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View Full Version : Help, can't keep sps alive


bbgobie
09/05/2017, 05:37 PM
Hi, I've been at odds trying to keep sps in my tank. At first my frags were doing fine for several months, than a few started lightening, pilots never came out and eventually all stn/RTN. Monti, pocillipora, all types.

I have. 46G with two MP10 from opposite sides on reef crest mode.

For lighting I have the evergrow photon v2, following a slightly modified sps ab+ program at about 30% intensity.

I'm using Aquaforest salt and my params are :
Red Sea test kit. Nitrate 2.5-5
Alk 7.7 - 8.2
Ca 430 - 460
mg 1320 - 1460

Phosphate with Hanna ULR .03-.045

I dose kalk off a doser, run a bubble Magnus curve 5 skimmer.

Run a small amount of gfo and carbon.

A few months ago after all my sps frags died I left my tank fallow from sps over a month or so. Recently tried to add a couple test frags back. None have ever shown polyps extended. The Millipora lightened a bit after a few days. And now 9 days since introduction has begun to lose tissue.

Originally I only had a bit of algae in one rock. I thought I might have too low of nutrients and probably over did it feeding everyday with reef roids, red sea coral nutrition, Vitalis sps food and grew a bunch of GHA. The algae is more under control now but I still have quiet a bit.

I can't figure out if I'm over/under nutrition, lighting. I've read tons of posts but can't narrow down what I'm doing wrong. The first time my frags were still growing, encrusting before they suddenly STN. Although polyp extension had gradually gotten worse.

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bbgobie
09/05/2017, 05:41 PM
Forgot to mention, besides LR and about 1 in special grade sand bed I have about 1.5L siporax and dosing 7 ml of vinegar during lighted hours.

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bbgobie
09/05/2017, 07:12 PM
https://photos.app.goo.gl/FtjJlU6LLA4O8UnF3
Pic of Milli with tissue receding today. Was on sand bed 7 days, moved to current location a couple inches off sand bed on 7th day.

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reefmutt
09/05/2017, 09:02 PM
What are your nitrates?
And do you have a full tank shot?

djbon
09/05/2017, 09:16 PM
Do you do water changes?. If yes, how frequent and how much?. If no, what is your dosing regime?

karimwassef
09/05/2017, 09:22 PM
How are you dosing kalk?

Measure your alkalinity multiple times during the day for a few days.

I would guess that while it may look stable, you're likely fluctuating all over during the day and over multiple days.

That's the usual culprit based on your symptoms.

I'd also raise Mg to 1600 and Ca to over 500. Target Alk to be steady over 8.5 and always no more than 0.5 of the set point over a week of variance. That's basically the measurement error on most test kits.

I'm not a big fan of bacteria... so C dosing is not my preference. I use algae scrubbers for natural sequestration and as a continuous food source.

bbgobie
09/05/2017, 09:51 PM
What are your nitrates?
And do you have a full tank shot?Nitrates around 2.5-5 on salifert kit

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bbgobie
09/05/2017, 09:54 PM
I'm doing weekly 10% changes.

I'm dosing kalk full saturation on a bra doser controlled by profilux. 48 doses spread throughout the day.

I'll probably be setting up an algae reactor, mostly because I want ditch the gfo.

I've thought about raising the alk and CA, but thought my current levels were more natural and closer to what the Aquaforest salt would mix up to.

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karimwassef
09/05/2017, 11:05 PM
Lack of stability is the primary driver of RTN in my experience - primarily Alk.
Excess bacteria and parasites are the secondary drivers.

murphreef
09/05/2017, 11:40 PM
Tough one but obviously something is off. I would try raising Alk to 9-9.5 since you have more nutrients in your water.

What other corals do you have in your tank? Realistically what in your tank is using up your Alk and CA? Not sure why you are running Kalk if you dont have anything consuming it. You are better off turning that off and doing some water changes. Get your tank stable first then determine its requirements. Any small doses do that using 2 part. Once your tank is running smooth you could add Kalk.

bbgobie
09/06/2017, 05:51 AM
I only have GSP and a hammer. Was intending the tank to have primarily sps. For the previous month while I didn't have any sps I reduced the kalk and my all seemed pretty stable. When I introduced the 3 test frags and 1 cyphaestrea, I bumped up the kalk in anticipation of alk/CA demand increasing. It seems I didn't up it enough though.
I have kalk measured at 7.6 on 8/27 and 7.1 before I went to bed, so I've increased kalk dosage again.

