View Full Version : how should I bring out the color of my new acro

10-25-2006, 9:18 PM
it was baby blue in cappacino bay, not bleached, it was just one of the most amazing colors of acro I had ever seen. a light blue body with darker blue tips.

they told me I should put it as close to the light as possible, which I have done, its probably 8-10" from a 250w halide.

though it looks healthy enough; its body has taken that typical brownish purple color acro can get. tips are still bright blue though.

I also got a green acro, with a vibrant green color. though it is green, it is not as vibrant as it was.

what might be causing them to not be showing their fullest colors? Im dosing with 2 part calcium and alk alternating daily. parameters all seem fine(magnesium is the only unknown, test kit is in the mail however)

any thoughts what I might be able to add to give them that last push from nice to WOW?

the green one has dulled a bit, this was right when it got home and still had its dark green color to it.

this is still what the blue one looks like more or less

10-25-2006, 9:32 PM
test for mag when you get your kit, make sure its up around 1300, if its low, only add about 100ppm per day. The only other thing that I really know is to make sure your blasting them with flow. I have a "brownout" acro and I have a scwd wave deal hitting it right on, and its starting to turn purpleish at the tips.

10-25-2006, 9:32 PM
tell us more about your system... filtration, lighting schedule, fish bioload, etc.

10-25-2006, 9:33 PM
...also your water parameters.

10-25-2006, 10:25 PM
The only other thing that I really know is to make sure your blasting them with flow.

Yes, I agree with Lee. Blast em with the flow from a spray paint can that preferably has green and blue hue in it. Make sure you shake the can first for about two minutes. :)

10-25-2006, 11:01 PM
75g, 2x250w halides. parameters are pretty standard, alk is around 4.5 calcium is around 375-400. not positive on it at this moment, they were holding steady so I havent tested recently.

I have an octopus needle wheel skimmer(nw150), temp is around 80degrees, 3 fish; powder blue tang, lawnmower blenny, clown fish. lots of snails. tons of flow thanks to a power head and 2 stream mod maxijets pushing about 1200gph each. I dont dose anything but alk and cal. I dont feel anything specific for the acro. I dont have the acro in direct flow because... it seemed like itd be too much; so it just gets the passive flow. do I really want water blasting at it?

10-26-2006, 12:33 AM
Lights......Cap uses 1000w lights. your 250's can't compete with that. Color of aros is basically "a suntan" on us. The color of an acro is based on the light and the color protects it. Like a suntan!!

That's a quick synopsis.

Let it color what it wants to. I have frags from Simon's tank in mine and it is from mother colony. Mine is now a completely different color than the original colony. Because my lights are different than Simon's


10-26-2006, 6:39 AM
i would suggest making the water as clear as possible. run carbon, and if you have the desire, ozone. This will clear the water of elements that will "filter" the water. Also, if you have glass between the light and the water, keep it clean.

10-26-2006, 6:55 AM
Phophates need to be 0 - I'm not talking "maybe 0 because of the test kit", but < 0.1 from a colorimeter. Algae growth will tell you a lot - if you have completely bare rocks (with only coraline algae), then this may be the case. Knowing that they are "fine" won't be good enough for this one...

You'll need a lot of light (> 300 PAR), good flow (I'm not sure 2,400gph in a 75g tank is enough; I've currently got 16,000gph in my 250g tank, and not sure it's enough...), and a lot higher alkalinity (> 10dKh). You'll need a little bit of nitrate in the system - 0-2ppm; usually created by the fish.

You may want to consider getting a small phosphate reactor and adding some Rowaphos or similar.

Lastly, sometimes it just takes 3-6 months for the coral to stabilize in your tank...

10-26-2006, 8:47 AM
Ill check the phosphates.

I cant imagine more flow; theres also the sump return, for an extra 500gph or so; but I dont think thats what your talking about. as it stands I tend to dig little holes in my sand bed in random places where the flow happens to deflect down. that had always been my problem. could never keep the sand bed where it belonged.

how should I raise the alkalinity? if I raise the alk, wont the calcium drop?

10-26-2006, 9:19 AM
how should I raise the alkalinity? if I raise the alk, wont the calcium drop?

Slowly, with baking soda or a two part solution.

Check out the Reef Chemistry Calculator ( I personally use Kent Turbo Calcium and baking soda to keep my stuff in check. Once it's all in balance, I check every weekend, and adjust which ever one needs to adjusted more. Keep in mind that I do have Ca and Alk reactors, so this may not be enough, depending on demand.

Shoot for a balanced calcium / alk ratio. I use 425ppm Ca / 12 dKh. Slowly drip or add any alk buffer over time- several hours or a full day if you're adding a lot.

10-26-2006, 9:30 AM
ok, Ill drip some baking soda in and see what happens.

