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125mph
01/01/2017, 05:04 PM
Just saw the cursed tank thread.. well here's another one:

I had a 60G cube many years ago, and fish and corals did well.. However, when I upgraded to my 120G 5 years ago, corals never really did well afterwards. Fish and nems live fine, but all new corals introduced = dead!!

Most everything I transferred from the 60G made it. I have some branching gsp, xenia, tons of different kinds of zoas, and frogspawn that are doing well and growing. I have a BTA and a haddoni which are doing fine too. And fish are fat and healthy. But any new coral frags usually die in 1-2 weeks.

My parameters:
- Nitrates & Nitrites: undetectable (seachem test)
- Phosphates: .12ppm (hanna test)
- Calcium: 490 (hanna test)
- dKH: 8.5 (hanna test)

I've tried introducing over $2000 worth of coral. (Probably closer to $3000) and they all die. I did a lot of trial and error, changing placements, changing all kinds of stuff to see what would work. I went to zero N&P (ran GFO + bio reactor) and that didnt seem to change things, and thought maybe nutrient was too low and so I took off the GFO and ran very little in the bio reactor, which didnt fix it either. I went from LED to T5 and now back to LED. I tuned LED's very low and went high as well. I changed flows (dialed vortechs up and down, random) and changed frag placement to start high, low and in-between. Not really sure what else to do.

I just introduced a duncan and a chalice. Both placed in the bottom of the tank where par is about 80 only. Was told both of these guys like sub-dued lighting. Duncan is pretty much a goner. It was receding very badly and now wont come out anymore, and the chalice has bleached out a little and definitely faded in color. I still have some minor hopes for the chalice. One time I purchased three green birdsnest and place one at the top of my rocks, one at the middle, and one at the sand bed. All 3 bleached out. Didnt matter if it was 100par, 200par or 400 par.

The main difference between my 60G and my 120G is the old setup was using a refugium and the new one has a bio reactor. And I actually just unplugged the bio reactor and installed a refugium with chaeto to try to eliminate one more possibility of the difference why the old tank did well and the upgraded one isnt.

I really want some ducans and other corals to live!!! Also, not sure if this is helpful but I did notice the live rock doesn't have very much coraline algae. These rocks have been there for 5+ years.

Other info:

Old tank: 60G cube, refugium, AI Sol Blue lights, Media reactor, BK skimmer

Current setup: 120G, refugium (just replaced the bio reactor), AI Hydra 52 lights (was running ATI T5, and prior to that, was running the AI Sol Blues), Media reactor, vertex 150 skimmer, calcium reactor. Everything controlled by an Neptune Apex.

Any other suggestions? Only thing I can think of is either N&P (nutrient issue), lights, and flow... And I've dialed these various ways without any success.

Fish include Regal Angel, Potters Angel, Purple Tang, clowns... and about to introduce a melanurus wrasse.. All fish seem fine, fat and healthy.

chem-e
01/01/2017, 07:11 PM
You have the right equipment for a successful tank. Have you tried bringing a sample of your water to a LFS or another local reefer to test your water conditions to get a second check? If your water chemistry is truely as you suggest then the only other thing I'd do is water changes. I'd also suggest checking the new water batch chemistry as well to make sure you're getting similar results to the mfg conditions. This could be helpful for your troubleshooting.

2wheelsonly
01/01/2017, 09:19 PM
I chased params for several months, about to pull my hair out only to realize my problem all along was pests. Couldn't see them with the naked eye, but under magnification I saw them.

125mph
01/01/2017, 09:21 PM
I thought it could've pests too, but why are all the other corals (the ones that arent new) perfectly fine?

Hue can I get rude if the pests if it's them?


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Reefable
01/01/2017, 11:50 PM
Sometimes we chase a little too much and in tht we do not realize what the heck is going on in our tanks. Been there done that I would just leave it alone for some time meaning not add anything new, keep doing basic maintenance, water changes and check parameters weekly and see the fluctuations in them to see if they point to anything. Do not chase those parameters let your corals tell you, stay with a light/photo period schedule and see how things progress. After taking a break maybe start adding a frag and see. This would do two things for you which would IMO help you:
1) Help your system to settle by itself
2) Save your money

Just my thought. Good luck.



