Tips

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  1. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    THE USE OF ANY OF THE INFORMATION BELOW IS STRICKLY AT YOUR OWN RISK, SO, MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE INFORMATION THOURGHLY BEFORE PROCEEDING TO USE IT.

    Tips for your Reef

    Part I

    Add Kalkwasser at night, using the drip method. This tends to give you a more stable pH with fewer fluctuations and if you have any, they will be much smaller. Do not add KW in large batches at one time. This can cause chemical reactions between the KW and the components of the dKH and result in the precipitation of calcium carbonate (a white powder).

    In the worst of all cases a calcium fall-out can occur, where the entire tank covers itself with a microscopic thin layer of calcium carbonate. If this happens to your tank you have a serious problem as this layer is really hard to remove, and coats everything in the aquarium.

    It will coat the inside of hoses, pumps and so on. Be real careful. This coating is so hard to remove that I know of hobbyists who had to take their tank down and clean all parts including their pumps and hoses and anything else installed with very acidified water just to get rid of the calcium coating. Avoid it. Be careful. Do not add calcium hydroxide powder directly to your tank. This is the real dangerous way of adding KW and is the one that most often leads to a calcium fall out.

    Calcium fall out is more likely to occur when you have a combination of a high dKH and add large amounts of KW all at once. Not only will the tank be cloudy but the ensuing mess is something you do not want to have to deal with. Drip KW and be safe.

    By adding the KW at night, you are also adding the KW when the Carbon dioxide levels in the tank are at their highest. This reduces them and prevents the low morning pH syndrome that you may otherwise experience or have experienced. The KW will neutralize most of the carbon dioxide and the end result will be that the pH of your tank will level off and not swing as much. Remember that you are trying to keep the pH at a morning low of 8.2 and a high of 8.4 to 8.6 in the evening.

    If due to the high calcium demand in your tank the addition of KW, whether in clear or milky solution, is not allowing you to keep the Calcium levels you wish, you may need to consider the use of another calcium additive in addition to KW, or instead of Kalkwasser. Recently, several two-part additives have come on the market that allow you to maintain both a high alkalinity and a high calcium level. This tends to promote coralline algae growth but increase the calcium demand even further.

    Carefully follow the instructions that come with these additives as they have to be added in a certain fashion. Read the instructions several times if needed so you understand how to deal with them. Note also that these two part additives will raise the specific gravity. Keep an eye on it. You should aim for a salinity of 35 to 36 ppt (parts per thousand). Salinity is not temperature dependent so it is an easier way to monitor whether your tank is running at the right level.

    You can also use green macro algae in the tank to filter the water. The preferred alga is Caulerpa prolifera. Make sure you have plenty and that you feed it algal nutrients so it does not die off. Several such products are on the market. Again you will need a seed batch of this alga. Caulerpa prolifera is much easier to get though than brown turf algae. You do not need a massive amount either. Just a few blades that are in good health and look nice and green and have no visible damage will do. Make sure you get the C. prolifera variety, the one with a non serrated wide and tall blade. This alga grows easily if you feed it with a macro-algae nutrient, that should contain iron. If the alga start to become to widespread you can take some out of the tank and either use it to make food out of and blend it with other food stuff items.

    Overskimming may have its drawbacks according to several authors, i.e. Dana Riddle, Noel Currey, John Walch, Helmut Debelius and others. More experiments are being undertaken to confirm this premise. If you use a real strong skimmers you may wish to increase the amount of additives you supplement your tank with, to ensure that all the nutrients, including iodine, are always present. By compensating in this manner you are reintroducing the needed nutrients and elements that may have been removed by skimming too forcefully. Usually this is done by using 150 to 200 percent of the recommended dose of the complete additive you are using. (be careful here and go slowly on the increases)

    The use of excessive amounts of carbon may lead to RTN (rapid tissue necrosis) or White Band Disease. When using carbon use smaller amounts and use them intermittently. Run a batch for a few hours and remove it. That should take care of improving your water quality. Remember that carbon will quickly remove iodine from the system. Note that after you have used carbon for such a short amount of time it is not spent. You can spread it out in a thin layer and let it dry and use it again. Before doing so the next time, rinse it with purified water first to remove any residual dirt or detritus. ( I do not personally recommend reuse of the carbon)

    Keep lots of free space between the live rock to promote vigorous water motion. Corals placed too close together inhibit water motion and water movement over the coral tissue and polyps. Good water motion allows the sloughing off of slime and detritus from the corals you have. This is especially important with SPS corals but applies to LPS corals too. Goniopora is a good example of the latter. Removing slime and detritus that may accumulate on the corals or between their tentacles prevents decay, which may lead to disease and tissue necrosis.

