Switching from Aquaforest back to FM

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    • great, thank you vinny.

      I will incorporate the following routine now

      M - RV
      T - CS
      W - CB and CE (not dosed simultaneously)
      T - CS
      F - RV
      S - CS and CE (not dosed simultaneously)
      S - CB
      Along with daily MinS (automated)

      Does the above look ok, or should I change anything.

      Is it possible to stop dosing Ultra Organics as it is often another thing to remember and I would prefer to keep things as simple as possible? or will my corals suffer as a result?

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    • Hi vinny.

      I have noticed coral colours starting to darken over the last week.

      I made 2 changes to my system. Bit of a schoolboy error, I should have made only 1 change, sorry.
      These changes were
      1. Started dosing 1/2 spoon CS x3 week
      2. Increased organics dose from 2ml to now 3.5ml daily.

      What do you suggest to bring things back inline?
    • Hi vinny

      I have cut dosing as advised.

      Colours seem to be returning, thank you.

      1. I have also recently added a large T. Maxima to the tank. Do I need to make any adjustments to my dosing schedule as a result?

      2. When is the best time to dose CS? Currently I dose in morning when lights are off. But is there a better time, e.g during photoperiod or sunset etc.
    • hi vinny,

      quick update, all corals seem to be happy and settled using my dosing regime.

      My clam however does not seem to like my tank, he does not settle or open his mantle up. Maybe I have too much flow for it. I will look to move it on to another reefer.

      I have removed all my substrate, slowly over a period of 3 weeks. The tank is now bare bottom. It looks nice for now, until it starts to get covered in coralline.

      I was thinking of adding larger substrate so it does not blow around as much, but I have been told it will be a bad idea as it will trap more detritus than the finer stuff.

      Do you know of any reef tanks that run bare bottom long term and look great?

      I have attached pic of reef as of today. Do you suggest I change or add anything to my dosages? I still cant seem to get that pastel look of colours that many other reefers achieve.

    • That's a massive improvement! Looks great!

      Check the clam for any pests or tears on the mantle. Does it still react when you move your hand over it?

      The pastel look is personal preference and is typically achieved by limiting the food available to SPS coral and reducing nutrients even further. Keep in mind that some corals may not transition well in further nutrient depleted water. From what I can see in the photo, your colors are looking healthy and not starved. Did you ever start dosing Ultra Organic?

      Increasing CE Blue and CE Red by 25% will help strengthen your colors some more. Dosing Organic will also help improve the coloration of your Pocillopora, Stylophora, and Seriatopora.

      How many hours are you running your peak lighting schedule?
      Have you noticed more consistent growth lately?

      It is definitely possible to run BB tanks for the long-term.

      If you do decide to add sand, 2-3mm grain size is best. We also suggest you use real coral sand and not the artificial sand because it tends to cause issues with the aquarium chemistry.
    • Hi vinny

      Thanks for your kind words and support.

      1. I don’t think the clam likes the amount of flow in the tank. No pests and mantle does react when out.

      2. I did dose organic for a very short spell but stopped as I kept forgetting. Should I start back up daily dosing? How much do you suggest? (I dose 0.4ml MinS daily)

      3. I am dosing 14ml CE all same x2 weekly. So should I leave green dose at 14ml and increase red and blue to 17ml each.

      4. I also started Coral sprint but stopped because I thought RV was feeding coral already. Should I start this back up also or will it further darken my corals?

      5. Peak lighting is 6 hours per day. With 3 hour ramp up and down. Growth (alk demand) has actually dropped massively since removal of crushed coral substrate. I don’t know why, perhaps the substrate was using it. I hope it will pick up again soon.
    • 2. Yes, please dose Organic 3.5ml daily.

      3. Green colors look good to me. You can maintain the current CE Green dose and increase only CE Red and Blue.

      4. RV and CS do feed corals, but in a different way. CS is a direct food source, whereas RV breaks down existing organics into a consumable food source. Start adding 50% of the recommended CS amount. Adding too much of this product will darken up colors. That's why it is best to start with low dosages and steadily increase until you see what your corals need.

