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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may sound a bit silly, but here it goes anyway. . .

I have a 90 gallon tank. It has been set up any running since mid May of this year. Other than my daughter dumping in a whole container of blood worms, nothing has gone awry with the tank. My water perameters are good and I test regularly for ph, nitrite, nitrate, and ammonia. I want to add some softies and mushrooms to the tank after I upgrade my lighting (a whole 'nother mess and group of decisions :rolleyes: ) I know I will also have to test for calcium and. . . (insert suggestion here ;) )

Now, I know that when a tank is "mature" it isn't the "age" of the tank that is in question, but rather whether or not the tank has gone through all of it's cycles and the water perameter are as constant as possible. The question I have is in regards to a calcium reactor (or the kalwasser drip too I guess). When I start dosing my tank (one way or the other) is there another "cycle" to watch for? How long after I start dosing and get constant readings should I wait before I add my first shrooms (or softies)?

Thanks in advance for all your help! :banana: :beer: :banana:
 

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I would say add the shrooms now and no dripping kalk or a calcium reactor will not cause a cycle they are also not needed in a shroom and softy tank:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Hmmmmm. . . then what is it that is kept in a reef that requires calcium?? Is it just the stoney corals? Sorry, these may sound like stupid questions, but I had been told (obviously misinformed) that in order to keep softies ( actually my source said "corals of any kind" :rolleyes: ) and shrooms I would need to have a CA reactor or drip kalk.

I guess I can stop being concerned about getting a calcium reactor and concentrate on my lighting. . . not to mention a timer. I am hoping to have the lights come slowly so that I can simulate daylight, so I am still researching the different lighting options. Hopefully I can get some shrooms and softies going in the near future. I'm just taking it slow for now. . . ;)
 

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I drip kalk just to get my corraline to cover my rocks and my clams need it and sps I have had shroom tanks for years and added nothing but water changes you do not need a reactor for them
you can always add Tropic marine bio calcium to keep levels up if ya want to but it really isnt needed also reef crystal salt has extra calcium I would concentrate on the lights like ya said:)
 

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hermatypic vs ahermatypic???

Well, actually...

All of the soft Octocorals (Nepthea, Sarcophytons, Sinularia, Lobophyton, etc., mat polyps and gorgonians, although prolly miniscule on Gorgonians as their structure is due to a protein called Gorgonin) use to some extent calcium and bicarbonate to form their aragonite spicules that give them their ability to take form. Even though by definition (with the exception of the blue stony octocoral Helioporacea) the octocorals are not hermatypic, they still have some hermatypic contribution to the immense biogeogenesis of the reef. It is usually a result of the death of specimens that they contribute their spicules to the calcium mass of the reef biotope, but specimens like Tubipora musica and sediment consolidating Stoloniferians actually contribute in real mass of formed calcium depositions. It would be a mistake to assume that just because these organisms don't form stony skeletons that they do not consume large quantities of Calcium from the water column. Spicule content on some Pacific reefs has been measured as high as 5.3 tons per acre, and although these Calcium sediments may not be incorporated immediately in all cases, they still contribute to the overall mass of the reef carbonate, and are incorporated indirectly over time.

If you want a lagoonal tank, your best bet will be to use a kalkreactor (neilssen modification) as it will provide both consistent top-off and salinity control along with a balanced Ca and alkalinity supplementation. Test your Ca and alk at least once a week, you will be able to tell if your specimens will require supplementation or not, and an actual kalkreactor may not be needed of you use a top-off system with a covered kalk reservoir, or go half plain water, half kalk if you're concerned about using too much Ca (this excess will ppt into the substrate if Ca is not used). You will need to supplement your Ca and alk if you have a decent population of octocorals.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you Tom. As always, you have provided a mountain of information. . . now, does anyone have a dictionary? :funny:

So, if I were to get shrooms for my tank everything would be OK, no calcium, but the corals need the calcium-- to varying extents, depending on their species. If I follow, then my plan of attack would be thus:

1. Upgrade lighting
2. Add shrooms if wanted
3. incorporate a Ca dosing system (or can I dose with the 2 stage B-ionic?)
4. and finally add softies

I don't need to worry about waiting to add the softies after I start adding Ca, right? Will there be any adverse affects to the shrooms if I introduce them to the tank before I start dosing, will there? :confused:
 

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MammaDuck said:


1. Upgrade lighting
2. Add shrooms if wanted
3. incorporate a Ca dosing system
4. and finally add softies

I don't need to worry about waiting to add the softies after I start adding Ca, right? Will there be any adverse affects to the shrooms if I introduce them to the tank before I start dosing, will there? :confused:
Sounds fairly reasonable, but as Tom stated, test your parameters before you start worrying about getting a kalk reactor or a ca reactor. 2 part additive may be more than sufficient for your system and a lot less hassle in the long run. Not all softies form spicules, only the ones that have retractable "polyps" like the Octocorals (Ie: toadstools, leathers and other corals with 8 "fingers" to thier polyps). Soft corals like Xenia, colts and such do not form spicules (at least not that I know of) and therefor don't require large amounts of calcium. Again, best thing to do is test for calcium and see what your tanks demands are for it. Regular water changes may be more than sufficient to replenish the needed calcium.

Dosing (or not dosing) calcium in any form will not have any significant effects on shrooms... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info Cyberchef! I was considering the 2 stage additive, but I will obtain the Ca test and see what my perameters are before I get too concerned about it. . .

