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The things I learned from Anthony Calfo

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JB, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    +3 / 0 / -0
    I got to have several good discussions with Anthony this weekend and I learned a couple of very interesting things.
    1) He was saying that MH bulbs actually maintain thier PAR for far longer than it's commonly believed.   He says that it's not unusual for a bulb to keep a very significant amount of it's PAR for 3 years or longer and the only way to really no for sure is to keep an eye on the bulbs with a PAR meter.    Evidently when MH bulbs were first introduced for the Aquarium trade, one of their big selling points was that they lasted for a lot longer than the floursecent bulbs, but it didn't take long for the manufacturers to figure out that marketing strategy actually worked against their bottom lines.
    2) After the event, Anthony stopped over for a few minutes to check out my tank.   He immediately asked me if my nitrates were at zero and I said yes (which they were).   He said he could tell because while I had great growth from my corals, many of the colors in my tank were not as vibrant as they could be.   He suggested increasing the bioload of my tank so that I maintain a nitrate level of about 10ppm.   He also indicated that this is likely the reason I have so much trouble growing out zoas.
    So, I thought those were both really interesting.   I didn't get to see his presentation at the event but it looks like it was very well attended.  Hopefully all of you learned something from him as he's like a walking version of wikipedia when it comes to this hobby.
    -JB
     
  2. Troy

    Troy Experienced Reefkeeper

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    He as talking about the MH thing at Pets Playhouse. I think that we might need to invest in a Par Meter to test what he is saying. If thats the case it would save alot of money in bulbs.
     
  3. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Great info, JB!
    Regarding the bulbs...it must be like the oil manufacturer's claiming that oil should be changed every 3k miles to increase sales...
    And about the tank - I could bring my toddler over to help you (over)feed - that should increase the bioload!  I've always been reluctant to increase the bioload as it seems I'm always playing catch up with some sort of nuisance, i.e. algae, cyano, etc.  I know these problems are attributed to husbandry, stability & maturity more than feeding/bioload.
    What are your plans to increase the load in your tank?
    -Eric
     
  4. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    +3 / 0 / -0
    Anthony recommeded that I almost double the number of fish in my tank.

    -JB
     
  5. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    +3 / 0 / -0
    He also indicated that "nutrition" plays a far more important role in a reef tank than people believe and that there is too much emphasis put on lighting.

    -JB
     
  6. bobsfish

    bobsfish Experienced Reefkeeper

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    I agree that he defied some commonly held opinions...like "light isn't the most important thing to worry about with your corals....it's feeding"
    One thing that I learned that surprsed me was about aging saltwater. Use an air stone on the RO reservoir for several hours (or overnight) BEFORE adding the salt. The aeration will release the CO2 from the water. CO2 chiefly is responsible for the creation of carbonic acid, which can then have an effect on the alkalinity of the tank. Some people, he said, have issues keeping alkalinity up - and, I know I've read posts on this forum about people stuggling with alkalinity. He said a lot of times the tank can have good calcium levels, but poor alkalinity levels due to the CO2 / carbonic acid from the raw water. He further added that this also applies to topoff containers. The net advice: aerate water before adding salt and keep an airstone in the topoff container.
     
  7. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Vendor

    La Porte City, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,014 / 6 / -0
    A couple things I learned was making sure your heaters are in your tank horizontally instead of vertically. Also that you should feed your anthias a couple of guppies once in awhile.
     
  8. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Posted By bobsfish on 11/15/2009 11:58 AM
    I agree that he defied some commonly held opinions...like "light isn't the most important thing to worry about with your corals....it's feeding"
    One thing that I learned that surprsed me was about aging saltwater. Use an air stone on the RO reservoir for several hours (or overnight) BEFORE adding the salt. The aeration will release the CO2 from the water. CO2 chiefly is responsible for the creation of carbonic acid, which can then have an effect on the alkalinity of the tank. Some people, he said, have issues keeping alkalinity up - and, I know I've read posts on this forum about people stuggling with alkalinity. He said a lot of times the tank can have good calcium levels, but poor alkalinity levels due to the CO2 / carbonic acid from the raw water. He further added that this also applies to topoff containers. The net advice: aerate water before adding salt and keep an airstone in the topoff container.
    That's some great info and insight!
    I've been having alk probs with my tank & you may have just touched on something - with my old setup, I would mix the change water for several hours/days before using.  With my current tank, I mix & dump...hmmm...
    -Eric
     
  9. Eric Experienced Reefkeeper

    West Des Moines, IA
    Ratings:
    +33 / 0 / -0
    Posted By JB on 11/15/2009 11:32 AM
    He said he could tell because while I had great growth from my corals, many of the colors in my tank were not as vibrant as they could be.  
    -JB
    For the record, I've seen your tank in person & I thought the colors were intense!
    He should've stopped by my place...[​IMG]
    -Eric
     
  10. FishBrain Expert Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    New London
    Ratings:
    +397 / 6 / -0
    great thread thanks for posting this very helpful info! I missed out on a lot of what Anthony had to say due to chaseing my son around. So keep the info comeing!
     