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125mph
01/02/2017, 01:48 AM
Yep. That's what I basically did. I didn't add a new frag in the last two years. Just did water changes and general maintenance. I didn't even check the pararms. Life got busy with work and the family. Only this past month I got more time and was curious if the tank "matured" after these 5 years. So I added the ducan and chalice, and checked all the parameters again. Everything is so stable. Yet the frags look to be done. That's what's driving me nuts! Still can't add a new coral after these years. Very frustrating. So I turned off the bio reactor and added the fug and started tinkering again. Probably will give it one more go before I let it be again.


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naterealbig
01/02/2017, 08:04 AM
What are you using to measure specific gravity?. Have you checked you water on someone's refractometer with a successful reef?. This had been the most common problem for me, when it comes to phantom coral mortality. I might also do a copper test, and run some Chemipure, do rule out heavy metals in tank, such as a dropped coin or piece of wire.

125mph
01/02/2017, 08:18 AM
What are you using to measure specific gravity?. Have you checked you water on someone's refractometer with a successful reef?. This had been the most common problem for me, when it comes to phantom coral mortality. I might also do a copper test, and run some Chemipure, do rule out heavy metals in tank, such as a dropped coin or piece of wire.



I use a refractometer purchased last year when my old one rusted. Salt mix always at 1.025 and I verify by testing my rodi water which shows zero. Since it was purchased last year, while still having the problem, I think it's not that.

Also have a haddoni and a bta, so can't be Cooper otherwise they would die? I did just move my tank location 6 months ago where I got rid of my old black sand and replaced with regular tan sand. Didn't notice any wires or coins either. Definitely good ideas to look at!


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ColoReefer970
01/02/2017, 08:34 AM
How stable is stable? I know a guy who tests once a week and calls it stable, when I know there must be significant daily alk/ph swings that he just won't see cuz of the way he doses and has never tested more than once per day.

125mph
01/02/2017, 08:46 AM
How stable is stable? I know a guy who tests once a week and calls it stable, when I know there must be significant daily alk/ph swings that he just won't see cuz of the way he doses and has never tested more than once per day.



I used to check the params daily. Sometimes multiple times a day to make sure the readings were correct. Nothing was ever out of the ordinary so I stopped checking for a long time when life got busy and I gave up on adding new coral. Anytime I checked nitrates, always showed zero. I've used Multiple different brand test kits.This month I've checked the numbers regularly as introduced the new corals.

I also have my Neptune Apex monitoring temp (2 probes), PH, & orp. PH during the day is about 8.2 and at night about 7.9. Very stable on the apex reading.


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slief
01/02/2017, 09:07 AM
Could it be chloramines in your water source? There have been many in So. Cal who have been looking at chloramines in their water source as a potential reason for issues with corals.

125mph
01/02/2017, 09:48 AM
Could it be chloramines in your water source? There have been many in So. Cal who have been looking at chloramines in their water source as a potential reason for issues with corals.

Another good idea! But I use the BRS 6 chamber rodi system and one of the chamber's is specifically designed to takes out chloramines. I know its working because of the TDS meter.

I was considering giving the LFS's salt water a try instead of making my own to see my rodi system may be causing problems.

slief
01/02/2017, 09:59 AM
Another good idea! But I use the BRS 6 chamber rodi system and one of the chamber's is specifically designed to takes out chloramines. I know its working because of the TDS meter.

I was considering giving the LFS's salt water a try instead of making my own to see my rodi system may be causing problems.

Just because your TDS meter reads 0 doesn't mean your RODI water is free of chloramines. The fact that you use a chloramine filter certainly will help but if the cartridge is exhausted, chloramines can still pass without registrering on the TDS meter.

Here are a couple good reads on that subject.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1279816

https://www.ewswater.com/faqs/what-does-total-dissolved-solids-tds-mean/

125mph
01/02/2017, 10:18 AM
Just because your TDS meter reads 0 doesn't mean your RODI water is free of chloramines. The fact that you use a chloramine filter certainly will help but if the cartridge is exhausted, chloramines can still pass without registrering on the TDS meter.

