View Full Version : Corals Melting. Help!

10/05/2009, 03:46 PM
I have a 75gal w/ 30gal sump. Nautilus TE skimmer (getting a full cup per week). 2 Koralia 2's, 2 mini jet 600's. 2 175watt MH 10K bulbs, 1 VHO actnic, and 1 10K VHO sunlight bulb. 80lbs LR, 80lbs LS.
my water params are the following using API test kit
amm- 0.0
nitrate- 5-10ppm
nitrite- .25
PH- 8.4

My tank has been up for about 2 1/2 months now. I recently had a diatom outbreak that i thought i had taken care off. I got a few frags from some local reefers for real cheap, a kenya, xenia, blue mushrooms, red mushrooms, candy canes, some green zoas. The problem is when i introduced these frags, the diatoms came back very quickly. At first the everything looked to be fine untill the green zoas closed up and the xenia started to melt away. Now the only thing that isnt melting are the mushrooms (they're actually starting to multiply. This has all happened in a matter of 2 weeks. I dont have a phos test but from reading about diatoms figured maybe it was high so i put a bag of phosguard in the sump near the return flow. I do 10gal water changes every sunday with reef crystals. I was told that if the xenia is dying that i have a serious water problem. I use RODI water from the local pet store. I know my water params are not exactly great but are they bad enough to cause the corals to die off? Excuse my ignorance, im a newbie.

10/05/2009, 04:40 PM
What is your Calcium & Alkalinity at? Are you dosing with anything? My first suggestion would be to dump the reef crystals salt

10/05/2009, 04:55 PM
Not saying this is your problem but speaking from personal experience; I used to get DO/DI from an LFS. When i finally got a TDS meter i tested the so called RO/DI from the LFS and it read 37ppm. My tap water read 42ppm. Diatoms like silicates so my guess is that the water you are using isn't all that good. I would get an RO/DI and switch salt mixes. I like Seachem reef salt but thats just my preference.

10/05/2009, 07:46 PM
you can use any salt you want ime. but like others said i would find a tds meter and better source water. i would test for copper,akk,and,ca asap! who knows what can be lurking in that water!

10/05/2009, 08:44 PM
you can use any salt you want ime.

I agree. In fact I use reef crystals and have a healthy reef.

First off your nitrite should be Zero. What are your Ca, Alk, Mg, and salinity? Do you have any fish in your tank?

10/06/2009, 09:52 AM
i dont have the test for calcium, mag, and alk just yet. Im not dosing anything, my nitirites had dropped to 0, not sure if it was a bad test or what but there not 0 now. I have 1 green chromis, maybe 4 blue leg hermits, and a turbo snail in the tank at the moment. I have heard mixed reviews about reef crystals but decided to give it a try, what is a better, but affordable salt to use? I plan on dosing kalkwasser with my auto top off, but have not found the time to set it up yet. My salinity is at 1.024 and my temps are 82 in the day and about 77 at night. Im starting to keep my fuge light on 24hrs to keep the night temps up a little. I have a ball of cheato in my fuge but it just starting to grow. Last night i set my skimmer a little wetter, matbe that will help a bit. I also did a 10 gal water change last night, and plan to do another 10 gal tomorrow. I sucked a bunch of the algae off of the rocks with the siphon and found 2 dead nasurius snails in the sand. Those were the only 2 i had bought. Why are my mushrooms doing so well while the xenia and kenya are practically dead?

10/06/2009, 10:37 AM
"i dont have the test for calcium, mag, and alk just yet."

Those are the 3 biggies with a reef tank.
I would suggest getting an alk test asap.
After reading about your problems,I suspect you alk has bottomed out.

10/06/2009, 11:14 AM
"i dont have the test for calcium, mag, and alk just yet."

Those are the 3 biggies with a reef tank.
I would suggest getting an alk test asap.
After reading about your problems,I suspect you alk has bottomed out.

Xenia melting usually indicates Alkalinity/pH issues. I'm not sure if PhosGuard will help with the diatoms. GFO media like PhosBan, Rowaphos, etc is good for removing silicate (diatom fuel) but I'm not sure the aluminum based phosphate removers like PhosGuard will.

10/06/2009, 12:48 PM
can someone post the ideal params for my tank so i can have something to shoot for. I'll pick up a reef test kit tonight. Does a reactor really make controling problem algae an easier task? I'm thinking about purchasing one and running GFO media but i didnt know if made a big difference. Thanks for all the advice, i'm learning something everyday on this forum.

10/06/2009, 01:17 PM

Calcium 380-450 ppm
Alk 2.5-4 meq/l
7-11 dkh
Salinity 35 ppt 1.025 sg

Magnesium 1250-1350 ppm

Ph 7.8-8.5 is ok
8.1-8.3 is best

Phosphate < 0.03

GFO helps remove phosphate mostly.
This will help starve out nuisance algae like hair algae.

10/06/2009, 01:18 PM
SG: 1.025 -27
pH: 7.9 - 8.4 (will vary throughout the day)
Alk: 7-12 DKH
Calcium: 400 -450
Magnesium: 1350
Ammonia : Undetectable
Nitrite: Undetectable
Nitrate Undetectable
Phosphate: Undetectable

Using a reactor for running GFO really maximizes the effectiveness of the media.

10/06/2009, 01:19 PM
If you find that your alk is really low.
I suspect it's below 7 dkh(just a guess).
Don't raise it up too fast.I know you don't have SPS corals.
But I caused rtn in a birdnest coral raise alk too fast.
Btw,do you know how to raise alk?

10/06/2009, 02:59 PM
is it true that regular baking soda will raise alk? How much and how often? Will dosing the kalk solution in the top off help remedy this problem? I've been mixing my salt to 1.024, i guess next water change i need to pick it up a little.

10/06/2009, 04:10 PM
I have known some people that have used regular (Arm & Hammer) baking soda in an emergency but IMO it shouldn't become a habit. There are too many impurities in it. All the reputable companies make a decent product to raise your ALK, pick whichever one your comfortable with. As to how much and how often to dose; it depends what your ALK is reading now. Never exceed what is on the directions for the product though or you could wipe out all your coral. Adjustments need to be made slow to allow the coral to adjust. As to adding Kalk to the top off water. I assume your refering to Kalkwasser. To get the best results in my understanding it needs to dripped into the tank slowly. I don't dose Kalkwasser so maybe someone with exp with it will chime in. Good luck.

10/06/2009, 04:18 PM
If you are adding RODI and not suplementing anything your pH and Alk are prob quite low. I suggest checking Alk and TDS these sound like the culprits to me. It's not that a certain salt is good or bad, each has different trace ellements, in a tank with ideal conditions all will work well but if there is excess nutrient, spectrum shift etc these can have adverse effects with certain trace ellements in salts.

10/06/2009, 11:49 PM
I use Arm&Hammer baking soda exclusivly to raise/maintain alkalinity. Being intended for human consumption, the impurities are at a minimum.

Read here for a home made Ca/Alk 2 part suppliment that will be far less expensive.