Well, the thread I started on Reefcentral.com, "Just a few tips and tricks for those new to SPS and reefing...." , has been nominated for "thread of the month" and has MANY helpful tips and tricks to aid reefers and deserves to be seen by all.
So, what we need to do is get as many people to vote for our thread to be featured in next months issue of Reefkeeping magazine.
If you havent done so, please check out the thread and maybe add some tips or maybe even learn a thing or two.
You can cast your vote HERE.
Dino's can be pretty hard to get rid of but if you are diligent you can wipe them out within a weeks time. There is a great article HERE that will greatly aid in the fight to eradicate the problem.
The main things to do are:
- Period of darkness for 48-72 hours
-Raise the Ph with kalk to 8.4-8.5
-Add good bacteria to out compete the bad
-Run a Po4 remover such as GFO
-DO NOT conduct any water changes!!!
-Siphon out what you can
-Running a 100 micron filter will aid in capturing any free floating Dino's
I would NOT add a carbon source such as Vodka,sugar, or vinegar as these will only compound the issue.
Concerning red cotton candy looking algae, I have seen it the past and it is easily treatable by:
-Completely stopping vodka dosage
-Adding or increasing bacterial dosage
-Siphon out what you can
The red Cotton candy looking algae is most commonly reported in carbon dosed systems such as Zeovit, Prodibio, and Vodka.
I had an issue with both Dino's and Red cotton when I was dosing Vodka alone. It wasn't until I began to dose Brightwell Microbacter7 along with the vodka that the problem subsided. The good bacteria now keeps the bad in check and prevents it from taking over again.
Now, an even easier way to stay up to date on what is happening on Rimless Reef. When you become a fan of Rimless Reef on Facebook you will automatically be notified when a new articles or pictures are posted.
Click HERE to join today!
I ran across this site today from a link over on ReefCentral.com . The site profiles the creation and conservation of coral reefs in the Maldives. The site has many great growth photos and videos.
Check it out @ innafushi.com
I stumbled upon a great photography how-to on my local reef forum Michigan Reefers. SmokinReef's(Junior) from SmokinReefs.com posted up a great guide on how to get the most out of your photo sessions.
Click here for the article.
While you are at it check out Juniors amazing corals and pictures @ www.smokinreefs.com
Well, I was looking back at some of the pictures and changes I have made over that last 7 months and was surprised to see how much the reef had grown and colored up in such a short time period. Initially the corals browned out and sat dormant for a month after the move from the 225gl. Eventually the corals took off and I began to add more and more corals.
The first shot is from September 2008, and the final two are from the end of February 2009.
When you think of vacuuming the first picture that pops into your head is usually not one of a reef. Recently I have began to vacuum my shallow sand bed on a much more consistent basis,with every water change, and I have noticed some marked improvements in the health of my reef.
I am surprised at how much detritus(waste) I am able to siphon out of the sand bed. This waste was surly contributing to my bio load and causing PO4 to creep up. The sand I use, Caribsea Seaflor Special Grade, is a larger grain size(1.25–1.95 mm) than the normal sugar sized sand making it easier to vacuum. If you are setting up a new reef or are having issues with sand blowing around I highly recoomend the larger sized sand.
After vacuuming my sand bed twice this month I have noticed an increase in growth in my corals. Growth of film algae has also been cut back. It usually takes about a week for a slight film to develop on my viewing pane, but now it is taking almost two weeks.
Some will say "just go bare bottom", but I tried that and could never do it again. When I went BB in the old tank it looked horrible and I really had a hard time maintaining my Alkalinity and Ph. After 6 months I added the sand back and all was well once again.
Sand beds may require more work and maintenance but the look and rewards are well worth it.
I tried something out the other and found some interesting results. I sometimes turn my lights out for a day to simulate storms and such. I figure that on a natural reef there are at least one or two days a month when the sun iisnt shining down at 100%.
So, I decided to turn my lighting off for two days to see what would happen. To my surprise I had many corals put down substantial growth within the two days of darkness. I even had a pink digi that had gone dormant put on nice growth tips.
I only wish I would have documented the findings with my camera.
Oh, well. I will try this again next month. But this time with pictures!
I recently started a thread on Reefcentral.com in the SPS forum for reefers to share tips and ideas for those new to SPS and reef keeping. Here are some of my thoughts:
1. Place a powerhead in sump. The powerhead will help keep detritus waste in suspension making it easier for skimmer and corals to take up. You should also make it a habit to stir up any detritus that has settled in sump at least once a week. People often neglect this simple chore and it creates problems down the road as the waste builds up. I have a Tunze 6045 in my sump and it keeps all waste and particles in suspension.