Here are a couple good reads on that subject.
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1279816

https://www.ewswater.com/faqs/what-does-total-dissolved-solids-tds-mean/

Gotcha! Definitely something I will investigate. I've replaced that specific carbon block that deals with chloramines multiple times a year, I think the last time I replaced it was two months ago. I will see if I can get a test kit for chloramines.

naterealbig
01/02/2017, 11:05 AM
Just a quick note on refractometer calibration:. Calibrating this device using RODI water is an unacceptable method - you must use calibration fluid. This would be something easy to check. I ran into this problem several months ago. Corals withered away, but other inverts, such as cleaner shrimp were just fine.

Reefable
01/02/2017, 11:12 AM
Yep. That's what I basically did. I didn't add a new frag in the last two years. Just did water changes and general maintenance. I didn't even check the pararms. Life got busy with work and the family. Only this past month I got more time and was curious if the tank "matured" after these 5 years. So I added the ducan and chalice, and checked all the parameters again. Everything is so stable. Yet the frags look to be done. That's what's driving me nuts! Still can't add a new coral after these years. Very frustrating. So I turned off the bio reactor and added the fug and started tinkering again. Probably will give it one more go before I let it be again.


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Does the fuge grows any chaeto? It is very weird tht your old corals are surviving because if it would have been water they wouldn't survive either. Maybe it's the chemical warfare and your new frags are weaker against the settled ones but it's something I have never heard of as I have added frags in my system and have had no issues. Stay there you definitely is doing everything tht is reqd. I would add chemipure or Carbon just to eleminate chemical warfare.


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125mph
01/02/2017, 12:04 PM
Does the fuge grows any chaeto? It is very weird tht your old corals are surviving because if it would have been water they wouldn't survive either. Maybe it's the chemical warfare and your new frags are weaker against the settled ones but it's something I have never heard of as I have added frags in my system and have had no issues. Stay there you definitely is doing everything tht is reqd. I would add chemipure or Carbon just to eleminate chemical warfare.


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The fuge is about 2 weeks new. The chaeto is starting to grow out. I was using bio pellets before which kept N&P undetectable. But I just ditched that system to eliminate it since my old setup used a fuge and not the bio pellets. Right now N&P is still low/zero probably because they were so low when I started the chaeto it hasnt climbed up yet?

125mph
01/02/2017, 01:29 PM
Just a quick note on refractometer calibration:. Calibrating this device using RODI water is an unacceptable method - you must use calibration fluid. This would be something easy to check. I ran into this problem several months ago. Corals withered away, but other inverts, such as cleaner shrimp were just fine.

Sure one more thing to try. I'll order some calibration fluid. Will post back after I check that out!

Reefable
01/02/2017, 01:49 PM
Having zero N&P is no good either


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125mph
01/02/2017, 01:54 PM
Having zero N&P is no good either


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Well ya, thats why I ditched the GFO and lowered the bio pellets a few years ago to see if that helps. It didnt... Now I ditched the bio pellet altogether, and using a fug.. Lets see if the N&P increase helps.

Reefable
01/02/2017, 01:55 PM
Well ya, thats why I ditched the GFO and lowered the bio pellets a few years ago to see if that helps. It didnt... Now I ditched the bio pellet altogether, and using a fug.. Lets see if the N&P increase helps.



Ok tht sounds good than good luck



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125mph
01/02/2017, 02:15 PM
Okay so far, got some good suggestions. I just ordered a new refractometer w/ calibration fluid from BRS. Hopefully its as simple as a salinity problem. I paid for expediated shpping. Will know in a few days once it arrives!

I'm looking for a chloramine test kit for my rodi, see if that is a problem!

I'm keeping an eye out for pests but don't see any yet.

And will be testing N&P daily for next few weeks to see if stopping the bio pellet help increase some N&P to detectable levels. The chaeto seems to be growing though so I think its taking out some N&P.

zachfishman
01/02/2017, 05:01 PM
Does your new setup include any non-acrylic containers? Using any plastics of questionable composition? I had a coral-killing plastic sump (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2431220&page=3) on my Solana. Finally resolved after I replaced it with an acrylic sump.

