Keys to Successful Softies tank

Jmunk

New member
For those of you with success keeping softy tanks for years, what tips would you have to offer to keep healthy, growing, and beautiful softies?

:reading:
 

Mr. Comer

Member
Great thread idea. After a decade in the hobby growing sticks I'm starting a new softie/lps project. I have a lot to learn still but I'll share some general reefing wisdom.
-there are a lot of different ideas how how to do something (do what works best for your tank)
-go slow and steady-don't make drastic changes
-if something is going wrong only change one variable at a time
-quality water, food, light and flow makes happy tank
-keep your hands out of your tank (can't practice what I preach :)
-right size purchase equipment (bigger is not always better)
-understand what your coral likes for flow/light and place accordingly in tank
-develop a husbandry routine that you can stick to and enjoy
 

Jmunk

New member
Great thread idea. After a decade in the hobby growing sticks I'm starting a new softie/lps project. I have a lot to learn still but I'll share some general reefing wisdom.
-there are a lot of different ideas how how to do something (do what works best for your tank)
-go slow and steady-don't make drastic changes
-if something is going wrong only change one variable at a time
-quality water, food, light and flow makes happy tank
-keep your hands out of your tank (can't practice what I preach :)
-right size purchase equipment (bigger is not always better)
-understand what your coral likes for flow/light and place accordingly in tank
-develop a husbandry routine that you can stick to and enjoy
Nice! Good points indeed.

Anyone have any softie specific related tips?
 

joshky

Acros & Wrasses
The only soft coral specific tip I can think of is maybe to run carbon a few days every month since soft corals fight their neighbors with allelopathy, which is an issue in our small systems. I personally haven't noticed it being a problem, though it could be slowing growth of corals which is something most want to avoid.

Overall soft corals are really easy to manage, good luck finding the tips you're looking for.
 

Tigerdragon

New member
Dont need the huge flow for softies that sps need and dont need the massive bright light for sps lower light levels are good for softies. They also like a dirtier tank than sps.
 

Mr. Comer

Member
How many of you are feeding your softies/LPS? I just started to feed finely chopped krill, pe mysis, zooplankton, plus they get any leftover flakes from feeding the fish.
 

joshky

Acros & Wrasses
Dont need the huge flow for softies that sps need and dont need the massive bright light for sps lower light levels are good for softies. They also like a dirtier tank than sps.

I don't entirely disagree, but to make sure people don't take what you're saying incorrectly, soft corals do need a good amount of flow to shed their outer mucus layer. Granted some need it more than others, it's just something you have to work with in your system. If you don't give them proper flow, they will stay closed up more often which doesn't look very good -- we like seeing the polyps out, yes? I know I do anyways... Don't go cheap on flow just because you're wanting to go soft coral dominated, but there's no need to go overboard either since the higher flow will (potentially) irritate the corals you're keeping.

While it is true the majority of soft corals are okay with lower lighting, I think everyone getting into this hobby should buy proper lighting from the get-go. There are cheaper options these days to give your tank proper lighting for any coral you decide to put in your aquarium, it may not be as fancy as others, but they work.

Soft corals can withstand dirtier conditions than SPS, but I wouldn't say it's the dirty condition that they are thriving on per se. I would say your zooplankton/phytoplankton levels increase in these conditions which leads to happier/better growing soft corals. You can achieve this without the nasty side effects from elevated nitrates and phosphates if you install proper nutrient export on your system.
 

SBV

New member
I'm in the same boat. After 10 years keeping SPS and LPS. I'm going strictly softies and gonna enjoy the tank. Good points that are right on. Heres to good times and happy reefing!
 

3yellowtangs

New member
I am just converting my 180 sps to strickly a soft Coral and anemone tank. Lots of movement and color. I have a huge skimmer and all led. Barebottom. 4 tangs right now. Most importantly no dosing.
 

Jmunk

New member
I am just converting my 180 sps to strickly a soft Coral and anemone tank. Lots of movement and color. I have a huge skimmer and all led. Barebottom. 4 tangs right now. Most importantly no dosing.
No dosing? Why would you say that?

What if you're keeping a clam/one or two sps in there?
 

3dees

New member
I have a 120 gal. softie/lps reef and also do not dose. why dose if you don't need to? no intention of adding sps or clams.
 

Jmunk

New member
I have a 120 gal. softie/lps reef and also do not dose. why dose if you don't need to? no intention of adding sps or clams.
I'm saying if you have a clam/a few SPS.

I have a clam and a monti, with all other softies.
 

urbanrat84

New member
When stocking a softie tank, best to limit the number of the bigger growing softies as these will eventually become impressive feature pieces. The tank doesn't have to look bare while it grows out by any means - plenty of infill options in the soft coral world such as xenia, gsp, corallimorphs etc.

Setting the tank up with adjustable flow options is also a smart move - as the corals get bigger and fill in the rock, flow may need to be increased.
 

Mr. Comer

Member
I'm curious to know how many people with softie/LPS thanks that are using refugiums, carbon, GFO and if they have noticed a difference in growth.

I'm using a skimmer, carbon, and GFO. My new simmer is "right sized" and I'm not trying to over skim. What I know the carbon will help if there is any chemical warefare and doesn't have any negative impacts on softies/LPS. The GFO reduces phosphates so there is less algea but I've read some softies get upset with GFO? I've had a refugium in the past I know it helps reducing nitrate/phosphate but have read that it may steal nutrients from softies/LPS.
I've realized that 10 years of growing sticks has taught me alot but I still have to figure out what translates to LPS/softies.
 

pow400

New member
Carbon is a big help for chemical warfare but a big problem with it is you can't tell when it is depeleted. Maybe a softie decides to declare war it could use up your carbon fairly quickly. I had a softie attack a frogspawn and it burned through a full pack of carbon in a week (you could tell whenever the carbon was used up because the frogspawn would start receding again). I recommend keeping a good stock of carbon on hand with softies.
 

mighties_keeper

New member
I had a softie 55 gallon tank three years ago that I ran fuge, small skimmer, carbon and phosphate remover. I would run carbon for 3 days every couple of weeks. That system worked will for me. That tank was super simple everthing was hob's.
 

3dees

New member
mine has no sump, hob skimmer, a small canister with only carbon, two Jaboa powerheads, and two Chinese 120w dimmable led fixtures. no dosing. mostly softies with a few lps. very low tech and easy maintenance for this retired guy. also easy on the wallet.
 

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jbvdhp

New member
I have a gbta that has split so many times over the years that I literally put them in the sump.

I think they spilt more because of survival rather than my tank being ideal for water parameters. However, ever since my routine has been better, they're definitely healthier.

Soft corals aren't really too difficult but they do need the proper light and flow though.
 
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