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Old 01/19/2018, 06:48 PM   #1
Michael_D
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All corals irritated, parameters fine

Hi all,

For the past week or two, many of my corals have been irritated and are showing poor polyp extension and looking shriveled. I have LPS, SPS, and soft corals all in the same tank.

The tank is 75G, I have a sump, a skimmer, lots of water flow (two gyres), ample lighting (2 maxpect ethereals), and a light bio load of fish. The tank is less than a year old, but was an upgrade from a 3 year old tank.

At first only my GSP was sucked in, which I thought nothing of. But it didn't come back, and soon my other soft corals were becoming irritated. I did a 50% water change to no avail. Now many of my SPS corals, especially frogspawn are irritated as well. Some of my SPS is showing reduced polyp extension, but most of it is totally normal. I've moved my GSP to another tank and it is starting to come back. I did the same with my toadstools and kenya tree, thinking coral warfare, and now they're coming back in the other tank, but my main tank is still screwed up. I have a hammer coral that, if anything, looks better than usual. Some various SPS frags that look fine and are showing new growth, but my zoas, torch, frogspawn, some palys, and birdnest coral are all quite ****ed. Also, I am noticing a very bad diatom bloom. I can clear it all up with my hand, but within 24 hours it will be back covering my rocks and sand. And my skimmer is going crazy periodically, which it never used to do.

My parameters:

Salinity: 1.026
Temp: 78F
Alk: 8dkh
Ca: 380ppm
pH: 8.3
nitrate: 0
phosphate:0
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0 (but I did detect some on one day that I tested it, but I don't know if this caused the irritation, or if whatever is causing the irritation was causing die off)

I tested for stray voltage with my multi-meter and didn't see anything weird. I thought it might be my water supply, but my other tanks are doing fine.

Any idea what could be happening? Any suggestions on something I could check for? I am going a little crazy. Can lighting cause this? I am on a custom cycle with my ethereals at about 30% for 5 hours, then moving to 90% for two hours, and then ramping down over an hour until moonlights for a while followed by dark.

Thanks!


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Old 01/19/2018, 07:34 PM   #2
bertoni
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This type of problem can be hard to diagnose. I'd check for any signs of metal coming into contact with the water. A broken magnet cover, a crack in a pump, and other similar problems can cause a lot of damage.

I'd stop feeding for a while, just to make sure that organics aren't the issue. Some fresh carbon might be a good stopgap, as well, and it will adsorb metals bound to organics, as well. The coral warfare idea still might be relevant. Is there any coral that's doing well?

So there was no visible response to the water change?


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Old 01/20/2018, 08:36 PM   #3
urb77
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Originally Posted by bertoni View Post
This type of problem can be hard to diagnose. I'd check for any signs of metal coming into contact with the water. A broken magnet cover, a crack in a pump, and other similar problems can cause a lot of damage.

I'd stop feeding for a while, just to make sure that organics aren't the issue. Some fresh carbon might be a good stopgap, as well, and it will adsorb metals bound to organics, as well. The coral warfare idea still might be relevant. Is there any coral that's doing well?

So there was no visible response to the water change?
Diatom needs Si .Check the Roi.

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Old 01/20/2018, 08:48 PM   #4
bertoni
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I suspect that the pest is cyanobacteria or dinoflagellates. Diatoms are a possibility, but there are a lot of snails that will eat them.


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Old 01/26/2018, 11:00 AM   #5
Michael_D
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Ok, so I have an update:

I noticed that my corals reliably perked up a bit during the evening as the lights dimmed. Thinking my weird ramp up/down schedule with the lights could be causing gradual coral issues, I changed it to one of the presets it comes with, where it gets to about 80% output max, with a ramp up and ramp down. I noticed almost immediate improvement in my corals.

Some of my corals are doing well, even better colour than they used to have. These are my hammer coral, my various SPS frags, and montis.

The rest of them showed a small improvement. My torch was extended a little more, but still pretty deflated. Same with my frogspawn. My zoas/pallies were partially open at best.

I was hopeful for a few days, so I did 30% water change thinking there might still be some residual something in the water. The evening of that change I noticed my pallys open fully as the lights dimmed. I thought everything was going to be good!

The next day, my corals went back to an irritation level somewhere in between where they started, and where they were after adjusting the lighting. I now have the lights maxing out at 60% to see what happens.

My other tanks are still doing fine.

Any clues???? I vacuumed my sand during the water change and noticed it took longer for the cyano/diatoms/slime to return, but it did still return.

I checked my powerheads for signs of exposed metal or corrosion, but couldn't see anything obvious. Either today or tomorrow, I'll be checking the return pump and skimmer pump.

My skimmer is no longer overflowing at random times like it was for a while there.

I want to do a Triton test, but I can't seem to find a retailer that carries them near where i live in Alberta, Canada. What sort of test kits should I look into? All I have right now is below:

Alk
Ca
Ammonia
Nitrite
Nitrate
Phophate PH
Magnesium

And none of these tests reveal anything out of the ordinary.

Thanks!


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Old 01/26/2018, 11:36 AM   #6
Cheapreef
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Originally Posted by Michael_D View Post
I want to do a Triton test, but I can't seem to find a retailer that carries them near where i live in Alberta, Canada. What sort of test kits should I look into? All I have right now is below:


Thanks!
Where in Alberta are you located? ICP test kits of all kinds hae been out of stock for about 4 months in Edmonton, new stock is supposed to arrive in the next week or so.


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Old 01/26/2018, 11:37 AM   #7
Sk8r
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Bring your calcium up to 420. 380 is low for stony coral. Also set your magnesium at about 1350. Run carbon for a bit: if you have an annoyed soft coral, they can annoy everything else.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, 2 firefish, 2 chromis, royal gramma basslet, starry blenny, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/26/2018, 12:25 PM   #8
Michael_D
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Where in Alberta are you located? ICP test kits of all kinds hae been out of stock for about 4 months in Edmonton, new stock is supposed to arrive in the next week or so.
I'm in Edmonton too. If they're in stock in the next week or two I'll pick one up. Who carries them?

Quote:
Bring your calcium up to 420. 380 is low for stony coral. Also set your magnesium at about 1350. Run carbon for a bit: if you have an annoyed soft coral, they can annoy everything else.
I'm not against trying this, but is it needed? My stony corals are all showing great colouration, growth and polyp extension. And isn't seawater measured near 380?


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Old 01/26/2018, 05:00 PM   #9
bertoni
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380 ppm is a reasonable level for stony corals as long as you don't let it drop too much lower. Giving some room for testing error and daily consumption might be useful in a lot of cases. I might raise the level to 400 ppm, but I read a lot of reports of test kits with problems, so I have gotten more conservative over time.

Magnesium in the ocean is about 1275 ppm. I don't think this parameter is all that critical. A lot of tanks ran at 1100 ppm for years back when Instant Ocean mixed up to that level. A bit higher is said to help with precipitation on various surfaces, which is a cosmetic issue, for the most part.


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