Keeping Soft Corals with LPS and SPS?

6 May 2007
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Vredehoek, Cape Town
First you must do a bit research here as it is not a good idea to mix the soft and the SPS as the soft corals wage a chemical warfare against SPS. The mix of SPS and LPS is okay but difficult to balance the correct water flow for each. The SPS require a high flow and the LPs in general like a gentler flow.

Picked this up from

Alan thanks, needs some more advice.

I have looked at a number of setups and quite a few of them have soft corals mixed with LPS and/or SPS. In most one type dominates.

What I understood from literature, if you run sufficient (a bit vague term) skimming with intermittent carbon filtering the war can be managed?

I intent to start with LPS only and allow them to establish them self over a six moths to a year period. Once they are growing well, I will add the softies, and hopefully they will then not overwhelm the LPS.

Not sure what I should do with sporadic growth of any softies from the live rock if it happens during the start-up?

Will only add one or two SPS right on top if I get everything stable?

PS. Do you classify anenamies as a soft coral or is it completely separate.
A completely mixed reef can be run, as long as there is sufficient water changes, filtration etc.
For optimum health of hard corals, i would recommend keeping softies to a bare minimum or nothing at all.
Seeing that you intend to only keep one or two sps, mixing softies and lps and sps will not be a problem.
You certainly can run the mixed tanks, but please be aware of the pitfalls so that you can combat them otherwise the water in a closed system can deteriorate very quickly.
Anemonies are not classified as corals and certainly come with their own set of rules and pitfalls, the major one being that they can move around the system if they are not happy. They will often get caught in power heads and you end up with nenny soup or they sting every thing in their paths.
Len hi there,

Ok firstly nenny's are separate and you shouldn't put them to close to any other inverts cause they obviously sting.

Start your tank with the LR and let it settle. Add the odd shroom and LPS. I'm not sure that you'd have a problem with chemical warfare especially with your current skimmer, filtration and what you planning with water changes.

On the SPS side we'll put them up higher up in the tank and near (not directly) to your closed loop returns. So if you create various "layers" in your tank IMHO you wouldn't have a problem.

Guys you must see the amount of work and planning Len has put into this tank, I honestly believe its going to be one of the really phenomenal tanks we are going to see in the future...
Sounds awsum, would love to see the system being put together step by step.
Still working on it, but will start a thread and as I still have a lot of questions.

Len you doing the right thing. Ask as many questions as you need to until you are satisfied that you have what you need. I see too many guy's rush into this hobby without doing the proper research. They spend their cash on pieces of equipment that become redundant, lose a lot of livestock and pack it all up because they think it's too difficult. All that's needed is a bit of research first ;)
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