View Full Version : What are we doing wrong??

05/31/2010, 09:31 AM
We are having problems keeping acroporas and bird's nest in our tank... We went to a reaf show, and after having two other bird's nest die in our tank, we were talking to this dealer and he said that this "ora bird's nest" was the easiest of the bird's nest to keep. It was also the best "starter nest". He said that lighting and flow were not nearly as huge of an issue making this one easier to keep. We bought it and it was doing beautifuly for about 3 weeks and now it's turning white. Just like all of our other ones...3-4 weeks, tops. The next weekend, we found a reefer that was getting out of the hobby and bought a beautiful regular birds nest (the green and tan ones) that was huge and some acroporas also. They are all turning white now also. We have tried moving them, adjusting flow towards/around them, put them high in the tank, low in the tank, mid tank, everything that we can think of! The guy that was shutting down his tank had sold us a green staghorn frag, a green slimer frag, a purple staghorn (entire coral) and a tricolor valadia (??) along with the big birds nest. They all looked beautiful and healthey in his tank. The green staghon frag is still doing alright, along with the slimer and valadia. They do not look as nice in our tank as they did in his, but they are not white either:) the purple staghorn is completely white, we fragged off two good branches when we noticed it was turning white and those died the next day also. The big birds nest along with the ora birds nest are slowing turning more and more white each day...what are we doing wrong? Pollyps (many different kinds), xenias, zoos, mushrooms, candy cane corals, chalise, pocillapora, hydnophora horn coral are all doing great and seem to love our tank.
Our stats:
55 gal- filtered (not sumped)
20K halide
mag: 1200-1250
cal: 520-540
kH: 125.3
nitrite: 0
nitrate: 10- we did notice this...its normally 0 and we are using a nitrate reducer to lower it.
pH 8.2
RO system for water
Reef Crystals for salt
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

05/31/2010, 09:43 AM
How long has the tank been up? SPS like mature, clean, stable conditions.

05/31/2010, 09:49 AM
We have had it up for 7 months, 5 of those months have been adding corals. So you think it is still just to knew of a tank? I read that acroporas should not be added until after a year...

05/31/2010, 09:51 AM
I also forgot, we have the duo-backpack skimmer...I'm sorry, my other half is who "knows" all of the names for this stuff, better than I do, anyways.

05/31/2010, 10:25 AM
Its possible, I dont think its neccesarily the age of a system but the stability. Sometimes stability comes with age. Your numbers look decent so I would look to keeping all levels stable. Alkalinity being the most important. imo

05/31/2010, 11:39 AM
Let's start with lighting. How many watts are the halides and how many of them do you have? You are going to want at least two halides on a stardard 55 gal tank. Also how are you acclimating the corals to your lights? These corals need to get used to the new lighting. Start them toward the bottom of the tank and slowly move them up over a few weeks.

As far as water paramerters, all of the parameters that you listed look alright. I would try to get your nitrates down, but other than that they look decent. I did not see a number listed for phosphates. If you are not checking this parameter you need to start if you are going to be keeping SPS. You want as low of phosphates as possible.

Also what temperature is the tank at?

Finally, how much flow do you have in the tank, and do you run carbon or not? I would suggest running some GAC if you don't, especially in a mixed reef. SPS also like a lot of flow.

05/31/2010, 11:41 AM
One more thought, what is the stock list like for fish and inverts. Is there any tank inhabitants that are picking on SPS?

05/31/2010, 11:51 AM
hmm halides and no sump, most likely you have a huge temp change through the day. also change in PH since no fuge.

SPS corals are sensitive to changes, nitrate of 10 PPM will not kill them, but change in PH will ! high nitrate might just make them darker due to more nutrition.

also flow is another question. they need high flow as you already konw :)

another thing is use of Activated Carbon, your SPS could have been victim oif a chemical war between the soft corals, GAC can remove those.

I would say instead of Halide, use T5 HO, you will need close to 6 of them, and add a HOB refugium and put a small light on it 24/7. this will keep your PH somewhat more stable at night, and your temp rock solid. no heat from the lights.

good luck :)

05/31/2010, 11:54 AM
A clip on fan will keep his temp stable.

05/31/2010, 05:26 PM
Your mag is out of proportion to your cal, it shoud be a 3 to one ratio. Thats the only thing I can think of that wasn't already mentioned above.

05/31/2010, 05:41 PM
IMO, your lights are the wrong spectrum. If you like the blueish hue try using 14k, but 10k is more natural. you could use the 10k bulbs and add acouple of actinic pc bulbs to the system to give the hue you want. This is probably not the only issue, but it is one that sticks out to me, oh and the afore mentioned cal/mag ratio.