Seem to have lost thread Recommend Soft corals

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I would like to keep corals (after reading a some material it seems that there is a case to be had for not having corals due to the extra supplement's for LPS and SPS so thought what about soft corals as a starting point . my question is once my tank is ready for occupants is it best to put fish in first and then corals or vice versa and if corals I have seen

 Blue Mushroom (Discosoma sp.)
Bright Red Mushroom (Discosoma sp.)
Toadstool Leather (Sarcophyton sp.)
Metallic Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia sp.)

Would I be ok as a beginner to introduce these (maybe not all as tank is 300L) got the wrong figure on previous posts the sump holds an extra 50 ltrs.. from what I can see they are easy enough to keep providing I don't stick them in front of the power head  lol

I would appreciate your views

when it comes to the SPS and LPS/Zoas would I be correct in thinking I would need to purchase a test kit for Ca and then dose the tank to keep the levels up .. what I don't understand is that if say you are wanting to achieve a reading of say 450 ppm and your tank is say 444 on some calculators it says you cannot use certain products to increase the level ??? which defeats the object surely???

How would you increase the level if your tank did not have sufficient Ca in it .. maybe someone could provide me with a chemistry level as I always thought the KH is measure of how much suspended Ca is in the tank and affects the alkalinity but what is GH ?


  • Graeme
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Reply #1

All the corals you listed as soft corals are fine for beginners.  Also add Zoas to that list - they do not have a calcium skeleton like LPS and SPS, so do not need the Ca, Kh and Mg monitored and topped up (although you are likely to want to add some LPS and/or SPS later, so it's a good idea to get used to monitoring and topping these up before you get them, as thye like stable parameters).

You can add fish or corals first.  Or both.  It's debatable as to which is better.  Corals don't add much to your bioload, as they don't take a lot of feeding (I don't target feed mine at all - they just get whatever the fish don't catch, the fish waste, plankton, etc.).  Fish will add to the bioload significantly, so you need to plan on adding one or two per month, to allow the bacteria to catch up and not create an ammonia spike, which will cause your fish and corals big problems. 

It's personal choice, but it's generally recommended to add some Clean Up Crew (CUC) first, then maybe a pair of clowns (depends of the type you want, and whether you plan on keeping an anemone once the tank is say 9-12 months old - ask us for more info), or a few Chromis, or one other fish.  Then you leave it a month to settle, and then add the next fish.  As you add more fish, you will want to add more CUC too to help process the additional food/waste. 

You can add corals as you go along too.  Start with a few mushrooms maybe (very easy to keep), then maybe some Green Star Polyps (GSP), etc.  Add a bit at a time, and you can see how you go, rather than add it all and find something is wrong and it all dies.

Re. chemistry lesson, have a read of this:
calcium and alkalinity | Successful Reef Keeping
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