    SPS corals grow rapidly. This prevents light from reaching corals that are lower or suddenly shielded from the light source. This can lead to disease. Trim and frag (fragment) your SPS corals regularly so that this cannot happen. More and more speakers and authors are stressing the need for very high circulation and water motion within the tank. Figures of up to 20 times the tank content per hour have been recommended by some experts. This requires good pumps on one hand, and it also requires that you clean your pumps more regularly to prevent a slow down in their output.

    Do not overpopulate the tank. This inhibits water motion in all areas of the aquarium. The amount of rock used nowadays is far higher than what people should use. This is kind of a shift in thinking as a while back just about every author recommended large amounts of live rock. Mind you, if you are keeping LPS corals you do not really need to lower the amount of rock that much if at all. All you need to do is ensure that water flow is strong and reaches all areas of the tank and that dead spots are avoided. Powerhead pumps and irregular flow of water will achieve this.

    Use live sand and use a coarser grade. Reduce the amount of rock and increase the amount of live sand. Make sure it is "live" and has plenty of worms and so in it. one such mixture is 50 % live sand, 25 % crushed coral and 25 % crushed shells and place it directly on the bottom of the tank. Thickness is from 2 to 3 inches. (personal preference this is only one formulation)

    Use Reef Janitors (herbivor crabs) and use them at the rate of 1 per 2 to 2.5 gallons. Watch their growth. Get small ones to begin with and replace them or place them elsewhere when they get larger ( the sump is a good spot ). If you do the latter you will need to feed them. You can use red legged or blue legged ones. The key is to get real small ones and when they get larger and show signs of becoming aggressive, remove them.

    A few Astrea Snails in the tank are desirable. 1 per 5 gallons is IMO enough.

    Pay real close attention to how you position the animals in the tank to avoid nettling and stinging. Watch for those corals that have sweeper tentacles. Place them far enough apart so no stinging can occur during the night. You will rarely see sweeper tentacles during the day so you will need to look at what is happening in your tank at night. Use a red light or a flashlight covered with red acetate to see what is going on. Corals do not react to red light so you get a chance to really see what is happening in your tank and what creatures may be present that you were not aware of.

    Since SPS corals grow rapidly, leave plenty of space between the frags to allow for growth without inhibiting light and water motion. Watch growth rates and frag them when they get too large or start restricting lighting for what is underneath, cutting down on water current, or stinging adjacent corals.

    Since many corals need nutrients in the water, do not overskim and do not over use mechanical filtration. Overskimming and overmechanical filtration remove valualbe food stuff from the water.

    It is not a bad idea to add live plankton to your tank from time to time to ensure that enough food is available. In this respect, the higher the temperature you run your tank at the more you will need to feed, as higher temperatures promote higher rates of metabolism.

    When a problem occurs in the tank, deal with it immediately. Don't put it off or you may end up with more damage than you expected. In addition, the longer you wait the more difficult it may be to solve the problem. Not only may it become more difficult to deal with that one problem, but others may start as a result. This is the so-called downward spiral effect: when one thing goes wrong and you do not deal with it, more will go wrong and solving the problem becomes more and more difficult.

    Keep Nitrates (total nitrates) real low. The recommendation is now to keep the level below 5 ppm total or lower if possible.

    Acclimate your animals to both the water quality of your tank and to the lighting conditions over your aquarium.
    (CONT PART 2)
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
    jhnrb, Oct 7, 2005
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  2. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Tips Part 2

    USING THE INFORMATION BELOW IS AT YOUR OWN RISK AND YOU SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH ANY PROCEDURE PRIOR TO USING IT.

    Tips and Recommendations for your Reef Tank

    Part II

    If one or more of your SPS corals show signs of RTN, or White Band Disease as it is called by coral researchers, it is best to immediately deal with the situation. Cut about half an inch above the infected area with nips and remove the healthy parts. Discard the affected portions. Use epoxy or some other means to put the frags you have collected back in the tank, but first dip them in an iodine solution to remove whatever bacteria may be present on them.

