View Full Version : Sps frags from a tank with scary parameters.

09/22/2017, 01:58 PM
Just some background.

Got a few monti frags from a freind a while back and couldn't keep them alive longer than 2 weeks as while my levels seemed fine and wasnt doing wc something was amiss.

I started with some nsw wc from our local aquarium which provides sand filtered seawater and noticed an improvement in some lps that was just hanging on and have just added a few more euphyllias that seem to be doing well.

My levels are as follows : kh 9, ca 420, mag 1380, nitrate 2- 5, phos 0.09 phos was down to 0.03 about 3 weeks back but have been feeding a bit heavy and also experimenting with fuel. Ive been trying to gt my kh to 7 to match our nsw and have stopped adding kalk to my ato. So will allow a gradual drop then maintain with RHF DIY 2 part. I use about 1.5 cups of ati gfo on a 520lt system currently and trying to change out every 4 weeks. Ive started to gt a handle on y tank and want to give sps a shot again. Im currently doing a 140lt wc fortnightly. So.....

I got a few test sps frags from that same freind and was curious to test his water and this is where it gets insane. His ca was 425, kh 4.2, yes 4.2 had to measure 2 times, phos 200ppb max readout in ulr checker so could be higher than 0.6ppm and nitrate about 50 yet he has good sps growth and ok color. The montis are a deep red and green and he usually just does a 1000lt wc every month using nsw from the same source as me. He basically pumps water into his tank whilst the sump floqs to waste so not a 1000lt change. His system is about 1400lt. No buffers are uaed not ecen kalk. He says he hasnt tested in 2 yrs and usually goes by the look of hia green monti to tell him a wc is due.

Will the move of those frags be ok or will the sudden jump in parameters be fatal to the sps? These are all freah frags just broken today of the colonies?

How important is parameters of receiving tank cos im looking at adding a few more corals if these do well from other reefer's but have no clue as to what there levels are without asking ir testing myself.

09/22/2017, 03:06 PM
That's an interesting question. Sudden changes in parameters seem to be a problem for many stony corals. I might try one more set, and then give up on direct transfers. I'm not sure how to proceed. I suppose you could set up a small system for the frags, and take some water from your friend's system, and slowly acclimate the corals.

09/22/2017, 05:01 PM
Alkalinity is usually the biggest concern, although I've never taken a stony coral from a system with such a low alkalinity level. I suspect that the problem will be the same, stony corals moved into tanks with much higher alkalinity often bleach. Placing the coral in a lower light area of your tank will help reduce the bleaching, but may not prevent it. Moving stony corals into lower alkalinity tanks is less of a problem but you may see browning but the colors will eventually return.

09/22/2017, 05:15 PM
How do you know your test are accurate? Test the fresh seawater you are using before adding it to the tank as a reference to what your test are reading. To many hobbyist rely on the test kits being accurate when it may not be and overreact.

09/23/2017, 05:53 AM
How do you know your test are accurate? Test the fresh seawater you are using before adding it to the tank as a reference to what your test are reading. To many hobbyist rely on the test kits being accurate when it may not be and overreact.
Yes i do test the nsw evwry change. After performance of the teats on my freinds water i tested mine to make sure its reads accurately.

No signs.of bleaching yet so will monitor i guess.

09/28/2017, 12:52 PM
Actually, I'd suspect the drastic change to low nutrient levels to cause the major issues with coral losses. There is evidence to suggest that corals actually modify their metabolism to take advantage of high inorganic dissolved nutrients (phosphate in particular). Suddenly dropping those levels to next to zero is likely to really stress the coral. This would be particularly true if the coral's in a really high light environment.

If this is the cause, I'd expect the coral to appear well for a week or two, then suddenly develop RTN overnight. As mentioned, a large bump in alkalinity can also "burn" a coral. But in my experience this typically shows up as burned tips developing within a day or two of introduction, or in an extreme case, overnight bleaching within 2-3 days of introduction.

09/29/2017, 08:28 AM
Way back in the day, Dr. Ron (I think it was him) used to theorize that inverts can handle the slow rise of nutrients well beyond a level that they can be transferred into. This seemed right to me - I once just took some Mexican Turbos from a years-old FOWLR that had 200 nitrates and who-knows-what phosphates and they all died in my clean reef in a few days.

10/02/2017, 01:42 AM
So far they seem to be holding up well, no polyp extension though but no bleaching either so will just monitor and take it slow.