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judah001
11/02/2016, 12:18 PM
I have been reading for months now and canít seem to figure it out so I figured I would post. It seemed to happen all of a sudden around May where all my coral which were growing great died. I had a chalice beginning take over a rock in my tank, a healthy torch coral, and 2 random lps coras from my lfs, a red plating chalice, and a bight green birds nest. It seemed almost over night everything began to decline fast and the polys and coral skin began to flake off the LPS and birds nest. As for the chalice they just stared quickly fading and died out along with the torch. The only thing at the time I could suspect what cause that was somehow the cat got a hold a pantie liner and I found it in my filter sock. I know right right?!?! How the heck did that happened!! I change my socks out regularly so it couldnít have been in there for more than a day.

Fast forward a few months later I am still having trouble keeping any corals in the tank. I keep running into the same issue of the tissue flaking off and them dying. During this time I have no fish loss and for the most part stable parameters. My LFS said to do a 50% water change back in August and did so. After that he gave me 2 tester corals which grew great. The testers he gave me where a small leather and pulsating xenias. Since Then I have put more corals in and the growth has been lack luster to say the least. I am still having the same issues I had before with the tissue flaking off the lps and a frog spawn that lost its color. The only thing that seems to be surviving is a couple chalices. I do weekly eater changes of around 5 gallons a week. I also make my own salt water using red sea coral pro salt. I was previously using an RO buddy for RO DI water but just got my new spectrapure 5 stage chloramine RO DI system. Iím thinking this might help but have no idea. I was getting 0 tds out of the RO buddy but not sure if all RO 0tds water is crested equal.

My LFS is thinking I am running my tank to clean so I have been heavy feeding daily to try and get my nutrients up. That is why I am detecting slight nitrates and phosphate. I have noticed a slight improvement but its still same end results. I am open to any thoughts or suggestions. I have also attached a couple pics from about a week ago. I will get some more recent ones and post.


System setup
50 gallon cube with 20 gallon refugium with chaeto
Live stock: Picasso clown, yellow tang, mandarin fish, 1 chromis,2 cleaner shrimp
80 pounds of live rock
1 Ecotech MP10
XR 15 Radion using coral lab lighting study setting
Phosphate reactor
Carbon reacator
Dosing 48 ml of Alkalinity per day
Dosing 56 ml CA per day


Recent water tests

10/29/16

Temp 80
Salinity 1.026
PH 8
Nitrate 1
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
Phosphate .03
Calcium 470
Mag 1360
Alk 9.1


10/21/16

Temp 80
Salinity 1.026
PH 8.2
Nitrate 1
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
Phosphate 0
Calcium 430
Mag 1360
Alk 10.1

10/16/16

Temp 80
Salinity 1.026
PH 8.2
Nitrate 1
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
Phosphate 0
Calcium 420
Mag 1360
Alk 9

judah001
11/02/2016, 12:45 PM
I will take more when I get home tonight

JonezNReef
11/02/2016, 02:02 PM
What test kits are you using? Are you using a calibrated refractometer? I ask because I had a situation similar to that and it was because my refractometer wasn't calibrated with calibration fluid and come to find out my salinity was off quite a bit. Another time a few years ago I had this problem because my Alk wasn't staying stable.

judah001
11/02/2016, 02:20 PM
What test kits are you using? Are you using a calibrated refractometer? I ask because I had a situation similar to that and it was because my refractometer wasn't calibrated with calibration fluid and come to find out my salinity was off quite a bit. Another time a few years ago I had this problem because my Alk wasn't staying stable.