    The non-affected frags will grow back and become healthy specimens again.

    An important fact to realize is that if RTN starts in your tank, you need to take a careful look at water currents and motion and at lighting. Maybe the water motion is not high enough. It is recommended to increase it to 20-25 times the content of your tank per hour. This may require additional pumps to achieve. Powerheads can do so but you may wish to submerse a stronger pump such as one of the Eheim types in an inconspicuous spot.

    Look at lighting too. Maybe it is not reaching all the corals.

    Bathing/dipping frags: Recommendations on how strong to make the iodine bath vary but 10 drops per gallon of saltwater used is generally accepted and dip for 3 to 5 minutes. Some authors suggest dipping for even longer. Add iodine to the tank as well. Double your normal dose to deal with bacteria in the tank itself. Because the iodines supplements sold differ so much (from 2 % solutions to 10 %) you may need to adjust for that concentration. The recommendation above is for the 10 percent one.

    If this happened to you you will need to take a real good look at your lighting and water circulation. Does it reach all corals, even the lower parts of it and is the water circulation strong enough to keep your corals clean of debris and detritus and especially mucus (as bacteria collect easily in the mucus). Enough water circulation will ensure that the large amount of mucus produced by corals, especially SPS ones, will be removed. Mucus loads itself with bacteria and that could account for the onset of rapid tissue necrosis or white band disease as it is now called in the scientific community.

    If you see diatoms grow on the skeleton of corals (LPS) you have too much silicate in the water and encrusting diatoms are the result. These grow upwards and can and will in many cases harm your corals by pushing the polyp out of their way resulting in the polyp tissue detaching from the coral skeleton. You need to intervene to remedy this by lowering the silicates in your tank to below 0.5 ppm. Tissue that recedes on corals is often the beginning of more serious problems that lead to the loss of specimens. Do not let it happen. Keep you silicate levels low and deal with encrusting diatoms immediately before they do any damage.

    Since Colt Corals release toxins a good place to put them is near the overflow so the toxins are removed from the tank and end up going through your skimmer. I have seen tanks with Cladiella all over the tank without ill effects to other corals. Keep it in mind though as a tip should you notice that other corals in your tank are not doing well, you have Colt coral, and cannot seem to find any other reason for your corals to look drab.

    In small aquariums you cannot place large fish, or fish that grow to large sizes, as this will create a problem both in terms of load and territorial behavior and possibly aggressiveness. Stick with small fish only. There are plenty to choose from.

    With less water motion in the tank the temperature has a tendency to rise. This increases the amount of undesirable bacteria and can lead to diseased corals, especially SPS types. If you wish to lower the temperature of your tank because it rises too high (>84 degrees F.) you can use blue icepacks. These can be obtained from many places usually your local large supermarket. Of course if the high temperature is a constant problem you may need to consider the addition of a chiller. Most people, in my experience, do not need chillers though.

    Use the purest water you can get to add to the tank or to use for KW additions or for any other mixture you prepare that ends up in the tank. Whatever pollution you do "not" put in the tank will "not" have to be removed later. Use some device to polish the water source you are relying on. If necessary use compounds to remove silicates.

    Keep the live rock off the sand if you can. This may prevent the build up of detritus and eventual production of hydrogen sulfide which harms corals and may lead to disease and losses. Clean all the rock you add to your tank thoroughly. Whatever you remove before adding the rock will not die off in the tank and will not pollute your water.

    If you set up a so-called algal scrubber make sure you use brown turf algae only.

    Read and read and read more. Understanding how fish and corals interact is important to the success of your tank. The more you know about the animals you own, or those you plan to buy, the more your chances of success are enhanced.

    Measure salinity as opposed to specific gravity. The former is not temperature dependent whereas the latter is. Aim for 35 to 36 ppt. Although we are used to measure with simple devices and measure the specific gravity, depending on the temperature, we could actually be far off the real salinity around the reefs of 35 ppt. I suggest you look into trying to measure ppt rather than s.g. Alternatively raise you s.g. to 1.026 and you will probably be closer to 35 ppt than you are now. Both Martin Moe's and S. Spotte's books have conversion charts that show how much salinity in ppt a specific gravity is equal to at a certain temperature. Adjust your s.g. to match what it should be to correspond to 35 ppt or even 36 ppt.