I have and been using kent Tech.CB calcium buffer; which is 2 parts.

also kent reef carbonate. says it raises carbonate alk.

are these 2 doing what I want them to be doing?

10-26-2006, 9:40 AM
Yes, they'd all do it, but you'll get things out of whack easily using that many different things at once. I'd recommend sticking with only the 2-part buffer, and then using baking soda and that web page to figure out how much you need.

10-26-2006, 9:45 AM
ok, will do. only question then, which product do I pick on the calculator for the calcium?

kent turbocalcium?

10-26-2006, 9:49 AM
You calculate Ca vs Alk independant of each other on the calculator. I'm not sure what you have for Ca, so you can either not calculate it, use only half of the the two-part solution, or pick up something that will work. Check the drop down lists for your options...

10-26-2006, 10:21 AM
well testing is done, wow was I off. looks like 300ppm calcium, 2 alk, and .3 phosphates(whats this from? havent noted any unussual algea growth; actually been pretty good...)

with these numbers in the calculator, they dont agree... it says balanced calc alk is 3.2mg alk for 425calcium. or 600calcium for 12alk

am I missing something?

10-26-2006, 10:28 AM
Oops! I was off!

Balanced calcium is 446 ppm at 4.28 meq/l

4.28 meq/l = 12dKH

Some people say you can go a little lower on the alkalinity -I've heard as low as 9dKH, which gives a 425 ppm Calcium. Try both and see what works best for you.

10-26-2006, 10:33 AM
alright, last question; ok 2 questions.

1, which calcium additive do you suggest. if Im going to buy a new one, may as well get a reccomendation since their all the same to me at this point.

2. the calculator says to add 11tsps of baking soda(over a few days I assume); and on the calcium side, it wants me to add some amount of calcium additive. do I add both of these at the same time? seperate bowls or combine a small bowl of water with all the additive and all the baking soda and drip that solution in?

10-26-2006, 10:33 AM
ok lied again, whats with the .3 phosphates, whered they come from? I use RO/DI water.

10-26-2006, 10:41 AM
The only source of phosphates are food and the RO/DI water. Test your RO/DI water - if that's 0, the only thing left is your food.

How often are you feeding?

10-26-2006, 10:43 AM
never used to feed more than 2 times a week. but in the last 2 days, been feeding twice a day. my powder blue tang is new and has some signs of ich, wo Ive been feeding 2 times a day with garlic soaked pellets and nori.

10-26-2006, 11:07 AM
Over feeding,old carbon, RO/DI not performing and some additives.

10-26-2006, 11:09 AM
not running any carbon; guess I should be...

10-26-2006, 11:59 AM
Wouldn't hurt....

10-26-2006, 12:01 PM
alright, got some in there.

any suggestions on which calcium additive gives good results? and should I be mixxing the calcium and alk before adding or let them mingle in the tank?

10-26-2006, 12:13 PM
never mix both parts together, do part one first wait a lil bit for it all to mix then add part 2

10-26-2006, 12:15 PM
alright, Im dripping in the baking soda very slowly, gonna get whatever calcium additive I can find at the store thats on the list and add that later today. guessing Ill do a little bit of baking soda and a little bit of calcium each day for a week or 2.

10-26-2006, 12:22 PM
well its all relative to your parameters to how much you should add. A good calcium that I used befor I started to make my own was Seachems Reef Complete, or reef advantage.

10-26-2006, 4:41 PM
It's the lights.....

10-26-2006, 4:51 PM
I know 1000w is alot of light, but come on, mine are way closer to the coral than theirs. if I had any more light, the fish would need to be fileted.

10-26-2006, 4:53 PM
That's what I thought, until I switched to 1000w halides, and still didn't have color. I finally posted on the "other board" to get a consensus. It's an interesting read (, and it was the problem - at least up until Saturday... :(

Synopsis- I overskimmed and underfed so much that I had too little nitrate buildup in the system. It's not a normal problem, so I wouldn't go telling everybody to start dosing nitrates, but it's something to keep in mind with a big tank and low bioload...

10-26-2006, 4:57 PM
I know 1000w is alot of light, but come on, mine are way closer to the coral than theirs. if I had any more light, the fish would need to be fileted.

I've personally tested their setup with my PAR meter. They're getting 850 PAR at the corals (!!!). Unless your lights are underwater and the corals are within an inch of the bulb (quite literally), you're not getting anywhere close to this. In fact, I wasn't able to get over 350 PAR using 250w DE lights at the corals on my own setup (and so I upgraded to 1000w). Your eye cannot judge light intensity.

My guess is that with 250w SE bulbs, a good reflector, and assuming your corals are ~5" underwater, they're getting 150-250 PAR, not even 1/3 of the light they had at CBA.

