The BEST water parameters!!!

jm23

New member
I know many of you, like me, always want our tanks to have the ideal water conditions so our corals look great and grow quickly, but there is a lot of varying opinions on this subject. Well I put together a spreadsheet on over 100 TOTM tanks from 4 different forums, took the averages and out comes the best water parameters. Let me just note that some TOTM tanks did not have enough data, but were still included with a link so you could still check them out. I also did not included the parameters on NPS tanks as I didn't want them to skew the averages. The data on salinity for 35 ppm was recorded at 1.026 even though it is higher, so the average could probably be slightly higher. Also Nitrates and Phosphates were not included as the general trend amongst TOTM winners is to have very low numbers. I also included DT gallons, but not total system volume as I already had enough data to convert (thanks to the Brits) and didn't feel like crunching the numbers on each sump and frag tank attached. Some of these systems have larger sump and frag tank water volume then DT volume.

So here are my results:

DT Gallons: 201
Temperature: 78.76
Salinity: 1.0255
PH: 8.1
Calcium: 426.97
Alkalinity: 8.39
Magnesium: 1343


While we all know there is far more to having a successful reef tank, I hope this data can give people a number to shoot for and tweak their tanks parameters from there to best fit your goals. Here is the link: Tank of the Month Data 2010-2013

Happy reefing!
 

Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef at ur service
RC Sponsor
i respect the effort and time u would have spent into getting the data. it will definitely will help New hobbyist.
i run very close to those numbers.
300g total volume.
temp 78.5f
ph 8.2
sg 1.026
cal 430
alk 7.8
mag 1350
i use Red Sea regular salt.
nitrates are absolute 0 while phos are under 0.05
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I wouldn't particular target those numbers. An average over a number of tanks isn't very meaningful as an absolute guide. For example, pH at 8.3 probably is better than 8.1. The lower pH is due to indoor air quality, not any effort in reef-keeping.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
I read through them. There weren't many outliers skedeing the mean average. But an avrage valueis not necesarily an optimal one. I do like pH a bit higher and it is now higher than the 8.19 noted ( running form 8.3 to 8.35 daily while calcium is a bit lower than the 500 in the data base more like 450 now.

The biggest surprise to me was temrperture. I thought more tanks would be warmer. I run what I used to consider cool(77 to 78 ) mostly because there are seahorses in the system and for improved oxygen levels but sps and other corals do well too.
 

jm23

New member
I wouldn't particular target those numbers. An average over a number of tanks isn't very meaningful as an absolute guide. For example, pH at 8.3 probably is better than 8.1. The lower pH is due to indoor air quality, not any effort in reef-keeping.

From my research chasing PH is dangerous except to make sure it is within an acceptable range. The lower PH is probably as you said due to indoor air and those using calcium reactors.

I read through them. There weren't many outliers skedeing the mean average. But an avrage valueis not necesarily an optimal one. I do like pH a bit higher and it is now higher than the 8.19 noted ( running form 8.3 to 8.35 daily while calcium is a bit lower than the 500 in the data base more like 450 now.

The biggest surprise to me was temrperture. I thought more tanks would be warmer. I run what I used to consider cool(77 to 78 ) mostly because there are seahorses in the system and for improved oxygen levels but sps and other corals do well too.

That was the biggest surprise to me too was the temperature, as many people seem to say that running a tank warmer gives better results of growth and color, but it would seem that isn't the case in TOTM winners.
 

Ron Reefman

New member
jm23, thanks for all the time and effort. I know you ddin't mean to imply that these are the 'ideal' parameters... well, you did say, "took the averages and out comes the best water parameters." But we should all be smart enough to know what the best numbers are. This is informative in that it shows us what the 'norms' are for people who keep pretty spectacular tanks! Thanks again.
 

TimeConsumer

New member
If anyone is interested I pulled the standard deviation for all of the parameters as well:
Temp: 1.217
Specific Gravity: .0007
pH: .152
Calc: 18.073
Alk: .967
Mag: 68.8

I find the standard deviation of the calc and alk most interesting.
68% of all TOTMs have their alk between 7.43 - 9.35
68% have their calc between 408-445
 
Last edited:

jm23

New member
jm23, thanks for all the time and effort. I know you ddin't mean to imply that these are the 'ideal' parameters... well, you did say, "took the averages and out comes the best water parameters." But we should all be smart enough to know what the best numbers are. This is informative in that it shows us what the 'norms' are for people who keep pretty spectacular tanks! Thanks again.

Thanks. You are right I didn't mean to imply they were the best. The way you described the results was more appropriate. I also meant to include in the OP that ultimately if you look at the spreadsheet it shows that TOTM winners have had success over a wide range of parameters, but as I finished after 7 hours at 4 in the morning I forgot to include it.

If anyone is interested I pulled the standard deviation for all of the parameters as well:
Temp: 1.217
Specific Gravity: .0007
pH: .152
Calc: 18.073
Alk: .967
Mag: 68.8

I find the standard deviation of the calc and alk most interesting.
68% of all TOTMs have their alk between 7.43 - 9.35
68% have their calc between 408-445

Thanks for the additional input.
 

pscott99

New member
For what it's worth my niece is a master dive instructor. She has told me the average water temperature on her dives all over the world is in the upper 70's.
 

Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef at ur service
RC Sponsor
I admire the effort once again but there are no set parameters to be good for everyone. Thats why there are parameter ranges.
Temp 76 to 84
Salinity 1.024 to 1.026
Ph 7.8 to 8.4
Cal 380 to 460
Alk 7 to 11
Mag 1280 to 1400

Some tanks will be ok on the high end of these ranges and some at low and some down the middle somewhere. So average them out will bring us to OP's numbers but they may not be good for everyone. I still respect the effort.
 

Bilk

New member
I admire the effort once again but there are no set parameters to be good for everyone. Thats why there are parameter ranges.
Temp 76 to 84
Salinity 1.024 to 1.026
Ph 7.8 to 8.4
Cal 380 to 460
Alk 7 to 11
Mag 1280 to 1400

Some tanks will be ok on the high end of these ranges and some at low and some down the middle somewhere. So average them out will bring us to OP's numbers but they may not be good for everyone. I still respect the effort.

Other than temp, which is localized, how much do the others vary in NSW? I guess I should be specific - in a reef ecosystem.
 

Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef at ur service
RC Sponsor
depending on where you test from parameters range within the above mentioned ranges. Red sea is higher in salinity compared to other oceans and sea's just for example. this is why the its a broad area of optimal conditions. there is am article from Randy comparing and suggesting parameters from Seawater to reef. if i find it i will post a link. its in the reefkeeper edition.
 

tmz

ReefKeeping Mag staff
Premium Member
From my research chasing PH is dangerous except to make sure it is within an acceptable range.
. Depends on how you chase it. Lowering CO2 levels going into the tank or being generated there or from CO2 injections from a calcium reactor is a safe approach. Trying to control it with buffers and additional alkalinity is trouble, often leaving high pH after a short time and high alkalinity.
 
Last edited:

Bilk

New member
depending on where you test from parameters range within the above mentioned ranges. Red sea is higher in salinity compared to other oceans and sea's just for example. this is why the its a broad area of optimal conditions. there is am article from Randy comparing and suggesting parameters from Seawater to reef. if i find it i will post a link. its in the reefkeeper edition.
Thanks but no need to look for it. I have it saved and often reference it. Actually i've been looking for actual data collected from various natural reefs around the globe.
 
Top