    Identification of corals in an aquarium (especially SPS ones) is very difficult because corals that have a particular shape in nature may look different in an aquarium due to the lighting and water motion changes that exist in our tanks, and due to the water chemistry that is totally different than the one around the natural reefs. This may make a coral that looks bushy and branched looked totally different in a tank, and vice versa. You can usually identify it when you first receive it because your supplier sends you what you ordered. After growth occurs though the shape of the coral may no longer correspond to what it should traditionally look like. It is, therefore, a good idea to keep a log of what is placed where in the tank so you can keep track of what you really have, even if the shape changes.

    Rapid Tissue Necrosis or White Band Disease spreads from one coral to another. If you notice it in your tank you must intervene immediately to prevent the spreading and the loss of more corals. one of the main problems you run into is usually a lack of enough water motion which leaves dirt, detritus and mucus on the corals (LPS and SPS). Make sure you increase currents make them multi directional not just laminar (one direction - one layer).

    Always be on the look out for predators in your tank, whether it be snails, worms, nudibranchs, or anything else that is parasitic. If you see anything suspicious get a second opinion to determine whether it should be removed from the tank.

    Hydroids are a pest and multiply rapidly. They can be siphoned out of the tank. At this stage it is not quite known what actually eats them according to G. Schiemer. They should, however, be removed or they will overgrow the tank.

    Ensure very high water turnovers within the aquarium. Some suggest tank turnover of 16 to 20 times per hour will keep the tank cleaner and the water quality higher but also prevent disease in many a case.

    Testing is the only way to know whether your tank's water meets the generally recommended water quality parameters. Equip yourself with the needed tests if you have not already done so. Remember too that the chemicals used to make these tests age and that tests are not chemically active any longer if they get too old, if the bottles are left open, if powders used have absorbed moisture and are caked, and so on. Make sure that they are giving you accurate results or you will not be able to gauge whether the water quality in your tank is correct.

    (CONT. PART 3)
     
    jhnrb, Oct 7, 2005
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    jhnrb

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    Tips Part 3

    USING ANY TIPS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU THOUGHLY UNDERSTAND ANY PROCEDURE OR TIP BEFORE YOU ATEMPT TO USE IT.

    Although you may think that corals with bright colors are healthy and doing well, this is not necessarily the case. Many corals, especially SPS ones, do not loose their color even if they are diseased. Sponges are notorious too for keeping their colors for a long time after they are actually dead and rotting away on the inside and polluting your water at the same time. Only careful observation and growth are signs that the coral is doing fine. You cannot make assumptions about what goes on in your tank. You either test and ascertain that all is ok or you carefully observe an animal and make sure it is healthy.

    Change the lighting conditions on your tank too rapidly and exposing the corals to it is not a good idea at all. You may end up with the bleaching phenomenon or the loss of zooxanthellae. When changing light or lighting conditions (or replacing bulbs) allow the corals to gradually adapt to the new intensity and spectrum and photosynthetically active radiation or photosynthetically useful radiation as some call it (PAR and PUR). Note that bleaching can occur both as a result of too much light too soon or not enough light for too long.

    Rapid growth is a definite sign of good health. This is especially so with SPS corals but also with LPS ones. LPS corals do not grow as fast as SPS ones though. Stimulating growth in LPS corals is done by running your tank at a higher temperature (say 80 F) and feeding them frequently and running real high intensity lighting (10 or more watts per gallon with the usual caution that if you increase the intensity you need to do so slowly. Note that watts/gallon is not a good measurement but one that is easy to understand. If you were to measure how much light the corals actually receive from this strong intensity you would find that it is probably only moderately above the recommended levels of 400 microEinsteins especially if the corals are not near the surface.

    The main reasons for stress that corals experience are: shipping and being "banged" around in bags, water quality that deteriorates during shipping, temperatures above 84 degrees Fahrenheit, going from the dark period of shipping to the very intense lighting exposure in the tank too rapidly.

