30%
6. 14:30 Gradual Pulse 50%
7. 19:30 Continuous 30%
8. 20:30 Pulse 40%

~Jose, yes we do like the Sinularia, and I know itís making my life difficult but I am aiming for a mixed reef, not an SPS dominant tank. These SPS are in the higher flow areas and whilst I hope they are healthy and grow, I have no plans to add any more SPS at this point, but will add a few softies or LPS in other, lower flow, areas. Of course depending on how things go that may change of course. If the frag I put under the Sinularia goes ok it may need to move to the left a little I guess.

~Mcgyvr, I am certainly working on the remaining Algae, and are not planning any more coral additions in the next couple of months, so will keep gradually scrubbing out everything I can and keep the nutrients under control. That has been the process for the last 8 weeks and it is much much better than it was.


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Old 10/11/2018, 04:03 AM   #6
Tastee
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One of the new corals is suddenly not looking happy. We had a power outage yesterday so went about 6 hrs without oxygenation and the temp dropped 3 degrees. The fish and other corals are ok so I am not sure if that caused an issue or not.

Here is a current picture - any suggestions?




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Old 10/11/2018, 11:42 AM   #7
Tripod1404
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Originally Posted by Tastee View Post
One of the new corals is suddenly not looking happy. We had a power outage yesterday so went about 6 hrs without oxygenation and the temp dropped 3 degrees. The fish and other corals are ok so I am not sure if that caused an issue or not.
I would frag the tips and throw out the rest. Make sure you frag into the healthy part and not take any of the dying.


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Old 10/11/2018, 05:51 PM   #8
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I would frag the tips and throw out the rest. Make sure you frag into the healthy part and not take any of the dying.
I would also encourage you to look at backup power options. There are quite a few options out there and no water movement it hard on corals especially when you have a bog colony. I've had that happen and the center die and I was left with 50+ small frags that I was able to remove from the main.


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Old 10/12/2018, 01:56 AM   #9
Tastee
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Originally Posted by jcook54 View Post
I would also encourage you to look at backup power options. There are quite a few options out there and no water movement it hard on corals especially when you have a bog colony. I've had that happen and the center die and I was left with 50+ small frags that I was able to remove from the main.
Thanks - I have already got a UPS selected which will give me reasonable initial coverage, and I can use my Apex to further optimise itís run time. In general our power supply is very reliable, but I agree an insurance policy is a good idea.


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