Food for thought!

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Mad_Max, 10 Jan 2011.

  1. Mad_Max

    Mad_Max

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    Hi,
    Some background.
    I have a Boyu TL550 with 2 BTA’s, 2 Clarki, 1 Bicolor Blenny, Zoas, pulsing xena, button’s, hairy mushrooms, 2 SPS, leather, Kenya tree, star polyps and some orange shrooms.
    I do a weekly water change of 5l and add buffer and some brightwell minerals. The tank has a huge DIY protein skimmer plus a DIY phosphate reactor.

    So I was away on holiday for 3 weeks and had a pleasant surprise when I gat back. My neighbor fed every second day and added RO top up to keep levels right.

    So 3 weeks no water change, but the corals went into overdrive. The zoa’s are looking better than ever and doubled in size. The SPS corals added 1cm in length, pulsing xena doubled in size. BTA’s look great. The only thing that looks as if it was taking strain is the shrooms. They look a bit wilted.

    Why? Are the weekly water changes not causing more stress, or could it be that the corals stressed and tried to multiply to ensure survival? Almost like BTA’s split when stressed?
     
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  3. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    :whistling:
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    a Boyu TL550 is about 120L. Correct?
    and 5L water change is actually not enough. Anyway.

    What actions was not performed by your neighbor? The water change and "add buffer and some brightwell minerals."
    Suggestion, try this, just do your water change for the next two weeks without the buffer and mnerals. Then try another two weeks where you do water change of between 10 and 15L. Better try 15L, but just ensure salinity is the same and temp as close as possible.

    The end results will be interesting.

    But this is what I actually think is what is going on.
    As you mention, the softies is taking a strain, and your SPS is OK. Might be that with every second day feeding that your DOC levels are lower. Meaning less junk in the water. Phosphates lower.
    Think about it in this way, SPS occurs high up on the reef, strong water with low detritus or dissolved organic compounds around. Softies, lower down with less flow and a lot of detritus raining down on them from above. So the softies prefer dirtier water, as in higher levels of phosphates, and the SPS like extremely low levels of phosphates. Switching phosphate reactor off, and the softies will recover, but SPS will suffer.
     
  5. Mad_Max

    Mad_Max Thread Starter

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    Only RO top up with buffer pre mixed. Nothing else. The feeding was done as usual. I only feed every 2nd day.

    I agree dirtier water would benefit the softies, but as mentioned the SPS's are looking great (polyp extensions +-5mm)
    Forgot to mention I had a electricity problem, so tank was dead for at least 12h.

    I guess I was very,very lucky.
     
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