    RTN, or rapid tissue necrosis (white band disease) can be treated as follows: prepare a mixture using saltwater at normal parameters and dose it to 15-20 mg/L of Chloramphenicol. After 24 hours perform a 100 percent water change and add medication again at the same dose and leave the coral in that water for another 24 hours. Aerate the vat or tank of course. You may find that it is not that easy to obtain Chloramphenicol as it has been taken off the market for human treatment. Veterinarians still have access to it though, and certain European and Asian countries do not have the same restrictions on it as the US does. Explain to your Vet. what exactly you are going to do with it, or he or she may not be willing to prescribe it for you.

    If you experience water quality that is out of the normal parameters in several areas it is usually much easier to bring the water back to where it needs to be be quality wise by performing large consecutive water changes, every day, until the parameters are back to normal. Note that when you change large amounts of water it needs to be tested carefully so it meets the generally accepted water quality parameters itself.

    Patience is a virtue you must culture when running reef tanks. There are no instant reefs. Gradually build up the load. This will avoid lots of problems. Before you add other animals make sure that all water quality parameters are in line and that no disease is present in the aquarium. The last thing you want to do is add lifeforms if the tank conditions are not optimized.

    Not all hermit crabs are diurnal. Some are nocturnal so you if you think that some of the ones you have are not "eating" away at your algae, you may actually have the type that feeds at night.

    All reefs are full of very small single cell animals called Foraminifera. These are housed within a chitin and calcareous shell. Some are easy to recognize: the white spiral-like small ones usually found on pieces of live rock.

    When new corals arrive at your house, and you remove them from the container in which they came, the stress from transportation has probably resulted in a large amount of mucus being produced. This should be removed by cleaning the coral in some tank water, outside the tank. Move the coral around in that water with some degree of force in the swirling or other motion you use so the mucus detaches.

    Water that is removed from a tank should never be added back to the tank. Hobbyists often ask this question: after I siphon out water to get rid of detritus on rocks and sand, can I filter the water and then add it back to the aquarium. The answer is an unqualified NO.

    Keeping an open mind for new techniques and new approaches is a requisite to success. If you remain stuck in the paradigm you are now in you will not be making progress. Be willing to look at alternatives and to adopt new methods. What worked for you for years may still be fine but there may just be a better way to do so. With an open mind approach you will be able to accept this fact. If you remain stuck in your belief systems (paradigms) you will not.

    Quarantining fish and corals is starting to be seen as more important than in the past. mainly because of the many new diseases that seem to have appeared around natural reefs. Consider setting up a quarantine or hospital tank and treat fish and corals there before addding them to your aquarium.

    This has probably been pointed out to you before but still hobbyists believe that some angels and some butterfly fish can safely be added to reef tanks. They cannot. Even the Pigmy angels can be a problem. Not all may harass your corals at first but, as they age, they become more inquisitive and may cause corals to remain closed while they "inspect" them to determine whether they are actually food material. I personally do not recommend them for reef tanks unless you are willing to take the risk.

    Brown turf algae can be found on rocks off the coastal areas of the Atlantic. Alternatively you can order it from companies that use algal scrubbers in their systems. A common turf algae is Ectocarpus sp. (E. breviarticulatus, E. subcorymbosus and so on). Turf scrubbers need to be trimmed back from time to time or they will start to trap food particles and detritus.

    Organisms and lifeforms that use light as an energy source are called autotrophic. If they cannot do so they are called heterotrophic. Autotrophs are primary producers and Heterotrophs are consumers.

    Six line wrasse remain small and eat bristle worms. They are also totally reef safe. Many hobbyists use them to control these unwanted pests. They are easy to obtain and not expensive.

    END
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
    jhnrb, Oct 7, 2005
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    jhnrb

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    Calcium Fall Out

    When mixing saltwater for marine aquariums, always fill your container with all the water you will need BEFORE adding the salt. A salt overdose can cause the calcium to precipitate, lowering pH to dangerous levels.
     
    jhnrb, Nov 4, 2005
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    jhnrb

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    How to calculate tank volumes

    FORMULA: The length (L) x the width (W) x the depth (D) in centimeters, divided by 1,000 will give you the volume in liters. to convert to gallons multiply by 0.22. live rock and other decor will displace the water and reduce the Volume by approximately 10 percent depending on your setup so make sure to allow for this.