Thanks again for holding my hand everyone! :beer:
 

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Hey Jenn,

i don't forsee any problems, as long as you're monitoring your pH with a probe/meter. If your alk starts to stay in the 12 to 14 range (dKh) then you may want to switch overm to just water for a while, but even then. your coralline algae will prolly take off and use a great deal of the Ca and alk to make biomass. Macroalgae that incorporate Ca in theior thalli will use Ca and alk as well (like Halimeda spp.) and will grow in proportion to the availability of ca and alk, lighting, and nitrogen compds. You may even find that you cannot supply enough over time with the kalkwasser when your speciments grow and the tank matures, and may need to increase evaporation from your tank with fans to meet the evaporative needs for the Ca supplementation.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tom, thank you for your input. While I still have your attention (maybe ;) ) I'd like to go a little off subject and talk about algea. As I mentioned the tank has been running for about 4, going on 5 months. I realize this is a short amount of time and according to my tests the tank has cycled-- ammonia and nitrate spike, all that jazz, but I never saw any algae-- diatom bloom or hair, or anything resembling algea.

I would suspect critters munching it, but all I have in the tank are 2 damsels, a tomatoe clown, and 1 semi-large, unidetified crab. No algae munchers, no algae either though. While my tank looks "clean" my rocks are still dismally bare. Would dosing with B-oinic promote corraline alge growth? And if so, is it a matter of time, or do I need to seed the tank as well?

Any thoughts?
 

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No Algae, we can't have this, I'll 2-day some to you so you won't feel left out... lol

Don't worry, not having algae is a good thing... :)

Both seeding and dosing would help to speed up the process of coraline growth. Eventually it will get going and once it does it will cover all it can reach... lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
hehehe. . . The only reason I have been lamenting the sad lack of algae growth is because I would like to get a tang someday. I know that there are somethings I could buy to feed them, but that's not the same as being able to graze all day.

On the other hand, lack of algae has been great for maintence purposes ;) So, I will leave things as they are and let nature take its course (algae-wise) and wait before I get that tang. From the sounds of it I will one day long for the algae-free days!
 

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MammaDuck said:
...the tank has cycled-- ammonia and nitrate spike, all that jazz, but I never saw any algae-- diatom bloom or hair, or anything resembling algea... ...While my tank looks "clean" my rocks are still dismally bare. Would dosing with B-oinic promote corraline alge growth?
You prolly have algal growth and don't realize it. Unless your rock is absolutely white, you have a fine growth of photosynthetic algae growing on the surface. It may help to have an urchin that will graze this layer of algae on the LR off to allow colonization by the coralline algae. If you have access to some small pieces of really WELL-covered coralline rock, it would help to introduce these to your tank (or just take a sand sample from a few folks, or the scrapings off the back wall or PH or any object that has coralline growing on it.

Diadema spp, (long spined black urchin) or Mesphillia sp., M. globulus I think is the Tuxedo urchin, both good candidates, although the Diadema will bulldoze, and as it gets large, it will be a potential hazzard when working in the tank.

2 part additives should be plenty for now, and will stimulate growth in the tank if the coralline is in the tank (it most likely is)

HTH
 

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MammaDuck said:
hehehe. . . The only reason I have been lamenting the sad lack of algae growth is because I would like to get a tang someday. I know that there are somethings I could buy to feed them, but that's not the same as being able to graze all day.

On the other hand, lack of algae has been great for maintence purposes ;) So, I will leave things as they are and let nature take its course (algae-wise) and wait before I get that tang. From the sounds of it I will one day long for the algae-free days!
LOL... Be glad that you don't have the algaes... :) Good sign that your doing things right and not getting a lot of excess nutrients in your water column.

As far as the tang goes, buy Nori... Any good chinese market will have it and most grocery stores carry it now as well. A lot cheaper than the stuff the LFS sells and just as good if not better... :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the nori tip. . . it's expensive through the LFS!

I had considered getting a black spined urchin (the first one Tom), but was concerned about what would happen when it got bigger-- the one I looked at was already pretty good sized, so I thought better of it. Would introducing some conch or some astrea snails do the same thing? I hadn't added any because I didn't want the lack of algae to cause a famine of sorts. . . :p
 

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Jenn dont let thes guys freak ya the reef crystals salt and if you dose the bionic is all you need for a great softy tank and shrooms
the lights will make a big difference:)
 

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MammaDuck said:
Thanks for the nori tip. . . it's expensive through the LFS!

I had considered getting a black spined urchin ... but was concerned about what would happen when it got bigger... ...Would introducing some conch or some astrea snails do the same thing?
although the molluscs would do a great job eating algae in general, they will not graze through the outer layer of material that is a matrix of algae, bacteria, and literally a thin porous layer of the aragonite rock itself. Urchins will graze through this layer, consuming some coralline and a very small amount of the rock, (heh, they poop this out as coarse sand...). The relatively clean path they leave behind is new real estate that coralline will be capable of competing for with the algae in the rock. Once the coralline gets a foothold, it can cover more of the rock from that point. This would most likely occur anyway with time, using the urchin will speed things up a bit for you. Many recommend not using an urchin in systems where they desire to maintain coralline coverage, but in the systems I maintain, purple coralline coverage (although not the more prevalent green from the wild) has gotten to the point that corallines have started developing pillars and whorls on the rock through the years, all the time with urchins grazing the tanks. Here is a pic of the coralline coverage (courtesy of Fishdaddy) from a few years back in one of the display tanks.
 

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btw, Mesphillia spp. prolly best for your particular system
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the info Tom. I will keep an eye out for that tuxedo urchin. I've always thought they were cool, and after a little rock rearranging/securing I should be able to get one. I don't want any lanslides to occur! :p

BTW, that tank shot is beautiful. Is it still up and running?
 

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MammaDuck said:
...BTW, that tank shot is beautiful. Is it still up and running?
Yes, and still as a lagoonal system, although it will be the last system moved from Wellford (hopefully this week), and has the oldest sandbed system in my group of systems (>6 years old). I may post a picture of it right before I take it down.

This is a pic of the Diadema in the prop system at work from the surface:
 

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