Kessil

I NEED HELP FIGURING OUT WHY I CANT KEEP SPS

@TwinsReef I'm going to give you some old man advice here from someone that's been in the hobby for 25+ years. Simplicity is key when starting out and our tanks nowadays are far more complicated than they need to be. As Rich and Ben say, these tanks are build on a road of (coral) bones! Death is part of the hobby and acropora tend to be some of the most finicky corals we keep.

Take a look at some old ReefCentral tanks of the month from the early 2000s: https://reefkeeping.com/issues/2009-03/totm/index.php

The one I linked is Keith (ReefBum) Berkelhamer's tank way back in 2009. Look at how it's set up and how simple it is (minus his extra plumbing throughout his house that was to allow for farming corals).

Key factors are pure Berlin Method (read up on this if you're unfamiliar): strong and spread out light leaning towards the whiter spectrum (14-20k), LOTS of natural, porous live rock (1lb/gal), strong flow, big protein skimmer, stable temperature/salinity, 15% weekly water changes, activated carbon, calcium reactor, and kalkwasser. That's it.

No controllers, no ICP, no magic bottles, no compromise for LPS corals, very little technology, but LOTS of observation, patience, and absorbing everything he could off of books/experienced reefers. There's ways to solve things that don't exist much anymore (true live rock, metal halides, etc.) but there are solutions.
Thank you for your advice
 
Yea no trident way above my budget, but who knows maybe one day I'll manage to grow something out desireable enough to trade for one. So I test once a week min with salifert, and hannas (once i manage to acquire more reagents for them)
While I am not willing to spend outrageous amounts for our hobby, I have bought a lot stuff which I found useful. A trident was not part of it and I prefer hand-testing.
 
@TwinsReef I'm going to give you some old man advice here from someone that's been in the hobby for 25+ years. Simplicity is key when starting out and our tanks nowadays are far more complicated than they need to be. As Rich and Ben say, these tanks are build on a road of (coral) bones! Death is part of the hobby and acropora tend to be some of the most finicky corals we keep.

Take a look at some old ReefCentral tanks of the month from the early 2000s: https://reefkeeping.com/issues/2009-03/totm/index.php

The one I linked is Keith (ReefBum) Berkelhamer's tank way back in 2009. Look at how it's set up and how simple it is (minus his extra plumbing throughout his house that was to allow for farming corals).

Key factors are pure Berlin Method (read up on this if you're unfamiliar): strong and spread out light leaning towards the whiter spectrum (14-20k), LOTS of natural, porous live rock (1lb/gal), strong flow, big protein skimmer, stable temperature/salinity, 15% weekly water changes, activated carbon, calcium reactor, and kalkwasser. That's it.

No controllers, no ICP, no magic bottles, no compromise for LPS corals, very little technology, but LOTS of observation, patience, and absorbing everything he could off of books/experienced reefers. There's ways to solve things that don't exist much anymore (true live rock, metal halides, etc.) but there are solutions.
Great looking tank indeed. No wonder he has his own show :). Looks like one problem is the mixed reef setup which many enjoy. This (over) complicates things potentially.

Still, the weekly water changes seem to be often disputed, such as Paul Baldessano's 40-year-old tank, and the use of activated carbon, Kenny commented on not using this on Facebook yesterday due to tang impact.

I often wonder what simplicity in our hobby really means, as Keith’s setup back in 2009 does not really look simple to me.
 
Haha. I did not say I dose manually :). Testing seems to be too important to outsource. I rather test less frequent, or pay for testing.
I use to think like you. It’s hella money. Until things start growing and you start getting lazy. Then you start looking for flaws in yourself and reef keeping. One of them is constantly in alk. Technically it needs to be tested daily for a full blown sps system. Then your like eh. A G ain’t that bad when you’ve got 10k in corals.
 
Great looking tank indeed. No wonder he has his own show :). Looks like one problem is the mixed reef setup which many enjoy. This (over) complicates things potentially.

Still, the weekly water changes seem to be often disputed, such as Paul Baldessano's 40-year-old tank, and the use of activated carbon, Kenny commented on not using this on Facebook yesterday due to tang impact.

I often wonder what simplicity in our hobby really means, as Keith’s setup back in 2009 does not really look simple to me.
Granted Paul doesn't keep sensitive critters for the most part, so I wouldn't take his style to be conducive to growing stony corals.
 
Great looking tank indeed. No wonder he has his own show :). Looks like one problem is the mixed reef setup which many enjoy. This (over) complicates things potentially.

Still, the weekly water changes seem to be often disputed, such as Paul Baldessano's 40-year-old tank, and the use of activated carbon, Kenny commented on not using this on Facebook yesterday due to tang impact.

I often wonder what simplicity in our hobby really means, as Keith’s setup back in 2009 does not really look simple to me.
There's two major types of carbon: lignite and bituminous. Lignite can be more of a troublemaker typically due to the amount of fines/dust it has out of the box and when used in high flow systems (this was at Disney World awhile ago) : https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/15222055.2011.635781

The other thing is running it passively in a bag/low flow reactor vs. in a high flow reactor tumbling and grinding away like a biopellet. Either way you definitely need to rinse it until clear prior to use, even when using a hard extruded/pelletized carbon like ROX 0.8. Do not let it tumble or grind. If you're paranoid, have the outlet go into a filter sock or your skimmer intake.
 
