Anything I Should now about SPS

Discussion in 'SPS Corals' started by redsea, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. redsea

    redsea Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Hello everyone,


    Eventually I would like to purchase some SPS, but know little about them. Is there anything particular that I should know before I buy them? Tips, tricks, hints?

    Thank you everyone!:wave:
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  3. norg.

    norg. Kole Tang

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    Hot Tips: SPS Selection and Care Tips — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

    There are some good tips here.

    In my experience, high flow, moderate to high light and stability are all key. When I say stability I mean mostly in the "big 3." Meaning Magnesium, Calcium, and Alkalinity. SPS have the tendency to brown out in high nitrate environments. If you are about to take the plunge into SPS I would recommend trying out with some birdsnest. (Seriatopora) They are very hardy and many are colorful. If this coral is growing well for you then maybe you could try some more demanding corals like Acropora sp.
  4. redsea

    redsea Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Thanks for the advice!
  5. norg.

    norg. Kole Tang

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    No problem! Another thing is, try to keep your parameters around 420-450 ppm calcium, 1200-1400 ppm magnesium, and 8-10 dkh alkalinity. There can be some leeway on these numbers but stability is key when you are trying to keep your SPS healthy. What brand salt do you use? Also, do you test for "the big 3" often?
  6. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Torch Coral

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    Very helpful. Should I feed them? Also, what are some good 2 parts?
  7. redsea

    redsea Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Thanks, I use regular Instant Ocean salt.
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  9. gabbyr189

    gabbyr189 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    Nutrients-
    So unless you have a lot of LPS, your tank is probably not using too much Ca, Alk, and Mag. For a long time, I was able to get around dosing by just doing frequent water changes with Reef Crystals. This will replenish those nutrients. Eventually, my SPS became much larger, and are now using way more of these nutrients. It was either daily wc's or dosing. I started dosing about two weeks ago. You want good test kits. I recommend salifert for these three. Cheaper test kits are sufficient for everything else.

    Dosing-
    Research dosing using the 2 part method. Honestly, I don't know why they call it two part. There are three parts. However, the purpose is to increase calcium and alkalinity. The magnesium just prevents those two from binding in the water and precipitating out. The corals take up these two separately and put them together to build their calcium carbonate skeleton.

    Pests-
    If you are planning on getting acro's, watch out for red bugs. If you are getting montipora, watch out for nudibranches.


    Diseases-
    If you see death, including burns from other corals... Before you do anything, before you start a thread, before you figure out the cause, frag it. Cut about 1/4 inch into the healthy tissue. This is impt because it often spreads. Sometimes very quickly (like with RTN).

    Lighting-
    Most like high light. If it starts to turn brown, either move it down or shade it. Same goes for it turning white all over. If it is only white in one spot, frag it as above.

    That info should give you a good starting point. Research research research. Good luck!
  10. gabbyr189

    gabbyr189 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    Change to instant ocean reef crystals. Then test to see if you need to dose. Reef crystals has more Calcium, Alk, and Mag.
  11. redsea

    redsea Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Cool, thanks!

    I never knew that before, that makes a lot of sense! Thank you!
  12. redsea

    redsea Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Very informative, thank you!
  13. norg.

    norg. Kole Tang

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    Many people do not spot feed their SPS corals. There are many reasons why, but I believe SPS corals should be fed. I was reading recently that SPS corals often times capture more food than LPS corals. They are difficult to feed in an aquarium setting because filtration, protein skimming, ect. takes the food right out of the water column soon after feeding. I feed phytoplankton, zooplankton and Coral Frenzy to my SPS corals. I have noticed a considerable increase in growth rate since I started to do so. How you feed your SPS is really up to you. They can intake nutrients from other food sources like flake food from your fish as well.


    As far as 2 part goes, I have used both the Bulk Reef Supply formula and Seachem Reef Fusion 2 part with success.



    Good advice Gabby! Dip your new corals in CoralRx or a similar coral dip to rid your frags of any unwanted pests. All new corals should be dipped really, but you do not want monti nudis. You can kiss all of your montis goodbye then. :(
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  15. redsea

    redsea Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Definitely, I wouldn't want to risk it. :)
  16. gabbyr189

    gabbyr189 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    Yes you should dip new corals. However, some corals like echinata's aren't so fond of this and will melt. For these you should either buy from people you trust, or quarantine.

    Coral dips will not kill nudibranch eggs, just nudibranches. You should examine for eggs and if you see them, manually remove them and quarantine.

    In addition, coral dips will not remove red bugs... For this you would need Interceptor. Interceptor is a medication used to prevent heartworms in cats and dogs. It is perscription only from a vet. Many vets will prescribe it if you just tell them the truth. Interceptor, like coral dips, will only kill red bugs and not eggs. Multiple treatments are recommended, usually 3 treatments (3 weeks in a row). That way, you kill the live ones. A week later you kill the ones that hatch. The 3rd is preventative.

    I have not battled Nudi's, but I have battled red bugs. Red bugs are A LOT easier as you just medicate the tank. Nudi's require manual removal. For reference, here is how I successfully defeated red bugs in 3 weeks time. I will update it (with long-term results) now that I am thinking about it:
    http://www.3reef.com/forums/coral-diseases/successful-red-bug-treatment-127399.html#x

    Quarantining is your best bet. I still don't quarantine lol. Do what I say, not what I do.. ;) My excuse is that I am a poor college student with a severe coral addiction.
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  17. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Torch Coral

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    Thanks for the advice!
  18. aw1447

    aw1447 Montipora Digitata

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    I wouldn't think so far into it. I don't dose or anything special.. Aside from a little phyto. But if you have the light to do it, they'll grow. Simple as that.
  19. norg.

    norg. Kole Tang

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    You might think so because you may not be intentionally feeding your SPS, except for some phyto like you said, but thats far far far from the truth!

    For example, these statistics were from a study by Coles in 1997...

    *Manacina Areolata (LPS coral)
    Calories expended in feeding 51.6
    Caloric intake 157.6

    *Montastraea Cavernosa (LPS coral)
    Calories expended in feeding 47.1
    Caloric intake 146.8

    Porites porites (Very small polyped coral)
    Calories expended in feeding 59.8
    Caloric intake 247.0

    *Average daily respiration and ingestion rates of Artemia nauplii for three corals.
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  21. gabbyr189

    gabbyr189 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    -1. Let us know how that works out for you...

    You should think far into it, as you would for any other aspect of your tank. This goes against everything I've ever read about reef tanks. Research. I mean isn't that the point of this forum? To learn? And research? Why would you tell someone who is trying to learn about SPS, the most difficult type of coral to manage, not to think too much into it? The OP was doing the right thing here.

    Please don't listen to this advice. I would rather not see another person post another thread about SPS problems. SPS is easy, but only when you do it right.
  22. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Torch Coral

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    That's pretty interesting, how in the world would they find that out?? Don't they burn the item to see how many calories is in it.
  23. norg.

    norg. Kole Tang

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    Im not totally sure to be honest. Id like to find out though. Another interesting study I was reading about was saying that most acropora species. They can derive more than all the energy they need from photosynthesis to function and grow. Yet, when grown in a sterile environment they will die pretty quickly.
  24. gabbyr189

    gabbyr189 Bubble Tip Anemone

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    A bomb calorimeter I believe...