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If my stylos are doing well....


FluxCapacitor

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SPS question here:

I have 2 stylo frags that are kinda small. Their polyps are seemingly happy and have been for a few weeks now. Do you think, if my water seems ok on tests, and the stylos are doing ok, that it would be ok to introduce other SPS into the tank? I want to try but I don't want to fail even once.

What would be another good beginner SPS that is hardier than others? I want to get some frags from forum members here but I don't want to make any corals unhappy in my tank. This is for my 32G w/ 20G sump by the way so the water capacity should be ok. Any help and advice is appreciated.

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How often do you measure Alk and Calcium, and what have they been reading for the last few weeks? I have a 32 gallon and my acros were miserable until I got those very stable. It's harder to keep stable with a smaller tank like ours.

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Yeah, exactly as jolt said. Stylos are usually more tolerant of Alk swings than Acros, but at the same time, many Montiporas are fairly resilient and would be good to give a try next. Same with Seriatopora (birdsnest) are pretty tough and you can get for cheap in town.

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Thanks for the advice.... I've been measuring my CA, dKH, PO4, and MG.

I've got pretty steady 9-9.5 dKH readings regularly.

My CA is in the low 400s most of the time without any major swings.

I have GFO in my filter sock for PO4 and I've measured this to be very low if not mostly non-existent.

I messed up my MG reagent by spraying the wrong reagent back into the bottle.... silly me. It was reading within line of where it "should be" when I was able to measure it.

The other thing that makes me think the MG is "ok" is because all the other tests I've been doing are showing proper numbers. I've been dosing Tropic Marin All-For-Reef in both tanks and they seem to do well with it. I can tell the elements are being consumed because I've measured the levels to be slightly less than average a few times but was able to get them back up the next day. I've made small adjustments to the dosing and it seems to be working out ok.

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I'm not sure how often measuring 'regularly' is in your case. With my little tank I learned that reading Alk (dkh) weekly was not often enough to prevent fairly large swings. You could be OK with what you have. For my own tank I try to keep alk closer to 8.5 because I want to keep nutrients low (nitrate and phosphate are 5 and 0.3 respectively), and it is common belief that low nutrients and high alk is not a good combination, plus if I *do* have a unexpectedly large daily swing I should still be in a reasonable range. I read alk daily and I can see swings as much as 0.4 in a day despite automated 2 part dosing every 2 hours. So if you are reading weekly and experiencing similar swings, its possible your actual range could be as much as 8.6-9.9, which may be too big of a swing. I doubt you are having big swings right now, but as you introduce more corals a growth spurt can really deplete alk fast. So, definitely take my own experience with a grain of salt, andI'm sure others may have a different experience. My acros do best when alk swings no more than 0.2 per day, so I am keeping it 8.3-8.7, targeting 8.5. And, once I started introducing acros the swings became more pronounced because alk consumption went up. That's why it's important in a small tank with acros to measure frequently until you know what is going on in your tank.

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Great advice, and much appreciated. I've been measuring my tanks chemicals between 1 and 2 times a week. I've also been going by how "healthy" the corals look in the tank.... everything **seems to be very happy from what I can tell.

Would your suggestions for stabilizing swings be to use an auto top off w/ your dosing chems in it and measure the chemicals 3 - 4 times a week? I really would like to get some automated monitoring going on but I'm still a few months away from purchasing something like that.

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I would simply recommend measuring alk a little more often than you do now until you can say you understand it at in finer detail. As you add corals make sure to do things that enhance stability, and if adding acros watch the alk like a hawk for a while. Acros are more demanding so watching other types of corals happiness may not always give a good indication of how acros will do. Whatever way you are dosing just try to keep it very steady. I use BRS peristaltic dosing pumps with BRS two part alk/ca. I don't have any experience dosing through ATO, but I think most often that is done with kalk wasser approach?

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Hmmm, I'm not sure... I've just seen people online that have said they mix their dosing stuff into their top off water. I don't know if that's a good idea or not so I wanted to get some first hand accounts from more experienced reefers than myself.

I'm going to pick up some true dosing pumps and do it the "right" way. I know if anything messes up with the ATO you will overdose the tank potentially and flood the floor.... that's a two fold problem I don't want especially the overdosing the tank part.

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For something that's going to be ongoing, I would say stay away from the ATO method. Too many variables and too much can go wrong. The only time I put anything in to the ATO water is when it's something that's a 1-off... For example, if I need to bump up my Magnesium, I'll add a few scoops of Magnesium Chloride into the ATO. Also, if you're adding stuff to the ATO, you may not want to put it directly into the ATO water, but use a ATO mixing cup or something. You can burn up your ATO pumps pretty quick adding a bunch of chemicals in high concentrations.

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Great advice Dan, thank you so much for pointing that out. I think I'm going to just do dosing pumps because that sounds reliable and not much room for error other than initial calculations on how much to dose.

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Great advice Dan, thank you so much for pointing that out. I think I'm going to just do dosing pumps because that sounds reliable and not much room for error other than initial calculations on how much to dose.

Just FYI, on my small 32 gallon I have to adjust my dosing times several times a week by +/- a second or two for dosing every two hours. That's on a 1.1 ml per minute doser. Currently I'm at 66 seconds every two hours. This is the only way I can keep the Alk stable. When a growth spurt happens I sometimes add as much as 6 seconds over three days.

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Thank you, you all are too helpful. This will definitely assist me in not making any mistakes. I haven't had any major screw ups with my aquariums but I'm only a couple of months in (since April).

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