I use to think like you. It’s hella money. Until things start growing and you start getting lazy. Then you start looking for flaws in yourself and reef keeping. One of them is constantly in alk. Technically it needs to be tested daily for a full blown sps system. Then your like eh. A G ain’t that bad when you’ve got 10k in corals.

It's funny how the folks that are doing the most testing and tinkering are the ones that struggle the most, while folks with healthy growing reefs often seem to do very little.

Causation? Correlation? Who can say. :)
 
It's funny how the folks that are doing the most testing and tinkering are the ones that struggle the most, while folks with healthy growing reefs often seem to do very little.

Causation? Correlation? Who can say. :)
I do not believe anyone with success does very little. They say they do not, and then they start explaining all the things they do and it sounds like a long list. Automating testing is not doing very little. In fact I find it more complicated. IMO the difference between successful reefers vs unsuccessful is that they invest a ton of time on things that matter vs less impactful tasks or concerns. Identifying these seems often like learning dark magic.
 
I use to think like you. It’s hella money. Until things start growing and you start getting lazy. Then you start looking for flaws in yourself and reef keeping. One of them is constantly in alk. Technically it needs to be tested daily for a full blown sps system. Then your like eh. A G ain’t that bad when you’ve got 10k in corals.
That trident alk tester is accurate then? Hopefully no need to get this serviced :)
 
It's funny how the folks that are doing the most testing and tinkering are the ones that struggle the most, while folks with healthy growing reefs often seem to do very little.

Causation? Correlation? Who can say. :)
I think you are leaving out a lot of confounders -years in hobby, size of tank, knowledge of biology and chemistry, use of live vs dead rock, etc etc -

More testing could be inverse to healthy as there is actually something wrong that someone is trying to figure it out.

Also playing devils advocate -what defines healthy reef? Not being facetious truly curious in that definition!

I do think that some may make changes way too fast vs slowly compounding the issue whatever it may be. I have done that in the past. Now it’s oh-my alk is hovering around 7.0 -let’s see how the tank does with that (it’s fine)

Unless something needs immediate remediation -like PH drops to 7.6 or alk spikes to 13 - I see where it goes.
 
@Alexander1312 all these toys are all aids. In time you’ll figure out what aids help you and what aids were just a waste of money. I’m on my third auto tester. I’ve tried Ghl, khg, now on trident. I’ve been on the trident for a few years. It’s the least fussy so far. But I don’t go by numbers. Just trends. I think if I switch. I would try alkatronic next. I hear good things.
Btw. Testing is one of my weaknesses. I never do it. And I understand that. Thus the auto tester helps me. Everyone is different.
 
@Alexander1312 all these toys are all aids. In time you’ll figure out what aids help you and what aids were just a waste of money. I’m on my third auto tester. I’ve tried Ghl, khg, now on trident. I’ve been on the trident for a few years. It’s the least fussy so far. But I don’t go by numbers. Just trends. I think if I switch. I would try alkatronic next. I hear good things.
Btw. Testing is one of my weaknesses. I never do it. And I understand that. Thus the auto tester helps me. Everyone is different.
Understand the trend vs actual numbers approach for Alk. I still find it fascinating that we are ok that for this much money these testers are not really accurate. And the reviews for Alkatronic and Mastertronic seem concerning. Hopefully more quality innovation in this area in the future.
 
@Alexander1312 all these toys are all aids. In time you’ll figure out what aids help you and what aids were just a waste of money. I’m on my third auto tester. I’ve tried Ghl, khg, now on trident. I’ve been on the trident for a few years. It’s the least fussy so far. But I don’t go by numbers. Just trends. I think if I switch. I would try alkatronic next. I hear good things.
Btw. Testing is one of my weaknesses. I never do it. And I understand that. Thus the auto tester helps me. Everyone is different.
With you on this -I can handle about 1 test a week (phosphate) -no way would I be testing alk, ca, mg on a daily basis. Too much!
 
Understand the trend vs actual numbers approach for Alk. I still find it fascinating that we are ok that for this much money these testers are not really accurate. And the reviews for Alkatronic and Mastertronic seem concerning. Hopefully more quality innovation in this area in the future.
They are two different things. Alkatronic has good reviews when I researched it. Mastertronic sucks. Bad programming.
Other companies are coming out with auto testers. Hopefully it will get better and cheaper. They aren’t very complicated. Just a drop counter and electronic eye.
 
That trident alk tester is accurate then? Hopefully no need to get this serviced :)
It is relatively accurate if you calibrate accordingly. The bright red thing you see in the pic is the actual optic tester -it gets dirty over time-suppose to clean it every 6 months with a cotton swab. Of course on the refurbished one I have I can’t get the screws
Off-should be ok though if you calibrate every two months as you switch out the B|C reagents.
 

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