View Full Version : SPS Help

01-23-2006, 08:01 PM
My tank finally stable and I will be setting up my kalk reactor tomorrow. So I'm ready for some corals. Does anyone have some tips on what types to start with and perhaps some suggestions on where to get them.


01-23-2006, 08:23 PM

welcome aboard!
To answer your question there's a lot of other questions that need to be answered such as the type of light and how much of it you have. What type of corals do you intend on keeping(the title says sps so I will go from there)? Maturity level of the tank is also something to take into consideration and consistent levels as well.
I would recommend sps frags, tank raised preferred, to begin with. Wild Caught colonies in new tanks and in unexperienced hands (and even experienced, for that matter) are difficult. Then maybe progress to the aquacultured colonies available from many of our sponsors and online elsewhere. With the tank raised/acclimated frags you get a coral that is more conductive to aquarium life and is more resilient to inconsistency and errors--plus they grow faster and maintain their color easier than their wild caught cousins.

Any other questions feel free to ask away...

01-23-2006, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome,

I have a 46g bow with a custom canopy. 50lbs LR and 80 lbs of sand (40 of the arag-alive stuff). I have a 400w metal halide over it. The temperature is a constant 78. I have a couple fans on the ends that keep the temp under control. I have a small fuge thats upstream from the main tank. I'll be adding a Kalk reactor and a dosing pump to keep the salinity constant and water level constant. I have a RO unit for make up water. I didn't realize how bad the tap water was around here. I measured the TDS in my area of town at 380ppm before I filtered. OUCH! For flow I have a Seio 620 and a maxi-jet 900 modded to a maxi-stream (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=717034), there is also the returns from my skimmer and the fuge for added flow.

The tank has been up for about 2 months, the pods have taken over. I think I'm going to need a 6 line, I've been told that my tank is too small for a mandarin but it seems to me there is a ton of bugs in there.

The only animals in there are a cleaner shrimp, emerald crab, sand sifter star (3-5" sand bed) and some hermits. I've been in the hobby since 1990 but I've been on a 3 year leave. It's amazing how fast you forget everything. This getting old thing is a b*tch.

Jeremy E
01-23-2006, 10:02 PM
First off let me say welcome. Sounds like you got some interesting things going one here.
1. lighting. There defintely is enough at around 8 watts a gallon. My only concern would be the coverage on that whole tank but if my memory serves me right those tanks are not that long. What is the spectrum of the bulb?
2. Did u start the tank out Using RO water?
3. sounds like you have the flow down.
4.What kind of media do you run?
5. what kind of skimmer do you run?
6. What kind of test kits do you own?

I personally don't think you will need the kalk reactor now at least. You can keep that calcium up with a 2 part dosing like Bionic or Kent's tech CA and CB. I use that and it works well for 300gallons of water. Fire away with the questions you are in the right place.

01-23-2006, 10:39 PM
Thanks again,

I'm using a 10k bulb. which will probably go to a higher quality 14k when it wears out. I'd say the tank coverage is pretty good even with the single light source. Its only a 3ft tank and the light is all over the carpet around the tank, the plants around the tank are loving it.

The tank was started with 100% RO water. It took a full day of 5 gallon buckets. By the way my RO unit produces 3 gallons of water in exactly 75 minutes. It only took about 4 tries to get that timer set perfectly 8)

I'm not sure what you mean by media. There is a fuge and a remora skimmer on my tank. I have a magnum canister filter with a polishing filter on it when needed, but I dont run it unless I make a sandstorm.

As far as test kits I have TDS meter and a standard test lab set, nitrate nitrite, ph and ammonia. I need to get a calcium and alk test kit.

I purchased the kalk reactor to keep the maintenance down and for the general health of the tank. I know its probably overkill, but I will eventually get a bigger tank. Why buy the same thing twice?

01-23-2006, 10:56 PM
get rid of the canister and beef up the skimmer. Easy SPS to keep are Montipora Capricornas, Monti Digitata's, Hydnophornia, and some aquacultured Acro's. Good luck and welsome aboard.

01-23-2006, 11:37 PM
surgeonfish-you sound like an old pro with the setup! Nicely Done! I think the Remora is more than enough skimmer for that tank if you went with a mag 3 on it. I love those skimmers! I agree with Jeremy that you really dont need a kalkwasser reactor yet. With consistent water changes you will not need to dose for a while. However, like I said in the other thread-keep testing. You might want to read up on the Kalk reactor, they work best in conjunction with a calcium reactor. The "calcium reactor" is kinda a misnomer. The usefullness for a calcium reactor is to maintain alkalinity. Sure some calcium is released but it is great at maintaining alk. Alk has a direct correlation with pH as you probably know. The kalk reactor will add a ton of calcium to your water vis-a-vis top-off water. However, this top-off water doesn't have sufficient alk. Thats where the calcium reactor comes into play. Jeremy said it best, "its all about checks and balances" and that is very valid. In my opinion if you used the kalk reactor alone you would not be very satisfied. As for easy corals to take care of: most of your montiporas are easy (minus the encrusting forms), milleporas i have found are good starters for the most part. A. humilus, A.florida are good ones to start with....there are many, many others. I started with some M. digitata and found it very "user friendly". Something else to remember with SPS is you want to have a TON of flow in your tank. You want it to be turbulant and non-laminar.