Iím using all red sea test kits. I know the parameters are correct because I just got my refil kits the other day and they were in line with previous results. As for the refractor I bought it on Amazon a while back and calibrate it with distilled water before every use. I have also brought a sample to my LFS to compare and the salinity is in line with my reading. Previously I was keeping my ALK on the higher end around 10 but have recently brought down to 9 which was recommended by my lfs.

judah001
11/02/2016, 07:18 PM
Here are a few picture of what I was describing. The one that looks like a torch coral is actually a frog spawn. Also I did say LPS several times but I meant SPS. Also my Acan has been dying a slow death too

2smokes
11/02/2016, 09:12 PM
The first 2 pictures,the seriatopora guttatus and the frogspan get too much light .The 3- montipora digitata is doing well for the moment and is aclimating .Try to feed at night the acantastrea and the frogspan or any LPS you have with the pumps turned off for 15 minutes(with coral liquid or diy food).Also i would sell the led amp and buy T5HOs.The 1 picture is an sps coral that doesnt like too much light even thogh is sps,its a deeper water specie and verry hardy,it could recover if the STN stops.I would say you have bad light and low nutrients.Also,if you are dosing ALK and Ca then use a salt that has lower alk ,like the normal red sea salt instead of coral pro.

CrayolaViolence
11/03/2016, 06:49 AM
Have you checked for red bugs?

75mixedreef
11/03/2016, 07:05 AM
Red flag on using DI water to calibrate a refractometer. You should really use the calibration fluid since 1.00 is not in the range of what we measure in our tanks. It is quite easy to be off by a ways when doing this. The LFS might be off too so try using the calibration solution and verify. It might not be your problem but it is a good practice.

Have you been feeding your corals at all. If not try feeding them a little. Your reading are low on phosphate and nitrate so maybe they are not getting enough nutrients. Just a little with spot feeding should hurt anything but could go a long ways to helping them.

judah001
11/03/2016, 09:25 AM
Have you checked for red bugs?

No visible bugs in the tank...

judah001
11/03/2016, 09:28 AM
The first 2 pictures,the seriatopora guttatus and the frogspan get too much light .The 3- montipora digitata is doing well for the moment and is aclimating .Try to feed at night the acantastrea and the frogspan or any LPS you have with the pumps turned off for 15 minutes(with coral liquid or diy food).Also i would sell the led amp and buy T5HOs.The 1 picture is an sps coral that doesnt like too much light even thogh is sps,its a deeper water specie and verry hardy,it could recover if the STN stops.I would say you have bad light and low nutrients.Also,if you are dosing ALK and Ca then use a salt that has lower alk ,like the normal red sea salt instead of coral pro.

The light setting Im using mimics a t5. Ecotech did a study and created a setting that mimcs different styles of lighting. The reason why the light looks so bright is cause I had to turn it up under the full spectrum to take a picture. With the current setting Im using its too hard to see. I have attached the link to the different light setting below to give you an idea what Im talking about.

Ecotech Coral Lab Study (http://ecotechmarine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Ecotech_CoralLab_WP1.pdf)

judah001
11/03/2016, 09:36 AM
Red flag on using DI water to calibrate a refractometer. You should really use the calibration fluid since 1.00 is not in the range of what we measure in our tanks. It is quite easy to be off by a ways when doing this. The LFS might be off too so try using the calibration solution and verify. It might not be your problem but it is a good practice.

Have you been feeding your corals at all. If not try feeding them a little. Your reading are low on phosphate and nitrate so maybe they are not getting enough nutrients. Just a little with spot feeding should hurt anything but could go a long ways to helping them.

I read it was okay to use distilled water to calibrate. I will order some just to rule out the possibility. I have been feeding daily alternating seaweed and a mix of Mysis and reef chili. I kill my return pump and leave the mp 10 on to circulate the food in DT.

Regarding my phosphates and nitrates being low I get confused. From what I read most people sit at zero so I don't really understand what makes that different from me getting to zero. Hopefully that makes sense lol.

