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I'm beginning to think that reef keeping should actually just be called saltwater testing.

 

Hey man, you have any hobbies? yeah, i like to test saltwater and when I'm done I tell myself, you better test that water again just to make sure the numbers are correct.

[emoji1]

 

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And don't forget... you better test it with at least two separate test kits for each parameter - and there are always more parameters!

That being said, I have heard several of the more long-term successful folk on this board admit that they don't test very often anymore... getting to that point, however, is the trick.

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I didn't test at all on my IM nuvo except for the cycling phase. I didn't test for almost a  year on my Red Sea Reefer and only test now because I'm going to start doing more sps and dosing. Testing takes the fun out of the hobby for me and working in the medical field testing can actually be harmful because the more you test the more likely you are going to get an abnormal value that you can chase and actually cause harm or worry about when it really meant nothing.

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I feel like if you are able to never test and have good results, then you are not adding anything to your tank or no SPS are growing strong?   My calcium and alk needs have changed ALOT since i didn't have any sps or clam in the tank.

It is totally feasible that I am missing something?  

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17 minutes ago, Emerald525 said:

the more you test the more likely you are going to get an abnormal value that you can chase and actually cause harm or worry about when it really meant nothing.

This, I think, is a real issue.  Also, it is clear from many examples on this board that you can be successful over a large range of conditions so it isn't so much the absolute values that matter (within reason) but rather the stability.  If you have an "ideal" target in mind, you might do all kinds of unintentional harm chasing that.  Systems all seem to have their own somewhat distinct happy place so you are best off letting things (again, within reason) find their natural equilibrium and then try not to over-manage.  Of course, this is coming from the person still trying to get their calcium reactor completely dialed in (think I'm close!).

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23 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

I feel like if you are able to never test and have good results, then you are not adding anything to your tank or no SPS are growing strong?   My calcium and alk needs have changed ALOT since i didn't have any sps or clam in the tank.

It is totally feasible that I am missing something?  

I would say this is an example where testing does matter - you introduced a significant, known driver for calcium/alk fluctuation so would want to test to see how your system responds.  The trick would be not over-managing this in the sense that you may find that you would like to keep calcium/alk at 500/9.0 but the system ends up stabilizing at 430/7.8.  Is it worth trying to push for the "ideal" numbers?  Maybe not as long as you are getting good growth and color where your tank seems to want to be, just do what you need to support that.

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27 minutes ago, albertareef said:

I would say this is an example where testing does matter - you introduced a significant, known driver for calcium/alk fluctuation so would want to test to see how your system responds.  The trick would be not over-managing this in the sense that you may find that you would like to keep calcium/alk at 500/9.0 but the system ends up stabilizing at 430/7.8.  Is it worth trying to push for the "ideal" numbers?  Maybe not as long as you are getting good growth and color where your tank seems to want to be, just do what you need to support that.

I agree . I started adding more sps and some of my montis were browning which usually means the alk is low.  I tested and Sure enough it was 5 LOL. Everything still looked fine so I didn't freak out and actually stayed there for a month or 2 until I got supplements.

You are correct stability is the key and going slow. If you try to adjust things too quickly you can cause more harm as the corals and life in general adapts but slowly.

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38 minutes ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

I think the key to long term stability and ease is switching back to freshwater fish :)

 

aww but then you don't get the pretty color corals! Get a nano do a weekly water change and do softies and lps and hardy sps and you're done!

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32 minutes ago, Emerald525 said:

aww but then you don't get the pretty color corals! Get a nano do a weekly water change and do softies and lps and hardy sps and you're done!

But where is the challenge in that!  Besides, even if you start there, how long until you get the next "big tank".  I put that in quotes since big becomes a contextual thing around here :shock:

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3 hours ago, Emerald525 said:

I didn't test at all on my IM nuvo except for the cycling phase. I didn't test for almost a  year on my Red Sea Reefer and only test now because I'm going to start doing more sps and dosing. Testing takes the fun out of the hobby for me and working in the medical field testing can actually be harmful because the more you test the more likely you are going to get an abnormal value that you can chase and actually cause harm or worry about when it really meant nothing.

Personally I've left my test kits behind after my first couple tanks..

i can see how the corals are doing by looking to see if they are happy or bleached.. Because what's the common thing you would do if your levels are off? A water change. So if it looks like things are going south, just change the water.

im not growing any SPS so my expereince isnt the same as others.

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On 5/1/2017 at 3:09 PM, albertareef said:

But where is the challenge in that!  Besides, even if you start there, how long until you get the next "big tank".  I put that in quotes since big becomes a contextual thing around here :shock:

yeah, what he said.  I think I need to get a bigger tank so Sean will come down and have a beer and look at it.  :tongue:

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My tanks been up for awhile... was up before we moved to our new house. I still test Alk daily, but not for anything else.

I don't do water changes (maybe one in 18m), I just stick to the same regiment. There are a lot things we can't test for but I find Alk to be the most important and a key indicator for other levels.

JMO


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Thanks Pledo. I have been testing alk and calcium daily. This post is kind of proof how there are sooo many variables to things and how they should be done based on those variables. Sure, if you have a fowlr or softie tank.. why bother?
I have a two month old 60G tank with several sps, a decent sized clam, and 3 montipora.
So for me, just starting to dose two part, i have to test daily to see what things are doing. Plus I have to kind of prove to myself that this whole notion of "a year old tank is required to grow sps" is simply a case of people not understanding the boom and bust cycle of bacteria in new tanks and how that equates to initial stability and eventual stability as each successive cycle is closer and closer to equilibrium.

Just the other day I was reading some post "bacteria in a bottle.is nonsense" they need to eat or they will be all dead".

Huh, there is someone that didn't take AP bio.

Anywho. Good times, just a lot.of testing right now

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