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How should coral novices prepare to grow coral reefs?

How should coral novices prepare to grow corals? Assemble the sea water tank and design the filtration system

Choose a marine tank. The depth is generally 45-60cm most suitable. For novices, I think a 100-300L water tank is a more suitable size. It is also good to like a larger 300-600L water. The specific sizes, such as 60X50X45cm, 90X60X45cm, 120X60X60cm, 150X60X60cm, are all good sizes, and you can change them slightly according to your needs.

After selecting the master tank, you can select the base cabinet. Usually 90cm-100cm is best. It’s best not to be so high that you can see the tank while standing and looking up. Because many colors of coral come from fluorescence, the colors are different when viewed from different angles. The color is better when you look down slightly. Difficult to reach in.

Next, focus on how to design your filtration system. Seawater tanks usually do not use filter cartridges, waterfall filters and other commonly used fresh water filtration systems, but use sump filtration or back filtration. The two way are actually same effact, that one way is placed under the filter and the other way is placed on the back. Usually the bottom filter is more, because the volume of the back filter is usually limited, and the equipment that can be put into it is required to be small, but I have made a huge back filter, the effect is also very good, it takes up most of the space, so design according to your actual needs.

Next, focus on the filtration system.
Many people's concept of the filtration system is that a piece of white cotton can intercept fish feces floating in the water. In fact, the filtration system is a system that uses physical, chemical, and biological means to maintain the dynamic balance of nutrients in the system.

The most common system is the Berlin system, a processing system with a live rock (this concept will be explained in detail later) protein skimmer as the core. There is also the ZEOvit system. This system is a system developed by KZ. It is a system composed of zeolite and a series of potions with various functions. It is very complicated and more suitable for Professional master.

So is the more filtering the better? In fact, I think that more simpler the system, more better. When there is no problem with the water quality, try to use as few auxiliary methods as possible to reduce the links that may cause problems.

As for the sump/tank, the water in the main tank first flows from the overflow tank (the overflow tank can be divided into built-in overflow tank and backpack overflow tank. I personally like backpack overflow. When making the tank, it can be professional and reliable. Fish shop can help you to choose) overflow into the sewer pipe into the sump.

Usually the first frame is physical filtration, physical filtration is not necessary, I am too lazy to use it, but as a novice, I still recommend it.

The second compartment usually contains a protein skimmer. The protein skimmer is a type of physicochemical adsorption principle that uses the adsorption force generated by fine bubbles to remove nitrogen-containing organic matter (mainly protein) in the water body from the system, thereby reducing the N nutrition in the system Salt equipment. Protein skimmer is a very important piece of equipment.

Most people would recommend you to buy the expensive you can afford, but I think it is unecessary.I don’t think the effect will be much different whether it’s expensive or low price. The difference is that the treatment effect is basically only related to the saltwater flow rate. The advantage of imported protein separators or imported pumps is that there are fewer false labels and slower attenuation, so there is no need to be too obsessed with high-priced egg skimmers. AE, BM, and octopus are all very easy to use. Of course, there is nothing wrong with BK and KZ if you have a sufficient budget. It is very good to use the nominal treatment volume to be 2-4 times of your total water volume.

The SPS tank requires a lower nutrient salt and can take a higher multiple. Of course, you have enough confidence to control the nutrient salts. It is no problem to use a smaller skimmer. I only use twice as much.When designing this grid, you must pay attention to the working water level of the protein skimmer you choose. Many people will design the water level of this grid too high, which leads to the need to take something to pad the protein skimmer before it can be used.Then the water flows to the third, fourth, and fifth squares. Many people will set up an algae tank, or a thick sand layer, or UAS. I personally think that novices do not need to adjust these, just use Berlin honestly.


The last grid is the upper water grid. The water level in this grid must be the lowest of all liquid levels in the cylinder (because the water in other grids is gravity flow, the lower the height will be as you go to the back). This grid is mainly equipped with a water pump. The upper water pump pumps the water back to the main tank to complete the water circulation. Usually I think is ok that the nominal flow rate of the main pump is 3-8 times the total water volume.

You should paid attention to the design of water pumping to minimize the elbow and reduce the length of the pipe. Each 90-degree elbow will have a head loss of about 5%-10% (anyway, it is the loss of flow and impulse). In the case of ensuring that it can be fixed well, consider using a hose, or two 45-degree elbows instead of one 90-degree elbow.

Since the water between the master tank and the bottom tank and each compartment of the sump flows over through overflow, the water level is kept constant, so after the water evaporates, only the water level of this compartment will change, so only need to maintain this,then the grid water level and the salinity will be stable(the skimmer will break out of seawater, so the salinity is actually very slowly reduced). You can use manual addition, physical floats, electronic probes, etc. to supplement fresh water to make this grid water level Keep it constant. Usually, this grid will also install a water pump to supply water to the heating and cooling water machine, and the heating and cooling water machine control the temperature to be constant in the appropriate range (25-28 degrees is best).

There are also some equipment, such as the MINI filter with adsorption filter material or carbon source, which can be placed in any compartment. When it comes to adsorption filter material, I recommend the use of activated carbon, but it is not the adsorption of heavy metals as everyone call(the king of adsorbs), it adsorbs excessive organic pollutants, and the effect is excellent.