      5. Increase the peak lighting to 7 hours and hold for 2 weeks, then increase again by 1 hour for a total of 8 hour peak period. The increase of lighting duration will very likely increase the ALK consumption so do test every week to make sure your KH level remains stable.
    • Hi vinny

      Some more advice please. I have kept my dosing as per your recommendations.

      My current levels
      Alk -7.3
      Mg- 1320
      No3 -5ppm
      Po4 -0.03ppm

      I use bactoballs but in all honesty I dont think they do anything. Once my last tub finishes I wont be buying any new ones

      Is there anyway to bring nitrate down to around 1-2ppm??

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    • Thank Vinny, It is because I have seen some stunning FM tanks with 1-2ppm of Nitrate, in which certain acro's display 2/3 different colours in the same animal as opposed to simple 1/2 colours.

      I do not dose any BAK in the system.

      Increasing bactoballs in my experience really does nothing at all.

      Do you suggest I start adding a carbon source or perhaps double the BRB to 28??
    • Hi vinny,

      Major Update.

      Everyhing in the tank was going well. But I kept finding lots of bite marks on my Acropora from AEFW. So after some research and lots of advice from my lfs. I removed all the acropora from my tank in an effort to starve and kill the worms once and for all.

      My acropora are all in a seperate quarantine tank. The acropora made up around 80-90% of my corals.

      I have stopped dosing CE since the removal as I was unsure of the dosages now for such small volume of corals. I added fresh new coral gravel to the tank, it was soaked and water-changed in RODI water weekly for 4 weeks prior to adding.

      I have continued dosage of all other products in the same amount.

      I have found my nutrients slowly creeping up. NO3 is now between 5-10ppm. Po4 - 0.06ppm. I do not think this is due to the Gravel, my theory is:

      1. There is not enough corals to feed off the nutrients bound up by RV and CB ? (is this correct) What Can I do in the interim to drop my nutrient levels whilst running minimal corals?

      2. If not what action should I take?

      3. Is there a better way to dose RV? I always add the desired level (approx 3/4 capsule) to container, then add tank water. Shut the lid and shake vigourously for 30 seconds and then add to display tank. But no matter how hard I try, 90% of the product is still powdered and just sits on the waters surface, where it eventually removed from the display via overflow. Is this way effective and or is there a better way?

      I have attached pic of tank in current state so you can get an idea. I also attach picture of RV floating on surface.
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    • Sorry to hear about the AEFW issue!
      Going forward, it always helps to have certain fishes which can help control AEFW populations. These can be six line wrasse, yellow coris wrasse, damselfish, pseudojuloides species, etc.

      1. Yes that's exactly what is happening now. A lack of coral to consume these available nutrients will result in an increase of overall nutrients. At that point, the skimmer and other remaining coral would be the ones helping with nutrient management. NO3 at 10ppm is nothing to worry about. Do slightly larger water changes and that will help maintain NO3 below 15ppm. Also, be sure to limit the amount of food being fed to the fish. At least until you get to put the acros back in your tank.

      2. No changes need to be made to current dosages.

      3. That's the best way to dose RV. Seeing a slight film or RV dust on the surface is normal and will dissipate after an hour.
    • Hi vinny

      Just a thought, now that I have less coral bio-mass. When I start restocking, they will also be frags so not the same bio-mass to consume nutrients. Do you suggest I use some Ultra Bio + Bak to help assist nutrient removal whilst the corals are small?

      I was thinking of these options:

      1. Stop RV and CB and MinS. Use Bak+Bio until the coral mass has increased sufficiently to manage nutrients (approx 1-2 months)
      2. Continue RV and CB but at half my current dose. With addition of Daily Bak + Bio, at Half dose to help maintain nutrients via both coral and bacteria. Stop MinS
      3. Use Bak + Bio + CB only, no RV.
      4. Use Bak + Bio + CB + MinS, No RV
      4. Change Nothing, Keep using RV, CB, MinS.

      I am unsure whether to continue or stop dosing MinS for now, as the nutrients are already high, so corals will not need the additional food from MinS until the nutrients drop. What do you suggest regarding MinS?