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Ill try to answer a couple of these.

The gunk you pulled out with your skimmer was also adding to your algae problem. So you might see that decline even more now.

1.19 a gallon is very expensive. An RO until would cost you just over 100 bucks, so it wouldn't take long to pay for itself. Heck you can get an RO/DI (much better than the grocery store) for under 200, and that will pay for itself in water and water changes in just a few weeks.

As for the outlet stores, I don't know if I have ever seen on of those around here. Just keep in mind they are only looking to take things out of the water for drinking...they don't have the same goal in water that you do. Just make sure you know what you are buying. Hopefully someone else here knows what your talking about and can offer advice.

The lights. Depending on the coral there can be such thing as too much light. Many of your mushrooms and such like a little bit lower lighting, however most do well even under intense lighting. Tubastrea for example does best with no lighting at all, but that is the exception to the rule. The only things that limit you on having too much lighting is "heat and Money" YOu could put 1000watt lights over a 30g tank, and though eventually the corals would probably get used to the light, and do well, the heat would wipe the tank out before you ever got started.

I forgot what size tank you have, but you mentioned adding a MH. Unless you have a really small tank an MH is always a good choice (IMHO) as it allows you to keep a wider variety of life than PC or VHO bulbs.

FWIW.

Dave
 
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