Coral Temps.. Help Me Understsnd Plz

Discussion in 'Water Parameters' started by Candymancan21, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Candymancan21

    Candymancan21Valued MemberMember

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    Soo help me understsnd this plz and be warned im having smart mode turned on in this post lol.

    Average reef temperatures taken from around the world are 82-84f with some reefs reaching the low 90s.

    Yet im being told by local reef stores to keep my reef aquarium at 76f or so and ABSOLUTETLY no higher then 78f.

    Even had Ben from Supreme reefs in fairfax VA who seems to know his stuff tell me 72-75f preferably 74f he said.

    Now my common sense is kicking in and telling myself... Well **** arent most reef like 3 feet deep some coral actually growing OUT of the water in the tropics where temps can get really warm..

    Who came up with idea that spread to everyone ? Im trying to get my mind around this.. Lets harvest coral from warm waters in Indonesia that are 84f and put then into a reef aquarium with a chiller to keep temperatures are 76f... Because my corsl grow at 76f it means thats the temperature they need.

    So here i am doing more research and i come accross people questioning this like i am.. People who keep reefs in the low 80s and notice coral growing faster then in lower temperatures.

    But thrn im sure someone will say its for oxygen diffusion in the water... The difference between 76f and 84f is something like 7% so no.. it isnt oxygen.

    Sorry guys but this make no sense to me.

    My tank is in my bedroom i oroginally had a top on it and with my lights the tsnk was getting to 80f.. Sometimes 82-83f.. I took my top off and it lowered it a littke but then i wired 140mm computer fans to a 3a power supply and now i have fans blowing on the water and it lowered temps to like 74f... That water was COLDDDD ive veen to the tropics.. No way id go swiming in 74f water.

    I put my heater in the tsnk and set it to 77f so now i have to keep a heater and fans on 24.7 to keep a constant temp like this..

    And now ny room is getting extremely humid and i have to refill the tank daily.

    Sorry guys im not buying this lower temperature thing.. Unless someone can convince me somehow that tropicsl coral which grows in the 80s needs temps in the 70s
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2018
  2. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

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    Good for you for having smart mode turned on this morning. WARNING I do not, and while I hope this thread opens up discussion and real research, I do not have the time today to do a lot of reading. So, all I can say is this...

    Let's forget about Indonesia for a moment, and remember that plenty of corals come from Australia, particularly these days. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest barrier reef on Earth. I come from Key Largo, FL, where our reef is 3 miles offshore in 25-50 feet of water. It lays claim to being the third largest barrier reef on Earth and we have some greatly desired corals too. I basically grew up on this reef and then spent over 10 years working in the scuba diving industry there. I can tell you that nearly 20 years ago, reef temps of 82°F were considered an uncomfortably hot day of diving. Most often, the temp was 76-79°F and that was considered prime diving temp. When it hit 80°F is when we began to worry about the comfort of our customers. Please keep in mind that scuba diving is an inherently dangerous sport and the comfort and calmness of our divers played into our minds, mostly because uncontrolled breathing of tank air 30 feet down can lead to a bad day for a new diver. Anyway, this story isn't taking the comfort of corals into account, but I felt it worth sharing to show you how a blanket statement about most reef temps being over 80°F wouldn't have held true in my not-so-long-ago experience.

    The GBR currently reports high temps (during the hottest times of year) reaching 86°F and my Florida reefs are getting hotter too. Both of these wonders of the world have experienced massive bleaching events again and again in recent years and the experts tell us that this is directly related to temperatures getting higher than they used to... or in other words, global warming.

    I have seen the destruction of Florida's reef first hand and it has literally made me cry on numerous occasions. All I really know about much shallower reefs, say, in Indonesia, is that they occur in areas of very high flow, tide pools where currents rip and bring cooler deep water temps frequently throughout the day... so, I wouldn't say that these reefs sit near 90°F for extended periods of time. Or, at least, they shouldn't, but with the state of things today, perhaps they are. These reefs are also being affected by global warming, bringing high temps and thus, coral bleaching events.

    So, while I have no real education on the subject and have not spent a lot of time on research, I can still feel pretty good about keeping my own reef at 78-79°F and advising others to do the same. Again, no idea what the factual data says, but in my time with a reef tank, I have heard anecdotal advice that tells me again and again that my corals will start to decline if temps get over 85°F.

    Last year, I had a week-long power outage in August after a hurricane came to town. There were many things to worry about regarding the reef tank, but I was able to provide some flow with a single powerhead powered by a car battery, and of course, every window in the house was open, which at least provided some sunlight to the tank. The corals looked like crud, the fish hid and did not eat for two weeks straight, (I thought he must be dead within the rockscape), and flower anemones roamed so much that I thought they might be trying to escape. My BIGGEST concern was the temp. The highest it got was 84°F and thankfully, everyone recovered and I had no losses. Now, just the other day, lightning struck on my street, and the power was out for about 6 hours. This time, things weren't quite so bad, battery power was provided for both pumps, and I was able to use ice and battery operated fans to keep the tank close to 80°F, (whereas after Irma, ice and fans had to be reserved for the humans in my house.) The corals did not look any different this time, but again, my fish that maintain burrows did not show themselves at all that day. They didn't appear for the following 2 days either, even though everything was back to normal within a day of the outage.