01-24-2006, 12:49 AM
Yea CRANK UP THE FLOW MAN!, I got 1200/hr on a 29 reef. I would have a min of 1800/hr on that tank. I had a 46 bow and sold it 1.5 years ago. Wish I still had it, I sold it because I didn't know how to build a canopy for it. Now I know how, go figure. My 2 maxi's are running on 2 DIY wave timers, if your interested I'll give u the link on RC. Cost ten bucks to do, 30 sec on 30 sec off, 24/7, been running for 2 months now, no problems.

Was going to offer u a couple A. tinus frags, but I think the tank is too young, my research on acro's pretty much say the tank sould be a year old to try acro's, I know there is one of those "RULE OF THUMB DEALS." And I see people putting them in newer tanks, but I can't aford the chances.

So maybe when u get the kalk reactor going, give yourself a couple months to learn the calc alk shuffle. For me 1mL of alk buffer/day to keep it up to the calc in my ato bucket.

I started with a green mili, it turned out to be a good learning piece. So within 6 months I figured out I needed a phos reactor, very low nitraites, 5ppm or less(by by to the fish), and mega cheato in the fuge, a ER skimmer that's for a 75 gal tank max. 250w mh. It's drinking a lot of b-ionic, MRC has just came out with a nano calc reactor, dual chamber plug and play with ARM and a ph controller and the CO2 tank. About 445 delivered. I'm getting an itch!!!

So how is the 400w lighting up that 36" tank with the center brace???? Does it cause a shadow cast in the center of the tank???

01-24-2006, 07:00 AM

Please post the link for he wave maker. I would be interested in building one.


01-24-2006, 08:15 AM
The modded maxi-jet 900 pushes about the same amount of water as the seio 620, with the maxijet 1200 on my skimmer and the other 900 going to the fuge I have about 1750 gph of flow. I made a wave timer a few years back, as I recall it was pretty simple to do. The parts are all available at radio shack. I can't find the schematic anywhere though.

I'm having trouble finding any kind of reference where it states that a Kalkwasser reactor causes alk and ph to go lower. I've seen this when adding Kalk via drip method and I know a Calcium reactor can have this effect, but the reason to Kalk reactor with a Calcium reactor was to keep the alk and ph higher. Am I wrong on this?

Andrewr- would you recommend a mag3 over the maxi-jet 1200? I'm adding a skimmerbox to my remora mostly for aesthetics, the powerheads are ugly. I'm not getting much skimmate out, but I have very little in the tank so far. Maybe an inch in the collection cup per week.

Thanks for the help.

Jeremy E
01-24-2006, 09:20 AM
Media meaning carbon, filter floss,phosban, to name a few. Carbon is a must as well as filter floss. Trust me I haven't been using it and I can tell. That will change this week.
I think your light is diffinetly enough. I would like to see a picture of the coverage.
Good deal on the Ro water. Nice and clean then.
My thoughts on the test kits. I would buy one Salifert brand every order you make for the tank. They have the labatoray grade results. Also buy a refractometer. They are dead accurate to. Salinity swings can be more damageing to smaller tanks so you want to check that often.
Andrew is right on the kalk reactor. With a calcium reactor I would but without it you will still be dosing to keep it in check. I think you would be fine with a 2 part. More than enough for that volume of water and would not cost to much like the big tanks do because of how much you have to use.
Just my thoughts.

01-24-2006, 09:23 AM
I've never used carbon. But I don't use much, doubt Lonnie does either. I'm not sure Lonnie uses anything though. Surprised he uses salt. *jealous*

01-24-2006, 09:26 AM
Why the need for filter floss?

01-24-2006, 09:27 AM
hmm is that the thread I saw a while back where someone put a prop on the end of it using pvc to handmake the parts???? If u still have the link let me know.

Here is a link to explain the target zone on water chem...

wave timer, basically u change the gear ratio so the timer turns 1 rev/min, not 1 rev/day.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showt ... genumber=1 (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=e796fed2ed29b6a6675a5031816adf8d&threadid=469673&perpage=25&pagenumber=1)

01-24-2006, 09:27 AM
I use good ol live rock. But I don't have huge SPS like people like Lonnie do so I can't swear to anything yet.

01-24-2006, 09:33 AM
I made a wave timer a few years back, as I recall it was pretty simple to do. The parts are all available at radio shack. I can't find the schematic anywhere though.

Yea if I still had my old TTL Data Logic book I could make a nice wave timer just using a 555 timer ic, JK flip flops and some electronic relays... :shock:

01-24-2006, 11:34 AM
surgeonfish-i can hook you up with a piece of red M. digitata if you are interested.

01-24-2006, 02:23 PM
Very nice of you, I sent a PM. :o