Non Photosynthetic System Advice

Discussion in 'Soft Corals' started by Jaco Schoeman, 3 Nov 2009.

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hey guys...

    Okey, my system is primed and ready to go (well, cycling any way...;))

    After a lot of thought, and after buying that magazine from Lanzo I decided on going for a NPS (non photosynthetic) dominated setup.

    I have done plenty of research and I am getting the Grotech Phyto reactor soon. I also know about the obvious increase in nutrients and I have a VERY active DSB that I bought over from another reefer.

    Anyway, my question to you guys are two fold:

    1) Although the tank will be NPS "dominated" I would still like to keep some other softies with it. Would this be possible? The inmates I was thinking of for the NPS corals are green & blue mushrooms, Metallic Green Star Polyps and torch / hammer coral and Zoanthids.
    The reason for these coral is that they do grow in deeper water right? Thus they would not require the massive lighting of MH's, and they also filter feed, thus they would do fine. But do you get these corals living with suncorals, cauliflower and gorgonians in the wild?

    2) Then, I am struggling with deciding on what light to use. MH is absolutly unnessisary for these coral, so I am abviously considering T5's (and even LED) I know that Shrooms, Torches, Zoa's and MGSP do have some level of photosynthesis as they have zooxanthellae inside them, so would 2x 24W T5's in be sufficient for them, then I have the Actinics for the Non Photo corals.

    What are your thoughts guys please? Would you recon I go FULL NPS or partly, with the corals I described above.

    PS: One major reason I have for keeping shrooms is their water cleaning ability.
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    sounds like a great idea, and i know u have researched it alot, i think those lights are fine, maybe 1 10k, 1 20k and an actinic, 24w t5 would be cool and sufficienct for them.

    i have shrooms growing in the caves of my tank and spreading like mad
     
  4. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Sweet, thanks Dallas. So it is written then, and so it is done... ;)

    The zoa's as far as I know require the most light, so they will be placed at the very top right agains the water edge. The shrooms at the bottom and the NPS all over the show...

    I have also been reading various opinions about flow rates, that you might help me with...

    I know that Gorgonians require VERY strong directional flow, as they sit on the edge of rockwork where the tides push up. Thus your best bet would be placing it in front of a powerhead or nozzle in my case where it would have this type of flow.

    Then also your cauliflower (dendro) also requires quite strong flow, but variant type, yet not as strong as SPS.

    Then suncoral requires enough flow, but not as much that it would flatten the polyps.

    Are these summaries correct? As long as food gets transported to these corals, they should do fine right?

    I really do not want to increase flow rate in my tank, as I am already having quite good flow for softies.
     
  5. ed

    ed

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    most sofites will do fine under t5, but i;m bit worried the the euphyllia u plan to keep in low light, might not be as happy as can be, my euphyllia is directly under a 400w MH and thriving. the Zoanthids r found form deep waters till tidal pools, they'll do fine i believe and as to the shrooms, well i think u can drive over them and they will still thrive :).

    hope u enjoy your tank;)
     
  6. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Ed... Yes, from the "other" softies the euphyllia would propably require most light... Yet, I have read on many occassions that they actually also are found in water up to 20m deep, as the shallower water flow there are too strong. They can survive under low to high lighting levels.

    I will abviously just keep an eye on it though, and if I see it is not doing well, then I will interveine and add more low K lighting. ;)

    Thanks for the advice though...
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    how are u planing on feeding?
    continous live food feeding?
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Yip. Want to get a Phyto reactor. The mains reason for this is that the phyto repopulates itself in the reactor, thus allowing for me to actually go on holiday every now and then without having to worry about feeding... ;)

    Obviously I will also feed occational Cyclop-Eeze and even treat them to some Live Brineshrimp...

    Oh, and the other advantage of a NPS system that I forgot to mention is there will be VERY low algae as there will be minimum light. :slayer:
     
  9. ed

    ed

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    think if u want to keep the euphyllia, just place it closer to the surface, that should help.

    on the algae issue, lower light does not mean less algae, water quality will determine that. but it think u will have that under control
     
  10. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Yeah sure, doesn't help having no light but nutrients are at 1000 000ppm :p

    Will have to watch that too, but algae will really struggle to get a foothold without light.
     