    Both the fish I'm referencing reside on reefs. The firefish comes from Indonesia, Africa and the Maldives where it can be found at depths ranging from 20 to over 200 feet. The watchman goby can be found in many places in the Pacific, from Palau to Japan to the GBR, and resides at depths of 20 to 80 feet or so. I think I can say that these fish have been highly affected by even slightly higher temps in my tank, and I would also say that reefs at depths of 20 feet or more did not experience temps close to 90°F 20 years ago.

    Anyway, just some food for thought.;) One other thing... while you might find that some reefers report success with keeping their reefs at 84°, the vast majority keep them between 75-80°F. When following anecdotal advice because true data is either hard to come by or is contradicting, it is always best to go with what works for the masses, rather than what the minority might be doing. When we have some experience to rely on, we may wish to experiment and search for our own truths. However, when first starting out on a new endeavor, it is best to follow good advice and find success before we go and 'muddy the waters.' Just my 2¢.;)
     
  3. xiholdtruex

    xiholdtruexWell Known MemberMember

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    interesting topic. I personally believe from my personal anecdotal evidence that my reef at 76-78 degrees does alot better than when I had the top on my cube and one of the fans was damaged and it was getting to 80-82 degrees.

    as stella stated alot of evidence is anecdotal in the hobby and believe that every reef tank is different and people should do what works in their particular situation and tank.
     
  4. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

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    78 degrees seems to be the unofficial sweet spot balance of temp for corals, fish, inverts in captivity. I agree it seems strange to me as well, but then again we have seen in nature what happens to reefs when ocean temps rise even a couple of degrees. Either way it's tough to explain but you definitey want to keep your tank under 80 degrees.
     
  5. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

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    I too find the topic interesting and hope to keep the discussion going and this thread open, particularly for the new members that may come along. However, I feel I should tell my fellow posters here that we will not be hearing from the OP again. I will not get specific but feel okay saying that rules were blatantly broken, the response to a gentle reminder was vile, and this person is no longer a member here.

    Thanks for chiming in guys, and please, do not let this occurrence prevent us from a healthy conversation on this subject.:)
     
  6. xiholdtruex

    xiholdtruexWell Known MemberMember

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    I know the VIP reef Rfa tank is at 76 degrees the last two times I asked them to check the temp and the live stock in there looks amazing. My boss when he had my cube he had no heater and just kept it at room temperature which in his house was 74 degrees and he kept zoas, leather coral, war coral and his clown fish happy for 8yrs. I went to a customers house the other day who also had no heater and kept it room temperature at 76.

    I think lorekeeper would keep his reef at 80 and he got good growth from a discussion we had

    I believe consistency plays a bigger role then a few degree difference in temp
     
  7. stella1979

    stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

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    Good for you bud! I too think the Hippy (RFA) Tank at VIP is a prime example of a healthy display, but I never think to ask about the temperature. After A/C issues over the past few days, (which are thankfully, oh so thankfully, fixed), I've been thinking about keeping a lower temp. I probably won't change things, but when you're
    so worried about temps getting too high, regularly maintaining a lower temp starts to look like a good idea.

    While I certainly can't speak for all the corals we have in our tanks, I know for a fact that Florida reef temps hardly ever got over 83°F, and rarely dropped below 73°F or so. Either of these temps, or below or above, would be considered a very uncomfortable day for diving. When you have customers that have spent thousands on Keys diving vacations, you are expected to know the weather like the back of your hand. Knowing conditions on the reef was a huge part of my job back in the day. NOAA's marine report was an every day tab on my work PC. Lol, I actually had the reputation of being the KL Harbor weather girl, and fisherman and whatnot used to stop by my little harborside hut.

    I also went snorkeling a bunch as a youngin and moved away for some time. I'm sure the decline of the reef was happening before I left but seeing them again after a prolonged absence was shocking. I was misinformed then about what the cause may be and thought to blame it on the humans that were on it every day. I know now that summers getting longer and hotter has had the biggest impact on these reefs.

    However, what do I know of shallow reefs halfway around the world? Not a lot to be honest, but I do know lots of these super popular acros grow well there. But, lots of my favorite LPS grow deep on the GBR, and not a lot of us have the room, time or finances to dedicate to... what, a reefy biotope? In all the threads I've read and all the videos I've watched, I've only seen one reefer that keeps a very environmentally specific reef tank. That person is Mr. Julien Sprung, who lives in Miami and keeps a Florida reef tank!! Do you guys know he even started an outdoor salty pond, also with mangroves and other FL creatures? I'm not sure what happened with that but... So awesome.:D Someday, I really want a side sump like he has on his large indoor display, with native species only, including a mangrove.:) Anyway, most reefers aren't keeping anything like a biotope. Like with every creature on Earth, different species will have their own preferred temps and environments. With the mixed reefs we're forcing to work in our tanks, I think we just have to pick a happy medium, and this is why we chose to start and maintain our reef at 78°F, and use a temp controller that will allow a very slight variation. :)
     
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