75mixedreef
11/03/2016, 10:08 AM
You are probably getting enough food to your corals, depending on how much you are feeding. Seaweed doesn't really help corals, its just for fish and is pretty low nutrient compared to the more protein dense foods. Maybe you could try target feeding the corals with the powerheads off and allow them to really pull the food in. Most people that have near 0 nitrates and phosphates feed a lot but have systems in place to pull out the nutrients like ATS and GFO. Those are the people that feed several cubes a day and have a ton of fish so low nutrients are never an issue. The real difference is if the nutrients were ever there or if they are being pulled out to give a near 0 reading.

judah001
11/03/2016, 10:14 AM
You are probably getting enough food to your corals, depending on how much you are feeding. Seaweed doesn't really help corals, its just for fish and is pretty low nutrient compared to the more protein dense foods. Maybe you could try target feeding the corals with the powerheads off and allow them to really pull the food in. Most people that have near 0 nitrates and phosphates feed a lot but have systems in place to pull out the nutrients like ATS and GFO. Those are the people that feed several cubes a day and have a ton of fish so low nutrients are never an issue. The real difference is if the nutrients were ever there or if they are being pulled out to give a near 0 reading.

That makes sense. I will start with the target feeding every other day instead of just putting the coral food in the tank. The seaweed is more to keep the tang happy and healthy :) I run GFO too but I guess my system is stripping everything out faster than the nutrients can build up. Thank you for the advice!

JonezNReef
11/04/2016, 11:38 AM
I read it was okay to use distilled water to calibrate. I will order some just to rule out the possibility. I have been feeding daily alternating seaweed and a mix of Mysis and reef chili. I kill my return pump and leave the mp 10 on to circulate the food in DT.

Regarding my phosphates and nitrates being low I get confused. From what I read most people sit at zero so I don't really understand what makes that different from me getting to zero. Hopefully that makes sense lol.

I was using RO water to calibrate mine as well and when I bought actual 35ppt calibration fluid I found out it was of by 4ppt. Not saying thats this is the case with you but it happened to me.

judah001
11/05/2016, 09:46 AM
I was using RO water to calibrate mine as well and when I bought actual 35ppt calibration fluid I found out it was of by 4ppt. Not saying thats this is the case with you but it happened to me.

I ordered some from BRS on Friday and it will be here Monday. Man will I feel stupid if that's the issue. Ill post an update once I calibrate with the solution.

judah001
11/07/2016, 07:52 PM
Calibration liquid came in today and after calibrating my salinity was at 1.024 and not 1.026. So did make a slight difference using the calibration solution.

JonezNReef
11/10/2016, 11:10 AM
Well your SG isn't off enough to cause these issues. Did this issue come up before or after you switched RO systems?

shred5
11/10/2016, 11:31 AM
I would try a polyfilter in your tank. It will change color based on what contaminate is in the water.. When and how the liner got put into your tank it may have got some sort of contaminate in it too...

judah001
11/10/2016, 11:39 AM
Well your SG isn't off enough to cause these issues. Did this issue come up before or after you switched RO systems?

It was before I changed my ro. Corals seem to be hanging on but not thriving since I started daily feeding and spot feeding. Now that I have a slight phosphate reading I've noticed the chalice is starting to get some color. I'm worried about changing my phosphate media since its exhausted. I noticed once the media was exhausted the color in the chalice started to come in.

organism
11/14/2016, 11:02 AM
I read it was okay to use distilled water to calibrate. I will order some just to rule out the possibility. I have been feeding daily alternating seaweed and a mix of Mysis and reef chili. I kill my return pump and leave the mp 10 on to circulate the food in DT.

That's your problems right there. Your refractometer is definitely way off if you've just been using DI water which is most likely what's killing your corals, and you don't need to feed anything especially when your corals aren't looking good. You're just raising your nutrients which stress them out even more, corals don't need food and will do just fine without it. I can guarantee your problem is not lack of food.

Feeding is something you do once everything in your tank is looking awesome, you have no nuisance algae, and your parameters are spotless. If that day comes then you want to spot feed corals with your pumps off so you don't get food all over your tank. Also 0 corals eat seaweed, that's for tangs.

Alitoo_81
11/14/2016, 12:58 PM
Hi,

the problem is that now a days every one want to treat all tank as if they where only sps dominant. That is why you lost your LPS. They need more nutrients in the tank.

