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Best SPS water chemistry

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pilotx44 View Drop Down
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    Posted: October 24 2015 at 9:38am

So I'm looking for all you sps guys to give me a little hint into how you keep your sps so happy and colorful. What are your cal, alk, mag, and other levels. What else do you dose? How do you dose, (hand, reactor, pump)? What salt mix do you use? What do you run in reactors? What are your phosphate and nitrate levels? Basically, what makes this sticks explode in growth and color!
Also what lighting and par level if known, and basic flow. I have a few stick that I want to be able to grow and color up really well.

54 gallon rimless mixed
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Adam Blundell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2015 at 10:20am
To answer your first question "Best SPS water chemistry"
It's the water you get when you mix up fresh new salt water.

Adam
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Hogie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2015 at 10:33am
I use Red Sea coral pro. I don't dose, but I do 20% week water changes (10 gallons.)
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2015 at 11:37am
I like Adams reply, but it's extra work for me to do it Hogie's way. You may already be familiar with what I did, I gave it in bits and pieces here on the forum and in person at my coral farm, but let me know if you want a complete description here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 24 2015 at 1:07pm
Every tank is different and everyone will have different methods and what's best for one may not be best for another. I can only speak for my tank and my sps. I will start with what I do not test or very very rarely test. Nitrates, phosphates or Mag. Why don't I test these? If I had too high of Nitrates or phosphates I would see it in my tank via nuisance algae, cyano, and or browning sps. When I do test phosphates Im fine with up to 0.08. People who claim to have 0 of either must not feed fish or not have fish, or have a test kit that isn't accurate enough to show small amounts, and to the best of my knowledge even Hana phosphates checker is only accurate within 0.03. I never test mag as in the 3 years my tank has been running anytime I actually did test it it was above normal like 1450+ and if it was too low you can see the calcium and Alk binding and precipitating out and your pumps or anything that gets warm is coated white from it. I test Calcium and Alk as that's what my corals take up the most. I target 420 Calcium but tank is fine if it's 380 or 480. I target 8 dkh Alk but tank is fine with 7 -10 which goes against a lot of what you may read about Alk and an sps tank but I can tell you with 100% assurance that if my Alk gets to 11 dkh I'm going to have sps burning. I target .025 specific gravity, 77 temp but tank is fine if it's 74 to 80 just not fast changes/swings. I use the cheapest salt I can buy which is $39 for 200 gallon box and that's because dose so I don't want to pay for what I'm already dosing and I change very little water now days, I lucky if I change 10% a month (I used to change 10% a week but found it was not needed, took a lot of time, and because I hated trying to match a new batch of salts parameters to my tanks it resulted in a lack of stability) I skim very heavy, change my filter sock every other day, run gfo and carbon, and grow macro algae to keep nitrates and phosphates in check. I also am unlike most sps growers in that my lights (radion gen 1leds) are run VERY white and not this blue I see in most tanks (my lights have blue 18/20k in morning and night when I'm home to see tank) otherwise they are more like 10-12k. I have no idea on PAR. My number one thing is to always test Alk especially after mixing up and filling your dosers even if you mixed it up just like last time. Alk spikes are the number one sps killer in my tank. Hope this helps. My Radion settings posted here at bottom of page: http://www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=79095&PID=610389&#610389

Edited by Bryce - March 29 2016 at 11:24am
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 9:21am
I like what Bryce said. That's pretty much exactly what I do too. The sunlight I used for the coral farm was also very white/yellow so everything grew very fast. Only at night did the artificial lights come on to make colors pop.

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Mark Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote relethg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 10:35am
I tagged on this topic as I was hoping some of the old heads would provide detailed information as requested by the OP. So far Bryce has done so. I hope some of the other will share their wisdom and specifics. 

Glenn 
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pilotx44 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 3:25pm
Thanks for posting all, from the responses and reading, it seems that my problem is ALK and its stability. My alk got to around 6 so i am slowly raising it. sounds like if im running an ultra low nutrient system it could help the colors, and i would want to run alk around 7-8 instead of aroind 9-10. But higher alk and moderate nutrients around 3 nitrate and up to .08 phosphate can acutally Help grow sps even faster. Wonderful information. Cant wait for the water chemistry meeting to learn more. How much carbon does everyone run and at what flow rate? ive been hearing about how the toxins from soft corals and lps can stunt or even kill off high end sps if not filtered off. Especially in large soft and lps systems with few sps.
54 gallon rimless mixed
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 10:10pm
Activated Carbon(AC) provides a way to filter out the Allelopathic (territorial) chemicals that ALL coral produce to protect their space. Since we are dealing with a tiny space, AC is a must in my book. In my 300 gal coral farm which grew about equal amounts of all three types of coral, I used about 2 cups of inexpensive pelleted AC in a media bag in a moderate flow area of the sump, changed monthly.

In my experience, low nutrient systems are hard to keep and somewhat unstable. As I was saying in a current thread about LPS, the most stable system is one where nature is given the basics so it can do it's job. http://utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=78021

SPS color has as much to do with lighting as nutrient(pollution) levels. Live food has more of an impact than most people recognize. There are conditions which can be created to provide live foods as I mentioned in the thread linked above.

Everyone that remains in this hobby for 10+ years finds their balance of what looks cool versus what is not overly difficult nor time consuming for them to maintain. As an example of the high end of this group, our Hobbyist of the Year, Tileman/Brad has been in the hobby for almost 20 years and probably devotes more time and cash to his system than the rest of us local old timers. Wink It shows in the amazing beauty of his reef, seen and discussed here: http://www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=76688

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VdubReefer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 11:30am
Bryce what percent do you run your whites?? Could you post a picture? To see if my tank is under or over lit ? I'm cookin' sps with my LEDs and can't seem to find a happy median ?!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 11:48am
My radion settings have been posted here: 






Edited by Bryce - March 29 2016 at 11:23am
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