If you have ever raised fresh water, you will find that there is no biological filter in this aquarium, because the biological filtration step in the seawater aquarium is done by live rocks. Regarding live rocks, let’s wait. And if biological filter material is placed, due to the principle of inertial dust removal, particulate matter will be deposited in the filter area and cannot be removed by the filter cotton or egg skimmer, thereby accumulating nutrients, so the filter material is usually not placed

Lights. cause most of the energy source of corals is the symbiotic zooxanthellae for photosynthesis, and the beautiful colors of corals also need to be stimulated by appropriate light, so the choice of light is very important for coral tanks.
In natural Ocean, red light is easier to make coral attenuate, so the light of coral reefs is blue. Therefore, the light in our artificial environment usually uses blue light (light with higher color temperature). Theoretically and experimentally, it has long been proved that bluish light is not only good for color development, but also has Conducive to growth, so the bluish light is the better chiose.Noopsyche's lamps are very worth-cost,low price and highly recommended.

There are several main types of lights:

1. T5 fluorescent tube. The color rendering is good, and the coral growth is pretty good. The disadvantage is that the attenuation is relatively fast, and the lamp replacement cycle is the shortest, usually a year to replace the tube, this cost is relatively high, and because it is not a point light source, there is no sparkling wave. Can not simulate the sparkling effect of the real seabed, the viewing effect is not good;

2. HQI halogen lamp. The advantage is that the point light source has sparkling waves, and the 400W bulb can reach very strong light intensity, the color rendering is also good, and the cost of the lamp is the lowest among several kinds of lamps if the electricity bill is not included. The disadvantage is that it consumes relatively electricity, and it is very hot. Pay attention to the temperature. Don't touch the lamp bulb with your hands. It is very hot. And sometimes because the illumination angle is relatively single, the color of the light-receiving surface of the SPS is very good, the color of the backlight is too good, and the light is all at one point, the brightness is too strong, and children who don’t pay attention can easily hurt their eyes. ;

3. LED coral lights. It is now 2021, and the development of LED sea water lamps is more mature than two or three years ago. The advantages of LED coral lights are that the point light source has wave light, long life, slow attenuation, low heat generation and power consumption. Generally, the power of LED is only half of halogen or even less light intensity is enough, and LED coral lights are generally You can use the controller to finely adjust the light period curve, simulating sunrise and sunset, and even each individual color lamp bead curve can be adjusted individually. Generally it is full-spectrum, with better light color, such as noopsyche, Ai, kesil and so on.  I use noopsyche, which is relatively new,nice-quality and cost-effective.

4. Water Flow pump. Corals have high requirements for water flow, especially SPS type corals, which require medium or strong currents. If saltwater flow not large enough, it will have a great impact on the growth of corals. For those corals that require weak currents, if the currents are too strong, they will Death. Therefore, the proper water flow in a tank requires the selection and placement of the flow pump, and the placement of live rocks to create a suitable strong and weak flow zone.This need more experience, which can only be explored slowly.

In addition, the water flow is not only need strong and weak,but also to be messy enough.Rather than a constant stream of water blowing all the time. Therefore, current flow generation generally has a built-in frequency conversion program to produce variable water flow. It is also a good choice to set two flow pumps on both sides of the cylinder to blow, except that it is generally best to place a flow where the water flow in the tank is the weakest. The bottom corners are used to prevent the accumulation of garbage.

Then say something for SPS. If you mainly feed Soft coral or LPS, you don't need to read this section. The ions consumed by SPS without feeding or a small amount of feeding can be replenished by changing the water. If you raise a large amount of SPS, because SPS grows rapidly, it needs to absorb a large amount of calcium, magnesium, and carbonate to form its own bones, so the consumed ions need to be supplemented by ion addition equipment or adding it manually every day, but it's easy to get annoying after a long time.

There are two commonly used equipment.
1. The calcium reactor uses CO2 stored in a steel cylinder to dissolve the coral bones stored in the calcium reactor to replenish the calcium magnesium carbonate ions in the water body. This effect is the best but it is very troublesome to adjust. It is not recommended for novices.
2. Titration pump, or peristaltic pump, the titration pump will slowly drip calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium bicarbonate solution into the cylinder according to the amount you set, and sometimes potassium chloride or strontium chloride will be added dropwise if the requirement is high. Solution or trace element supplement.
The general process is like this. One week before using the titration pump, use the test agent to test calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity. After one week, test again how much each value has dropped, and then calculate the amount of solution to be dripped every day according to this value. After that, test once every week or every two weeks, and modify the titration according to the fluctuation of the value (so it is really troublesome to maintain SPS). For the solution configuration, you can configure a fixed concentration, or a saturated solution, just use a saturated solution. Pay attention to the effect of temperature on solubility.
For specific values, calcium is between 360-450ppm, magnesium is between 1100-1400ppm, and alkalinity is between 7-13dKH.

Alright, about how should coral novices prepare to grow corals and Assemble the sea water tank and design the filtration system,maybe you already know how to do.the next essay will share you how to growing/bring up saltwater which fit coral reefs.

If you have any questions, welcome to communicate!