    TANK SIZE VOLUME WEIGHT

    36 X 16 X 15 IN 36 GAL 300 LB.
    36 X 18 X 18 48 GAL 400 LB.
    38 X 18 X 18 54 GAL 450 LB.
    48 X 18 X 18 64 GAL 540 LB.
    48 X 24 X 18 86 GAL 710 LB.
    60 X 24 X 24 143 GAL 1191 LB.
    72 X 24 X 24 175 GAL 1455 LB.

    KEEP THE TOTAL WEIGHT OF A DISPLAY AQUARIUM IN MIND, ESPECIALLY IF THE TANK IS IN AN UPSTAIRS ROOM OR IN AN APARTMENT. MAKE SURE THE AQUARIUM IS SUPPORTED FIRMLY AND NOT ONLY BY ITS STAND-ITS NOT INCONSIDERABLE WEIGHT SHOULD BE DISTRIBUTED EVENLY OVER THE FLOOR JOISTS. IT SHOULD ALSO BE LEVEL IN ALL DIRECTIONS TO AVOID SETTING UP DANGEROUS STRESSES IN THE GLASS PANELS, WHICH COULD THEN SPLIT UNDER WATER PRESSURE FROM THE INSIDE.
     
    jhnrb, Nov 17, 2005
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    jhnrb

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    Fowlr

    In one variation on the fish only tank live rock is used instead of inert rockwork. This precludes the use of copper based medications because of the large populations of small invertebrate animals inhabiting the rock. However, as well as playing an important role in filtration live rock can provide a heathier environment for fish, because they can browse on the invertebrate life in the rock. By providing a more favorable environment you reduce the risk of having to use invertebrate toxic medications.
     
    jhnrb, Nov 28, 2005
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    jhnrb

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    What to put in your reef aquarium

    The animals found in the saltwater hobby are collected from all the different reef zones. One of the first things you should do is research the zone your animals come from and then try to replicate that particular environment in your reef tank. At the simplest level it makes good sense to keep only animals from one of these zones in any individual captive reef as you are then housing a selection of animals with the same requirements in terms of water movement, levels of lighting and substrate.
     
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    jhnrb

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    Fish Appreciate Quiet

    Provide your fish with a quiet life, it will do wonders for their well being. Make sure the tank is well protected from inquisitive little hands and teach children not to rush up to the tank or to tap the glass. Do not constantly have your hands in the tank making minor adjustments to the decor.
     
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    jhnrb

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    Murphy's law

    TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED WHEN KEEPING SALTWATER FISH.

    Always work on the worst possible scenario with saltwater fish. Famous last works include: "that fish will never get through there", "we never have power failures around here", and "I dont need any protection over my pump intakes because my anemone never moves". If it can happen in a saltwater aquarium it often will. By being a pessimist you can avert disaster. Finally Murphy's law, "IF I CAN HAPPEN IT WILL".
     
    jhnrb, Nov 28, 2005
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    Lighting Affects Color Of Your Animals

    The appearance of your animals depends upon the color of the lighting used in the aquarium. The color tone of any light source is classified in terms of its temperature and expressed in degrees Kelvin. A candle flame is a very warm light source with a low color temperature of abgout 1,800 K, wheras midday sunlight in the tropics is about 6,500 K. Lamps running at higher color temperatures (10,000 K, 14,000K and even up to 20,000 K and higher) give out a harsher, colder, bluer light as the color temperature increases. Warm lights make reds and yellows look good, whereas the colder lights give the fish a much paler rendition. However, it must be said that these are the colors you would acturally preceive in the sea, where only the blue end of the light spectrum penetrates to any great depth.

    -tungsten lamps are 2,500 - 3,000 K Warm light.
    -cool white flourescent are 4,000 K white.
    -normal daylight is 6,500 K.
    -A clear blue sky is 10,000 - 30,000 K.
     
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    Choosing Between Flourescent And Mh Lighting

    Flourescent lighting is really only suitable for tanks up to 18" deep, and metal halide lighting is essential for deeper reef aquariums. For general, soft coral based reefs up to 24" deep you can achieve good results with 150 watt mh bulbs. Results would be even better with 250 watt bulds. For reefs based around more light demanding corals such as acropora species, start with 250 watt bulbs, but consider 400 watt bulbs, especially if the depth of the tank is greater than 24 inches.
     
