View Full Version : Why so white?

08/24/2017, 06:27 PM

120 gal
6 bulb T5 with ATI bulbs
1.025 salinity
1360 mag
460 cal
9 alk
Phosphate and nitrate both reading zero on salifert and API test

I bought a green pocilipora and within a week in turned from neon green to almost bone white. I put him in the lower 1/3 of the tank. He still has full polyp extension as you can see by the picture. He's been this way for 3 weeks.

Thinking I might have bleached him with the T5's, I bought a green ORA birdsnest and put him in the gravel and turned 2 of the bulbs off. 1 week later he started losing color as well.

So now I'm thinking nutrients are needed. Been shutting my skimmer off about half the time and feeding the heck out of the tank with frozens, flakes and reef roids twice a week. 2 weeks of doing this still no noticeable change in color and still hitting zeros on PO4 and NO3.

Any suggestions? Is this a nutrient thing?

Crapy picture attached to show polyp extension. I don't think they're dead, just white.

08/24/2017, 06:34 PM
It sounds like its starving.

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08/24/2017, 06:57 PM
What more could I feed? I was thinking the same but I've been feeding fairly heavy and cutting the skim time in half

08/24/2017, 07:40 PM
First API test kits are not up to snuff for phosphate or nitrate, I would get a Salifert, Red Sea for nirtae or phosphate. Or Hanna phosphrous test kit for phosphate if you want a true reading.

I use the Red Sea Coral Colors system, I like it def improvment in SPS colors.

08/24/2017, 07:42 PM
How many fish do you have? Could start dosing amino acid until your nutrients come up.

08/24/2017, 08:32 PM

Cole tang
2x clown fish
Lawnmower Blenny
Watchman goby
3 peppermint shrimp
Pistol shrimp
Dozen or so hermits and snails

I did start dosing Red Sea A and B about a week ago as well

I use saliifert test kit for phosphate and its crystal clear, no hint of blue

Right now I'm using API for nitrate, but it couldn't be more yellow on the color scale. I know it's not exact, but it's definitely not much nitrate if there is.

Should I shut the skimmer down all together for a while? Do you think it's really a nutrient issue? I can't imagine the T5's would be frying them down by the sand bed. I've been running 4 bulbs for 10 hrs and all 6 at mid day for 3-4 hrs.

08/24/2017, 08:54 PM
I'd say it's a nutrient issue..
I wouldn't turn the skimmer off, though.. its such an efficient oxygenator, it really benefits the system.
I think you need a few more fish..

08/24/2017, 10:22 PM
Guess I'll try that and super feed for a couple more weeks.

Thinking about it more, I also started off with a chaeto ball in the fuge and it didn't grow at all and actually ended up turning yellowish and white so I took it out a while back.

Gig 'em
08/29/2017, 02:10 PM
What is the temperature of the tank (during the hottest part of the day and coldest part)? And what water do you use? RO/DI?

08/29/2017, 04:00 PM
Starved corals have less intense and deep, but brighter colors - more contrast. You would have to be carbon dosing to get low enough for this to be a problem. White corals expelled all of their zoox for some reason - mostly because of stress.

I don't think that a 6 bulb ATI would stress a coral with light. I would look elsewhere.

The stress could be as much about where it came from than where it is now. Do the other corals look OK?

08/29/2017, 04:29 PM
Do you use anything to remove phosphate? Like Zeo, or Rawaphos or carbon dosing, or Lanthium Chloride or anything?


08/30/2017, 03:20 AM
What is the temperature of the tank (during the hottest part of the day and coldest part)? And what water do you use? RO/DI?

When I had bleaching issues it was due to temperature stress. A bleached coral needs feeding as it has expelled all of its photosynthetical simbionts. It will take 2-4 weeks for the coral to regain its zooxanthellae population.

09/11/2017, 10:52 PM
Small update here. After a lot of reading, I've decided to dose potassium nitrate and see what happens. I'm targeting 3ppm.

I started dosing 3 days ago. I have a solution that should bring the nitrates up 1 ppm per day but so far it's getting sucked up as soon as it hits the tank. The plan is to continue to dose and slowly raise until I can maintain at 3.

I'll report back if anything earth shattering happens (fingers crossed)

09/12/2017, 05:48 AM
I'd suggest getting yourself a salifert potassium test kit, then.
Depending on how much kno3 you use, you may overdose potassium.