SPS coral care

Discussion in 'SPS Corals' started by stoney waters, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    I have been wanting to start an sps nano for a while so I have been reading every thing possible about sps. Since I have been reading I'm going to post some stuff to maybe help others out with keeping their sps coral healthy and colorful.

    Their are many types of sps out their but I am going to talk to you about the general care for all or most of these corals.

    Sps coral that come out of the ocean and into your tank has a less success rate than sps colonies that have been in tanks and fraged for a while. Your best bet is to get them from a fellow reefer, because you know the care the coral got is probably better then getting it from a dealer. Its also a good idea(if you can) is look at the mother colony to inspect it(make sure its healthy, colorful, parasites, STN, RTN, etc). Of course you will also want to inspect the frag you are going to buy also, mostly for the same things you would on the mother colony, make sure their are no bugs on the frag though. Also look closely at the base of frag for any signs of RTN or STN. Speaking of these little parasite(which their are many), its a good idea to dip your coral before putting them in your dt. A lot of people I have talked to say to use Coral RX. This kills Acropora Eating Flatworms (AEFW), Montipora Eating Nudibranchs, Bristleworms, Zoanthid Eating Spiders, Red Flatworms. CoralRX is also said to help prevent Filamentous Hair Algae, Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN), Slow Tissue Necrosis (STN), Bacterial Infections and much more. After the dip it wouldn't be a bad idea to corentien these corals to watch for any signs of parasites or other things such as RTN and other diseases.

    Now lets talk about what kind of equipment is a must have for keeping happy healthy sps coral. SPS coral has been kept under mh t5s for quite some time. LED lighting is newer to the reef hobby so its hard to say what the long term effects will be, if you keep sps under them. But yes, People are trying sps under LEDs quite successful, so if you want to be one of them, by all means have at it. VHO can also be used, but I would not recommend it as a main lighting source. Good light bulbs for these systems are also a major concern. If you dint have good quality light bulbs, your sps might not do as well as they would under good quality light bulbs(ATI, Giesemann,KZ korallen, XM, Phoenix, and ushio are all pretty good light brands). Placement is very important also, different types of sps grow different some are bushy, some tabling,etc so make sure you pick a spot the will like.
    Now its very important to maintain good water quality so make sure you have a good protein skimmer at the least. Some Good protein skimmers(their are many different types of skimmers) are Reef octopus, precision marine,bubble Magus, and eshopps are all decent skimmers. I would recommend one that is rated for at least twice the size of your tank volume. A fuge is also strongly recommended but their are sps dominate reef tanks that do not have them. Know a nice aquarium controller (digital aquatics reef keeper controller, and Neptune systems controllers are good, and a reasonable price) would be nice, just to make things easier but you do not need one to run a nice sps reef. I would say an ATO is almost needed so your salt level does not swing much. A chiller is also a nice thing to have (mainly if you have halides or live in a hot environment) so your water will stay at a constant temp, but if you live in a cooler area of the world I see no need to get a chiller. A Dosing system, or a reactor is also a good investment (you will probably need one if you have a good amount of sps, for calcium and such) to keep calcium, alk, and mag in check. A good range to shoot for is calcium 400~450, alk 8~10 dkh, and mag 1450~1500 is a good range. You also want your phos. to be as close to zero as you can get. Your ph should be around 8.5. Some people do zeovit (which I know nothing about so I'm not going to get on that subject). It would also be a good idea to do 10-25 % weekly water changes to maintain good water conditions for your sps.

    Flow is also another factor in an sps dominate tank. You need LOTS of flow to maintain healthy sps(generally the more flow the better). The directions of the currents should be different, to try to eliminate dead spots in the tank and also to make sure all sps get flow. Diseases such as RTN can occur if their is not enough flow(usually its around the base of the coral first).

    Some people also feed their sps food(or get fish for fish poop to feed them). Some people also get phyto or oyster eggs to feed them. I do not believe its necessary to feed sps, but some people have reported better coloring and growth when feeding them(that decision will be left up to the owner).

    The last thing is to sit back and watch your sps grow!!!!!

    If i missed anything plz feel free to add.
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  3. tattooedsoul87

    tattooedsoul87 Coral Banded Shrimp

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    Thanks alot for sharing. I have recently started getting into SPS and been looking for a good thread on the care they need. Ill definately be following along on this
  4. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    Great write-up, Stoney.
  5. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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  6. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Pretty good writeup!!!

    Just for clarification, SPS corals, nor most corals, eat phytoplankton. They are meat-eaters only. They can benefit from phyto indirectly. I.e. phyto feeds micro and mesozooplankton, bacterioplankton, etc. Corals will eat those. I believe in feeding SPS. My breeding fire shrimp's jobs are to keep the tank clean and spawn for me to provide food.
  7. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    Thank you for clearification on that, just learned something from that, I to also believe in feeding coral.
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  9. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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  10. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    haha. No problem, man. :)

    What do we think about the product "Marine Snow"? I saw it in my LFS. Does it work well as a food source for corals?
  11. mike007

    mike007 Sea Dragon

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    Also wondering about marine snow.

    Great write up. Thanks for this!
  12. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    It's waaaaay too expensive when you consider that it's almost all water. Look at products like Rotifeast, Oysterfeast, Oyster Eggs, Coral Frenzy, Reef Chili, Zoplan, freeze-dried cyclopeeze, rotifers, the smaller sizes of Golden Pearls, Rod's coral food, etc. Remember, these are all very rich and overfeeding too much of them will put a burden on your filtration.
  13. mike007

    mike007 Sea Dragon

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    Wow, that's a lot to choose from. Thanks ;D
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  15. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    I have never herd of anything bad, most people I know like my lfs usually mixes it with something else, because of what was posted above, its more water than anything, I use rods witch is good IMO.
  16. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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  17. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Yeah, it's an interesting system. However, it's certainly not "all that". Some of us were able to build tanks like that looooong before zeovit, controllers, timed wavemakers, etc. Our best protein skimmers are a joke compared to what are available now. We lit our tanks with 6500k MH's and had 4 VHO actinics to make our tanks look WHITE. They certainly weren't blue. LOL The way to make a nice SPS tank is not to become an expert on the latest new product, it's all about understanding biology/biochem.
  18. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    Inwall, im not saying the system is "all that" nor am I trying to become an expert on the latest newest products(I also like that guys tank who happends to use it). I am sorry if you think I was going that way but im not, im just trying to through options out thier, and to see what others think about how to keep happy healthy sps. I am also glad that you voiced your opinion on this product. I was saying that ZEOvit is a possible way to keep really nice sps reef tanks. I dont think you need all of the latest stuff such as ZEOvit(personally I think its a waste of money).
  19. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    I wasn't intending to say that you were. I clearly phrased my response inappropriately. Maybe I should have been more clear.

    I will make it more clear now. Learn what makes these puppies tick before buying them. You will be rewarded. ;D

    I love SPS.
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  21. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    Yes that makes sense, I think i got the wrong impression the first time around.:cheesy:
  22. stoney waters

    stoney waters Fire Shrimp

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    Inwall, this is the goal of this thread, to know how to keep happy healthy sps, I already learned something from the first hour this thread began, and I hope some others did to. I would love for you to share all your information that will help other fellow reefers.
  23. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    What cause SPS to 'brown-out'? Lets work through this. High nitrates nor high phosphates is a legitimate answer. If that is your answer, I need to know WHY they cause brown-outs.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  24. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Phosphates and or too little light.?