I like to take my time when stocking a reef tank with corals. One reason why I wait is due to the inevitable ugly phase. Most reef tanks will have some type of algae outbreak early on, whether it is diatoms, dinoflagellates or something else.
Problematic algae can smother corals and impact their health. Certain methods to combat algae like blackouts can also be detrimental. For this tank I waited four months before adding any corals. I also cranked down the intensity of my LED’s to 10% to lessen the chance of having algae pop up.
Another reason I like to wait to add corals is to give myself time to get used to any new equipment or the functionality of a new setup.
Mishaps are more prone to happen early on. For instance, it took me two months to realize that the float switch to prevent my skimmer cup from overflowing was not working. It also took me some time to get used to my new calcium reactor and learn how to dial it in.
When is it Time to Add Corals?
A good sign a tank is ready for corals is the presence of coralline algae. I started to see some around the three month mark so this reaffirmed my decision to wait.
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