I originally dosed 2 part for maybe 2 months, but felt the daily dosing was a pain and that kalk was an easier to dose balanced additive. Longer term I have a calcium reactor sitting here, I was planning to hook up when demand was higher. I could try going back to 2 part.

When my allk/CA is low, I add 2 part half a capful per day to raise it back up and try and make a similar adjustment on the kalk dosing to find the sweet spot, but with sps coming and going it's hard to get the amount right. I guess I could test daily till this is figured out.

Going to try and pick up salifert test kit today, wondering if there's sea is off or I'm doing the test wrong.

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vakeros
09/06/2017, 07:04 AM
I have 50 gal mixed reef. dose kalk throughout 24 hour more at night . Fwiw i find my alk drop faster so i dose carbonate as well at night to keep up . I am using salifert test too. I use a little of gfo and cheato for export.

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murphreef
09/06/2017, 11:00 AM
OP I just dont see how you are using that much Alk with barely any demand.

Adding a frag of something doesnt deplete Alk right away as usually those frags take some time to adjust to the new tank conditions before they start growing and consuming Alk / CA

I think you need better test kits and truthfully that will probably give you a lot of insight.

I really think your issue lies with your Alk I bet it is off one way or the other.

IMO once you figure out your Alk I would adjust it from their using 2 part as it is easier to do adjusting using that up front then once things settle down you can set up the Kalk.

From your picture I do not even see coraline on your rocks. A true tell of a healthy stable tank is coraline. Do you have any?

keychild486
09/06/2017, 05:37 PM
Hey if you dose two part i recommend buying an automatic doser. Dosing by hand can cause major swings. its good to dose slowly through out the day. Test everyday at the same time and then adjust your two accordingly to consumption. by the way how old is your tank>?

bbgobie
09/06/2017, 05:56 PM
I grabbed salifert kits on the way home. CA: 460
Alk: 7.6
I tried the red sea kit and got 7.7 for alk so they seem to be inline with each other.

Since the 7 reading I had last night I have added 7.5 ml seachem reef fusion part 2 and 2.5 ml of the part 1. I also upped my daily kalk dosing from 275 to 336 ml.

The dry rock started cycling with 1 seed rock back in January. Everything was moved over to this tank Feb 20th.

I currently dose kalk and 8 ml vinegar on dosers throughout the day, if I go back to 2 part I'll pick up a couple dosers for that.

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nashorn
09/06/2017, 07:19 PM
OP I just dont see how you are using that much Alk with barely any demand.

Adding a frag of something doesnt deplete Alk right away as usually those frags take some time to adjust to the new tank conditions before they start growing and consuming Alk / CA

I think you need better test kits and truthfully that will probably give you a lot of insight.

I really think your issue lies with your Alk I bet it is off one way or the other.

IMO once you figure out your Alk I would adjust it from their using 2 part as it is easier to do adjusting using that up front then once things settle down you can set up the Kalk.

From your picture I do not even see coraline on your rocks. A true tell of a healthy stable tank is coraline. Do you have any?
Just my opinion

coraline= let's you know when tank is ready for sps
Sps tanks takes a year or more to be stable. I think that when the bacteria living in your system equalizes.
Stop any dosing
Just ato
Wait
Yea it's going to suck watch nothing going on while all these nice frags come and go.
Once the coralline starts up then try a easy Frag like a slimmer and once that starts to encrust you're on your way.
Then the fun begins with all the dosing etc,etc
Any misstep can crash the tank and boy do I know that. Complacency is a killer.

bbgobie
09/07/2017, 06:25 AM
Thanks guys, I guess I'll wait it out longer.

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murphreef
09/07/2017, 12:39 PM
Yea I would suggest you do not need to dose anything you could easily replace any missing items in the water with 2 simple weekly WC's I would suggest 2 - 5 gallon water changes every 3 days.

Once you get coraline in the tank for a while then yes usually that means things are stable and ready for the next step some easy sps.

You can probably keep some lps until then and some softies.

reefmutt
09/07/2017, 04:11 PM
I am 100% in agreement with murphreef and nashorn..
You should really have almost no demand. Seems odd to me, as well, how much you are adding and the shifts you are seeing.. with what you have in the tank..
If it were my tank, I'd do a few 50ish % waterchanges just to reset your chemistry- maybe one a week for 3 weeks.
During this, I'd stop all additives and after the third wc, begin testing parameters and see where they go over the course of a week...
Then, react to the demand instead of anticipating it.. if you are testing alk daily, but waiting to confirm a trend before reacting to a test result, I think you'll be better off for now...
I wouldn't give the same advice if your tank was packed with fast growing sps but at the moment, shifts shouldn't happen too quickly...