I am not really sure what type of tanks to you have but if its a mixed tank with more SPS, you need to go to the maximum Limits in nutrients for sps. Reise your no3 to 5-10 and po4 to max 0.04 ppm and you will see how you improve this issue.

Target feeding is good also. If you cant reise no3 and po4 by feeding, reduce any method you are using for nutrient control. If that is not enough, buy more fish or add nitrogen to reise no3. Normaly po4 go up easy with frozen food. If you are using something like rowa, change to 0.04 from fauna marin. It reduces the po4 only till 0.04 and not less. Or use less media.

Be carefull when adding nitrogen, po4 will go down. That is good when you have some po4 but when its 0 its bad. Try reising po4 first.

Hope that helps.

I know that because your sps are pale in color. If an sps is pale then your tank is bad for LPS and they will start deing first. People dont realize that they make there tanks deserts for corals to live in. Ultra low system tanks are maintained with a lot of coral aminos and food. Like Zeovit.

Regards

75mixedreef
11/14/2016, 01:42 PM
With the improvements you have seen after increased feedings, spot feeding and your PO4 remover getting exhausted (take that out by the way so it doesn't leech back into your tank), I think you are seeing the problem and solution right there. Alitoo_81 said it really well. You need food for your corals. Most people don't feed directly but there is still food there in the water from the fish poop.

You might also want to check your lighting and see if you are getting too much or too little light. Too much light with low nutrients would cause this problem as well. Maybe lower corals and stick your chalice in the shade. If they respond well then you can lower your light output by a bit and see how it goes.

Bring your salinity back up to 1.026 slowly then give it time. It takes a while for the corals to respond. A sudden change, even if it corrects everything perfectly, can cause more problems than what you were trying to fix. So once you think things are better, just keep them the same and see what happens after a couple weeks or a month. Please report your success or failure here so others can find this post and the fix if they have the same issues.

Alitoo_81
11/14/2016, 01:46 PM
Too much light with low nutrients would cause this problem as well.

Hi, 75mixedreef. Can you explain a little about this?

thanks

75mixedreef
11/14/2016, 02:49 PM
It is pretty simple, the corals want to grow but do not have the nutrients to support the amount of light they are getting. You see the same thing with garden plants. A little fertilizer goes a long way when there is tons of light. If they don't have a good balance they can show signs of distress or might grow a little funny. With corals a bleached look is a symptom. The coral needs time to adapt to the light levels too, so if they are newer additions or had been moved or introduced to the light somehow then they could be getting too much light when they are adjusting.

judah001
11/20/2016, 03:33 PM
Well your SG isn't off enough to cause these issues. Did this issue come up before or after you switched RO systems?

I did a second check on the salinity it was at 29ppt on my refractometer. I have been traveling for work so haven't been able to check until yesterday. I switched my ATO water to salt water at 35 ppt so I can slowly raise it over a few days.

judah001
11/20/2016, 03:41 PM
Hi,

the problem is that now a days every one want to treat all tank as if they where only sps dominant. That is why you lost your LPS. They need more nutrients in the tank.

I am not really sure what type of tanks to you have but if its a mixed tank with more SPS, you need to go to the maximum Limits in nutrients for sps. Reise your no3 to 5-10 and po4 to max 0.04 ppm and you will see how you improve this issue.

Target feeding is good also. If you cant reise no3 and po4 by feeding, reduce any method you are using for nutrient control. If that is not enough, buy more fish or add nitrogen to reise no3. Normaly po4 go up easy with frozen food. If you are using something like rowa, change to 0.04 from fauna marin. It reduces the po4 only till 0.04 and not less. Or use less media.

Be carefull when adding nitrogen, po4 will go down. That is good when you have some po4 but when its 0 its bad. Try reising po4 first.

Hope that helps.