125mph
01/02/2017, 05:45 PM
Thanks all!!! I'm feeling it could be my RODI water.. Feeling very optimistic :) I tracked down the dates when I started using my RODI system and it was August 2011. I also did my tank upgrade in Sept 2011. The times sync up very much.

For the cholormine issue that Slief & naterealbig brought up, I reviewed the current BRS 6 stage system and my 6 stage system. It seems BRS changed to using two carbon block 1 micron filter for cholarmine while I was only using 1 of those and 1 catalytic activated carbon which was their old system was using. Not sure why they changed it, if it had to do with costs or anything.. but I might as well change my 6 stage to mirror what they're currently doing.. Maybe two carbon blocks is better at removing cholarmines? Will do a series of water changes with the new water to see if that helps.

It doesnt look like my salinty is an issue. I just went to my LFS and asked for a bag of their water. I used my refractometer and it measures exactly 1.025, which is what I've been using on my own water. Will wait to get the salinity fluid calibration and try again.

As for the plastic issue that zach brought up: No plastics other than my acrylic sump by trigger systems.

125mph
01/03/2017, 10:18 AM
Could it be chloramines in your water source? There have been many in So. Cal who have been looking at chloramines in their water source as a potential reason for issues with corals.

Well, I'm doing a 23gallon water change today with new water that should be 100% chloramine free.

I've been watching a few BRS videos on cholramine and also one from Marine Depot. According to them, even with bad carbon blocks, the chloramines will be removed by the dionization process but will deplete DI resin very fast. So as long as my di resin wasnt depleted, there should be zero chloramines in the rodi water. Thoughts?

Anyway, hope the new water helps!

125mph
01/06/2017, 08:32 PM
Just a quick note on refractometer calibration:. Calibrating this device using RODI water is an unacceptable method - you must use calibration fluid. This would be something easy to check. I ran into this problem several months ago. Corals withered away, but other inverts, such as cleaner shrimp were just fine.



Well, calibration fluid came. Holy smokes! I thought I was at 1.025 but turns out I'm only 1.023. Not sure if that would cause all my coral problems but I will bring it up to 1.026 and see if new frags make it.

I just read the refractometer article on slope error . Makes total sense now!


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CrayolaViolence
01/07/2017, 08:39 AM
1.023 isn't enough to kill your corals. I have run a reef tank at that level without a problem.

wildman926
01/08/2017, 10:13 AM
Invest in an ATS (algae turf scrubber). Algae is nature's natural filter, and will remove unwanted excess nutrients, metals, i.e. anything that should not be in your system.

125mph
01/11/2017, 02:28 PM
Quick update!! I am very encouraged.. I've raised my salinity to 1.026 and also installed new RODI prefilters that are suppose to be good choramine removers. I did two small water changes last week and a BIG water change today. The ducans I brought three weeks ago that I thought were completely dead (looked like it was just a empty heads) have come back to life.. Some of the whiskers are starting to open again though its too soon to tell. I will post more next week when I do another big water change! Hope things start improving.

Not sure if its the salinity, the chloramine or both.

Reefable
01/11/2017, 05:39 PM
Tht sounds good


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125mph
01/16/2017, 02:42 PM
Reef is doing really well since the chloramine issue has been addressed. New corals have thrived so far versus before. Here's a pic of my new rodi setup: https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170116/e3834d2010b927b6e83c3246e53dccd0.jpg


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CrayolaViolence
01/16/2017, 03:18 PM
Congrats!