If you have any doubt, rent the club PAR meter and see for yourself.

10-26-2006, 5:13 PM
got HQI bulbs. still point taken, probably inching at 250-300, not 850.

bulbs under water eh? *goes to the drawing board* kidding kidding

well I dont think I have to worry about over skimming; my skimmers adequate, but Im not running a bubbleking for sure.

guy at cap bay said the clam farmers actually pour ammonia in their systems. but I think my fish might object.

bringing the alk and calcium up atleast; so we will see what happens. I dosed it about 25% of what it should need to get it up to 425,3.2. Ill keep that up daily till the reading are where they should be. then let it proceed to where it will from there.

10-26-2006, 5:22 PM
If you have phosphate, raising the Alk will help (will bind with PO4), as will more efficient skimming. Also- I wouldn't think about dosing anything until you have 0 phosphate and nitrate - and I mean 0, with no algae anywhere. My rocks are so bare they look fake, with only coraline algae on them in spots.

I only say this to keep people entering the hobby to point to their corals and start dosing nitrate- this is like modifying your Toyota like a Top Fuel Dragster because they get 0.5% more power; it just doesn't make sense until you're to a certain point.

10-26-2006, 5:35 PM
no no, Im not dosing nitrates, probably never will. wouldnt do that to the fish.

as much as I love corals, probably more than I love the fish, i could never have one without the other.

10-26-2006, 5:44 PM
Actually, fish are quite tolerant of higher nitrates - I think even has high as 40ppm. It's the corals that are much more sensitive.

10-26-2006, 5:45 PM
why would you dose with nitrates for the corals then? or you mean softies and such that dont like the nitrates?

as for the fish, smog doesnt kill me, but I prefer to go without if possible.

10-26-2006, 6:12 PM
Read the thread here:

10-26-2006, 6:30 PM
I know 1000w is alot of light, but come on, mine are way closer to the coral than theirs. if I had any more light, the fish would need to be fileted.

250's are Ok, but it depends on your depth of tank....I have a 90G. I have (2) 400's MH 14K. with 270 watts of duel PC's....Last check on my tank (about 6 months ago) I was 600 par at surface and 280 at 24".... bet I am less now.

I guarantee you are 1/2 of that.

Follow the nitraate route as Chris suggests, I don't skim so I have no problem with that. But I have VERY little nitrates as well, and I have 9 clams that help with that. I feed like 3 times a day as well.

Who knows. I all know Acros never look like what you bought them and they will look different in each individuals tanks.

10-27-2006, 6:41 PM
This is very interesting. I think 2 400's are in the 75's future not 2 250's!

10-27-2006, 6:45 PM
They are not that much more in the ways of cost. Bulbs cost about the same. Ballasts are just a bit more expensive. I was going to use 250's but Doug at and Simon convinced me otherwise, Best move I ever made. I would have neen totally unhappy with the 250's.

10-27-2006, 9:38 PM
well; I suppse your mileage may vary, but I am well into the gray zone of maybe needing a chiller. next summer will probably throw me full into chiller territory. 400w's would have for sure. so on that front, Im not too concerned with the 250s.

it is alot of light, and the electricity bill already hurts.

with the alk and calcium coming up, Im already noticing an improvement in the color. its not capbay color, but its getting better. we'll see as I bring it up the rest of the way and let the coral get used to it. maybe feed some oyster eggs just to see how good it could look given target feeding and all.

10-29-2006, 11:51 AM
Who knows. I all know Acros never look like what you bought them and they will look different in each individuals tanks.

This is so true. There are so many variables at play in this hobby. Just for lighting there has to be 100s of possible choices. Now also consider that the coarls at Cap bay are within inches of the surface (few of ours are) and under intense lighting. The deeper they are in your tank, the more they are going to be effected by your water clarity. If you run mechanical filters and/or carbon, these will have an effect on the PAR levels and spectrum that actually reaches the coral.

Also, if you don't already, look at the coral you are choosing from the side of the holding tank. They look WAY brighter and colorful from the top.

10-29-2006, 3:21 PM
well the blue one has lightened up I think.

green one Im not so sure about. looks like its lost some color, hoping it survives... it originally looked better but its gotten browner while the blue got more color.

11-17-2006, 10:24 AM
Any updates? How are the corals looking now? I guess that you have your water parameters where you want them as well? :)

11-18-2006, 3:46 PM
the maxi jets dont do 1200gph thats just the name of them they do 194 gph each just to let you know

11-18-2006, 4:09 PM
They are not that much more in the ways of cost.

Yea, it is only $110 more per year in electricity. :yes:

That being said, I am totally happy with three 250HQI over my 210 (30" deep). Of course, I am using M80 ballasts which overdrive them so they actually are more like 385 Watts each.. :yikes: