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Old 07/12/2018, 02:27 AM   #1
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Tastee's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 189
Coral stocking suggestions

Hi all, I have my first reef tank and are at the point where I want to start adding more corals. I have finished stocking all the fish I want and just added a BTA which is the last mobile animal I plan to add. Now for the sessile ones. I am not intending to be too ambitious and are happy to stick with robust simpler corals. I also have no real preference between softies, LPS or SPS - would like a bit of a mix I guess.

My tank is a Red Sea Reefer 250, lighting is a 3 cluster MaxSpect RAZR 420R running a cycle with max (running a cycle at max 50% both channels), flow comes from the Torque DCT-4000 return pump (running 100%) and a MaxSpect Glamorca-GP03 wave maker (running a cycle with max 50%). I run a skimmer, Marine Pure balls, Polyfilter and currently Phosguard in a media bag. I use Aquaforest Reef salt and component 1+2+3+ dosing daily via Apex DOS units. I am currently also dosing 0.5 ml Phos-Correx daily as I am trying to get GHA under control and phosphates to a level I am happy with. RODI water only. The tank is now 8 months old.

SG 1.024, Ca ~450, Mg 1400-1500, PO4 currently 0.06 ppm, Ph 8.4, kH 8.4-9.4, temp 25 (rising to max 26.7 in summer when my chiller kicks in). NO3 zero based on my API kit so likely actually a little higher (others tested with Red Sea kits and Apex). So not completely stable yet but getting there.

Fishies are a Yellow Tang, Clownfish pair, Fire Goby pair, Orchid Dottyback, Six Line Wrasse (peaceful so far!) and a Lawnmower Blennie. All getting on very well with each other.

Inverts are a Coral Banded Shrimp, Sand Sifter Starfish, Nassarius snail, Hermit Crab and 4 Trochus snails. Also a BTA which is now hosting the Clowns.

Corals are a Neon Green Sinularia which is currently the dominant specimen, a brain coral, a few purple Zooanthids (Purple People Eaters I think), a few mushrooms, a small colony of Xenia which came from the LR and two Fungias which also came from LR. I have a plate coral which is nearly dead as it did not survive the GHA outbreak and my young tank.

BTW if you can help me identify my existing corals more correctly I would love that.

Aquascaping and design is certainly not my forte. I am very practical and inventive but not creative. I would love to hear some suggestions as to what corals I could consider adding and where. Please also feel free to suggest any changes to the aquascape - as I said this is not my forte and I wonít take any offence!

Love to hear any thoughts the community has and thanks in advance.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Last edited by Tastee; 07/12/2018 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 07/12/2018, 05:15 AM   #2
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Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Iíve had luck with candy cane corals and some euphillia like hammers in a young tank. Be careful about the zero nitrates and higher PO4.

Sent from Christopherís Pocket Pal.


DiveToday: It's not a suggestion. ;-)

Current Tank Info: 150 Gallon Mixed Reef
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Old 07/12/2018, 06:09 AM   #3
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You indicate that you would like a mixed tank.
Keep in mind that the conditions for SPS are very much different than LPS and softies.
Running a "mixed reef" is certainly possible, but is one of the most difficult due to the varied needs of the SPS versus others.

As for corals, I will throw my vote for Scolymias, not overly demanding of water, and likely one of the most vibrant colours available. The downside is price, but you easily see why.

As any Stoney, needs calcium at around 420, mag around 1300, Alk around 8.5.
All need some nitrate at 2-5 ppm or so, and phosphate around .02-.05 or they starve.

In the pic I think I see a Favia, (pics somewhat blurry blown up) if so it has sweeper tentacles which come out at night and will sting close corals so if you see the sweepers, give tins of room...... and a green mushroom

I see Green hair algae (sorry), you'll need to control this before adding anything more.
Long term phosphate down to .02-.04, maybe try a GFO, I use ROWA, brings it down fast.

Good luck

Last edited by Uncle99; 07/12/2018 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 07/12/2018, 08:20 AM   #4
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Location: North Carolina
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Corals/Fish choice as well as "aquascaping" are such a personal thing IMO..
Find what YOU like.. Research its needs to ensure YOU are able to meet them and enjoy..
YOU are all that matters here...

Being blunt and having fun
Straight up INTJ
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Old 07/13/2018, 01:48 AM   #5
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Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 189
Coral stocking suggestions

Thanks all.

~Uncle99, thanks for the SPS/LPS advice - sounds like a mix of softies, leathers and LPS would be a good option for me. Now I just need to figure out what is an LPS vs an SPS when I am in the LFS (-:

Iíll definitely take a look into Scolymias.

I am working on the GHA and it is slowly subsiding. My PO4 is currently 0.06-0.08 ppm and I am dosing 0.5 ml of Phos-Correx each night spread over several hours to help bring it down. When I started this the PO4 was > 0.16 ppm.

I am using a Red Sea Phosphate Pro test kit and strangely my tap water, my RODI water and my LFSís RODI water all tests at 0.08 ppm. My RODI TDS meter shows 0. I donít know if this is a test kit error or not. For now Iím sticking with the Phos-Correx daily for a few weeks to see how that helps. I am also running Phos-Guard in a media bag in the sump inlet but I am not sure it is doing much due to low flow. If I donít think Iím making headway I will probably buy a Hanna Ultra Low Phosphorus checker and see what that tells me.

I donít currently have a reactor and are a little pushed for space in the sump to fit one. I am thinking about changing my sump plumbing to hard plumbing, and if I do so I could hopefully fit a reactor and run it off the Chiller pump, and either run Phos-Guard or GFO in that as a longer term solution.

Here are some better pictures of the current corals. Please note these are a little older and GHA is nowhere as bad now. I assume that what I know as the Brain coral is the Favia. Interestingly I had to move it as the Torch started stinging it. I wasnít thinking it could be aggresive itself. From a quick google search it looks like this is a Dragon Soul Favia. I certainly see itís polyps extending well out every time I feed Mysis Shrimp. Within 10 mins it is filter feeding for all it is worth.

And the little Xenia colony that self-sowed.

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Last edited by Tastee; 07/13/2018 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 07/13/2018, 07:50 AM   #6
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So I see:
P1-Yelow tang, some mushrooms, and some palythoas, and two fire fish.
P2-I believe that's a torch (left) and Favia (right).
P3-Finger leather.
P4-Kinda looks like Xenia to me.

As for the torch, (if that's a correct assessment) it has stinger tenticles at night and packs a powerful sting to others so this coral give room (I give mine a 6 inch circle). Beside it, the Favia, same thing.
Be wary of corals with stingers in smaller tanks as they need room. I would just move either one.

IF your TDS meter is reading 0 (in fact I let mine go to 10 before changing out filters) then nothing more you can do fir water.

Check your food contents for phosphate, make sure you do not wash your hands with any soap if your going to put them in your tank, just water and dry.

Phosguard as a GFO only got me to about .1

Now I use ROWA, much more expensive but brings me down to undectable in a week.
For your size tank, 100g size would last 2 months ish.......and once to undectable.....take out the bag so you have some phosphate.....02-.04 for corals is great and nitrate 2-7ppm

Last edited by Uncle99; 07/13/2018 at 07:59 AM.
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