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    thats GREAT info. So, just a question, but would putting an airstone in say, the sump have the same affect in helping to rid the water of the CO2?
     
  12. Bela

    Bela Inactive User

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    I learned a lot from what Anthony had to say in his guest presentation as well. One of the biggest things that I took from it was the buffering capabilites of subtrates as this is ALWAYS ALWAYS a heated topic on reef central and I just didn't know what to believe. I was also happy to see that I am doing plenty of things correctly and only a few incorrectly (biggest thing is aeration of RO water!).

    +1 on the PAR meter for the club. I wouldn't mind chipping in 10-20 bucks so we could get one for use/ They are about 300 bucks? Heck if everyone active on the forums chipped in even 5 bucks I am sure we could get one. That said, if the bulbs really last 3-5x longer than we thought, getting a meter to test the bulbs could pay for itself over a couple years of not replacing bulbs LOL!!!
    One question I do have is, why do people who DO have PAR meters still change their bulbs out so frequently? Are we really stuck in the "because you are supposed to" mode so much in this hobby? Shows what infuence proper marketing has on the hobby!
     
  13. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

    784
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    Posted By xroads on 11/15/2009 12:00 PM
    A couple things I learned was making sure your heaters are in your tank horizontally instead of vertically. Also that you should feed your anthias a couple of guppies once in awhile.
    Did he say why to either of these?  And what makes you think that Anthias want to eat guppies?    lol
     
  14. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

    999
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    It would be awesome to be able to sit with him and have a question and answer session as a small group!
     
  15. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Vendor

    La Porte City, IA
    Ratings:
    +1,014 / 6 / -0
    Posted By RobynT on 11/15/2009 05:11 PM

    Posted By xroads on 11/15/2009 12:00 PM
    A couple things I learned was making sure your heaters are in your tank horizontally instead of vertically. Also that you should feed your anthias a couple of guppies once in awhile.
    Did he say why to either of these?  And what makes you think that Anthias want to eat guppies?    lol
    On the heater if it is horizontal it will use much less electricity & be much more accurate.
    He said the anthias is a carnivore & needs to hunt & eat meat once in awhile.  He said it is even more helpful to feed the guppies before you feed them to the anthias.
     
  16. nick

    nick Well-Known ReefKeeper

    754
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    +5 / 0 / -0
    agree with rick on that. i say we bring him in for a tank tour. i bet everyone would want to volunteer to be a stop then and we could also see what all we are doing wrong. and dont suprise me any on the anthias. when we get the larger species in and they wont eat i will use ghost shrimp to get them to. And also just because periodically cause its fun, do it with the moorish idols as well
     
  17. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    Posted By Bela on 11/15/2009 03:39 PM
    One question I do have is, why do people who DO have PAR meters still change their bulbs out so frequently? Are we really stuck in the "because you are supposed to" mode so much in this hobby? Shows what infuence proper marketing has on the hobby!
    I switch a lot because I get tired of a certain outputs (color temp.) and wanted to try something different.  In my current tank, I have not bought the same bulb twice.  In 250W SE, I have used Giesemann Megachrome (20K), Reflux 12K, Helios 20K, Aquaconnect 14K and Radium 20K.  This tank has only been up for 2 years and I have been through 5 different bulbs.  With that said, I can't even tell you if or how much PAR is lost over time since I don't keep bulbs around long enough to measure the drop over the course of a year.
     
  18. adampottebaum

    adampottebaum Experienced Reefkeeper GIRS Member

    Ratings:
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    So what was your favorite of those 5? I'm new to halides, I'll be trading up for a 125 gallon later in December and bought two 400 watt halides and one 250 watt halide(400's outside, 250 in center). I'll need to buy 3 new bulbs for these fixtures and am still undecided on what to go with. I really want a blue tank and nice colors, growth can come second. I was thinking about either Radiums or XM 20K's, I haven't heard much about the Megachromes other than seeing their expensive. What's your opinion on the best bulb for color and tank look?

    I have a 150 watt DE HQI on my seahorse tank and I won one of the 14K Hamiltons off the raffle, so far it's a nice bulb, could use a little more blue IMO...
     
  19. slovan

    slovan Experienced Reefkeeper

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    +0 / 0 / -0
    I like the Radium 20K the best. It has one of the highest output out of the bulbs I have tried. Plus the color is really nice, IMO. However, it is subjective and what I like might not be something you like. Radiums have come down a lot in price. I believe Reefspecialty is the cheapest place to get them.
     
  20. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

    784
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    I bought all my replacement bulbs for this year (Reeflux 20k's are my preference) at Reef Specialty also. Actually, I bought all my main equipment from them (reflectors,ballasts,Orca skimmer and Barracuda pump). Great service!!
     

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