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Sps questions


Zach0225
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This is a bit long winded but I’m wanting to start an sps tank, I know stability is the key when it comes to sps but is all this equipment really a must?  
 

I just hear so many different ideas and see others tanks with all these apex controllers and dosers that it’s a little off putting to try and start an sps tank I love this hobby and know it’s not cheap but I don’t want to give up my first born. 

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Well not all sps is the same. Stability is key. Water condition,lighting, flow, nutrients.  As for equipment, depends on you,if you're hands on and can keep up. Or if you need the assistance of equipment to do it for you. 

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No it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I have a 25 lagoon that has been up since 4/2021.

I use All for Reef and hand dose about 5 to 7 ml per day. I dose about a half tablespoon of magnesium per day. 

I test Calcium , mg and alk once a week.

I use chemipure nano and replace every 2 months 

I do water changes every 2 weeks and mix a batch of salt that lasts about 2 months. I heat it up and put a power head to mix it up the day of water change day. I use the tropic marin salt because I saw on BRS when they did studies it tends to stay more stable 

They say dose in the evening but I dose early in the morning. I actually enjoy getting up early and feeding the dendro so don’t mind hand dosing. 
 

When I go away I just bump up the dosing of the alk to about 10. (Which is why I run my magnesium higher ) 

I don’t run a skimmer and just change out the filter floss once a week. 
 

I always say it can be as simple or complicated as you want and as automated and manual as you want.

BCFE5F30-F376-42AF-8742-24E261F1E57D.jpeg8D3F27B9-DBD8-4316-BD7C-E1C77C1B6ACA.jpeg

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1 hour ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

From what you have said.... don't start an sps tank. 

Get a tank going, I will give you some free sps frag.  You can't watch them melt away, than say.. phew, at least I didn't throw away $500

😂😂 I currently have a mixed reef and no sps, but want to start a sps dominated tank… I just have no experience and need a mentor 

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1 hour ago, Emerald525 said:

No it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I have a 25 lagoon that has been up since 4/2021.

I use All for Reef and hand dose about 5 to 7 ml per day. I dose about a half tablespoon of magnesium per day. 

I test Calcium , mg and alk once a week.

I use chemipure nano and replace every 2 months 

I do water changes every 2 weeks and mix a batch of salt that lasts about 2 months. I heat it up and put a power head to mix it up the day of water change day. I use the tropic marin salt because I saw on BRS when they did studies it tends to stay more stable 

They say dose in the evening but I dose early in the morning. I actually enjoy getting up early and feeding the dendro so don’t mind hand dosing. 
 

When I go away I just bump up the dosing of the alk to about 10. (Which is why I run my magnesium higher ) 

I don’t run a skimmer and just change out the filter floss once a week. 
 

I always say it can be as simple or complicated as you want and as automated and manual as you want.

BCFE5F30-F376-42AF-8742-24E261F1E57D.jpeg8D3F27B9-DBD8-4316-BD7C-E1C77C1B6ACA.jpeg

Beautiful setup and thank you for the guidance 

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9 minutes ago, Zach0225 said:

Beautiful setup and thank you for the guidance 

You’re welcome. There are a lot of people who love automation and I understand that because I love my auto top off and it’s the one automated piece of equipment I will not do without. I just personally hate when things break down or tubing gets clogged etc and honestly if I don’t want to get up and miss a day of dosing it doesn’t hurt anything. I was gone a bit longer in the summer and told my wife to dose for a week but she didn’t dose alk dropped to 7but nothing happened it just slows growth. Nature tends to tolerate gradual changes. 

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@Zach0225welcome to the most addicting part of the reef hobby. When I first got into reef keeping I never thought I’d be into sps, now I likely will never setup a tank without some sps. Mainly acros for me. 
 

I primarily keep nano tanks, so I might be in a more unique position than others on the forum who keep sps dominated tanks. I’ll post pics later to showcase what I’ve done so it’s not all talk. Here would be my advice for someone getting into this side of the reef keeping hobby: 

First: really consider how much time you have for this. Many tanks can be low key and low maintenance. Sps dominated, especially acro dominated is not this. If you want to be successful long term, you’re going to need to put in elements of work, regardless of automation. There’s no such thing as an ultra low maintenance sps tank. Just ask Ryan from BRS; they threw the kitchen sink worth of automation onto their ULM series and the sps dominated one imploded.
 

Second: pick a mentor and stick with a method. The people who I see failing at SPS are ones who are always trying these things and tinkering. Just find someone who has the tank you want and then model the system after that.

Third: chase stability and key parameters for your method, not the name game, color hype, new method fads or newest/flashiest marketing in equipment.  

Fourth: these tanks can be a roller coaster; one day you’re soaring next you can be falling fast. Color in coral can dip out of nowhere. Stuff can just STN. It happens to us all and although we should always seek to achieve best husbandry, sometimes 💩 happens. Learn from it and become better for it. 

Fifth: enjoy the process. Enjoy it now even when you don’t have it. Start dreaming and looking up different tanks now to find the one that you want to model after. Find the method that best fits your ideals and style.
 

To answer your question, no you don’t “need” anything other than lights, flow, heat and element replacement.
 

There are areas you can cut corners and some things you just shouldn’t skimp on. Each person will have their own personal preferences there so once again, ask a mentor who has the type of tank you want and do what they’re doing. 
 

My tanks:

 

40Breeder display. Maybe ~50g total water volume. Been running for a little over 2 years. Two bommies with one bigger one that has a ledge, one smaller that sits lower than the ledge.
 

-2 Radions and 1 T5 blue+ bulb. Slightly modified AB+ spectrum.

-Tons of flow. MP10s and Gyre.

-Oversized skimmer.

-Carbon/GFO mixed reactor.

-Water changes every week to every 2 weeks. This tank consumes about 120ml of ESV b-ionic 2 part per day.

-Lots of amino acids and twice a week I dose Brightwell Replenish. 
 

The tank is overran with frags at the moment as my frag tank had a bad swing after my recent move. So it’s just housing everything at the moment. 
 

Nuvo20 - this is my original tank I set up 5 years ago. This is far more mixed reef, which I do love. Took years before SPS would stay alive. Once again, high light and high flow for such a small tank. No nutrient export besides rock, sand and water changes. No skimmer. Just a bag of Chemipure blue. Regular weekly water changes at around 20% (4g). 
 

Both pictures have been taken in the last week or so. Hopefully this helps in some way. I’m always open to answer questions but far more active in Facebook or text than the forum. 

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At a bare minimum you’ll need stable parameters (I find alk is most critical here), lights that put out enough par (personally love having t5 + led), enough live rock (or enough bio blocks/spheres to aid), good flow (it doesn’t  have to be expensive, but be sure a cheaper pump isn’t pointing directly at things, and a good skimmer. If you have a smaller tank I’ve found the Bubble Magus modified with a DC pump is a great solution (I have this on my 65 now)

And for me, I always have some Green Birdsnest… it’s the canary in the coal mine, if it’s unhappy then I know something is wrong. 
 

Be sure to wait until the cheaper stuff is thriving before adding the fancier/expensive stuff… I don’t know how much I’ve wasted not following this advice lol

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