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    Coral Adjusment To Lighting Changes

    More exotic corals require much higher lighting levels than others. Be aware however that some corals can be adversely affected by sudden exposure to more powerful lighting. To make the transition less stressful for them suspend a mh pendant light further above the tank than it would ideally be, and gradually lower it to its final position over a period of several days. This will enable the tank inmates to become accustomed to the increase in light levels.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 9, 2005
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  13. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Advantage Of Using Atinic Bulbs

    Atinic bulbs give out light that peaks in the blue part of the spectrum (420nm). This light is particularly appreciated by invertebrates including corals. Actinic bulbs are often fitted in conjunction with whiter bulbs and switched on before (and switched off after) the white bulbs to simulate dawn and dusk lighting. Creating a smoother passage between bright light and darkness reduces the stress risk to the fish.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2006
    jhnrb, Dec 9, 2005
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  14. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Manage And Track Your Marine System With Software

    If you are looking for a software program for managing and archiving your marine system I would recommend the software I will be using. http://www.infinitysoft.net/ReefConPro/ windows based and for $40.00 you get unlimited upgrades. there is also a free software down load that dosnt do as much as the full verision. So check it out its called ReefCon Pro 1.6.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 9, 2005
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  15. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    How Many Bulbs

    How many bulbs do I need in a saltwater aquarium?

    For a reef aquarium use a minimum of four bulbs on tanks up to 15 inches wide (front to back). Larger tanks will need more bulbs. Florescents will not provide enough light for tanks more than 18 inches deep. If you are using metal halide units, one will illuminate a tank up to 39 inches wide. otherwise, calculate one lighting unit for every 24 inches of tank length.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 11, 2005
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  16. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    lighting effects

    If you are installing a number of different color temperature florescent bulbs in the hood of a fish only aquarium, put the actinic blue bulb at the back. White bulbs then light up the foreground of the display and the dimmer blue light gives a distance enhancing effect, helping to make the tank appear deeper front to back. In a reef aquarium, position the aticnic bulbs directly above corals that need enhanced levels of blue light.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2006
    jhnrb, Dec 11, 2005
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  17. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    initial lighting levels

    For the first one to two weeks of your reef aquarium's life light the tank for around six hours a day. At this point you do not need to utilize the full complement of lighting that your finished reef will need. in fact, it would be to your disadvantage to do so. Because your reef is vulnerable to outbreaks of pest algae during its early days. It makes sense to limit the amount of light available until you are ready to start stocking with photsynthetic organisms.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 11, 2005
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  18. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    Photoperiod

    As your reef starts to mature and you build up your stock of corals and other photosynthetic animals, gradually increase the photoperiod by half an hour to an hour, every four or five days, until you reach your desired day length. Keep a close watch for any signs of pest algae starting to take hold. If you see a problem with unwanted algae, adjust the lighting back by a couple of increments.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 11, 2005
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  19. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    R.o. Water

    Using R.O. water gets the aquarium off to a good start. For the reef aquarium, it is particularly important to make up your saltwater using freshwater containing as few nutrients as possible. It is best to exclude undesirable nutrients, including phosphates, nitrates and silicates, all of wihich can help fuel outbreaks of pest algae that can smother, overgrow or chemically affect the corals you want to keep. By limiting these form the very start, you will have a far better chance of keeping a reef without constantly battling against algae. At the very least pass domestic tap water through an aquarium nitrate removing resin. However, reverse osmosis (R.O.) filtered water is one of the easiest ways to obtain water of the quality required. You can treat water by passing it through your own R.O. unit. Alternatively most salwater aquatic dealers will have R.O. water for sale and will fill up your container for you.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 16, 2005
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  20. jhnrb

    jhnrb

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    The New Aquarium

    The new aquarium is a harsh environment. In the early days of a fish only aquarium the environment is relatively harsh. The biological filter will not be at peak capacity and therefore will be susceptible to overload. Naturally the inexperience of a beginner increases the psosibility of mistakes. Extra vigilance is requried at this time, as the combination of an immature tank and an inexperienced hobbyist can lead to a stressful environment, with the potential for disease outbreaks.
     
    jhnrb, Dec 16, 2005
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