Softy tanks


Octopus Extreme 300 Skimr
whats the key to keeping a long term softie tank?

I've been researching sps for so long i just over looked Softies, but i thought to myself because SPS require so much more maybe i should try the sofites first.

Can i use kalk/calcium reactor, Ozone, uv steilizer, and denitrations, and heavy skimming?


In Memoriam
Calcium/Alk: No need for a Calcium Reactor for a Soft Coral tank. There demands arent even close to an SPS reef and it isnt cost efficient to run one. The negitave effects of reactors such as low PH arent worth the trouble on a soft tank. I would suggest a 2 part additive or top off of kalk. Randys DIY 2 part additive is dirt cheap so you might want to look into that.

Flow: No need for Steams, Waveboxes, huge return pumps on super hightech closed loops ... 3 PowerHeads on a wavemaker will work fine or if you dont like the look of that a small closed loop on a SCWD will do just fine. I am using 4 Modified MJ900's on a Red Sea Wavemaster in a 120.

Light: Depending on the tank dimensions you could use anywere from PC's to MH's. The light demand is considerably less and will be nothing compared to an SPS tank. I run 2 150w MH's and 2 65w PC Actinics. I would have gone with 4 54w T-5's if I didnt want to keep Clams and Anemones.

Filtration: I would not suggest heavy skimming as alot of soft corals seem to do better without large skimmers or atleast there is no need for a big skimmer, there are actualy several soft tanks that run completly skimmerless. I would run phos media becuase it tends to have negative effects on the corals. Denitrators are fine but not needed even with a high bioload. UV is not nessasary and would kill benificial plankton that soft corals feed on. Ozone is fine and would be nice way to have a super clear tank. I would run a small skimmer in combination w/ a refugium and use a decent amount of carbon.

Substrate: I'm not sure if your a BB reefer but I dont think BB is the greatest thing for soft coral tanks. I think a sand bed has alot of positive effects on soft corals and even if "old tank syndrome" occurs I think it would be worth the hassle to remove and replace the sandbed.

Soft coral tanks can be as simple or as complicated as you want ... you could run a perfectly healthy 55 with just a hang on skimmer, a few PH's, DSB, 2 part additive and keep up w/ water changes.

If you have any other questions just ask,
Good luck


Octopus Extreme 300 Skimr
The initial setup of a soft... would it help my transition to a sps tank?

To be honest my heart wants a SPS do you think anyone has ever started fresh out with a sps tank?
I 've in the past had a softy tank but i wasn't full it was only a couple pieces of coral here and there in my old 55 gallon tank


New member
You can start out fresh with an SPS or mixed reef but you have to be more patient. A point to be made though is the cost of the equipment.... strong lighting (MH), strong current (large return pump, wavemaker, or closed loop), good protein skimmer, and a refugium never hurt. I started a garage tank in order to do a move of a tank that was going to take awhile and it is a mixed reef that was fully loaded in about 90 days and it is very healthy but all of the rock and sand came out of a system that was up for 4 years. If you are starting with fresh rock / sand it will take quite a bit longer if you don't want to kill stuff


In Memoriam
First tank I ever had was a 55 gallon SPS ... I had no experience at all nor any experience with freshwater. You just have to do your research. I read everything I could for about a year and 1/2 then decided to give it a go. My tank never crashed once, had only 1 fish loss , no disease outbreaks, and maybe 2 coral losses.

Now if you have the knowledge (you've been registered since 2002 and have 1177 posts) then you just have to make sure you are willing to dedicate the time and money. The main reason I tore down my SPS tank and was out of the hobby for a year was becuase I didnt have enough time to maintain my tank. The initial cost was pretty bad two ... what ever you think the cost is going to be you can pretty much double it.