  11. Slummies

    Slummies

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  12. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

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    This sounds like an awesome tank idea Jaco! Have always loved the idea of a NPS, so am really keen to see your tank in action. Some of the most intense colours come from non photosynthetic corals so your tank should be a blinder :p

    With regard to flow, I think most of them require medium to pretty high flow...I wouldnt however put any of them in direct line of pumps if they are going to be close in proximity as this may be a bit too strong and thus may not allow decent polyp extention.

    Lighting sounds fine as well for the zoa's, mushrooms etc. The idea of maybe keeping the torch higher up may be a good idea too but not totally necessary as I think T5's should give you ample light for it.
     
  13. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Thanks Slums... I have read this ;)

    I think it is gonna be a nice learning curve for me, and I do not know of any other NPS dominated setup on MASA, so I will share all my experiences with you guys as I go along...
     
  14. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    yeah Kunhardt... Color is mostly my inspiration on this... And I like a challenge. just on the flow;

    I have no powerheads in my tank, just a CLS, and the flow out of those nozzles aren't really the hectic flow that you'd get from a powerhead, instead I have used 5 outlets on my smallish tank. So I will check the gorgonian out and IF I see any ill effects, I'll move it away or closer what ever needs be done.
     
  15. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    How do you plan to keep the nutrients down with the amount of feeding your going to have to do?
     
  16. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Now there comes the tricky part Bob... :whistling:

    What I was thinking of doing is just going with the Old School and combine biological and mechanical... I will have plenty of LR, plenty mushrooms and do a 10-20% water change each week. I will then run my skimmer, carbon that I will replace frequently and then I also have a current active DSB that is about 60-70% my tank footprint.

    Other than that I have no idea, but my personal opinion is the old saying of: "the best solution to polution is dilution"... If all else fails, do a water change.

    What is your thought on this Bob?
     
  17. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Bob wouldnt a Zeovit system asist in keeping the nutrients at bay ?
     
  18. Fishy Steve

    Fishy Steve Hiden super user

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    Just stabbing in the dark but i think a zeo or brightwell system will work. I think at half doses though. Do non photosynthetic corals like slightly higher nutrients than their light loving cousins? If so then be carefull not to go too low. Wait for someone more experienced to agree or not.
     
  19. Soyuz Apollo

    Soyuz Apollo

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    Hi...that's great idea to keep NP...personally i think thay are the most beautyfull tanks but thay are very challanging and one must have lot of time to pay attention,feeding can be a bit tricky,cause it's easy to get high NO3 (in my opinion the vodka method could be use to control the system,also power skimmer,good,strong water movement,cause the NP in the nature are eating with movement 15 cm/s (most optimal)...thay dont need a strong light,but most of tham can live direct under MH,like Dendronepthya,Scleronepthya and NP gorgonian,though tubastrea likes more the shade.In all reefkeping it's not often we see a NP tanks and it's really bogus for me...im giving U a link from my other forum ,where U can find an example of NP 250l tank with two T5 39W...sorry it's not in English,but some of the photo can be seen on page 1,4,5,6,7,8...Greetings...Nano-Reef.pl - Forum - 250L z niefoto :)
     
  20. ed

    ed

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    i also think that softies in a nutrient poor system will suffer a bit as softies need more nutrients than sps.
     
  21. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Wow, thanks for the post all the way from France!!!

    I am sitting with a bit of a situation though wrt feeding. Basically there are two options I have.

    Option 1: Get a Phyto Reactor and controller, which would cost me about R13000 (probably about 1200Euro's) The advantage of this is a constant, and nice healthy suppky of live phyto plankton, which I can supplement with Cyclop-Eeze etc. The drawback to this is the cost of it. My brain just can not overcome the price, and justify it at all.

    Option 2: Get a dosing pump, and dose a water / dissolved mixture of Cyclop-Eeze, Tropic Marin Pro Coral Phyton and Zooton, frozen Mysis etc on an hourly or two hourly basis. The cost would be much less initially, but on the long run it would wost more than having a phyto population regenerating itsself. The major drawback to this is getting the food mixed, and then into the water column - without that water becoming a bomb. The only option I could think of was with timers, level switches, automatic dry feeders etc... The other option would have been freezing it all together, but how do I add a frozen block of food each hour while at work?

    What are your inputs in this guys? R13000 really is a lot of money to spend, and I know that it is propably the right way, but hell, it's not the cheapest way.:(
     
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