2. Keep your lighting systems as clean as possible. You should make it a habit to clean your reflectors, bulbs, etc at least once a month. Even a little salt spray can reduce lighting but up to 30%!
3. Carbon. I highly recommended that everyone run carbon, either in a mesh bag in the sump or in a Phosban reactor. If you run it in a mesh bag replace it once a month, in a reactor replace it every 2-4 weeks. Carbon is the simplest and easiest way to maintain a healthy and thriving reef system. Without carbon, Compounds such as yellow phenol can build up. Yellow Phenol is great at absorbing light, thus reducing the amount of PAR reaching your corals. Carbon is also good at removing compounds released by corals. Corals can and will release compounds to fend off other corals in the tank, the carbon will help keep all stress and damage to a minimum. Carbon is also a good insurance policy as it will absorb any harmful chemicals and contaminants that can enter the tank, such as aerosol air fresheners.
4. Create a routine and stick with it. Once a month you should clean out any detritus in the sump, clean ALL powerheads, pumps, probes, and inspect all equipment for defects. A dirty power head has been found to reduce performance, in some cases up to 40%+.
5. Account for everything that you put into the system. Chemicals and compounds build up over time and need to be accounted for. You must find a proper method to export the food and chemicals that are put into the system. Water changes work well and are probably the simplest method of halting the build up of harmful compounds. A refugium is also a good idea and it will aborb and process nutrient and may give off compounds that are benifical to some corals. Bacterial driven systems such as Zeovit, Prodibio, and Fauna Marin are also good methods for keep parameters in line. Personally, I do daily additions of bacteria and a carbon source(Vodka). I have found a bacterial driven system along with a large skimmer to be the most efficient and cost effective means of keeping nutrients in line.
6. Get the biggest skimmer you can accommodate. I believe that a protein skimmer is one of the most important parts of a healthy reef system. The skimmer I have on my system is rated for 3-4 times more then my system volume. With a larger simmer you can keep a higher bio load and effectively keep the nutrients down. The skimmer will help add oxygen to your system and is a good insurance policy against unforeseen events in the system.
7. Plan ahead when purchasing and placing corals in your system. All to often, people pack more corals into their tanks then they can support. In the beginning this fine but corals soon grow and problems arise. Corals can chemically detect the presence of surrounding corals, and if corals are too close this will stunt their growth. I found the best success with giving corals ample space to grow stress free. when considering what corals to put in your tank, take the time to look up what they will look like as they mature. Do you really want a monster montipora cap. taking over your reef? This brings me to coral placement. By knowing what a coral will look like when it matures you can place it accordingly. obviously you would not want a Montipora cap. placed high up in the tank, as this will only lead to corals beneath it to eventually die due to lack of light from the shade.
If you would like to contribute some tips and ideas you can find the thread HERE on Reefcentral.com
Ok, I have used MH's for years on my past TOTM, and am currently using T5's. I have been using T5's for about 7 months now and I would like to share with you what I have found.
The one thing with T5's is that they operate much differently then the sun or MH, which are both single point sources of light. In nature corals only receive 2-3 hours of direct intense lighting to any one side of the coral. With MH, even though it is hitting the coral longer then it would in nature, it is not as intense and only a small portion of the coral is exposed to the full power. With T5, the corals are fully exposed to intense light all around as opposed to a single direction. This is good because you tend to get fuller, and more even growth pattern. The bad side of this is the coral has a hard time coping with so much light attacking it from many angles.
In my opinion, the growth and coloration I am having with T5's is better then what I had with MH. After my new tank settled in the growth was as good and in some cases better then when I was operating 400W MH's.
Now, two things that I believe T5's have MH's beat on, without a doubt, are:
T5's have given me the EXACT color I have always been after. I can add as many blue bulbs as i would like, and I don't have to worry about diminished PAR as Grim has already pointed out. If I think the tank looks too blue, I can swap out a bulb for a white one and vice versa.
This, I believe is the greatest thing about T5's. In the past, with MH, I had to constantly move corals around so that they were DIRECTLY under the MH bulb. This became tedious and many of the corals on the outside of the bulb were always darker in color and lacked proper growth. This gave some of the corals a funny and unnatural looking growth pattern. Now, with T5 I can place my corals ANYWHERE across the tank with no worries. It makes my life easier and my corals happier.
At the end of the day if you are happy with what you are using then stick with it. I wanted a better way of growing and coloring my corals so T5 was the natural choice. After looking at the MANY T5 tanks in Europe I knew I had to have them.
So, after using T5's for an extended period of time now I don't think I could ever go back to MH.
The shimmer is nice and all, but I can never give up the color and growth patterns found in T5's.