thoughts on mixed reefs

matt604

New member
my lps told me its not a good idea mixing softies in the same tank as sps. what are everyones thoughts on the matter:wavehand:
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
my lps told me its not a good idea mixing softies in the same tank as sps. what are everyones thoughts on the matter:wavehand:

I assume you mean LFS not LPS. I agree with them and do not have soft corals in any tank.
 

Piper27

I love bengals
I have a big green sinulara in my mixed reef right in the middle, close to sps. I haven't had any problems since its my only leather. I run carbon which probly helps too.
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
I have a big green sinulara in my mixed reef right in the middle, close to sps. I haven't had any problems since its my only leather. I run carbon which probly helps too.

Yes, carbon will help. Just not in love with soft corals even ignoring the chemical warfare issue.
 

username in use

Sciencing Daily
The last iteration of my tank had sps, lps and softies all together and there were no problems. I do run carbon all the time.
 

hollister

New member
Softies like it toward the bottom and lps like the middle area and lps like toward the top of the tank. It makes perfect sense. Just keep in mind the space issues and weeding back will be nedded.
 

nrbelk

New member
The only reason I don't like most softies is their tendency to spread to where you don't want them.

I run a mixed reef with no problems until they actually touch.

I do run carbon though but probably don't change it as often as I should.
 

Ron Reefman

New member
Yes, carbon will help. Just not in love with soft corals even ignoring the chemical warfare issue.

I'm not sure telling somebody that mixing lps and sps is a bad idea just because you don't like lps is a valid point.

I have a very mixed reef with zoos, palies, softies, lps and sps. It's a struggle at times trying to make sure everybody is happy. And sometimes you just can't make it work. Doing one or the other is probably easier, especialy if you are just starting out.
Good luck
 

dela

Premium Member
Did you ask your LFS why it was a bad idea? They probably had something in mind when they said that.

There are certainly enough people keeping mixed reefs successfully to know it's possible.
 

RotaryGeek

New member
I keep them together with no problem. I also run carbon in a reactor. But to this date I have never had a problem with them.
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
Did you ask your LFS why it was a bad idea? They probably had something in mind when they said that.

There are certainly enough people keeping mixed reefs successfully to know it's possible.



From NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program

Terpenoid Compounds

Soft corals generally compete with the hard corals by conducting chemical warfare; they release terpenoid or sarcophine compounds into the water to injure or impede the growth of neighboring corals. Like their name implies, these compounds are similar to turpentine in chemical structure and in most instances, are just as toxic. These chemicals also prevent other unwanted organisms from settling on or near the corals that produce them. [e] By releasing these compounds, the soft coral injures neighboring stony corals and can thus grow above them, eventually blocking out the light that they are both dependent upon and thereby killing the underlying hard coral. The process of influencing the growth and development of other organisms through use of chemical compounds is called 'allelopathy.'

Driving on the wrong side of the road is possible but not recommended. Horrible analogy I know but you get the point.
 

frankpayne32

New member
I disagree with most of whats being said here. Obviously chemical warfare exists between corals but in practicality it doesn't seem to be that big a deal in my systems. People tend to make too big a deal out of mixing because of the literature on chemical and physical warfare between corals. I have SPS, LPS, softies, zoas, palys, clams, shrimps, snails, gorgonians, etc, etc, in the same tank without problems. Been doing it for years (so have many others, just look at most of the tank of the month winners) Like in all successful tanks encroachment does occur but I either just let them fight it out or frag them back. Usually when I just let it go a no mans land forms between the corals. I have a decent size neon green sinularia and toadstool right next to acros. My SPS grow like crazy. I have an orange monti cap that grows a centimeter a week. I don't run carbon. Just good overall maintenance (10% weekly water changes, etc.). IMO you just can't beat a well maintained and thought out mixed reef.

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rovster

New member
Interesting, as I would like to keep a "mixed reef" for my next build. Actually, I have a mixed reef now, LOL. Its small, but its mixed ;)
 

sponger0

New member
I also disagree with this. I think you can very much keep a mixed reef. I have one without problem. I think you do need to plan out placement and that would be the most important part. I have zoas, plays, mushrooms, torch, frogspawn, hammers, cynarina, arcos, birdsnest all in one little biocube. No one bothers anyone. Just plan out a structure they can all grow on with out disruption. Also give room so minimal triming would be needed and as SPS grows out, be sure they wont block light from reaching other corals.
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
I also disagree with this. I think you can very much keep a mixed reef. I have one without problem. I think you do need to plan out placement and that would be the most important part. I have zoas, plays, mushrooms, torch, frogspawn, hammers, cynarina, arcos, birdsnest all in one little biocube. No one bothers anyone. Just plan out a structure they can all grow on with out disruption. Also give room so minimal triming would be needed and as SPS grows out, be sure they wont block light from reaching other corals.

I agree, but the OP was specifically asking about softies. I honestly had a hard time keeping softies with SPS... either the softies didn't thrive when the SPS were doing great (low nutirent tank), or vice versa. IMO it had more to do with water quality/parameters, than chemical warfare. I'm sure this will depend on the types of SPS and types of softies, but that was my experience with xenia and sinularia in my reef. I'd love to try something like a stereonephthya though... might work better in a reef with SPS?
 

sponger0

New member
My softies are doing great also. Zoas are expanding and so are my palys. Also had a pink paly that got fried from hammer but now is recovering after a month later. Once again, IMO placement and planning is the important part...well also keeping your water in check also
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
I guess it's just my error with the definition... I don't really think of zoas when someone says softies... I think of all those fun, noxious corals like colt, sinularia, and xenia :).
 

sponger0

New member
Well zoas are my fav in softies due to color...so i forget about some of the others or I classify them as weed growers. And zenia I believe should be isolated, along with gsp, and anthelia. I love them but for some reason I could find any placement for them to survive in my current tank.

I guess Im just partial to zoas. I plan on having a zoas/sps dominated tank in a month or sooner.
 
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