Reefable
01/16/2017, 09:32 PM
Reef is doing really well since the chloramine issue has been addressed. New corals have thrived so far versus before. Here's a pic of my new rodi setup: https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170116/e3834d2010b927b6e83c3246e53dccd0.jpg


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Good stuff


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wildman926
01/17/2017, 02:18 PM
Looks a lot like mine..

bblumberg
02/06/2017, 03:09 PM
Reef is doing really well since the chloramine issue has been addressed. New corals have thrived so far versus before. Here's a pic of my new rodi setup: https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170116/e3834d2010b927b6e83c3246e53dccd0.jpg


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If you are convinced that chloramines were your problem, I'd invest in some sodium thiosulfate from Amazon or a local pool supply. Dose your tank with ~ 5 PPM and add some to your RO water, just in case you have low level breakthrough. Sure, the carbon prefilters should get chloramines out, but sodium thiosulfate is so cheap and harmless that you can use it prophylactically with water changes.

bblumberg
02/06/2017, 03:15 PM
Reef is doing really well since the chloramine issue has been addressed. New corals have thrived so far versus before. Here's a pic of my new rodi setup: https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170116/e3834d2010b927b6e83c3246e53dccd0.jpg


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If you are convinced that chloramines were your problem, I'd invest in some sodium thiosulfate from Amazon or a local pool supply. Dose your tank with ~ 5 PPM and add some to your RO water, just in case you have low level breakthrough. Sure, the carbon prefilters should get chloramines out, but sodium thiosulfate is so cheap and harmless at the levels you will be adding it that you can use it prophylactically with water changes.

WLachnit
02/18/2017, 09:12 PM
Just read your thread....sounded very frustrating. Any updates? Are you new corals still holding up?

125mph
02/18/2017, 09:58 PM
Yes, all fixed! My new Duncan's have started as 2 heads and now has 3 more growing. Birds nest showing nice growth as well. My regal angel which I thought was gray belly just turned yellow belly after the improved water.


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JamesHolt
02/18/2017, 10:58 PM
What are the two filters below your booster pump??

125mph
02/19/2017, 11:22 AM
It's a sediment filter and a Chloramine Monster.. The monster is a huge 20bb filter that eradicates chloramines :) My filter goes like this:

Sediment -> Booster -> Chloramine Monster -> Carbon -> Carbon -> Carbon -> RO -> RO -> DI -> DI

The Phantom
02/21/2017, 09:44 PM
I had that issue until I got a RO system.

dphins
03/02/2017, 03:44 PM
It's a sediment filter and a Chloramine Monster.. The monster is a huge 20bb filter that eradicates chloramines :) My filter goes like this:

Sediment -> Booster -> Chloramine Monster -> Carbon -> Carbon -> Carbon -> RO -> RO -> DI -> DI

Do you think you would have the same results without the chloramine monster? They are pricey.

125mph
03/02/2017, 03:46 PM
Do you think you would have the same results without the chloramine monster? They are pricey.

The chloramine monster IS the key. Without that, the only thing new to my water system is the water saver kit with the 2nd RO unit. So yes, chloramine monster was the answer.

WLachnit
03/02/2017, 09:37 PM
I'm curious ....do you have any estimate as to how high the chloramines are in your water?

125mph
03/02/2017, 09:44 PM
I'm curious ....do you have any estimate as to how high the chloramines are in your water?

San Diego lists 2.5-3.0 PPM

Zalick
03/02/2017, 10:16 PM
San Diego lists 2.5-3.0 PPM

Glad you found the problem! I had the same issue with chloramines up here in Portland.

I would recommend putting a T fitting with valve in after your chloramine filters and checking the water post filter when you make new water. As soon as you see breakthrough, change the filter. Use a total chlorine test kit. The chloramine up here eats my carbon filters for lunch.

farfromsea
03/02/2017, 10:34 PM
Glad you found the problem! I had the same issue with chloramines up here in Portland.



I would recommend putting a T fitting with valve in after your chloramine filters and checking the water post filter when you make new water. As soon as you see breakthrough, change the filter. Use a total chlorine test kit. The chloramine up here eats my carbon filters for lunch.



Where do you prefer to get your total chlorine test kits from? What size carbon filter do you use?


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Zalick
03/03/2017, 12:24 AM
Where do you prefer to get your total chlorine test kits from? What size carbon filter do you use?


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I use Hanna Total Chlorine. I'm colorblind so Hanna testers are much easier for me to read.

I use a 10" Spectrapure .5 micron carbon filter.