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Keeping SPS

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Hi all, I am currently keeping 2ft IOS tank and I am upgrading to a bigger tank with sump. I would like to keep SPS or mixed reef.


A few questions that I have

1) To keep SPS, do I have to follow certain system such as zeovit/fauna marine system?

2) How do you keep your nutrients low? (Using Rowaphos/Algae Scrubber?)

3) How often do you water change for a big tank? I am currently doing weekly water change for my IOS tank

4) Any tips for keeping SPS/mixed reef?





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Currently running a 2ft (60cm) IOS. Hope I do a fair bit of justice in addressing some of your reefing questions :D

1. SPSs don't necessarily have to follow high-tech/demanding/costly systems. Simply put, just keep your nitrates and phos's at a tolerable level. Assuming that you want a mixed reef, with LPSs and SPSs, then keep the nitrates and phosphates at an acceptable level. Get test-kits like Hanna for the ULR... or if you're on a budget (like me) then get Salifert's for a start and work your way up the test-kit. Personally, I run a chaeto reactor (DIY) and a Bubble Magus QQ2 skimmer that's just hanging at a dead spot in the tank! I do put a bag of carbon and a small bag of GFO I DIY using a tea-sock in the overflow. That being said, I change my filter-floss almost every other day, since I target-feed RedSea's AB+ as well as Polyp Lab's ReefRoids. 

2. A mature tank itself is a good nutrient export system. But if you don't have that luxury, then ensure that you keep your beneficial bacteria up either by introducing them after your water changes (Fritz 9, Nite-out II, Dr Tims etc.), and also control the harmful ones. You can try wet-skimming (i.e., skimming more/aggressively for a lighter skimmate), or clean the filter-floss/sock regularly so the food you feed doesn't end up becoming nutrients for the pest algae. It is good to note that light, and water parameters play an essential part too, besides keeping the water at a pristine condition for your corals.   

3. It depends ultimately. Reefers here advise once a week for IOS, but I think a sump tank can go well with 1 to 2 weeks without water change, assuming you keep checking your parameters (Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, Calc, Mags, KHs, Phos etc.) A good rule I follow is, if I tend to feed heaviler, then maybe doing a bit of water change will help bring down the harmful stuff. But it's again worth to note, changing water, in a tank with substrate can become dangerous if you don't stir your sand-bed... The list goes on, but plan ahead and it should be okay! 

4. Chase consistency, don't chase numbers. I learnt this the hard way, when I underdose and overdose back in the past. Being 4 months into this hobby had opened my eyes to a lot of stuff! Ultimately, I owe thanks to other senior reefers in this forum for guiding on the right way to maintain a reef tank. You can always check out YouTube or other medias for great advices, but find one that works for you and stick to it. My advice at the end of this is, if the stuff in your tank is working, try not to touch or fiddle with it. Often times, getting TOO involved into your corals, such as finding placement etc... and shifting it around, tends to annoy and piss the hell out of them. Plan ahead... place them in... then watch them grow! 

All the best in you mixed reef adventures! :D

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