I know that because your sps are pale in color. If an sps is pale then your tank is bad for LPS and they will start deing first. People dont realize that they make there tanks deserts for corals to live in. Ultra low system tanks are maintained with a lot of coral aminos and food. Like Zeovit.

Regards

Thank you for the info. Yes the guy at the LFS said something similar that he expects all his tanks to be around 5 for nitrate. I plan to add some more fish to increase the nutrients as I really dont have many. the only nutirent control I am using is phosphate reactor with BRS media, carbon reacator, skimmer, and chaeto which seems to grow very well.

judah001
11/20/2016, 03:43 PM
With the improvements you have seen after increased feedings, spot feeding and your PO4 remover getting exhausted (take that out by the way so it doesn't leech back into your tank), I think you are seeing the problem and solution right there. Alitoo_81 said it really well. You need food for your corals. Most people don't feed directly but there is still food there in the water from the fish poop.

You might also want to check your lighting and see if you are getting too much or too little light. Too much light with low nutrients would cause this problem as well. Maybe lower corals and stick your chalice in the shade. If they respond well then you can lower your light output by a bit and see how it goes.

Bring your salinity back up to 1.026 slowly then give it time. It takes a while for the corals to respond. A sudden change, even if it corrects everything perfectly, can cause more problems than what you were trying to fix. So once you think things are better, just keep them the same and see what happens after a couple weeks or a month. Please report your success or failure here so others can find this post and the fix if they have the same issues.

Fingers crossed things are looking up from here! I appreciate all the advise. I will post some updates later this week after I get the salinity back in line.

MrDaniel
11/21/2016, 04:53 PM
Have you considered sending your water off to a lab for a full test? It's a relatively small investment and could point to a cultrate you're nor currently testing for.

judah001
11/21/2016, 11:14 PM
Have you considered sending your water off to a lab for a full test? It's a relatively small investment and could point to a cultrate you're nor currently testing for.

It didn't know I could do that. Is it expensive to do so? Not really even sure where I would begin with that....

organism
11/23/2016, 06:11 PM
It didn't know I could do that. Is it expensive to do so? Not really even sure where I would begin with that....

Look up Triton tests for a full spectrum, or Aqua Medic Water testing for a less full profile. Triton tells you pretty much everything and then some, I was having weird coral deaths and it ended up being from aluminum and vanadium leaching out of ceramic media in my sump.

judah001
12/10/2016, 12:15 PM
I wanted to thank everyone for their input and advise on my post. My tank has recovered nicely and the culprit seems to be it was running to clean. To fix this issue I did daily feedings thawing frozen Mysis pouring the complete contents into the tank. Also I replaced my phosphate media a soon as it was exhausted to avoid any algae outbreaks. Alitoo_81 said it best when people try to run their tanks like deserts when in fact you cant. So hopefully if anyone else runs into this issue they will come across this thread.

judah001
12/10/2016, 12:23 PM
I wanted to thank everyone for their input and advise on my post. My tank has recovered nicely and the culprit seems to be it was running to clean. To fix this issue I did daily feedings thawing frozen Mysis pouring the complete contents into the tank. Also I replaced my phosphate media a soon as it was exhausted to avoid any algae outbreaks. Alitoo_81 said it best when people try to run their tanks like deserts when in fact you cant. So hopefully if anyone else runs into this issue they will come across this thread.

And one last thing I did take away was to always use calibration fluid for your refractometer.

frogspawn74
12/14/2016, 10:44 AM
I would cross check your magnesium test kit just to make sure.
Ive gone through 3 redsea kits and will no longer buy them for mag.
They always read in the 1300's for me. Don't know if they were bad batches or old.
Found out I was only 1100 for months. 1 switched to salifert

judah001
12/14/2016, 12:43 PM
I would cross check your magnesium test kit just to make sure.
Ive gone through 3 redsea kits and will no longer buy them for mag.
They always read in the 1300's for me. Don't know if they were bad batches or old.
Found out I was only 1100 for months. 1 switched to salifert

I have been testing at 1460 on my mag and everything is looking good so far.