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Mixed Reefs and SPS Growth

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jazznreef

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
So, what are the issues of mixed reefs on the growth of SPS? I have a 75 mixed with lots of sps colonies and frags and xenia, pagoda cup, three brains, anemones, mushroom polyps, five clams and the like. my sps growth rates really vary in the tank. those that are down stream from the xenia and pagoda don't seem to do so well but those that are lower in the tank are doing great. the thing i wonder is how important is it to to reduce the mixed nature of the tank to get these sps's to really grow well?

I realize more info is probably needed to diagnose my sps issues, but just wondering about the mixed tank issues right now. I have a calcium reactor that keeps alk and calc levels nice and high. I can always get into other issues in the tank although I'm pretty happy with how things are going overall right now.
 
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Katchupoy

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Jul 9, 2003
Messages
2,188
Location
Kent 98031
Hi Shaun,

From Anthony Calfo's meeting... He too is not a believer of mixed reef... He was saying that you have to consider also those chemicals being thrown by everybody because they are so teritorial. In my experience.. I think its true... its just that in my case... I want everything... the worst part is... I want eveything on my 25 gallon tank... :)
 

reedman

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Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
There are a lot of factors that affect growth. The first thing that comes to mind is that SPS like an environment that is low in nutrients, where as some softies will thrive in nutrient rich waters. SPS like high flow areas. Softies tend to like lower flow. SPS dominate, typically, by shading out their competition, softies nuke the guy next to them.

I agree with Calfo that a dedicated tank for each species is great...if that is what you want to do. I wouldn't do that, but if you want the best possible environment, next to leaving them in the ocean, for the specimens that's it.

I do believe that, with careful planning and attention to the tank, you can keep a mixed reef.
 

jazznreef

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
219
Location
Seattle/Magnolia
yes, there are trade offs. in an ideal world we would all have multiple tanks but i just won't do that down the road. i'm really asking these questions because my new 180 is beginnning to take shape. the decision to go completely sps is one that i'm faced with once i start transfering the animals into the larger tank. i guess i'm just trying to figure out how quickly i should decide considering i'm getting average growth rates in the 75. if i began to move the softies and lps out of the smaller tank in preparation for the bigger one, would there be noticable growth differences on the sps?
 

kevinpo

Expert
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
2,287
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
SPS growth rates vary widely even in tanks with only SPS corals. Even among Acropora species the growth rates vary from 1.5" to 1/8" a month. An example is the blue A. tortuosa. It doesn't matter what flow, lighting, tank etc. it's in it just grows slow.

They only corals I've experienced problems with in keeping SPS are the families of:

Sinularia
Alcyonium (specifically the ones called colt coral, finger leather)
Lobophytum (devils hand)
Lemnalia (tree coral)
Litophyton (tree coral)
Nephthea (cauliflower coral)

The corals that I've had no problems with:

Clavularia (clove polyps)
Pachyclavularia (green star polyps)
Sarcophyton elegans (yellow Fiji leather)
Capnella (Kenya tree coral)
Xenia
Anthelia (waving hand coral)

Mushroom corals can be a problem when they make contact but not just from being in the same tank.

It can be hard to determine which Genus of coral you have let alone the species so I stick to the ones that I can readily identify.

HTH,
Kevin
 

alittletank

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
17
Sinularia was a huge problem for my reef.

I placed a med-large Sinularia in my reef and noticed not only slow to no growth but also SPS death. I didn’t know the problem for about 8 months. After talking to kevinpo I took the Sinularia out. The growth has been amazing ever since.

Literally a night and day difference


I have a 90-gallon tank with an extra 25 gallons in sump.


Allen
 

Yellotang

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2004
Messages
72
Location
Pasco,Wa
alittletank said:
Sinularia was a huge problem for my reef.

I placed a med-large Sinularia in my reef and noticed not only slow to no growth but also SPS death. I didn’t know the problem for about 8 months. After talking to kevinpo I took the Sinularia out. The growth has been amazing ever since.

Literally a night and day difference


I have a 90-gallon tank with an extra 25 gallons in sump.


Allen
I now am the proud owner of that coral. Beautiful too. Thanx.
I run a 98% soft coral tank. Wow, it is looking great under my 400 watt MH's. Nice Greenish tint to it.
Thanx.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
The main problem with a mixed tank is chemicals used by softies for both cleaning and combat. SPS dont really have a way of protecting themselves from these chemicals. I also agree that most need completely different enviroments for health, so if one is happy the other is probiblly not. As Keven pointed out thier are some corals that will mix, but eventually through growth they will meet.

Mike
 

Yellotang

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2004
Messages
72
Location
Pasco,Wa
Katchupoy said:
I love sinularias...

Ok then, that's another excuse to buy another tank to seperate SPS to softies.... :)
Hehehe, in the hopefully near future, I will purchase another 180 gallon tank for exacly that purpose.
 

RockyHeap

Evil Genius
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
232
Location
Sultan, Wa
I guess I'll have to go back to Fiji to tell all those soft corals that they shouldn't be growing amongst all those fridge sized Acroporas.

I run a mixed clogged embrace-interracial diversity full soft/SPS/LPS, mixed reef tank. Stuff grows, I'm happy for that, grows enought that many of you have some of my frags, but what is "optimum growth"? Who knows. The fights beween Mr SPS and Mr Polyp coral are interesting to watch. Mr RBTA just crawled up and moved next to Mr Finger Leather. All part of owning a real reef I say.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
I guess I'll have to go back to Fiji to tell all those soft corals that they shouldn't be growing amongst all those fridge sized Acroporas.
I think thier is a bit more water volume in the ocean Rocky that kinda dillutes the problem at hand.

mike
 
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