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Let's talk corals.....

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BlueHorizon

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as these are weakpoint for me. I've got a new 180g tank (contents were moved from a well established 125g tank) that is about 2 months old now. I have a beautiful golden sarcophyton, greens stars, several gorgonians and some ricordia mushrooms. They're doing well, no ill effects from the move as far as I can see. On the tank I'm running 2x250w Iwasaki's 6500 k's and 132w of actinic PC's. This is a room divider tank which has been set up with an overflow at one end, large enough to house Stockman drain pipe, return pipe from fuge and a CLS pump. This is only important because lights are spaced as if tank was 60"x24", not 72"x24" which is actual tank dimension. What corals would be well suited for a tank with this level of lighting? (Please assume good water params)

Thanks for the input......
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Hey Blue. Well you questions is a really big one :) . Thier are so many corals and so many coral needs and requirements. So heres kind of a short answer that we can start with and expand on from here. YOur lighting is good, but for better coverage you should have 1 one MH. Now this is not a real big deal as you can put more light demanding corals in locations that recieve good lighting from the lights you have. Another thing that you must look at is the compatability of the corals you have. The corals you have are hardy and are known to be easy to keep and can live under most lighting conditions. With this being said you should be careful about what corals you want to add, the leathers and so on fight dirty (releasing harmones and chemicals to ward off its enemies, also the leather will slime up in order to keep its surface clean) so to put delicate corals in (say like SPS) your going to have to beware of these goings on.


Your tank sounds great lets see some pics.


Mike
 
B

BlueHorizon

Guest
hey Mojo, thanks for the input. I'm not ready to add another MH as yet, I was hoping to keep my equipment set up as is for awhile. My wallet needs a bit of a break right now, hahaha.

I guess this was quite a broad question to throw out there, should have narrowed it down a bit. I'll do that now. I kind of felt like I had insufficient lighting for SPS and with the tank being so new yet, the maturity level isn't probably there, so really those are not in the picture. I'm looking towards softies, though there's the chemical warfare to be concerned with as you indicated, polyps, mushrooms and perhaps a few varieties of LPS (Is a pagoda cup coral an LPS?). From this point... what are people's favorites and are there any special needs associated with them? I've got Borneman's book on corals and it's helpful, but I'd also like to get some feedback on people's real life experiences.

One other question....The ricordia that I have was very green in the store. It's now turned very light tan, I'm guessing too much light or could it be from having "different" light? (Spectrum, intensity etc.)

Thanks
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Hey Blue. SPS are as easy to keep as mushrooms. The only difference is that they are more delicate and will not live through most fluxuations in any parameters. This is kinda why we tell folks to let their tanks mature before attempting them. A Mature tank is not really an age thing, its a tank that has gone through its cycles. The original nitrogen cycle, its algael cycle, bacterial cycle and what I call the moron cycle :D . The moron cycle is when we constantly screw around with our tank, tweeking a new skimmer, or calcium reactor or the plumbig set up that doesnt quite work right and so on and so on. Once you get through the biological cycles and get your tank where you are not constantly screwing around with it you cn go for what ever you desire (based on your set up)

Ok enough of that lets take a look at what you want. Every coral out thier has it ups and downs (remember the reef is the most aggressive place in the world) so lets look at a few you listed. The golden sarcophyton, great softie, it will grow like a big dog. One of the down sides of this coral is that it uses its internal fluids (slime) to clean its surface area, good for the leather but not good for anything that the slime may land on(if it were to land on a SPS it wouldnt take long for the SPS to die). So now we know what it does so how do we accomodate it with out risk to other corals. Maybe put it in the corner of the tank with flow blowing across its surface going directly towards your overflow. The flow would keep the surface clean (slowing down the need for the coral to shed) and if it does the slime would be directed staight to the overflow for processing by a skimmer. This is the way you have to think if you want to keep a mixed tank.
Pagoda cups are great corals some folks thik they are delicate but I have never had any problems with them. The to are slimers (can be unreal slimers). Every coral emmits a scent, so when a new coral hits your tank it is getting scents from all the other corals around it. Instinct will tell them that thier is a competitor close by. They will then begin to defend or attack the competitors to make sure they will survive. Alleochemicals is the popular choice for softies. As time goes by the coral will learn to accept the other corals scent as a none threat when a direct attack does not occur. So once again we can manipulate things in the tank to relax thier instincts. Thisngs like starting the corals with good distances between them, then moving them closer as they get used to each other. Manipulating flow patterns to help certain corals that are slimers to help them clean their surfaces and to control the slime when they do release. If you spend the time to work through and eliminate these threats you can keep a mixed tak no problem. Anyway I am rambling, so thiers a start.


Mike
 

Montanarocknreefer

New Sheriff In Town
Joined
Jul 21, 2003
Messages
467
Location
Missoula, Montana
I have a pagoda cup coral and as Mike has stated are a very slimey coral to say the least! They do not like to be touched at all or they send out slimey strings almost instantly! Once put in a spot and left alone they do really well and look great and I would say they are LPS coral as their polyps are very large! :)
 
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