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Thread: SPS (Small Polyp Stony Coral) Parameters

  1. #1
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    SPS (Small Polyp Stony Coral) Parameters

    Hello,
    I'm often asked what parameters I recommend so here they are.

    The basic water parameters first:
    Nitrate 0ppm
    SPG 1.025/35ppt
    Temp. 77F +- 3F.
    Calcium 380 - 420ppm
    Alkalinity 8-9dKH/2.86-3.2 meq/L
    Magnesium 1200-1375ppm
    Random and/or pulsing water flow 20-40 times the tank volume per hour.
    Regular water changes (once a month) of 20% with salts meeting or exceeding NSW (natural sea water).

    One of the things to note is that SPS corals do not like sudden/rapid changes in the above parameters even from far outside the recommended parameters to ideal conditions.

    Lighting is one of the most controversial subjects in the keeping of photosynthetic corals of all types. The human eye is quite poor at determining light intensity and prejudiced toward spectrum. In addition each person has their own opinion about color rendition (low to high light wavelength). I will talk about this in another thread separately. For now I will just say that using an Apogee quantum meter with a reading of 250 PAR (at the coral) will give you good color and growth with SPS corals.

    While there are SPS corals that thrive in conditions well outside the parameters I have given here, these are the most median that I have found since starting to keep SPS corals in 1996. For 7 years I kept more than 100 species of SPS in one tank under the above conditions with an average growth rate of 1" per/month.

    Regards,
    Kevin



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  2. #2
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    thnks =)
    ahh...

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    Copepod

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    Are you able to determine, by color, how deep (in relation to how much light) to put a coral?

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    Hello,
    Color is not a determining factor in SPS coral placement. For corals that have been in captivity it is best to ask the owner what type lighting they have and what distance the coral was from the light source. A PAR meter is another way to help maintain a coral's color like it was when you first saw it. Most SPS will retain their original color (the color you saw it in captivity) if you maintain +- 25 PAR from where it was residing when you first saw it. There are other factors that also affect coral color like water chemistry and light intensity in certain spectral ranges (bulbs that have large spikes of intensity in a narrow range 420nm vs 450nm for example).

    Cheers,
    Kevin
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    Butterflyfish
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    Thank you kevin.

    Qs
    I understand the need for the light. However my tank wants to grow ha with all the light... im adding a pellet reactor and doing wat i can. Any tips
    I can grow sps but my tank just isnt clean enough i dont think... also i think the leds shock the crap out of my new coral. Is that true? Dang tricky sps...
    -299g display.

  6. #6
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    I haven't used LED lighting but the reports I've gotten from people who do say it can take up to 90 days for the corals to adjust. After the acclimation period they report the SPS corals are doing fine. Low nitrate, tannin, and DOC's will reduce the need for high intensity lighting and promote better growth (along with proper mineralization levels). On average SPS should grow between .75"-1.25" a month (19mm - 31mm) when conditions are favorable. I advise to photograph your corals when you get them. You may be surprised how much they have really grown when you look back six months later. A watched SPS never grows

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    Kevin
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  7. #7
    Blenny
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    I agree. My sps never grows. I'll have to check out old pictures today
    What do you mean your tank is not clean enough 1guy

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